News: Get ready for the 2024 festival season!

Bearded Theory Festival Pic Credit: Andi Callen Photography – All Rights Reserved.

As the first frosty mornings of the winter bite hard, the summer festival season seems a long way away. The UK festival season, once dominated by large festivals like Glastonbury, Reading, and Donnington has mushroomed to the extent that now there are well over 100 festivals held up and down the length and breadth of England Scotland and Wales.

If you’re stuck for an idea for a Christmas present, then perhaps consider getting tickets from Santa and have something to look forward to next summer but hurry many of these sell out within hours of tickets going on sale, often before the line-ups are announced. Some like Glastonbury, which is already sold out, require you to pre-register to even get the chance to purchase a ticket, and are heavily oversubscribed. Green Man is also already sold out. Some festivals are even offering special Xmas deals with free hats and scarves, with guaranteed delivery for 25th Dec.

The festival season itself now starts in April and concludes in September, with the advent of many specialist indoor events, covering all genres of music. Many of these have become fixtures in the summer calendar, and every year new events spring up in places where festivals haven’t existed before. From simple one day family fun festivals to the likes of Bloodstock Open Air featuring four days of the most extreme heavy metal. Every weekend between the end of April and August thousands of fans head off to festivals of all shapes and sizes, from the enormous to the boutique, all with one thing in common, to have a good time.

Many music fans now see going to festivals as part of their summer holidays, with friends and family meeting up every year at the same events. Several, like Reading and Leeds, are seen as a rite of passage by some, with young music fans heading off to celebrate the exam results just hours after they received them, usually their first experience away from their parent’s watchful eyes.

Prices can range from £40 to £50 for a day festival, up to over £350 for the likes of Glastonbury. Add in the cost of food drink and travel then the real cost is much higher. The UK festival season is a true money spinner for many promoters and bad weather can seriously damage their income. Due to the high cost of tickets, many festivals have early bird prices, to tempt you to commit long before the full line-up is announced and some even offer instalment plans, so you don’t have to pay all in one go.

Some companies are involved in multiple festivals and there are others like Boomtown Fair and Beautiful Days, which are more aligned to the values of the original free festival movement which began in the 1960s with cheaper ticket prices, commitment to vegan and vegetarian food as well as limiting the impact of their carbon footprints and general sustainability. In this world of fast food and fast fashion it has never been more important for festival goers to consider their environmental impact. Sadly it seems to have become acceptable to leave behind tents, sleeping bags and other general camping equipment at the end of the festival rather than take it home. Promoters are now having to employ people to collect these items at the end of the event. More and more events are waking up to their social responsibilities, but it still requires buy-in from the attending public.

We here at Backseat Mafia, strive to cover as many of these events as humanly possible, press accreditations permitting!! We’ve put together a Festival Calendar for you, so you can start to plan for next year now. It’s by no means exhaustive and we’ve intentionally left out ones featuring tribute/covers bands and held in your local pub beer garden!!

Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll feature every festival individually, as and when we receive new information about line ups and day splits from the organisers.

At the time of writing this feature there is still no news on Bingley Weekender and both BlueDot and Neighbourhood Weekender are taking a sabbatical returning in 2025.

UPDATED: 9th Jan 2024

Manchester Punk Festival Manchester329/03/24Now
Scarborough Punk FestivalScarborough230/03/24Now
Liverpool Sound CityLiverpool204/05/24Now
Incineration FestLondon111/05/24Now
The Great EscapeBrighton415/05/24Now
Desert FestLondon217/05/24Now
Bearded TheorySwadlincote423/05/24Now
Stone Valley SouthWare324/05/24Now
Dot To Dot – BristolBristol125/05/24Now
Live At LeedsLeeds125/05/24Now
Love Saves The DayBristol225/05/24Now
Riverside FestivalGlasgow225/05/24TBA
Slam Dunk SouthHatfield125/05/24Now
Wide AwakeBrockwell Park, London125/05/24Now
Cross The TracksBrockwell Park, London126/05/24Now
Dot To Dot – NottinghamNottingham126/05/24Now
Slam Dunk NorthLeeds126/05/24Now
Fortress FestivalScarborough201/06/24Now
Black DeerTunbridge Wells314/06/24Now
Northern Kin FestivalDurham314/06/24Now
Isle Of Wight FestivalNewport, IOW420/06/24Now
On The WaterfrontLivepool420/06/24TBA
Stone Valley – MidlandsNewark321/06/24Now
Let’s Rock LeedsLeeds122/06/24Now
GlastonburyGlastonbury526/06/24Sold Out
Lytham FestivalLytham St. Annes503/07/24Now
Love SupremeEast Sussex305/07/24Now
Sign Of The TimesLittle Hadham305/07/24Now
2000 TreesCheltenham410/07/24Now
WirelessFinsbury Park, London312/07/24Now
Monument FestivalSunderland120/07/24Now
Camp Bestival – DorsetLulworth Castle, Dorset425/07/24Now
LatitudeHenham Park, Suffolk425/07/24Now
Standon CallingStandon425/07/24Now
Deer Shed FestivalTopcliffe326/07/24Now
Truck FestHill Farm, Oxfordshire326/07/24Now
Kendal CallingKendal401/08/24Now
Rebellion Punk FestivalBlackpool401/08/24Now
Valley FestBristol401/08/24Now
Wilderness FestCornbury Park, Oxfordshire401/08/24Now
Y NotPikehall302/08/24Now
MugStockStrathallan Castle, Pertshire402/08/24Now
Boomtown FairOvington507/08/24Now
Bloodstock Open AirSwadlincote408/08/24Now
Stone Valley – NorthDurham309/08/24Now
ArcTanGentCompton Martin414/08/24Now
Camp Bestival – ShropshireWeston Park415/08/24Now
Green ManCrickhowell415/08/24Sold Out
We Out HereDorset415/08/24Now
Beautiful DaysOttley St. Mary316/08/24Now
Hardwick FestivalSedgefield, Co. Durham316/08/24Now
Leeds FestivalLeeds521/08/24Now
Reading FestivalReading521/08/24Now
Creamfields 2024Daresbury422/08/24Now
The Long RoadStanford Hall, Leicestershire323/08/24Now
Victorious 2024Portsmouth323/08/24Now
End Of The RoadBlandford429/08/24Now
Forwards FestivalBristol231/08/24TBA
Manchester Psych FestManchester131/08/24Now
Damnation FestManchester102/11/24Now
Winter RocksSheffield1TBCTBA
* Indicates number of days the festival is open, not necessarily days of music

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