Great Escape, 14th-17th May,
As Brighton resident, Great Escape offers me the chance to take in 3 days of top bands in my home town, get a good night's sleep in my own bed, take a hot shower every morning, and even pop home to use the loo without having to wade through muddy fields to do so... ah, bliss! So I had to include this civilised urban festival option which, even if you don't live in
Latitude, 12th-15th July,
Billing itself as 'More Than Just a Music Festival', Latitude started in 2006 and was widely praised for its alternative take on the usual festival set-up - offering a variety of activities beyond the standard music and stalls combo. Set in the bucolic surroundings of the historic Henham Park in Suffolk, Latitude promises a relaxing rural vibe in which to take in these eclectic diversions, which include literature, comedy, theatre, cabaret and children's activities as well as an impressive bands line-up – this year topped by the hottest hipsters of the musical moment, Arcade Fire. Having been bowled over by their performance in London last month, their presence alone would be enough to tempt me Suffolk for a second sampling, but I have a feeling that ‘The Fire’ will just be the icing on what looks to be a very tasty cake of a festival. And if AF is the icing, then Dylan Moran, who I have just heard will be playing the comedy arena on the Saturday, will be the shambolically sharp Irish cherry on top.
The comedy tent at Latitude 2006
The Green Man, 17th - 19th August,
Also set in a beautiful countryside location, Green Man is essentially a folk festival, but stretches the boundaries of this genre in its eclectic line-up - with everything from folkatronica to folk-rock on offer. Last year I discovered Archie Bronson Outfit (who are now one of my favourite contemporary bands), and with 3 stages - all within easy walking distance - there is no excuse for not expanding one's musical horizons by taking a chance on new and unfamiliar bands. The general vibe is chilled and respectful, with lots of families - and children running about happily amongst the friendly, un-threatening crowd. A myriad of global culinary treats on offer puts the usual festival burger and noodle bars to shame, and the condition of the conveniences remained refreshingly salubrious in comparison to my distressing
Marshmellow, 24th-26th August, Somewhere in
I only just came across this low-key local festival, when a flyer was thrust into my hand whilst at a Rock Karaoke/Can Can night (don't ask) in
Bestival, 7-9th September,
The first thing that attracted me to Bestival was the massive fancy dress procession which takes place on the Saturday night, that and the fact that it has to be more appealing than the island's other uninspiringly mainstream festival earlier in the summer, which, frankly, left me cold last year. I've only heard positive things about Bestival from friends who’ve been, and I’m hoping to judge for myself this year. So far the line-up doesn't particularly appeal, but this will only force me to be more adventurous in my choices of bands, and hopefully come away with some new gems - always a big plus of festival-going in my experience.
All this festy talk is making me come over all giddy with anticipation – still, at least I’ve only got 3 weeks to go until the first one on my hitlist, and I don't even have to dust off the wellies for it... result!