The Tab Festival Guide 2013

Our pick of this summer’s hottest festivals.

AC Grayling amadou and mariam AME bastille beans on toast bestival Caitlin Moran Cambridge Cambridge Folk Festival correspondents Dark Sky Easten Electrics festival of literature festivals Found Four Tet Hay Hugh Dennis Huxley I'm forever blowing bubbles jamie XX KT Tunstall Lee Foss literature Maxxi sound system Maya Jane Coles noah and the whale Quenting Blake regina spektor rowan williams Sandi Toksvig secet garden party Shakespeare TEED Unknown Will Self

Hay Festival of Literature

23rd May – 2nd June, Hay on Wye, Wales, £ – (each event requires a separate ticket, some events free)

Website here.

Yes, yes, we’ll get onto music festivals shortly, but first up on The Tab’s hot list is this internationally renowned arts festival. Reading the lineup, it’s as though someone abducted the entire population of Sidgwick and the ADC and dropped them off in a remote field.

Cambridge alumni Sandi Toksvig and Hugh Dennis are scheduled to appear, as is Magdalene’s lovely Rowan Williams. Caitlin Moran talking to India Knight is set to be a highlight, whilst AC Grayling, Will Self and Quentin Blake are all gracing the stage at some point. Noah and the Whale and KT Tunstall are also performing, a perfect break for when high-brow discussion gets too much. Catch all the action on Sky Arts if a mid-exam jaunt to Wales isn’t on the cards.

hay on wye


15th June, Haggerston Park, Shoreditch, £50 (7th release)

Website here.

Found presents a perfect opportunity to get lost for the day, escaping the Bubble of the Bridge before the chaos of Suicide Sunday and May Week descends. Lee Foss, Maya Jane Coles, Huxley, Cyril Hahn and Dark Sky are included amongst the acts, and although the Early Bird tickets have gone, it still works out cheaper than King’s Affair.

The XX – Crystalised (Dark Sky remix)

found festival

Cambridge Shakespeare Festival

9th July – 25th August, Cambridge (various locations) £15 per performance (£11 concessions)

Website here.

With performances at Robinson, Trinity, Downing, King’s, Girton, and St John’s, this local staple is practically crying out for all you Englings to attend. Expect atmospheric performances of Julius Caesar, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, King Lear and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well as many more of the classics.

cambridge shakespeare festival

Cambridge Folk Festival

25th-28th July, Cherry Hinton Hall, £126 (£104 if you get a letter from your college saying you’re a resident)

Website here.

Another local gem, Lucy Rose and KT Tunstall are this year booked to entertain the folk-loving folk. The ones to watch, however, are The Staves, who last year supported Bon Iver on tour. Their sisterly acoustic sound is reminiscent of Simon & Garfunkel, mixed with the mellow whimsicality of Laura Marling. Other festival activities include storytelling, street theatre, and T’ai Chi.

The Staves – Mexico

And these guys…

folk festival

Secret Garden Party

25th-28th July, Tickets £191 (standard tickets SOLD OUT), Abbots Ripton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. Theme: Superstition

Website here.

This not so secret darling of the UK festival scene has blossomed since its inception in 2004, its aim to provide an antithesis to the over-branded garishness of Wireless, V Festival et al. This year’s line-up boasts Bastille, the hilarious Beans on Toast, Clean Bandit and Regina Spektor, as well as The Correspondents, purveyors of a sound which evokes Flamboyant Bella mixed with a swing band. Prepare for a psychedelic kaleidoscope of paint, mud and nudity.

The Correspondents – Washington Square


Eastern Electrics Festival

2-4th August, Knebworth Park, £115

Website here.

With both the music and the atmosphere promising to be electric, head down to Knebworth to sample the madness of Eats Everything, Infinity Ink, Richie Hawtin, Maxxi Soundsystem, AME (picture Nicki Minaj with smaller buttocks) and the phenomenal Justin Martin. Be sure to hit up Fez this Thursday for their official Cambridge launch party, and don’t forget to check out the Rudimental page for a chance to win a free pair of tickets.

Maxxi Soundsystem – Stella’s Way (Huxley remix)

eastern electrics


5-8th September, Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight, £180. Theme: HMS Bestival

Website here.

Frequent winner of ‘Best Festival’ awards, Bestival offers a festival experience like no other. Headliners this year include Sir Elton John and Snoop Dog (or is it Snoop Lion? He is one fickle Rasta). There’s something for everyone, with Jessie Ware, Disclosure, James Blake, Bombay Bicycle Club, Cyril Hahn and Bondax also performing. The real magic, though, is derived from the fantastical architectural magnificence which Rob Da Bank manages to conjure up each year. Be sure to check out The Wishing Tree for trippy late night dance circles and Club Dada for a trip back to the age of burlesque.

James Blake – Overgrown



10th-14th September, Rovinj, Croatia, £89

Website here.

Developed by the masterminds behind The Warehouse Project and Field Day, Unknown is a totally new festival, and incidentally the only one on our list not in the UK. Serving as a perfect alternative to Outlook, anticipate glorious weather and performances from Four Tet, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Jamie XX and Julio Bashmore. Club partners for this Croatian wunderkind include Dollop, who have been making waves in Nottingham, and Canal Mills, the Leeds-based night which has recently played host to SBTRKT, TCTS and Bondax.

Zinc – Only For Tonight (T-E-E-D remix)


Cambridge Film Festival

19-29th September, Cambridge (various venues), tickets not yet available

Website here.

The perfect way to round off summer if you’re back in the Bridge early. Little is yet known about this year’s programme, but last year’s delights included a free screening of Jaws at the Jesus Green Outdoor Pool and numerous talks on the works of Alfred Hitchcock.