Worried you’ve missed out on all the best live music this summer? Fear not, from the smallest pub crawl to sprawling four day extravaganzas Guitar Planet gives you the low down on this summer’s festival scene: whether it’s heavy metal or arty pop we’ve got it covered, so sit back, enjoy and find your perfect summer festival.
Date & Location: London May 19th, Glasgow May 19th- United Kingdom
Headliners/The Must See Acts: Toro y Moi, Wire, Warpaint & Kurt Vile
Price Point: £13.50
The Low Down: Stag and Dagger is the ultimate value for money festival. Taking place over two dates in two cities the Stag and Dagger is all about discovery. Whether you’re searching out the next big thing, the coolest underground band or just a new pub to drink in Stag and Dagger is the place to go.
The London leg takes place in notoriously trendy Shoreditch and sees festival fans manically rushing from pub to pub and venue to venue to catch as many bands as they possibly can in one evening. The London event is topped off with performances by the critically acclaimed Toro y Moi and the legendary punk, art-punk and post punk revolutionaries Wire, while the brooding Kurt Vile and the mellifluous Warpaint treat Glasgow to unique sets.
Stag And Dagger In Short: Drunken discovery on the UK’s trendiest pub crawl.
Date & Location: 26th-28th May, Barcelona, Spain
Headliners/The Must See Acts: The Flaming Lips, The Walkmen, Mogwai, Interpol, Animal Collective and Ariel Pink
Price Point: €180
The Low Down: Located in the Sant Marti district of Barcelona festival fans get to soak in the sun and enjoy the Balearic coast as they watch the best in alternative and independent music. Guitar fans are well catered for with The Flaming Lips bringing their big riffing psych-prog assault to the Spanish seaside. Elsewhere veterans Nick Cave and John Cale will be bringing their mix of brutal noise and haunting atmospherics to Spain’s cultural capital. Primavera Sound festival has cultivated a niche as mainland Europe’s cutting edge festival.
Primavera In Short: Independent spirit thrives in the Spanish sun.
Date & Location: June 30th – July 3rd- Wherchter, Belgium
Headliners/The Must See Acts: Iron Maiden, Queens Of The Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys, The National, Fleet Foxes
Price Point: €195
The Low Down: From the smallest of the small (Stag And Dagger) to the biggest of the big; Rock Wherchter is simply mammoth. No festival stacks headliners like Wherchter. Not only does Belgium’s finest festival layer one headline act on top of another it’s the only festival crazy enough to book Iron Maiden and The Black Eyed Peas back to back.
Rightly or wrongly, when most people think of the Belgian music scene they picture inane europop and mainstream dance music, but Wherchter destroys that stereotype. Whether it’s trip hop legends Portishead, folk virtuoso Fleet Foxes, desert rock gods Queens Of The Stone Age, indie stalwarts Artic Monkeys, pop juggernauts Coldplay or artistic innovators like James Blake, Wherchter has it all (even Ke$ha). Often overshadowed by Germany’s Rock am Ring, Wherchter is beginning to establish itself as one of the world’s most important festivals.
Wherchter In Short: Belgian’s domineering mainstream giant is all things to all people.
Date & Location: 30th June – 3rd July – Copenhagen, Denmark
Headliners/The Must See Acts: The Strokes, Kings Of Leon, Mastadon, PJ Harvey, Rob Zombie
Price Point: €232
The Low Down: Rosklide may be famous for sharing it’s headliners with Rock Wherchter (Kings Of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, Iron Maiden) but if you’re looking for something a little less mainstream and a little more artistically inspired Rosklide is the place for you. Set in the soothing surroundings of Copenhagen Rosklide’s curators have a real eye for artistic excellence supplementing their heavy hitters with Mastadon, John Grant, Odd Future, Lykke Li, The Tallest Man On Earth, Deerhoof, Curren$y and the brilliant Janelle Monae.
Rosklide in Short: High art and pop thrills meet in tranquil Copenhagen.
Date & Location: 8th – 10th July, London, UK
Headliners/The Must See Acts: The Big Four, Slipknot, The Mars Volta, Opeth, Gojira and Weezer
Price Point: £185
The Low Down: Sonisphere has taken the UK and European festival circuit by storm in recent years. Having established itself last year with epic performances by Iron Maiden and Rammstein this year’s festival is driven by the first appearance of the Big Four in the UK: Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth together again. If that isn’t enough to get a guitarist’s mouth watering then a rare festival appearance by The Mars Volta should excite your senses as Omar and co. are set to bring their mind bending guitar odysseys to the Apollo stage.
Sonisphere is taking some big risks this year too; Bill Bailey one of the UK’s most popular comedians will be headlining right before Slipknot and Reading Festival favourites, Biffy Clyro, will be having their first stab at headlining major festival. Sonisphere is a fantastic festival with a laid back atmosphere, a diverse line up (by rock standards), and in it’s two opposing main stages it has a truly unique selling point and edge guaranteeing fans that they won’t miss a single big act.
Sonisphere In Short: More diverse than Download, more mature than Reading, Sonisphere is the UK’s definitive hard rock experience.
Date & Location: 23rd-24th July, London, UK
Headliners/The Must See Acts: Portishead, Grinderman, PJ Harvey, Liars, MF Doom
Price Point: £63.15
The Low Down: All Tomorrow’s Parties is as much about the experience as it is the music. ATP is all about the independent vibe and spirit. They intentionally undersell arenas to provide space and to create a less intimidating atmosphere. They put on special cinema showcases, poetry readings, musical workshops, debates and, of course, a stellar line up. This is a festival for music fans who embrace the value for money lo-fi aesthetic. This year they’ve left the comfy surrounds of Minehead and have taken the show to London’s Alexandra Palace bringing the legendary atmospherics of Portishead to the nation’s capital.
ATP In A Phrase: If you take music seriously and you can stomach some elitism ATP is the festival for you.
Date & Location: August 9th-13th, Olso, Norway.
Headliners/The Must See Acts: Kanye West, Fang Island, Destroyer, Aphex Twin, Pulp
Price Point: €250
The Low Down: Oya! May not be the world’s most famous festival but its rapidly earning itself a reputation for it’s excellent and eclectic line-ups. This year is no exception with sublime up and comers Destroyer, Fang Island and James Blake sitting alongside festival veterans Fleet Foxes, Crystal Fighters and the returning Pulp. The mix of styles is astounding, if you love guitar music but want to be treated to the best of the rest then Oya! is the place for you. This year’s event is topped by Kanye West fresh from conquering Coachella and riding high on the success of 2010’s album of the year My Dark Twisted Beautiful Fantasy.
Oya! In Short: The ultimate crowd pleaser from screamo and hip hop to indie rock and electronica Oya’s acts have two things in common: credibility and great artistry.
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