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Music festivals calendar: May

This year’s festival season kicks off with some top-notch springtime parties

© We Are FSTVL

It’s May and the summer music festival season is just around the corner, so get your spring 2016 festival hat on with our comprehensive calendar of some of this month’s biggest and best UK and London festivals. Choose from Brighton’s The Great Escape or keep it local with We Are FSTVL. And if you want to be really organised, check out what music festivals are on offer in June, July, August and September with our full 2016 festival calendar.

RECOMMENDED: More UK and London music festivals

UK music festivals in May 2016

The Great Escape

For one long weekend Brighton is over­run with (even more) alternative­rock darlings

Often hailed as ‘the UK’s SXSW’ (with half the sunshine), The Great Escape is a yearly pilgrimage for new music obsessives. Almost every pub, bar or venue with a bit of clear space is co­opted by the festival for artists from all over the globe. Primarily an event for the music industry to ‘network’ (read: drink together), it’s also a great excuse to catch bucketloads of upcoming bands and DJs. The headliners (or ‘Spotlight Shows’) are ticketed separately: wristband holders for the wider festival can top up their passes to get in.

Line-­up includes: Oh Wonder, Shura, Mura Masa, Mystery Jets, Declan McKenna, Dagny, Dilly Dally.

Various, Brighton. May 19–21.

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London music festivals in May 2016


Critics' choice

Over the last three years WAF has established itself as one of the big guns among the new generation of dance festivals. Returning to London (well, Essex, but it’s on the tube) for two more days this summer, it boasts another heavyweight line-up of globe-conquering DJs, hot rising talents and respected undergrounders.

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Damyns Hall Aerodrome , Corbets Tey Saturday May 28 2016 - Sunday May 29 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