Historic Royal Palaces and IMG are delighted to announce today the hotly anticipated return of live music to Hampton Court Palace in August 2021. Traditionally held in June, this year’s Hampton Court Palace Festival has been rescheduled following the government’s roadmap announcements and will take place two months later in August. Legendary artist Tom Jones, music icon Van Morrison, indie idols Bastille ReOrchestrated, British rock heroes Keane and Swedish sensations Björn Again join this year’s line-up. The concerts are held in Base Court, one of the magnificent Tudor courtyards within the palace. Tickets go on sale at 10am on Tuesday 6 April, available from: www.hamptoncourtpalacefestival.com
The festival will open on Friday 13 August with legendary artist, Van Morrison. Entering the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2007 and winning an Americana, BRIT and Grammy award for his outstanding contribution to music, Van Morrison is a true icon. From Brown Eyed Girl to Moondance, the impact of the OBE awarded, global sensation’s artistry on the music industry is inconceivable and his legacy stronger than ever.
Global sensations Björn Again will return to the Hampton Court stage with an unforgettable show of much-loved ABBA songs and 70’s fun on Saturday 14 August. Their internationally acclaimed show has been performed in 71 countries over 35 years, amassing over 5,000 performances and is acknowledged for initiating the ABBA revival.
Following their critically acclaimed 2018 ReOrchestrated tour, on Tuesday 17 August and Wednesday 18 August attendees will see Brit-nominated Bastille reprise a selection of songs from their three albums (Bad Blood, Wild World, Doom Days); re-imagining, deconstructing and rearranging their iconic songs with a 20-piece orchestra and choir.
Keane first skyrocketed to fame back in 2004 with their debut album, Hopes and Fears, which featured alternative rock anthems such as Everybody’s Changing and Somewhere Only We Know, the album was awarded the 2005 Brit Award for Best British Album. Having taken a hiatus back in 2013, the quartet are now back after releasing their stunning fifth studio album, Cause and Effect. The band will grace the stage at Hampton Court Palace Festival on Thursday 19 August.
“The Voice” coach and music legend, Tom Jones, returns to the Hampton Court stage, after a crowd rousing performance in 2018. He will be singing hits from his unrivalled repertoire and a career spanning more than 50 years, such as timeless classics Delilah, What’s New Pussycat and It’s Not Unusual. Tom Jones performs on Monday 23 August and Tuesday 24 August.
Previously announced international superstar, Lionel Richie, soul-pop phenomenon Rick Astley and jazz marvel George Benson will return to Hampton Court Palace Festival in 2022 when the festival returns to its usual month of June.
2021 Date Artist Friday 13th August Van Morrison Saturday 14th August Björn Again Tuesday 17th August Bastille ReOrchestrated Wednesday 18th August Bastille ReOrchestrated Thursday 19th August Keane Monday 23rd August Tom Jones Tuesday 24th August Tom Jones
2022 Date Artist Wednesday 8th June Lionel Richie Thursday 9th June Lionel Richie Saturday 11th June Rick Astley Thursday 16th June George Benson
Today marks what should have been the start of a glorious Latitude 2020.This summer may not be as expected, but festival fans can rejoice as the multi-award-winning festival will return to the picturesque grounds of Henham Park, Suffolk, on 22nd-25th July 2021 with headliners Lewis Capaldi, Bastille and special guests Snow Patrol topping a diverse bill where music meets the arts in a full on cultural explosion.Weekend and day tickets are on sale on Monday 20th July at 9am here. Things have been a little quiet this year. It’s been tough without the music, without the laughs, without the wonder. So Latitude is getting ready to make 2021 the best year yet! Festival organisers are thrilled to announce a refreshed programme and emboldened vision retaining everything you loved about Latitude and much more.
Double BRIT Award winner Lewis Capaldi makes his Latitude debut as one of the UK’s biggest music success stories. In just one year after its release in May of 2019, Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent was certified triple platinum in the UK and has spent a whopping 60 weeks in the Top Ten. The album spawned such singles as Grace, Hold Me While You Wait, and Someone You Loved, which topped the charts in the US and the UK. It also earned Capaldi accolades on both sides of the Atlantic, including two BRIT awards and a Grammy nomination. A festival superstar, his live performances are legendary and, with the possible premiere of brand new material from his highly anticipated second album, this is going to be unmissable!!
Brit Award winners Bastille also make their Latitude debut as headliners. The cinematic performance will see the band perform a selection of songs from their three UK Top 10 studio albums Bad Blood, Wild World and Doom Days and material from their eagerly anticipated fourth album. Pioneers of hook-heavy hits such as Pompeii, Marshmello collaboration Happier, and Quarter Past Midnight, the four-piece continue to cement their reputation as one of the world’s most captivating live bands renowned for their cutting edge multi-sensory shows.
Snow Patrol make a momentous return to the Latitude in the coveted Sunday afternoon slot. The band who headlined the inaugural Latitude back in 2006, were forced to cancel their slot at Latitude in 2019 due to illness. 2021 will see the band perform back on The Obelisk Stage. This momentous performance will celebrate 25 years in the business. Expect festival-sized anthems with hits such as Crack The Shutters, Run, and Chasing Cars.
Following last year’s momentous 50th anniversary celebrations, The Isle of Wight Festival today announces the first artists for the 2019 event, which kicks off the British festival season on 13th – 16th June.
The incredible Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds headline the opening night of The Isle of Wight Festival 2019, returning to the Festival for the first time since 2012. Chart-topping British singer-songwriter George Ezra will headline the Main Stage on Saturday 15th June, in what will be his first major UK festival headline performance, a huge milestone following an incredible few years for the 7-time BRIT-nominated artist. Special guest Fatboy Slim, making his Isle of Wight Festival debut, will keep the party going as he plays until the early hours following George’s performance. Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro bring their passionate and rousing live show to the Main Stage on Sunday 16th June, closing the 2019 Festival in what is sure to be an epic headline performance. Also joining the line-up for this year’s event are: Anne-Marie, Bastille, Courteeners, Dean Lewis, DMA’S, Freya Ridings, Gerry Cinnamon, IDLES, James, Jax Jones, Jess Glynne, KT Tunstall, Lily Allen, Madness, Miles Kane, Mystery Jets, Richard Ashcroft, Rick Astley, Sam Fender, Sigala, Sigrid, The Coral, Tom Walker and Wild Front, with Hacienda Classical returning for a second year following last year’s incredible debut in The Big Top. Tickets for the 2019 event are on sale Friday 25th January at 9am.
Reading & Leeds Festivals announce Muse, in a UK Festival exclusive, as the first headliners for next year’s festival, taking place 25-27 August 2017.
Stadium rock royalty, Muse are one of the most influential and revered live bands of modern times. Led by the commanding presence of frontman Matt Bellamy, the trio have taken to the biggest stages around the world with their interstellar anthems for over 22 years, and their return to Reading & Leeds promises to be yet another landmark moment in their storied career.
"We’re very excited to be playing Reading and Leeds again. More news about our plans for 2017 coming in the new year."
Also confirmed for Reading & Leeds 2017 in a UK Festival Exclusive, are dancehall-rejuvenators Major Lazer. Diplo, Jillionaire and Walshy Fire have become the soundtrack of modern dance, claiming No.1 records, chart-dominating tracks such as ‘Lean On’ and ‘Cold Water’ as well as live shows packed with genre-mashing moments promising an unrivalled party atmosphere.
With a worldwide legion of fans and a catalogue of defining pop anthems, Bastille stand as one of the biggest acts on the planet. Their storming breakout album Bad Blood saw the band catapulted onto playlists, sell out venues, scooping BRIT Awards and selling over 7 million albums. With latest LP Wild World once again dominating the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, expect to witness a crowning moment as true modern titans return to Reading & Leeds.
At The Drive-In are set to bring their high-octane and powerful live show to Reading & Leeds this year, returning to the festival after their sold out world tour in 2016. Establishing an entire genre with their seminal 2000 LP Relationship Of Command, their unpredictable live shows bring a timely reminder as to why they remain such an influential powerhouse in alternative music.
Having released one of the most critically revered hip hop records of the year, Danny Brown will be bringing his world renowned individuality to the stage at Reading & Leeds Festival. Throughout his musical career he’s remained daring and distinctive when delivering his personal message, resulting in an atmospheric and emotional performance that’s not to be missed.
In terms of celebrated post-hardcore British bands, none may be as vital and influential as Architects. Through a career with numerous defiant moments, Brighton’s very own have forged a path of their own such as recently headlining a mammoth evening at London’s Brixton Academy fresh from the release of acclaimed album All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us. Expect an emotionally charged return to Reading & Leeds for a UK Festival Exclusive performance of immeasurable significance.
Glass Animalscontinue to demonstrate why they are set to be one of the true global breakthrough artists of 2016. How To Be A Human Being was released at the end of August via Caroline International / Wolf Tone to rave album reviews, and Radio 1 and 6 music A-listed singles ‘Life Itself’ and ‘Youth’. The band have had a phenomenal live year, selling out their entire UK, EU and US tours and amassing well over 200 million Spotify streams. 2017 will see the band continue their anomalous rise, starting with Singapore, Australia and New Zealand in January, followed by the band's biggest UK tour to date, including Brixton Academy on March 16th.
One of the most recognisable voices of the past 12 months, Tory Lanez will be making an appearance at Reading & Leeds 2017. With standout single ‘LUV’ heralded as an indisputable late-night party anthem, the Canadian breakout star is on the cusp of world domination.
Powered by catchy, upbeat melodies and the strong voice of frontwoman Chrissy Costanza, Against The Current will dominate their first ever Reading & Leeds performance with tracks from this year’s debut album In Our Bones. They’ll be joined on the bill by drum and bass icon Andy C. His incredible career has seen him headline some of the biggest stages and moments in the genre’s history, most recently including his sell out shows at Brixton Academy and Alexandra Palace. Equally as momentous will be the return of While She Sleeps, British metalcore’s undeniable DIY heroes who’ll be back in 2017 with their anticipated third album You Are We.
With hundreds of acts set to play across eight stages, Reading & Leeds is once again the unmissable festival weekend of the summer – defining and celebrating the who’s who of modern ground breaking music.
Against The Current | Andy C | Architects (UK Festival Exclusive) | At The Drive-In | Bastille | Danny Brown | Glass Animals | Major Lazer (UK Festival Exclusive) | Muse | Tory Lanez | While She Sleeps
It’s that time of year again, where the rest of the UK has basically resigned itself to Autumn but Bestival-goers know that there is one last high summer fling to be had. Cars crammed with people and gear are flooding the ferry docks, horns are blaring, people are already on the drinks at 9am… off we go to the Isle.
Upon arriving at Robin Hill, it’s clear something has gone awry. For some unknown reason they’ve decided to trickle-open the carparks, meaning those wanting to camp in yellow can’t actually park in yellow because it’s currently closed. For those not au fait with Bestival’s layout – the giant hill/massive walk through three campsites to get from Red parking (which is the only one open right now) to yellow camping, is utterly soul destroying when you’re carrying 4 days’ worth of binge-drinking materials. The second fail of the day (related) is that by not opening multiple car-parks and therefore access gates, EVERYONE IN THE WORLD is queuing for red entry. Two hours to get in is beyond mental, hopefully this will be rectified for next year because it was truly the worst entry system we’ve encountered at a festival this year, and Bestival have done it so right the last five years or so before.
After finally trudging over and setting up camp (in a field where toilets haven’t been delivered yet… what is going on?!), it’s time to head over to the arena to see what’s what. Next big shock of the day… where on earth is the main stage? The stage that sits in its’ place is about a quarter of the size of last years’ behemoth and is low-down, downhill. There are a lot of short people who are going to be seeing absolutely nothing this weekend that’s for sure.
Luckily, The Magic Meadow is up and running with the true Bestival vibe to make us feel better about everything. Happily The Feast Collective has only been moved here, not banished because everyone is starving and the food is just incredible. Where else can you side by side order a grilled-shrimp-and-samphire burger, raclette draped chips and a spicy beef rendang? With a pint of Bestivale in hand it’s off to scout out some early bands.
Asylums on the Invaders of the Future stage are punky and lively, you can’t really argue with a band who love to perform. ‘Joy in a Small Wage’ is perfect rock band fayre, easy to sing along, great to dance to, and the band themselves are leaping around the stage as they play in front of the Day of the Dead bar.
The highlight of Thursday is Besti-faves, Hot Chip in the Big Top. Weird and wonderful as always they play to a busy tent despite starting at nearly one am, and their electronic melodies can be heard far and wide across the still-filling campsites.
Friday sees ferries delayed by the discovery of a World War II torpedo in Portsmouth harbour which is later disposed of by controlled explosion, but with everything soon back on schedule it’s becoming apparent that not enough camping has been opened by the festival this year. Having sold only 40,000 tickets compared to years’ 50,000+ it seems that a decision was made to condense campsites. However, they clearly went a field too far and people are scrabbling for space today.
Anyway, on to the first proper arena day and we find ourselves drawn in by the presence of The World’s Biggest Bouncy Castle over on top of The Grassy Hill. At a price of £5 for ten minutes of bouncing, it’s pretty damn steep, but hey we’re drunk and ready to throw some shapes. After knackering ourselves out, getting told off by the flip police, and avoiding serious damage it’s time to explore Caravanserai over in the Stardust Field.
What can I say about Caravanserai except, it’s magical. Surrounded by half-caravan seating booths, a carousel stage and Wurlitzer carts, it almost feels as if you’ve stepped into an American Horror Story set, without the inherent creepiness I guess. An area is being roped off by toothless yokels who are swigging something foul from an xxxx bottle and people are being called up to ‘dance off’ against each other, choosing ‘beats’ or ‘junk’ as backing tracks. As people crowd in we see a wookiee face off against a cheerleader who is throwing flips on a perilously downhill slant, a pole-dancer takes on a guy with a bizarre rope-tied tiny tears doll, and an extraordinarily drunk flying squirrel twerks at an Adidas clad musician. It’s bizarre and brilliant.
Heading out to the main stage for something a little less frenzied we catch Kitty Daisy & Lewis on the main stage as they whip out the harmonica for some bluesy riffs.
Next up are Bestival legends and all-round disgracefully wonderful pervs, The Cuban Brothers. No Bestival could be complete without them and their crazy array of stunts, tricks, the tightest jumpsuits ever seen outside of Olympic gymnastics and old school hip-hop vibes. Starting off in traditional carpet-print suits, Archerio and Kengo hit the stage with their dance duo which we as always attempt to emulate badly. Miguelito rocks ‘Mike For President’ in his gold wrasslin’ belt, and guest BAM from hip hop crew The Jungle Brothers comes out just in time to be accused of #sexyfavours. As they sing “I’m a Jungle Brother, and he’s a Cuban Brother” we see Juan Erection and Kengo bust out the big moves with huge flares, head spins and tucks. Mike pops into the crowd for a bit of fondling and then busts out the swan pants with absolutely zero shame. The Cuban Brothers are party central and the huge crowd is laughing and dancing along with them. The only sad bit? Kengo brings out his skates but the stage appears to be a bit wet to see him do any tricks. Damn!
Next up, Norwegian waif Aurora is elfin and adorable. Wearing a ton of knitwear in the high summer heat, she has a touch of Tilda Swinton about her, but oh that voice. She soars with ‘Winter Bird’ and instantly endears herself to us when by breaking her ethereal spell to say “I really had to pee before I came on stage, but when I started to sing… it went away. I didn’t pee myself on stage though!!”.
Years & Years hit the stage with a light-show based on the lines of their album cover and some pretty fabulous futuristic outfits. Frontman Olly Alexander is dressed in metallic geometric 8-bit armour which kind of looks like a Minecraft/Moschino collaboration and with huge ticker tape explosions they race through hit after hit. ‘Take Shelter’ and ‘Ties’ have everyone mesmerised and as snappy modern dancers flood the stage it’s clear the band have upped their production value in the last two years. Finishing up with everyone singing along to ‘King’, Olly yelling “I love this festival” and a massive rainbow streamer explosion from the top of the stage, they have been a perfect Bestival band.
Over in Bollywood there’s a sweaty crowd dancing their hearts out whilst cocktails are flowing at the cocktail bus next door. A tiny rave is happening in Sunday Best and there are people spread out all over sampling the culinary delights on offer here. Anna Mae’s Mac & Cheese deserves a mention for being the stodge that saved our souls after two bags of wine. Yes, bags. Praise cheesus!
Heading into the Ambient Forest for a bit of a calm-down, we take a stroll into the revamped Amphitheatre (amazing new design) but we are a little sad that the late-night movies have been axed this year, along with Scroobius Pip’s much loved Satin Lizard Lounge. The forest itself is full of new seating nooks and artistic installations like the Tron-esque musical pipes, and the tinkling of ivories can be heard through the secret entrance to the Gatsby-esque Blind Tiger.
Back to the main stage and Skepta has drawn a massive crowd for ‘It Ain’t Safe’ but it’s Major Lazer who really take it up a notch with thousands pouring into the arena for the likes of ‘Lean On’ and ‘Light It Up’.
Over at the Spaceport, set in a giant fuse box underneath a massive rocket, Carl Cox is lighting up the night with some solid beats, followed by Diplo straight off the back of his main stage performance. The ribbon-wrapped area, flanked by two huge astronaut installations is awesome, but the layout does make access quite difficult with thousands of bodies piled in.
Alas, predictions were true and the rain has put a stop to many of the wild and wonderful costumes we’re used to on a Bestival Saturday, not to mention the main parade has been cancelled due to ground conditions. Such a shame! However, spirits are never dampened at Besti when Mr Motivator is on hand for an early shakedown. There’s something weirdly comforting about a man espousing health in the midst of our foul hungover scurvy-wracked state. No I haven’t had any fruit for three days except in a cocktail, but I’m pretty sure I can keep up with these aerobics… probably…
The Chuckle Brothers are obviously both terrible and nostalgically hilarious but it’s Wolf Alice who deserve a much bigger, less soggy crowd for their soft, rock style. ‘Bros’ and ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’ are brilliant and should have been sun-drenched. Hopefully we can catch them again at a less damp future Bestival. Lady Leshurr is a powerhouse performer with hit 'Brush Your Teeth' and clearly everyone is loving the return of Craig David, no matter how many times he says his own name.
Over at Invaders, Pretty Vicious’ ‘Cave Song’ has a huge crowd up and jumping including a rowdy bunch of people dressed as their older selves with inflatable zimmer frames – The Future, I geddit, very clever. Followed up by rowdy bijou band Hinds who rock so much pocket-power they practically eclipse the main stage sound, we are loving their energy. Yelling “What’s up Bestival! Bestival is the first festival we did as a band… we were so excited because it was the first time we ever had like an artists wristband!” they echo the sentiments of quite a lot of new bands who were given their first chances at this festival. Rob Da Bank and co. have always been right on the cutting edge of booking up-and-comers, allowing new acts to flow into the festival mainstream.
Onto tonight’s main stage headliner – The Cure. With probably half the crowd never having heard of them, it’s a pretty great turnout. Hits ‘Friday I’m In Love’ and ‘Just Like Heaven’ are absolutely amazing, but the three encores and an almost three hour set they perhaps go a step too far.
Next door on the Invaders stage, PC Music Allstars followed by Danny L Harle bring a small slice of electronic rave, then euphoria to the side of the Magic Meadow and the glowsticks are out in force (ermegherrrd right?) and as we head back to the campsites later on, the STA Travel garden is inexplicably packed with people winding to… Peter Andre’s Mysterious Girl. Yep, that’s the last song in my head before sleep. Thanks guys.
Waking up to thankfully clearer skies it’s a chance to break out all the sparkly shit we couldn’t wear yesterday and walking through the tent graveyard, uh, campsite – it’s clear some people have gone full feral now. Broken poles poke holes in the sky as wellies (with feet still in them) protrude from tents, their owners flat out in oblivion.
The arena mud has dried enough to provide safe passage and it’s soon time for a bit of Electro-Swing with French movers and shakers Caravan Palace. At first a fairly small crowd has gathered but as they begin to blast out their strange mix of high tempo beats and jazz-swing riffs the arena suddenly becomes a bouncing, writhing mass of bodies throwing down together. It’s a big statement but I think CP are ‘the’ band of the entire weekend, the sun is out and the set is just incredible. Bow-ties and braces are the look, and cute and firey vocalist Zoé Colotis Charleston’s across the stage like she was born in the wrong decade. Hopping into the crowd to pull on a fans’ Union Jack tshirt, Zoé yells “We don’t care about Brexit, we love the UK!”. It’s a stellar performance and a great book for Bestival.
Over in the Big Top, a very different type of electro-swing-come-dubstep is going on with an incredible array of circus type acts to boot. Slamboree are fiercely Burning-Man in style, there’s a hint of cabaret mixed with Mad Max and freakshow vibes. Their sound is new, fresh and the fire-performers, skeletal dancers, fabric-winged fairies and kabuki masked creeps are amazing.
Taking a little time out up at Slow Motion, we laze in Solace with tea and cake, marvel at the Owl and Falconry display and laugh at Llama’s butts before attempting drunken hoop twirling and some hefty/danger fraught poi. The yoga tent looks great, but we are way beyond balance at this point.
In the Ambient Forest we stumble into becoming performers ourselves with the Uke band by The Gypsy caravans. With a song book filled with unlikely and brilliant options, we stay for renditions of Don’t Stop Believing, Friday I’m In Love, and go all out at the top of our voiced for The Final Countdown. This is the kind of unexpected happening that sets Bestival apart from other festivals, unplanned weirdness is always memorable.
The Out of Africa Bar & Disco Shed provide a little downtime as we listen to Michael Jackson jams and drink enormous cocktails whilst ducking to avoid the frenzied games of swirly tennis (swingball?) going on behind us. Grabbing some free fabric wristbands from the merch tent (if these were made up, why did we all get crap plastic wristbands for entry this year?) we stomp our way back to the main stage for Bastille.
Returning triumphantly to Bestival, Bastille are this time dressed in white jumpsuits with ww.com on the back, depicting their brand new album ‘Wild World’. Kicking off with old favourite ‘Bad Blood’ we know it’s going to be a good one, and the crowd is absolutely sardine-rammed into the arena. ‘Things We Lost In The Fire’ and ‘These Streets’ are brilliant, and new track ‘Good Grief’ gets a great reception. Despite it not really being a surprise any more, we all get down with their cover/re-working of No Scrubs ‘No Angels’ and ‘Of The Night’ a mashup of ‘Rhythm of the Night’ and ‘Rhythm is a Dancer’.
Dual headliners Sean Paul and Wiz Khalifa make their mark on Bestival, with everyone getting their groove on, reliving their noughties youth. Though ticket sales say that this years’ headline choices perhaps weren’t up to Bestival’s usual standard, it’s clear those who are here are having a rowdy good time.
Now, hugging your mates and telling them you intensely love them is pretty standard practice at Bestival, it’s just that kind of place that makes you love the world, but the closing fireworks is where you can hold each other tight and reminisce on the great/hazy memories you’ve made this weekend. Soon you’ll be trawling through blurry pictures of yourself looking an absolute state and missing every single moment of this magical festival, but for now – we’re oohing and aahing at this amazing Prince Tribute. Complete with screened video, purple smoke and confetti, we are truly sad that Prince never made it to Bestival, the kind of place that would truly have revered him and his music. The solar system rings of fire glow below as massive rockets flower in the sky and it is beautiful.
The night is still young for those squeezing every last ounce of Bestival into their souls, and The Human League are playing to a huge crowd in The Big Top. ‘Together In Electric Dreams’ and ‘Don’t You Want Me’ go way beyond karaoke and into the you-can’t-hear-the-band-because-everyone-is-singing territory.
Caravanserai is also full of life, with fire performers, aerialists and tightrope walkers walking high above cosy groups of people laughing in waltzer cars, whilst bursts of fire flame into the night from The Spaceport in the distance. Grabbing some gourmet grilled cheese we make the last trek back to the tents, watched by the shining eyes of the Lovebot.
There have been many harsh reviews floating about for Bestival this year which I think are largely unfounded. Yes things were very different which definitely came as a shock after the sheer grandiosity of the last few years, but the atmosphere was as ever, oh so Bestival. The creativity, beauty and balance was still there – all the things Bestival is renowned for. For every mad moment where something truly serendipitous has caught you off guard, where something held you in the kind of wonderment you thought you’d lost after childhood, and for every second you forgot your problems and just let loose, Bestival is the engineer. The thought that drives this festival is apparent in every corner, no matter the budget. I will be there next year with bells on. Or whatever stuff the new theme requires really.
Predicting something very special as we charge inexorably towards The Future, the Bestival crew are set to whet your appetite with a hearty helping of amazing bands and DJs that will be joining The Cure Major Lazer, Diplo, Carl Cox, Fatboy Slim, Bastille, Skepta, Wolf Alice and many more at Robin Hill this coming September.
Rob da Bank says: “I love booking Bestival. It’s proper ‘kid in a sweetshop’ time when I look at all the acts out there and try to curate a line-up that makes sense across many genres… which is how I think Bestivalites like it. It’s not just booked for you, it’s for me too, so I cannot wait for a weekend encompassing Kano, Goldie, Mura Masa, Evian Christ and Reggie and Bollie. If you fancy it too, I’ll see you on the ferry!”
Upping the grime ante, renaissance man Kano will be joining us to showcase his skills with some super-sick bars. His recent Fire in the Booth for Charlie Sloth was a total masterclass that set the standard for the young pretenders, making his appearance at Bestival truly unmissable.
We’ll also have future perfect live performances from much vaunted Seattle duo Odesza, the lush and sultry Snakehips, wunderkind producer Mura Masa, London collective WSTRN, superfly freestyler Lady Leshurr, BBC Sound of 2016 nominee Billie Marten, Brits Critics' Choice nominee Frances, soul-funk-jazz-pop fusionist Izzy Bizu. and X Factor’s real superstars Reggie & Bollie.
Also taking to the stage will be the inimitable Los Hermanos Cubanos, The Cuban Brothers, the sublimely intimate This Is The Kit, South African folkster Jeremy Loops and our old mates the Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band.
Stepping up to the platters that matter to keep you dancing all night long expect DJ sets from beat juggling behemoth DJ Yoda, Metalheadz legend Goldie, Southampton’s finest deck destroyer James Zabiela, sonic adventurers Mount Kimbie, and Ellesmere Port’s boldest export Evian Christ.
There will also be sets from Radio 1’s Heidi, bass marauders Oneman b2b My Nu Leng, on the fly edit merchants Melé & Monki’s NRG Flash, architect of grime and recent Bestival FM guest Artwork, and Honey Soundsystem, Applescal, Poté and Venum Sound.
And, adding a soupçon of off the wall behaviour, we will have Bestival antics from spandex-clad force of nature Mr Motivator, crack of dawn ravers Morning Gloryville, and Circus Raj.
V Festival 2016, sponsored by Virgin Media, will be graced by global chart royalty this summer as Justin Bieber and Rihanna dominate the headline slots across the legendary festival weekend. Our 21st birthday celebrations will take place at Hylands Park, Chelmsford and Weston Park, Staffordshire on 20 and 21 August 2016.
Performing exclusively at his only UK festival this summer, Bieber, who also shares his age with us, will treat you guys to his debut V Festival performance and a sneak peak of his upcoming tour, ‘Purpose’. After smashing UK chart records by simultaneously holding the number one, two and three spot in the UK single charts, the Grammy winner is expected to pull the V Festival crowds in their thousands.
To cement the line-up with true superstar status, Rihanna is will round off the headline bill with another electric performance as she returns to V Festival after five years. The Bajan singer will be bringing the hotly anticipated and unmissable ‘Anti World Tour’ to her only UK festival of the summer.
Adding to V Festival 2016’s international superstar line-up and will be Australian superstar songstress, Sia, and superstar DJ, David Guetta – who are both UK festival exclusives for V Festival 2016. Sia, who is word famous for her own critically acclaimed material, has also written for some of the world’s biggest artists including Beyoncé, Britney Spears and even penned headliner Rihanna’s hit ‘Diamonds’. Global DJ phenomenon David Guetta is one of the most successful artist DJ’s in UK chart history and is well-known for his energetic live shows, bringing the full-on party atmosphere and enthralling sold-out crowds across the world – this set will be unmissable.
Also performing on the Virgin Media stage are British indie rock favourites Bastille, the world’s biggest girl group Little Mix, Grammy winner Jess Glynne and party starter, John Newman.
In another V Festival debut, BBC Radio 1 will host a new stage on Friday night across both Chelmsford and Staffordshire sites. Adding to this incredible new set up, the BBC Radio 1 Summer of Dance stage will bring its all new Summer of Dance line-up, guaranteed to add chart-topping dance anthems, the hottest artists, and newest releases into the mix. Further details including the line up will be announced during Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show on Friday 4th March.
As well as international chart-toppers, a host of homegrown British talent will also feature on the star-studded bill. Legendary V Festival favourites,Faithless return for their seventh time, while BRIT Award winners Kaiser Chiefs will bring the hits. Further British talent includes BBC Sound of 2015 winners Years and Years, singer-songwriter Jake Bugg, UK Garage legend Craig David with his TS5 set, The Voice UK and X Factor star Rita Ora, two-time Brit winner Tinie Tempah and festival favourites Example and Katy B.
Halsey will grace the festival as well as Troye Sivan, who with a unique acting, blogging and musical background under his belt, is sure to deliver an unmissable set. Bringing the rock ‘n’ roll will be BRIT Award winners Travis, singer-songwriter James Morrison and Joe Jonas’ pop rock band,DNCE. Grammy winner Foxes, X Factor star Fleur East and legendary British-Canadian girl band All Saints will each add a pop flavour to the weekend. Soul II Soul will bring the good vibes, while ‘Fester Skank’ smash artist, Lethal Bizzle, DJ EZ, Sigma (DJ set), Flight Facilities, and Big Sean will bring the pounding beats and furious flow to a phenomenal V Festival 2016 line up.
Tickets go on sale on Friday 26th February at 9.30am. Please only book through our official outlets LISTED HERE. Purchasing tickets from unofficial outlets could lead to disappointment.
The full line-up includes: Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Sia, David Guetta, Faithless, Kaiser Chiefs, Years & Years, Jake Bugg, Bastille, Rita Ora, Tinie Tempah, Jess Glynne, Little Mix, Craig David’s TS5, Katy B, Halsey, Example, Troye Sivan, DJ EZ, James Morrison, Travis, John Newman, Foxes, DNCE, Sigma (DJ set), All Saints, Fleur East, Soul II Soul, Big Sean, Flight Facilities, and Lethal Bizzle with more acts still to be announced.
The 2016 festival takes place at Strathallan Castle over 8th – 10th July. Joining the bill – which already features previously announced headliners The Stone Roses, plusDisclosure, Courteeners and The 1975 – today are:
FRIDAY 8TH JULY: The Stone Roses, Disclosure, Courteeners, Jamie xx, James Morrison, Frightened Rabbit, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Bear’s Den, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Krept & Konan, The Coral, The Temperance Movement, Oh Wonder
SATURDAY 9TH JULY: Calvin Harris, Bastille, The 1975, The Last Shadow Puppets, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Jess Glynne, Kaiser Chiefs, Travis, Tinie Tempah, Tom Odell, Stiff Little Fingers, Shed Seven, Disciples, Rat Boy, Maxi Jazz & The E-Type Boys
SUNDAY 10TH JULY: Red Hot Chili Peppers, LCD Soundsystem, Faithless, Major Lazer, James Bay, Jake Bugg, Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls, Craig David’s TS5, Maximo Park, John Grant, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Nightsweats, FIDLAR, Blossoms
Tickets for T in the Park 2016 are on sale now from www.tinthepark.com and remain at the same price for a fourth year running. T in the Park’s new homeStrathallan Castle is centrally located in the heart of the beautiful Perthshire countryside, approximately one hour away from both Edinburgh and Glasgow. Lying on an estate sprawling a massive 1000 acres, surrounded by beautiful woodland, the site has expanded for 2016 with the Main Arena now a quarter bigger in size and the campsite increasing by a larger amount.
The acts announced today join Friday headliners and Manchester icons The Stone Roses, electronic music duo Disclosure, guitar pop four-piece The 1975 and indie favourites Courteeners on the bill.
Organisers are also delighted to announce that Calvin Harris will make a return to T in the Park to headline the Main Stage on Saturday night at Strathallan Castle.
One of the world’s biggest rock bands, the legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers will return to T in the Park for the first time in a decade to bring the festival to an epic close when they headline the Sunday night. The California rockers will treat fans to hits from their iconic back catalogue, as well as new material, with a new album reportedly due out early summer. The band have only played T in the Park once before when they headlined the Main Stage in 2006, and their return is sure to be a huge moment for fans.
Red Hot Chili Peppers said:“Can’t believe it’s 10 years since we last played T in the Park. It seems fitting to mark the 10th anniversary of that performance with a return visit.”
Bastille have made an indelibly huge mark since the release of their 2013 debut album Bad Blood, which entered the UK charts at number one, stayed in the top twenty for 2 years and went double platinum in the UK. The band’s infectious hits likePompeii, Things We Lost in the Fire and Of the Night always prompt epic crowd singalongs at T in the Park, and with their hotly anticipated second album due out this summer, they’ll be treating the crowd to new material as well as their much loved anthems.
Singer Dan Smith said: “We've had great times at T in the Park over the last few years, both while playing our sets to the ever-brilliant crowds and also getting to wander round and watch loads of other bands that we love. We can't wait to head back this summer with all the new songs we've been working on.”
LCD Soundsystem will return as Sunday night headliners of the BBC Radio 1 Stage.
After a six-year hiatus, The Last Shadow Puppets supergroup line-up featuring Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner and solo artist Miles Kane are back with a new album and big sound. The band released their new single Bad Habits this year along with the exciting news of the forthcoming new album Everything You’ve Come to Expect. The band is set to make their T in the Park debut as TLSP this July. Creating massive sounding anthems, The Last Shadow Puppets’ energetic live set and catchy rock ‘n’ roll sound was made for festivals.
Hits like Insomnia, Salva Mea, We Come One, Mass Destruction as well as 7 albums released and over 15 million records sold, put Faithless on the global map for 20 years. In 2011, Faithless released their most recent album The Dance and over the next year sold 600,000 records and played to 2 million people. After a sell-out arena show in Glasgow’s SSE Hydro last November, Faithless will make a welcome return to Scotland this summer.
Fresh from taking home the BRIT Award for British Breakthrough Act last night, Welsh four piece Catfish and the Bottlemen will return to T in the Park. Their melodic, anthemic, guitar fuelled garage rock songs fizz with lust, hope and anger. Their debut album TheBalcony – packed with storming anthems – reached the top 10 and won them a legion of adoring fans.
Major Lazer – aka Grammy-nominated producer Diplo and fellow DJ/producers Jillionaire and Walshy Fire – released their third album Peace is the Mission in June last year. Featuring the smash hits Light It Up (feat. Nyla) and Lean On (featuring DJ Snake and Danish electropop star MØ), the album combines EDM, Jamaican dancehall, hip-hop and pop. They’re sure to bring a real party vibe to Strathallan Castle.
As the sonic and rhythmic heartbeat of pop trio The xx, Jamie xx released his solo record In Colour last year. The record showcases the special skill-set that has turned Jamie into one of the major DJ draws at the sophisticated end of the global nightlife spectrum, and which has made him in demand as a producer/remixer for the likes of Drake and Adele.
Jess Glynne lent her richly evocative vocals to Clean Bandit’s no.1 classical-dance smash Rather Be and Route 94’s house-flavoured My Love before emerging as a solo artist in her own right. Her mix of hip hop, soul and a sprinkling of pop has seen her score a no.1 album with I Cry When I Laugh, as well as top the chart with singles Hold My Hand and Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself.
After winning the BRITS Critics’ Choice Award in 2015, James Bay has become one of the biggest breakthrough artists on the planet. His debut album, Chaos and The Calm, entered the UK charts at no.1 in last March and reached platinum status in the UK. He was nominated for 3 awards at this year’s Grammys, had 4 prestigious nominations at last night’s 2016 BRITs ceremony – and took home the award for Best Male Solo Artist – he also scored both the ‘Best New Act’ gong at the 2015 Q Awards and the ‘Breakthrough Act’ award at the GQ Awards. He’s sold a huge 2 million albums worldwide, and was responsible for one of the biggest mass singalongs at last year’s T in the Park with Hold Back the River.
After more than 10 years, four albums, platinum record sales, a volley of top ten singles and 3 BRIT Awards, Kaiser Chiefs returned with Education, Education, Education & War in 2014. Regalvanaised, recharged, and inspired by a new sense of freedom and musical possibility, the band are an incredible live act.
Last week FrightenedRabbit caused quite a stir when they released the glorious first song off their long awaited new album Painting Of A Panic Attack. Adored by fans for their incisive, compelling lyrics, and achingly beautiful, dense melodies, they are one of Scotland’s finest bands and big T in the Park favourites.
The band said: “We are extremely pleased to announce that we will be playing at this year's T in the Park. It's always an honour to be there, and to be back in the King Tut's tent will be fan-f*cking-tastic. See you down the front for The Stone Roses.”
Travis are huge favourites with the T in the Park crowd, and when they make their Strathallan Castle debut this summer they’ll have played all three of the festival’s sites, having played the very first festival at Strathclyde Country Park in 1994, the first year at Balado in 1997 and then many times since. Their last appearance was an epic set in the King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent at T in the Park’s 20th year celebrations in 2013, and they are sure to receive a hero’s welcome in July.
Tinie Tempah is one of the UK’s most innovative and in-demand artists. Following the massive success of his first two albums Disc-Overy and Demonstration, he shows no sign of slowing down. Last June he topped the UK single charts for a sixth time withNot Letting Go featuring fellow T in the Park 2016 artist Jess Glynne, and at the end of last year he released the mixtape Junk Food – a collection of underground hip hop and grime tracks and featuring appearances from Wretch 32, Stormzy, Giggs, JME and more.
Jake Bugg’s incredible ascent began in 2012 when his self-titled debut album entered the UK charts at number one (aged 18, making him the youngest British male artist ever to do so), before going on to sell double platinum and be shortlisted for the UK Mercury Music Prize. Success only accelerated Bugg’s creative momentum, releasing a follow-up twelve months later, 2013’s richly textured Shangri La. His third album is expected later this year.
Chichester-born musician Tom Odell caught the songwriting bug early penning original material since the age of 13. With a loyal fanbase and drawing attractive comparisons to the late Jeff Buckley with his man and piano set-up, Odell's material has veered from strikingly stripped-back troubadour tales to songs that are more work-in-progress than finished product. Set to make his first T appearance since his set on the King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent stage in 2013, fans will be treated to his romantic sing-along style.
Craig David will bring the sound of Miami to Strathallan with TS5. Craig David’s TS5 started out as an exclusive pre-party hosted by Craig at his Miami penthouse homeTower Suite 5 in 2013, and since then it’s grown from house party, to radio show to sell out live concert. He’s now one of 2016’s most in demand acts, and with his sets combining massive old skool anthems with current chart topping house hits, he’s sure to make quite an impression as he makes his long-awaited T in the Park debut.
James Morrison first came to prominence in 2006 as a 21 year old, with his hugely successful debut album Undiscovered which debuted at #1 in the UK album charts, following the success of his smash hit single You Give Me Something. After selling millions of records around the world, he took a break in 2011 before returning last year with a renewed vigour and a new album Higher Than Here.
James said: “I’ve played T in the Park only a few times but it's always wicked, the crowds are amazing with massive energy! Last time I sang a lot harder because of it and this time is going to be no different. I’m ready to give back the same. Can’t wait, see you soon T in the Park!”
Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls’ brand of passionate folk/punk, honest songwriting, catchy melodies and punk passion have earned them a loyal fanbase on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as at T in the Park with the singer-songwriter receiving a rapturous reception when he last played in 2013.
Frank said: “I'm very excited to be making my fourth trip to T in the Park; it's been a few years since I was north of the border for a festival, so this should be a special one.”
Internationally acclaimed Mexican acoustic rock guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela will bring their unique instrumental blend of metal, jazz and world music to Strathallan Castle. Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero have been playing together for more than fifteen years. First as young thrash metal fans in their native Mexico City, then as innocents abroad and street musicians in Dublin, Ireland at the turn of the millennium, and finally as the globe-straddling, film-scoring, record-breaking artists they are today. Known for exhilarating live shows, Rodrigo y Gabriela have won the hearts of music lovers from the haciendas of Cuba to the Hollywood Bowl and festival fields of Europe.
Britpop heroes Shed Seven achieved great success in the mid-late 90s, releasing four albums and 14 Top 40 singles, before reuniting in 2007 for a greatest hits reunion tour. The band played T in the Park’s second outing back in 1995 at Strathclyde Country Park. They return for their eighth T in the Park in 2016 to make their Strathallan Castle debut, when they’ll become one of the few bands to have played the festival at all three of its sites.
The band said: “The Sheds are excited to be back at T in the Park for what will be another great weekend of fun and games. This is the first time for us at the new site which adds a different approach to the festival. Quite literally, we'll be using the A823.”
Newcastle angular pop quintet Maxïmo Park craft smart, sharply catchy, new wave-inspired songs. After making a big impression in 2000s with albums such as A Certain Trigger, they resurfaced in 2012 with The National Health, followed by 2014's more intimate, electronic-driven Too Much Information.
The band said: “As one of the bands who played the last ever T in the Park at Kinross, we're keen to sample the new site and see if the unbeatable atmosphere can be matched! The Scottish crowds have always been good to us.”
The worlds’ finest and only purveyors of cinematic hip-hop, rock ‘n’ roll, blues-jazz and latino soul vibes, Fun Lovin’ Criminals burst onto the music scene in 1996, gate-crashing the euphoric Britpop party with some unexpectedly unique swag and the generational classic album Come Find Yourself. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of this modern classic, Huey Morgan, Brian ‘Fast’ Leiser and Frank Benbini will be playing tunes from the record at T in the Park.
Huey and Fast said: "T in the Park is one of our favourite festivals to perform at. The crowd are always up for a party and the organisers have really got their sh*t together, making it an enjoyable experience for everyone! "
London hip hop/grime duo Krept & Konan made a big impression when they won Best UK Newcomer at the 2013 MOBO Awards despite not having a record deal. Since then, they’ve released their debut album The Long Way Home, which entered the UK Albums Chart at number 2, with lead single Freak of the Week entering the UK top ten.
John Grant’s journey has been a spectacular one – from winning awards, Top 20 chart positions, and collaborating with Sinead O’Connor, Goldfrapp, Elton John and Hercules & Love Affair. His third album – Grey Tickles, Black Pressure – is a veritable tour de force that further refines and entwines his two principal strands of musical DNA, the sumptuous tempered ballad and the taut, fizzing electronic pop song.
Mersey rockers The Coral also make a return to T in the Park. With a rich, spirited sound that draws from a variety of influences like Motown, Merseybeat, psychedelia, country, and dub, the group release their new album Distance Inbetween next month.
Putting a modern stamp on hard rock and blues, The Temperence Movement have crafted an intoxicating live set and released two studio albums since coming together in 2013. Landing a heroic support slot with rock giants The Rolling Stones, The Temperance Movement released their second album this year going on to celebrate the release with a sold-out show at Glasgow’s Barrowlands. With a live set packed full of rock ‘n’ roll licks, The Temperance Movement will make a welcomed return to T in the Park this summer, since their debut appearance in 2014.
Rat Boy’s homegrown raps paint a lyrical dissertation of suburban Britain. He is firmly within the storytelling lineage of Britain’s great lyricists who represent some of his greatest influences: Ian Dury, The Clash, Squeeze, Blur and The Streets. His mash-ups of hip-hop and indie topped with his half-rapped, half-hollered Essex vocals are causing quite a stir, and he’ll make his T in the Park debut this summer.
Full of confidence and determination, Stockport five-piece Blossoms landed in the BBC’s Sound of 2016 list and made the cut on the Spotify’s Spotlight on 2016 shortlist, plus MTV Brand New for 2016 and iTunes/Apple Music New Artists 2016, capturing the hearts of the nation with their catchy indie-pop sound. The band’s euphoric indie sound is crafted and polished to a stadium level, making the band an exciting addition to the 2016 T in the Park bill.
Festival Director Geoff Ellis said: “We’re incredibly excited to announce some of the world’s greatest artists for T in the Park today. Red Hot Chili Peppers are quite simply one of the biggest rock acts of our time, and their long-awaited return to the festival after 10 years is going to be pretty special. We’re also thrilled to welcome back a real T in the Park favourite – Calvin Harris – as our Saturday night headliner. Calvin headlined the Main Stage in 2014 and was introduced on stage by Will Smith, and for many in our audience that moment is up there as one of the most unique and special in T in the Park history.
“We’re also really thrilled to have LCD Soundsystem headline the BBC Radio 1 Stage – their reunion is one of the most hotly anticipated in recent years, and their appearance is a big coup for us.
“Artists from across the globe tell us year in, year out that T in the Park is one of their favourite festivals to play because of the unbeatable welcome they receive from the crowd, so we’d like to say a huge thank you to our audience for the massive part they play in making this festival special. We've been working hard on getting everything ready for the fans’ arrival in July and have made some changes to the site, with the Main Arena now a quarter bigger in size and the campsite increasing by a larger amount. We hope you are all as excited about the line-up as we are, and we can’t wait to see you all this summer.”
Exit Adventure adds Wiz Khalifa, Bastille, Stormzy and Lost Frequencies to the bill!
First lineup additions for Exit and Sea Dance festivals
One of the biggest hip-hop stars of today, Wiz Khalifa will perform Exit Festival on July 10th! Khalifa is at the peak of his ever-rising popularity after heading most of this year’s charts with “See You Again” which is one of three most viewed videos of all time! Adding up to three billion YouTube views, Pittsburgh rapper is one the most popular artists in the world known for collaborations with Bruno Mars, The Weeknd, Snoop Dogg, Miley Cirus, Maroon 5, Lily Allen, will.i.am, 50 Cent and numerous others. Khalifa has been nominated for ten Grammies, including the Song of the Year, which secured him a performance at Times Square NYE! Indie rock attraction Bastille are joining the Exit's bill for festival's openning on July 7th. The London-based quartet has swept the planet with their hit-singles "Pompeii", "Things We Lost in Fire" and "Oblivion", pushing their debut album "Bad Blood" to tje the top of the UK Albums Chart, followed by the BRIT award for the British Breakthrough Act. The world music scene eagerly awaits their new album, set to be released next year which only lucky fans at Glasto got to preview at a secret gig!
The most talked about MC of this year, a MOBO award winner Stormzy will perform on July 10th July at Exit’s Main Stage. He owns the first ever freestyle single that entered UK chart’s Top 10. Stormzy's unstoppable force proved with his campaign to get his grime anthem “Shut Up” at the top of the UK Singles Chart on the week of Christmas Day, usually taken up by one of X Factor stars, such is Louisa Johnson who has already fallen behind him along with One Direction!
Exit Magic Adventure 2016 – New Lineup Additions: Travellers for both Exit and Sea Dance are in for another ultimate X-Bass Adventure in partnership with UKF. The magical Petrovaradin Fortress will host Playaz 20th Anniversary lineup at Exit's opening night with DJ Hype, Ms. Dynamite and Sub Zero joining the bill. Exit will also host the most demanded DJ sets of Wilkinson, Modestep and Ivy Lab trio (Sabre, Stray and Halogenix). Festival goers at spectacular Jaz Beach are in for a treat as Andy C premieres at Sea Dance too with many more acts soon to be announced!
Fusion, the second biggest live stage at Exit, will host the forefathers of the dub genre, Dub Pistols on Saturday, 9 July! Last year, the band returned to the scene in grandiose style, "Return of the Pistoleros". The same place will be coloured by the sounds of the popular Dutch indie rock band Kensington, presenting their work to the audience on Friday, 8 July with their latest album “Rivals“.
One of the leading dubstep DJs and producers, Zomboy, continues his journey through the Exit Adventure and after this summer's smashing set Exit, he'll be heading south to Sea Dance, for an equally euphoric festival closure! After "Resurrected", an album that won the hearts of millions of fans, this 25-year old mixing virtuoso from England had the opportunity to collaborate on remixing some of the biggest players like DJ Fresh and Flux Pavilion, and of course, his mentor Skrillex!
The award-winning Sea Dance Festival will also have a grand opening with the Belge hitmaker Lost Frequencies making everyone singing on 14 July! Huge summer hits, "Are You with Me" and "Reality", will echo throughout the Adriatic coast in a special sunset set. These two singles were among some of the most listened tracks this year, joining the likes of digital chart toppers Wiz Khalifa, Ellie Goulding, Kygo and Feder!
Leeds Festival kicked off on Thursday night with the introduction of comedy acts to a growing line up. These guys were around last year as well so it was nothing new for the Leeds fest veterans to warm up the weekend with some giggles. I felt there was something a little lack luster about squeezing into a tent to watch comedy at a music festival so opted for some camp fire drinks instead. Once feeling merry there was no option but to hit the relentless stage, firmly squeezed between the trees of red and orange camp. Dj’s were set to headline there all weekend and Thursday was no exception with electronic music duo Bondax gracing us with a glorious welcome set.
With dreary eyes and achey legs it was up and adam for Friday, when the festival really begins. It was a much needed lie in on Friday morning before heading out in the – fairly sunny – weather to the BBC 1Xtra stage. Lady Leshurr made famous by her straight to point musical stylings almost filled out the tent and had everyone in good spirits when she handed out toothbrushes during her famous ‘Queens Speech Episode 4’. Then it was off for some food before Jamie T’s main stage set.
The food at Leeds fest this year left a lot to be desired, you were much better off money wise and sometimes quality wise if you bought a disposable BBQ and kicked it back at your campsite. Although I must commend noodle king for providing 10 spring rolls for £3, that was the stuff dreams are made of.
So back to the music and it was the turn of Jamie T, an act I had been eagerly anticipating before arriving at Leeds fest, and I must say I was a little on the disappointed side. It wasn’t Jamie himself, he went for it singing classics like Sheila, and If you got the money, but I couldn’t help thinking his set would have worked better on a smaller stage. The sound wasn’t amazing and you couldn’t see him unless you were more or less on the stage with him, his name deserves the main stage but his set needed something more intimate.
After that it was the turn of Kendrick Lamar, who brought in a huge crowd and got everyone at the front going mosh pit crazy. Kendrick sung his big hits ‘I love bad Bitches’ and ‘King Kunta’ and pressed on about how so many of his fans had been there from the start and he was so pleased to see them in the crowd. I’m not entirely sure how many of his true fans he could really see in the crowd but he killed it nevertheless and I’m sure nobody left feeling disappointed.
Then onto the Friday night headliner – The Libertines. The Libertines are now onto their second reform as a band and was it for the best, I’m still on the fence about that one. Pete Doherty has been through the wars and it showed on his face and in his voice, I didn’t feel like they had the power for the main stage and clearly neither did the audience as the area was nowhere near as full as it should have been for a headline act.
With the Libertines lack luster performance dampening my mood a little it was time to up the anti and head back to the 1Xtra stage for Boy Better Know. The main trio made up of Skepta, Jme and Wiley filled out the tent and sent the crowd into a wild frenzy that perfectly finished off Friday night.
Onto Saturday and it was the main stage hosting all the action. A wonderful set by Leeds veterans Panic at the Disco who broke out into an impromptu version of Bohemian Rhapsody to get the whole crowd on their feet. They were followed up by Baltimore pop punk band All Time Low, who dragged members of the crowd onto stage to go crazy with them and joked about the wonders of tent sex. All Time Low brought a brilliant vibe to the main stage with hits like ‘Weightless’ and ‘Dear Maria’.
Then it was Bastille's turn, and they rocked up with one of the biggest crowds of the festival, everyone eager to sing along to their easy to please hits. A nice cheery set from them that could be enjoyed while sitting on the grass mellowing down with some food. Many Leeds goers seemed to be a celebrating GCSE age and that was clear from the audience range at Bastille especially when they played hits from their first album including ‘Bad Blood’ and ‘Pompeii’. It was then on to Leeds formed electronic band Alt J who reminisced about their time at Leeds Uni and the pleasure of being back home again. Their set was filed with jazzy lights and the screens showed edgy video editing of their faces as they played hits like ‘Fitzpleasure’ and ‘Breezeblocks’.
Saturdays headline act was the mighty Mumford and Sons, who played a mix of songs from their first and second albums which the crowd definitely appreciated. It’s often tough to watch a headliner who you don’t know so well when they just sing new music nobody has heard yet. They went in with the crowd pleasing claiming we were better than Reading Festival and northerner’s were prettier, it seemed to work as they drew in one of the biggest crowds of the weekend with plenty of couples drunkenly swaying in each other’s arms to tunes such as ‘I will wait for you’ and ‘Little lion man’.
I cut the Mumford and Sons set short as we dived over to watch Knife Party close the day in the NME Stage. The set was interrupted by a girl who climbed up one of the metal poles holding the tent up, and Knife Party claiming they would halt all the music until she climbed down. But that didn’t dampen the spirits of the partygoers who chanted at her to climb down and carried on going when she did.
Onto the final day and the Foals managed to sneak in a secret set in the NME stage, I sadly wasn’t even out of my tent at the time of their performance but I imagine it was as magical as they always are. The first act of the day for me was a bit later on with Tempa T in the 1 Xtra stage, it was a good start to the day and plenty of other people seemed to enjoy it as well. Then it was back across to the NME stage for Manchester based band Everything Everything who did not disappoint with a set that made you want to skip around and sing into the night. They played hits like ‘Regret’ and ‘Distant past’ and didn’t even flinch when lead singer Jonathan Higgs ‘effed up the words’.
It was then back to the 1 Xtra tent for Miss Dynamite – who doesn’t look a day over 22 by the way – her set was not up there with the greats as she was continually talking and chanting throughout and barely sung anything but there were come catchy covers in there and she brought some random kids on stage which is always fun.
Next up it was back to the NME stage again for my festival highlight –Twin Atlantic. They are a lovely bunch of Scottish guys who out performed anyone else that weekend for me. With big strings of confetti and multi-coloured beach balls they sung out the crowd with ‘Heart and Soul’ and claimed they were so glad they got to sing out the festival and were thankful to everyone who had stuck by them in their 5 year Leeds fest battle to get a bigger stage. Twin Atlantic I love you, and I’m sorry that was my first time watching you, I swear it won’t be my last.
Finally The Wombats ended the evening with a superb crowd pleasing set of their biggest hits, they filled out the rather mini festival republic stage and were truly a wonderful way to end.
As for the evenings after the music was over when the festival revellers were let loose on the campsite there was only one place to get your night properly started – Cocktail Cocktail. The now infamous cocktail bar had its first appearance at Leeds fest this year and did not let us down with DJ Jamie Hartley taking the decks each night pumping out classics till 3am. The relentless trees were great as well and we can’t forget Piccadilly party taking everyone in till the light hours of the morning.
Leeds Fest you were amazing and I will see you again next year x