August 10th – 12th / Secret location, near Liskeard / £25
230 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Willy Mason, Tall Ships
DON’T MISS: Islet, Swim Deep, Loose Talk Costs Lives
Tucked away in a corner of the Cornish countryside, Knee-Deep is a low-key, somewhat DIY festival, with an admirable pick of indie, electronic and folk acts. Knee-Deep programmes its two stages without overlaps, so your £25 means you can see every one of the 30-plus bands – nice work at less than a quid a group – and there’s a cinema, jamming tent and craft activities besides. It’s non-profit too, with donations going to Cornwall Music Therapy Trust.
IN A NUTSHELL: A tiny boutique festival, run with passion and humour.
August 10th – 12th / Hop Farm, Paddock Wood / £110
40 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Gaudi, Freddie McGregor, Cornell Campbell
DON’T MISS: Michigan & Smiley, Dub Syndicate
Sussex lad Dan Wiltshire founded One Love Festival five years ago, as the UK’s first speciality reggae and dub festival. From its local beginnings, One Love has spent the past couple of years up in Hainault, but for 2012 it’s back in the countryside at Hop Farm. In addition to dozens of new and legendary performers and sound systems, One Love will also be hosting movies, shorts and documentaries from the Jamaica Reggae Film Festival throughout the weekend.
IN A NUTSHELL: You can’t get more chilled out than One Love.
August 17th – 19th / Funkirk Estate, Skipton / £84.50
286 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Wild Beasts, Toots & The Maytals, Roots Manuva
DON’T MISS: Factory Floor, Junior Boys
Situated uphill in the Yorkshire Dales, Beacons Festival attracts a more left field, and quite likely hardier, bunch of performers than many of its rural equivalents. Reggae legend Toots Hibbert aside, Beacon’s line-up is impressively fresh faced, neatly rounding up many of 2012’s hottest tips, from Willis Earl Beal to Clock Opera. There’s a decent amount of films, talks and art too, although, perhaps more so than many festivals, it would be sensible to pack your rain gear just in case.
IN A NUTSHELL: An excellent bill in one of the UK’s most beautiful locations.
August 17th – 19th / Glanusk Park, Powys / £145
205 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Van Morrison, Feist, Mogwai
DON’T MISS: Jonathan Richman, Peaking Lights
From its humble beginnings as a 300-capacity get together hosted by musicians Jo Bartlett and Danny Hagan, Green Man has grown to become one of the best loved speciality festivals in the calendar. In partnership with The Big Chill, the greatly expanded Green Man now entertains 10,000 folk/psych fans in the beautiful Brecon Beacons, with the draw of some major league headliners. Keep an eye out for Brightonians King Porter Stomp and Dizraeli too.
IN A NUTSHELL: The alternative folkies’ festival of choice.
South West Four
August 25th – 26th / Clapham Common, London / £92.50
49 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Chase & Status, Skrillex
DON’T MISS: Public Enemy, Skream & Benga, Green Velvet
It’s been a slow but sure growth for award-winning dance festival South West Four over the past nine years. Sympathetic to the greater Clapham populace, the beats stop at 10pm (later than previous years), so hardcore clubbers can use the whole thing as a warm up for the night ahead. Festival exclusive appearances from Roger Sanchez, Erick Morillo, Carl Cox and, worth the admission alone, Public Enemy testify to South West Four’s global reach.
IN A NUTSHELL: An absolutely huge bill of top ranking electronic beat makers.
September 1st – 2nd / Royal Jersey Showground / £92
222 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Chase & Status, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
DON’T MISS: Friends, Hervé, Primal Scream
It may be just a small island somewhere out over the horizon, but Jersey is still flush enough to host two major music festivals this summer (the first, the slightly more sedate Folklore, arrived at the end of June). The bill for Jersey Live was still shaping up as SOURCE went to press, but our friends and yours Rizzle Kicks are among the big hitters and veterans appearing across its four stages. Your British pounds will be accepted.
IN A NUTSHELL: A broad mix of mega acts makes that Channel Islands holiday more tempting.
Over The Moon
September 14th – 16th / Hempstead Lane, Hailsham / £70 (£80 from Aug)
23 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Dub Pistols, Eat Static, Celt Islam
DON’T MISS: Los Albertos, Transformer
The team behind new Sussex weekender Over The Moon has plenty of organisational experience, having previously run Out Of The Ordinary festival along similar, family friendly lines. Like OOTO, Over The Moon takes place over the autumn equinox, and maintains a close connection to its predecessor’s beliefs in alternate ways of living (ecological, astrological, spiritual). Musically, Over The Moon encompasses a range of festival friendly sounds, including plenty of reggae, Latin and funk.
IN A NUTSHELL: An educational, ever so slightly eccentric weekend out.
September 16th / Queen Elizabeth Country Park, Petersfield / £20
50 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Kids In Glass Houses
DON’T MISS: Futures, Don Broco
Created to bring some summer fun to the restless youth of East Hampshire, Butserfest is a strictly alcohol and drug free event, a policy that extends to the bands too. The line-up isn’t toned down though, with a strong bill of underground rock heroes spread over the festival’s two stages. The organisers have laid on plenty of energetic activities for Butserfest’s target 14-20 age group too, but there’s no age limit on attendance.
IN A NUTSHELL: Proof that the kids are alright, if slightly deafened.
September 21st – 23rd / Secret location, West Sussex / £66
30 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Pas Des Probleme, Phi Life Cypher
DON’T MISS: Suave Debonair, King Porter Stomp
Following a low key debut in 2011, Mischief Festival returns at a larger, but still secret, location somewhere in the rural West Sussex wilds. With dozens of acts spread across its themed stages, Mischief aims to cover most musical bases, with plenty of live hip hop, ska, reggae and folk, and DJs playing drum’n’bass, hardcore, disco and plenty more. There’s a mix of cabaret performances, a cinema and a kids’ parade thrown into the pot too.
IN A NUTSHELL: An ambitious hotchpotch of grass roots festival attractions.
London Summer Jam
September 29th / Brockwell Park, Brixton / £18
50 miles from Brighton
DON’T MISS: You
Here’s a novel idea for a festival. Instead of booking individual artists, London Summer Jam throws the spotlight onto the crowd, inviting attendees to jam together to create the soundtrack to the day. Confident musicians can apply for a handful of performance slots, while tuition workshops are available for the less sure. Five stages cover different genres, both electric and acoustic, including rock and indie, blues, reggae, urban and more. You can try any number of new musical instruments too.
IN A NUTSHELL: The ultimate in festival democracy. And a one, two, three, four…
June 9th / Kemptown, Brighton / Free
0 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: John Crampton, Fat 45, The Swing Ninjas
DON’T MISS: Kalakuta Millionaires, Monsters Build Mean Robots
Kemptown’s annual community festival returns with dozens of street performers, children’s entertainers and market stalls in a riot of colour. From the opening Parade Of Flowers to its messy conclusion with the Grand Custard Pie Fight, the Kemptown Carnival brings fun for all to the streets. Musically, it’s the bigger the better, as swollen ranks of some of the city’s favourite swing, funk and Latin bands crowd the multiple stages. (SH)
IN A NUTSHELL: A lively, always popular, day of family fun.
Brighton Japan 2012
June 22nd – 30th / Various venues / Various prices
0 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: The Paper Cinema, No Cars
DON’T MISS: Ken Kobayashi
Those saucy sushi sorcerers at Moshi Moshi oversee this annual jovial Japanese jaunt at Bartholomew Square and beyond. Highlights include retro gaming at Marwood’s Cafe, an open-air anime festival, mindfulness workshops and a kaleidoscopic Matsuri (summer festival) in the square itself. Many key events, including a theatrical evening with The Paper Cinema, live music and a screening of reliable pant-soiler The Ring, take place at Moshi Moshi’s 70-seater HOMU venue, so advance booking (at the restaurant, or brightonjapan.com) is recommended. (BM)
IN A NUTSHELL: An unmissable eight-day taste of Japanese culture.
June 29th – July 1st / The Gladstone, Lewes Road, Brighton / Free
0 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Tragic Roundabout, Dr Bluegrass & The Illbilly 8
DON’T MISS: Buffo’s Wake
Even the most cider addled Somerset stoner would have hard job mistaking this bright yellow Brighton pub for the Vale of Avalon, but since there’s bugger all going on down Pilton way this year, you take your fun where it’s offered. The Gladstone’s mini-festival is still music-stuffed, however, with a smattering of traditional sideshows (apple bobbing, hula hooping) thrown in. It’s free entry, but donations wouldn’t go amiss. (SH)
IN A NUTSHELL: In the absence of its namesake, spending the weekend in the pub is really rather appealing.
July 5th – 7th / Various venues / Various prices
0 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Jake Mackay, Jipsy Magic, Rough Citizen
DON’T MISS: Hope Rudd, The Watermelons
For a two-man ship, the Overhead Wires team sure are productive – hosting several gigs a week, distributing that monthly Pantograph newsletter, and still finding time to release CDs, most recently by this weekend’s headliners Jake Mackay and Jipsy Magic. Twisted Frontier is Overhead Wires’ first multi-day, multi-venue event, showcasing many of the musicians they’ve forged links with during their tireless monitoring of the region’s new band and open mic nights. They’re shooting a film too – blimey. (SH)
IN A NUTSHELL: An ambitious, wide-ranging celebration of Brighton’s songwriting talent.
July 6th – 7th / London Pleasure Gardens, Royal Victoria Dock / £99
62 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Snoop Dogg, Orbital
DON’T MISS: Jeff Mills, Battles, DOOM
Although Bloc’s move away from its usual Butlins base will deprive regulars of the pool pleasures of Splash Waterworld this year, the aquatic link survives with performances on a former GDR deep sea fishing vessel, the MS Stubnitz, moored at the Royal Victoria Dock. Dive! Dive! Or, rather, fish! Bloc’s line-up is another impressive, wide-ranging trawl through international waters, leaning heavily, but not exclusively, on electronic fare. Possibly the only UK festival where punters will be outnumbered by seagulls. (SH)
IN A NUTSHELL: No resting on their laurels for Britain’s number one electronic music festival.
Paddle Round The Pier
July 7th – 8th / Hove Lawns / Free
0 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Boy Com, Letz Zep
DON’T MISS: The Beautiful Word, Buster Shuffle, The pUkes
What began as a surfer-run charity fundraiser has grown into a big weekend of family entertainment, encompassing on and off-land sports demonstrations, energetic amusements for the kids, and two stages of live music (the popular, Tuaca sponsored main stage, and a new ukulele specialist one). This year the big paddle benefits the RNLI, Surf Action and Winston’s Wish charities, so if you’re not taking part yourself, do the decent thing, dig deep and donate. (SH)
IN A NUTSHELL: There’s always fun to be had at PRTP, especially when the sun’s out.
July 13th – 15th / Stoke Park, Guildford / £130
45 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Jools Holland, Olly Murs, Bryan Ferry
DON’T MISS: Chic, Candi Staton
Having clocked up 20 years on the calendar, GuilFest has become one of the UK’s sturdiest bets in the notoriously fickle mid-size festival market. Saturday’s main stage finds X Factor friendly stars Tulisa and Cher Lloyd supporting chipper headliner Olly Murs, with numerous pop and punk survivors (ABC, Buzzcocks, Numan) filling out the bill. Guildford’s more hedonistic youth will surely make a beeline for Benga, Andy C and Sub Focus in the Dance Tent. (SH)
IN A NUTSHELL: A established family festival with broad musical appeal.
July 12th – 15th / Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk / £175
158 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Bon Iver, Elbow, Paul Weller
DON’T MISS: St Vincent, Clock Opera, Perfume Genius
Situated on a beautiful stretch of Suffolk’s ‘Sunrise Coast’, Latitude’s reputation rests on its broader than the norm range of stage entertainments, second only to Glastonbury in scope. Theatre, literature, comedy and film are all well represented, including high end shows from the National Theatre and Sadler’s Wells. Keep an eye out for a diverse mix of Brighton musicians old (The Levellers) and new (Tall Ships) too. (SH)
IN A NUTSHELL: It’s like a broadsheet Sunday supplement, with trees.
July, various dates / West Sussex / Free
22+ miles from Brighton
DON’T MISS: TBC
A rootless festival of culture, now in its second year, Dromos showcases music, theatre, dance and more, by regional and national talents, in rural locations across West Sussex. Sites confirmed so far include Church Farm, Coombes (July 15th) and Horsham Park (21st), as well as some involvement in East Grinstead’s Olympic celebrations (17th), but expect further dates and venues to be confirmed as the bill starts coming together. Keep an eye on dromosfestival.co.uk to see how it all shapes up. (SH)
IN A NUTSHELL: A travelling family festival, promising a wide array of attractions.
Festival No. 6
September 14th – 16th / Portmeirion, Wales / £129
300 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: New Order, Primal Scream, Spiritualized
DON’T MISS: Toy, Savages, Y Niwl
What do you want? Information. Situated in the stunning, fake Italian village of Portmeirion, Festival No. 6 – as any cult TV aficionado will have spotted – is unafraid to play up to its connections to The Prisoner. It’s brand new for 2012, but the setting and headliners are extremely promising. Whether they’ll go the whole hog and employ giant floating balls as perimeter security remains to be seen, but we really hope so. (SH)
IN A NUTSHELL: Be seeing you.
June 3rd / Victoria Park, East London / £39
73 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Noah & The Whale, Billy Bragg, Adam Ant
DON’T MISS: Scritti Politti, Gilles Peterson
A little bit of magic is what makes this festival so great. And when we say a bit, we actually mean a lot – an entire tent-full to be precise, with a line-up of the best talent in magic and trickery. In its second year now, Applecart is organized by the people behind Field Day and Underage festivals and is the more family-friendly of the youthful group. Festival highlights include a proper ale tent and The Art Car Boot Fair, which puts the art into the apple cart with artists selling their wares from the boots of classic cars. (HS)
IN A NUTSHELL: Magic tricks, great music and drinking ale – what’s not to like?
Banquet’s Big Day Out
June 4th / Imber Court, Esher / £20
51 Miles From Brighton
HEADLINERS: Kids In Glass Houses
DON’T MISS: Deaf Havana, Futures, Arcane Roots
Kingston’s equivalent to Brighton’s Resident and Rounder, Banquet Records is Surrey’s essential indie record store, known for its exclusive instore performances and club nights. Now, after finally finding the “perfect site”, Banquet try their hand at organising an outdoor live event for the first time. Don’t expect an amateur display though, as even though the festival is in its infancy, the impressive line-up across a mix of genres will make this the perfect way to spend your June bank holiday. (AJM)
IN A NUTSHELL: Three music areas and signing tents full of fun. Why can’t this be in Brighton?
September 6th – 9th / Robin Hill Country Park, Isle Of Wight / £180
66 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Stevie Wonder, New Order, The xx
DON’T MISS: Azealia Banks, Orbital, Hot Chip
Rob Da Bank and partner Josie’s Bestival has grown steadily to become probably Britain’s best-loved boutique festival – its regulars’ loyalty rewarded in recent years with the addition of July’s spin-off Camp Bestival (Lulworth Cove, Dorset, July 26th – 29th). Bestival’s clout is proved not only by this year’s huge international headliners, but its ability to score exclusive festival appearances from Sigur Ros and The xx. (SH)
IN A NUTSHELL: The biggest little festival in the country, run by genuine music fans.
August 9th – 12th / Matterly Estate, Hampshire / £121
71 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Caravan Palace, The Skatalites
DON’T MISS: Batmobile, David Rodigan, Reel Big Fish
Boomtown is back and maintaining its reputation as the festival for lovers of ska, reggae, gypsy punk and rockabilly. For those who’ve never been before, the site looks like an old town film set, with neighborhood street parties creating the community spirit the festival is known for. Watch late night films at the Luna cinema, or if it’s the macabre you’re into, plan your own death at the town funeral parlour. (HS)
IN A NUTSHELL: So much fun, you’ll wish you could call this town home.
June 22nd – 24th / Makarska, Croatia / £35
1,324 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Koreless, Pariah, Midland
DON’T MISS: Southbound Hangers, Donga, Spectrasoul
Everyone goes on about Outlook, but if you like your wild Croatian parties filled with faces you’ll recognise from our own pebble-beach, Echo Festival’s a very cheap and fun-looking alternative. All the DJs you regularly enjoy at Life and The Tube, and all the club nights that you know from home (such as Below The Line, Simply Vinyl and Well Rounded) will be in attendance. Who knows, you might even see that holiday romance again. (JMM)
IN A NUTSHELL: Brighton goes on a summer holiday.
End Of The Road
August 31st – September 2nd / Larmer Tree Gardens / £150
103 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Grizzly Bear, Grandaddy, Tindersticks
DON’T MISS: Anna Calvi, Peggy Sue, Alessi’s Ark
If you like your artists bearded and sincere, and your crowds attentive and polite, this is the festival for you. Set in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside with peacocks idly strutting about, End Of The Road sells out every single year and is renowned for a peaceful, fun atmosphere, a surprisingly young audience and an outstanding line-up of indie, folk, shoegazing and twee rock. We guarantee your tent will not be burnt or pissed on. (JMM)
IN A NUTSHELL: More folk than an old folks’ home in Norfolk.
June 3rd – 4th / Newcastle Gateshead Quayside / £35
343 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Dizzee Rascal, Maxïmo Park, Deadmau5
DON’T MISS: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Theme Park
Ok, so the north east is a bit of a trek from the south coast, but you’ve got the extended Jubilee weekend to make the trip, and you don’t need a passport (honest, we checked). Sort some accommodation out and city centre festivals like Evolution are a bargain way to lose your head to the best new bands and DJs for a couple of days. Besides, Maxïmo Park on home turf is bound to be a winner. (SH)
IN A NUTSHELL: A great excuse to get away from all that southern monarchy nonsense.
June 2nd / Victoria Park, East London / £45
73 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Franz Ferdinand, Sleigh Bells, The Vaccines
DON’T MISS: Blood Orange, SBTRKT, Beirut
The magic is definitely in the music at Field Day, and spread across seven stages you may find yourself wishing you could split in two to see your favorite acts. All of this year’s hottest and best acts are there, making the line-up one of the summer’s strongest. Seeing London’s hipsters taking part in the festival Village Fete games deserves special mention – you’re more likely to see these kids walking down Dalston Junction twisting their moustaches than doing sack races and the human wheelbarrow. (HS)
IN A NUTSHELL: Mindblowing, with an amazing line-up.
June 15th – 17th / Black Bush Valley, Winchester / £125
74 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Four Tet, Roots Manuva
DON’T MISS: Thundercat, Lorca, Portico Quartet
After a dip in the trend last year, there’s a plethora of exciting new start-ups in 2012, and Golden Down is amongst the best ones we’ve seen in the UK. The line-up is eclectic and forward-thinking, the organisers promise a welcoming and fairly-priced campsite and the rural location means the Dance Tent isn’t hit with noise restraints so the party can continue on until morning. With a small capacity of only 5,000 spaces, early booking is recommended. (JMM)
IN A NUTSHELL: Cheaper than flights to Croatia; more intimate than Glade.
June 29th – July 1st / Paddock Wood, Kent / £162
40 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Bob Dylan, Suede, Peter Gabriel
DON’T MISS: Howling Bells, British Sea Power, Primal Scream
There’s an element of back-to-basics at Hop Farm: it’s free from the sponsorship and branding that can make some festivals feel as rural as a wander through Churchill Square. However, with festival player Vince Power running things, the headliners are huge – and he’s added a further one-off date in September specifically to reel in Leonard Cohen for his only UK show this year. Hop Farm’s line-up isn’t the freshest (Sir Bruce Forsyth?!) but it’s often impressive. (SH)
IN A NUTSHELL: Low-key by Vince Power’s standards, massive by anyone else’s.
103 miles from Brighton
July 11th – 15th / Larmer Tree Gardens / £190
HEADLINERS: Paloma Faith The Levellers
DON’T MISS: Caravan Palace, Akala
Set in the lush Larmer Tree Gardens in North Dorset, it’s macaws that fly overhead, not beer cans, and peacocks roam wild among festival goers. Now in its 22nd year, Larmer Tree Festival remains strictly sponsor-free and has been awarded numerous accolades including best festival toilets, so they must be doing something right. This year the line-up and entertainment prove to be just as stunning as the surroundings it’s set in. (HS)
IN A NUTSHELL: Wholesome festival fun
June 1st -3rd / Glynde Place, South Downs / £85
10 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Swingrowers, Lamb, Portico Quartet
DON’T MISS: Speech Debelle, Shona Foster, LTJ Bukem
You can hop, skip and jump over to Meadowlands, set in the South Downs near Lewes. Described as a ‘cultural carnivalesque celebration’, this year’s festival will see over 80 acts, four stages, six club nights and a pop up casino. Brighton DJ Nick Hollywood will be spinning the sounds and styles of the 1920s and 30s swing era at the White Mink club night and Bang Said The Gun will provide an eclectic line up of spoken word and comedy. (HS)
IN A NUTSHELL: Better value than most of this year’s festivals and a lot closer to home, too.
Nice Weather For Airstrikes
May 25th -27th / Brighton / Free
0 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Three Trapped Tigers, Her Name Is Calla
DON’T MISS: &U&I
This year, Brighton promoters and record label Nice Weather For Airstrikes’ annual festival of post rock music expands beyond the confines of regular home The Druids Arms and steps blinking into the daylight. Sandwiched between Friday’s electric kick off and Sunday’s chilled pub sessions, Saturday afternoon introduces an outdoor stage for the first time, just across the street on the Level. With free entry and an array of DJs, art installations and stalls thrown in, there’s little reason not to wander along at some point this weekend. (SH)
IN A NUTSHELL: Discover dozens of new bands on your doorstep.
July 5th – 8th / Pulborough / £139
25 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Fink, The Dø, Ghostpoet, Jessie Ware
DON’T MISS: Art from big names like Rankin and Damien Hirst
From the creative ladies behind the Big Chill, the Nova Festival Of Arts And Music is a brand new weekend for makers, doers and lovers. Art is the emphasis of the festival and it really is everywhere. Installations by demons of the art world Rankin and Damien Hirst will be unmissable, and the creative ‘Make It’ sessions are your chance to be instructed by established artists on site. From visual art to theatre and film, Nova is set to be a feast for your senses – all in a field less than an hour out of Brighton. (HS)
IN A NUTSHELL: The chill-ness of the Big Chill, but a lot more arty.
August 3rd-5th / Eridge Park, Tunbridge Wells / £95
29 miles From Brighton
HEADLINERS: The Correspondents, Belleruche, DJ Format
DON’T MISS: AK/DK, Blah Blah Blah, High Rankin
One of Britain’s most joyful festivals, it’s telling that Playgroup make room for 3,500 punters and 1,500 performers. Really there’ll be 5,000 performers in the beautiful Eridge Park setting as the whole crowd gets dressed up and goes crazy. This year’s theme is a good one, Lost Toys, so bears, cowboys and Indians, dinosaurs, dolls and monsters will be bouncing round to the best local bands and DJs and some old Playgroup favourites. If you think Secret Garden Party and Bestival have got a bit busy you’ll love the relaxed vibe. (JK)
IN A NUTSHELL: If you can’t have fun at Playgroup seek counselling.
August 24th -26th / Reading / Leeds / £197.50
Reading: 82 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Kasabian, Foo Fighters, The Cure, Florence & The Machine
DON’T MISS: Azealia Banks, The Maccabees, Foster The People
Shifting tickets is difficult for all festivals in the current climate but to boost sales this year the smart-thinking guys at Reading are offering all weekend ticket holders a free beer and burger every day – not a bad idea, is it? Another thing that isn’t too bad is the line-up, with The Cure topping the bill after their comeback at Bestival last year. At almost £200 quid, it is pricey. But factor in your freebies and all the great bands you’ll see and it starts to look worth it. (HS)
IN A NUTSHELL: Burgers, booze and a brilliant line-up.
July 20th – 22nd / Redhill / £65
33 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Modestep, Kids In Glass Houses
DON’T MISS: Don Broco, Young Guns, Deaf Havana
A few years ago, this field of mud was home to a tiny and free day of music; now the organisers have roped in the likes of Kids In Glass Houses. With five stages, this little festival hidden just outside of Redhill is continually growing, especially after rising star Ed Sheeran headlined last year. If you want to experience an intimate rock/pop festival, this is a weekend in July that will knock your socks (and wellies) off. (LJ)
IN A NUTSHELL: Great music, not too far from Brighton and cheap.
June 21st -24th / Somerset / £115
124 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: The Imagined Village, Gaudi, The Egg
DON’T MISS: Yes Sir Boss, Warsaw Village Band, Laid Blak
100% sustainably run, Sunrise is certainly one for the festival punter conscious of their environmental footprint. A shining beacon of good music, you won’t find any over-hyped acts here, just a blend of the best in dub, ska, electronica, dubstep, reggae, folk and Balkan beats. This year, an extra day has been set for a special summer Solstice ceremony. Glastonbury Green Fields’ famous Small World Solar Stage will be there as well as an astrologically aligned Stone Circle. To keep it intimate, only the first 1,000 ticket holders can apply to attend, so get yours early. (HS)
IN A NUTSHELL: Good vibes, good music and good environmental intentions.
May 27th / University Of Hertfordshire, Hatfield / £32.50
90 miles from Brighton
HEADLINERS: Taking Back Sunday, The Blackout, Motion City Soundtrack
DON’T MISS: Architects, Say Anything, The Audition
Originally an intimate skacore celebration, Slamdunk has snowballed into one of the best day festivals for rock and pop punk, but still with a dash of brass. With a habit of reuniting bands, Slamdunk has orchestrated sets from The Starting Line and Hit The Lights with great success. It may feel strange wandering through the Student Union over to the Main Stage, but its music is of such epic proportions, it’s not one you can afford to miss. (LJ)
IN A NUTSHELL: Pop punk, rock and metal merge to create an awesome day out.
September 1st- 2nd / Norfolk Showground / £90
170 miles From Brighton
HEADLINERS: Dizzee Rascal, Chase And Status, Pixie Lott
DON’T MISS: Dot Rotten, Sub Focus
This year’s Sundown festival (formerly the ‘Norfolk Spectacular’) has a big focus on booking artists from the electronic side of the musical spectrum. In a proper cun’ree field, is there really anything else you’d want to dance to? Not only is it great for any anti-city types, it’s one of the last chances we’ll get to party before woolly knickers come out again. Radio 1 taste-machine Zane Lowe will be wandering about, so if it’s good enough for him, it’s most certainly good enough for us too. (TT)
IN A NUTSHELL: A decent collection of dance-worthy acts before the rain comes.
August 18th – 19th / Hylands Park, Chelmsford / £180
86 Miles From Brighton
HEADLINERS: The Stone Roses, The Killers
DON’T MISS: Snow Patrol, David Guetta, Emili Sandé
Originally started as a Virgin sponsored Britpop celebration, V has survived early unfashionable criticisms to become probably the country’s biggest festival of commercial indie, pop and dance acts. This year, there truly is something for everyone, ranging from hotly tipped new acts such as Maverick Sabre and Frank Ocean to certified British legends such as Tom Jones. The line-up reads a little random, almost as if you’ve pressed shuffle on a shared family iPod, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. (AJM)
IN A NUTSHELL: An eclectic display of popular artists which should please a mix of musical friends.