Plugged In – A Festival Guide

Every summer is awash with live music and great festivals, however many of these festivals are often overlooked as the almighty Glastonbury and Reading&Leeds take public priority.

Plugged In has rounded up a few that you may not have heard of, so that you can have a broader choice when deciding which festival you’ll be attending.


Located in the picturesque valleys of Wales, Green Man festival always draws in some great live bands. This year you can expect to see artists such as Warpaint, Gengahr and Ryley Walker alongside more obscure bands like: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and Songhoy Blues (an African blues rock group).

Of course these are only a few of the many acts who will be performing at Green Man this year. Tickets are priced at £150 (student) it’s a bargain compared to the massive fees you would pay for Leeds/Reading or Glasto.

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This ever growing London festival has had some amazing acts perform over the nine years since it began.

This year welcomes everybody’s favourite saxophone player PJ Harvey along with many other acts from various genres. With bands like Diiv and Mystery Jets playing the same festival as grime legend Skepta, its musical diversity is fantastic.

A standard weekend ticket will only set you back £94 and it’s a great excuse to explore our countries capital as well.

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This one’s a little more local, after the mediocre success of Hardwick live in the past few years, organisers have rebranded and redesigned this Teesside based festival.

Now our hometown will be welcoming the iconic Primal Scream and the equally amazing Chase and Status to headline the two day event. Not only that but huge newcomers Catfish and the Bottlemen will be returning to Teesside along with a range of lower upcoming bands who have all had indie success.

Blaenavon, Clean Cut Kid and Vant are all added to the line-up (that’s to name a few) and considering this festival is on your University doorstep it seems silly to turn it away. Tickets are priced at £99 (weekend) and £55 (day).

DOWN TO THE WOODS: The re-branded Hardwick Live

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Another local festival and one that Teesside University has worked closely with over the last few years. Deer Shed festival is ever growing in popularity and last year saw it blend culture and arts with amazing live music.

This year the theme of the festival is “the movies” so perfect for any film fan. Music comes from the solo artist Richard Hawley, who has not only has a massive solo career but collaborated with bands such as the Arctic Monkeys and Pulp.

Second headliners are the popular Everything Everything who have had chart success with songs such as “Distant Past” and “Regrets” as they have both featured in the UK top 40.

These are the two main acts as well, as always with Deer Shed you can expect a huge variety of up and coming music with blends of folk singers, pop artists and indie newcomers this festival is perfect for anyone who wants a more sophisticated festival experience.

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This one is a little further afield, located in the sunny city of Brighton The Great Escape Festival has been attracting people from all over the UK for years.

It’s one of the first festivals of the UK’s “festival season” but it’s also the perfect “end of term/end of exams” excuse to go.

If you’re lucky enough to of finished University by this point why not treat yourself to a ticket (which will cost around £60) and get go see artists such as Blossoms, Band of Skulls and many more.

There is even an appearance from grime artist and social media comedian Stormzy who will be performing in the Brighton Dome on Saturday night.

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Not everyones cup of tea this one, however it’s good to cover all ranges and all tastes of music. Of course Download is a hugely successful festival but it’s often overlooked when talking about festival season.

This year the festival organisers have managed to get three huge headliners, from the German heavy metal band Rammstien (headlining Friday) to the legends of rock Black Sabbath (headlining the Saturday) and finishing on the creators of metal Iron Maiden (on the Sunday) this festival will cover any heavy rock/metal fan’s needs.

For the five days of camping and the actual festival itself, you’ll only be set back £205 which of course is the most expensive festival on this list. However if you’re around this summer and want a heavier festival in your life, Download is the one for you.

DOWNLOAD: The UK’s heavy rock/metal festival.

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Adding even more musical diversity to the list is Cheltenham’s Wychwood Festival. The music and the comedy go hand in hand, with Toast star Matt Berry performing with his group “The Maypoles” and Bill Bailey headlining the Sunday night, this festival is for those who want something fresh and interesting.

Priced at £135 for an adult ticket, this festival is still marginally cheaper than the main ones and still features some great acts. Musically you still have Bruce Foxton and his “From the Jam” band, performing all the hits from his “The Jam” days plus upcoming bands Black Honey and Tigercub who have both toured the country in the last year.

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This one is probably the furthest away you could go and still be in the UK. Boardmasters is located in the seaside resort of Cornwall and features music, surfing, skateboarding and BMX’ing.

It’s the perfect festival you probably haven’t heard of and yes you have to travel further but you get to see acts such as Deadmau5, James Bay and Catfish and the Bottlemen. Not to mention the beach parties, late night after parties and the popular “Surf Village” where you can shop for all the essentials.

If you’re a fan of surfing, skateboarding or BMX’ing then this is the one festival you have to attend this summer as it’s priced at only £134 (standard ticket).

BOARDMASTERS: Cornwall’s very special festival.

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Parklife is held in the city of Manchester and each year hosts a line-up that matches any of the big festivals for half the price!

This year’s headliners are the dance-pop sensations The Chemical Brothers, who have had global success with “Galvanise” and “Go”. There are also appearances from artists such as Ice Cube, Bastille and Wolf Alice (to name a few).

Tickets for the weekend will only cost you £95 and the trip to Manchester is never expensive. So if you’re into more of a dance/chart festival then look no further.

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Back to London for this one as Victoria Park opens its gates to the festival for another year. Lovebox headliners this year are the huge LCD Sound System and Major Lazer, this festival should be the main choice for any dance/house music fan.

Most the tickets have already sold out but you can still nab a weekend one for under £100, which is a slash in price compared to Creamfields (the other huge UK dance festival).

With acts such as Jungle (big track: Busy Earnin’) and Jack Garratt (big track: Worry) it’s a festival that will be full of partying. You can always slip away and catch grime artists Stormzy or Kano perform their sets also as there is still plenty of musical variety.

LOVEBOX: Victoria Park will be hosting some of the biggest names in dance.

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Lovebox completes Tside’s festival guide and hopefully you can find a festival above that suits you. But most importantly here’s hoping you can save some money this summer and still see some great live music.


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