Whatever the weather. Whatever your vice. Whatever the amount of money left in your wallet after an ill-advised bank holiday weekend, we’ve got just the thing. The festival scene has just exploded in the last couple of years, and it’s our pleasure to round up the best of the fests in Bristol and beyond.
Dot to Dot
27.05 / £12adv | Tickets
Key Acts: Sundara Karma, Pinegrove, The Growlers, Cherry Glazer, Honeyblood, Nilüfer Yanya, Vagabon
Few entities in Bristol have been relentlessly pushing new music as much as Dot To Dot, and it’s for that reason that we’re thrilled to announce we’ll be presenting a stage this year. Following our local support falling through (exploding?) at Bristol Live Turns Five recently, we’re proud to say we’ll be hosting ten amazing local acts at The Louisiana, TBA this month.
They’ll be joining the usual mix of ‘those guys from my favourite music blog’ and ‘I’ve never heard them but they’re amazing!’ that makes D2D one of the city’s most treasured and, dare we say, best value events. Get ready to soak up new music like the insatiable sponge you are.
Gilcombe Farm, Somerset
28-29.07 / From £79 Weekend | Tickets
Key Acts: Shobaleader One (Squarepusher), DJ Yoda, This is the Kit, Goan Dogs, Shapes Takeover
Farmfestival have been slowly building their own world for over a decade, and 2017 follows on confidently. Shobaleader One are widely regarded as one of the most sought-after sets around, with them joined by a truly eclectic lineup of bands best enjoyed live. Throw in FF’s famously friendly vibes and you’ve got perfect, unpretentious summer fun.
Exchange / Stag & Hounds
06.05 / From £20 | Tickets
Key Acts: AJJ, Petal, Martha, The Tuts, She Makes War, Two White Cranes
The Deadpunk team have always promoted a punk agenda with inclusivity at its core. Now in its sixth year, they’ll be showcasing a mix of local bands and artists from across the pond, in what’s set to be the last year in this intimate format.
Bristol Psych Fest
Crofters / Trinity
07-08.07 / From £20 | Tickets
Key Acts: Spectres, The Shivas, Kill West, Yo No Se, The Evil Usses
These champions of the psych rock spectrum up their game by spreading proceedings across the magic Crofters Rights and gert massive Trinity Centre. It’s clear the Bristol Psych Fest are hot on the heels of the much-loved Liverpool event, and right on our doorstep too.
End of The Road
Larmer Tree Gardens
31.08-03.09 / £189 adv | Tickets
Key Acts: Mac Demarco, Father John Misty, Bill Callahan, Lucinda Williams, Waxahatchee, Perfume Genius
An event that offers much more than its carefully-curated line-up, you’ll find a disco in a forest drenched in fairy lights, art installations, karaoke showers, stellar comedy acts and a woodland library. With secret sessions, a cinema, their own post office and some of the best eats around, it’s no wonder the acts love it as much as the attendees.
Fat Lip Fest
Bierkeller / Lanes
29.07 / £15adv | Tickets
Key Acts: Young Guns, ROAM, Feed The Rhino, Devil Sold His Soul
The logical conclusion for the monthly pop-punk mega-party that is Fat Lip was always a music festival, and 2017 is the year that gift from the party gods finally lands. Expect a who’s who of their niche out in force. Just don’t peak too early and miss the headliners, bro.
Amphitheatre / Millennium Square
08.07 / From £5.50adv | Tickets
Key Acts: Charlotte Church’s Pop Dungeon, Dr Meaker, Avec Sans, Saara Aalto, Union J, Sonia
Bristol’s fiercest and proudest party is back this summer to celebrate diversity, equality and the spirit of community. Always bagging the best kind of pop and dance acts around, this year welcomes everything from an X Factor finalist to Charlotte Church’s renowned covers band. There’s also a market area, family activities and dance and cabaret stages. O2 Academy will host the afterparty.
17-19.08 / £90 Weekend | Tickets
Key Acts: Converge, Explosions In The Sky, Future Of The Left, TesseracT
Bristol is full of great niches, but ArcTanGent are really bossing theirs. It’s another year of wall-to-wall rock bands, going perhaps a little broader this time as they span post-hardcore, metalcore, djent, post-rock and more way up the bill.
Love Saves The Day
27-28.05 / From £75 Weekend | Tickets
Key Acts: Little Dragon, Mura Masa, Kate Tempest, Crazy P, NAO, Elder Island
From 10k attendees in the centre to thrice that at their spiritual home of Eastville Park, LSTD has come far, fast. Proceedings are Bristol-y as hell, with their usual party staples of EDM, dub and the like creating the perfect way to blow off some steam in the tentative English sun. Indeed, Team Love are renowned for the summer sound.
21.10 / £TBA | Tickets
Key Acts: An eclectic mix of blogosphere darlings and cult faves TBA
While the lineup is, as usual, yet to be announced for the biggest night in October, Simple Things deserves a choice spot in your festival calendar. Catch up on a year’s worth of new music from the epicentre of good taste.
Bristol Harbour Festival
21-23.07 / Free | Info
Key Acts: A sea of local music with family-friendly headliners
Taking over a smattering of venues around or in (hi, Thekla!) the Harbour, the annual event Bristolians affectionately call Harbourside is back, with much still a mystery. Expect a great local stage at the Loui, some apt headliners TBA at Colston Hall and a whole spectrum in between.
Victoria Park, London
03.07 / £64.50adv | Tickets
Key Acts: Aphex Twin, Flying Lotus, Death Grips, Run The Jewels, Whitney, Slowdive, Moderat
Picture the famed booking prowess of Field Day. Okay, now picture it condensed into one amazing day – that’s FD 2017. Ramping things up with a huge and high-tech new stage ‘The Barn’ this year, you’ll be safe even if the heavens open. Headlining said stage is the legendary Aphex Twin with his first UK live show in nearly a decade, another huge win for team FD.
The Great Escape
18-20.05 / £60 Weekend | Tickets
Key Acts: Slaves, Dream Wife, Goat Girl, Froth, Cabbage, October Drift, Nilüfer Yanya
The Great Escape is truly the UK’s flagship multi-venue fest-a-rama. Literally hundreds of acts make the pilgrimage to Brighton for TGE and its fringe stages with the hopes of getting in front of industry bigwigs and, well, you. It’s new music heaven, with a pier.
Live At Leeds
29.04 / £32.50adv | Tickets
Key Acts: Rag’n’Bone Man, White Lies, Wild Beasts, DMA’S, Jagwar Ma, Teleman, Idles
Live At Leeds have been landing staunchly good lineups for over a decade, and this year is no exception. Their tireless focus on new music has been a guiding light for music-lovers and breakthrough acts alike; hop on the Megabus and blow your mind.
17-20.08 / £180adv | Tickets
Key Acts: Future Islands, The Shins, PJ Harvey, Ryan Adams, Angel Olsen, Julia Jacklin
Taking place in the breath-taking surroundings of Brecon Beacons, there’s a magical undercurrent to this Welsh gem. As well as hosting a wealth of acts – often on the cusp of superstardom – the festival prides itself on its extra-curricular activities, including science experiments, nature expeditions, fairground rides, DJ sets and of course, the final night bonfire and firework display.
Drumlanrig Castle, Scotland
01-02.09 / £95adv | Tickets
Key Acts: Frightened Rabbit, Dizzee Rascal, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Real Estate
Arguably Scotland’s best festival, Electric Fields offers up an eclectic array of artists – from Mercury music prize winners to national treasures – in the stunning surroundings of a 17th century castle and forest gardens. A festival fit for a literal queen.
31.05-04.06 / £170 Weekend | Tickets
Key Acts: Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, Frank Ocean, The xx, Metronomy, Solange, Grandaddy, Slayer
What’s better than a music festival? A music festival that’s also a holiday, of course. Barcelona’s spring jewel boasts sun, sea, sand and a lineup that’s just loco. Now with an attendance of almost 200k, it’s like any huge fest back home, just with better acts, hotter punters and ample tapas.
01-05.11 / £170 Weekend | Tickets
Key Acts: Fleet Foxes, Childhood, Ásgeir, Mammút, Alexander Jarl, Hildur
Let’s face it, Iceland is cool. If you think of yourself as such and still haven’t been, stop Björking the talk, and start Björking the walk. Come for a handful of choice international acts joined by an army of Icelandic breakthroughs; stay for the outstanding natural beauty and DJ sets from the actual Blue Lagoon.
04-06.08 / £54 adv | Tickets
Key Acts: Daniel Johnston, PJ Harvey, Shellac, Swans, The Black Madonna, Beak>
This perfect Polish getaway boasts beer that costs around a quid and a lineup that rivals some of the UK’s most established events. With a stage dedicated to strictly experimental acts, you can always count on OFF to bring you the unexpected.
La Route du Rock
17-20.08 / £86 | Tickets
Key Acts: PJ Harvey, Interpol, Mac Demarco, Angel Olsen, DJ Shadow, Ty Segall
If you’re down for un petit voyage en France, La Route du Rock is waving distance from the channel islands and has been smashing out very tasteful lineups for decades. While only a fraction of 2017 has been announced so far, they’re already eschewing the typically-continental tack of ‘bands with the most Facebook likes’ for diverse leftfield heroes. Grab a French pastry and croiss it off your list.
15-17.09 / From £140 Weekend | Tickets
Key Acts: Daniel Avery, Henrik Schwartz, Karenn, KiNK, Kornel Kovacs, Nicolas Jarr
The other-wordliness of Morocco is just an Easyjet away. Mix with that choice music and affordable luxury and you’ve got a doable, fancy festival for those who’d choose pools and villas over tents any day. Dance music’s best kept secret according to Ministry of Sound.
Happy festival season!