After a long, hard slog of deadlines and exams, finally the Great British summer is upon us (not that you’d know it from peeping out the window, it still looks like February out there). With a whole three months to fill before the recommencement of LCR nights and skipping lectures, what better way to celebrate a year of hard work than dressing up and getting down at one of the UK’s finest festivals? Concrete gives you its top four for summer 2013; it’s going to be a banger.
Photo: Silent London
Keeping it local, let’s start off with Suffolk’s biggest event of the year, Latitude festival on the ironically named ‘sunshine coast’ (it still rains there, trust). Now in its eighth year, Latitude has become famous for its exciting mixture of art, comedy and literature as well as an impressive musical line up that exceeds itself every year. From the 19-21 July, the fields and forests of Henham Park, Southwold, will be reverberating with the sounds of Kraftwerk, Bloc Party and alt-J, whilst the likes of Eddie Izzard and Dylan Moran absolutely kill it in the comedy arena. The party continues long after the resident pastel coloured sheep have been put to bed, with the epic Guilty Pleasures disco and a DJ set from Dermot O’Leary to keep you going to an unhealthy hour.
For those of you who prefer your music almost painfully loud and without a side order of handmade bunting and fairy wings, Reading and Leeds festival is probably more your cup of tea/lukewarm beer. Whichever end of the UK you reside in, this summer you can feast your ears on the likes of rock gods Green Day, Eminem, Fall Out Boy and the absolutely insane Azealia Banks. Since those killjoy authorities have decided that they’d like to try and keep the rioting to a minimum, there’s even a Propaganda DJ set to keep you twisted fire starters out of trouble until the hog roast stands reopen in the morning: sorted.
If you’re serious enough about your festivals to haul yourself and your scouts style camping paraphernalia to the Isle of Wight, this year’s Bestival line up will not disappoint. It’s only right that at the UK’s campest festival, Sir Elton John and his fabulous band should grace the headline spot, along with the equally impressive Snoop Dogg, Franz Ferdinand and a special set from Fatboy Slim. Famous for its massive fancy dress party, this year’s nautical theme is bound to conjure up hoards of naughty sailors, mermaids and potentially even a kraken. All fun and games whilst it lasts, but it seems likely that the novelty will diminish somewhat when you’ve been waiting, hungover and in the rain for six hours just to get off the island. Slightly more forward planning is recommended for this one.
No rundown of the UK’s top festivals would complete without the big daddy, the holy grail, the full monty: Glastonbury. With its longwinded application process, it’s easier to catch the golden snitch than get yourself tickets to this one, it’s not even held every year to give the land chance to recover, but if you’re a fan of festivals then this one is the dream. Established in 1970, Glastonbury is the UK’s biggest and oldest music festival. You’ll know which of your friends have sacrificed their pets to get tickets because it’ll be all they ever talk about; and who can blame them, really? This year’s line-up is topped by none other than the Rolling Stones, though the rest of the acts aren’t too shabby either: the Artic Monkeys, Billy Bragg, Dizzee Rascal, Chic, Vampire Weekend, the Proclaimers and KT Tunstall as well as many others across the weekend. However, with that many brilliant acts, there will always be soul-wrenching decisions to be made regarding who to see in the event of a clash. You’d probably be better off watching it all on the beeb.