The best season of the year is soon upon us. A.K.A, festival season. Yes, that’s right – it will soon be time to adorn ourselves in glitter, bum bags and wellies (even though wellies are never really that necessary.) There are now SO many festivals to choose from, whether it be here on the British Isles or overseas. So, grab a can of cider and kick back… here at CLiKD, we are festival fanatics and we’ve rounded up a list of some music filled weekends to tickle your fancy this summer!
For the one who likes organised fun (and good food): Open’er Festival – Gdynia
This is the Monica of the list and if there’s one thing that the organizers like, it’s a rule book. Unfortunately for us Brits, who love a tinny at a festival, no alcohol can be taken/sneaked into the arena and trust me, they will know. Also, there are designated drinking areas within the arena. On the bright side however, Desperados are flowing (in specific areas) for less than £2 a pint. Swings and roundabouts ‘ey?
Open’er is situated on an old airfield in Northern Poland, but don’t be fooled – it is HOT! You will wake up drenched in sweat and you will shower in ice cold water, only to be sweaty again 6 minutes later. Ok, I’m really not selling it, but let’s talk about the pros…
- The line-up is always incredible. From Kasabian to Tame Impala – I’ve seen some of the best live music ever there.
- Everything is cheap (food/drink/flights/festival ticket)
- Whilst we’re on the topic of food and before I get too carried away, it is bloomin’ fantastic!
- There’s a beach nearby (music starts at 5pm, so it’s the perfect way to stay cool in the day, so then the weekend becomes a holiday and festival in one)
- It’s not full of tourists.
- There’s an art gallery, a cinema showing indie films and a Catwalk in the festival – VERY COOL INDEED
- The sunsets are gawwwwjus!
- It’s small: the campsite is close to the arena and you’ll always get a decent spot in the crowd
So, don’t judge a book by its cover, or a festival by its rulebook…
For the artsy one (and, ideally, someone who has some cash to splash): Festival No.6 – Portmeirion – UK
Last year, Festival No.6 was rated the best small festival in the UK. It’s a bit of a trek for the majority of us, (it’s on its own peninsula in bloomin’ Snowdonia) but, oh my gosh, have you seen their promo video?! I don’t care how middle-class it looks, this one is on my bucket list for sure! No.6 sell themselves as being a ‘festival like no other’ and just a quick scroll around their website makes it very clear why. It seems to be the most Instagrammable festival EVER – and that’s what we base everything’s worth on these days, right? But in all seriousness – it looks amazing!
So, not only can you listen to some brilliant music at this festival (at some very magical looking stages) you can also go paddle boarding, relax in a wood fired hot tub, chuckle at some stand up, watch a cabaret, indulge in some fine food by Michelin-starred chefs, attend an after party in a castle or even pop on over to a woodland rave… as you do.
This festival is for the funky, the freaky and the fabulous. It’s for those who want to escape reality for a few days and soak up some art and culture in the most fairytale-esque village around. Whoever thought of putting a festival here… kudos to you.
For the eco-friendly fanatic (i.e. for those who have a heart): Øyafestivalen – Norway
I want to go to this one purely to eat a plate. Yes, this festival is SO sustainable, that even the kitchenware is edible. So, we all know that Norway is a very environmentally friendly place to live, but it’s truly wonderful to see this being mirrored through Øyafestivalen – a festival that is fuelled by love (and solar power.) One of the eco pros includes getting the deposit back on drinking cups and cigarette butts, so it almost feels like you’re being paid to drink and smoke… in a way.
The festival recycles 70 percent of its waste which, in turn, saves an EPIC 40,000 tonnes of CO2. They sell organic food; meaning they hold two fingers up to artificial additives, pesticides and industrial livestock. At the same time, this allows organisers and festival go-ers alike to say yes to cleaner, healthier food, increased animal welfare, greater biodiversity and less environmentally hostile emissions. In addition, the food tastes so much better. (I’m not a pushy vegan, I swear!)
By attending this festival, not only will you be leaving a reduced carbon footprint (let’s ignore the flights there and back) but you’ll also be witnessing one of the best lineups that this year has to offer. From Kendrick Lamar’s infectious hip hop beats to Arctic Monkeys’ brand-new release which everyone and their mum is buzzing about (and why the hell not?! Alex Turner and co are back! *screeeam*) Øyafestivalen boasts some of the best music that’s around today!
For the one whose only there for the vibe (or the substances): Boomtown Festival – UK
This wouldn’t be a festival list without the inclusion of this particular criteria. So, if you meet this description, then it seems that Boomtown is for you. Get ready for some culturally appropriate festival attire, a slightly disgusting number of baggies and a bunch of DJs who you most likely don’t know.
Ok, sarcasm aside, the premise behind this festival is actually pretty cool – each year represents a new chapter of the Boomtown Chronicles. The story initially began in 2009 and this year sees chapter 10 come into play:
“A world changed far from the dream of Nickolas Boom, a grand city where once only a small village stood, a world of bright lights and dizzying heights, where distraction is the main attraction and the people are divided by the passage of time. The mighty Bang Hai Corporation has cemented its grip on all aspects of society and commerce in the wake of the failed uprising of Chapter 8 and the people are being divided and conquered by the invasive hyper connected charm of new technology, distracting them with an endless barrage of manufactured dreams.” Read more here.
The festival itself is split into different areas and it’s charmingly creative. Head to the Lion’s Den for some Reggae and Jungle music, or travel on down to Whislter’s Green for some Jazz or Funk & Soul. Each stage stands majestically amongst the grounds, decorated and designed like a movie set. This festival is an immersive experience featuring everything from circus acts to delectable street food – it’s definitely not one to miss!
For the one who likes to throw bottles of piss about (or likes to be in an environment where bottles of piss are thrown about): Reading Festival – UK
Attend this one at your own peril! Ok, although this is on our list of festivals to attend this summer, I’m more raising the point that you should avoid this festival at all costs unless you’re 16 and/or like a bloody riot. I like to think of Reading Festival as a sticky nightclub – it’s really grimy, but it’s still slightly enjoyable in a very odd way.
I’m sure most of us have been to this one in our slightly younger days. It usually attracts crowds of teenagers who are yet to work out how to handle their drink once they’ve just left school. The thing is though, the lineup is actually always pretty good, and I’m always very bitter about this – because the atmosphere is just very below par. This year, Kings of Leon, Wolf Alice and The Vaccines will grace the beer puddled and sick splurged field. In terms of culture and arts, Reading Festival doesn’t have much going for it when compared with the other festivals in this list, but, I suppose that’s because it doesn’t attract the right sort of crowd for anything other than Strongbow Dark Fruits and cheesy chips.
There was a huge uproar this year after the lineup was released and fans were shocked that Artic Monkeys were not set to play. The Monkeys ALWAYS play Reading and Leeds. What makes it even more awkward, is that they’re playing at so many other festivals this summer. Perhaps they’ve grown up a bit and realised it’s just not their scene anymore and maybe we should all follow in their footsteps…
So, there you have it! CLiKD’s Pick of Festivals to Hit or Miss! There are so many out there, but there really is a festival for every type of music lover, so get out there and show your appreciation!
By Serena Bhardwaj