Liverpool festival guide 2017 – the North West’s best music festivals and major events

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The Crowd

Soak up the festival sun this summer

Liverpool’s festival season kicks off this week with Sound City, Getintothis rounds up the best of the summer’s major events.

The festival season is upon us. But did it really ever go away?

With Threshold Festival, the inaugural Wrong Festival, FestEvolSound City and so many major happenings already done and dusted, it’s a wonder music fans in the Liverpool region have time to relax. Well, stock up on energy and whatever gets you through, because from this week onwards it’s a perpetual spin cycle of music in fields – or down the docks as we’re immersed once again into a summer glut of live music.

To make life more digestible, we’ve created this one-stop-shop for all your festival planning – including all the major happenings in Liverpool, the North West and much further afield. While your penciling events in the diary, we’ve also created a playlist below of some of those who feature including the very best in new music emanating from the city. Enjoy.

Africa Oye 2015

Africa Oye

Africa Oyé – 25th Anniversary Festival: June 17 – June 18 2017, Sefton Park, Liverpool

When the UK’s biggest celebration of African and world music is set to celebrate its 25th anniversary, you know its going to be special. The festival that started out as handful of gigs all around the city, has a become a massive two day carnival largely centered around Liverpool’s Sefton Park.

Africa Oyé has promised to celebrate this year with a lineup of handpicked artists that have performed in its previous editions alongside carrying the tradition of bringing to light some up and coming artists.

Lineup for this year’s festival includes MokoombaMax RomeoBlack ProphetBongaDobet Gnahoré, Dizzy Mandjeku & Odemba OK Allstars etc.

Read our preview for the festival here.

Blackpool Tower

Blackpool Tower

Blackpool International Soul Festival: June 16 – June 18 2017, Winter Gardens, Blackpool

Blackpool International Soul Festival soothes the hope of someone dying to experience some soul music in the north-west even before, closer to home, Liverpool Soul Festival announces its dates for the 2017 edition.

Blackpool Soul Festival has already confirmed legendary international acts like Little Anthony and the The Impressions, who will be making this their farewell gig in the UK. Alongside, Leroy Hutson, various other DJs and many more yet to be announced act that will take care of your soul thirst at various venues around Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.

Glastonbury 2015 (Photo credit: Jessie Colman)

Glastonbury 2015 (Photo credit: Jessie Colman)

Glastonbury: June 21 – June 25 2017, Worthy Farm

With news that the future of Glastonbury may well be up in the air, what better excuse do you need to head down to Worthy Farm to arguably the mecca of all festival goers. This year’s festival goers are looking at the return of Radiohead alongside other big names like Foo FightersStormzyEd SheeranThe XX etc.. Lets just hope it stays dry!

Louis Berry at Liverpool River Festival

Louis Berry at International Mersey River Festival

International Mersey River Festival: June 23 – June 25 2017, Liverpool Waterfront, Liverpool

Liverpool’s rich history of music and the docks comes together to celebrate the city’s heritage in International Mersey River Festival this summer. The free family festival based mainly around Albert Dock in Liverpool, offers everything from aerial performances, raft racing, tall ships, street performances, rides for children to the best excuses to plan a family visit to various important buildings, museums and galleries on the docks.

Last year, beautiful river-kissed summer breezes blew over stages that hosted acts like Soul II Soul, Shola AmaClean Cut CutLisa Hannigan and Louis Berry. Naturally, we look forward to those chilled family-friendly summer vibes and the announcements of the acts that will help us experience them.

Bluedot Festival

Bluedot Festival

Bluedot Festival: July 7 – July 9 2017, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire

Following a well-received inauguration last year, Bluedot is back this year with another promising lineup. The festival, which interestingly uses world’s biggest steerable telescope as the backdrop, will see acts like Alt-JPixiesShuraWarpaintOrbital etc. grace its stage. From its unique location to its unique lineup, Bluedot presents a good case for being the new must-check for the festival-goers.

The Weeknd (credit: artist’s Facebook)

Wireless: July 7 – July 9 2017, Finsbury Park, London

Twelve years after its inception, Wireless Festival has become one the hottest summer festivals for Urban music. Living up to the reputation, the festival has announced a solid lineup that is headed by three of the biggest names in the recent times: grammy grabbing Chance The Rapper, chart dominating The Weeknd and Mercury winner Skepta. Accompanying them are names likes G-EazyTygaSean PaulBryson TillerWiley etc.

Radiohead

Radiohead

TRNSMT: July 9 – July 11 2017, Glasgow Green, Glasgow

Following the inevitable demise of T in the Park, Scotland was in need of a new huge festival and with TRNSMT they have certainly found just that. Set in the city centre, this year will see Radiohead, Kasabian, Biffy Clyro all headline while the likes of Blossoms, The 1975 and The Kooks can all be found waiting for revellers.

Jess Glynne

Jess Glynne

Lovebox: July 14 – July 15 2017, Victoria Park, London

Lovebox started out as a dance festival that has expanded into a multi-dimensional mammoth with its many stages at a country-style setting near central London.

In its 16th edition, the festival sees Frank Ocean headline the main stage on Friday with support from Jamie XX. The other stages will also see big names like Mac MillerSolangeRag n’ Bone ManKaytranadaSeth Troxler, KiNK etc.

The next day will be headlined by Chase & Status, who headlined the festival’s 2015 edition previously. Elsewhere, acts like Jess GlynneAnnie MacAndy CRicardo VillalobosHorse Meat Disco etc. will do their part to make the festival truly varied.

Brazilian dancers

Brazilian dancers

Brazilica 2017: July 14 – July 16 2017, Liverpool City Centre, Liverpool

Another festival that celebrates the variety of culture around Liverpool, Brazilica is the annual celebration of Brazilian culture in our hometown. The centre of attraction is the carnival parade that sees hundreds of performers in glittery dresses samba across the streets of the city. While various other venues treat you to Brazilian food, live music and exhibitions regarding the same.

The Fortress at Beat-Herder

The Fortress at Beat-Herder

Beat-Herder: July 14 – July 16 2017, Ribble Valley, Lovely Lanchashire

Beat-Herder is the perfect festival if you like your musical celebrations to happen in the great outdoors. Taking place around Ribble Valley in Lanchashire, the scenery provides the perfect backdrop to usually a well-rounded lineup with it’s fair chunk of electronic music offering.

In its twelfth year, the festival will see acts like Sleaford ModsTrentemøller, Toots and the Maytals, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, The Sugarhill Gang and Adrian Sherwood among many others.

Read our preview of Beat-Herder 2017 here.

LIMF

LIMF

          Liverpool International Music Festival: July 20 – July 23 2017, Various venues, Liverpool

Arguably, the centrepiece of Liverpool based festivals, Liverpool International Music Festival or LIMF comes around every year at a summer bathed Sefton Park and some other venues around town to offer an abundance of talent for families, music heads and friends alike.

The first wave of acts announced features Gorgon City, Corinne Bailey Rae, Naughty Boy, Fleur East and Cast topping bills across the July weekender. Alongside will be the likes of JP Cooper, Kate Nash, The Christians, So Solid Crew, Donae’o, Louis Berry, Sinead HarnettSugarmenXamVolo etc.

Read our preview for LIMF 2017 here.

Honeyblood

Honeyblood

Deer Shed Festival: July 21 – July 23 2017, Baldersby Park, Thirsk

Another family festival on the list, Deer Shed does not just use natural scenery as its backdrop, but also keeps it at the heart of it. The festival encourages you to explore the wilderness of Baldersby Park through various activities like workshops (they hosted more than 80 of those in last year alone), sports and science experiments.

Music wise, it will present acts like Teenage FanclubHoneybloodKate TempestThe Divine ComedyTeleman and you might even run into acts from way back home like Hooton Tennis Club and Jalen N’Gonda.

Manic Street Preachers (Photo by John Johnson)

Manic Street Preachers (Photo by John Johnson)

Kendal Calling: July 27 – July 30 2017, Lowther Deer Park, Cumbria

When we are talking about natural beauty, how can we forget about Lake District. Taking place at the Lowther Deer Park, is the major festival Kendall Calling which attracts some of the biggest names around plus any many up and coming acts looking on the rise.

The big names this year are Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds, StereophonicsManic Street PreachersFrank TurnerEditorsSeasick SteveCirca WavesThe Coral among several others.

Rocks Off - Stones tribute

Rocks Off – Stones tribute

Festwich: July 29 – July 30 2017, St. Mary’s Park, Prestwich

If tribute bands are your thing, Festwich is UK’s biggest free festival for tribute bands. In its sixth year, the festival host tribute acts like The CureheadsDaft Punkx, MentallicaThe Rawmones, Tommy Holland as Elvis and Antarctic Monkeys at Prestwich’s St. Mary’s Park for over two days.

Dufus

Dufus

Lytham Festival: August 2 – August 6 2017, Lytham Green, Lancashire

With its reputation continuing to thrive,  Lytham Festival returns to Lytham Green, this festival is now in it’s eighth year. Spread over five days, various stages will see headliners Olly MursHaçienda Classical80s vs 90sMadness and something called West End Proms which sees west end stars like Ramin Karimloo and Lea Salonga bring their majestic glory to a music festival.

James

James

Hope and Glory Festival: August 5 – August 6 2017, St. George’s Hall, Liverpool

Taking place at and around St. George’s Hall, the festival boasts of bringing a weekend of music and art to the victorian backdrop of World MuseumCentral LibrarySt. George’s Hall and its adjacent gardens.

The announcement of the festival has received a welcoming reaction thanks to the big names it will be bringing to town like headliners James and Hacienda Classical which will feature Shaun Ryder and Bez of Happy MondaysTim Booth of James. Alongside we will also revered local figures like Zutons’ Dave McCabeAbiChanThe Coral‘s Ian SkellyClean Cut Kid etc. and not to mention The Blinders, Coquin Migale, Vynce, Lightning Seeds, Avalanche Party etc.

To make it family friendly, the festival will also feature activities for children alongside games and food and drink stalls.

Our preview of Hope and Glory Festival complete with the stage splits is right here.

The Coral

The Coral

Cotton Clouds Festival: August 12 2017, Saddleworth Cricket Club, Oldham

The Manchester based day festival will launch its first year as a festival at Saddleworth Cricket Club spanning three stages with headliners including The CoralThe Sugarhill Gang alongside The Pins, CupidsHello Operator, The Blinders, The G-O-D, Tear, Yucatan, Ethan and The Reformation, Colour Me Wednesday, Gardenback,Stillia, Nev Cottee, Proletariat and Shadow Palace. Even DJ’s will not be amiss at the festival with beloved Howling Rhythm & The Howling Horns bringing a new lease of life to 60’s and Northern Soul.

Read our full preview of Cotton Clouds Festival here.

The Selecter

The Selecter

The Great Northern Ska Festival: August 19 2017, Bowler’s Exhibition Centre, Manchester

Some people know exactly what they want and a well-rounded lineup doesn’t excite them, they just want a heavy dose of a single genre. If the genre happens to be Ska or two tone, you will love The Great Northern Ska Festival.

As the name suggests, the annual gathering is one of the biggest celebrations of Ska in the north. Happening at the Bowler’s Exhibition Centre in Manchester, the festival will see performances from Neville StapleThe Selecter and The Dualers.

Future Islands

Future Islands

Green Man Festival: August 17 – August 20 2017, Breacon Beacons, Wales

Set in the lush surroundings of the Breacon Beacons, Green Man Festival boasts a contemporary music lovers wet dream, with a host of left field acts to revel in. This year’s line up will see Ryan Adams, PJ Harvey and Future Islands take to headline duties while further afield, Angel Olsen, Badbadnotgood and Lamb Chop can all be found around the various stages on offer.

Creamfields Steel Yard

Creamfields Steel Yard

Creamfields: August 24 – August 27 2017, Daresbury, Cheshire

If the UK Awards are anything to go by, this is the biggest one around. Having won the the Best Major Festival award at the 2016 awards, Creamfields won in a competition against world renowned festivals like Glastonbury and Isle of Wight.

To add a cherry to the hype, this year the festival celebrates its 20th anniversary. It began as an offshoot of the Cream club nights of Liverpool, and grew into the recognised brand of festivals we know it to be today. The main festival takes place over bank holiday weekend in August at Daresbury.

This years special event will welcome Diplo, The Chainsmokers, Stormzy, Above & Beyond and Fatboy Slim across the 30 stages set to grace the Daresbury site. Alongside will be names like Armin van Buuren, Chase & Status, Dillon Francis, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Patrick Topping, Paul van Dyk, Pete Tong, Sasha etc.

Read our preview for this year’s Creamfields here.

Korn at The Echo Arena

Korn at The Echo Arena

      Leeds and Reading Festival: August 25 – August 27 2017, Richfield Avenue, Reading and Bramham Park, Leeds

Leeds and Reading Festival is another big name in the festival circuit. If somehow you didn’t already know, these are two different festivals that are coupled together and have found legendary acts grace them and make them a world-known event. This year will see acts like KornMuseJimmy Eat WorldKasabianTwo Door Cinema ClubBastilleMajor Lazer and Glass Animals among others.

Festival Number 6 - the very muddy Central Piazza

Festival Number 6 – the very muddy Central Piazza

Festival No.6: September 7 – September 10 2017, Portmeirion, Wales

Festival No.6 generated quite a bit of fuss last year but mostly for the wrong reasons. The otherwise lovely area of Portmeirion, Wales turned into a bog with some parts getting flooded due to heavy downpour. However, many people still felt that there was a lot of positive things to be enjoyed at the festival too.

Playing the festival this year are The Flaming LipsMogwaiBloc PartyLaura MvulaRag N’ Bone ManThe Cinematic OrchestraKate TempestArab Strap alongside Joy OrbisonBenji BXamVoloMr. ScruffGulpSlang etc.

With good quality of theatre, cabaret, insightful talks and a variety of other spectacles to offer on the side, Festival No.6 is still worth anticipating regardless of any shortcomings last year.

Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia 2017

Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia 2017

Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia – September 22 – 23, Various venues, Liverpool

Taking over Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle on September 22-23, a feast of global psychedelic collectives will descend upon Camp & Furnace, Blade Factory and District.

Topped by Texan outfit The Black Angels,  international acts come in great abundance with a range of nations represented with Songhoy Blues from Mali, Laetitia Sadier and Acid Arab both hailing from France, Belgian jazz trio Dans Dans, Barcelona’s Celestial Bums and Argentina’s Hurricane Heart Attacks. While, Liverpool will be strongly represented on a weekend that draws visitors from across the globe with Sex Swing, Ex-Easter Island Head, FUSS, Baltic Fleet etc.

Read the latest updates on the festival here.

Liverpool Irish Festival (photo credit: Pete Carr)

Liverpool Irish Festival (photo credit: Pete Carr)

Liverpool Irish Festival – October 19 –  October 29, Various venues, Liverpool

Liverpool Irish Festival is one of the most relaxed festivals on the list, with the ten day event commemorating the exchange of culture between Ireland and Liverpool.

Returning to the city in its fifteenth year, the festival is spread across the whole city for ten days in October during which it is known to feature exhibits at museums, plays around town, jam sessions at pubs and bars, informative talks and various gigs with acts from Ireland.

 

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