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Liam Swinney

Top five: Music Festivals

4 April 2013 Rachel Ridge

Festival season is very soon upon us! And if the never ending choice of summer parties has got you in a tizzy then fear not! London Calling has gathered together the best ways to escape the the grey streets of London whilst putting an amazing live soundtrack to your summer shenanigans!

No one quite knows how to throw a festival like the English. So much so, each summer music’s crème de la crème take the pilgrimage to various fields dotted around our ‘Isle of Wonder’ to drink, be merry and pretty much dance their asses off! Popping up year after year to perform to our crazy crowds, international superstars like Jay Z can’t get enough of our open-all-hours rave tents, eccentric pop ups and wild shenanigans. However, back in the day, getting in on the action meant choosing your party of choice from a slim selection – most of them deep into the English countryside and ending in a five hour train ride back, packed like sardines and suffocating between the stink of fellow festival goers (Glastonbury nightmares anyone?) Today is a different story; you can’t swing a cat without knocking over about five wondrous festivals – and many of them are kicking off right in our back garden! So while the never-ending possibilities of summer festival goodness increasingly flummox you, we at London Calling have polished off our festival radar and separated the wheat from the chaff. Give yourself a much-needed break from London and get down to one of our top five festivals to be at this summer!

 

Kendal Calling

With the award for best small festival of 2010 and 2011 in their trail and an endless offering of quirky tents you won’t find anywhere else, Kendal Calling is fast becoming one of the new ‘it’ festivals. Of course it always helps when you can boast a line up of Basement Jaxx, The Charlatans, I am Kloot, Primal Scream, Mystery Jets and Ash. Never without a fancy dress theme to keep things interesting, this year it’s Kendal Calling goes to the movies! Expect to see Indiana Jones’ and Obi Wan Kenobis’ partying hard in the main stage, which happens to be a stunningly picturesque natural amphitheatre lined by ancient oak trees! There will also be the Chai Wallah tent, championing the best names in folk, world and roots music, as well as the Calling Out tent, which will bring you the freshest new music you should be listening to. Last but certainly not least is the House Party tent, decked out with wardrobes, sofas, and referred to as ‘a perfect night out, you’ll be dancing one minute and talking broken biscuits in the kitchen the next.’ 

Evolution

Coined as a "scatter-gun" approach due its thrillingly eclectic mix of sounds, artists and crowd, this two-day festival has its finger firmly on the pulse of the musical zeitgeist. Pioneers of today’s indie scene, The Vaccines and theatrical raconteur Paloma Faith will headline over the Sunday and the Monday. Boy of the moment, Jake Bugg will join Bastille, Ellie Goulding, Sub Focus and Lethal Bizzle, making up the rest of a rich mish mash of talents. Newcastle upon Tyne will host the affair and any watchers of Geordie Shore will know this to be a welcoming setting for all kinds of summer debauchery! With thick bass sounds pumping from the stages, a long line of pubs lining the river and not to mention all at a bargain of £39.50 for weekend or £29.50 for day ticket, this will be the perfect way to unwind away from the capital.

High Definition

Grime, house, dance, dubstep and drum and bass lovers unite! London’s backyard; Ilford’s Forest Farm, will play host this summer to a one day big blow out for the worshippers of sounds of the electronic variety. Split over four stages, get your rave on to hotly tipped Eats Everything or Maya Jane Coles, or delight in the much-awaited return of garage queen, Ms Dynamite! On top of all that, Rinse FM’s Oneman and UK garage legend DJ EZ will be hitting the decks for you to dance the day away. The biggest pull, however, is chart topper Labrinth who will headline this packed bill. Have the chance to see the forerunners of Britain’s dance scene at just £40 pounds for the entire day!

Reading/Leeds

Reliable old Reading and Leeds has been a coming of age trip for the best of us! The festival is a perfect catalyst for that teenage angst or just a necessary crusade for the rock devotee. Audiences will be treated to a riot of a bill with solid sets from rock veterans Green Day, Nine Inch Nails and System of a Down. However, before you think Reading and Leeds are stuck in the past you couldn’t be more wrong, as always this festival has a trick up their sleeve and this time it’s the welcoming of none other than Eminem to our shores! (By god lets hope this goes down better than the 50 Cent catastrophe!) The adventurous bookings don’t end there, as urban acts Azelia Banks, A$AP Rocky and Major Lazer all grace the festival with their presence. The indie lovers have been well and truly catered for too, exciting new sensations Alt J, Jake Bugg and Peace will join what sets to be an amazingly eclectic weekend! Our tip would be get down to the BBC introducing stage, which will pretty much play out what your next year will sound like.

Shakedown

Everyone loves a festival by the sea and what better way to celebrate summer, in this last festival of the year, then spending it by Brighton’s picturesque pier. Shakedown is set to be a musical mash-up of epic proportions, their stellar line-up includes show stopping sets from the likes of hugely popular hip hop duo; Rizzle Kicks, singer Labrinth, DJ Fresh, Maverick Sabre and a DJ set by master music producer - Sub Focus. In true Brighton style, after parties will be popping up everywhere for you to carry on the party until the wee hours of the morning and beyond!

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