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Music festivals calendar: May

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

© Paul Underhill
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 upcoming festivals 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

Alfresco

A dance-focused rural retreat for all the family

After a few successful years up north, Alfresco moves to Tunbridge Wells this summer. There’s a line-up of cool DJs and live acts for the parents plus plenty for kids, including a rock ’n’ roller disco and DJing lessons.

Line-up includes: Ivan Smagghe, Ed Mahon, Don Letts, Vox Low, The Emperor Machine, Kate Boss.

Colebrook Lakes, Royal Tunbridge Wells. May 27-29.

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Common People

Bestival spins off into a new twin-city festival

Bestival mastermind Rob Da Bank has turned his sights to the mainland with his new no-camping venture Common People. Taking place in Southampton and Oxford in one weekend, it features a few Bestival-sized headliners alongside tons of grime, hip hop, and dance outfits. Street food, boutique bars and bouncy castles are sprinkled around site for good measure. Cheap as chips and no need for a ferry ride.

Line-up includes: Duran Duran, Public Enemy, Primal
Scream, Katy B, Soul II Soul, Jamie Lawson, Chas & Dave, DJ Zinc.

South Park, Oxford and Southampton Common, Southampton. May 28-29.

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Innocent Unplugged

Switch off and drink smoothies at the Innocent weekender

For the second year running, London smoothie-mongers Innocent have put together this getting-away-from-it-all weekender in an unspecified forest in Kent. Although there’ll be no phones allowed, no wifi and no electricity (it’s all solar- or man-powered), it’s hardly going to be a primitive experience: there’ll be yurts aplenty, live music, DJs and cabaret, an open-air spa and gourmet food – plus, we assume, all the smoothie you can drink. Best of all, tickets are just £15.

Line-up includes: DJ Yoda, Lazy Habits, Lucy Rose, Jake Isaac, Mr Motivator, Andreya Triana, Mamas Gun.

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A secret location in Kent , London Saturday May 28 2016 - Sunday May 29 2016

London music festivals in May 2016

We Are FSTVL

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

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