Summer Festival Guide 2012

So, now that all Southampton University students (even Medics) have finished exams, the question on everyone’s lips is, ‘So, what are you doing this summer?” Well, for all those with […]

So, now that all Southampton University students (even Medics) have finished exams, the question on everyone’s lips is, ‘So, what are you doing this summer?” Well, for all those with a empty calendar, a bit of money and the desire to get absolutely trashed/listen to your favourite bands in a field in the middle of nowhere, here is the guide to the biggest and best music festivals in the UK and Europe.

The ticket prices listed below are for the full weekend camping ticket, just as a heads up before the imminent sharp intakes of breath; most festivals offer day passes at reduced rates.


14th -16th Glade Festival — The Glade is a multi-stage electronica and dance music festival well known for having fantastic heart-attack-provoking sound systems manned by a plethora of upcoming electronica stars as well as seasoned musicians.

Ideal for: dance junkies/techies who want to lose themselves to drum and bass.

Attendance: ~15,000.

Tickets – £135


22nd-24th Isle of Wight Festival — Founded in 1968, Elbow, Pearl Jam and Springsteen headline the recently revived IoW rock festival this year. Known for its chilled out vibe in the daytime, this quickly changes as some of the biggest names in music at the moment take to its stages in the afternoons and evenings.

Ideal for: Any and all types of rock fans.

Attendance: 65,000.

Tickets – £190



6th-8th T in the Park — A semi-arena festival, with several stages scattered around both campsites and arena, located in Balado, Kinross-shire, Scotland, it never fails to impress with lineups, with Beyoncé and the Strokes headlining last year. This year includes acts such as Snow Patrol, Florence + the Machine, the Stone Roses, David Guetta, Kasabian, Elbow and Nicki Minaj.

Ideal for: A-little-bit-of-everything people who aren’t afraid of getting frostbite. Ability to understand Scottish is optional.

Attendance: 85,000.

Tickets – £199


11th-15th Latitude Festival — A fantastic all rounder and brilliant festival based in Suffolk. Headliners on the Obelisk Stage include Bon Iver, Elbow and Paul Weller, with support from Laura Marling, Ben Howard, White Lies, Lana del Rey, M83 and a incredibly rare UK performance by the legendary US band, Explosions in the Sky.

Ideal for: Festival newcomers. Latitude, like a mini-Glastonbury, has so much to offer, with such an amazing line-up this year!

Attendance: 35,000.

Tickets – £183



17th-19th The Green Man Festival — A mish-mash of psych, folk, indie, dance and Americana, The Green Man festival in the Brecon Beacons is a small, ethically minded festival for those with a slightly alternative taste.

Headlined this year by Mogwai, Feist (remember that 1,2,3,4 iPod advert?) and the legend that is Van Morrison, with others including the wonderfully talented Yann Tiersen – creator the beautiful Amelié soundtrack – the Walkmen, Benjamin Francis Leftwitch and a little DJ slot by Mr Scruff.

Ideal for: Alternative individuals whose experience won’t be marred by the highly likely rainfall; it’s in Wales after all!

Attendance: 15,000.

Tickets – £145


23rd-27th Shambala Festival — A tiny, quirky and very pretty festival held in a secret location up North. The organisers have capped tickets at 8,000 so as to keep the family feel to the festival. Set in the grounds of a country house, Shambala has a wonderful, end-of-season laid back vibe.

Ideal for: Fancy-dress fanatics fond of finding hidden parts of the festival, such as the phenomenal art/party installation in the nearby forest.

Attendance: ~ 8,000.

Tickets – £119



6th-9th Bestival — The end of the UK festival season means Bestival – a four day indie/dance music festival on the Isle of Wight.

Headliners this year include New Order, Stevie Wonder, Florence + the Machine, Sigur Ròs and The XX (2010 Mercury Prize winners), and further acts include Justice, Hot Chip, Warpaint, The Horrors, Emeli Sandé and Death in Vegas.

Make sure you visit the Bollywood Cocktail Bar and the Roller Disco.

Ideal for: Similar fancy-dress demons, and students wanting to enjoy the last week of warm weather before heading back to university.

Attendance: 60,000.

Tickets – ~ £170



The best of the International Music Festival scene is as follows:

1st-4th Roskilde (Denmark)  – Denmark’s combination of the grime of Reading and Leeds, the bands of Glastonbury Festival and the fancy dress of Bestival/Shambala, Roskilde is a little bit of everything, from Nude Runs to cross-campsite fancy-dress competitions and world-class bands.

The Cure, Björk, Bon Iver and Bruce Springsteen headline this year’s festival. Take waterproofs, it nearly always rains!

Ideal for: Danes and international Reading/Leeds fans.

Attendance = 130,000

Tickets – 1790DKK/£195


15th-18th July Benicassim (Spain) – the Festival Internacional de Benicàssim is a culmination of pop, rock and electronic music, fashion shows, art installations and short film showings. Oh, and did I mention that it’s in SPAIN?!

If this doesn’t get your heart racing, wait till you see who’s playing: Bob Dylan (yes, the Bob Dylan), The Maccabees, Crystal Castles, Florence + the Machine, Ed Sheeran, David Guetta, Dizzee Rascal and the Stone Roses.

Ideal for: Surfer bums, Bob Dylan fans (basically the whole world, right?), and all of Ed Sheeran’s sometimes slightly aggressive groupies.

Attendance:  60,000.

Tickets – €165/£135

11th-16th August – Sziget (Hungary) – Sziget is one of the oldest and biggest music festival in Europe, this year hosting the likes of The Stone Roses, The Subways, Noah and the Whale, The XX, LMFAO and Paolo Nutini.

As well as the music, you can get involved with tonnes of sports ranging from volleyball and indoor rowing to rock climbing and bungee-jumping, and due to the close proximity to Budapest, you can always escape to the city for a while if you need a change of scenery (unlikely).

Ideal for: Clandestine sports fiends who just happen to like mingling with 249,999 others to listen to some brilliant bands!

Attendance: 250,000.

Tickets – €225/£182


29th August – 3rd September – Outlook (Croatia) – Outlook is a small Croatian music festival in Pula, specialising in anything and everything to do with bass music. Outlook is on the coastline so there is always the option to sunbathe and go kite-surfing/powerboating and definitely do not miss the boat parties on which some of the big acts play to an intimate crowd.

Ideal for: Roadtrippers ending a trans-Europe summer trip, bass freaks.

Attendance: 15,000.

Tickets – £145 /

Olympics, scholympics…Have a great summer!