As the utopia of the summer months draw ever closer in, it’s time for revelers to start planning their musical festivities. Choosing a festival can be a daunting task that splits a friendship group like a divorce, so we’ve decided to make it a tad bit easier with our Top 5 picks of the places to be as the sun (hopefully) beams down with passion and vibes.
Boom Bap Festival (29th -31st July at Mildenhall, Suffolk, UK)
For a fair number of years now, Boom Bap has been carrying the gauntlet for UK Hip Hop lovers who haven’t got the dollar to jump across the pond to attend Coachella or SXSW. The weekender is guaranteed packed with the loudest up and coming wordsmiths and beatmakers, coupled with a large sprinkling of the golden delights with Pharoahe Monch and R.A. The Rugged Man headlining this year’s proceedings.
Lollapalooza Berlin (10th-11th September at Treptower Park, Berlin, Germany)
Berlin is one of the coolest places in Europe, full of exciting, colourful adventures to spend your days in content, however nothing comes more colourful than the groundbreaking Lollapalooza Berlin, returning for its second year after last year’s maiden success.
This year’s event, moved to the evergreen Treptower Park situated just south of central Berlin, sees the legendary Radiohead perform (their first tour for more than four years) alongside the experimental ingenuity of James Blake and not to mention German Hip Hop legend Max Herre. This one is expected to be a momentous occasion.
Bestival (8th – 11th September – Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight, UK)
Highly regarded as the best and wildest British festival outside of Glastonbury HQ, Bestival has for years built up a steady reputation as the most vibrant, family-friendly yet bonkers festival to grace the UK (albeit situated on the tiny off shore island of Isle of Wight, which is a bit of a pain to get to).
With each year comes a new dress theme with 2016 no exception as the rather broad ‘Future’ theme will give the festival another year of chaos and fantastic music. Headliners this year are The Cure, Major Lazer, Fatboy Slim, Kano, Skepta as well as a whole bill packed full of the most unmissable gigs of the year.
Sónar (16th – 18th June – Fira Gran Via L’Hospitalet, Barcelona, Spain)
Sónar is without doubt one of the biggest festivals in Europe, capable of attracting the biggest names in music from all stretches of the globe packed into a program split across two fantastic venues across the city. Whilst Sónar by Night has an electronic feel to it, Sónar by Day sees a whole plethora of live acts play to rapturous reception as the sun intensely shines down. The festival is also a window for technological innovators to showcase their achievements with the exhibition bringing in the most forward thinking people on the planet. It can be a bit of a pain moving across the city from one venue to another but all in all it’s worth every last bus, train or taxi journey. Roots Manuva, Stormzy, Four Tet Jamie Woon, Kenny Dope and Section Boyz are expected to be the highlights.
Soundwave Festival (4th-8th August, Tisno, Croatia)
One of the most intimate yet glamorous festivals on the calendar, Soundwave has been making strides as the secret greatest festival for music aficionados over the past few years. Situated in the dreamlike tiny Croatian village of Tisno alongside the crystal clear Adriatic sea, acts usually play on stage with attendees partying in the sea like its 1980s Miami. Pharoahe Monch (who’s seemingly doing the rounds this summer) will headline alongside Mala, Craig Charles, Fatima & The Eglo Band and the effervescent soul diva Harleighblu.
Admittedly, the location is a bit of a pain on the wallet to get to (having to fly to either Split or Zagreb Airport before a lengthy trip to the hidden village) but once you’re there you’ll see what all the fuss is about.