This year there are some great line-ups at some great festivals, so we thought we’d pick out the ones we feel will be most enjoyable. Yeah you have your Glastonburys, Benicassims, V Fests and all that, but they’re all a bit much for some. So, instead, we’ve gone for the more enjoyable, boutique feeling and slightly less mainstream festivals.
*= Soapbox star pick.
Hop Farm // July 4-6 // Kent
Next month we’ll see Kent’s Hop Farm Festival delve into the near past with huge names such as Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Maximo Park and Scouting For Girls. Hop Farm really has the intimacy that many festivals lack. There’s added character from the Jazz/Blues tent and a host of talent in the Comedy Tent.
High Definition // July 5 // Tunbridge Wells
Carl Cox, Dusky and Gorgon City. Just a few of the huge names that’ll be taking to the High Definition stage next month in Tunbridge Wells. The festival will also see some stars of 2014, such as Route 94, Roska and My Nu Leng. High Definition 2014 is going to be a crazy day out so it’s worth getting a ticket whilst they’re still on sale.
Boombap // July 11-13 // Suffolk
All you UK Hip-Hop heads must know by now that Boombap is the festival to visit this July. Rap legend Ghostface Killah, is joined by a number of other remarkable acts such as Lunar C, Dirty Dike and Brighton duo Frankie Stew and Harvey Gunn, who recently released a fantastic new album titled “The Morning”.
Latitude // July 17-20 // Suffolk
Blur frontman and the genius behind Gorillaz, Damon Albarn, is set to headline the intimate yet lively Latitude. More and more people are taking note of this festival, which has a lot to offer, including a poetry corner, comedy stage and even a theatre. Other acts over the weekend include Haim, Kelis and Bombay Bicycle Club.
Lovebox // July 18-19 // London
One of the greatest rappers to ever live, Nas, will headlining London’s Lovebox this year. Also featuring on the line up is Duke Dumont, A$AP Rocky, BANKS and The Horros, who are likely to be showcasing material from their new album.
*Truck // July 18-19 // Oxford
This year, Truck will be headlined by White Lies and The Cribs, who both have a strong following and know how to put on a good show. Spread over just two days, Truck Festival has a rich lineup, including Los Campesinos!, Swim Deep and Peace – who recently released a new single titled “Money”.
*Shakedown // July 19 // Brighton
Back for another year, at a new venue and an earlier date, Shakedown Festival 2014 is looking like a good one. With Jaguar Skills returning, Friction performing to his home crowd, and Basement Jaxx headlining, it’s almost impossible to pick a fault in the lineup.
Secret Garden Party // July 24-27 // Cambridgeshire
Hidden away in Cambridgeshire, Secret Garden Party hosts an incredibly diverse line up, featuring the likes of Huxley, Brighton’s very own Rag N Bone Man, and hip-hop legends Public Enemy. Unfortunately, tickets have all sold out. View the full line up here.
Global Gathering // July 25-26 // Stratford Upon Avon
Global Gathering is an electronic music festival that has hosted the likes of Steve Aoki, Faithless, Pendulum, rap legend Kanye West and Brighton’s own Hucci. This year, The Prodigy will headline the Friday whilst Chase & Status headline the Saturday. House legends MK and James Zabiela will also be making appearances over the weekend.
*Redfest // July 25-26 // Redhill
A great little festival which is less than an hour away from London/Brighton, definitely one for those looking to discover great new music without breaking the bank. Headlining Redfest this year will be Skindred and Peace – both of whom have been extremely busy this year. For more information, check out our full event preview.
Camp Bestival // July 31-August 3 // Isle of Wight
Spread over four days, Camp Bestival is a more family-in-mind, tamer version of Bestival (held in September on The Isle of Wight). Basement Jaxx, Johnny Marr and The Skatalites all take to the stage in what looks to be another good year for Camp Bestival. Click here for the full lineup.
Kendal Calling // August 1-3 // Lake District
Winner of “Best Small Festival” in 2010 and 2011, and “Best Medium Festival” last year, it’s definitely worth making space in your calendar for Kendal Calling. With names such as Gorgon City, De La Soul and Example, it comes as no surprise that all tickets have already sold out. You can view the full line up here.
*Boomtown // August 7-10 // Wiltshire
Not many festivals can boast the inclusion of Shaggy in their lineup. Set up like a pop-up city, with several districts each bringing their own style to the party, Boomtown promises to be upbeat, chaotic and vibrant. Keep an eye out for our full preview!
Strawberry Fields // August 8-10 // Leicestershire
Strawberry Fields has only been going for five years but has made a name for itself by hosting some huge names (Example, Mystery Jets and Jaguar Skills). On the lineup this year will be Reverend & The Makers, DJ Yoda, and Jaws. For the full line up, click here.
One Love // August 15-17 // Essex
One Love is the home of reggae and dub this summer. With some legendary acts in the past, and some massive names this year, One Love Festival is shaping up nicely. The Wailing Souls, Ras Dem and Jesse Royal are just some of the great names that’ll be gracing the One Love stages this year. A few Brighton names will be there too, Arcane, Jungle Rollerz and duo Trouble & Maniac all feature on the line up.
*South West Four // August 23-24 // London
We went to this festival last year, and it exceeded expectations. With vibrant crowds, good music and very cheap tickets, South West Four is one to make a weekend out of. Spread over two days, this year’s festival sees Deadmau5 and Above & Beyond headlining. Other acts over the weekend include Andy C, Fedde Le Grand and Skream. Check out our photos from South West Four 2013.
Bestival // September 4-7 // Isle of Wight
Okay, so perhaps Bestival doesn’t really qualify as a small festival any more. However, over the years Rob Da Bank’s Isle of Wight based party has managed to retain a boutique feel. This year, headline acts range from Outkast, to Disclosure and Bonobo among others, and is usually well attended, falling near the end of the summer. View the full lineup here.
*Outlook // September 5-7 // Pula, Croatia
Despite being in Croatia, Outlook is extremely popular with the typical British festival-goer. With renowned artists coming from all over the world to play at this festival, its constant rise in popularity comes as no surprise. Appearing at Outlook this year will be Bondax, DJ Premier, Andy C and Goldie – who we’ve already seen this year at Streetfest.
Have a good summer, we’ll see you at one of these.