Previews

2023 Music Festivals Preview – UK



The third of our tryptich of summer 2023 music festival previews is – at last – upon us. Step forward, UK!

Reading festival (Photo: Sarah Louise Bennett)

Reading Festival (Photo: Sarah Louise Bennett)

A (short, absolutely not exhaustive) preview of summer festivals happening across the UK, even one that forms the third of three parts of a summer festivals preview (with part 1 on Europe here and part 2 on London here), would technically focus on events from June to August, would it not. But already up and down the land, events showcasing music from artists established and new have been and gone this last weekend. 

We’ve had Bearded Theory in Walton upon Trent, starring stalwarts Interpol, Billy Bragg and Primal Scream. All the dancey people converged at Creamfields South in Chelmsford. And Warrington’s Neighbourhood Weekender was headlined by actual Pulp. Brighton’s The Great Escape, the traditional season opener, is already fading into the mists of time. You’re right – we should’ve published this a bit sooner. 

Oh, and there are events in September, too. Do Indian Summers count? Is September part of one? If the weather holds up, maybe. Anyway. June to September it is. Behold, our pick of festivals (which are not called Glastonbury, because that’s a TV programme now, isn’t it).

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Green Man

One of the UK’s consistently best programmed music festivals returns to Wales’s picturesque and ever so green Brecon Beacons, this year in the company of Slowdive, Devo, Spiritualized, Delgados, First Aid Kit, Young Fathers, Warmduscher, Jockstrap, Daniel Avery and Beth Orton. Taking place in the middle of August, there’s even a good chance of sunshine.

Green Man takes place at Glanusk Park, Wales, from 17-20 August 2023. More information can be found at greenman.net.

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Cambridge Folk Festival

This year’s line-up is particularly strong, with Rufus Wainwright showing off new album Folkocracy and appearances from legendary lungsmith Angélique Kidjo, star of screens turned music maker Kiefer Sutherland, and folk royalty Eliza Carthy, plus Arrested Development, Imelda May, Grace Petrie (in music mode), Judy Collins, the returning Stornoway, the ubiquitous Proclaimers, Jesca Hoop, and a pairing-up of James Yorkston & Nina Persson.

Cambridge Folk Festival takes place from 27 to 30 July 2023 at Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge. More can be found at cambridgelive.org.uk

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End Of The Road

Fatoumata Diawara, Ezra Furman, Wilco, The Murder Capital, Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul, Angel Olsen, Greentea Peng and Future Islands are just some of the must-sees combining to make the 2023 edition of the always essential yet never enlarging EOTR that bit more special. Its elysian setting and strong and varied down-bill combine to create an event that is a vibe in festival form.

End Of The Road takes place at Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset, from 30 August to 3 September 2023. More can be found at endoftheroadfestival.com

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WOMAD

What’s effectively the UK branch of the worldwide WOMAD festival – with other events in locations as far flung as Australia, Chile, Italy and the Canaries – returns to its Malmesbury base with a bill starring Femi Kuti, Mariza, Horace Andy, The Comet Is Coming, Bombay Bicycle Club and Kate Rusby, showcasing in particular (though not exclusively) the music world beyond the Anglosphere. Top tip: there’s a lot of it, and a lot of it’s amazing.

WOMAD takes place from 27 to 30 July 2023 in Charlton Park, Wiltshire. More can be found at womad.co.uk

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Latitude 

Since unfairly gaining a reputation as Radio 4 in a field at its inception, Latitude has over the years developed into a mid-sized festival happy with its figure and practised at what it does. This year’s undoubted big draw is Pulp, whose second reunion you might’ve noticed. But you’ll also find Siouxsie, Paolo Nutini, George Ezra, The Proclaimers, Metronomy, Georgia, James, Young Fathers, Yard Act, Creep Show, Dry Cleaning and Kiefer Sutherland. Plus there’s the comedy, discussion and literature strands which make this event what it is, with laughs from the likes of Bridget Christie, Romesh Ranganathan and Ed Gamble.

Latitude takes place at Henham Park, Suffolk, from 20 to 23 July 2023. More can be found at latitudefestival.com

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Bluedot 

The only UK festival that we know of taking place amid a backdrop of gigantic radio telescopes, Bluedot brings together a stellar bill of Róisín Murphy, Grace Jones (have those two met yet?), Max Cooper’s 3D/AV show, Max Richter with the BBC Concert Orchestra, Pavement’s only UK festival appearance this year, Radiophonic Workshop (and where better to see  them), Nubya Garcia, Young Fathers, Leftfield, Django Django, Creep Show and Black Country, New Road to the fabled site near Macclesfield. A suitably galactic line-up.

Bluedot takes place from 20 to 23 July 2023 at Jodrell Bank, Cheshire. More can be found at discoverthebluedot.com

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Beautiful Days 

Imagine it’s the mid-’90s and you’re at a festival. You’re young, the sun’s out, the world’s your oyster. Levellers, Suede, Ozric Tentacles, Indigo Girls, Primal Scream, Johnny Marr, Gaz Coombes and Reef are all playing. Except it’s 2023 and they all actually are playing, at this festival founded by Levellers themselves, down in Devon. The ‘90s are so 2020s now.

Beautiful Days takes place from 18 to 20 August 2023 at Escot Park, Devon. More can be found at beautifuldays.org

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TRNSMT

Pulp, Sam Fender, Becky Hill, The 1975 and Royal Blood head up the bill for Glasgow’s big outing in the park that, in these days of no T in the Park, lays claim to be Scotland’s premier commercial summer music festival.  

TRNSMT takes place from 7 to 9 July 2023 at Glasgow Green, Glasgow. More can be found at trnsmtfest.com

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Love Supreme

Soul and disco reign in the Sussex countryside, a stone’s throw from the Glyndebourne Opera. Grace Jones, Little Simz, Greentea Peng, Courtney Pine, Gabriels, Candi Staton, Mulatu Astatke, Emeli Sandé and Thundercat shall curate your audiovisual pleasure.

Love Supreme takes place from to 2023 at Glynde Place, East Sussex. More can be found at lovesupremefestival.com

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KITE festival

KITE festival (Photo: PR)

KITE

By the same people who bring you Love Supreme, the second KITE festival cements its position at the crossroads of music and ideas, with as many non-music acts chatting about books, politics and culture as there are performers playing their songs. But what performers, and what songs: Hot Chip, Suede, Pretenders, Candi Staton, Django Django, Alison Goldfrapp, Decius, Baxter Dury to name but a few.

KITE takes place from 9 to 11 June 2023 at Kirtlington Park, Oxfordshire. More can be found at kitefestival.co.uk

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Wilderness

The Chemical Brothers, Christine And The Queens, Fatboy Slim, Sugababes, Arlo Parks, Honey Dijon and Todd Terry certainly make for an eclectic line-up, but we’re quite sure that dancing can be done to any or all of the above. 

Wilderness takes place from 3 to 6 August 2023 at Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire. More can be found at wildernessfestival.com

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Cropredy

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention bills itself as “the friendliest festival in the country”. We have no information on the metrics used to reach this conclusion, but with Nile Rodgers & Chic, 10CC and of course Fairport Convention themselves headlining, it has to be said that it has a friendly look about it.

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention takes place from 10 to 12 August 2023 in Cropredy, Oxfordshire. More can be found at fairportconvention.com

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Secret Garden Party

It’s a delight that Secret Garden Party is back after the pandemical times. Get thee to Huntingdon for some Queen Róisín Murphy, a little bit of Underworld, a smattering of The Libertines, an audience with Peaches, actual legends De La Soul, those Leftfield fellows, and – is this a comeback or an exclusive, we can’t quite make it out? – The Big Pink.

Secret Garden Party takes place from 20 to 23 July 2023 near Huntingdon. More can be found at secretgardenparty.com

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Download

Guitars making lots of noise can be found at metal’s big tent affair, held once again at motorsport circuit Donington Park. Metallica head a bill that also stars Bring Me The Horizon, Slipknot, Alter Bridge, Evanescence and Placebo.

Download takes place from 8 to 11 June 2023 at Donington Park, Leicestershire. More can be found at downloadfestival.co.uk

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Towersley

The Divine Comedy play a 2023 UK festival exclusive at Towersley, with Frank Turner, The Proclaimers and Thea Gilmore amongst the other draws.

Towersley takes place from 25 to 28 August 2023 at the Claydon Estate near Buckingham. More can be found at towerseyfestival.com

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Reading and Leeds

Sam Fender, The Killers, Billie Eilish, Becky Hill, Foals, Lewis Capaldi, Bicep, Rina Sawayama, Yard Act and Wet Leg are among the draws to the dual-site August Bank Holiday blow-out, with acts rotating between the two sites across the weekend. A notably more diverse bill this year suggests criticisms of the balance of previous line-ups has been taken on board.

Reading and Leeds Festivals take place on 25 to 27 August 2023 in Richfield Avenue, Reading and Bramham Park, Leeds. More can be found at readingandleedsfestival.com

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Isle Of Wight

Pulp! Robbie Williams! The Chemical Brothers! Blondie! That awfully nice Eurovision chap Sam Ryder! The Human League! Manic Street Preachers! It’s big, it’s bold and it’s an adventure just getting there. Where’s the ferry…

Isle of Wight Festival takes place from 15 to 18 June 2023 on an island off Great Britain. More can be found at isleofwightfestival.com


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