Getting the tents out for music festival season

Travel Ideas

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Any year that I don’t go to Glastonbury, I always get envious when I see the fun unfolding on television. So after having longingly watched the happy events of two weekends ago, I’m thinking about seeing if I can score any last minute tickets (from official vendors, of course) to any festivals in July or August. I found out just now that T in the Park – which takes place in Scotland this weekend – has just released some extra day tickets so a friend of mine is trying to see if we can snaffle some before they run out…

The T in the Park line-up looks great this year. Two of my favourites – Blur and Kings of Leon – are playing, as well as loads of other great artists like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Calvin Harris and Lily Allen. But if you haven’t managed to get tickets, there are loads of options, many of which I’m still considering myself – definitely for 2010, if not this year.

At home, there’s the usual contenders like Leeds, Reading and the V Festival. But for me, the best by far seems to be Bestival in September, which is on the Isle of Wight. Organised by DJ Rob da Bank (what a great name 🙂 ), it only started in 2004 but has since grown to become one of the UK’s best loved music festivals. This year’s line-up looks amazing too, featuring greats like Massive Attack and Elbow, as well as exciting upstarts such as Little Boots and Florence and the Machine. Better still, because it’s on the Isle of Wight, I imagine attending Bestival makes you feel as though you’re staying somewhere foreign and exotic even though it’s so close to home.

If you’d like to combine your music festival experience with a real overseas getaway however, Benicassim near Valencia in Spain is a good option. This year’s line-up features loads of European and American acts, as well as British favourites like Oasis and Glasvegas. It takes place from July 16th to 19th and although its 4-day weekend tickets are sold out, you can still get day tickets.

There’s also Pukkelpop in Kiewit, Belgium from August 20th to 22nd. This three-day festival is one of the biggest in Belgium, and is an inviting mix of indie, metal, rap and electronica – so it’s definitely one to go to if you and your friends have diverse musical tastes! I can’t think of many other festivals – except maybe Glastonbury – where you’d have the Arctic Monkeys and the Klaxons playing alongside 50 Cent, Dizzee Rascal, Placebo, My Bloody Valentine and Kraftwerk, to name but a few!

What’s more, if you’re based near London, it’s so easy to hop on a Eurostar to Brussels and get a train straight to Kiewit from there.

But there are so many music festivals in the UK, Europe and beyond, I’m sure there are some gems that I know nothing about. So if you’ve got any tips about little-known but long-running festivals, or music events that you think will be huge in a few years, I’m all ears!

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