5 unmissable UK festivals for music lovers

Do you want to rock out to your favourite band, discover emerging local talent, or let your soul soar to the soundtrack of classical music? Whatever your preferred genre of music is, and whether you are a UK resident or just passing through, these five UK festivals are unmissable for music lovers. You may also find that you get more than you bargained for as many of these festivals also include the added bonus of other entertainment acts including comedy, theatre, and dance.

Glastonbury (Jun 26 – Jun 30, 2024)

This internationally recognised festival has been held almost annually since 1970. It is set on Worthy Farm, crowned by an ancient stone circle, in the picturesque county of Somerset in south-west England. 

Glastonbury Festival is a celebration of diversity. The event welcomes people of all ages and showcases a variety of contemporary performing arts, with the likes of circus and theatre shows running alongside the music acts.

Isle of Wight (Jun 20 – Jun 23, 2024)

The Isle of Wight Festival also dates back to the counterculture movement of the 60s and 70s. In fact, in 1970 it is estimated that the Isle of Wight Festival had more attendees than the infamous Woodstock Music and Art Fair. That year, major acts such as Jimi Hendrix and The Who performed.

This festival was reinstated in 2002 after a 30-year break, with a one-day event that featured Led Zepplin frontman Robert Plant.

Download Festival (Jun 14 – Jun 16, 2024)

For those who are passionate about metal music, Download Festival is the choice for you. Located in Leicestershire in central England, the event is easily reached by roads and rail routes from locations across the country.

Download may be relatively new, but Donnington Park has been promoting hardcore rock, metal, and punk music since the 1980s via the Monsters of Rock festival. You can also catch Download Festival in France, Sydney, and Germany each year.

Green Man (Aug 15 – Aug 18 2024)

Green Man Festival is utterly unique for many reasons. Most particularly, it is set in the spectacular Brecon Beacons National Park in south-central Wales. The festival is also beloved for its unusual laid-back energy and family-friendly atmosphere.

This festival champions independent music and arts. During the course of the week, attendees can expect to see folk and indie music acts, literature and comedy shows, and special performances for children and teenagers.

Edinburgh International Festival (Aug 02 – Aug 26, 2024)

Last but certainly not least is the Edinburgh International Festival. Held in the heart of Scotland’s capital, visitors have the chance to explore the historic sites and other tourist hotspots during their stay. The festival runs in late August, so you can soak in a bit of sunshine too!

This annual arts festival is mostly devoted to classic music performances such as opera, string quartets, orchestras, and traditional local folk songs. Dance is a special feature here as well, with a variety of styles showcased every year.

Of course, the UK isn’t solely limited to the above-mentioned however could be considered the ‘backbone’ of British music festivals offering a plethora of varying artists and genres which see melophiles the world over coming together in a celebration of music and artistic culture. 

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