The UK has always led the festival scene from the front. And after many promoters have spent a whole year in planning, this summer’s event are set to be the best ever. Add in thousands of people who are all desperate to dance together for the first time and you have a recipe for a truly historic summer of musical fun.
In this guide we look at the most dreamy Essex escapes, industrial techno gatherings, inner city reggae festivals and plenty more besides
UK Festival Guide
One World Festival:
On Saturday 26th June, One World Festival will make history as the first-ever event in a brand new location set in 1200 acres of rolling green landscape on the outskirts of London next to the M25. Every single detail of this debut festival has been painstakingly designed to make for the perfect musical experience. The eclectic and world-class line-up features stage hosts Flex FM, Art E Fect, Audio Rehab, Un-Mondo and Feel the Fruit, with headliners Steve Lawler, So Solid Crew, DJ Hatcha, Mark Radford, GW Harrison, Carnao Beats, Marcus Nasty, DJ Pioneer and many more.
One World Festival was born from the fallout following the demise of the live event industry during the Covid 19 pandemic. Upon the realisation that dance music would not be returning to clubs for some time, a group of close friends, brand owners and DJ/producers from the industry came together to create a new festival concept in a unique and all new outdoor location.
BOB FSTVL – the electronic music festival formerly known as Back Of Beyond – returns to its original home at Frogmore Hill in the Hertfordshire countryside for another one-day dance music spectacular.
This year BOB FSTVL teams up with leading dance music brand We Are FSTVL who will be bringing their next-level production to the event. Back with a bang, the July one-dayer promises to be another unforgettable summer experience, with secret areas and sound tracked by a lineup of esteemed DJs including MK, Eli Brown, GW Harrison, Max Chapman, Prunk, Rossi. Secondcity and loads more.
Stage partners for this year include the mighty Centreforce, The Dog & Whistle, Casita and Deeper Sounds.
Line up: DJs including MK, Eli Brown, GW Harrison, Max Chapman, Prunk, Rossi. Secondcity
Labyrinth Open Air
Bedford, outside London
Sat 10th July (w/Dixon b2b Âme + more) & Sat 7th August (w/DJ Koze and Jo
Innervisions’ kingpins Dixon and Âme return to the UK for their first b2b in the country since 2019. A duo whose work through the Innervisions record label, their productions and their DJ sets, have played a pivotal role in defining the house music scene we know today.
The pair are well known for pushing boundaries, performing at unique offsite locations – turning the Royal Albert Hall into a nightclub for example. On July 10th, they will bring their unique creativity to the spiritual sanctuary of Tofte Manor. There could not be a more fitting headline act to grace this venue for the first time.
Line up: Âme b2b Dixon, Alex Medina, Carista, Jennifer Cardini, Jimi Jules, Lola Haro, Nick Castle, Sofia Kourtesis, Terr, Trikk, TSHA
DJ Koze has been one of the most adventurous and constantly entertaining producers of the 20th century. His latest studio album Knock Knock featured numerous greats including Róisín Murphy, Bon Iver and José González – who will join him at this show. The album scored an 8.8/10 on Pitchfork and the lead hit ‘Pick Up’ is a timeless classic that will be heard on radio and dancefloors for many years to come.
Co-headlining the show is Swedish solo phenomenon José González, who has become globally recognized for his indie pop and intimate acoustics. He recently released his first single in 5 years, ‘El Invento’, his first Spanish song, written with his daughter. The connection with the show comes from his collaboration with DJ Koze on ‘Music On My Teeth’. This will be González’s first show in the UK since 2019
Line up: DJ Koze, José González Live, Elder Island Live, FRED AGAIN, Josey Rebelle, MCDE, Nabihah Iqbal, Nick Castle, Sedef Adasi, Suze Ijó
8-11th July 2021
So, to the future! Noisily is back on track and we are moving full steam ahead with their biggest show yet.
Each year when we weave the line up together, there are a small number of more sought after artists on it who are based abroad. The musical programming at Noisily has long been about the complete soundtrack of the weekend, not the individual artist, and we love to welcome performers who are as much at the festival to party as to play – they always just get the vibe and never fail to perform – unlike some of the bigger names. However, balancing these performers has always been a hard call to make as our “Headliners” create the most hype in the build up to the event. This year, though, given the new world we live in, we have made the decision to take the plunge and balance the line up, celebrating more local artists from the Noisily Family who will blow the bloody doors off as well as anyone with a bigger price tag.
Line up: Frankey & Sandrino, Atlantik, Hidden Empire, Aidan Doherty, Life, Tim Englhardt
The One in the Woods
17th & 18h July 2021
Brand new festival The One In The Woods arrives just outside Liverpool with the legendary Jeff Mills.
A short time from now, in a woodland 20 minutes outside of Liverpool, another world lies waiting to be discovered. That world is The One in the Woods, and it opens its portals for a much anticipated debut from July 17th – 18th, when you will be invited to break free from the boundaries of space and time and lose yourself on three different stages of music provided by world class talents including Jeff Mills, Ben Klock, Rebekah, Lucy, Nastia, Perc, Slam, Sub Focus, Camo & Krooked, Friction, DJ Marky, Fabio & Grooverider, Lauren Lo Slung, Bontan and many more. Get your two day Covid-19 protected weekend passes and afterparty tickets for just £65.
Line up: Jeff Mills, Ben Klock, Rebekah, Lucy, Nastia, Perc, Slam, Sub Focus, Camo & Krooked, Friction, DJ Marky, Fabio & Grooverider, Lauren Lo Slung, Bontan
September 3rd – 5th
A new festival era awaits on the stunning private Island from the 3rd to 5th September 2021
World beating lifestyle brand Candypants have spent the last year working on the perfect festival experience on the shores of a cut-off bohemian paradise. This unmissable, once in a lifetime weekender takes place this September on the secluded shores of the stunning Osea Island. It is a hidden land of retreat within close proximity to London, and boasts gorgeous sea views, hammocks suspended between trees, beach shacks, stunning open air pools, exclusive accommodation with four poster beds and much more besides. Musically, the focus of One Island will be on local talents and red hot UK DJs with a wide range of knowledge and know-how, from upfront house to dazzling disco, the freshest r&b to the most iconic hip hop, with plenty of special live acts also programmed.
Amnesia presents Pyramid & Do Not Sleep at Drumsheds
Meridian Water, Argon Rd, London N18 3BW
Dancing Into the Future with Honey Dijon, Ricardo Villalobos, Special Request and more
Amnesia presents PYRAMID, a spectacular Dual Staged, Day into Night, Open Air and Indoor Warehouse Party on Friday 3rd September 2021, bringing Ibiza to London for the first time in the city since the last sell out event at Printworks in 2019.
Programmed from midday until 10.30pm, the all-day summer party will witness Pyramid host an open air stage and also an indoor warehouse stage is to be hosted by Ibiza born brand Do Not Sleep. After so long away from the dance floor, this is set to be a show that will live long in the memory, and will be the only Pyramid show that will take place in the capital this year. Tickets start at £39.50
Lineup: Ricardo Villalobos, Honey Dijon, Special Request, Mar-T b2b Luca Donzelli, The Blessed Madonna, Ilario Alicante, Richy Ahmed, Marco Faraone, Sidney Charles b2b Prunk, Ray Mono
Kelvedon Hall, Essex
Boutique Essex festival ZENFest announces headliners and stunning new location
ZENFest 2021 is set to build on its already cultured and boutique experience with a brand new and stunning location in the rolling green landscapes of Essex’s Kelvedon Hall. On Saturday 4th September, you’re invited to a secret hideaway amongst ancient woodland at the end of a long driveway and party by the glistening lake in front of a historic Edwardian house with world class sounds from tastemaking homegrown talents.
Line up: Richy Ahmed, ANOTR, Rossi, Pat Wilson, Max Dean, Ryan Resso, DJ Caspa, Funk Cartel.
We Are FSTVL
Central Park, Dagenham
12h – 13th September
Celebrating the very best in House, Bass, Techno and Drum & Bass, today the biggest dance festival in the capital announces its full lineup, proving that this year’s extravaganza is set to be its biggest yet. Headliners for 2021 include, Andy C, Camelphat, Carl Cox, Charlotte De Witte, Gorgon City, Jamie Jones, Joseph Capriati, Loco Dice, MK, Nina Kraviz, Pendulum Trinity, Marco Carola, Michael Bibi, The Blessed Madonna, The Martinez Brothers plus many more.
The ultimate highlight of the festival calendar is returning for the hugely anticipated 8th edition and heads to a brand new site at Central Park, Dagenham, bringing together some of the most iconic names in Bass, Techno, Drum & Bass, Dance music. Stage hosts include Paradise, Defected, Glitterbox, Circoloco, Abode, Bassjam, PIV and Centreforce.
Line up: Andy C, Camelphat, Carl Cox, Charlotte De Witte, Gorgon City, Jamie Jones, Joseph Capriati, Loco Dice, MK, Nina Kraviz, Pendulum Trinity, Marco Carola, Michael Bibi, The Blessed Madonna, The Martinez Brothers
City Splash Festival
Beckenham Place Park, BR3 5BS
A festival celebrating the influence of reggae music, food and culture in South LDN
The City Splash mission is to celebrate the impact and importance of reggae music on British culture, birthing everything from Ska, Rocksteady, Dub, Roots, Dancehall, Lovers Rock to its UK ancestors of UK Reggae, Jungle, Hip Hop, Garage, Grime and Drum and Bass; the influence of Reggae has been a constant in the UK for 50 years. Not only has it brought us the riddims and the lifestyle influence, but it’s a genre that expresses and addresses social issues and their solutions through the music’s messages.
Line Up: Barrington Levy, Lila Iké, Hollie Cook, Twinkle Brothers, Kiko Bun, Dawn Penn, Ras Kwame, Rasites, Marla Brown, Teshay Makeda and more
One Out Festival
25th September 2021
Brand new festival ‘One Out’ launches in Unique Location Just Outside London.
One Out Festival’s much anticipated debut gives house and disco aficionados something irresistible to look forward to on 25th September 2021: playing across two fantastically realised stages with world class sound, lush green landscapes and the snaking Thames River at Apps Court Farm in the heart of Surrey, will be global superstars Roger Sanchez, Hannah Wants, Artwork, Paul Woolford, Krystal Klear, La La, Low Steppa, Sam Divine, Mambo Brothers, Weiss, Menendez Brothers and many more. You can be safe in the knowledge that if One Out 2021 is postponed or cancelled due to Covid-19, full ticket transfers or refunds will be available.
Line up: Hannah Wants, Roger Sanchez, Artwork, Krystal Klear, LA LA, Low Steppa, Mambo Brothers, Paul Woolford, Philip George, Sam Divine, The Menendez Brothers, WEISS
30th & 31st October
A year later, after three necessary delays, and a number of well received streams, Scottish titans Terminal V are finally ready to get back to doing what they do best with a party to end all parties on October 31st 2021. Terminal V: Halloween is set to be a stunning spooktacular at the usual home of Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh with a bigger and better lineup than ever featuring firm favourite regulars and hot new superstars
Line up: Richie Hawtin, Nina Kraviz, Floorplan, Kornel Kovacs, Robert Hood (LIVE), Solardo, Sven Vath, Fjaak, Tale of Us, The Blessed Madonna, Octo Octa, Honey Dijon, Ben UFO, Avalon Emerson, Helena Hauff, Derrick Carter, Rebuke, Eats Everything, Mike Servito, Moxie, Man Power, Shanti Celeste and more