2018 Festival Focus: May – June
It's time to get your money out...
It’s that time of year again! Most festivals have announced at least their first wave of performers for this summer, and because we know it’s very hard to keep up with all the events across the UK and beyond we have assembled the best places to be to see the music you and us love between now and the autumn. With just weeks until some of these events take place, we suggest you get moving real quick to secure tickets (and in some cases flights, accommodation) for the festivals you want to visit. We start with the best picks from May and June 2018…(Click here for July-Sept)
THE GREAT ESCAPE
When: 17-19 May
Where: Various, Brighton
Live Acts include (A-Z): 23, 808INK, Benny Mails, Big Tobz, Che Lingo, Denzel Himself, Ebenezer, Flohio, Fredo, Gaika, Hak Baker, Izzie Gibbs, K Trap, Kojey Radical, Lotto Boyzz, Mahalia, MIST, MoStack, Ms Banks, Octavian, Skrapz, Steel Banglez
Tickets and More Info: greatescapefestival.com
Taking place with hundreds of acts from around the world at venues across Brighton, TGE is the undisputed UK festival for new music, and a great way to kick off your festival season on these shores at least. Each year there is a standalone Spotlight event thrown by the festival, which requires a separate ticket (although those with festival tickets can register for the chance to get free access), and this year the show is a rap special with MIST & MoStack co-headlining, and a bill that also includes Steel Banglez, Fredo and Ebenezer.
WE ARE FSTVL
When: 25-27 May
Where: Upminster, Greater London
Live Acts include (A-Z): Big Shaq, Bugzy Malone, Charlie Sloth, DJ Charlesy, DJ EZ, Donae’O, Fredo, Hardy Caprio, Kojo Funds, Lethal Bizzle, MistaJam, MoStack, Not3s, P Money, Rude Kid, TQD, Yungen, Yxng Bane
Tickets and More Info: wearefstvl.com
We Are is a dance festival that has a series of respected labels and event brands host stages for their respective sounds. Bass Jam is among those behind the We Are Bass stage on both days, providing the rap and grime contingent at the festival. Perhaps the idea of staying at one stage all day at a festival doesn’t seem too exciting, but if you and the friends you’re rolling with are also into house music (check the website for full lineup) this might be the one for you.
LOVE SAVES THE DAY
When: 26-27 May
Where: Eastville Park, Bristol
Live Acts include (A-Z): Avelino, David Rodigan & The Outlook Orchestra, Flava D, Hak Baker, Hardy Caprio, Jay 0117, Mabel, MoStack, Krept & Konan, Loyle Carner, Octavian, Sampha, Shy FX, Tiffany Calver, Tom Misch
Tickets and More Info: lovesavestheday.org
Bristol’s premier festival looks on point for another year, with a strong lineup so far representing a variety of ravers. If a weekend ticket is out of the question (it’s a Bank Holiday Weekend, so hopefully not), it’s worth checking the full lineup to see which day you prefer. Most of the names listed above are performing on Saturday, but the idea of MoStack and Sampha on the Sunday main stage could be hard to resist! That day features big names in drum’n’bass and house, which could also swing your vote.
When: 26-27 May
Live Acts include (A-Z): 23, Craig David presents TS5, Coco, Dizzee Rascal, DJ Target, Fekky, Flava D, Jaykae, Kojo Funds, Kurupt FM, Majestic, Mistajam, P Money, Ramz, Sean Paul, Sneakbo, Toddla T
Tickets and More Info: mutinyfestivals.co.uk
The South Coast has got a decent little festival for the May Day Bank Holiday weekend, with Toddla T’s Steezey Wonderland presenting a number of favourite rap and grime MCs for Mutiny’s fifth festival. Dizzee headlines on the Saturday, with Craig Davis’s TS5 and Sean Paul leading the way on Sunday.
When: 1-2 June
Where: Brixton, South London
Live Acts include (A-Z): AJ Tracey, Earl Sweatshirt, Erykah Badu, Gilles Peterson, IAMDDB, Kurupt FM, Loyle Carner, Madlib, Princess Nokia, Thundercat
Tickets and More Info: fielddayfestivals.com
Field Day has moved from Hackney in East London to a new home South of the river in Brockwell Park, Brixton. This festival is probably the most laid back of the all those we’ll mention here today, so if you want to completely remove the prospect of getting caught up in a moshpit and just enjoy the music on your own terms then this might be a bit of you.
When: 9 June
Where: Colwick Country Park, Nottingham
Live Acts include (A-Z): Giggs, Jamz Supernova, Jaykae, K-Trap, Not3s, Redlight, Sam Binga b2b Chimpo, Shy FX, YGG
Tickets and More Info: detonate1.co.uk
Event brand Detonate are back in the East Midlands to bring their annual one-day festival, with Giggs headlining a main stage lineup that also includes the likes of Shy FX, Not3s, Jaykae and Jamz Supernova. The other four stages include a d’n’b Big Top and a Carnival stage that includes K-Trap and YGG.
When: 9-10 June
Where: Heaton Park, Manchester
Live Acts include (A-Z): A$AP Rocky, AJ Tracey, Bugzy Malone, Capo Lee, CASisDEAD, Chimpo, Dave, Donae’O, Earl Sweatshirt, Giggs, Grandmixxer, IAMDDB, J Hus, Jamz Supernova, Jesse James Solomon, Joe Kay (Soulection), Kelela, LEVELZ, Mabel, N.E.R.D., Not3s, Sampha, Shy FX, Skepta, Stefflon Don, The Internet, Tom Misch, TQD, Vince Staples, Virgil Abloh
Tickets and More Info: parklife.uk.com
The Warehouse Project are concentrating their festival efforts on Parklife this year, meaning a year off for its sister festival Wild Life, which usually takes place on the same weekend near Brighton. The trip up to Manny for the Southerners among you is very much worthwhile, though, with a bumper list of star performers. The 2018 weekend includes big hometown performances for the likes of IAMDDB, Bugzy Malone, Chimpo and LEVELZ.
When: 10 June
Where: Finsbury Park, London
Live Acts include (A-Z): Big Zuu, Capo Lee, Crazy Cousinz, D Double E, Devlin, DJ Target, Flirta D, Flowdan, FooR & Maxwell D, Heartless Crew, Jammer, Logan Sama, Novelist, P Money, President T, Riko Dan, Rude Kid, Slimzee, So Solid Showcase
Tickets and More Info: www.tranzmission.london
Billed as ‘London’s Rave Festival’, Tranzmission is a one-day event in North London that celebrates grime, house, jungle, garage, funky and more. Lineup/stage curators include Eskimo Dance, Sun City, Audio Whore and Raindance, so this should be a lot of fun.
STRAWBERRIES & CREEM
When: 16 June
Where: Haggis Farm, Cambridge
Live Acts include (A-Z): Crazy Cousinz, D-Block Europe, David Rodigan, DJ Luck & MC Neat, Ghetts, House of Pharaohs, Kenny Allstar, Kojo Funds, Madam X, Mowgli, Not3s, Octavian, Shy FX, Star.One, T-PAIN!!!!!
Tickets and More Info: strawberriesandcreem.com
Now in its fifth consecutive summer, Strawberries & Creem again makes the University city of Cambridge cool for its one day of the year. It has become S&C tradition to book a pretty random legend you didn’t know you have to see live until they announce it, and they have repeated the trick this year with the one and only T-Pain flying over for his sole UK festival appearance of 2018. There’s a healthy amount of rap, grime, afroswing, funky, garage, dnb and dancehall to enjoy too.
When: 25-29 June
Where: Pag, Croatia
Live Acts include (A-Z): Abra Cadabra, AJ Tracey, Bugzy Malone, Chase & Status, Charlie Sloth, Flava D, Heartless Crew, MistaJam, Ms Banks, Nadia Rose, The Heatwave
Tickets and More Info: hideoutfestival.com
Our next overseas offering of the guide is Hideout, an electronic music festival now in its eighth year on Croatia’s Zrce Beach, which is home to a number of festivals across the summer (one of which makes an appearance later). Headliners include Andy C, Skream, MK and Jamie Jones, which will give you an idea of the festival’s traditional core appeal, but there’s a decent enough variety on the lineup to provide a worthwhile option for a trip abroad.
When: 27 June – 2 July
Where: Kavos, Corfu
Live Acts include (A-Z): 23, Konshens, Krept & Konan, Macca, MoStack, Not3s, Rampage, Sian Anderson, Tim Westwood, Yxng Bane
Tickets and More Info: www.islandbreakout.com
Not dissimilar to the Cyprus Break at the start of the guide, Kavos’ answer to that weekender is a five-day event of club, beach, boats, pool parties and live events that may be easier to get people onside for, what with the extra couple of months’ notice. Travel packages have sold out but event tickets are still available so if you’re on it you’d just have to sort out your own travel and hotel.