With the festival season on the horizon, Getintothis’ Craig MacDonald takes a look at what’s in store for 2018’s major events.
With a faint hope of some sunshine and warmth in the not too distant future, the time has come to don your sunglasses, get the welly boots on and stock up on the cider. Yep, its Festival time!
Plenty of the North West’s festivals have featured in this years UK Festival Award nominations, proving just how lucky we are to have such an expansive variety of events right on our doorstep.
The below brings a guide to all the events that will be going on throughout the year, that we know about so far. With Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia announcing a year’s hiatus and the relocation of Sound City already being announced, there is plenty to explore over the coming months.
So get them dates boxed off, makes sure you sort out those clashes to see who you want to see and give our playlist a blast to get you in the mood. As always, feel free to send us your tips or any we may have missed along the way!
Liverpool International Jazz Festival: February 22 – February 25 2018, Capstone Theatre, Liverpool
Liverpool International Jazz Festival returns to Liverpool Hope University‘s Capstone Theatre for its sixth year. The festival aims to celebrate the century old genre and the latest innovations in the same field. Previous editions of the festival have seen the likes of Courtney Pine and Mercury award nominated GoGo Penguin.
This years outing will see performances by the renowned James Taylor Quartet, audacious quartet Get The Blessing, Jason Rebello and cult icons Soft Machine as well as specially designed work shops to whet all jazz-lovers appetites.
Across the Threshold: April 13 – 14 2018, Baltic Triangle, Liverpool
Taking place across two yet to be announced venues across two days, Across the Threshold celebrates seven years of arguably Liverpool’s finest grassroots festival, Threshold.
With eyes firmly fixed on next years eighth outing, this year will see a scaled back version of all the chaos and wonder that the annual Baltic extravaganza brings, with plenty of hidden gems in store.
Wrong Festival: April 28, Northern Docklands, Liverpool
Following a triumphant first outing, Wrong Festival returns to its home in the Northern Docklands as some of the loudest acts around head up to play Drop the Dumbells, North Shore Troubadour and Invisible Wind Factory in the feral all dayer.
This years monster lineup features turns from Future of the Left, Damo Suzuki, GNOD and Conan to name but a few. If you like your music loud, ferocious and don’t want to spend a fortune for it, this is the one for you.
Smithdown Road Festival: May 5 – May 7, Smithdown Road, Liverpool
Now into its fourth year, Smithdown Road Festival is lesser known and is much younger compared to most major festivals, but for a free festival, it does offer a healthy lineup of grass root level acts.
Taking place in venues in and around Smithdown Road, previous years have seen the likes of Edgar Jones, Dave McCabe and Katie Mac all make apperances in pubs, cafes and even The Palmhouse. With details set to be announced soon, there will be plenty keeping an eye on this one.
Live at Leeds Festival: May 5, Various Venues, Leeds
Live at Leeds is a festival that has been previously recognised as the Best Metropolitan Festival by the UK Festival Awards. Spread over various venues across the city, this years festival features its biggest lineup to date.
Though aiming to unearth emerging talents, the festival can boast of having given stage to Ed Sheeran, The 1975 and Bastille among others. This years lineup will see Circa Waves, British Sea Power, The Horrors, Louis Berry and Queen Zee plus many more acts in the massive all dayer.
Handmade Festival: May 5 – May 6, O2 Academy, Leciester
Celebrating its fifth year, Handmade Festival is a shinning example of the DIY scene at its best, with its lineups put together by local indie venues and promoters with exceptional results.
This year, The Big Moon, Turbowolf, Eyre Llew, Anteros and many more will play stages in and around the cities O2 Academy as well as the University and Attenborough Arts centre, with plenty more additions set to come.
Sounds from the Other City: May 6 – May 7, Chapel Street, Salford
If the previous three festivals weren’t enough to make the bank holiday Sunday special, there is a fourth one happening at Salford.
Championing new music, the festival is set around Chapel Street in Salford with the Islington Mill expected to be the central hub of the activities. This years bill will feature the likes of Suzi Wu, Barbarosa, Boy Azooga, Xam Volo, with many more yet to be announced. A winner if ever we saw one.
Sound City: May 5 – May 7, Baltic Triangle, Liverpool
Ok, we have one more Bank Holiday festival for you, but its a big one so its worth it. Yep, Sound City has taken heed from its attendees and gone back to its roots big time, as it up sticks and heads back to the city for this years addition.
With headline turns from Peace and DMA’s, the likes of Baxter Dury, Idles, Jaws, Black Honey and not to mention a bucket load of local talent set to play across Black Lodge Brewery, Hinterlands, Red Brick Vintage and loads more venues, there will be plenty keen to get their stage clashes sorted for this one.
LightNight: May 18, Various Venues, Liverpool
Adding variety to the year’s happenings and doing so with class is LightNight 2018. The one night event creatively illuminates various nooks, corners and landmarks of Liverpool and brings forth the beauty found around town that people quite often pass by without noticing.
Whether it be the cathedrals or disused cinemas or the back alleys of the Baltic, the city becomes an illuminated canvas for the night with a world of delights on offer for all the family.
Dot to Dot Festival: May 25 – May 27, Various Venues, Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham
Another past winner of the Best Metropolitan Festival award, Dot to Dot Festival started in Nottingham back in 2005 and can also boast featuring artists like Mumford and Sons, Florence and the Machine, Ed Sheeran and the xx in the past.
This year will see the festival return to the fold with organisers promising its largest bill to date, with plenty of rumours flying around already about who will be gracing its stages this year.
All Points East: May 25 – June 3, Victoria Park, London
It will take some doing to beat the lineup for the inaugural All Points East festival, with one of the best lineup in living memory heading to the capital.
LCD Soundsystem, The xx, Bjork, The National, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, Lorde are just some of the plethora of names that will be appearing in what is the new must go to festival.
Baltic Weekender: June 1 – June 3, Baltic Triangle, Liverpool
After storming their inaugural outing, 24 Kitchen Street and Abandon Silence team up once again to bring the Baltic’s biggest party to ravers and misbehaviours this summer.
Taking place across venues within the district, the Baltic Weekender will showcase some of the finest house, techno, grime, and bass music around. Best get those sickie excuses boxed off now!
Field Day: June 1 – June 2, Brockwell Park, London
If you like your festival to be filled with diversity rather than the bland indie landfills that frequent festival season all too often, then Field Day is for you.
With a lineup boasting Erykah Badu, The Comet Is Coming, AJ Tracey and loads more incredible artists, this is bound to get your summer sorted.
Positive Vibration – Festival of Reggae: June 8 – June 9, Baltic Triangle, Liverpool
Liverpool’s award winning celebration of all things reggae returns to its Baltic home with arguably its biggest gathering to date, including the acclaimed The Art of Reggae Exhibition.
With this years lineup boasting names such as Macka B & The Roots Reggae Band, Iration Steppas, Don Letts and much more, the good vibes are definately to be in abundance at this one.
Download: June 8 – June 10, Donington Park, Leicestershire
Possibly the biggest rock festival in the world, Download returns again to its spiritual home of Donington with a list of who’s who in the rock world. Headed up by Guns and Roses, Ozzy Osbourne and Avenge Sevenfold, the bill will also boast the likes of Marilyn Manson, You Me At SIx and loads more to make metal heads rejoice.
Parklife: June 9 – June 10, Heaton Park, Manchester
Manchester doesn’t do things by half and Parklife once again can lay claim to the arguably biggest festival lineup in the North West with Liam Gallagher, Skepta, Vince Staples and loads more set to head up North for the annual craziness.
Africa Oyé: June 16 – June 17, Sefton Park Liverpool
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.
The lineup for Africa Oyé hasn’t been announced yet, but the fact that names like Sona Jobarteh, Mbongwana Star, Baloji, Gordon Masiala, Tamikrest have performed for it before and that the festival partnered up to get Tinariwen to perform in the city, it won’t be wrong to pin hopes for a killer lineup this year.
Isle of Wight Festival: June 21 – June 24, Isle of Wight
Festivals don’t get much bigger than the Isle of Wight Festival, with its place in history firmly set for life. This year, the iconic gathering will celebrate a mind boggling fifty years of bringing the finest acts in the world to the small south coast isle.
With Depeche Mode, The Killers, Van Morrison, James Bay and much more set to play, there will be plenty on offer for all music lovers to enjoy over the weekend.
TRNSMT Festival: June 29 – July 8, Glasgow Green, Glasgow
Following its incredible first outing, TRNSMT returns with an equally impressive lineup for its second outing, this time over two weekends. Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, Liam Gallagher, Blossoms and a whole host of other names will be sure to make this a worth while trip up North.
Wireless Festival: July 6 – July 8, Finsbury Park, London
Thirteen 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’s headed by three of the biggest names in the recent times: J Cole, Stormzy and DJ Khalid. Accompanying them are names like J Hus, French Montata, Giggs and Big Sean as well as plenty more.
Lovebox Festival: July 13 – July 14, Gunnersbury 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. Last year saw the likes of Jamie XX and Frank Ocean play, but with a new home and no details yet for this years lineup, all eyes are firmly fixed to see what the organisers have in store for 2018.
Citadel: July 15, Gunnersbury Park, London
A new home an a festival exclusive for the UK as Citadel heads to pastures new and brings psyche gods Tame Impala to the festivities. With plenty more surprises up their sleeves, we imagine that organisers will ask you to leave your wellies at the gates and head on to the lucid pastures of the capital.
Bluedot Festival: July 20 – July 22, Jodrell Bank, Cheshire
An altogether other worldly experience will await revellers at this years Jodrell Bank, with the world biggest steerable telescope as your neighbour for the weekend. This year will see The Flaming Lips, The Chemical Brothers and Future Islands among a host of intergalactic names set for the Cheshire jamboree.
Tramlines: July 20 – July 22, Hillsborough Park, Sheffield
Marking its landmark tenth anniversary in some style, Tramlines ups sticks and heads to Hillsborough Park for its biggest event to date.
This years extravaganza will see a new comedy stage, pop up cinema, family area plus stages curated by The Leadmill and Jon McClure of Reverend and The Makers, with organisers promising the biggest lineup to date.
With Stereophonics, Craig David and Noel Gallagher all on headline duties, plus De La Soul, Blossoms, Genghar and much more on offer, Tramlines is one that should be on all festival goers attend lists.
Liverpool International Music Festival: July 20 – July 22, Sefton Park, 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.
Last year we had Gorgon City, JP Cooper, Kate Nash and Cast among many others, delivering some memorable sets. As one of the most well organised festival around, LIMF qualifies as unmissable for many.
Kendal Calling:July 26 – July 29, Lowther Deer Park, Kendal
If your looking to get your festival kicks among some picturesque scenery, then you would be hard picked to find a better place then Kendal Calling. With this years lineup welcoming Run DMC, James, She Drew The Gun just a handful of names set to grace the Lakeland’s gathering, this has winner written all over it.
Bestival: August 2 – August 5, Lulworth Estate, Dorset
The biggest fancy dress party the world will see returns to its Southern home this year, with Bestival bringing a giant lineup fit for royalty. MIA, London Grammar, Grace Jones are just some of the names set to play the Dorset gathering. Best get those glow sticks ready.
Green Man Festival: August 16 – August 19, 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 The War On Drugs, Fleet Foxes and John Grant take to headline duties while further afield, Mount Kimbie, Public Service Broadcasting and Teleman can all be found around the various stages on offer.
Creamfields: August 23 – August 26, Daresbury, Cheshire
Quite simply, the biggest dance festival in the UK, Creamfields continues to go from strength to strength now as it goes into its third decade.
This years lineup will once again boast the infamous Steelyard stage with Carl Cox and Eric Pryz leading the names announced for this years whopper in Cheshire. Keep those eyes peeled for some big names to come.
Leeds and Reading Festival: August 23 – August 26, 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 their stages and make them a world-known event.
After much anticipation, this year will see Fall Out Boy, Kendrick Lamar and Kings of Leon on headline duties with the likes of Dream Wife, Dua Lipa, Wolf Alice and much more playing across the weekend.
Festival No.6: September 6 – September 9, Portmeirion, Wales
Having raised their game back to the levels that makes it so loved by so many, Festival No.6 will be hoping that the weather continues to be on its side this year as it builds upon the praise it got following a successful 2017.
With Mogwai, Bloc Party, Wild Beast and The Cribs just a handful of the names that made it to Wales last year, plenty of you will be checking to see who they bring to Portmeirion this year to enjoy its stunning surroundings.