The Tab’s 2016 festival guide

You may have missed Glastonbury, but never fear, the Tab have your raving summer sorted.

2016 alternative festival festivals headliners Leeds Music Reading Student

What’s stopping you? Pick a festival, grab some mates, some beer, some glitter, a tent and leave reality at home.


  • Dates: 14th-17th July
  • Location: Southwold, Suffolk
  • Headliners: The Maccabees, New Order, the National
  • Summary: First held in 2006, this friendly festival has consistently attracted big names and this year is no exception. However Latitude is more expansive than your usual music festival, with an impressive collection of comedians, film, literature and threater…and not least, PINK SHEEP. With such a range of acts, Latitude Festival guarentees fun for all the family.

Who needs to pay for drugs when you can have a real life trip at Latitude


  • 26th-28th August
  • Reading and Leeds
  • Headliners: Foals, Disclosure, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Biffy Clyro, Fall Out Boy
  • Summary: If you’re ok with avoiding toilets and not showering for three days, R&L’s post-GCSE new found freedom-esque atmosphere is a winner (for 16 year olds maybe more so).

The famous Reading mudflat


  • Dates: 7th-10th July
  • Location: Perthshire, Scotlamd
  • Headliners: the Stone Roses, Calvin Harris, Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Summary: The #1 place for a messy Scottish weekend, and arguably the greatest festival lineup of 2016.

    So close that you’ll be sleeping in each other’s piss…literally…but that’s just part of the festival experience


  • Dates: 15th-17th July
  • Location: Oxfordshire
  • Headliners: Catfish and the Bottlemen, Manic Street Preachers, Kodaline
  • Summary: This 3-day independent festival has rapidly grown since its formation in 1998, and as has it’s headline names. Truck festival is also a gem for spotting up-and-coming bands before they become mainstream, which gives you blagging rights. Spoiler = there are no tucks.


  • Dates: 2nd-4th September
  • Location: Cambridgeshire
  • Headliners: The Sunshine Underground, Sundara Karma, Swim Deep
  • Summary: This little known festival is held on 200 acres of Cambridge countryside, showcasing music performances from a variety of genres, entertainment, crafts, theatre and outdoor activities. Doug, the founder of the festival, quotes “…the world seems to always be a troubled place, for individuals as well as countries. I cleared the fields to offer a moment in time to free us from everyday life and let the emotional power of music capture a memory for us” and that is a reason to venture to LodeStar in itself.


  • Dates: 29th-31st July
  • Location: Matlock, Derbyshire
  • Headliners: Editors, Noel Gallagher’s High Fling Birds, Madness
  • Summary: It’s all in the title… why not would you go? Experience euphoria in the gorgeous Peak District whilst dancing along to your favourite bands. If you don’t come for an act you love, you will find something new to love by the end of the eye-opening Y Not weekend.

Secret Garden Party

  • Dates: 21st-24th July
  • Location: Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
  • Headliners: Caribou, Air, Maribou State
  • Summary: A garden party unlike the usual dapper Cambridge ones, this alternative arts and music festival promises a serious party. Get whisked away to a beautiful land where reality does not matter one bit. Let loose.

Fuck Monday morning work, get topless


  • Dates: 8th-11th September (and you thought festival season was over)
  • Location: Newport, Isle of Wight
  • Headliners: the Cure, Major Lazer, Wiz Khalifa, Sean Paul
  • Summary: From the most original boutique campsite experience, to the Bollywood Tent, a Cosmic Commune, mass fancy dress, and even the UK’s first ever Spaceport, it’s this uniqueness that makes Bestival a wondrous world of discovery and adventure that will inspire peace, love and dancing for everyone. Bestival boasts the most eclectic, energetic line up to keep you buzzed all 4 days of the festival.

I bring you loooveee


  • Dates: 17th July
  • Location: Victoria Park, London
  • Headliners: Sigur Ros, Caribou
  • Summary: Not strictly a festival, but if you’re not a fan of camping then this event is for you. The
    refreshing one-dayer that aims to combine the finest music, food, theatre, arts and entertainment to reflect the cream of the city’s talent.

Standon Calling

  • Dates: 29th-31st July
  • Location: Standon, Hertfordshire
  • Headliners: Suede, Jess Glynne, Kelis
  • Summary: This festival has a theme each year to immerse yourself in for the weekend, and this year it’s ‘the Legend of the Lost Seas’ to explore. Many of the UK’s biggest names, such as Florence + the Machine, Bastille and Mumford and Sons have started here, so be sure not to miss those smaller stages – you may see a new star rising. Moreover, this festival originated in 2005 as the founder’s birthday garden party (invite only) and now it welcomes up to 10,000 fans.

Catch them here before they headline Glasto

Go wild (just don’t blame the Tab if you get into trouble)