2010年2月25日星期四

UK festivals preview

"UK festivals preview | GoRockfest.Com - The Latest Rockfest, Artist's Live News"
Dave Musson
UK festivals previewDig out the wellies – festival season is coming!

All of a sudden, the UK has become a haven for great music festivals and 2010’s selection already looks like a vintage year. There’s old, established favourites, younger events still finding their feet and even new ones about to have their first run.

Across the UK, there’s gatherings ranging from quiet, chilled out folk festivals featuring men with beards and beer, right through to massive stages where world-famous bands play to thousands and thousands of screaming, sweaty, dirty fans. We’re going to take a look at some of the festivals taking place this summer to hopefully give you a bit of choice as to which one to go to.

Live and (very) loud

Heavy rock and metal fans are already spoilt for great festival options this summer and only a handful of bands have even been announced. The most headline-grabbing festival for headbangers has to be this year’s Download Festival. The three-day event takes place at Castle Donington from 11-13 June and is set to be extra special this summer because the festival marks Donington’s 30th anniversary. With Rage Against the Machine, AC/DC and Aerosmith announced as headliners, along with Stone Temple Pilots, Lamb of God and Them Crooked Vultures also confirmed, Download promises to be massive.

There’s also a new kid on the metal festival block for 2010; the High Voltage festival comes to London’s Hyde Park from 24-25 July and is set to put classic rock fans in heaven, with ZZ Top, ELP and Heaven and Hell all set to play.

Heaven and Hell will also be headlining the Bloodstock Open Air at Catton Hall in Derbyshire from 13-15 August. As well as Ronny James Dio and his Black Sabbath chums, Fear Factory, GWAR, Gojira and Children of Bodom will be rocking out.

Sticking with classic rock – grunge legends Pearl Jam are headlining Hard Rock Calling on Friday 25 June in Hyde Park, with direct support coming from Aussie retro rockers Wolfmother.

While they haven’t announced any bands yet, the Reading/Leeds weekend has a habit of taking on a few loud bands each year, so don’t be surprised to see plenty of metalheads over the weekend of 27-29 August.

**On Stage’s Most Rockin’ Festival of 2010: Sonisphere**

Sonisphere made its debut last year and was an incredible success. This year, it’s back – bigger and probably beter than before. This year’s event is still at Knebworth, but is now a three-day weekend to compete with the UK’s other large gatherings. Already announced for the 30 July – 1 August showdown are Iron Maiden, Rammstein, Iggy Pop, Slayer, Anthrax, Henry Rollins, Papa Roach and Bring Me the Horizon. It should be something very special indeed and, who knows, if 2010 goes well the festival could even end up rivalling Download as the UK’s premier hard rock fest.

Popular culture

In terms of festivals offering radio-friendly hits, there’s far to many for one person to check out – unless you have a Willy Wonka-style golden ticket. However, there a few notable ones coming together and worth looking at.

The big event this summer to be the world-famous Glastonbury festival. The event that gives the sleepy village of Pilton global fame will this year be lead by stadium rock giants U2 and will run from 23-27 June. If the past is anything to go by, expect lots of rain, lots of chilled out fans, lots of likeable music and lots of love.

Earlier in June, from the 11-13, a mass of global stars will gather on the Isle of Wight for its annual shin-dig. This year’s event has so far confirmed Jay-Z, the Strokes, Blondie, Pink, Biffy Clyro, Calvin Harris and the Saturdays – as you can see, a bit of something for everyone.

The same weekend as the Isle of Wight party, the Strokes will also be heading up to Scotland to play Rock Ness, where they are set to be joined by Friendly Fires and Hadouken! as well as the no doubt many more still to be announced.

Staying north of the border, the big Scottish festival tends be T in the Park, near Kinross. This year it will take place from 9-11 July and they’ve announced Kasabian as their first big name act.

Swiftly moving back down to London now, where, from 2-4 July, Hyde Park will be taken over by the Wireless festival, this year featuring Pink and the Tings Tings amongst others.

**On Stage’s Pop Pick Festival of 2010: V Festival**

OK, so it may seem strange to single out a festival for a top pick that doesn’t have any confirmed acts yet, but there’s something about the V Fest that makes you know it will be a great event every year it runs. It consistently manages to create a family-friendly atmosphere while drawing in some absolutely top bands to play it. Just take a look at last year’s lineup if you don’t believe me. Rumoured to appear this summer are Kings of Leon, Kasabian and Vampire Weekend, with an outside bet for an appearance from the eccentric but wonderfully entertaining Lady Gaga. The event is happening on 21 and 22 August in Weston Park (Staffordshire) and Chelmsford (Essex), so pick the one that’s easiest to get to and go have a great weekend!

Something different

Of course, one of the great things about the wide choice in UK festivals is the chance to do something different for a couple of days and 2010 has plenty to offer.

Just plucking a few out of the many festivals best classed in the genre ‘other’ include the Secret Garden Party (22-25 July, somewhere in East Anglia), 2000 Trees (16-17 July, near Cheltenham), Glastonbudget (28-30 May, Leicestershire), Camp Bestival (30 July – 1 August, Dorset), Mosely Folk Festival (4-6 September, near Birmingham) or the Global Gathering (30-31 July, Long Marston airfield near Stratford-Upon-Avon).

**On Stage’s ‘Different’ Festival of 2010: The Big Chill**

Family friendly? Check. Set in relaxing, rolling Herefordshire countryside? Check. No pressure at all? Check. An all-round great weekend experience? Check. The Big Chill in Ledbury is becoming the festival of choice for many people and this year promises to be another great party. The lineup hasn’t been announced yet, but this festival – more than any other – is really not about the music. People go here for the experience and there are few better ways to spend an long weekend. This year’s event takes place from 5-8 August.

The above is just a small selection of what’s on offer, so if you’re heading somewhere else please tell us about by leaving a comment below. Wherever you choose to go this summer, have a great one. All being well, On Stage may even see you at one of them!

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