Festivals: Live & Direct

Round & About

Summer is on its way which means festivals season! Here’s our guide to the best festivals near & far and the chance to win tickets.

Are You Listening? Black Honey, Thomas Headon & dozens more will rock Reading in aid of Mencap on 6th May; areyoulistening.org.uk

The 44th international Newbury Spring Festival will also offer classical highlights aplenty, 6th-20th May; newburyspringfestival.org.uk

The Investec International Music Festival features world-class concerts including Tenebrae, Julian Bliss Quartet, Sitkovetsky Trio, Gary Hoffman & Wu Qian, walks and talks across the Surrey Hills, 2nd-13th May. Visit iimf.co.uk

“I’m so excited to be hosting Pub in the Park in Marlow,” Tom Kerridge tells us, “of course, we’ve got some incredible chef hosts topping the bill and I can’t wait for a weekend of good food and good vibes. Top-notch food is at the heart of what we’re all about and I know we’ll have the very best festival food around from our incredible restaurants… we can’t wait for you to try it!” The shindig, 18th to 21st May, also has a sizzling music line-up, too, including Sugababes, The Jacksons, Tinie Tempah, a Dick & Dom DJ set, Ministry Of Sound Disco and Bananarama. pubintheparkuk.com/marlow

“Probably the finest free music and beer festival in the world…” Rokefest will rock its new home The Chequers, at Berrick Salome, near Wallingford, 26th-28th May, with great bands & more, all for great causes; rokefest.com

Let’s Rock the Moor in Cookham, Bucks, on 21st May offers OMD, Roland Gift, Kim Wilde, Space, Soul II Soul & more; letsrockthemoor.com

Andy C, Annie Mac, Camelphat, Swedish House Mafia & dozens of other dance titans will star at Creamfields South in Chelmsford, 26th-28th May. Visit creamfieldssouth.com.

Want to win tickets to Creamfields South? Find out how at the bottom of the article.

Classical music fans will love the 16th English Music Festival at Dorchester Abbey, 26th -29th May; englishmusicfestival.org.uk

ShyneFest at Merrist Wood College in Worplesdon, on 3rd June, will star Republica, Rhythm of the 90s, The Replicants, Sarah Dearlove, Doubting Thomas, Ashes & you’ll find bucketloads of family-friendly fun such as escape room games & animal encounters, food, plus camping & glamping options. shynefest.uk

Cornwall is worth a visit anytime, especially 2nd to 4th June when Great Estate Festival near Redruth will dazzle with a stonking music line-up starring Primal Scream, The Selecter, Ibiza Symphonic with DJ Andy Joyce, A DJ set from Bez of Happy Mondays (watch this space for our interview next month), Cuban Brothers & more; greatestatefestival.co.uk

Wychwood Festival will rock Cheltenham Racecourse, 2nd-4th June, with Happy Mondays, Travis, Sam Ryder, comedy, a kids’ lit fest, headphone disco & idyllic camping beneath the Prestbury Hills; wychwoodfestival.com

Arrive thirsty for Twyford Beer Festival, raising money for male cancer charity Orchid, 9th & 10th June; twyfordbeerfest.co.uk

Hampton Court Palace Festival offers legends including Grace Jones, Kaiser Chiefs, Björn Again, Rick Astley, Soft Cell, Kool & The Gang and Tom Jones, 6th-17th June. With British Fine Foods picnics & bouji hospitality packages, this is a classy affair… hamptoncourtpalacefestival.com

KITE swoops back into Kirtlington, near Oxford, 9th-11th June, with Hop Chip, Dame Joan Collins, Suede, Candi Staton, David Holmes, Sir John Major & David Baddiel. kitefestival.co.uk

The Isle of Wight Festival, the iconic shindig just over the Solent will offer great vibes, starring Pulp, George Ezra, The Chemical Brothers, Robbie Williams, Blondie, Groove Armada & more, 15th-18th June. Visit isleofwightfestival.com

Blenheim Palace is the superb backdrop for the Nocturne Live performances from the likes of Lionel Richie, Gabrielle & Pete Tong (with his Ibiza Classics), 16th-19th June. Tunde Baiyewu who will perform on 16th tells us: “Blenheim is an amazing venue so I feel blessed. I’m a fan of Gregory Porter as well as Emeli Sandé who are performing on the same date as me so I’m going to be enjoying it as much as any other member of the audience.”nocturnelive.com

Scouting For Girls, The Feeling and Barrioke, (with EastEnders star Shaun Williamson) will make for a great Fi.Fest in Maidenhead on 8th July; visit fifest.co.uk

A$AP Rocky & Tyler, the Creator will star at Wireless Crystal Palace, 1st to 3rd July and Cardi B & Nicki Minaj at Finsbury Park (8th-10th July); wirelessfestival.co.uk. Hold on to your hats: Guns n’ Roses will star at BST Hyde Park on Friday, 30th June. And that’s not all: there’s Blackpink on 2nd July, P!nk on 25th June and Take That on 1st July. Visit bst-hydepark.com

Rag’n’Bone Man, Westlife, Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Ministry of Sound Classical, the Kanneh-Mason Trio and Jack Dee, as well as an Aretha Franklin celebration will make for another great riverside reverie at Henley Festival, 6th-10th July; henley-festival.co.uk

Sugababes, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Peter Hook & The Light, Incognito, Gentleman’s Dub Club, Soft Cell and more will star at Rochester Castle in Kent, 6th-9th July. Marc Almost tells us: “Doing festivals is always so great. There is such a feeling of ‘out for a great time’ and people really are so up for it and generous. This summer, I’m excited about seeing OMD who are always special, and I love Glen Gregory and Heaven 17. For tickets & more info please visit rochestercastleconcerts.com

The fourth Camberley Comedy Festival will take place on Saturday, 8th July, starring Phil Wang & more, in a mini big top tent; camberleytheatre.co.uk. And Haslemere Fringe Festival promises another community culturefest; haslemerefringe.co.uk

Jack Savoretti, The Human League, Haçienda Classical, and Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra will star at Kew The Music at Kew Gardens, 13th-16th July; kewthemusic.org

Jungle Brothers, Professor Green, Sleeper, Roni Size & many more will dazzle at Readipop in Caversham, 14th-16th July. Established in 1998, the highlight helps vulnerable young people and older folk, plus aspiring artists; readipop.co.uk

Hot Chip, Gaz Coombes, Erol Alkan (disco set) Fabio & Grooverider Kaleidoscope at Alexandra Palace on Saturday, 15th July, kaleidoscope-festival.com

Royal Blood, The Vaccines, alt-J, Shy FX & David Rodigan are among the delights Truck is packing, 21st-23rd July in Steventon; truckfestival.com

Our fave bash (and that of our cover star Noel) PennFest is back in Bucks with another bobby dazzler on 21st & 22nd July. As well as Mr G’s High Flying Birds, Johnny Marr will star, along with Gaz Coombes, Bad Manners, Kenny Kenn, Corinne Bailey Rae, DJ Fresh & Jumping Jack Frost. Organisers Nick Billinghurst & Matt Smith said: “We’re so excited about this year’s PennFest. With two such incredible, world-renowned headliners we feel it’s our strongest ever. It’s going to be epic!” pennfest.co.uk

Want to win tickets to PennFest? Find out how at the bottom of the article.

Richard Ashcroft, plus Ocean Colour Scene & The Sherlocks, will star at Englefield House in Berkshire on Saturday, 22nd July. Promoter Giles Cooper tells us: “We’re so excited to be promoting this show with Richard for Heritage Live. I remember seeing The Verve’s first London gig at the King’s Head in 1991, when I worked at NME, with just ten people in the audience. It culminated with Miles Leonard agreeing to sign them by the end of the night!” Hozier will star with Far From Saints on 23rd. Pre-register for tickets at arep.co/p/richard-ashcroft

Fairport Convention will star at the Fleur De Lys in East Hagbourne on 23rd July ahead of FleurFest, the community institution, 28th-30th July, along with Scott Doonican, Gregg Cave & more; thefleurdelyspub.co.uk

Building bridges, not walls’ is the motto of the inclusive WOMAD, the World of Music, Arts and Dance Music festival, returns to delight Charlton Park near Marlborough, 27th-30th July. womad.co.uk

Wilderness, at Oxfordshire’s Cornbury Park, 3rd-6th August, offers The Chemical Brothers, Christine & The Queens, Fatboy Slim, feasting with Adam Handling & Olia Hercules, mindblowing boutique camping options, theatre & more; visit wildernessfestival.com

Fancy a trip to the past, maybe with a hair do to match? Enjoy vintage steam at Retrofestival in Newbury, 11th-13th August; retrofestival.co.uk

Stowaway near Buckingham will stimulate all the senses, starring David Rodigan, Irvine Welsh, Little Dragon, with feasting, revelry & more, 18th-20th August; stowawayfestival.co.uk

Retro fave Rewind South in Henley 18th-20st August will star Soft cell, The Boomtown Rats, and many more; south.rewindfestival.com

It’s time to go deeper! Chapter Two: The Twin Trail is the theme of the fabulous Boomtown. The team are building the Main City for a revitalised living theatre festival on the theme of The Gathering, 9th-13th August in Hampshire’s Matterley Estate, boomtownfair.co.uk

Jools Holland will also headline at Weyfest, the boutique festival at Tilford’s Rural Life Museum, 18th-20th August. weyfest.co.uk

Wondrous Towersey Festival will bring you comedy, music & fun, 25th-28th August at Claydon Estate near Buckingham. The line-up includes The Proclaimers, Frank Turner & The Divine Comedy; towerseyfestival.com

Reading (& Leeds) is back to rock the August bank holiday weekend, 25th-27th August. Sam Fender, FOALS, Loyle Carner, Billie Eilish & The Killers are on the line-up; readingfestival.com

Big Feastival on Alex James’ Cotswolds farm will serve family fun, food and frolics, 25th-27th August. Perennial favourite Justin Fletcher will delight along with Sigrid, Rick Astley, Blossoms, Melanie C & a DJ set from Hot Chip. Food stars will sizzle, including Big Zuu, Ching He Huang MBE, Asma Khan & Nathan Outlaw. Alex says: “With even more fantastic acts to be announced in the coming weeks, this is shaping up to be our best line-up yet.” Check out the full menu at thebigfeastival.com

Want to win tickets to The Big Feastival? Find out how at the bottom of the article.

Love cars, love music? Then you’ll love CarFest, the family music & motoring festival founded by Chris Evans in 2011, at Laverstoke Park, 27th-29th August; carfest.org. Car-lovers will also enjoy The Billing Off Road Show, home to the most exciting off-road courses in the country; thebillingoffroadshow.co.uk

Wallingford’s BunkFest is in its 21st year. The free-access community festival returns with its winning brew of beer, music and dance, 1st-3rd September; bunkfest.co.uk

Curated by Dub Pistols frontman Barry Ashworth, in association with Tonic Music for Mental Health, Mucky Weekender at Vicarage Farm near Winchester, 8th & 9th September, stars The Selecter, Stereo MCs, Goldie, Bez’s Acid House Party, Woody Cook, Eva Lazarus, Stanton Warriors & more with an outer space dress code. Visit mucky-weekender.co.uk

We have the following tickets up for grabs:

10 pairs of weekend tickets to Creamfields South

Two adult tickets for PennFest

Two Friday tickets to The Big Feastival

Click here to find out how to enter.