The UK festivals you have to be at this summer

Festival season is 100 per cent back this year and these events will make your summer one to remember

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At long last, we get to return to a somewhat normal summer – cramming in as many festivals as our wallets can afford and our bodies can stand. Some festivals might have been able to take place last summer, but there was still a lingering sense of anxiety around those first steps back into the real world. Expect 2022’s festival season to be a full-on celebration of music, art and community that you won’t want to miss. Here are seven of the best UK festivals to join in the fun at. 

The one for discovering the sound of the underground

Festival: Wide Awake

Where? Brockwell Park, London

When? May 27-28

What’s the vibe? Think the quality and atmosphere of gigs at iconic London venues like Moth Club and The Shacklewell Arms, transported into a (hopefully) sunny park. Wide Awake is curated by the team behind those venues and brings together the best in post-punk, electronic and experimental artists. 

Who’s playing? Primal Scream, Bicep, Caribou, Floating Points, Working Men’s Club, Amyl & The Sniffers, Fat White Family, Yard Act, The Comet Is Coming, plus more. 

How much? £44.50-£84, purchase here.

The one for kicking off the summer in style 

Festival: Parklife 

Where? Heaton Park, Manchester

When? June 11-12

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What’s the vibe? The UK’s biggest metropolitan festival, unsurprisingly, likes to go hard and it packs a line-up that makes sure the party is always popping. Whether you’re into hip-hop, dance, indie or something else entirely, there’s something for everyone on the bill.  

Who’s playing? Megan Thee Stallion, Tyler, The Creator, 50 Cent, Lewis Capaldi, Chase & Status, Bicep, Jamie xx, Peggy Gou, Jessie Ware, Arlo Parks, PinkPantheress, Caroline Polachek and many more.

How much? £84.50-£137.50, purchase here.

The one for eclecticism and equality

Festival: Strawberries And Creem

Where? Childerley Orchard, Cambridge

When? June 17-19 

What’s the vibe? Strawberries And Creem is all about big energy – whether we’re talking about the lively crowd the festival usually draws, or its line-up being made up of 60 per cent female-identifying acts. With an exclusive UK headline set, plus appearances from rising star Tems, Mabel, Katy B and more, that spirit will be going strong at the 2022 edition too. 

Who’s playing? Lil Wayne, Ella Mai, Mabel, Tems, Tion Wayne, Rema, Ghetts, Sub Focus, Wilkinson, Ms Banks, David Rodigan, Katy B, Lisa Maffia and more.

How much? £40-£160, purchase here.

The one for hip-hop heads 

Festival: Wireless 

Where? Crystal Palace Park and Finsbury Park, London; Outdoor at NEC, Birmingham

When? July 1-10

What’s the vibe? Wireless has long been a celebration of hip-hop and R&B, and this year it’s taking that to even greater heights with not one, not two, but three events across London and Birmingham. Catch artists on the rise who’ll be headlining the festival before you know it alongside some bona fide superstars. 

Who’s playing? Cardi B, SZA, Nicki Minaj, A$AP Rocky, Dave, Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion, J Cole, Tyler, The Creator, Rico Nasty, Jack Harlow, City Girls and more.  

How much? £95-£265, purchase here.

The one for sparking your creativity

Festival: Standon Calling

Where? Standon, Hertfordshire

When? July 21-24

What’s the vibe? What started as a garden party has morphed into one of the UK’s best boutique festivals – one where you can witness game-changing artists currently making their mark and legendary acts who’ve been setting the agenda for years. Standon Calling isn’t just about the music, though – it’s also a treasure trove of culture and creativity, from comedy and workshops to a dog show and fancy dress competition. 

Who’s playing? Madness, Anne-Marie, Loyle Carner, Primal Scream, Craig David Presents TS5, Sleaford Mods, Sugababes, Declan McKenna, Self Esteem, Razorlight, Kojey Radical and tons more. 

How much? £70-£189, purchase here.  

The one for looking to the stars 

Festival: Bluedot

Where? Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire

When? July 21-24

What’s the vibe? There’s not many festivals that can boast that they’re set under a gigantic – and legendary – telescope, but Bluedot can. The event matches that sci-fi setting with a line-up that will expand your mind, from the musical acts to science talks and a family-friendly space camp. 

Who’s playing? Björk with the Hallé Orchestra, Groove Armada, Spiritualized, Mogwai, Metronomy, Kojey Radical, Kelly Lee Owens, Squarepusher, Working Men’s Club and others. 

How much? £35-195, purchase here.  

The one for one last summer rave 

Festival: Forwards

Where? Clifton Downs, Bristol

When? September 3-4

What’s the vibe? A brand new festival for 2022, Forwards wants us to have a good time while making change. As well as sets from globally renowned artists, the weekender will hold space for activism, debates, panels and more, designed to help push our world – as its name suggests – forwards. 

Who’s playing? Jamie xx, The Chemical Brothers, Little Simz, Khruangbin, Róisín Murphy, Caribou, Sleaford Mods, Fred Again.., Floating Points, Kojey Radical, Spiritualized and more.    

How much? £56.89-£102.14, purchase here.  

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about Glastonbury 2022