The festival season naturally kicks off in June, with that big daddy of the festivals, Glastonbury. But of course, it's not the only one - and there are still tickets available for some of the best festivals in the UK, all on our network. So, as we build up to another summer of great music across our region, we've compiled a list of the best in our region, with something for everybody.
When? 26-30 June
Nearest railway station: Castle Cary and get the shuttle bus
Who's playing? Janet Jackson, Kylie, George Ezra, Miley Cyrus, The Chemical Brothers, bastille, Anne-Marie...the list goes on.
Need to know: It's sold out - and normally does so within about a minute of releasing tickets for sale. That said, if you get tickets...it's the festival to be at. Oh, and there's always mud. Always.
Cost: Sold out.
When? 5-8 July
Nearest railway station: Micheldever and get the shuttle bus
Who’s playing? Gold Panda, Baxter Dury, Mr Jukes, Norman Jay MBE, Slamboree, Dub Pistols
Need to know: The ‘love child’ of Blissfields, an indie-centric festival started in 2001 and has been growing bigger ever since, Blisscamp promises long evenings of indie music and dance under sunny skies (it never rains at Bliss, apparently).
Not good for: Fans of chart success
Cost: £115 (and get £10 back if you recycle your rubbish)
Larmer Tree Festival
When? 18-21 July
Where? Cranborne Chase
Nearest railway station: Salisbury
Who’s playing? Kate Tempest, Jack Savoretty, KT Tunstall, with comedy by Nish Kumar and Ivo Graham
Need to know: Set in beautiful gardens, Larmer Tree is the festival for a more intimate, laid-back, experience, one that’s perfect for families. The festival features comedy, theatre and more.
Not good for: Teenage metalheads
Camping? Yes, and glamping options galore
When? 25-28 July
Where? Lulworth Estate
Nearest railway station: Wareham or Wool
Who’s playing? Jess Glynne, Annie Mac, Big Shaq, Mr Motivator
Need to know: A consistent winner of best Family Festival awards, Camp Bestival is the version of Bestival you take the kids to. This year there’s a "heros vs superheroes" theme and everyone dresses up!
Not good for: Landlubbers
Cost: £180 (Adult)
Also in July: Kew The Music is a series of one night shows in Kew Gardens featuring Rick Astley, Craig David, Beverley Knight & Billy Ocean, Jess Glynne and Jools Holland. Let’s Rock brings its ’80s pomp to Southampton on 6 July, and Once Upon A Time In The West is a low-key festival in Trowbridge on the 12-15 July with lots of folky goodness and a visit from The Wurzels.
When? 1-4 August
Nearest railway station: Fareham
Who’s playing? Frank Turney & The Sleeping Souls, Level 42, The Provlaimers, Gilbert O'Sullivan
Need to know: A delight of a festival that honours its slightly older, muso clientele with top-notch musicians and nostalgic blasts. It’s considered okay to bring your camping chair to sit in during a set.
Not good for: 24 hour party people
When? 712 August
Where? Matterley Estate
Nearest railway station: Winchester and get the shuttle bus
Who’s playing? Ms Lauryn Hill, Prophets of Rage, The Streets, Salt-n-Pepa, Groove Armada
Need to know: A festival that comes with a storyline, Boomtown celebrates its 10th year with more stages, more bands and more acts. The gobsmacking sets and curated areas add a stunning visual element to this immersive experience.
Not good for: Minimalists
When? 23-25 August
Where? Southsea seafront
Nearest railway station: Portsmouth & Southsea
Who’s playing? The Speicals, All Saints, The Zutons, Clean Bandit, Basement Jaxx, Professor Green
Need to know: Although there’s no onsite camping (there’s a camp and ride service) and it’s situated on Southsea seafront, there’s no doubt that Victorious has grown from being basically a multi-band gig into a festival proper. Several stages, world-class acts, a kid’s arena. Loads of fun.
Not good for: Fans of sofa-based bank holidays
Cost: £30-40 per day
Camping? Yes, offsite
When? 23-25 August
Nearest railway station: Reading
Who’s playing? Post Malone, Foo Fights, Charli XCX, Bastille, Enter Shikari
Need to know: The granddaddy of rock shows is still keen to show that it can shake a denim trouser leg with the best of them. This one is all about the music and they have both kinds – rock and more rock.
Not good for: Fringe alt-folk fans
Camping? Yes, though look out for the tent surfers
Also in August: ArcTanGent on 15-17 August promises the best in Math-rock, Post-rock, Noise-rock and Alt-rock, Bristol Temple Meads is your nearest station for this Mendip mindbender, while a couple of sites greedily host their second festival of the year. End Of The Road on 29 August to 1 September brings the likes of Beirut, Jarvis Cocker and Sleaford Mods to the Larmer Tree festival site, while the Field Trip site in Bruton plays host to One Love, 30 August to 1 September, which promises a lasting glow of reggae goodness to sustain you through the dark, festie-free months ahead.