Summer Music Festival Round-Up

No Glasto? No Worries.

Sunshine, Beer and Music: These are the three known quantities required for a successful music festival.

Over the last few decades the British Music Festival scene has become one of the most recognised in the world. Whilst stateside shindigs such as Coachella and Burning Man festival might attract some of the biggest A-list attendees, the UK is home to festivals that far pre-date these and have a whole heritage unto themselves. As the culture of the music festival has grown in popularity over the years, more and more events have cropped up to compete for the attention of summertime revellers.

If you haven’t clocked it yet, Glastonbury Festival is taking a year off this year, so whilst the well-trodden fields in Pilton get a chance to recover, we thought we’d clue you in on the rival UK festivals looking to take your hard-earned cash this summer:

All Points East

A brand new 10-day festival finds its way to London’s Victoria Park this year with some of the buzziest, hippest acts taking to the stage. There’s something for everyone at this groundbreaking festival, including a traditional three day festival with LCD Soundsystem, Bjork and The XX taking headline slots. From the 28th to the 31st families and fun-loving individuals will be able to make the most of free activities and entry to the festival site, whilst one-off events will be taking place between the 1st and the 3rd June with acts such as The National, The War On Drugs and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds taking to the stage.

TRNSMT

After Scottish music fans bemoaned the loss of eight festivals in the space of a year, they could at least be consoled with the announcement of a new series of one-day festivals under the name TNSMT Festival. Similar to All Points East, TRNSMT offers several days of entertainment with some undeniably massive acts gracing the Glasgow Green including: Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, Queen + Adam Lambert, The Darkness and Stereophonics. Tickets start at around £60 for the day and whilst you can never guarantee that the sun will be shining in Scotland, at this time of year it’s a pretty safe bet.

Green Man

If you’re looking for a fun, friendly festival that is nestled within one of the UK’s most stunning locations then Green Man is the one for you. The Brecon Beacons are the backdrop for this very special festival featuring a music lineup that boasts well-respected alternative acts from a variety of genres. Fleet Foxes, fresh off the success of their 2017 album Crack-Up headline one night in addition to Aussie prog-rockers King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Black Angels and Grizzly Bear. Aside from stellar music, you’ll also be able to make the most of a strong literature, comedy, film and visual arts selection.

Beautiful Days

Now in its 16th year incarnation, this award-winning festival is tucked away in a charming nook of Devon and consistently takes home gongs for its grass roots organisation and family-friendly appeal. Organised by 90s folk rockers The Levellers (who headline the final night each year) this is a small festival that sells out each and every year, so if you want to catch the likes of the Manic Street Preachers, Nadine Shah and Feeder you’ll need to book your tickets soon! In addition to music, there’s also a good range of comedy acts, theatre and a number of real ale bars selling local ale from Otter Brewery.

My Three Top Picks: UK Film Festivals 2018

The red carpets are calling…

If you’re anything close to a film buff then you’ll be more than aware that the Academy Awards are just around the corner.

Taking place at 12am this Monday 5th March; thousands will be tuning in to see the brightest of the Hollywood stars strut their stuff on the iconic red carpet and pick up their golden gongs. For those who are besotted with the lives of the A-Listers this is the kind of event that lights up social media feeds all over the world, but for more discerning film lovers it’s simply another PR hype machine created to boost the egos and line the pockets of a stratospheric elite.

Take a wild guess which kind of movie-fan I align myself with…

Hipster-cynicism aside, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wake up every morning after the Oscars to eagerly check the results, the iconic nature of the event brings still brings with it a breathless anticipation that (although short-lived) is infectious – as we discover which lucky few can henceforth refer to themselves as an ‘Academy Award winner’. With that being said there are a whole raft of equally distinguished awards that are given out every year by a number of judging panels and boards within our own borders.

I make a point of visiting a handful of different film festivals each year, which I’m happy to endorse as a much richer alternative to sitting at home in the middle of the night vacantly staring at hundreds of rich people slapping each other on the back. Oops. There goes that cynicism again. Before I slip into another rant, here are the five film festivals that are currently penned in my diary for 2018:

Manchester Film Festival – 1st-4th March 2018

Despite only being four years old this year the Manchester Film Festival has picked up real steam with a truly eclectic line-up of independent releases for voracious film lovers to get stuck into. Over 100 films will receive their UK and World premieres at the Festival this year including works featuring Nicholas Cage, Sean Penn, Jodie Foster, Faye Dunaway and Shia Labeouf. Access is incredibly affordable for punters like us with a 4 film pass costing only £17.50.

Puppet Animation Festival 24th March-14th April 2018

One of the older festivals on my list, this venerable event is marking it’s 35th year in 2018 and is a must for any parents who are looking to instil a love for puppets in their kids. Over 140 events take place all throughout Scotland across 30 venues and are aimed at kids aged 0-12. Theatre companies, animation groups and artists alike flock to Scotland during the festival to host workshops and help children create their own puppets, visual theatre and animated films: a must for any young budding film-makers.

Sheffield Doc/Fest 7th-12th June 2018

Featuring the very best documentaries from around the world, the Sheffield Doc/Fest is a great excuse to venture up North during the balmy summer months. For a few days in June the city will be taken over by film makers, producers and a whole host of all-round interesting folk making this a great time to get some networking done. Amongst the stellar lineup of docs you’ll also have the opportunity to try your hand at a number of Augmented and Virtual Reality Experiences.

There are tonnes more great festivals scheduled for the rest of the year in and around the UK, don’t forget to support your local events!