Studio BLUP features writer Danielle Temeng put together a list of the best music events and festivals, with fantastic line-ups and even completely new events, taking place in the UK this summer!
With the sun finally shining, outside almost fully open (*fingers crossed, knocks on wood*), and summer on the horizon – after the most tumultuous year and a half reeling through the aftermath of COVID-19, the implementation of the recent vaccine roll-out means that the end of restrictions are nigh. With social distancing still in place for many events, social gatherings and day-to day activities, music festivals this summer are having to adjust to the ever-changing news and formulate creative approaches to ensure the safety of their revellers.
With a 5000-person ‘test run’ festival, planned for May 2nd, in Liverpool recently cancelled, it poses the question of whether our plans will become reality – but for the moment we’ll live with the high hope that they will. With well-loved festivals such as Lovebox, Boomtown and the piece de resistance of all festivals, Glastonbury cancelled (physically) this year, we’re keeping everything crossed for the ones that are happening. So, whether you’re the budding music lover, staycation aficionado, or for those just looking for a one-day event filled with tones to explore, these are the music events and festivals taking place this summer that you should know about and keep an eye on.
Date: Fri 21st – Sat 22nd May
Location: Hoxton Square, London
Line-up: Ekkah, whenyoung, Valeras, + more
Opening festival season for us and returning for their 5th year, CloseUp is back with its two-day festival, presented by Atom, bringing to us the newest, most exciting emerging acts in the indie and electronic scene in London. Performing across its two stages at their regular Colours Venue in Hoxton this year are artists ranging from Indie-rock trio whenyoung, to Leeds-based four-piece The Hubbards.
Date: Thurs 22nd – Sun 25th July
Location: Henham Park, Suffolk
Line-up: Lewis Capaldi, Bastille, + more
Latitude festival is one of the UKs most family friendly festival events and is taking place across the vast plains of Henham Park in Suffolk; with a slew of top tier musical acts, to comedy, cabaret, theatre, and arts there’s definitely something for everyone. Unsurprisingly it’s played host to some of the UK’s biggest musical acts and this year is no exception; taking the stage will be the likes of Lewis Capaldi, Snow Patrol and Bastille.
Date: Sat 24th July
Location: Alexandra Place, London
Line-up: Groove Armada, The Coral, House Gospel Choir, + more
Taking over the famous Alexandra Park this year, Kaleidoscope Festival 2021 will feature huge live performances from headliners Groove Armada, supported by The Coral as well as the House Gospel Choir and many more names to be announced. Filled with incomparable sunset DJ sets, as well as stand-up comedy and immersive theatre performers festival goers can expect to be treated to a day of unrivalled entertainment.
Date: Sat 28th August
Location: Clapham Common, London
Line-up: Davido, Kehlani, Yemi Alade, Honey Dijon, + more
From the team who brought us Afronation, Yam Carnival will be making its London debut this summer at Clapham Common in August and is poised to be a ground-breaking celebration and culmination of Black culture. With Notting Hill Carnival still to be confirmed, this festival will be taking over the August bank holiday weekend with an enviable selection of acts – the line-up is stacked with some of the most incredible artists across the Afrobeats, hip-hop, R&B and dance space, with Davido headlining and performances by Kehlani, Yemi Alade, Koffee, Nao, Princess Nokia, Ms Banks, Ari Lennox, Femi Kuti, Patoranking, IAMDDB and more all hitting the three stages throughout the day.
HARD SUMMER LONDON
Date: Sat 21st August
Location: The Drumsheds, London
Line-up: Alesso, Juaz, Dillon Francis, + more
Taking a leaf out of its state-side counterpart’s books, the first ever UK-based HARD SUMMER London event is set to take over The Drumsheds venue in London. The one-day electronics festival is hosted by HARD events who are expanding its global footprint and is set to host a range of notable names in the electro-pop and EDM space such as ALESSO, Tchami, Francis, Malaa and WHIPPED CREAM to name a few.
READING & LEEDS FESTIVAL
Date: Fri 26th – Mon 29th August
Location: Richfield Ave, Reading & Bramham Park, Leeds
Line-up: Stormzy, Post Malone, Liam Gallagher, + more
With the first 40 acts already announced for this year’s Reading & Leeds Festival, including Liam Gallagher, Stormzy, QOTSA, Post Malone, AJ Tracey, Da Baby, Doja Cat, Yungblud and Charlie XCX, just to name a few (the line-up is HUGE just fyi), revellers can expect to be thoroughly entertained across the 4-day split location festival. Tickets are already completely sold out for Reading but fear not – Friday & Sunday is still available for Leeds, so get them as fast as you can as anticipation and demand is high for the UK’s best loved music event.
LOST VILLAGE FESTIVAL
Date: Thurs 26th – Sun 29th August
Location: Norton Disney, Lincolnshire
Probably the closest you’ll get to ‘Burning Man’ this side of the Atlantic, Lost Village is “a forgotten world in an abandoned forest, intimate, surreal, bizarre” and is likely to be the most psychedelic festival you’re definitely not going to remember. With tickets already sold out, a waiting list is in place for this event filled with incredible music, comedy, talks, workshops, street food…and an abandoned airport (yes, you read that right). With last year’s line-up set to include Bombay Bicycle Club, Kojey Radical, Dixon, Honey Dijon, Arlo Parks and Greentea Peng, we’re waiting in anticipation for the release of this year’s acts.
ALL POINTS EAST
Date: Sat 27th – 30th August
Location: Victoria Park, London
Line-up: Headliners – Jorja Smith, London Grammar (27th), Jamie XX, Kano (28th), FIELD DAY & Bicep (Live) (29th), Foals, Bombay Bicycle Club (30th)
It is confirmed that All Points East will be returning for another sun-soaked session at London’s Victoria Park this year. Moving to the slightly later date of August 27th-30th, the 4-day event (usually held across two weekends, this year just one) will play host huge names such as Jorja Smith, ENNY, Slowthai, Kano, Tom Misch & Arlo Parks, as well as its famed one-day ‘FIELD DAY’.
Date: Sat 4TH Sept
Location: Brockwell Park, London
Line-up: Cheryl, Becky Hill, Lisa Maffia, Sonique, + more
Originally set to take place in June but with a speedy date change, the Mighty Hoopla will be taking place instead at the slightly later date of September 4th in its South London Brockwell Park venue. Dubbing itself “the UK’s most inclusive festival” it’s a day of revelry, inclusivity, and buckets of biodegradable glitter. The one-day event will host an array of musical guests including Cheryl and Becky Hill, as well as special throwback acts such En Vogue, Atomic Kitten, Sonique and Lisa Maffia. As if their music acts weren’t enticing enough, gracing the stage will be contestants from Drag Race UK: Lawrence Chaney, A’whora, Tayce & Bimini Bon Boulash performing with Klub Kids UK.
*note – if you missed out on tickets, resales begin June 7th, and if you’re still out of luck – look out for the Mighty Hoopla Weekender in Bognor Regis 28th – 31st January 2022.
Date: Fri 10th – Sun 12th Sept
Location: Crystal Palace Park, London
Who doesn’t love a Wireless Festival for a big dose of pop culture and the UKs best homegrown artists with a tremendous line-up of international acts, too? As one of last (and always one of the most talked about) events of the summer this year, Wireless dubs itself “the biggest ever celebration of hip-hop and grime culture that the UK has ever seen”. To be hosted in Crystal Palace in September this year, headline acts and line-ups are still to be confirmed but its previous years are anything to go by then it’ll be an enviable one.
ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL
Date: 16th – 19th Sept
Location: Newport, Isle of Wight
Line-up: Liam Gallagher, Duran Duran, All Saints, Razorlight, Kaiser Cheifs, + more
Bringing the noughties back and filling us with ultimate fix of nostalgia, the UKs favourite non-mainland destination festival will be closing off the summer events season with a nod back to the past. With an all-star line-up confirmed including headline acts Liam Gallagher, Duran Duran, Snow Patrol, David Guetta, All Saints, Sophie Ellis-Bexter and Sir Tom Jones the 4-day event has options for boutique camping on site marking it the ultimate luxe UK musical staycation (Coachella who?)
*Please note, all information was correct at the time of research and publishing. Dates and events may be subject to change or cancellation in line with coronavirus regulations, please check before booking.
Article written by Danielle Temeng (@__daniafia)
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