First, the bad news: because of the 2012 Olympics, UK’s most renowned music festival, the Glastonbury festival, is cancelled for 2012. Alas, there are just not enough resources in the whole country to hold these two massive events all in the same year.
The good news, though, is that there are plenty of other big music festivals to look forward to – and, of course, the Glastonbury will resume in 2013.
In the meantime, here are five of the biggest music festivals in store for UK music fans in 2012:
1. The Isle of Wight Festival. June 22 to 24. Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle of Wight. Right up there with Glastonbury and Woodstock in music festival history is the Isle of Wight Festival. It was one of the last places the legendary Jimi Hendrix played in, just a few weeks before he died. In 1969, while Bob Dylan was living in Woodstock, New York, he missed performing in Woodstock because he was at the Isle of Wight. In 1970, the festival’s attendance reached 600,000, going down in history as one of the largest human gatherings that ever occurred spontaneously in the history of the world. If you have never been to the Isle of Wight Festival, it’s time to find out what you’ve been missing and what the fuss is all about. This year features Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam, among others.
2. T in the Park. July 6 to 18. Balado, Kinross-shire, Scotland. T in the Park is one of Scotland’s largest festivals. (T, of course, stands for the fest’s main sponsor, Tennents, the brewing company.) It features nine arena stages, four campsite stages, three days of live music, and nearly 200 artists. Last year, its acts included Blink-182 and the Foo Fighters. This year’s acts have yet to be listed, but we’re pretty sure we won’t be let down.
3. Reading Festival. August 24 to 26. Little Johns Farm, Richfield Avenue, Reading. Time to put the books down. The Reading Festival, one of the world’s longest-running and most popular music festivals, is coming to town (again, as it has done nearly every year since 1961). It’s likely that some people join the fest mainly because to get the chance to indulge in the famous “bottling-off” tradition, where you get to throw bottles at bands you want to get off the stage, but generally, the music is pretty good too. (Perhaps the bottling has something to do with it.)
4. Leeds Festival. August 24 to 26. Bramham Park, Bramham, Leeds. Of course, running simultaneously with the Reading Festival is the Leeds Festival. Both music fests are run by UK music promoter Festival Republic, which, by the way, also manages the Glastonbury Festival. Both music fests feature punk, heavy metal, alternative, and indie rock. Unable to make up your mind whether to attend Leeds or Reading? Go to whichever is nearer. It’s going to be the same bands anyway.
5. Bestival. September 6 to 9. Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight. In 2010, this weekend music fest won the award for best major festivals. It’s organized by BBC’s renowned DJ Rob Da Bank. Expect everything, from punk to pop, in this musical boutique – and expect it to be all good! This music festival does not have a 50,000 to 100,000 attendance range for nothing.