It may not seem like it (the perpetuation of the British winter, storm Doris, Brexit, etc), but festival season is on the horizon. That means girls in flower crowns, the endless umbrella of Coachella style and, for the boys, probably a brief summer romance with a topknot. But for now we can focus solely on the important things: the lineups and the headliners. And we at The Galleon, the shining beacon of news and culture, have highlighted, compiled and compared the very best music festivals (and the ones not worth bothering with) of the summer, as well as highlighting a few festivals and artists to look out for if you missed out on Glastonbury tickets or couldn’t afford the plane fare for Coachella.
Reading and Leeds
Reading and Leeds have the stigma of appealing to a primarily teenage demographic, but from looking at the lineup, they’re definitely a festival worth considering. Yes there are the usual suspects (Two Door Cinema Club, Muse, Bastille), but beyond that the lineup is varied and eclectic with some great additions from the grime and EDM scenes. And of course, the most glorious gem in their crown is the confirmation of Eminem as the second headliner. That news alone surely makes Reading and Leeds an enticing prospect for your 2017 festival bucket list.
The magnetism of Coachella was best summed up when Beyonce, fresh off of the confirmation of her pregnancy with twins, had to cancel her headline slot before the California festival replaced her with Lady Gaga. Coachella has only been around since 1999, but the psychedelic ’70s time capsule vibe that permeates the festival is hard to resist as is its consistently good lineup, featuring a mixture of established and upcoming artists. Alongside Lady Gaga, the purists will be buoyed by her fellow headliners Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar and on top of that, appearances from Father John Misty, Lorde and The xx will ensure that all musical tastes are fulfilled. As for tips on lesser-known artists, be sure to check out Thundercat, Kaytranada and Swet Shop Boys (the latter features British actor Riz Ahmed from The Night Of and Rogue One on rap vocals).
Isle of Wight
Compared to the previous two festivals on this list, IoW unfortunately does little to stand up to the hype. The most interesting acquisition is obviously Arcade Fire, as anticipation for their next album grows, but after that there’s very little to distance IoW from a stereotypical lineup poster. The likes of George Ezra and The Undertones are sure to be highlights but the majority of the schedule seems a bit predictable and tailored to older audiences.
Any excuse to take a jaunt off to Barcelona, eh? Primavera’s tantalising lineup may be the most valid excuse going. The list of outstanding musicians is endless: Bon Iver, Frank Ocean, Solange, Run The Jewels, Miguel, Mac DeMarco. And if you feel homesick, there’s no need to be upset- The xx, Mercury Prize winner Skepta and the soulful Sampha provide the strongest representation from the UK. Primavera’s lineup is certainly proving to be one of the most diverse of the year, boasting prominent musicians from a seemingly endless list of styles and genres. And if you’re looking for something a little unorthodox during your time at Primavera, make sure you check out Brazilian musician Seu Jorge. Jorge is perhaps best known in western culture for his role in Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou where he performed a number of David Bowie tracks throughout the film. For his set at Primavera, Jorge is set to perform a number of these covers in tribute to the late Bowie.
Tauron Nowa Muzyka
If you’re looking for a festival where you won’t run into a barrage of annoying festival stereotypes, this secluded Polish festival might be the one for you. Tauron Nowa Muzyka Festival is set between two abandoned mine shafts that operated in the 1800s and a lot of the appeal is in how much the festival organisers utilise the abandoned facilities. Performances in warehouses, production halls and even an old pressure tower on the premises are sure to make this festival experience a truly unique one. Past performers have included Years & Years, Kelis, Chet Faker and Kamasi Washington and Tyler, The Creator so you’re guaranteed to be treated to a wide-reaching, well-known group of artists and possibly some great underground ones too.