Your guide to this year's music festivals. Get tickets and information for festivals across the UK
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After a slightly shaky start last year at its new home in the Olympic Park, Wireless is back in Stratford with an eyepopping line-up of hip hop and R&B royalty. Kanye! Drake! Pharrell! Outkast!
Still one of the finest boutique efforts in London, catering for cool kids and party monsters, Lovebox is back for 2014. Although it's slimmed down from three to two days as part of a 'new vision' led by the creators of Secret Garden Party, it should still be one of the highlights of the London summer. Expect the best of UK bass, the freshest underground DJs, partytastic electronic live acts, upfront rappers, camp pop divas and some of the best names the London nightlife scene
There are many reasons why Latitude is among the most successful of the recently launched festivals. It's in its ninth year now, and regulars keep returning for its fairytale setting of forest, lake and meadow, its generally adventurous pop and alt rock line-up (including Bangor indie pop band TDCC playing their first ever festival headline slot), its laid-back, family-friendly atmosphere and its choice of arts that takes in comedy, poetry and theatre as well as a literary salon.
Woodland fairytale-meets-hippy hedonism-meets-boutique chic-meets-forest rave: Secret Garden Party has a lot going on and pulls it off rather spectacularly. There's plenty of wide-ranging music to be heard, with various party-starting bands and hip DJs playing in treehouses and on islands, but (as with Glasto) the point of SGP is the galaxies of fun to be had elsewhere around the vast site. Workshops, theatre, installations and 'action camps' (thankfully nothing like boot camps
Wilderness is a festival that champions all the arts, from outdoor theatre courtesy of Shakespeare's Globe to talks and debates, horse riding, a lakeside spa and even 'long table' banquets with leading chefs. The music line-up's pretty cool too: headliners are legendary ivory-tinkler and songwriter Burt Bacharach, downbeat pop trio London Grammar and wonky electronicists Metronomy.
ATP, Pitchfork and Primavera Sound have joined forces to put on Jabberwocky, a new two-day festival with a stellar line-up that could well be one of the highlights of the London summer. So far the bill includes a headline set by indie rock royalty Neutral Milk Hotel, alongside top-drawer electronic music from James Blake, Caribou, Vatican Shadow, Kode9, Darkside and I Break Horses.
Green Man wins our unofficial prize for best festival setting: it's in the beautiful parkland setting of the Black Mountains (not usually open to the public), nestled in the resplendent Brecon Beacons. The beauteous, chlorophyllic location underlines the festival's staunchly eco-friendly ethos, and the predominately folkie bill befits the vibe. Still, there's no purism here, with plugged-in bands and electro DJs playing alongside earthy, autoharp-wielding balladeers.
This long-lived festival fave, which takes place in both Reading and Leeds over the August bank holiday, remains one of the most popular and music-focused rock festivals in the country. Lacking any of the more cutesy elements of modern fests (gourmet cuisine, immersive theatre experiences etc), rawk is always the order of the day – though the festival's dance tents have blossomed in recent years. Reading 2014 packs an enormous line-up – including a headline slot by pop-punk
The festival with the best party vibe this side of Glastonbury returns for four glorious days of live music and premier-league DJs. Making the most of Bestival's location on the Isle of Wight, this year's theme is 'Desert Island Disco' – which, from what we can tell, means Club Tropicana all weekend long (but without the free drinks).
This Welsh festival held at an incredible Mediterranean-style seaside resort of Portmeirion returns for its third outing, having quickly established itself as one of the top dogs as far as alternative festys go. As well as some top live acts there's a big focus on arts, poetry, spoken word, readings and other cultural tidbits at this blissful escape from reality.
Mixtape: July's headliners
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