Ten small but mighty UK summer music festivals worth your attention
- Arusa Qureshi
- 23 June 2017
Excellent alternatives to the major festivals this July
Another year, another outstanding Glastonbury lineup. If you're one of the unlucky ones that missed out on tickets this year, the intense fomo that you're probably experiencing right now is real and understandable. We too would have loved to have seen Radiohead, The xx, Run the Jewels etc. doing their thing (Ed Sheeran, not so much). But Glastonbury is not the be-all and end-all of summer music festivals, despite what social media and the little red button on your TV tells you. There are an abundance of small but mighty festivals taking place all over the UK that are worth your attention, especially if you're looking to see some of the acts you might be missing at Glasto. To help you find your perfect alternative, we've rounded up some of the festivals we're most looking forward to this July.
Named after the 1965 John Coltrane album A Love Supreme, the East Sussex based festival is a celebration of all things jazz, blues, R&B and soul. Taking place over three days, you'll find the likes of Kamasi Washington, BadBadNotGood, Gregory Porter and Corinne Bailey Rae on this year's lineup, along with Motown superstars The Jacksons and jazz icon George Benson.
Glynde Place, East Sussex, Fri 30 Jun–Sun 2 Jul.
Founded by Paul and Mel Bliss in 2001, Blissfields is an annual festival that brings together a range of acts from indie to electronic and everything in between. With a ticket capacity of 2500 and a line-up that includes Metronomy, The Cinematic Orchestra and DJ Yoda, it's a special one to attend for the music but also has some cool art and installations around the site that are well worth exploring.
Vicarage Farm, Hampshire, Thu 6–Sat 8 Jul.
Wireless has seen some exceptional acts in its 12 year history, and 2017 will be no different with the mighty Chance the Rapper and Skepta making appearances alongside The Weeknd, Nas, Fetty Wap and more. If you're big on hip hop, grime and R&B, this will undoubtedly be the festival for you, with both big names and up-and-comers taking to the stage over the three days.
Finsbury Park, London, Fri 7–Sun 9 Jul.
The annual dance music festival in the woods is back for its 8th edition, promising, as ever, an intimate but hugely entertaining experience. This year's festival has a new addition in the ambient and experimental stage Campfire Headphase, which is curated by electronic music magazine Inverted Audio and features sets from Huerco S and House of Traps among others. Elsewhere, you'll find Todd Terje, Booka Shade, Nao, Helena Hauff and more.
Bygrave Woods, Hertfordshire, Thu 13–Sat 15 Jul.
Latitude is the kind of festival where you can enjoy a mixed bag of entertainment from music to cabaret and dance to politics. If this kind of eclecticism appeals to you, make your way to the Suffolk countryside and enjoy headliners The 1975, Mumford and Sons and Fleet Foxes as well as appearances from Simon Armitage, My Dad Wrote a Porno, Katherine Ryan and Dara Ó Briain.
Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk, Thu 13–Sun 16 Jul.
Arguably one of the best lineups Lovebox has ever had, the 2017 festival will be unmissable with Frank Ocean and Solange headlining. The London festival was founded by Groove Armada in 2002 and continues to be one of the city's finest music events with a roller disco, hip hop karaoke, unique beauty parlour and more accompanying all the music. Along with the main headliners, you can catch Jamie xx, Sampha, DJ EZ, Kaytranada and more.
Victoria Park, London, Fri 14–Sat 15 Jul.
A fairly new festival for London, Citadel is a one-day affair, combining bands, artists and DJs over a number of stages with food and drink, fun workout sessions and great kids' activities. See Foals, Bonobo, Wild Beasts, Michael Kiwanuka and Laura Marling this year, plus many other sterling acts.
Victoria Park, London, Sun 16 Jul.
A city-wide festival that features 73 acts over one weekend, Tramlines is the place to be if you want to see a huge range of music from every genre imaginable in every kind of venue imaginable. The headliners for 2017 are The Libertines, Primal Scream, Metronomy, Kano, All Saints, The Coral, Toots and the Maytals and Twin Atlantic. But you can also catch DJs like Barely Legal, Gilles Peterson, Faithless and more at the various after parties taking place over the weekend.
Various venues, Sheffield, Fri 21–Sun 23 Jul.
Secret Garden Party
With it being the final year that we'll see the Secret Garden Party on the summer festival calendar, now is as good a time as any to see what all the fuss is about. Enjoy music from Crystal Fighters, Example, Akala, Jackmaster, Jagwar Ma plus art installations, workshops, a guerilla science stage, a boutique spa and much more.
Mill Hill Field, Huntingdon, Thu 20–Sun 23 Jul.
Afropunk debuted in Brooklyn in 2005, gradually expanding beyond the US to Paris, London and Johannesburg. With the main aim of celebrating diversity and multiculturalism, the festival annually showcases the best in black art, music and culture from icons to emerging acts. This year's lineup includes The Internet, Danny Brown, Willow Smith, JME and Nadia Rose, with sets from the gal-dem collective, Blacktronica, Clara Amfo, Hannah Faith and others.
Printworks, London, Sat 22–Sun 23 Jul.