Festivals, remember them? Fingers crossed they won’t be only a memory of days past for much longer, as many event organisers are planning to go ahead this summer and bring back the good times to a field near you.
Following the cancellation of Glastonbury earlier this year, many of us imagined that this was a tell-tale sign that it would be another twelve-months with a festival shaped hole in the calendar and our hearts. However, since Reading & Leeds announced they were set to return as normal, many others have since come forward with their plans to bring live music back, with many festivals poised to return.
The festival calendar looks different from a normal year. It’s certainly a lot lighter than we’ve got used to, with many festivals yet to announce whether they will have another year off before returning in 2022 if they are fortunate enough to have survived the pandemic’s devastating effects, which has ruined businesses all over Britain.
Whilst festival season also traditionally begins around May, with lockdown restrictions still currently in place until at least June 21st. Festival organisers have sided with caution and moved their events back until the tail-end of summer to ensure that they have the best chance of going ahead.
2021 UK festival guide:
All Points East
The East London festival has announced that they hope to return this summer although, All Points East will be taking place on August bank holiday weekend from 27th-29th August rather than in May. Artists confirmed to take part in the event so far include Jamie XX, Slowthai, Kano, Little Simz and Bicep.
“We can’t wait to welcome back live music in the UK and be back dancing with you all later this summer,” organisers said in a recent statement.
The Oxfordshire bash is another festival which is set to take place over the August bank holiday weekend. So far, they have announced that the likes of Chic, Sigala, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man and Zara Larsson will be performing on Blur bassist Alex James’ farm.
“We’re all in need of a serious celebration this year, so we’re pulling out all the stops to ensure this is our best line-up yet,” said James. “Roll on August!”
Bloodstock is one of the UK’s biggest metal festivals, and unlike Download, it looks to return in 2021. Bands announced for the event so far include Judas Priest, Kreator, Devin Townsend and Skindred.
It’s set to take place from 11-15th August, and the line-up will be more domestic-based than previous years according to the organisers, who stated, “due to the ongoing issues and restrictions surrounding Covid-19, several overseas bands are no longer able to be at Catton Park with us this summer”.
Boomtown is set to go ahead under the name ‘The Gathering’, from August 11th until the 15th, but, in a bizarre turn of events, they are keeping the line-up secretive until just before it begins.
“Gatherings are a deep part of human connection and celebration and have been so for millennia, but in these current real-world times, they were also one of the first things to be outlawed. When we come together, this will be The Gathering we’ve all been needing for so long,” they said in a statement.
BST Hyde Park
BST Hyde Park has become a staple of London’s summer calendar as some of the world’s biggest acts grace the city for a bonanza at Hyde Park. So far, Pearl Jam has been announced to headline two nights of the Festival and be joined by Pixies and IDLES’, among others.
Duran Duran are also announced to headline a date at Hyde Park with support coming from Nile Rodgers & CHIC and Grace Jones. These events are scheduled to take place from July 9th till the 11th.
“There is literally nothing [my wife] Josie, and I like more in life than standing in a field surrounded by family and friends, dressed in daft outfits dancing to amazing bands and DJs and Mr Tumble,” organiser Rob Da Bank told the BBC. “That’s exactly what we plan to be doing at Camp Bestival.”
So far, Rob Da Bank has announced that he plans to bring dance royalty like Fatboy Slim and Groove Armada to Lulworth Castle in Dorset from July 29th until August 1st.
The UK’s premier dance festival have announced that they will be returning in their slot over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Organisers have promised punters for “the party of the summer”.
Acts like Deadmau5, Carl Cox, Eric Prydz, Tiesto, Bicep, Martin Garrix and Chase & Status will be bringing the beats to Cheshire this August.
Deer Shed Festival
North Yorkshire’s Deer Shed Festival is coming back for three days on July 30th, and organisers have already announced the bill for the family-friendly event.
“We are delighted to confirm that Deer Shedders are GO,” organisers recently said. The likes of James, Baxter Dury, Stereolab, Ghostpoet and Tim Burgess will be venturing to Yorkshire for the bash.
End Of The Road
End Of The Road is returning this September from 2nd to 5th, with a line-up boasting names like Little Simz, Bright Eyes, Big Thief, Perfume Genius and Pixies.
We were ready for one hell of a party in 2020, so we did our best to keep most of the original line-up,” said organisers. “It has been a strange year, and we’d like to extend the biggest thank-you to everybody who’s bought a ticket and stood with us through these tough times.”
Isle Of Wight
The famous Festival was originally set to take place in June, but the Isle of Wight festival has been pushed back three months to September.
No acts have been announced yet, but organisers said they were “aiming to bring back as many of the artists as we can” from the 2020 line-up.
The intended line-up for 2020 featured Lewis Capaldi, Duran Duran, The Chemical Brothers and Lionel Richie.
The Cumbrian festival is yet to announce its line-up, but they have stated that they are returning in their usual slot of July’s final weekend.
Writing on the site’s Facebook page, organisers said they were “lucky that our on-site preparations don’t begin for some time, unlike some of our much bigger friends in the festival world”. A line-up is expected to be announced soon.
Latitude is hoping to return from July 22nd until the 25th in Suffolk, making it one of the first to come back. The Festival has announced acts including Lewis Capaldi, Bastille, Snow Patrol and First Aid Kit.
The Suffolk festival is run by Festival Republic, who also look after Reading & Leeds, which is set to return this summer.
Ian Brown has pulled out of headline performance at Neighbourhood Weekender due to the Festival insisting on proof of vaccinations for fans to attend the Festival. Still, the Warrington event is set to go ahead without him.
Brown has been replaced by James as Saturday night-headliner, with Gerry Cinnamon closing the Friday night and Catfish & The Bottlemen headlining the Sunday. Other acts set to appear at NBHD include Sam Fender, Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott, Pale Waves, Easy Life, The Coral, Miles Kane and Sports Team.
Manchester’s Parklife is a stable of the festival calendar in June at Heaton Park but has been pushed back until September this year. No line-up has been announced as of yet, but one is expected soon.
“We’re not considering operating with social distancing – I personally don’t like these socially distanced events,” organiser Sacha Lord told the NME. “I think to go to a proper gig or a proper rave; you need to be shoulder-to-shoulder in a hot, sweaty environment. You cannot create that atmosphere at a socially distanced event.”
Reading & Leeds
Stormzy will take to the stage on the Main Stage East on Reading on the Friday and Leeds on the Saturday whilst Catfish, and The Bottlemen will headline Main Stage West on the same nights. Post Malone is to top the bill on the Saturday on Main Stage East at Reading and the Sunday evening in Leeds with Disclosure filling the other headline slot that evening.
The final evening at Reading and the Friday at Leeds will welcome Liam Gallagher to take up Main Stage East’s reigns with Queens of The Stone Age return to the festival for a slot on Main Stage West.
Other acts appearing throughout the Festival include Lewis Capaldi, Two Door Cinema Club, AJ Tracey, DaBaby, Doja Cat, Gerry Cinnamon, Charli XCX, Sports Team and many more.
This Cumbrian Festival is set to take place over the jam-packed August Bank Holiday and welcomes artists such as Maximo Park, Basement Jaxx and Echo & The Bunnymen.
“We are also fortunate enough to have an additional nine weeks after the official end of social distancing measures to survive any short lockdown extensions,” said organisers in a statement where they reassured fans that tickets could be carried over if worst comes to worst.
Splendour in Nottingham
This one-day extravaganza is coming to Nottingham’s Woolaston Park on July 24th and looks set to be an action-packed bill topped by Richard Ashcroft.
Other acts joining The Verve man include Supergrass, Rick Astley, Sleeper and The Vamps. “It’s been a long time coming, but we can promise you it’ll be worth the wait,” said Splendour, when on March 6th, they announced their return.
Standon Calling is returning to Hertfordshire from July 22nd until the 25th. It will be headlined by Bastille, Primal Scream and Hot Chip.
“We remain ready to act flexibly and quickly to any changes to the proposed easing of lockdown over the next few months and to implement any necessary safety measures at the time of the event in July,” said a statement on their website.
Norwich’s Sundown Festival is arriving on September 3rd for a weekend full of hip-hop and pop. “Here’s to a summer together,” organisers hopefully declared last month.
Loyle Carner, Sean Paul, Becky Hill and Fredo have all been announced to appear at the Festival thus far.
Portsmouth’s Victorious Festival will be making a comeback over the August Bank Holiday, although a line-up is yet to be revealed. Victorious Festival hopes to celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2021 in epic style.
Organisers have said that they hope to keep most of last year’s bill intact, including artists such as The Streets, Manic Street Preachers, Royal Blood, and Chic.
South London’s Womad has confirmed their plans to return this summer, with the event set to take place in Charlton from July 22nd until the 25th.
“What is in no doubt is that Womad 2021 will be, as always, a glorious celebration of the global community, its music, arts, culture, and food,” organisers said in a statement. The UK based artists will be announced on April 12th, while international acts will be revealed around May 17th.