It’s May and the summer music festival season is just around the corner, so get your spring 2018 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 2018 festival calendar.
RECOMMENDED: More UK and London music festivals.
UK music festivals in May 2018
Love Saves The Day
House, techno and D&B in Bristol
Love Saves The Day hits Bristol’s Eastville Park with another massive line-up of DJs and live acts. From house and techno to grime, reggae and D&B, with a sprinkling of live acts, LSTD’s musical menu offers a tasty spread. And with the guys behind Glastonbury’s Wow Stage and Croatia’s Love International festival at the helm, you know all those little other details that make a festival great will be taken care of.
Line-up includes Sampha, Fat Boy Slim, Loyle Carner, Four Tet, Jackmaster, Bicep, Tom Misch.
Eastville Park, Bristol. May 26-27. £85 weekend, £45 (Sat), £39.50 (Sun)
Slam Dunk Festival
The pop-punk and hardcore festival that travels the country
Taking place at three different venues over three days, Slam Dunk lets you mosh in Leeds, Birmingham or Hatfield, where it’s outgrown the university and moves to a new site at Hatfield Park. Really keen? You can purchase a ‘megaticket’ to smash all three.
Line-up includes Good Charlotte, Jimmy Eat World, Paris, Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes, Taking Back Sunday
Various venues, Leeds, May 26. Hatfield Park, May 27. Birmingham NEC, May 28. From £49.
London music festivals in May 2018
It’s easy to label this brand spanking new ten-day programme (taking place in east London’s Victoria Park) a festival – but that’s to do it a disservice, as it’s a whole lot more. But let’s start with that side of things. A three-day festival (May 25-27) is a big part of the action, with three jaw-dropping names acting as headliners: Björk, LCD Soundsystem and The xx. Boom. Then there’s the All Points East Presents series (June 1-3) – three one-day concerts led by three different acts: Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, The National and Catfish And The Bottlemen. In between there are four days of community-driven entertainment on the site, with comedy, film screenings, street food and much more. Those four days are free to enter, with some ticketed events inside. All in all then, a pretty epic event. We’re sold.
Line-up includes Björk, LCD Soundsystem, The xx, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, The National and Catfish And The Bottlemen, Beck, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Lorde, Flying Lotus, Sampha, Father John Misty, Glass Animals Richie Hawtin, Dixon George Fitzgerald.
The super-psychedelic Raw Power festival has become a regular fixture in the London calendar, returning to genteel Tufnell Park in 2018 for three more days of loud fun centered around tripped-out sounds of all kinds, from drone to noise to ambient to starry-eyed, fuzz-drenched jam sessions.
Line-up includes Godflesh, Circle, Snapped Ankles, Mirrored Lip, Housewives and Acid Cannibals.
Over the last five years We Are FSTVL has established itself as one of the seriously big guns among the new generation of dance festivals. It’s not technically in London (okay, it’s in Essex), but is still a firm favourite with Londoners, seeing as you can get there via Upminster tube. Big-name dance behemoths and equally big production values are key to the WAF experience. House and techno of all shapes and sizes are the main ingredients here, but you’ll also find, grime, garage and bassier flavours too.
Line-up includes Andy C, Jamie Jones, DJ EZ, Carl Cox, Eric Prydz, Gorgon City, Seth Troxler, Marco Carola, MK, Pendulum, Amelie Lens, Sub Focus, Sigma, Ben Klock, Heidi, Bicep, Denis Sulta, Danny Tenaglia.
This successful offshoot from Creamfields returns for the third year to London, this time heading north to Finsbury Park, which seems to almost single-handedly hosting London’s festivals this year. Once again, it’s all about the seriously big-name dance artists, with the headliners for the two-day event announced as trance act Above & Beyond on the Saturday, and globe-conquering DJ Tiësto on the Sunday. The trademark ‘Steel Yard’ superstructure will also be back, providing a kind of rave palace for the many beat-hungry revellers.
Line-up includes Above & Beyond, DJ Tiësto, Faithless, Eli & Fur, Tchami x Malaa, Steve Angello.
This May bank holiday gathering has a big focus on street food and craft beer alongside the DJ-driven artists line-up – beats and eats, as it were. For 2018 it’s moving from Brockwell Park, but still staying very much in south London, relocating a short hop away in Peckham Rye Park. The musical roster mixes house, disco and general good-time party music. In terms of the food, there’ll be plenty to sink your teeth into as well as oodles of luscious craft beer.
Line-up includes Derrick Carter, Midland, Horse Meat Disco, Mr Scruff, Greg Wilson, Norman Jay MBE.
A new music-and-nosh festival from the good folks at Kerb, this one-day event celebrates sound system culture with a side order of jerk chicken. The line-up promises a laid-back mix reggae, afrobeat and new wave jazz, while sizzling street food stalls offer everything from pizza and vegan tacos to ginger-beer battered nuggets, from the likes of Wandercrust, Club Mexicano, White Men Can’t Jerk and Only Jerkin’. Tuck in.
Line-up includes David Rodigan, Horace Andy, Earl Gateshead, Brother Culture, Mungo’s Hi Fi.