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
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 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
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
Summer may have come to an end, but that doesn't mean the party's over. Check out festivals taking place this autumn