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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

This August 2016 find a summer festival with our comprehensive music festival calendar. August is a big month in festival season so whether you’re looking for a banging dance music festival, a boutique event or huge pop acts, pick from our list of the best UK and London festivals in August. With everything from Wilderness to Reading Festival on offer, you’re guaranteed to find something to suit your tastes. And if not, there’s always September

RECOMMENDED: More UK and London music festivals

UK music festivals in August 2016


Hedonism for grown­ups. You can even bring the kids

It might be easy to write off Wilderness as a posh only playground, but the reality is much more magical. The thoughtfully programmed roster of acts from around the world has grown in calibre and breadth year on year, with Björk headlining in 2015. But it’s the awe­inspiring performance art, debates, and mouth­watering feasts that have firmly positioned Wilderness as a carnival for the senses, and much more than just a music festival. Just be aware that few of the luxurious activities are included in the base ticket price, and add­ons can quickly add up.

Line-­up includes: TBA

Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire. August 4–7. 

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Two­day surfing and skateboarding showcase that shines with a solid line­up year after year

Instagram at the ready: hidden on the picturesque and (sometimes) sunny Cornish coast, Boardmasters is a British seaside adventure without the donkey rides and dodgy roller coasters. Every year the line­up features hip hop, D&B, punk, rock and UK bass acts performing alongside the gnarliest surfers, skaters, and BMX pros in the world, with pared­down surf shack sessions and beachside performances providing some much needed chill time. The ticket price will leave you enough change from £170 for a portion of fish and chips.

Line-­up includes: TBA 

Fistral Beach & Watergate Bay, Newquay. August 10–14.

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Boomtown Fair

The pop­up town is back for a long weekend of carnival partying

This annual shindig is a pop­up cathedral short of being a full­blown city. Every year the Matterley Bowl estate becomes a magical town full of hypnotic basslines and mind­bending installations. Music ranges from the underground to outer space, and the roster of activities (which has matured in recent years) includes banqueting, craft and healing areas as well as Boomtown’s traditional mutated 'art vehicles'. By day it’s fairly family­friendly, but after dark the caners come out to soak up enough beats, dub, ska and reggae to see them through until daybreak.

Line­-up includes: Steve 'N' Seagulls and more TBA.

Matterley Estate, Winchester, Hampshire. August 11–14. 

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V Festival

Pop­tastic big names take over the Midlands and South East

Thanks to its seemingly bottomless booking budget, V Festival always snags a staggering line­up of chart­chasing big names from the rock and pop worlds. After 21 years in the game they know their audience and focus on building a party atmosphere (and praying for sunshine). V Festival might not be sprinkled with fairy dust or set in enchanted mountain woodlands, but if you want to scream along to chart anthems then it's hard to beat.

Line-­up includes: TBA

Weston Park, South Staffordshire and Hylands Park, Chelmsford. August 20–21.

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Green Man Festival

Belle & Sebastian, James Blake, and Wild Beasts headline in the beautifully verdant surroundings of the Brecon Beacons

Once again Green Man wins our unofficial prize for best festival setting: nestled in the Brecon Beacons, the Black Mountains are not usually open to the public, but for one weekend of the year they play host to bands and (civilised) bad behaviour. This stunning location accentuates the always­eclectic­never­dull line­up and eco­friendly focus. This year's line­up follows the Green Man tradition of left­leaning plugged­in bands and electronic DJs peppered with folk crooners.

Line-­up includes: Belle & Sebastian, James Blake, Wild Beasts, White Denim, Battles, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Julia Holter, Floating Points.

Brecon Beacons, Wales. August 18–21. 

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Leeds Festival

The Northern sister in the indie rock festival empire

Not for the fainthearted, Reading’s Yorkshire counterpart dynasty has a hard earned reputation for torrential downpours and mud fights. But rain never dampens the spirits of the scores of tipsy teenagers gracing Bramham Park. Leeds and Reading put music first and provide a totally twee­free festival experience – no immersive theatre or gourmet cuisine in sight – much to the joy of the screaming crowds. Pro tip: leave the white skinny jeans at home.

Line­-up includes: Red Hot Chili Peppers, The 1975, The Courteeners, Twenty One Pilots, Eagles of Death Metal, Boy Better Know, Slaves, Hinds.

Bramham Park, Leeds. August 26–28. 

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The Big Feastival

Want your rock ’n’ roll with roquefort?

Look no further Everyone’s favourite cheese peddler and former Blur bassist Alex James once again teams up with celebrity chef/business overlord Jamie Oliver for a family­friendly Cotswolds weekender. Fans of musical and actual gluttony can come together to enjoy cooking demos, markets, restaurant pop­ups and a bit of rock ’n’ roll for good measure. The marriage between music and food offers revellers the chance to get working on their dad bod and show it off on the dancefloor at the same time.

Line­-up includes: TBA

Alex James’ Farm, Kingham, The Cotswolds. August 26–28.

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The Glastonbury of dance music is back – remember your wellies this time

Every year the Creamfields line­up groans with heavyweight dance acts. The three- day camping festival is an annual exploration that sees dance music fans up and down the country worship at the altar of DJ demi­gods, underground spin­masters and slinky house producers. With so much to two­step to, you'd be forgiven for sloping back to the campsite and grabbing a warm beer to help you make it through to curfew on Sunday.

Line­-up includes: TBA

Daresbury, Cheshire. Aug 26–28.

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Reading Festival

A festival stalwart for the music ­focused with headliners including Red Hot Chili Peppers

The August Bank Holiday weekend may be a breath of fresh air for many, but for Reading Festival­goers it's overshadowed by the sound of exam results being ripped from their packets. No sooner than the tears of joy/sadness have dried up, flocks of teenagers are swilling warm cider in celebration at one of these twinned festivals. Reading and Leeds offer a winning combination of indie and rock favourites (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and some of their new­blood heirs (Slaves). After seeing the first wave of acts, it doesn’t look like they’ve done much for the gender imbalance.

Line­-up includes: Red Hot Chili Peppers, The 1975, The Courteeners, Twenty One Pilots, Eagles of Death Metal, Boy Better Know, Slaves, Hinds.

Richfield Avenue, Reading. August 26–28. 

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London music festivals in August 2016

51st State Festival

Critics' choice

Returning for a second year in Trent Park – a country house estate in Cockfosters – this one-day organised by the ever-inventive Found crew explores the roots of house music by gathering together originators of the US sound. There are other sounds being explored too and a healthy dose of contemporary talent in the mix. Last year’s inaugural 51st State sold out, so get in there if you fancy checking out this excellent addition to London’s mushrooming dance festival scene – and check back soon for the full line-up.

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Trent Park , Oakwood Saturday August 6 2016

South West Four

Critics' choice

The mighty SW4 – Clapham Common’s bank holiday dance music explosion – returns for another weekend of big drops, club anthems and arms in the air. If you’re longing for big beats but can’t afford Ibiza and are loath to spend the last days of summer in a dark room, head to SW4 for your fix of big-room house, EDM, electro, techno and trance, as well as other genres creeping in from all angles. The names that SW4 pulls in include some of the biggest DJs and live dance acts on the planet – including block-rocking heroes The Chemical Brothers, the first headliners announced – which is probably why it has a marked tendency to sell out well ahead of time.

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Clapham Common , Clapham Saturday August 27 2016 - Sunday August 28 2016

Win tickets to your favourite festivals

Music festival competitions

Missed out on tickets to your favourite music festival or maybe you're fed up of forking out for a full weekend away? Be found at the front of the coolest crowds for free by entering one of our top competitions to win tickets to the best music festivals in 2016.

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By: Time Out London Music