May 31-June 2, Cheltenham Racecourse, Price: £130 w/e, www.wychwoodfestival.com
15th birthday for the family fest, including dance workshops, pre-school yoga sessions, and all manner of sports, games and activities. The Stranglers are the main headliner, after which the bill falls away rather alarmingly: Scouting For Girls, T’Pau and perma-grating thtage thchool punk Toyah are next. Altogether more splendidly, Bris-based cyclists are invited to join a 60-mile guided ride to the event on May 31, kicking off from Temple Meads and including lunch, bag carrying, site storage, etc.
Bristol Refugee Festival
June, Bristol, Price: various, www.bristolrefugeefestival.org
Dates – and, indeed, programme – remain TBC as we piece this guide together but expect a month-ish-long programme of events, many organised by refugees and asylum seekers themselves. As co-organiser, Jules Olsen, told us last year: “Bristol is a fantastically culturally-diverse city, and any incoming communities are only going to add to that still further with their food, art, culture, all those things that make the city unique. Bristol Refugee Festival is an annual event designed to celebrate, understand and value those contributions. It’s about getting to know your neighbours and recognising we’re all the same.”
Festival of Nature
June 1, Green Park, Bath, Price: free, www.bnhc.org.uk/festival-of-nature
Back for a second year in Green Park. Details still caged at press time, but, once released into the wild, expect to find a plethora of performances, talks, walks and a showcase of hands-on fun from local and national environmental bods.
Bristol Craft Beer Festival,
June 7-8, Lloyds Amphitheatre, Tickets: from £45, bristolcraftbeerfestival.co.uk
Music and food purveyors remain TBC at press time, but there’s a lengthy list of confirmed brewers.
Arbor Ales, Wiper and True, and Left Handed Giant are among those representing the host city, whole those making their Bristol debuts include Spain’s Basqueland Brewing Project, Chicago’s Half Acre, and Copenhagen’s People Like Us.
Corsham Walking Festival
June 7-9, Corsham, Wiltshire, Price: various, corshamwalkingfestival.org.uk
Nothing confirmed as we head to press, but 2018’s line up of 27 walks – including a sustainability walk, fitness walks and Nordic tasters – means there should be plenty of routes to plod or pound, according to taste.
Home Farm Fest
June 7-9, Chilthorne Domer, Somerset, Price: £54, www.schoolinabag.org/homefarmfest
The addition of The Place brings the stage tally to eight at a friendly festival which, over the years, has raised more than £400,000 for the excellent School in a Bag charity, providing stationery for impoverished children. Reef headline the 130+ band line up and, music apart, you can expect five bars, silent disco, funfair and dodgems, children’s area, etc.
Bristol Festival of Nature
June 8-9, Bristol, Price: free, www.bnhc.org.uk/festival-of-nature
“The main thing is to get people excited about nature,” say organisers. “We hold the festival in the city because there might be people who don’t have the chance to go out and about, who think that to do something with nature you have to be in the countryside. You can do all these things from your back garden, from a window, or walking down the street. We want people to come, get excited by these hands-on, interactive activities, then realise ‘I can do this at home, and it’s free’.” Details remain TBA as we head to press, but you can expect a plethora of events for all, across interactive exhibitions, music, workshops, talks and more, with fellow attendees including the BBC,Bristol University, UWE, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, National Trust, Avon Wildlife Trust, RSPB, etc.
Bristol Food Connections
June 12-23, Bristol, Price: TBA, www.bristolfoodconnections.com
In which the Food Connections team seek to lay a virtual tablecloth over the whole city by inviting all and sundry to put on culinary-related events. Expect feasts and supper clubs, cooking demos, talks and debates, children’s activities, art installations, street markets, farm and producer tours, and everything else in between.
June 13-16, Westonbirt Arboretum, Glos, Price: £38.50-£48.50, www.forestry.gov.uk/MUSIC
It’s a bit far back in the catalogue, but seldom can Paul Weller have had more fitting opportunity to play out his Wild Wood album than here. The former Jam man gigs here on June 14, amid a run of nights also including Stereophonics (13), Jack Savoretti (15) and Haçienda Classiçal (16).
June 14-16, Birches Farm, Long Ashton, Price: £45 w/e, www.bristolvolksfest.co.uk
Nothing if not broadminded, this annual celebration of all things Volkswagen takes as its 2019 theme: a film famous for centring around a gull-wing DeLorean: Back to the Future. Broad, too: “We’ll take you on an adventure back to the 80s, 50s, the wild west…and the future!” All tying in with car demos, displays, BMX-ing, wall of death, urban art displays, and cinema. Musically organisers keep their promise of adventuresome 80s in some style, with a headline slot from the splendid Grandmaster Flash.
Weston Air Festival
June 23-24, Weston Super Mare, Price: free, westonairfestival.com
In which Weston seafront finds itself in the not wholly unfamiliar position of hosting creakingly venerable old timers with lives wholly overshadowed by wartime exploits. Thus, the aircraft comprising the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, drawn from a potential cast list of Spitfire, Hurricane, Lancaster, and Dakota. Expect appearances, too, from the recently retired Typhoon, plus Mustang, Aerosuperbatics wing walkers, Red Arrows, lots more.
June 26-30, Lloyds Amphitheatre, Bristol Harbour, Price: £28.50-£45, www.crosstownconcerts.com
In which a few thousand gig-goers gather each night to enjoy, respectively, Tom Misch, the Cat Empire, Bloc Party, Elbow and the Cinematic Orchestra.
June 26-30, Pilton Somerset, Price: £248 – resale in April, www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk
Farm refreshed after its fallow year, Michael Eavis and family open up the gates to what remains, hands down, the finest festival of them all. While you should prepare yourself for a cast of thousands, at press time Glasto has confirmed but three: Kylie Minogue, Stormzy and Janelle Monae.
June 1-2, London, Price: £70 w/e, www.camdenrocksfestival.com
Because a single day of trying to make the most of circa 250 acts across 25ish venues was always a bit of a push, Camden Rocks is now a two day affair. Coming to the likes of the Electric Ballroom, Underworld, Dingwalls, etc, we find acts including Frank Turner, Deaf Havana, Ash, Ratboy, New Model Army, Wheatus, Raging Speedhorn, Carl Barat, Ginger Wildheart, and – seriously, Google it if you don’t know it, the group responsible for the all-time greatest song about Isambard Kingdom Brunel – The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing.
Let’s Rock Wales
June 1, Newport, Price: £30, letsrockwales.com
Or, more accurately, Let’s Make Wales Think It’s Actually 1985. Thus, a bill including Billy Ocean,
Tony Hadley, Go West, Nik Kershaw, Altered Images, Midge Ure, Nick Heyward, and Heaven 17.
June 6-9, Raehill Meadows, Dumfries and Galloway, Price: £125 w/e, edenfestival.co.uk
Our very own – and very lovely – This Is The Kit are among the headliners here, joined by the likes of Chinese Man, a DJ set from Irvine Welsh, John Cooper Clark, and Macka B & The Roots Ragga Band. One of the most picturesque events of the year, with all manner of distinct and leafy areas, 300 acts perform across 12 stages augmented by cabaret and workshops, kids’ area, hammocks, dance and art sessions, etc.
June 6-9, Llanfaethlu, Anglesey, Price: £165 w/e, www.gottwood.co.uk
10th anniversary outing for another woodland beauty – this one nestled between coast and landscaped lake – where lovers of all things electronic will this year find the likes of Andrew Weatherall B2B Manfredas, Radioactive Man, and Shanti Celeste.
Wimborne Minster Folk Festival,
Jun 6-9, Wimborne, Dorset, Price: £65, www.wimbornefolk.co.uk
Feels right that such a historic place – it’s the resting place of Alfred the Great’s older bro, Æthelred, the Saxon King of Wessex – should celebrate a music so deeply rooted in olde tymes. More than 70,000 people folked up the lovely old market town at last year’s festival and you can expect a similar number this year, as 35 venues accommodate 500+ events – including 50 for kids – 60 dance teams, and micro-brewery.
June 7-8, Victoria Park, London, Price: £77.50 both days, www.fielddayfestivals.com
After touching down for but a year in Brockwell Park, the festival is back river in a new location: next to Tottenham Marshes at a former gas works. Not quite as ‘field’ as it used to be, what with the site comprising four enormous warehouses, which presents three significant benefits: the event can go louder and later, and they’ve done away with that toe-curling ‘Village Mentality’ area. Quite the line up, too, including Skepta, Jorja Smith, Diplo, Jungle, The Black Madonna, Julia Holter, Modeselektor, Pusha T, Earl Sweatshirt, Octavian, and Deerhunter.
Junction 2 Festival
June 7-8, Boston Manor Park, London, Price: £47.50, www.junction2.london
Spanning five bespoke arenas of music, from the starkly industrial Bridge to the lush and leafy Woods, this is always one of the most anticipated events in the techno calendar. Now extended to two days, the 2019 line up includes Bicep, Daniel Avery, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Richie Hawtin, Dax J, Etapp Kyle, Maceo Plex, festival curator Adam Beyer.
June 8-9, Exeter, York Road , Price: free, exeter-respect.org
The South African Cultural Gospel Choir UK, Chinese and Indian dance, and our very own bhangra-rock fusioneers, RSVP, are all on the bill for this 22nd annual tolerance-and diversity-espousing freebie.
June 8-9, Heaton Park, Manchester, Price: £125 w/e, parklife.uk.com
Cardi B, Solange, Mark Ronson, The Streets, Eric Prydz, Nas, and George Ezra, have a lot to live up to. Not famed mega-gigs by Oasis and the Stone Roses, but something altogether more cutting-edge: in 1909 it was the site at which Prestwich gramophone salesman, William Grimshaw, recorded a Free Trade Hall concert by the great Italian tenor, Enrico Caruso, and a few days later used his new-fangled gizmo to play it back in the park to an estimated crowd of 40,000. The Prestwich and Heaton Park Guardian reported that they all “remained as if spellbound from the moment of arrival to the close of the programme”.
Isle of Wight Festival
June 13-14, Isle of Wight, Price: £175, www.isleofwightfestival.com
Shortlisted for Best Festival Production, Best Major Festival and Line-Up of the Year at the 2018 UK Festival Awards. Suspect that last one may not be repeated this time around, with early confirmations looking a right old mixed bag: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, George Ezra, Fatboy Slim, Biffy Clyro, James, Courteeners, Idles, Gerry Cinnamon, Jess Glynne, Madness, Richard Ashcroft, and Hacienda Classical.
Middlewich FAB Festival
June 13-16, Middlewich, Cheshire, Price: various, lots free, www.midfest.org.uk
In which folk and boats – hence FAB – for a rather lovely weekend of traditional song and dance, street theatre, narrow boat rally, town parades, juggling, stalls, and so forth. Line up remains under wraps at press time, but tradition suggests lots of mid-to-low-profile folkers and one where-the giddy-mandolin-did-that-come-from? main headliner: in 2017, the Lightning Seeds; last year, Peter ‘once of New Order’ Hook.
June 14-16, Donnington, Derbyshire, Price: £220 for 5 nights, www.downloadfestival.co.uk
The biggest hard rocking convention of the year is headlined by Def Leppard, Slipknot and Tool, with monitors also likely to be well-trod by the likes of Slash, Whitesnake, Rob Zombie, and Trivium.
Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival
June 14-16, Falmouth, Cornwall, Price: mostly free, www.falmouthseashanty.co.uk
An awful lot of disingenuous rubbish gets labelled ‘authentic Cornish culture’. This, one of the biggest maritime music festivals in Europe, is not among them. For one thing, it’s a properly beer-swilling, tankard-raising-on-the-quayside affair, not some ascetic blanditude in a village hall. For another, it takes its cultural history seriously, celebrating seafaring communities and minority languages along the Atlantic seaboard, offering the opportunity to learn shanties in Cornish, Basque, Welsh, Frisian, Scots and Irish Gaelic. Best of all, of course, the shanties themselves – music originally evolved to inculcate a sense of community, and there’s no finer place to thrill that singular singalong sensation: over 50 shanty groups, with events taking place across 20+ pubs, yards, quayside stages, etc. Better yet, look out to sea, and take in the stand-alone Falmouth Classics fest, a three-day rally of classic sailing craft and other traditional vessels (www.falmouthclassics.org.uk).
June 15-23, Polperro, Cornwall, Price: free, www.polperrofestival.co.uk
No word yet on which – generally 50ish – folk-centric acts are set to converge on this beautiful old fishing village. Still, we’ll happily place a blind bet on an appearance from local heroes, the Polperro Fisherman’s Choir, on a programme also including plenty from the thriving art community, dance, and a great big bonfire.
Edinburgh Film Festival
June 19-30, Edinburgh, Scotland, Price: various, www.edfilmfest.org.uk
The world’s longest continually-running film festival, stretching back fully 72 years, annually welcomes 1,400 industry delegates, filmmakers and press folk to mull over all that’s new in cineland. The programme is TBA at press time, though we do know that Spain is this year’s country focus, featuring work by new and emerging Spanish filmmakers alongside established greats.
June 20- July 3, Eden Project, Cornwall, Price: £50ish per night, www.edensessions.com
Stereophonics (June 20) are the first act to welcome you to the pleasure domes this year, after which things pick up markedly: it might be billed ‘Nile Rodgers and Chic’ (June 21), but expect renditions of the great man’s work with Sister Sledge, Diana Ross, and so forth; the Chemical Brothers beat the place up on June 28; and – hurray! – Kylie is clearly in no rush to leave the West Country after her Glasto legends slot (July 2 and 3).
Sonic Rock Solstice
June 20-23, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, Price: £75 w/e, www.sonicrocksolstice.com
Expect head down hair-swinging aplenty at this 17th celebration of riff-heavy music that is, by turns, motorik and noodlesome. For those about to space-rock, we salute you: Hawklords, Twink & the Lysergics, Oresund Space Collective, Trance Dimensionals feat Steve Hillman, Dave Anderson, Angel Flame, Quantum Fantay, Dr Hasbeen, and – of course – Nik Turner.
3 Wishes Faery Festival
June 21-23, Torpoint, Cornwall, Price: £99, fairyfestival.co.uk
“Before I met Jeanine, my life was cosmically a shambles,” admits David St. Hubbins in Spinal Tap. “It was, ah… I was using bits and pieces of whatever Eastern philosophies happened to drift through my transom.” Welcome to an entire festival of people yet to meet Jeanine. Replacing Eastern philosophies with fairies – ‘The premier UK summer fairy festival,’ gushes the website, implying the horrifying possibility that there’s more than one of these wretched, whimsy-clogged gatherings – we are invited to participate in faery school, faery procession, mermaids and dragon fae day, faery meditation, faery dog show, and a ‘world record attempt on the largest gathering of people wearing unicorn horns’. To which all sensible people will surely reply, “Thank you, but I’d rather chew my own wing off”.
June 21-23, Croyde, Devon, Price: £80 w/e, www.goldcoastoceanfest.co.uk
The music is uneven – announced at press time we find Kurupt FM, Craig David, Tom Odell, Shy FX, Gentleman’s Dub Club, and The Feeling – but the event’s backbone is as reliably strong as the tides: surfing, beach volleyball, beach soccer, surf life saving, open water swimming, etc.
Black Deer Festival
June 21-23, Tunbridge Wells, Price: £125, blackdeerfestival.com
Following a successful debut in 2018, the Americana fest returns to request you ‘immerse yourselves in the community, music, food and storytelling of a culture like no other’. Cross fingers for the exclusion of such Stateside traditions as assault rifle rampages, and prepare to enjoy sets from acts including Band Of Horses, John Butler Trio, The Staves, and the deathlessly wonderful Kris Kristofferson.
Afrika Oyé Festival
June 22-23, Liverpool, Price: free, www.africaoye.com
One of the finest free festivals of the year, pulling in crowds of 80,000 for a fabulous celebration of African music and culture. Only a couple of bill members confirmed at press time: Soweto’s funkily riotous BCUC, and the electro-Maghreb of Algeria’s Sofiane Saidi. Beyond the live acts, attractions include DJs, dance, workshops, food stalls, etc, and the venue itself: splendid Sefton Park, 200 acres of graciously rolling landscape, including the stunningly ornate three-tier domed Palm House, opened in 1896 and saved from dereliction by a community-driven ‘sponsor a pane’ scheme in 1992.
June 22-30, Various venues, chiefly in Powys, Price: various, gregynogfestival.org
Wales’ oldest music festival was launched in 1933, the legacy of sisters Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, who used to host such classical colossi as Elgar, Holst and Vaughan Williams at their magnificent home, Gregynog Hall. Not a lot of word about the programme as we write this, save for an all-Bach programme from early music aces, A Nocte Temporis, and tenor, Reinoud Van Mechelen, both making their Welsh debuts. Expect also drama, poetry, film, talks and exhibitions.
Chalke Valley History Festival
June 24-30, Broad Chalke, Salisbury, Price: various, cvhf.org.uk
Back in 2011, Chalke Valley History Festival was just a small-scale fundraiser for the local cricket club. These days it’s a week-long gathering – TBA – high profile historians conducting talks and debates, alongside extensive living history and air displays, all set in 70 acres of the lovely Chalke Valley.
Let’s Rock Exeter
June 29, Powderham Castle, Exeter, Price: £42, letsrockexeter.com
All manner of 80s-centric stuff here. Some – The Human League, Billy Ocean, Belinda Carlisle – have some properly good and lengthy back catalogues to draw on, but where does, say, Owen Paul go, once he’s broken out My Favourite Waste of Time? Or Betty Boo, once she’s done doin’ her do?
June 12-19, Dhërmi, Albania, Price: £205 for the week, www.kala.al
When this festival debuted last year, it was a big deal. Like, really big: the first international event of its kind in the country. So big that attendees’ coaches were given a police escort through the winding mountains, and the Prime Minister himself rocked up on day two. While we can’t guarantee that’s going to happen again, the essentials will: a full week of partying on crystal shores of Albanian’s stunning – all-but certainly sun-kissed – Riviera, with a ticket cost that breaks down to pretty much 30 quid a day. Expect pop-up restaurants, interactive art installations, and a comprehensive wellbeing and music programme, the latter including Inner City, Jordan Rakei, Honey Dijon, Jayda G, Derrick May, Theo Parrish, and A Man Called Adam.
June 13-16, Manchester, Tennessee, USA, Price: $339, www.bonnaroo.com
Glastonbury over the water, basically, set as it is on a big old farm and laying on arts of all kinds. Music-wise, 2019 heads up with Childish Gambino, Grand Ole Opry feat. special guests, Solange, The National, Cardi B, Kacey Musgraves, Brandi Carlile, Post Malone, Phish, John Prine, and Odesza.
June 19-23, St. Jean de Laur, France, Price: 130€, www.monticulefestival.com
Fifth anniversary for the widely regarded specialists in experimental electronics and panoramic views. Four stages – ambient dome, poolside, barn, forest – play host to the likes of Simo Cell, Zenker Brothers and Sascha Funke. As well as music purveyors, the festival styles itself as ‘a retreat for inner awareness’. Thus, a programme also including yoga, astronomy lessons, massage, cave tours, skateboarding, and donkey riding.
June 29- July 6, Roskilde, Denmark, Price: DKK 2100, www.roskilde-festival.dk
As per, we find one of the most heavyweight bills of the year at this Danish giant, including Bob Dylan, the Cure, Robert Plant, Cardi B, Robyn, Spiritualized, and Cypress Hill.