Which music festival should I watch this year?

There are countless festivals that happen across the country pretty much every weekend of the year. It would be absurd for me to list them all. I’m here to recommend some, but my only real recommendation is for you to use websites such as www.skiddle.com to search for festivals near to you. Your favourite festival is most likely one you’ve never been to.

This month we will talk about a wide range of festivals, from music to religious, via cricket. This post is going to focus purely on the music side of things, and compare five of the biggest line-ups. Isle of Wight, Download and Glastonbury in June and V-Festival and Reading/Leeds in August.

In terms of headliners, Isle of Wight have Arcade Fire, Rod Stewart, David Guetta and Run DMC. I suppose the organisers were going for a bit of something for everyone, but given none of them appeal to me – I doubt I’ll watch much of the coverage. The appearances of Kaiser Chiefs, George Ezra and Bastille lower down the line-up provide me with some decent options.

Download, my local major festival, have System of a Down, Biffy Clyro and Aerosmith topping the bill. Sum-41, Good Charlotte and Slayer are playing smaller stages, but beyond that there are very few well-known acts. Metal is an underground genre, but the headliners suggest that mass appeal still sells tickets better.

The line-up at Glastonbury this year is better than most. Radiohead (urgh), Foo Fighters and Ed Sheeran headline, with the likes of Biffy, Kaiser Chiefs, Alt-J, Royal Blood and Stormzy lower down the order. Glastonbury is good for watching the earlier sets, as the next big thing are usually playing over lunchtime.

V-Festival is usually awful. Unashamedly a pop festival, they have P!nk and Jay-Z at the top this year. P!nk has a great voice and would probably be a good show, but is anyone more undeservingly arrogant than Jay-Z? No thank you! With crap such as James Arthur, Ellie Goulding and Craig David following, this is one festival I will be giving a miss.

Reading/Leeds is usually a strange mess of rock and pop artists, coming together for a festival whose goers like to think they are hardcore but would run away from a Download mosh. Having said that, they rival Glastonbury for quality of line up this year. Kasabian, Eminem and Muse are safe but quality headliners who will draw in the crowds and put on a good show. Major Lazer will appeal to the more dance inclined fans, with Bastille, Haim and Charlie XCX there for the radio 1 listeners. If I were going, I wouldn’t miss Two Door Cinema Club, but would stay as far away as possible from Liam Gallagher.

So, which would I go to? On balance, Reading/Leeds beats Glastonbury due to the fact I hate Radiohead more than I dislike Kasabian.


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