Kite Festival – 2023 preview

Kite: Self-described as ”a festival like no other’, this truly is one of the most eclectic and exciting line-ups of the summer.

Where else can you witness Dame Joan Collins as support act for the legendary Suede? Or Tony Blair’s former PR guru Alastair Campbell sit alongside former Conservative PM Sir John Major?

The music is some of the best of the summer season – Don’t get me wrong, the recently reformed Pretenders still have the swagger and great guitar rock tunes. Hot Chip are one of Summer Festival Guide’s favourite live bands. Their cover of Dancing in the Dark is one never to miss.

Elsewhere, Alison Goldfrapp is a pioneer and truly groundbreaking with her exciting art, while Grammy Award winning Candy Staton will keep everyone dancing. Baxter Dury has crafted a career of his own, offering psychedelia-infused indie rock that has found a strong cult following.

David Baddiel, Mel Giedroyc, both household names renowned for their partnerships will be firm favourites.

Shadow-chancellor Rachel Reeves will be leaving the front bench of the Labour Party to join the festivities, possibly before moving into Number 11 next summer.

Also of note, Adam Kay, best selling author of ‘This Is Going to Hurt’, will be on site if anyone needs a doctor, but after the stories he’s told, it’s probably best to stick with the first aid kit!

With access to every talk on the Ideas program as well as the world class music and entertainment across the Heavenly, Bloom and Skylark stages. this is the best value ticket of the year.

The remaining tickets are now available at https://kitefestival.co.uk/tickets/

WOMAD – 2023 Preview

WOMAD festival truly offers something special for everyone – it’s not just the impressive headliners this year, but there is a feast of activity across all of this exciting diverse and world renowned festival.

Returning this year is the legendary icon Femi Kuti and his jazz-funk band the Positive Force.

A definite highlight this year will be Horace Andy, lead singer of Massive Attack, who will bring his incredible voice to his band Dub Asante Band.

Elsewhere, festival regulars Bombay Bicycle Club will delight crowds with their laid-back tunes tunes, while folk royalty  Kate Rusby is one never to miss throughout her 30 year journey. Summer Festival Guide favourites  The Comet Is Coming will merge electronica, psychedelic rock and jazz – be sure not to miss their incredible sax player.

Also recently announced additions include the ‘heartbreakingly brilliant’ The Cinematic Orchestra, along with Jazzy B’s Grammy Award winning collective Soul II Soul.

Saving one of the best announcements to last, hip-hop pioneers and legends The Jungle Brothers (USA)  will get the party started on Thursday night – be sure to get there early as these guys will have you on your feet.

Elsewhere across the festival, the World of Words offers some fascinating talks, thought provoking conversation and inspirational authors, while the Hip Yak Poetry Shack will have some of the best spoken word artists in the country. If you simply want to escape, relax and unwind in the beautiful surroundings near Malmesbury, WOMAD Spa offers a tranquil space on enjoy the hot-tubs and all-day yoga.

Tickets are available online now at ://www.womad.co.uk

Full Line up: 

47Soul (Palestine/Jordan) / Alogte Oho and his Sounds of Joy (Ghana) / Ajate (Japan) /Alicia Edelweiss (Austria/UK) / Amaraterra (Italy/UK) / Amjad Ali Khan, Amaan Aliu Bangash, Ayaan Ali Bangash (India) Amrat Hussain Brothers Trio (India) / Amy Montgomery (Ireland) /Ana Carla Maza (Cuba) / Ana Tijoux (Chile/France) / Andy Skank (UK) / Asmâa Hamzaoui & Bnat Timbouktou (Morocco) / Balimaya Project (UK) / Bombay Bicycle Club (UK) / Carmen Consoli (Italy) / Catrin Finch and Cimarrón (UK/Colombia) / Chris Tofu & Friends (UK) / Cha Wa (USA) / Dakh Daughters (Ukraine) / Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra (Nigeria/UK) / DJ Format (UK) / Dutty Moonshine Big Band (UK) / Emicida (Brazil) / ENNY (UK) / Faith i Branko (UK/Serbia) / Femi Kuti and the Positive Force (Nigeria) / Horace Andy (Jamaica) and Dub Asante Band (UK) / Isaac Birituro and The Rail Abandon (Ghana/UK) / Israel Fernández (Spain) / Jamz Supernova (UK) / Jungle Brothers (USA) / Justin Adams & Mauro Durante (UK/Italy) / Kate Rusby (England) / Kathryn Joseph (UK) / Kayhan Kalhor & Erdal Erzincan (Iran/Turkey) / King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys (UK) / KUUNATIC (Japan) / Leenalchi (South Korea) / Lia de Itamaracá (Brazil) / Liraz (Israel) / LoKkhi TeRra /(UK/Bangladesh/Cuba) / Los Wemblers de Iquito (Peru) / Lova Lova (Democratic Republic of the Congo) / Luke Una (UK) / MADMADMAD (UK) / Malkit Singh (India/UK) / Malmesbury Schools Project with Jamo Jamo Arts (UK/Mali/Senegal/Burkina Faso/Gambia) / Man and the Echo (UK) / Mari Kalkun (Estonia) / Marina Satti (Greece) / Mariza (Portugal) / Mesadorm (UK) / Mokoomba (Zimbabwe) / MC Yallah & Debmaster (Uganda/Kenya/France/Germany) / Mellowmatic (UK) / Mista Trick (UK) / Montparnasse Musique (South Africa/France)  / Nakhane (South Africa) / Nihiloxica (Uganda) / Oh My God! It’s The Church (USA) / Orchestral Qawwali Project ft Rushil Ranjan and Abi Sampa (UK) / Queen Omega & The Royal Souls (Trinidad & Tobago) / Raz & Afla (UK/Ghana) / Rory McLeod (UK) / Paprika (Serbia) / Pongo (Angola/Portugal) / Puuluup (Estonia) / Reem Kelani (Palestine) / Riot Jazz Brass Band (UK) / Rokia Koné (Mali) / Sahra Halgan (Somaliland) / Salami Rose Joe Lewis (USA) / Sam Kelly and the Lost Boys (UK) / Saramaccan Sound (SURINAME) (Suriname) / Snapped Ankles (UK) / Souad Massi (Algeria) / Soul II Soul (UK) Soumik Datta (India/UK) / Staples Jr Singers (USA) / Star Feminine Band (Benin) / Susana Baca (Peru) / Tank & The Bangas (USA) / The Cinematic Orchestra (UK) / The Comet Is Coming (UK) / The Olllam (Northern Ireland/USA) / The Scribes (UK) / Theon Cross (UK) / Ukulele Death Squad (Australia) / Vassvik (Norway)

Isle of Wight festival – 2023 Preview

The Isle of Wight festival returns with some truly special headliners in June.

Pulp, The Chemical Brothers, George Ezra and Robbie Williams headline the event this year and will be sure to make this year another special festival to remember.

Pulp have reunited for a series of dates and will have the honour of headlining the Main Stage on the Friday night. It’ll be their first appearance at the festival in 12 years and it’s sure to bring the Common People to Newport.

On Saturday, joint headliners George Ezra and The Chemical Brothers will bring the night to an incredible close with so many hits and an incredible audio-visual live show.

Finally, Robbie Williams will make his Isle of Wight festival debut and bring proceedings on the Main Stage to a close on Sunday night. It’ll be interesting to see him follow Mark Owen who overflowed the Big Top last summer with his incredible renditions of Take That classics.

In addition to the headliners, you can also look forward to:

Anne-Marie | Blondie | Courteeners | Echo & The Bunnymen | Ella Henderson | Example
Gabrielle
| Groove Armada DJ | Human League | James Bay | Manic Street Preachers |
MIKA | Niall Horan | N-Dubz | OneRepublic | Sam Ryder
Scouting for Girls | Sophie Ellis-Bextor | Sugababes | The Chemical Brothers | The Enemy | The Reytons

Festival organiser John Giddings stated “From era-defining bands and electric live performers, to chart toppers and fresh new talent, the Isle of Wight Festival line-up showcases an exciting array of talent spanning 40 years of music.”

Make sure you don’t miss out on the incredible line-up. Tickets are available at the following link: https://isleofwightfestival.com

If you’re still unsure, check out our review from last years festival below:

Victorious – 2023 Preview

Victorious is back this year from 25 to 27 August 2023 in Southsea and the headliners are bigger than ever:

JAMIROQUAI

KASABIAN

MUMFORD & SONS

ALONGSIDE 30+ WORLD-CLASS ARTISTS 

PETE TONG IBIZA CLASSICS | BEN HOWARD | KAISER CHIEFS | ELLIE GOULDING | JAKE BUGG | 

ALT-J | JOHNNY MARR | PALE WAVES | BLOSSOMS | FRIENDLY FIRES | 

SIGRID | BELLE AND SEBASTIAN | ANNIE MAC | THE CORAL | KATE NASH | THE VACCINES | 

In a UK exclusive for Victorious, Mumford and Sons have recently been announced as headliners for the Sunday night.

They join Jamiroquai, who will bring a mix of acid-jazz, funky dancing and surely some of frontman Jay Kay’s crazy hats.

Saturday night sees Kasabian headline the main stage, with alt-J taking over the impressive Solent background of the Castle Stage.

Elsewhere on the line-up is singer-songwriter Ben Howard, while Sigrid will bring her charming Norwegian pop back to the south-coast.

Victorious is also renowned for its extra special early afternoon guests and this year is no different. Blossoms kick off events on the Friday – a first at this years event to have a full line up over three days! Natalie Imbruglia gets the party started on Saturday, while Hard-Fi will be hard-to-beat on Sunday.

Many more acts can be seen on the poster above.

Tickets for Victorious Festival 2023 are on sale now – you can purchase yours here.

If you’re still unsure, a full review of last years memorable event can be seen below. See you there – you don’t want to miss this.

https://www.summerfestivalguide.co.uk/author/graham-tarrant/

Rock Oyster Festival – 2023 Preview

Rock Oyster is a 4-day festival and camping holiday taking place from 27 to 30 July 2023.

A voyage of culinary discovery, there’s mouth-watering food from Michelin-starred chefs to creative kitchen wizards, a musical line-up from internationally acclaimed artists, topped off with an adventure and wellbeing programme and plenty of family entertainment for everyone, all in the ultimate UK summer holiday location.

Headliners this year are:

GROOVE ARMADA [DJ SET]

NILE RODGERS & CHIC

SOPHIE ELLIS BEXTOR

ALSO ON THE LINE UP ARE:

THE BIG MOON | HOUSE GOSPEL CHOIR | GWENNO

DON LETTS | CRAZY P SOUNDSYSTEM  

HOLLIE COOK | DR MEAKER| FERRIS & SYLVESTER

ALONGSIDE A STAR-STUDDED CHEF LINE-UP INCLUDING – 

ANDI OLIVER | HUGH FEARNLEY-WHITTINGSTALL | JACK STEIN 

MARK HIX | SIMON STALLARD | CLAIRE THOMSON |

Kicking things off on Friday night, Rock Oyster welcomes the almighty dance legends Groove Armada.

They’ll be joined by the legendary Nile Rodgers & CHIC and kitchen disco queen Sophie Ellis Bextor as headliners. They’re joined on next summer’s bill by London four piece The Big Moon,  Gwenno and Don Letts.

 Tickets for Rock Oyster are on sale now via www.rockoysterfestival.co.uk.

Boardmasters Festival – 2023 Preview

Boardmasters, is back this year from 9 to 13 August 2023.

2023’s headline acts are bigger than ever and make the Newquay festival essential for music lovers, surfers, or let’s face it, anyone who wants a good time. 

LIAM GALLAGHER

FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE

LORDE

ALONGSIDE 30+ WORLD-CLASS ARTISTS

LITTLE SIMZ | FOUR TET | EXAMPLE | BEN HOWARD | CYPRESS HILL performing BLACK SUNDAY | 

DYLAN | RAYE | BOB VYLAN | DERMOT KENNEDY | SG LEWIS | YARD ACT |

CONFIDENCE MAN | EVERYTHING EVERYTHING | THE REYTONS

CASSYETTE | KID KAPICHI | JOCKSTRAP | CONNIE CONSTANCE | GWENNO | KATCHAFIRE |

GRETEL HÄNLYN | WUNDERHORSE | WARMDUSCHER

See you at the beach next summer for another cracking festival…

Liam Gallagher is heading to Cornwall this summer for a UK exclusive festival headline slot. You’re sure to see him swaggering through his solo material, with a few Oasis gems chucked in. C’mon You Know – this is going to be something special.

Sunday will bring the love when Florence + The Machine draw Boardmasters to an unforgettable close with her ethereal vocals and a catalogue of truly timeless singles including Dog Days Are Over, Say My Name and Shake It Out.

Global pop superstar Lorde is the final headliner revealed for Boardmasters. New Zealand’s most exciting pop export comes armed with a sizzling cocktail of hits including ‘Royals’, ‘Green Light’ and ‘Solar Power’, as well as major awards wins including the Billboard Music Awards, two BRIT Awards, two Grammy’s, an MTV VMA, and an NME Award to name but a few.

Elsewhere on the line-up is special guest Ben Howard, while Cypress Hill are celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Black Sunday. Summer Festival Guide favourites RAYE and Little Simz also join the lineup, alongside Dermot Kennedy

It’s not only the music to enjoy at Boardmasters, as the festival name suggests. The World Surf League returns to Cornish shores. Competitions include the Boardmasters OPEN men’s and women’s division and the Boardmasters Longboard Pro men’s and women’s division.

Sign up to get tickets now at www.boardmasters.com.

NASS festival – 2023 Preview

NASS festival returns in July with an epic line up bringing together some of the world’s most exciting artists.

NASS is the UK’s biggest celebration of music, street art, skate and BMX, located at the Bath & West Showground, near Bristol.

This years line-up includes an eclectic mix, including grime, hip hop, garage, drum & bass and house.

Headliners this year include:

CHASE & STATUS LIVE

LITTLE SIMZ

WU-TANG CLAN with ‘ENTER THE WU’ 30TH ANNIVERSARY

ALONGSIDE OTHER WORLD-CLASS ARTISTS

ANNE MARIE | BRU C | EXAMPLE | GREENTEA PENG | EASY LIFE | 

SHY FX | KOJEY RADICAL | EXAMPLE | JOEL COREY | NATHAN DAWE

HEDEX | PROBLEM CENTRAL | FLAVA D | JACK SAUNDERS

Chase & Status Live will be headlining the main stage on Friday, with their cutting edge dance music. The duo are ready to delight fans with an unmissable live set packed with their biggest hits, including Blind Faith, End Credits, Mixed Emotions and many more.  

On Saturday, Wu-Tang Clan, arguably one of the greatest hip-hop groups of all time, will be headlining. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of their classic ‘Enter The Wu (36 Chambers)’, they’ll be playing some of the biggest hits including Protect Ya Neck and C.R.E.A.M. Truly one of the best headliners of the summer festival season and one not to be missed.  

Little Simz will bring Sunday to an epic close, with songs from her award winning ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’, and new album ‘No Thank You’.

Also added to the incredible line up are Anne-Marie, bringing her chart-smashers from over the years including ‘Ciao Adios’ and ‘2002’. Elsewhere Shy FX will be bringing special guests for a unique show, while Easy Life will be bringing their indie-pop to the Bath & West showground.

Recently added are Summer Festival Guide favourites Example, Joel Corry, Nathan Dawe and Kojey Radical.

Further details of the impressive line up can be seen above.

Visit www.nassfestival.com for more information. 

Our review of last years NASS can be found here –

www.summerfestivalguide.co.uk/festival-news/2022/07/11/nassreview/

GWEN STEFANI: UK SUMMER SERIES – PREVIEW

Gwen Stefani has announced that she will be making her highly-anticipated return to the UK this summer.

The six dates will see Stefani perform a series of huge outdoor shows, taking place at Warwick Castle, Harewood House in Leeds, Bolesworth Castle in Chester and Broadlands Estate, Romsey. Dates are shown below – So What You Waiting For?

Pop royalty Gwen Stefani also joins P!nk at BST Hyde Park 2023. Fans will be treated to Gwen’s catalogue of chart-toppers from her solo career, as well as unforgettable hits from No Doubt. 

A multi GRAMMY® Award winner, Gwen Stefani has achieved global success as a songwriter, performer, charismatic frontwoman of No Doubt, and as a multi-platinum solo artist. 

To date, she’s sold more than 60 million units worldwide, including her four-times platinum debut solo album Love. Angel. Music. Baby. – that delivered the hit singles “Rich Girl,” “What You Waiting For?” and the Pharrell Williams produced No. 1 hit “Hollaback Girl.” 

Her sophomore album, The Sweet Escape, featured the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 single “Wind It Up” and the unforgettable anthem “The Sweet Escape.” 

GWEN STEFANI – 2023 UK DATES:

Friday 23 June: Warwick Castle, Warwick

Saturday 24 June: American Express presents BST Hyde Park, London

Sunday 25 June: American Express presents BST Hyde Park, London

Tuesday 27 June: Harewood House, Leeds

Wednesday 28 June: Bolesworth Castle, Chester

Thursday 29 June: Broadlands Estate, Romsey

Taking place through June 2023, tickets are available at www.aegpresents.co.uk/gwenstefani.

Boomtown: Chapter 2: The Twin Trail – Preview

Boomtown, the 66,000 capacity festival set in the Hampshire hills, has launched its official trailer for the latest offering in their immersive storyline, Chapter Two: The Twin Trail. This can be viewed on YouTube below:

The festival takes place for five days from August 9th 2023, and is famed for its film-like sets, winding streets and high production stages and shows.

The Twin Trail follows on from last years’ Chapter One: The gathering, where the festival defined a new era after two years of cancellations. In the characteristically cinematic trailer, attendees are invited to follow the journey of The Twin Trail, which delves deeper into how a person interacts with themselves, and how they give back to the world. 

Megan Clifton, Head of Narrative Design at Boomtown, said:

“Boomtown is known for satirically mimicking the society we live in, and too often our dystopian visions have come closer to reality than we ever imagined possible. With The Twin Trail, we wish to go deeper and turn our focus inwards.

“The Twin Trail represents the two paths we all have to walk in our lives; the inner and the outer path. Without addressing our inner world, learning and accepting every part of ourselves – even the darker parts – how can we address the darker parts of society?

“We know that we have an opportunity to use the fun, interactive and immersive experiences we offer to enable actual shifting of mindsets, real-world change, and for people to take something that they learnt at Boomtown home with them.”

After the success of withholding the musical line-up until shortly before the show in 2022, Boomtown will be keeping this under wraps once again, but its ‘citizens’ can expect to see some of the biggest names in hip-hop, plus worldwide artists spanning the electronic spectrum. They have already been leaving clues as to what to expect in a recent video update. 

Max Golfar, Music Programmer at Boomtown, said:

“We’ll be bringing the freshest acts in post-punk, to the dons of the reggae world, through to disco divas and afrobeat royalty. As well as all of this, next year marks 50 years of hip-hop. It’s going to be insane.”

Boomtown is at the Matterley Estate in Hampshire, 9th-13th August 2022. Instalment plan tickets are available from £45. 

Tickets are available here.

End of the Road Festival 2022 – Review

End of the Road is the UK’s most diverse medium-sized music and arts festival.

The line-up proved the Dorset event continues to attract a high calibre of artists and musicians from all over the world. From Tinariwen, who came all the way from the Sahara Desert region of Northern Mali to Sudan Archives from Los Angeles, the line-up was as wide-reaching as it was eclectic.

This year, there was also the introduction of the disco ship – a boat eerily abandoned in the middle of the woods, serving as a pirate station for late night DJ sets, including 6 Music’s Tom Ravenscroft.

Headlining the opening night was Khruangbin, with their effortless psychedelic funk from Houston, Texas. As well as their own engrossing guitar noodling, they mixed in classic instrumental covers of Warren G’s ‘Regulate’,  Snoop Dogg’s ‘Nuthin’ but a G Thang’, and Bowie’s timeless ‘Let’s Dance’ – well it would have been rude not to throw some shapes.

On Friday, the wealth of music, arts and cinema at Larmer Tree gardens really opened up. Durand Jones & The Indications continued the retro-soul revival on the main Woods Stage. Later, Tinariwen were an inspired booking with their nomadic desert blues and beautiful heartfelt delivery, which wouldn’t have been out of place headlining nearby Womad festival.

Elsewhere, across the weekend, literature talks and comedy were welcome at the Talking Heads stage…author Tom Cox discussed his new novel which combines his love of three things, which could also describe the festival treats on offer – music, nature and folklore. Later, soul legend and First Lady of Soul, PP Arnold tried to cram in all her life adventures in a talk on the same stage, but regrettably had to be cut short due to her extensive and abundant charm.  

Headlining Friday night was a clash between Fleet Foxes on the Woods Stage and Black Midi, who entered the Garden Stage to the sound of Pavarotti’s Nessun Dorma. Until you see them live, you won’t appreciate the energy of the insanely tight music.

Saturday began slowly which gave chance to explore the myriad of art exhibitions, workshops, life drawing and more importantly, exquisite food stalls for breakfast. The Wave Pictures stepped in for a late cancellation mid-afternoon, much to the delight of the crowd. Later, The Weather Station played to beaming sunshine despite the forecasts incorrectly predicting thunderstorms. 

Arguably (and definitively the correct answer in any debate), the highlight of the weekend was Perfume Genius. Fresh from a surprise Q&A session earlier at the mysterious piano stage, Mike Hadreas confessed the name of his band was pure nonsense, but the music was a pure electrifying display. Mixing in disco pop crowd pleasers such as On The Floor, with his dramatic Queen, he went from an initially reserved showing when he entered the stage to a transformative tour-de-force by the time he wrapped himself in his stage dressing at the end. 

Very few bands could match or outshine Perfume Genius. Pixies came close, beginning their set with classics for forty minutes, but soon after, they began to make the awful festival mistake of playing so many songs from their new album, not those anthems which made Bowie such a fan of one of the most inspirational bands of all time. As the last show of their two month tour, Pixies still had an abundance of energy and finished with Neil Young’s classic, Winterlong.

Sunday began in full energy with angry Glaswegian poet Stephen Durkan & Acid Commune before the unmistakeable Deathcrash blew away the hangovers with their post-rock.

Later Hurray For The Riff-Raff celebrated the outsiders and supposed weirdos who don’t fit in, while Kurt Vile brought his unique stoner Americana to the main stage. The real treats lay on the Garden Stage with Lucy Dacus delighting the crowd with her charming guitar playing again this year. It’s clear she’s as fond of End of the Road as the festival curator and the crowd are of her, as she described the Larmer Tree Gardens as her second home. 

Finishing in the perfect way possible were Bright Eyes, encouraging everyone to finish the weekend with a dance & sing. Like the rest of the festival, it was the most beautiful experience.

Chaotic, loud, charming and inspirational, it was the perfect way to finish before heading back to the normality of the outside world. While regrettably, the end of the road for another festival season, it was the perfect way to finish.

© Graham Tarrant