2021 UK festivals guide: from Reading and Leeds to the Isle of Wight
Even though Glasto is off, there should be plenty of fields to get muddy in this year
Festival-goers will be busy finding their tents and raincoats ahead of the highly-anticipated return of major music events this summer.
In the four-step roadmap out of lockdown, the government said it is hoped “all legal limits on social contact can be removed” from 21 July and restrictions will be lifted on large events and performances.
Although Glastonbury and Download are cancelled, there are still many festivals on the calendar. We pick out some of the biggest which are scheduled to take place this summer in the UK, subject to approval.
22-25 July 2021
Nozstock: The Hidden Valley
For most of the year Rowden Paddocks near Bromyard in Herefordshire is a fully working farm complete with cows, sheep and chickens. Yet every summer since 2008, a barmy family-friendly festival has also been growing on the site. This year, Nozstock’s ten stages will welcome a diverse range of acts including Sister Sledge, Bill Bailey, Gentleman’s Dub Club, Submotion Orchestra and hundreds more. Tickets have already sold out for the event in July.
22-25 July 2021
Held at Henham Park in Suffolk, Latitude “may be the most middle-class of events”, The Guardian said in its 2019 review, but it was “stylish, dramatic and surprisingly edgy”. This year’s edition starts a day after the restrictions are due to be lifted in July and will be headlined by Bastille, Snow Patrol and First Aid Kit.
29 July-1 August 2021
Camp Bestival at Lulworth Castle in Dorset combines an “all-encompassing family festival experience with an action-packed camping holiday”, says the Daily Mirror. Well contained, easy to navigate and relaxed, it was a “kid’s paradise” Fstival added in its review in 2019. This year’s headliners include Fatboy Slim, Groove Armada, Becky Hill and Kelis.
26-29 August 2021
Dance music festival Creamfields has sold out of tickets for the August bank holiday weekend event. Located in Cheshire, it is a “sure-fire gathering of some of the best-known DJs on the world circuit”, says the London Evening Standard. This year’s line-up includes acts such as Peggy Gou, Carl Cox, Martin Garrix, Deadmau5, and Scooter.
27-29 August 2021
Reading and Leeds Festivals
“We can’t wait to get back to the fields this summer,” the Reading Festival said in response to the government’s announcement. All tickets for Reading have now sold out and only a few remain for Leeds. Festival Republic director Melvin Benn said: “We’re enthusiastic, we’re excited, and we’re certain that it’s going to go ahead.” Headline acts this year include Liam Gallagher, Stormzy, Post Malone, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Disclosure, and Queens of the Stone Age. Although organisers and fans are excited to return to the bank holiday event, “doubts were raised” the Daily Mail reports after councillors warned “nothing is agreed” and the decision is yet to be approved by licensing bosses.
27-29 August 2021
The Big Feastival
Held at a farm in the Cotswolds owned by Alex James, bassist of Blur, The Big Feastival will celebrate its tenth edition in 2021. A fusion of “good food and great music”, it is the “perfect event” for fans of both as it “brings the two together”, says the Daily Mirror. Sigala, Nile Rodgers & Chic, and Rag‘n’bone Man have been announced as the headliners.
27-29 August 2021
The UK’s biggest metropolitan festival will return to Southsea seafront this summer with a phenomenal line up of acts. Friday night headliners Madness will bring the party to Portsmouth with crowd-pleasing hits such as Our House and Baggy Trousers. The Streets will headline Saturday night while Brighton duo Royal Blood will close the festival on the Sunday. Richard Ashcroft, The Kooks, The Fratellis, Cast, Feeder, Craig David, Melanie C and Supergrass are also on the bill. Early bird tickets are on sale now and cost from £30 per day.
3 September 2021
A new one-day music festival will take place in south London’s Brockwell Park in September. Wide Awake will feature artists from a range of genres, such as left-field indie, post punk, electronica, techno and jazz. Acts already confirmed include Idles, black midi, Daniel Avery, Dream Wife, Lena Willikens and SCALPING. Tickets start from £44.50.
4 September 2021
A day after Wide Awake is held at London’s Brockwell Park, it will be the turn of Mighty Hoopla. The pop music festival’s 2021 event has already sold out and it promises to be its best yet. This year’s line-up includes Cheryl, En Vogue, Becky Hill, Eve, Gabrielle, Atomic Kitten, Raye, Jimmy Somerville and Betty Boo.
11-12 September 2021
This year’s Parklife festival at Heaton Park in Manchester is “a party two years in the making that we all deserve”, the organisers said when confirming the dates for September. The festival “blends beats from multiple music genres, including hip hop, grime, pop, rock, club, house and dance DJs”, says the Daily Mirror, and the 2021 line-up will be announced at the end of March.
16-19 September 2021
Isle of Wight Festival
Organisers of the Isle of Wight Festival have confirmed new dates for the 2021 event. Instead of June, the festival will now be held from 16-19 September. “The Isle of Wight Festival is a summer staple and two years without being together on the island is too long,” a statement said. Liam Gallagher, Tom Jones, Snow Patrol, David Guetta and Duran Duran are among the headliners.
18-19 September 2021
Hospitality Weekend In The Woods
Drum and bass DJs from some of the world’s leading labels, collectives and parties will be heading to Beckenham Place Park in south east London in September. Featuring eight stages, Hospitality Weekend In The Woods has announced the line-up for 2021 and confirmed acts include Netsky, Camo & Krooked, A.M.C, Noisia, Kings of the Rollers + Inja, My Nu Leng, Calibre & DRS, Hype, Sherelle, a 94-98 Dillinja set and DJ Storm. The first batch of tickets are sold out but a second release will take place later in March.