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Enjoy a summer of music at Britain’s biggest festivals

Monday 09 Jan, 2017


Indie band Radiohead were recently revealed as one of the headliners of Britain's most-famous musical festival, Glastonbury. Tickets for Glastonbury sell out extremely quickly, but Britain hosts hundreds of music festivals all year round, with something to choose from almost every weekend of the summer. Why not take a trip to one of the following?

Blues on the Bay, Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland: 2017 dates TBC (usually May)
This five-day international blues and jazz music festival in Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland, is one of Europe's leading blues festivals with jam sessions and workshops. Van Morrison headlined in 2015 and played two special gigs in 2016; 2017 will be the event's 19th anniversary.
Getting there: Warrenpoint, a lovely seaside town close to the border with the rest of Ireland, is best reached by car from Belfast; it takes about an hour.

Isle of Wight Festival, south-east England: 8 - 11 June
The Isle of Wight has great musical heritage stretching back to Bob Dylan (1969) and Jimi Hendrix (1970). 2016 saw The Who, Queen + Adam Lambert, Stereophonics and Faithless hit the stage. 
Getting there: a train from London Waterloo to Portsmouth or Southampton takes around 90 minutes. From either port there are regular ferries to the Isle of Wight.

Download Festival, Leicestershire, England: 9-11 June

Download Festival is the most popular British summer rock and heavy metal festival, held annually at Donington Park in, since 2003. Download Festival has hosted some of the genres' biggest names, including Saxon, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Motörhead, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Def Leppard, Kiss, Judas Priest, Motley Crue, Journey, ZZ Top, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, and Guns N' Roses.

Getting there: The mainline railway stations are East Midlands Parkway, Derby, Nottingham and Loughborough. Trains take about two hours from London and Donington Park is also well served by public transport and taxi services from these stations.

East Midlands International Airport is only two and a half miles away and has comprehensive domestic and European flight schedules.


Latitude, Suffolk, east England: 13 - 16 July 2017
A family friendly festival in the east of England that has established itself as one of the classic festivals of the summer, with music, comedy and an excellent children's arena. It's also a very green festival, based in idyllic Suffolk surroundings, famously featuring sheep specially dyed all the colours of the rainbow. 2016's line-up saw The Maccabees and New Order hit the Obelisk Arena, as well as plenty of other musical magic across the super-scenic festival site.
Getting there: Halesworth is the nearest train station. Trains take around two hours from London and there are festival buses to take you to the site.

Womad, Wiltshire, south-west England, 27 - 30 July 2017
The world comes to Wiltshire, south west England, for three glorious days of music, parades, amazing food and much more (2016's programme featured a Physics Pavilion, for the more cerebral festival-goer). In 2016 the global festival put on 200 performances by 90 artists from 49 countries, spanning Russian throat singers to New Orleans brass bands, the ‘screaming eagle of soul' Charles Bradley to the all-girl Malian supergroup Les Amazones d'Afrique.
Getting there: Charlton Park is close to Chippenham station, which is just over an hour from London by rail.

HebCelt, Isle of Lewis, Scotland: 19 - 22 July 2017
The Hebridean Celtic Festival is a multi-venue event on the island of Lewis: the two main locations are the An Lanntair arts centre and the grounds of Lews Castle. There's live Celtic music ‘tinged with contemporary traditional, rock, indie-folk and world influences' to enjoy alongside spectacular scenery and architecture.
Getting there:
You can fly to Stornoway from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness; there are also ferries from Ullapool.

Secret Garden Party, east England: 20 - 23 July 2017
No longer a secret, Secret Garden Party in Cambridgeshire sells out fast, so if a wild long weekend of partying to amazing live acts, dressing up in crazy costumes, fireworks and illuminations, wild swimming and the odd paint fight appeals, snap your tickets up now.
Getting there: Abbots Ripton is approx. one hour 40 minutes' drive from London, or take a train to Huntingdon - one hour from London - and a shuttle bus to the festival.

Rebellion, Blackpool, north-west England: 3 - 6 August 2017
Punk lives on at this festival, held in the Lancashire seaside resort of Blackpool. English punk band Angelic Upstarts, Scottish art-punk rockers The Skids and Sham 69 have been confirmed to perform in 2017. Safety pins and ready-ripped trousers are on sale in the market for those who want to look the part!
Getting there: trains from London take just under three hours (with one change), or it takes one hour by direct train from Manchester.

Wilderness, Oxfordshire, England: 3 - 6 August 2017
A fantastical festival with a difference set in ancient parkland in the Oxfordshire countryside (sister festival to the Secret Garden Party in Cambridgeshire). It's for those who want more than music: you can catch theatre, debates, horse riding, a spa and gourmet food. In 2016 Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters and The Flaming Lips graced the musical stages, while Raymond Blanc and Skye Gyngell were two of the chefs providing long-table banquets.
Getting there:
There's a direct train to the village of Charlbury from London which takes around one hour 15 minutes.

Green Man, Brecon Beacons, south Wales: 17-20 August 2017
Taking place in the gorgeous Brecon Beacons National Park, Green Man has become a highlight of the summer since its inception in 2003. The event presents a live soundtrack to four days and nights of festival magic located among the otherworldly Black Mountains. The 2016 line-up included Belle & Sebastian, James Blake and Laura Marling. There's also Green Man Rising for budding musicians, so bring along your guitar!
Getting there: Green Man recommends travelling by coach to the festival, where you are dropped off directly at the site; alternatively, the closest train station is Abergavenny and there are shuttle buses from there. Abergavenny is approximately two hours 15 minutes from London.

V Festival, Essex and Staffordshire, England: 19 and 20 August 2017
One of the year's most popular events and always attracting big commercial names to two different sites over one weekend, Hylands Park in Chelmsford, Essex, south-east England and Weston Park in south Staffordshire, in England's Midlands region. 2017's line-up has yet to be announced but should attract big names like previous years, including Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Kings of Leon, Stereophonics, Calvin Harris and more.
Getting there:
Chelmsford is a 30 minute train ride from London. Weston Park is close to Stafford and Wolverhampton train stations, which are both just under two hours from London.

Belsonic, Belfast, Northern Ireland: dates TBC
This outdoor music festival has taken place in August at the Custom House Square in Belfast, Northern Ireland, since 2008, but recently moved to the impressive Titanic Belfast. There were two editions of the festival in 2016, with Chemical Brothers, Tiësto, Faithless and more in June, and The Corrs, Madness and Fatboy Slim in August.
Getting there: There are regular flights to Belfast from London and other cities.

Reading & Leeds Festival, England: 25 - 27 August 2017
Britain's premier rock music festival featuring global acts uniquely performing at both locations over three days allowing for 100,000 revellers at Reading and more than 80,000 at Leeds to experience global rock superstars. 2016 saw Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Biffy Clyro on their line-ups.
Getting there: Reading is 25 minutes from London by train and it takes just over two hours to reach Leeds by train.

Victorious Festival, Portsmouth, south England: 25 - 27 August 2017
Manic Street Preachers, Annie Mac and Emmy The Great all headlined the Victorious Festival in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on the south coast of England last year so expect more big acts for 2017. This urban festival is relaxed, with deckchairs, Astroturf, street entertainers and a fun Friday night opening party in the pipeline.
Getting there: it takes just over one hour 30 minutes to reach Portsmouth by train from London.

End of the Road Festival, Dorset, south England: 31 August - 3 September 2017
Beautiful surroundings for a mainly folk, Americana and psych/alternative rock line-up; 2016's event welcomed acts including Joanna Newsom, Bat for Lashes, Devendra Banhart and Cat Power. The festival takes place at Larmer Tree Gardens in north Dorset.
Getting there:
The nearest train station is Salisbury; trains from London take around one hour 30 minutes and then there is a shuttle bus.

Festival Number 6, Portmeirion, north Wales: 7 - 10 September 2017
Stunningly located, Festival No. 6 takes place in Portmeirion Village (the festival's name is an insider reference for those who've seen cult 60s TV show The Prisoner, which was filmed there). As well as big name music acts there's entertainment of all kinds, from carnivals to comedians, as well as delicious street food to fuel the party. Not a camping fan? There's a plush hotel in the village, so you don't have to assemble your festival outfit in a tent!
Getting there:
Past festivals have featured a dedicated No. 6 Express train to Bangor from Crewe (approximately one hour 30 minutes from London), on which there are surprises and freebies given to guests to get the party started. Portmeirion is approximately two hours by road from Liverpool

Bestival, Isle of Wight, South-East England:  7 - 10 September 2017
Four days of live music and premier league DJs, Bestival is one of Britain's most colourful festivals, with dressing up encouraged. From the most original boutique campsite experience to the Bollywood Cocktail Bar, fancy dress en masse and even a Roller Disco, it's this kind of uniqueness that makes Bestival a world of discovery on the Isle of Wight. 2016 saw The Cure, Major Lazer, Sean Paul, Hot Chip and Diplo take the stage.
Getting there
: a train from London Waterloo to Portsmouth or Southampton takes around 90 minutes. From either port there are regular ferries to the Isle of Wight.

For more information contact:

  • VisitBritain Media Team

Related Images
Festival No 6 - Seating area by the lake at Festival No 6
The V Festival - Participants in crowd at the V Festival
Bestival - Crowd enjoying the music at Bestival in the evening