A Summer of Festivals
George Ward breaks down a hopeful summer of festivals to come.
The thought that we will be going to the pub, eating out at a restaurant or going to a gig in the next few months is still hard to believe. All of these things that I’ve missed so much seem more in reach than they ever have in the last year. But the thing that I am most excited for is the chance to go to a festival again.
Festivals really do combine the best parts of all of these places. You’ve got the energy of live performances, the amazing food from pop-ups and drinking a pint in a field feels even better than in a beer garden.
For me, the festival that does all these things best is ‘End of the Road’ in Wiltshire. While it may not have as huge a lineup as Glastonbury or Reading and Leeds, you really feel like each artist playing has been chosen for a specific reason and there’s something for literally anyone.
The past two years’ lineups have been incredible. If you’re into pop, there was Vampire Weekend, Metronomy or Snail Mail. If you’re into jazz there was Nubya Garcia and if you’re into louder stuff, you’re sorted. End of the Road is particularly good at getting some amazing bands from the Post-Punk scene at the moment. I’ve seen incredible shows from black midi and Fontaines DC and with Squid, Black Country, New Road and Girl Band playing this year, it couldn’t be more exciting.
Headlining the festival this year are Pixies, King Krule, Big Thief and Bright Eyes with Little Simz and Perfume Genius also playing among so many more. The food is always excellent (French Crepe Lady, I will be back), there’s more beers than you can imagine and, as you can see, the music is the best you can ask for. If you can find a ticket anywhere, do it.
While lots of people will be making their way to Reading, Leeds or Boomtown this year, I wanted to talk a bit about smaller festivals with some great lineups.
Green Man in Wales is definitely one to check out. While their lineup for this year is yet to be announced, last year’s cancelled festival had Mac Demarco, Caribou and Michael Kiwanuka as well as many more – this is definitely one to keep an eye on.
If you’re into your indie rock or pop, Truck Festival always delivers with Bombay Bicycle Club, The Kooks and Catfish and the Bottlemen headlining last year or if you prefer more electronic stuff, there’s Field Day Festival with Bicep, The Blessed Madonna and Ross From Friends all playing.
Finally, even if it might not go ahead this year, I wanted to give a shout-out to a tiny festival in Italy called Beaches Brew. This one really is worth it if you’re travelling in Europe and the best part is that it’s completely free. The festival takes place on Hana Bi beach and while the lineup is small, the location alone is worth it. Watching Big Thief play in front of the setting sun while everybody stood around in bare feet on the sand was probably the best festival experience I have had and I’m sure you’ll have just as special a time as I did there.
While I’m sure lots of festivals have sold out already, have a look around, do your best to get a ticket and support small festivals in any way you can.