Festivals, Bestivals and all the Restivals

Wondering which festival to hit this year? Ruth Lawes gives you the low down on the best on offer


Questionable living conditions, rare showers and socially acceptable drinking at 11 am. Nope, I am not talking about standard student life but festivals. With line-ups starting to be announced and tickets selling fast, it’s time to dig out your mud-caked wellies and scrape together the remnants of your student loan. For a drunken, musical haze of a summer here are my top festivals this year:

Sziget, Hungary

Hungary, or more specifically an island slap bang in the middle of the Danube, may seem like a random place for an indie festival but don’t let it put you off. Sziget boasts a world-class line-up: acts such as “The Stone Roses” and “Snoop Dogg/Lion” performed there last year, and “Blur” has already been announced for this year. What’s more, the cost of an average pint is 2.60 euros and the average temperature is 26C, so you can bronze while you booze. For those of us who are not good with money (i.e. all of us, we are students) you preload your money on a card and if you loose it, you can claim all the money back.  Without the need to fumble around for change, it does make you feel like you have an endless amount of money. But, after your tenth beer, who cares anyway? If you’re still alive, during the day you can get free massages, do a bungee jump (not advisable on a hangover), or drink away on Captain Morgan’s floating bar. In fact, perhaps it is a random place for an indie festival.


V Festival, England


Were the Beyoncé world tour tickets the “Best thing you never had” (sorry, couldn’t resist)? Well, all is not lost as she is one of the headliners of V Festival. Located just 30 minutes from Birmingham, V is a staple for many festival goers. It has been described as ‘too commercial’ and you may have to starve the entire weekend (well, eatin’ is cheatin’ anyway guys) as burgers cost 7 pounds but it does attract top acts. Yes, if you’re a hipster these acts may be ‘mainstream’ but at least you can throw bottles of urine at them (like Cher Lloyd last year.) V is also renowned for its organic gourmet food stands so for all you rich hippies out there, you’re in for a culinary delight. Finally, to kick back and relax, you can watch “The Hangover” while you have a hangover at the Arena tent which converts into a cinema late at night.


Hideout, Croatia


If rain, tents and fields aren’t really your thing, try sun, boat parties and beaches at Hideout on the island of Pag off the Croatian coast. The festival also caps visitors at 10,000 so it has a more intimate, exclusive feel. While this may sound more like a holiday in the French Riviera, it certainly doesn’t have the same price tag: you can get tickets for as little as $99. The music is mainly electronic, and in the past there have been DJ sets from the likes of “Annie Mac” and “Chase & Status.”  Obviously, being on one of the most beautiful coastlines in the word means it would be rude not to stay in Croatia for a few days either side and make the most of the culture (read: boat parties.) Think of it as a festival and a holiday rolled into one.


Bestival, Isle of Wight


With eclectic lineups, this year including Elton John, Bestival is taking the UK festival scene by storm. As well as music, Bestival is famous for its fancy dress themed days. So, you can forget finding festival-chic outfits at Topshop and delve into your dressing up box instead. If you happen to come across a Bride and Groom outfit you’re in luck: one year there was even an inflatable church where you could get married. Whoever said that festival flings never last? Oh, and keep an eye out for a secret stage too. That’s right, secret stages. Bestival really is “Alice in Wonderland” in festival form. This year it takes places on the 5-8th September making it the perfect pick-me-up before the onset of returning to uni blues.