With the warm weather finally making an appearance, it serves as a handy reminder that festival season is nearly upon us. With the monolith that is Glastonbury taking a year off, you’ll probably be looking for somewhere else to pitch your tent so we’ve had a quick scout around and picked our top seven events to get away to (we have, in Creamfields, of course, the nation’s best loved festival on our doorstep). We’ve chosen events from the localish to the far flung. All you need is the wet wipes and the will to chance the weather…

The one just down the M62 – Parklife

In the space of three years, Parklife has managed to stamp its mark firmly on the festival calendar. A two day affair which spans a host of genres, you’ll find dance nestled next to indie, rock next to electro and soul and disco making an appearance too. With headliners including The Flaming Lips and Dizzee Rascal, our must see tip is the Phenomenal Handclap Band whose live performance at the Kazimer earlier this year blew us away.

9th and 10th June – Platts Fields, Manchester
Enq: 0161 835 3500
Weekend Tickets: £64.50 (not camping)

The one in the Lake District – Kendal Calling

Putting a musical spin on a weekend in the Lakes, the award winning Kendal Calling’s line up this year has a distinctly 90’s feel to it with James, Dodgy, Shed Seven and Inspiral Carpets on the roll call. If however you don’t fancy a reminisce, Maximo Park are on hand to belt out some anthems, Benga and Jackbeats are in the dance tent and Ghostpoet is fresh from wowing Liverpool Soundcity with his electro tinged trip hop sound. It all sounds tastier than the regions famous mint cake.

27/28/29 July – Lowther Deer Park, Cumbria
Weekend camping tickets: £105

The dancey one – Global Gathering

Ahh, Global Gathering. One of the pioneers of UK dance festivals, it has stood strong where others have fallen by the wayside (Homelands, Gatecrasher Summer Sound System, anyone?). We remember it as a BANGING CHOONS and facepaint occasion from our youth but it’s metamorphosed into a more eclectic event with the always awesome Annie Mac, James Zabiela, Vison Quest and Tinie Tempah involved throughout the weekend. There is still the trance element on offer for those who want to reach to the lasers, at 2am on Sunday morning sometimes it just makes sense.

27/28 July – Long Marston Airfield, Stratford Upon Avon
Enq: 01789 739988
Weekend camping tickets: £105

The one with the Disco legends – Magic Loungeabout

Back for a third year at Broughton Hall, the Magic Loungeabout positions itself as “the small festival with the big ideas” and given that their headliners this year are disco legends Chic feat. Niles Rodgers, it’s fair to say that they’re delivering on this promise. With Chew Lips, Summer Camp and Benjamin Francis Leftwich, an onsite arts cinema and guest speakers, it offers something for the more discerning festival goer – oh and we’ve bagsied a pair of free tickets to give away for it, watch our Twitter account for more info on how to enter.

27/28/29 July – Broughton Hall, Skipton,
Weekend camping tickets: £112

The one in Croatia – Electric Elephant (pic r)

Born out of the now defunct Electric Chair night in Manchester, Electric Elephant is held in the slightly sunnier climes of Croatia – a resort which has grown in popularity over the past few years. Having outgrown their initial home in Petrcane, they’ve relocated down the coast in the equally beautiful Tisno. Andrew Weatherall, Ivan Smagghe and Trevor Jackson sit neatly next to legendary Electric Chair residents the Unabombers and Krysko from the Warehouse Project and for those reticent about leaving the country, their website is a handy guide to flights and accommodation. Well worth the extra effort.

12-16 July – Tisno, Croatia
Tickets: £89
Enq: 0161 278 5650

The, urm, other one in Croatia – Garden Festival

Proving our theory that Croatia is the new Ibiza (but without the rip off drink prices and the *ahem* Eurotrash element), the Garden Festival takes place the week before Electric Elephant with some hardcore revellers making a proper go of it and taking in both. It’s also based in Tisno (the new San Antonio? Sorry, we’ll stop it with the lazy comparisons now) and boasts an equally as attractive line up with boat parties on offer and a mix of superstar names and homegrown talent. If you fancy doing the double header, there are special

4-11 July – Tisno, Croatia
Tickets: £90

The new kid on the block – Festival No 6

Number 6 – get it – is at Portmeirion. Y’know, where they filmed The Prisoner. Oh, ask your dad. It’s off to a cracking start in its first year. If the line up looks a bit, well, Manc, that’s because it’s set up by Observer Music’s – and Manchester journalist – Luke Bainbridge. Expect New Order, Primal Scream, Spiritualized, Mr Scruff, Derek Carter, Andrew Weatherall and Jerry Dammers.

Festival No.6
14-16 September, Portmeirion
Tickets from £129 with camping.

The one that rounds the summer off – Bestival


Held on the Isle of Wight, Bestival caps off the season perfectly with a stellar line up that more than validates the slightly more expensive than other festivals ticket price. We’re talking Stevie Wonder, New Order, The XX, Justice, Two Door Cinema Club, Florence and the Machine, Grimes, Hot Chip, Four Tet, David Rodigan… the list is not endless but certainly extensive.

With a fancy dress theme of Wildlife and a carnival parade of the best outfits, it’s a place to let go, dress up like a fox/badger/tree/whatever and see the summer out in an unforgettable fashion.

6-9 September – Isle of Wight
Tickets: £170
Enq: 020 3327 4810


Stephanie Heneghan