This August 2017 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 2017
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.
Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire. August 3-6. £168.50 (weekend).
Non-profit and DIY: a festival with a real difference
This intimate, independent festival was started by 16-year-old Lee Denny ten years ago in his back garden. It’s now a very respectable non-profit boutique event, attracting some great bands that lean towards indie and electro. A new site and a solid line-up make this year’s Leefest another masterclass in how you too could grow your own festival.
Secret location near Tunbridge Wells, Kent. August 10-12. £104 (weekend).
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.
Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay, Newquay. August 9-13. £144-£174.
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.
Matterley Estate, Winchester, Hampshire. August 10-13. £202 (weekend), £177 (discounted for coach travellers).
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 22 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.
Weston Park, South Staffordshire and Hylands Park, Chelmsford. August 18-19.
Lush indie sounds in the verdant Brecon Beacons
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.
Brecon Beacons, Wales. August 17-20.
The Northern sister in the rock festival family
Not for the fainthearted, Reading’s Yorkshire counterpart 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 twee-free 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: Muse, Major Lazer, At The Drive In, Bastille, Andy C, Danny Brown.
Bramham Park, Leeds. August 25-27. £205 (weekend).
Want your rock ’n’ roll with roquefort?
Everyone’s favourite cheese pedlar and former Blur bassist Alex James once again teams up with celebrity chef/business overlord Jamie Oliver for a family-friendly Cotswolds weekender. Fans of musical and actual gluttony can come together to enjoy cooking demos, markets, restaurant pop-ups 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’s Farm, Kingham, The Cotswolds. August 25-27.
The Glastonbury of dance music – remember your wellies
Every year the Creamfields line-up groans with heavyweight dance acts. The camping festival – expanded this year to four days – 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 two-step 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.
Daresbury, Cheshire. August 24-27. £200 (four day camping), £180 (three day camping), £69.50 (one day ticket).
A budget weekender by the sea
If you can’t make it out to sunnier climes this summer, why not head down to Southsea seafront for Victorious? This seaside city festival has a laid-back mix of big name pop and rock acts, a family-friendly atmosphere and a rock-bottom ticket price.
Line-up includes: Madness, Craig Charles.
Castle Field, Portsmouth. August 25-27. £42-£35.
London music festivals in August 2017
Returning for a third year in Trent Park – a country house estate in Cockfosters – this one-day festival organised by the ever-inventive Found crew expands from US house to a more all-embracing dancefest this year, gathering together originators and new acts. Get in quick if you fancy checking out this excellent addition to London’s mushrooming dance festival scene.
After three years luxuriating in rural Hertfordshire, premier dance festival Eastern Electrics is setting up home in a new central London venue: but don't worry they plan to retain all ten stages and the line-up is sure to include some suitably huge names from dance music's A-list to delight the party-hungry hordes. And if you want a break from all that dancing, there's an area catering for all your cabaret, fairgound and pillow fight needs.
This one-day festival comes from the teams behind ace London nightspots Phonox, The Nest and XOYO, plus equally ace Croatian festivals Dimensions and Outlook. There are two parts to Sunfall: a day of raving in Brockwell Park, followed by eight eclectic afterparties across south London with no extra tickets needed.
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 a live show from Pendulum –which is probably why it has a marked tendency to sell out well ahead of time.