Festival season is approaching and we can only hope the recent rain is not a sign of things to come, although what’s a festival without a bit of mud?

Glastonbury is already sold out for those of you who did not get tickets, but you can still watch the highlights on the telly and the offerings elsewhere in the South of England alone are quite phenomenal so read on and simply take your pick.

Beacon Festival

When Lindsay Howard-Dean took over a farm from her parents a few years ago she decided to use the land to host an eclectic music festival. With a little arm twisting and help of some volunteers she did so very successfully.

This year the festival, in Oxfordshire, will be headlined by Not The Rolling Stones and UK Foo Fighters Tribute. If tribute bands aren’t your thing, the festival has a wide ranging offering that includes creative workshops and craft stalls, feel-good therapies, comedy and a literary tent.

Watlington Hill Farm, Oxfordshire, Friday, June 17 until Saturday, June 18. 


Do I need to tell you about Glastonbury Festival? It is perhaps the most infamous and world renowned UK festival. I’ll tell you anyway.

The first festival took place in 1970, the day after Jimi Hendrix died, moving to the weekend of the summer solstice the following year (clear 7’0s hippy, counterculture vibes here). It was funded by the organisers and known as the Glastonbury Fair.

36 years later and the five-day festival welcomes more than 135,000 people for the biggest names in contemporary music as well as up-and-coming and niche artists as well as dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret, art, DJs and more, with every year raising millions for charity.

The hundreds of musicians and bands in this year’s line-up will be headlined by Adele, Coldplay and Muse.

Worthy Farm, Glastonbury: Wednesday, June 22 until Sunday, June 26. 

Henley Festival

This is a wonderful boutique, black tie festival along the Henley riverbanks. This year Elton John and his band will be headlining the floating stage on the opening night, with Will Young closing the festival.

Other equally impressive names will be Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Dame Shirley Bassey performing with Brit-award winning vocal group BLAKE and the Welsh opera singer Bryn Terfel singing with the Welsh National Opera Orchestra.

As well as this their offering includes Ronnie Scott’s Allstars, an array of top comedians and the New Music Stage which will see some of the brightest names in new music perform and, on top of that, it will be housing Europe’s biggest field restaurant.

Henley on Thames, Wednesday, July 6 until Sunday, July 10. 

Latitude Festival

Latitude Festival seeks to celebrate the biggest names in comedy, dance, film, cabaret, literature and performance; with a theatre programme following an annual theme.

This year the theme is Love Thy Neighbour, inspired by the current unstable global politics such as the refugee crisis. Musical acts headlining this year are Maccabees, The National and New Order.

Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk, Thursday, July 14 until Sunday, July 17. 


In 2016, the family-friendly music event will run for two days, Friday, July 22 and Saturday, July 23, instead of three but organisers are promising that the sixth annual festival will be the ‘best ever’.

Dizzee Rascal, De La Soul, Chas and Dave, Shed Seven and Ms Dynamite have all been confirmed to play alongside New York City band Fun Lovin’ Criminals, hip hop duo Rizzle Kicks, Soul II Soul and Reef, plus DJ sets from Artful Dodger and DJ Luck and McNeat.

The Big Park, Penn, Friday, July 22 until Saturday, July 23. 

WOMAD Festival

July 28 to July 31 This year the “global party” promises to offer another eclectic weekend. It was announced this week that John Grant, Roots Manuva, Les Amazones D’afrique, Charles Bradley and Ana Tijoux will be performing at the festival.

They will join those already announced, including George Clinton, Parliament, Funkadelic, Baaba Maal and the Hot 8 Brass Band. The festival offers hidden, musical gems, from Vietnamese protest performers to Sardinian choirs, proving there truly is something for everybody to discover at this year’s festival.

Charlton Park, Wiltshire, Thursday, July 28 until Sunday, July 31. 

V Festival

Justin Bieber will first headline Saturday’s bill in Hylands Park Chelmsford and then in Weston Park, Staffordshire on Sunday as the line-up switches across the two locations. His support acts include SIA, Faithless, Bastille, Jess Glynne, Tinie Tempah and Rita Ora.

Rihanna will then be headlining Staffordshire on Saturday, followed by a second performance in Essex on Sunday. Artists supporting her include David Guetta, Kaiser Chiefs, Little Mix and Example.

This week the dance arena line up was also revealed, with DJ EZ and Craig David's TS5 headlining. 

Hylands Park, Chelmsford and Weston Park, Staffordshire, Friday, August 19 until Sunday, August 21. 

Reading Festival

Reading Festival, with an alternate location in Leeds where artists swap across the days, will be headlined by Foals on the Friday, Red Hot Chilli Peppers on the Saturday and Biffy Clyro on the Sunday.

Supporting them across the weekend will be Disclosure, Chvrches, Boy Better Know, Two Door Cinema Club, Fall Out Boy, The 1975, A$AP Rocky and Buckinghamshire’s very own Jack Garratt. The festival “welcomes all ages” but discourages attendees from bringing very young children.

Richfield Avenue, Reading, Friday, August 26 until Sunday, August 28.

One Love Festival

The UK’s only reggae festival, created in recognition of Bob Marley’s famous 1978 ‘One Love’ concert, will host Lee Scratch Perry, The Gladiators, I Kong, Sister Nancy, Brinsley Forde, Natty, and Bass Odyssey meets Saxon Sound System for a 40th anniversary special. Champion Sound System will be there for The Battle of The Dubplates 2016, featuring Sir Coxsone International, Java Nuclear Power, Stereophonic Sound, Qualitex Sound, Lord Gelly’s Sound System, Love Express, Mackabee Studio International, and GI Roadshow.

Hainault Forest Country Park, Redbridge, Friday, September 2 until Sunday, September 4. 


You will need to travel all the way to the Isle of Wight for this one, but I can assure you it is worth it. Not only does it offer an amazing line-up, including the likes of The Cure, Major Lazer, Wiz Khalifa, Sean Paul and Hot Chip, it is infamous for en masse fancy dress. It offers more than just music, with the astro village with it's mystical arts, a carnival day parade and a selection of circus acts.

Robin Hill Country Park, near Newport, Isle of Wight, Thursday, September 8 until Sunday, September 11.