Music Festivals: A Guide To The Top 10 British Events Of 2012

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The kingpin of festivals Glastonbury is cancelled this summer and Diamond Jubilee and Olympic-themed events are dominating the headlines, but that's not to say there aren't still plenty of places to rock out to music in traditional festival fashion - without the Queen looking on.

Last year it was estimated that more than 500 festivals took place in the UK and this year even more seem to be popping up, offering 'boutique' experiences and novel twists on your usual stand-in-a-field-style events.

To help you choose where to point your wellies, we've picked out our top 10 British music festivals, based on their line-up and popularity...

RockNess - 8-10 June

Set on the banks of Loch Ness in Scotland, this friendly festival has scenery to stun as well as an impressive eclectic line-up. Performing in their homeland, rockers Biffy Clyro will headline the last day of the festival, while Canadian DJ and producer Deadmau5 and Mumford & Sons will top the bill on Saturday and Friday respectively.

Also performing will be The A Team singer Ed Sheeran, a relative newcomer when he played the festival last summer but who now has an Ivor Novello and some Brit Awards under his belt, plus urban star Wretch 32.

For more information visit: www.rockness.co.uk

biffy clyto

Download - 8-10 June

This one is not for the faint-hearted. The heavy metal bash formerly known as Monsters of Rock is celebrating its 10th year and will see Metallica, Black Sabbath and The Prodigy headline the main stage at Donington Park. Other acts include Slipknot singer Corey Taylor, Biffy Clyro, Soundgarden, Chase & Status, Tenacious D, You Me At Six, Trivium, Anthrax, Machine Head, Slash, Megadeth, Steel Panther, NOFX and Black Label Society.

For more information visit: www.downloadfestival.co.uk

metallica

Hampton Court Palace Festival - 14-12 June

It's not so much somewhere you'll pitch your tent but a series of stand-alone concerts in the courtyard of Henry VIII’s former gaff. Celebrating its 20th Anniversary, the festival has a classy line-up from the rock, pop, jazz and classical worlds. James Morrison, Liza Minnelli, Jools Holland and Katie Melua are just some of the names performing in the stunning open-air courtyard against a regal backdrop.

For more information visit: www.hamptoncourtpalacefestival.com

james morrison

Lovebox Weekender - 15-17 June

The dancefloor duo Groove Armada are celebrating 10 years of their hedonistic London weekend festival that reflects their electronic-leaning tastes. And this year the likes of Grace Jones, Hot Chip, Friendly Fires, Emeli Sande and Lana Del Rey have joined the summer institution.

For more information visit: www.lovebox.net

grace jones

Isle Of Wight Festival - 21-24 June

Hop on a ferry and get yourself over to the Isle for an Eighties blue-collar rock feel festival - this year Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty will be headlining. Biffy Clyro, Noel Gallagher and Elbow also feature on the line-up at the resurrected event held at Seaclose Park, Newport.

For more information visit: www.isleofwightfestival.com

bruce springsteen

Barclaycard Wireless Festival - 6-8 July

Wireless in Hyde Park is the place to be for R&B/Pop acts with international stars Rihanna and Drake secured to headline the festival. Nicki Minaj, Example, Wiz Khalifa, Rita Ora and Professor Green are also on the line-up, along with Jessie J who'll be filling time after The Voice comes to an end.


For more information visit: www.wirelessfestival.co.uk

rihanna


Secret Garden Party - 19-22 July

This independent arts and music festival takes place near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire on part of the grounds of a Georgian farm house - hence the name. Last year 26,000 revellers turned up, so it's not exactly secret anymore. This year it plays host to sets from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, KT Tunstall, Little Roy, The Jim Jones Revue, The Duke Spirit, Beth Jeans Houghton, Baxter Dury and headliner Orbital.

For more information visit: www.secretgardenparty.com

kt tunstal

V Festival - 18-19 August

It's been called the most commercial of all festivals and alternative it is not. But if you're a fan of chart music and big name acts V, can still hit the right notes. This year's headliners are The Stone Roses (making a comeback after a 16-year hiatus), The Killers, Noel Gallagher and Snow Patrol.

Chart toppers Nicki Minaj, Wretch 32, The Feeling, Tinie Tempah, Ed Sheeran and Example will also perform. All bands at V play one night at Hylands Park in Chelmsford, Essex, and another night at Weston Park in Staffordshire.

For more information visit: www.vfestival.com

noel gallagher

Reading Festival - 24-26 August

Foo Fighters, the Cure and Kasabian will headline this year's Reading Festival with Florence and the Machine, Paramore, Gaslight Anthem, The Black Keys and more also appearing at the August bank holiday spectacular.

On the banks of the Thames in Caversham, Nirvana staged their comeback after the Coma In Roma, the Stone Roses ended their career (or appeared to) and now once again fans of rock, indie and repetitive beats will come together for a very messy weekend.

For more information visit: www.readingfestival.co.uk

foo fighters

Bestival - 6-9 September

With Glastonbury off the menu, Bestival could be the closest alternative this year. With a current capacity of 50,000 people and a fetish for fancy dress it's fast becoming the music weekend to go to. This year Radio 1 DJ Rob da Bank has secured non other than Stevie Wonder for his festival line-up. And Florence + The Machine will headline, along with Sigur Ros, The XX and New Order. There's a wildlife theme to the party this year so expect bears, hedgehogs and lots of green.

For more information visit: bestival.net

florence welch

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