Glastonbury Festival... but will it rain for 2014?

UK festival guide 2014

The sun’s here, so pack your tent, jump in your car and head to one of the many festivals the UK has to offer. Find the event for you with The Crawley Down Group‘s 2014 Festival Guide.

Here are some of the best festivals on offer – along with some handy advice on how to extricate your car from a mud-filled festival ‘car park and keeping tabs on kids in festival crowds.

Best of UK music festivals 2014

Click on the names of festivals below to get more info on costs, dates and who’s on the bill.



Glastonbury Festival... but will it rain for 2014?

Glastonbury Festival… but will it rain for 2014?

Where: Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset
When: June 25-29
How much: £210 weekend ticket
Vibe: It’s the place to be seen for festival fashionistas across the UK. Just be prepared for the now-almost inevitable mud-bath that is sure to ensue as the gates open.
Who’s playing: Metallica headline the Pyramid stage, alongside legends such as Dolly Parton, Kasabian, Robert Plant, Ed Sheeran and Lana Del Rey. There are so many more great acts, though, so make sure you check the website for full details.

Hop Farm
Where: Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, Kent
When: July 4-6
How much: £135.00/weekend, £68-78.00/day
Vibe: If you’re looking for a local festival to enjoy with the kids, then Hop Farm is the place to be. A family-friendly festival with an eclectic mix of retro-big-hitters from your teenage years along with the best of contemporary pop, jazz and folk. Something for everyone.
Who’s playing: Friday night headline act is Ray Davies of Kinks fame, while Beach Boys founding member Brian Wilson heads Saturday night, with Grace Jones closing proceedings on Sunday. Other acts throughout the weekend include Echo and the Bunnymen, 10CC, Deacon Blue, James Blunt, Caro Emerald, Squeeze, Billy Ocean and Brit folksters Bellowhead. Jo Brand and Milton Jones will be making you laugh in the comedy tent. See the website for the full line-up.

Cornbury Music Festival
Where: Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire
When: July 4-6
How much: £200 with camping
Vibe: Music festival with the air of a country fair. Champagne, posh loos and a massage zone. Great for those with kids.
Who’s playing: Headline acts for Cornbury as follows…
Friday’s line-up includes: The Feeling, Suzanne Vega, Arrested Development, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Jools Holland and the Rhythm & Blues Orchestra (with special guests Melanie C, and Marc Almond). Saturday brings Georgie Fame, Scouting For Girls, and Simple Minds. Sunday closes the event with The Gipsy Kings, Sam Bailey, Luke Friend, Kid Creole and the Coconuts.

Where: Knebworth Park, Herts
When: July 4-6
How much: £205 with camping
Vibe: Lots of leather and hair. A must-go festival for rockers and metal fans.
Who’s playing: Check the website for a full list of who’s playing, but headline acts include the Prodigy, Iron Maiden and Metallica.


Wireless main stage image credit

Wireless main stage image credit

Where: Finsbury Park, London and Perry Park, Birmingham
When: July 4-6
How much: London weekend £210.00; Birmingham weekend; £172.00
Vibe: One for the hipsters, with simultaneous events in London and Birmingham. Wireless doesn’t allow kids below the age of five and if your offspring are teens – you’re probably too old be going anyway.
Who’s playing: Headline acts include Kanye West, Drake and Bruno Mars, along with supporting performances from the like of Azealia Banks, Basement Jaxx, Ellie Goulding, J Cole, John Newman, Iggy Azalea, Outkast, Pharrell Williams, Rudimental,

British Summertime
Where: Hyde Park, London
When: July 4-17
How much: £69.00 (July 4), £49.50 (July 6), £60.00 (July 12), £35.00 (July 13)
Vibe: British Summertime opens on Sunday, July 4 and runs through to Sunday, July 13. Acts appear on four stages with headliners from heavy metal acts such as Black Sabbath through to teen-faves McBusted, so you’re sure to find your niche.
Who’s playing: Headline acts include Arcade Fire (July 3), Black Sabbath (July 4), The Libertines (July 5), McBusted (July 6), Neil Young (July 12), Tom Jones. Supporting acts include Motorhead, The Pogues, Backstreet Boys and Little Mix. Once again, check the website for the full eclectic mix of acts appearing.

T in the Park
Where: Balado, Kinross, Perthshire
When: July 11-13
How much: £205 with camping
Vibe: Scotland’s main festival brings a huge variety of musical styles across seven main stages. Plenty of camping space and other activities such as a fun fair, comedy tent and market.
Who’s playing: Headline acts include the Arctic Monkeys, Biffy Clyro, Calvin Harris and Paolo Nutini. See the website for full line-up.

Keep tabs on the kids

Don’t let an errant child spoil your festival. Here’s our essential kit for keeping tabs on offspring.

Where: Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk
When: July 17-20
How much: £187.50 for adult ticket
Vibe: Whatever you’re into, Latitude should be capable of exciting your ears and eyes… It’s not just music; with comedy, film, theatre, dance and art just a few of the alternative activities on offer as you enjoy a culture-filled weekend at the seaside.
Who’s playing: Headline acts include Damon Albarn, the Black Keys and Haim, while Dara O Briain and Simon Amstell will be providing the funny stuff. See the website for full line-up.

Global Gathering
Where: Long Marston Airfield, Stratford-upon-Avon
When: July 25-26
How much: £130 for weekend ticket
Vibe: A huge two-day event that’s for over-18s only and covers everything dance-related, with musicians and DJs entertaining up to 50,000 people.
Who’s playing: Who isn’t playing might be an easier list, but dance-world big-hitters taking the stage include David Guetta, Eric Prydz, Katy B, Netsky, Sub Focus, Tinie Tempa, Pete Tong. Full listings can be found on the website.

Where: East Kirkcarswell, Dundrennan, Dumfries and Galloway
When: July 25-26
How much: £119 for weekend ticket
Vibe: A lively affair that’s perfect fall all ages and ends with a giant wicker figure being set alight. It’s a great area of the country to extend your stay and take in some touring, too.
Who’s playing: Enjoy a bill for all generations that includes Dizee Rascal, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, The Feeling and Del Amitri. Full listings can be found on the website.

Camp Bestival

Camp Bestival image credit

Camp Bestival image credit

Where: Lulworth Castle, Dorset
When: July 31-August 3
How much: £195.00 weekend camping
Vibe: Family-friendly festival frolics for all to enjoy this summer. With music, comedy, arts and crafts, spoken word, dance and plenty more besides, this really is the family camping trip you’ve been yearning for. It all takes place with a backdrop of stunning Jurassic coastline, too.
Who’s playing: Mr Tumble will be making an appearance for the kids, while Basement Jaxx and De La Soul will be on hand to keep the grown-ups occupied. Other highlights include Johnny Marr, Sinead O’ Connor, Peter Hook and the Light, Chas & Dave, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, The Wedding Present and Charlotte Church,

Cambridge Folk Festival
Where: Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge
When: July 31-August 3
How much: From £50
Vibe: One of Europe’s most renowned festivals, where quality acts play in a uniquely intimate venue. However, this means tickets sell out fast, so if you miss out this year, make sure you put it in your calendar for 2015.
Who’s playing: An impressive list of headline acts includes Newton Faulkner, Sinéad O’Connor, Rosanne Cash and Van Morrison. Full listings can be found on the website.

Wilderness Festival
Where: Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire
When: August 7-10
How much: Weekend £152.00
Vibe: A celebration of culture, food, outdoor pursuits and theatre, Wilderness has a little of something for all tastes. Oh, and did we mention the late-night partying?
Who’s playing: Headline acts include London Grammar, Burt Bacharach and Metronomy. Find a full list of performers can be found on the event’s website.

Getting out of mud-filled car parks

In the same way we all knew England’s World Cup campaign would end in pain, another summer certainty is the inevitable TV footage of festival-goers attempting to extricate their cars from 8ft-deep mud in makeshift car parks across the country. There’s no need to be caught out, though, simply follow this guide to coping with car park mud.

  • Stay calm: While everyone else is up to their axles in the brown stuff, staying calm and assessing the situation will help ensure you have the best chance of escape.
  • Footwear: Make sure you swap your mud-encrusted wellies for clean, dry shoes when you get behind the wheel. Slimy footwear could result in slipping off the pedals and making a bad situation far worse.
  • Avoid the spin: Jumping into your jalopy and burying the accelerator will only ensure you go down rather than forward. Aid your chances of gaining traction by pulling away in second gear. This will reduce the chance of wheelspin. If you’re driving a larger automatic, select ‘D2’.
  • Traction action: Taking some ‘traction aid’ with you will help keep your car moving while others are left wallowing in the slime. Pack your car with old cardboard or bags of cat litter. You can then place this around your ‘drive’ wheels to improve traction. You can even buy specially designed gadgets for this, such as these ‘escape tracks’ from the RAC.
  • Keep on rolling: Once you gain traction, keep moving. Remain in a low gear and keep throttle inputs to an absolute minimum.
  • Tramlines: It might be tempting to follow tramlines created by other vehicles, but these will be full of mud and deep, invisible holes just waiting to beach your vehicle.
  • Towing: Make sure you know where your car’s towing eye is before you set off. Many are kept with the jack, but you’ll need to make sure yours is where it should be. If not, get a new one before you travel. Also, before you get going, make sure you speak to the towing driver and plan your route. If you’re a member of the AA, the motoring organisation operates a Special Operations Response Team (AA SORT) which will come and extricate you from just about any situation .

V Festival
Where: Hylands Park, Chelmsford and Weston Park, South Staffordshire
When: August 16-17
How much: Weekend £89.00/day; £189.00/weekend (with camping)
Vibe: One of the ‘big’ festivals, V is held at two sites – in Essex and South Staffs – and offers a big-hitting selection of commercial acts that’ll ensure you’re able to sing along to most bands and performers taking to the stage.
Who’s playing: Sing along with headliners such as Justin Timberlake and The Killers, plus supporting acts such as Ed Sheeran, Elbow, Kaiser Chiefs, Manic Street Preachers, Paolo Nutini and Lily Allen. Visit the V Festival website for full list of acts and locations.

Where: Daresbury Estate, Warrington, Cheshire
When: August 22-24
How much: Weekend £180.00 for weekend
Vibe: The long-running dance daddy is back for another year, with a 60,000 sell-out crowd expected. Not really a surprise considering the A-list-packed bill.
Who’s playing: Headline names include Calvin Harris, Tiesto, Avicii, Pete Tong, Eric Prydz and Annie Mac. Check the website for a full bill listing.

Reading and Leeds Festival

Leeds Festival Image credit

Leeds Festival: Image credit

Where: Richfield Avenue, Reading and Bramham Park, Leeds
When: August 22-24
How much: Weekend £213.00 for weekend
Vibe: Another double-header, with Reading and Leeds both hosting an event. Both events peddle a guitar-heavy selection of alternative, punk, indie and metal.
Who’s playing: Impressive headline acts include Queens of the Stone Age, Paramore, Arctic Monkeys and Blink 182 – but there’s so much more. Check the website.

The Big Festival
Where: Churchill Heath Farm, Kingham, Oxfordshire
When: August 29-31
How much: Weekend £115.00 for weekend
Vibe: Hosted by Blur bassist Alex James and celeb chef Jamie Oliver, expect plenty of designer wellies, smug parents and expensively dressed young children running around the musician’s farm.
Who’s playing: Fatboy Slim and Jamie Cullum lead the big names, check the website for more.

The Bestival
Where: Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight
When: September 4-7
How much: Weekend £180.50 for weekend
Vibe: With 20 stages on offer, there really will be something to tempt everyone into the mosh pit. It’s the final festival hurrah of the summer, so don’t miss out.
Who’s playing: Basement Jaxx, Busta Rhymes, Disclosure, Laura Mvula, London Grammar, Major Lazer, Paloma Faith, Sam Smith, Wild Beasts. Check the website for more.


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