Each summer the UK celebrates its live event legacy with a plethora of music and entertainment festivals running the length and breadth of the country.
Far from the usual mud-covered rock festivals you’d associate with the season, many of the new generation of festivals are family-friendly events. They don’t just feature music, but also have everything from stand-up comedy to literature and drama to art installations.
So if you want to take the whole family to experience top live music, pack the sun cream and head to one of our top summer festival recommendations.
Latitude Festival, Southwold, Suffolk July 14th-17th
Latitude takes place in the beautiful surroundings of Southwold’s Henham Park, close to Suffolk’s North Sea coastline, and celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. During that time the weekend has gradually gained a family-favourite reputation for both music and spoken word.
Appearing on the main stage - The Obelisk - this year are The Maccabees, The National and Manchester icons New Order, who last year released their first proper album in a decade, Music Complete. At Latitude there’s also a big focus on discovering new and upcoming bands - you’ll find this diverse line-up at the Sunrise Arena.
Latitude’s also very well known for its stand-up performers, and this year boasts an especially strong line-up including Bill Bailey, Russell Howard and Josh Widdecombe. And if you’re going this year also remember to look out for the famous Latitude flock of sixty sheep in the adjoining fields -, they’re dyed pink for the occasion.
Kendal Calling, Kendal, Cumbria July 28th-31st
The attractive surroundings of the Lake District’s Lowther Deer Park form the backdrop to Kendal Calling. When it started a decade ago there were 900 festival-goers, but the event has grown in size and stature - this year 12,000 thrill-seekers are expected to enjoy a fantastic and varied mix of music, performance and entertainment.
The biggest musical names at this year’s festival include UK ska legends Madness and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, as well as the mellow yellow stylings of folk legend Donovan.
The theme of this year’s festival is a Carnival of Colour, and one of the highlights on the Saturday is the grand parade accompanied by bands and dancers - so don’t forget to pack your loudest Hawaiian shirt.
Camp Bestival, Isle of Wight July 28th-31st
Also taking place on the last weekend of July, though at the other end of the country, is Camp Bestival. Styled as an alternative kind of festival, it even holds the world record for the most people in fancy dress at any one event – 55,000 trussed up to set the standard in 2010.
Camp Bestival is the brainchild of DJ Rob Da Bank, and attracts a fantastic collection of bands and musicians each year – for 2016 these include Squeeze, Tears For Fears, KT Tunstall and Fatboy Slim.
For the kids there’s also a great choice of shows including Mr Tumble; Lazy Town are set to appear live on stage and, for the older ones, Dick and Dom promise their very special brand of laughs.
Whether you’re enjoying a family show with the kids, being part of a parade or simply enjoying some live music from the biggest acts around, each of these music festivals promises to be a memorable weekend – now let’s just hope the weather holds up.