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Music festivals calendar: August

With the Wilderness and South West Four music festivals 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

Wilderness

Escapist hedonism for grown­-ups – kids also welcome

It would 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 awe-­inspiring 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 add­-ons can quickly add up.

Line-­up includes: Robert Plant And The Sensational Space Shifters, The Flaming Lips, Crystal Fighters, Goldie, The Heritage Orchestra, Shura, Tourist, PBR Streetgang, Andrew Weatherall and Jackmaster.

Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire. August 4–7.

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Forgotten Fields

A new boutique festival from the Kendal Calling team

It’s year two for this new festival down south by the people behind Kendal Calling up north. Capacity is kept very low, making Forgotten Fields an intimate affair – prepare to bump into the same people over and over throughout the weekend.

Line-­up includes: Suede, Kodaline, Dizzee Rascal, Kelis, Maxïmo Park, The Sugar Hill Gang, Band Of Skulls, Newton Faulkner.

Eridge Park, Royal Tunbridge Wells. August 5-7.

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Boardmasters

Five days of surfing and music in Cornwall

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 line­-up features hip hop, D&B, punk, rock and UK bass acts performing alongside the gnarliest surfers in the world, with pared­ down 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: Chase & Status, James Bay, Deadmau5, Catfish And The Bottlemen, Craig David, Kano, Wolf Alice, Foxes.

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

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Boomtown Fair

The temporary town pops back up for another carnival weekend

This annual shindig is a pop-­up cathedral short of being a full­-blown 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 family­-friendly, 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 in Essex and Staffordshire

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: Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Sia, David Guetta, Faithless, Kaiser Chiefs, Bastille, Little Mix.

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

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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. Line-up includes: Goldie, Ben Klock, Jamie XX, Omar S, Om Unit, Shackleton, Benji B, Hunee.

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Trent Park , Oakwood Saturday August 6 2016

Caught By The River Thames

Critics' choice

Offering music, literary talks and summer delights, Caught By The River Thames is a genteel new festival for the capital. Indie favourites Low and Super Furry Animals play headline sets and there’s an eclectic support bill.

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Fulham Palace , Fulham Saturday August 6 2016 - Sunday August 7 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

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Chrissie W
Chrissie W

CAMPFIRE CONVENTION, AUGUST 12-14th: New social enterprise by Big Chill founder, Pete Lawrence, in the grounds of The Bridge Inn, Michaelchurch Ecsley, Hereford. 

Keynote Speaker BRIAN ENO, DJ GREG WILSON.