Music festivals calendar: August
With the likes of Wilderness and South West Four pitching up, the music will be as hot as the weather this month
'Tis the season to sip warm cider and enjoy live music in a field. Yes, festival season is upon us and to help you plan your summer we've rounded-up all of this year's offerings in one seriously handy calendar. Whether you're after a week-long getaway or whether you're after inspiration for one of the upcoming long weekends, our 2014 festivals calendar has all the dates you need for your diary this summer.
Music festivals in August 2014: our picks
Wilderness is a festival that champions all the arts: music, theatre, cabaret, cookery, to name just a few
- Cornbury Park Charlbury, OX7 3EH
- Thu Aug 7 - Sun Aug 10
This mainstream-friendly dual-venue festival continues to draw a staggering array of popular names in rock and pop
- Weston Park Weston-under-Lizard, near Shifnal, TF11 8LE
- Sat Aug 16 - Mon Aug 18
A long-lived festival fave, Reading remains one of the most popular and music-focused rock festivals in the country
- Richfield Avenue, Reading
- Fri Aug 22 - Sun Aug 24
The best of the rest this August
Line-up includes Suede, Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls, De La Soul, 2ManyDJs, Happy Mondays, Miles Kane, Tom Odell, Clean Bandit, Bondax, Gorgon City, Ella Eyre, Andy C, Zane Lowe, Mr Scruff, Newton Faulkner.
What's the deal? 2014 is the big tenth anniversary for this family-friendly, Lake District-located festival. Think real ale, rolling hills and babbling brooks as far as the eye can see, providing a stunning backdrop for a range of mainstream and alternative bands, broadly covering indie, rock, folk and some ace DJs in the mix, too. If you're craving a bit of a buzz amongst all that serenity, you can find Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess peddling caffeine fixes at his own coffee stall, as well as a late-night cinema, children's area and real ale festival.
Line-up includes Roots Manuva, The Heavy, Molotov Jukebox, Craig Charles, James Zabiela, Friction, Stiff Joints, Koncept, The Skints, Mr. B The Gentleman Rhymer + more TBA.
What's the deal? This intimate family focused festival has a big emphasis on a hippy-ish feelgood atmosphere and rollicking good country fun vibes bouncing around everywhere. The programme is choc-full of arts, workshops, theatre and cinema, and as far as music goes, the first three acts announced – Roots Manuva, The Skints and Mr. B The Gentleman Rhymer – cover hip hop and dub nicely, but you can also expect pop, folk, blues, reggae and some DJ mischief to keep the old ravers happy when the kids are in bed. The (brilliant) theme for 2014 is 'Jurassic Park', so expect plenty of T-Rex costumes and cries of 'Clever girl' all weekend.
- Critics choice
Line-up includes Maximo Park, Frank Turner, Clean Bandit, Peace, The Heavy Ella Eyre, TOY, Leisure Society, Charli XCX, The Cuban Brothers Easy Star All Stars, The Other Tribe Saint Raymond, Beans on Toast, Imperial Leisure, Amber Run.
What's the deal? Continuing the trend for festivals that started in someone's back garden and then got huge, Standon Calling returns for another year of boutique fun. Alongside the usual mix of folk and blues there's an indie/rock slant to 2014's line-up, with electro-minded alt-rockers Maximo Park and folk-punker Frank Turner playing headline slots. This year's theme is 'Lost in Latin America', so expect to see a multitude of maracas and somberos over the weekend. Just go easy on the mezcal and peyote cocktails if that's your way of getting into the Latin American spirit.
Line-up includes Public Service Broadcasting, Melt Yourself Down, Alpines, Skinny Lister, DJ Food, Channel One Soundsystem, Emily and the Woods, Beans on Toast, Gorgeous George, plus more TBA.
What's the deal? This intimate little independent boutique festival is a bit of a secret to most festival-goers, despite the very reasonably priced entry fee. You can also bring your own alcohol into the festival, so there's no paying through the nose for warm cider, and the line-up is coolly cultish, with an indie tint to it. And among various non-musical goings-on, there will also be plenty of quirky activities taking place. Last year's event featured magic shows, Punch and Judy, crazy golf and a hat competition, so expect similarly twee bits this year.
- Critics choice
Line-up includes Art Department, Kerri Chandler, Ellen Allien, Route 94, Tania Vulcano, tINI, plus more TBA.
What's the deal? Boasting one of the strongest dance festival lineups of any event in 2013, Eastern Electrics has grown into quite the beast these days. Slick house act Art Department, US house legend Kerri Chandler and Berlin's Queen of Techno Ellen Allien head up an impressive and evolving line-up that's sure to get stronger and stronger, causing beat-heads everywhere to drool with dancefloor (dancefield?) anticipation. There's a whole load of cutting edge house and techno, but pretty any electronic genre you care to name is covered here.
Line-up includes TBA.
What's the deal? Lounge On The Farm is a rustic affair that sources all its food and drink locally and provides a mixed bill of music across six stages. It's trimmed down from a weekender to a one-day affair in 2014, and the line-up is still to be announced, but expect a lively hodgepodge of chart-toppers, trailblazers and undiscovered gems.
Line-up includes Chase & Status, Snoop Dogg, Bastille, The Cribs, 2ManyDJs, Duke Dumont, Ben Pearce, DJ EZ, Roni Size, Peace, Palma Violets, Reel Big Fish, Dan Croll, George Ezra, Bipolar Sunshine, The Cuban Brothers, Yuck Big Deal, Current Swell, Lyger.
What's the deal? Two-day surfing and skateboarding showcase with a solid line-up of hip hop, drum and bass, punk, rock and UK bass vibes, located on the cliff overlooking Watergate Bay. Snoop Dogg takes a big headline slot, as do beat-throwers Chase & Status, while Belgian DJ wizards 2ManyDJs should get the dancefloor moving. Totally gnarly, dude.
- Critics choice
Line-up includes Jimmy Cliff, The Wailers, Afro Celt Sound System, Eats Everything, Chas & Dave, Voodo Glow Skulls, NoFX, Ms Dynamite, Special Request, Boddika, UK Allstars (fest. Congo Natty and Tippa Irie), Hayseed Dixie, Tinariwen, Bellowhead, Mungo's Hi-Fi, Eliza Carthy, Johnny Flynn & the Sussex Wit, Zed Bias, DJ Champion, Son of Dave.
What's the deal? One of the few UK music fests that specialises in dub, ska and reggae, with a fair sized dose of swing, punk, rockabilly and rave beats too, Boomtown goes the whole hog and transforms the Matterly Bowl estate in southeast England into an entire town just for the weekend. As well a dizzying amount of stages, there's also a banquet table, craft and healing areas, and mutated 'art vehicles'. It's family/kid friendly, but with plenty of beats-and-bassline hedonism taking place if that's your bag. It's one of the most concept-heavy festivals around, centred around BoomTown's nine themed 'districts', which include China Town, the Wild West and Barrio Loco, but don't worry too much about all that – just go wild with your fancy dress.
Line-up includes Darkside, John Hopkins, The Fall, Nightmares on Wax, Melt Yourself Down, Daughter, King Creosote, East India Youth, Toy, Hookworms, Eagulls, Sweet Baboo, Traams, Pins, Girl Band.
What's the deal? The family-friendly Beacons Festival returns to Skipton, in the Yorkshire Dales, making for a breathtakingly beautiful setting. As before, there are plenty of buzzy bands with an indie tint to them, and a few more electronically minded acts to provide some beats. The obligatory 'legend' spot is taken by angry Manchester post-punkers The Fall. Alongside the impressive musical programme, punters can also enjoy film screenings, art installations, comedy and spoken word, workshops and a vintage fair for those of you that can't stand being out of east London for too long.
Line-up includes Megadeth, Biohazard, Amon Amarth, Lacuna Coil, Down, Orphaned Land, Emperor, Aborted, Hatebreed, Prong Carcass, Saxon, Floatsam and Jetsam, Satan, Rotting Christ, Decapitated + more TBA.
What's the deal? With a name like Bloodstock, you can guess this ain't a folk and blues get-together – it's hard and heavy metal styles all the way here, shredding your eardrums and feedbacking its way furiously into your brain. There are several big names that non-metal fans might know (Megadeth, Saxon), but most of the acts at this weekend riff-fest are for committed fans, for whom moshing, bleeding and downing eight pints of snakebite is akin to nipping out for a pint of milk. Bring earplugs and a neckbrace.
Line-up includes Caribou, Bill Callahan, Anna Calvi, Beirut, Mac Demarco, Simian Mobile Disco, Angel Olsen, Real Estate, Neutral Milk Hotel, First Aid Kit, Poliça, Kurt Vile and the Violators, Daughter, Toy, Jeffery Lewis and the Jrams, Fat White Family, Speedy Oritz, Tunng, I Break Horses, Sharon Van Etten, Frank Fairfield, Lanterns on the Lake, Michael Chapman.
What's the deal? 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. As part of its annual commitment to home-grown, organic talent, Green Man run a competition for an unsigned band to open the festival.
- Critics choice
Line-up includes Neutral Milk Hotel, James Blake, Caribou, Deafheaven, Pissed Jeans, Earth, Darkside, Thee Oh Sees, Kode9, Vatican Shadow, The Ex, Earth, I Break Horses, Electric Wizard, Connan Mockasin, Forest Swords, Perfect Pussy, Jesu, Speedy Ortiz, Iceage, Joanna Gruesome, Metz, Chelsea Wolfe, Hookworms + more.
What's the deal? 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; metal from Deafheaven, Earth, Electric Wizard and Jesu; punk by Pissed Jeans, Iceage and Metz; and more assorted brilliance by acts including psychedelic combo Hookworms, Californian freak-rockers Thee Oh Sees and young shoegaze-pop stars Joanna Gruesome. All this plus film and food – and for a very reasonable £35 for a one-day ticket – mean this one's worth booking well in advance for.
Line-up includes Justin Timberlake, The Killers, Chic with Nile Rodgers, Elbow, Ed Sheeran, Lily Allen, Blondie, Paolo Nutini, Example, Bastille, Katy B, Example, Chase & Status, Alesso, Kaiser Chiefs, Manic Street Preachers, Above & Beyond, Tom Odell, Sub Focus, Axwell & Ingrosso, Rizzle Kicks, Sam Smith, Embrace, The Human League, Kodaline, Miles Kane, The Magic Number, Newton Faulkner, George Ezra, M People, All Saints, The Wonder Stuff.
What's the deal? This mainstream-friendly dual-venue festival continues to draw a truly staggering array of the most popular names in rock and pop, thanks to a budget that appears to be bottomless. Thus, they're bringing the sexy back by bringing in JT as the big headliner, with further huge sets from The Killers, Chic, Elbow and Blondie, as well as EDM-tastic house from jet-setting DJs including Alesso, Axwell and Ingrosso. There's also the Glee Club Comedy Tent for laffs, and if you fancy a bit of luxury, you can splash out on the 'V Style' camping range, which features nifty-looking bell tents, pods, huts and even Winnebago-esque 'airstreams'.
Line-up includes TBA.
What's the deal? The hedonistic hippie paradise returns. The venue is currently under wraps, with only the teaser of a 'secret country estate in Northamptonshire' revealed so far. Wherever it is, prepare your senses for a giant arty playground where graphic designers and accountants can run amok wearing squirrel masks and hemp loincloths. The focus is geared more towards a communal atmosphere and fancy dress-drenched party, but alongside all the workshops, theatre, arts, crafts, cabaret and general eccentric goings-on there's also plenty of tasty music, loosely themed around beats, breaks, dub, ska, reggae, roots and folk. The organisers are still waiting to unleash the line-up, but last year's bill included senior selector extraordinaire Rodigan, disco-funk kingpins Crazy P and jazz master Courtney Pine. Let your dreadlocks down and get involved.
Line-up includes Avicii, Deadmau5, Calvin Harris, Armin Van Buuren, Tiësto, Hardwell, 3 Are Legend (Steve Aoki, Like Mike, Dmitri Vegas), Sander van Doorn, Sub Focus, Andy C, Riva Starr, MJ Cole, Thomas Gold, Afrojack, Duke Dumont, Dirty South, Booka Shade, Pete Tong, Maceo Plex, Maya Jane Coles, Scuba, Zane Lowe, Paul Oakenfold + more.
What's the deal? Definitely the most prolific and voluminous dance music festival in the UK, this three-day event sees stadium DJs mix it up with cooler underground spin-masters. Expect a relentless mix of radio-friendly house anthems, fist-pumping trance, stadium techno and a hint of gut-renching dubstep from EDM lords including Euro house dons Avicii and Tiësto (both returning for their second Creamfields set in as many years), hitmaker Calvin Harris and EDM giant Deadmau5. With so much to bop to, making it through till last thing on Sunday will give you 'hardcore caner' status for eternity – something which many of the loyal Creamfields crowd already have.
- Critics choice
Line-up includes Arctic Monkeys, Boys Noize, Bondax, Giggs, Andy C, Joey Bada$$, Paramore, Queens Of The Stone Age, Blink-182, Warpaint, The 1975, Jake Bugg, Disclosure, Metronomy, You Me At Six, SBTRKT, Royal Blood, Lizzo + more.
What's the deal? 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. Leeds 2014 packs an enormous line-up – including a headline slot by pop-punk overlords Blink-182 – and should be just as raucous as usual despite efforts by the promoters to crack down in recent years on last-night hi-jinks like cage fighting, throwing aerosols on bonfires and banging on oil drums with sticks until 4am.
Line-up includes Razorlight, The Feeling, Jack Beats, DJ EZ, P Money, Doorly, Goldie Lookin' Chain, Nothing But Thieves, plus more TBA.
What's the deal? It's the tenth year for this small, family-run festival, which the organisers describe as an overgrown house party. There's a healthy mix of established bands and unsigned acts – covering rock, indie and dance – alongside comedy and art. Or you can play your own tunes at the piano bar. Or just forget about music altogether and play chess, mudwrestle or go bungee jumping.
Line-up includes The Flaming Lips, Wild Beasts, Gene Clark No Other Band, The Horrors, John Grant, Yo La Tengo, Richard Thompson, Gruff Rhys, Tinariwen, British Sea Power, White Denim, Connan Mockasin, John Cooper Clarke, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit, The BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Drenge, Mark Kozelek, Cate Le Bon, Sweet Baboo, Perfume Genius, Alexis Tayloe, All We Are, The Barr Brothers, Peggy Sue, Three Trapped Tigets, The Wave Pictures.
What's the deal? It may plough a fairly narrow stylistic furrow but End of the Road's indie, Americana and psych/alt.rock line-up is, once again, one of the best of this year's season. It's an example of the current breed of festivals that knows its niche well and sticks to it, with big names from their chosen field including the always-enjoyable adventures of The Flaming Lips, innovative and intellectual indie ponderers Wild Beasts and retro electronic geniuses the BBC Radiophonic Workshop among the many treats. You'll do well to find a more musically substantial, relaxing and environmentally-friendly festival.
Line-up includes Acts being kept secret until the festival.
What's the deal? The small but perfectly formed In The Woods festival – organised by the perky and freewheeling leftfield London pop quintet Laurel Collective – returns for its ninth consecutive year, stretching out into a two-day affair for 2014. Punters are promised an experience as far removed from "warm pints of foamy Carling in a corporate mudbath" as it's possible to get, which can only be a great thing. It takes place in a secret woodland location (enchanted, of course) near London, revealed only to ticket holders. The line-up for this year's festival won't actually be announced before the festival – an innovative anti-hype manouevre – but past acts like Ghostpoet, Kwabs, Micachu and The Shapes, AlunaGeorge, Anna Calvi, Alt-J and more cutting-edge acts on the cusp of fame should give you an idea of what's on offer.
Line-up includes Kelis, Fatboy Slim, Norman Jay, Jamie Cullum, The Cuban Brothers, Stornoway, Duke, Molotov Jukebo, Jack Savoretti, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, Bjoorn Again, Fleetwood Bac.
What's the deal? Is food the new rock 'n' roll? Alex James of indie kings Blur seems to think so, if his interest in making cheese is anything to go by. Organised by James and ever-chirpy TV chef Jamie Oliver, this family friendly event mixes up foodie fanaticism and music. Cooking demos, markets and pop-up restaurants take care of the food side, but the music line-up is also very impressive, with R&B singer Kelis (whose new album, 'Food', is sure to go down well here), globe-conquering DJ Fatboy Slim, funk and soul selector Norman Jay, and fresh-faced jazz fave Jamie Cullum topping the bill. If music be the food of love, fill your face with pulled pork sliders and then see if you can manage to wobble over to the dancefloor.
Line-up includes Move D, Wookie, Tama Sumo, Lakuti, Elgato, Brackles, Huntleys & Palmers Audio Club Showcase, Ghettospheric, Cornerstone Soundsystem, Yeah, Maybe, Sammy String, The Local Group, Joe Watkins, plus more TBA.
What's the deal? Now in its second year, this three-day party celebrates underground electronic music, with a roster made-up largely of talented, rising UK DJs and a few heroic names in the mix as well. The location is secret at the moment (a 'riverside location 60 minutes outside of London' is all you're getting) and the organisers' desire to keep the vibe intimate and friendly seems to remain, but those who do get one of the 500 tickets will be able to enjoy banging house, deep disco, pumping techno and dancefloor bombs of all shapes and sizes, as well as funk, soul and hip hop. It's all there and begging to be boogied to. This is one field trip you'll be glad you didn't skive.
Line-up includes Johnny Marr, Thurston Moore, The Felice Brothers, The Waterboys, Richard Thompson, plus more TBA.
What's the deal? Moseley's contribution to the festival circuit is an intimate affair with a friendly atmosphere. As you'd expect from the title, there's plenty of folksy vibes floating around, but this event isn't a one-trick pony – alternative and eclectic sounds come from ex-Smiths strummer Johnny Marr and Sonic Youth's Thurson Moore, as well as more traditional folk and blues from The Waterboys and Richard Thompson.
Line-up includes TBA.
What's the deal? A decades-old festival that holds two seperate weekends of family-friendly fesival fun – spring instalment in May and the summer leg in August. Artists for the summer show are still TBA, but there will be plenty of hippy-ish and spiritual vibes floating around regardless of whoever plays, thanks to a programme of yoga, meditation, reflexology and healing activities.
Line-up includes Ellie Goulding, plus more acts TBA.
What's the deal? Bands who've played Jersey Live in the past say they've received few better festival receptions. That endorsement, coupled with the lovely beaches and laidback vibe, should provide more than enough reasons to jet over the water for the festival's eleventh edition, and join what will no doubt be another year of raucous fun and an up-for-it crowd that could teach many moodly London audiences a thing or two about letting go. Shimmering disco-pop chart topper Ellie Goulding has been announced as Saturday's headliner, and expect lots more big-draw names to follow.
Want more? Find more music festivals this year
London really comes to life as Lovebox, Wireless and British Summer Time kick off in the capital this month
Party like you're sixteen again at Reading festival or enjoy the more chilled, homely vibe of Wilderness
This summer's festival season concludes with the likes of Bestival and Reload Festival