Early on in the year I get itchy fingers. ITCHY because Christmas is dead and buried and it’s so far in the future you can’t even see it. There is nothing to look forward to until waaay into the Summer months, so I begin to plan. I plan, and I book things and I buy over priced tickets to watch dirty men perform songs I love on stage. I book things, things that clash and coincide with each other and leave me with no sleep for a week solid but because it’s not happening TODAY I hardly take any notice.
This year, 2012 – the year of AMAZINGNESS... This time is now. I am going to plan all of the gigs/festivals I am going to attend.
As much as this might make me a geek, I LOVE DOING THIS. I search all the lists, I contact my friends and see who wants to go to what with me. I research the ticket release dates, I plan my finances to find out when I am going to be able to buy the tickets. Because of this, I am going to do a festival wish list blog post. PIG IN SHIT.
Camden Crawl Friday 4th May – Sunday 6th May
First stop, kicking off with the Camden Crawl. I haven’t ever been to the Camden Crawl, I don’t really know why as it’s not that far away to venture and I LOVE CAMDEN. I think it’s put me off a bit that I don’t know most of the bands there, and even if you have a ticket you aren’t guaranteed entry into seeing the big names they pull in. I think i’d prefer to be guaranteed a spot, but even if you just went down there to listen to unknowns and have bants in Camden it’s probably worth it. Not line up rumours yet, but the official line up is announced in January. I know it’s January now, but it hasn’t been announced yet. GET OFF MY BACK. Tickets expected to be £57 for early bird 2 day ticket or £62 for early bird 3 day ticket.
Download Festival – Friday 8th June – Sunday 10th June
This year Download have managed to nab Prodigy to headline for the Friday night, Metallica for the Saturday night and Black Sabbath for the Sunday – BLACK SABBATH! Music is a lot more hardcore than some popular festivals (*cough* V, ahem *cough*) – Definitely not for you spray tanned, preened posey Essex types! The other acts are awesome, the likes of Chase & Status, Biffy Clyro, You Me at Six, Tenacious D (amazing) Lamb of God, Anthrax and lots more. Sounds like a good line up this year, and with ticket prices roughly the same as V (£145 for a weekend, or £180 for weekend festival ticket & 5 nights camping) if you like your rock music and lack of posers, this sounds like it might be the one for you.
Lovebox Weekender Friday 15th June – Sunday 17th June
Never ventured to Lovebox, not sure why. I have had some near misses in the last few years, but there hasn’t ever really been an act that has made me decide to get a ticket. For me the people they pull in are wishy washy and there is never one name that I think “oooh I would like to see them” so I just haven’t bothered. Regardless of this, I do just love the festival experience and atmosphere so I am always willing to give new festivals a go, try anything once me! Line up for this hasn’t been announced yet either, lazy gits. Held at Victoria Park in London, tickets are roughly £50 each / £100 for a weekend ticket.
Isle of Wight Festival ’12 – Friday 22nd June – Sunday 24th June
I have wanted to go to the Isle of Wight for years. It’s as tame as festivals like V etc come, but it’s far away enough from Essex to not just be standing in a field with everyone you’ve ever met. Bit of an alternative line up, it doesn’t pander to EVERYONE’S tastes like V but it does have a bit of something about it... Headiners this year announced as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for the Friday, Pearl Jam for the Saturday and Bruce Springsteen on the Sunday. Jessie J, Magnetic Man, Elbow, Biffy Clyro, Noel Gallagher, Kelis, Miles Kane, Example, The Darkness, Feeder, Pro Green, Wretch 32, Noah & the Whale, The Vaccines, Madness, Tinie Tempah and The Charlatans are some of the other acts, so as you can see although it’s a nice mix of commercial pop/r&b and watered down rock music, there must be something there for most avid festival goers! Held in Newport, IoW, ticket prices are £190 weekend with camping.
Wireless Festival ’12 – Friday 6th July – Sunday 8th July
I have been to Wireless the last 2 years running and loved it. It’s not for everyone, and it’s certainly not a ‘serious’ festival for ‘serious’ festival goers. Prime example, the line up last year was average and the day I went to was headlined by the Black Eyed Peas, not exactly at the forefront of cutting edge new music. Still, I went along and it is honestly one of the best days out you can have. Normal commercial acts you would hear on the radio, sun, cider and banter. What more could you want? (Just as a little note, don’t trust me on this – the reason I might have such a good time at these festivals is because my friends are hilarious and not because the festivals are actually good, so if you don’t go with my friends then you might have a shit time – if this happens it is not my fault). Rihanna is confirmed to headline the Sunday evening, with Jessie J, Calvin Harris and Labrinth backing her up. No one else confirmed for the other days. Held in Hyde Park, ticket prices are around £60 a day.
Sonisphere – Friday 6th July – Sunday 8th July
Held on the same weekend as Wireless, this festival has much more of a line up tailored to my musical tastes, I must admit. No official line up yet, but rumours are Blink 182, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Muse, Val Halen and Rammstein – erm, could it actually get any better than that? Oh yeah, only if RHCP and Arcade Fire were added to that line up. If that was to happen then I would totally get a wide on. Still, held at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire, a nice location and early bird tickets are £170 with camping or £145 without – it’s tempting isn’t it?
Latitude - Thursday 12th July – Sunday 15th July
One of the longest festivals this year (partly because Glastonbury is taking it’s sabbatical this year *sob*) there are no current line up announcements for it, but I remember the line up being good last year. Much the same as V and IoW, I remember acts like Flo and the Machine getting involved, but the atmosphere is apparently much more along the lines of Secret Garden Party – keep your eyes peeled for this one! Held at Henham Park Estate in Beccles, Sufolk, tickets are £180 weekend.
Hard Rock Calling ’12 – Friday 13th July – Sunday 15th July
I haven’t ever been to Hard Rock Calling but it seems to be right up my street. They tend to have a mixture of current bands and normally pull out one show stopping old school headliner for one of the night slots. This year they also have Bruce Springsteen coming back to headline the Saturday night, and no other headliners as of yet confirmed. Held in Hyde Park (same as Wireless) this is fast becoming a day festival hot spot for the London/Essex area. Tickets are £60 currently only available for the Saturday BUT they are all sold out.
Secret Garden Party – Thursday 19th July – Sunday 22nd July
Speaking of Secret Garden Party, the award for the best festival name goes to these guys! Again, no line up for this yet, but another one to keep your eyes peeled for. Held at Mill Hill Field in Cambridgeshire, weekend tickets currently being advertised as £165 (third tier, tier one and two already sold out).
Camp Bestival – Thursday 26th July – Sunday 29th July
Bestival is one festival that has always interested me. Held in Dorset, every one I know that has ever been has said they loved it. One of the most random aspects of Bestival is that from 6.15pm – 7.15pm there is a silent hour, where all the sound systems go off. This is due to a church service nearby that has taken place for hundreds of years, and the organisers were reluctant to interrupt – lots of entertainment is still scheduled for this hour, with spoken word, theatre events and if none of that appeals to you, that hour is the perfect opportunity to grab some Neon Noodles. Early bird camping tickets, £170.
Global Gathering – Friday 27th July – Saturday 28th July
For reasons unknown, Global is not scheduled for the Sunday, but instead is 2 days of pure house music appreciating. Based in Stratford upon Avon, there are no headliners confirmed for this year yet, but they promise ‘more than 150 world class DJs over 16 areas’ – sounds fair to me. Early bird tickets are £99 for both days.
The Big Chill – Thursday 2nd August – Sunday 5th August
The Big Chill has been CANCELLED this year, because of the stupid Olympics. Bah.
V Festival – Saturday 18th August – Sunday 19th August
I have been to V for the last 5 years running, this year being my 6th. I have planned ahead this time and got my tickets in advance, as I always end up looking at the line up, saying it’s rubbish, not buying a ticket and then running around like a mad thing the week before trying to find one. I KNOW it’s commercial, I KNOW it’s full of people from Essex (if you go to the one in Chelmsford), but it’s easy and the line up can sometimes surprise (although it has declined in value every year I have been, starting off with Foo Fighters and ending up with Rihanna headlining last year – Eminem was a stroke of GENIUS though). Based in either Staffordshire or Chemlsford, tickets are £175 for weekend with camping. Line up to be announced shortly.
Reading & Leeds Festival – Friday 24th – Sunday 26th
Again blah blah blah, no acts confirmed, but what do I need to tell you about Reading apart from it’s one of the best music festivals in England? Rumours at the moment are Foo Fighters and The Killers to headline with Metronomy and Two Door Cinema Club bringing up the rear. Tickets around £200 for a weekend, keep your eyes peeled for ticket release dates and line up announcements for this festival.
SW4 – Saturday 25th August – Sunday 26th August
I went to SW4 last year. It was an averagely good day out, especially if you have a passion for house music and not the bog standard indie festivals that 90% of these are. They had decent tents with different types of house music in them last year, and it was headlined by Pendulum – very good but the venue is just a bit too far, NIGHTMARE to get home and the field it is held in (on Clapham Common) was like a swamp by the end of the day. Good if you LOVE the acts, not worth it if you don’t IMO. Tickets around £85 for both days, about £45 sold separately.
So there you have it, my Essex/London area breakdown of the festivals for this year. I appear to have posted this a bit prematurely as there are hardly any confirmed acts for the headliners for this year, but sod it i’ve wrote it all out now so YOU WILL READ IT.
What festivals are you looking to go to this year? Are there any festivals that you love, but i’ve failed to mention? Let me knowwwww!