City Guide: Music festivals in 2024

November 14, 2023

The United Kingdom boasts a vibrant tapestry of music festivals, each with its own unique flavor. From Glastonbury’s colossal five-day extravaganza to the forest-based Forbidden Forest, there's something for every music lover. Download Festival in Donington Park caters to rock enthusiasts with headlining metal bands, while Parklife in Manchester unites diverse genres, from pop to hip-hop and dance. The Isle of Wight Festival draws crowds with its mix of legendary and modern artists, and WOMAD celebrates global music in Wiltshire. Meanwhile, Secret Garden Party in Cambridgeshire remains an enigmatic highlight, blending eccentric lineups with theatrical stage productions. From dance music at Junction 2 to the community spirit of Kendal Calling in the Lake District, these festivals showcase diverse genres and create unforgettable experiences amidst stunning UK landscapes.

A panoramic view from the top of the hill over the entire Glastonbury Festival site, including the Ribbon tower, the Other Stage and Pyramid stage

Forbidden Forest: A forest-based festival with a significant dance music lineup set in Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire, offering a unique natural setting.
  • When? May 31 - June 2
  • Where? Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire
  • Tickets: from £75 (day tickets) forbidden-forest.co.uk
Country 2 Country (C2C): Has become one of the showpiece events in the ever-growing list of UK country music festivals. The three-dayer brings some of the genre’s biggest names to the capital.
  • When? March 8-10
  • Where? The O2, London
  • Tickets: from £90, c2c-countrytocountry.com
Terminal V One of Scotland’s biggest dance music festivals, Terminal V is a huge celebration of all things house and techno, hosted in picturesque Edinburgh and boasting big DJ talents across its line-up every year.
  • When? April 13-14
  • Where? The Royal Highland Centre + Showground, Edinburgh
The Great Escape: Is a huge spectacle of new and rising artists, taking place annually in Brighton. It's the perfect festival for revellers eagerly looking for the next big music acts.
  • When? May 15-18
  • Tickets: from £100 (full festival ticket), greatescapefestival.com
Bearded Theory: Is a family-friendly festival hosted on the sprawling 250-acre Catton Park estate. Ringing in the 15th anniversary celebrations in 2024, the Derbyshire four-dayer is set to feature a line-up to scream and shout about.
  • When? May 23-26
  • Where? Catton Hall, Walton-on-Trent.
  •  Tickets: from £220, beardedtheory.co.uk
Parklife: Held at Heaton Park, Manchester, Parklife encompasses a diverse range of music genres, attracting a mix of pop, hip-hop, and dance music enthusiasts.
  • Tickets: from £220, beardedtheory.co.uk
Glastonbury: Known for its eclectic lineup and diverse attractions, Glastonbury, situated at Worthy Farm in Somerset, is a massive five-day festival with something for everyone.
  • When? June 26-30
  • Where? Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset
  • Tickets: from £360, https://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/
Isle of Wight Festival: Taking place at Seaclose Park, Isle of Wight, this festival hosts a blend of legendary and contemporary artists, drawing in a substantial crowd each year.
  • When? June 20-23
  • Where? Seaclose Park, Isle of Wight
  • Tickets: from £270 (weekend), isleofwightfestival.com
Tramlines: Set in Hillsborough Park, Sheffield, this festival boasts a diverse lineup and good value for the variety of acts it hosts.
  • When? July 26-28
  • Where? Hillsborough Park, Sheffield
  • Tickets: from £130, tramlines.org.uk
WOMAD: Celebrating international music, this Wiltshire-based festival showcases a blend of global artists, reflecting diverse cultural influences.
  • When? July 25-28
  • Where? Charlton Park, Wiltshire
Kendal Calling: Situated in Lowther Deer Park, Lake District, Kendal Calling is known for its crowd-pleasing headliners and beautiful surroundings.
  • When? August 1-4
  • Where? Lowther Deer Park, Lake District
  • Tickets: from £179 (weekend camping), kendalcalling.co.uk
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