The best major UK music festivals of 2016
Leeds Festival

We’ve looked at the small boutique numbers as well as the inner-city offerings – now it’s time to weigh up the heavyweights of this year’s festival line-ups.

If you’re still deciding whether to put your efforts into a Glastonbury resale ticket or you’re picking out an anorak for Reading or Leeds, here is our big bumper round-up of this Summer’s major festivals that will be rocking up and down the country.

Isle of Wight Festival

isleofwight-crowd

Where: Newport, Isle of Wight
When: June 9-12, 2016
Who’s playing: Queen + Adam Lambert, Faithless, Iggy Pop, Stereophonics
What’s it like: A trip off the mainland to the Isle Of Wight is to step into one of the UK’s most prestigious festival events. The Isle of Wight Festival was the counter-culture festival of the 1970s and still has something of that free-wheeling spirit about it. The line-up leans towards the established festival headliners but there’s also a number of up-and-coming acts scattered across the bill too.
How much: £208
Website: isleofwightfestival.com

Download Festival

download-testament
Anthony Longstaff / WOW247

Where: Donington Park, Leicestershire
When: June 10-12, 2016
Who’s playing: Rammstein, Black Sabbath, Alien Ant Farm
What’s it like: Prepare your lighters for the big ballad numbers and your sign of the horns ready for the head-bangers – Download is the UK’s biggest rock and metal festival rocking live from the self-proclaimed ‘spiritual home of rock’, Donington Park. The festival has a proud history of bringing some of the biggest names in rock to British shores and this year is no different, with the likes of Korn, Iron Maiden and Napalm Death all set to shake things up.
How much: £205
Website: downloadfestival.co.uk

Glastonbury

Glastonbury Festival

Where: Pilton, Somerset
When: June 22-26, 2016
Who’s playing: Coldplay, PJ Harvey, Jeff Lynne’s ELO
What’s it like: Is there a bigger event in the UK’s musical calendar? The farmlands of Somerset have been home to one of the world’s most prestigious festivals for over four decades. It’s as much about the atmosphere and arts scene as it is about the headliners. There have been a few groans of disappointment following the announcement of Coldplay as Sundays night’s main event, but never underestimate the power of The Pyramid Stage to attract someone truly spectacular.
How much: £233
Website: glastonburyfestivals.co.uk

T in the Park

T IN THE PARK 2015 WOLF ALICE (1)
Peter Fannen / WOW247

Where: Strathallan Castle, Perthshire
When: July 8-10, 2016
Who’s playing: The Stone Roses, Disclosure, The 1975
What’s it like: T in the Park is undoubtedly Scotland’s major music festival, but since its move from Balado to Strathallan Castle it has endured some teething problems in its first year at the new site. But the announcement of a reformed Stone Roses as the first headliner is certainly a good omen.
How much: £205
Website: tinthepark.com

Latitude Festival

Latitude Festival 2015

Where: Henham Park, Suffolk
When: July 14-17, 2016
Who’s playing: TBC
What’s it like: Having grown in size from its boutique originas, Latitude still has no qualms about placing the festival newcomers side-by-side with the veterans in its programming. Whilst others may move more towards the ‘safe’ options, Latitude is still an innovative and thoroughly modern music event.
How much: £200
Website: latitudefestival.com

V Festival

V Festival

Where: Hylands Park, Chelmsford / Weston Park, Staffordshire
When: August 20-21
Who’s playing: TBC
What’s it like: A more bubblegum upstart than many of the more historic options – V Festival is an unashamedly pop event with all the festival trimmings. The weekend event split between two sites always attracts the big star names, with rumours already circulating of Justin Bieber as this year’s potential headliner.
How much: £189
Website: vfestival.com

Creamfields

Creamfields

Creamfields

Where: Daresbury, Cheshire
When: August 25-29, 2016
Who’s playing: TBC
What’s it like: A nightclub offshoot which spawned an international brand, Creamfields is one of the UK’s biggest dance music festivals that shuns the guitars in favour of the DJ decks – attracting thousands of UK ravers year on year. This year’s event looks to be the biggest one yet, moving from a three day line-up to four days with the world’s biggest silent disco planned for Thursday night.
How much: £165-£340
Website: creamfields.com

Reading & Leeds Festivals

Leeds Festival
Anthony Longstaff / WOW247

Where: Little John’s Farm, Reading / Bramham Park, Leeds
When: August 26-28, 2016
Who’s playing: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foals, Eagles of Death Metal
What’s it like: A twin-headed giant of the British festival scene. Reading holds the honour of being the longest-running music festival still in existence, but don’t let that fool you into thinking they’re an fuddy-duddy. The joint festivals often boast impressive rosters of alternative rock, punk, indie, metal and, more recently, hip-hop too. Reading & Leeds headline spots remain an important step forward into super-stardom so their choices choices are always worth watching.
How much: £213
Website: leedsfestival.com / readingfestival.com

Bestival

Bestival
Bestival

Where: Robin Hill Country Park, Isle Of Wight
When: September 8-11, 2016
Who’s playing: The Cure, Hot Chip , Aled Jones (MC) & Rob Da Bank (DJ)
What’s it like: The summer season closes as it began, with a ferry over to the Isle Of Wight. Bestival has grown massively from its 10,000 attendees in 2004 and was named best major festival in 2015. The headline choices are often a scattergun approach to genre and this year is no different – with the blissful melancholy pop of The Cure alongside the pumping world-tinged electronica of Major Lazer. Bestival can never be second-guessed.
How much: £190
Website: bestival.net

2016: Festival Guide

Main image: Getty