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There’s no Glasto this year, so these are all the festivals you should try instead

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Gary Ogden
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There's no Glasto this year, so try these festivals instead, why don't you?

The festival calendar doesn’t have to begin and end with Glatonbury

So the big dog’s gone missing - Glastonbury is not happening this year, the largest festival in the UK is absent from our calendars, and the country is up in arms. What do you do with your tents? Where do you wear your wellies? Pitching up in the Tesco car-park doesn’t really have the same atmosphere, if you ask me.

Well, you bloody-well go to another festival, don’t you? Can’t go to Glasto, can go to something else - it’s all very simple. But before you start asking even more questions (Which ones? What is this rash? Where are my clothes?) I’ll jump straight in and stop you with a nice big long list of our favourites coming up this year. Enjoy:

We Are FSTVL (25-27 May)

Location: Upminster
Three acts to see: DJ EZ, Eric Prydz, Aeroplane
Atmosphere: Very Essex, lots of glitter, lots of vests, lots of laughter and lots of shouting
Go if you like: Electronic music and also chanting the darts ’theme tune
Don’t go if you like: People who can play instruments
Punter most likely to see: Someone with large muscles (not on their legs) and a very groomed fringe
Drink most likely to be drank: Carling

Buy tickets here

Download (8-10 June)

Location: Donington Park
Three acts to see: Guns N’ Roses, Andrew W.K, Body Count feat. Ice T
Atmosphere: Devil horns raised at all times
Go if you like: Carelessly injuring the tendons in your neck by flinging your head about with reckless abandon
Don’t go if you like: UK garage
Punter most likely to see: Hair, hair, everywhere
Drink most likely to be drank: Trooper Ale

Buy tickets here

There's no Glasto this year, so try these festivals instead, why don't you? 1

Download Festival feat. many a devil horn

Garage Nation Festival (30 June)

Location: Essex
Three acts to see: DJ Luck & MC Neat, Heartless Crew, Oxide and Neutrino
Atmosphere: A real feel-good vibe like only garage can bring, surrounded by a crowd decked out in sportswear, knowing all the lyrics to every song
Go if you like: Potentially the greatest musical genre to come out of this country
Don’t go if you like: Guitars. Yuck, gross
Punter most likely to see: Someone with a shotter bag on whose hands are permanently locked in gun fingers
Drink most likely to be drank: Rum and coke

Buy tickets here

Festival No. 6 (6-9 September)

Location: Wales
Three acts to see: Friendly Fires, Django Django, Jessie Ware
Atmosphere: Lovely. Just lovely. There really isn’t a word to describe it better than ‘lovely’. How lovely.
Go if you like: Tiny Mediterranean villages, but you can’t really be bothered to travel to Spain. Wales is more your wheelhouse. 
Don’t go if you like: Extremely loud drum and bass
Punter most likely to see: A girl with long hair on a bike
Drink most likely to be drank: Aperol Spritz

Buy tickets here

There's no Glasto this year, so try these festivals instead, why don't you? 2

Festival No. 6, in: not Spain, Wales

Lambeth Country Show (21-22 July)

Location: London
Three acts to see: The line-up hasn’t been announced yet, but it’s free, so who cares
Atmosphere: Free
Go if you like: Free stuff
Don’t go if you like: Paying for stuff
Punter most likely to see: Someone who’s got in for free
Drink most likely to be drank: Annoyingly, the drinks are not free, so you’re just going to have to pray it rains beer

You don’t need to buy tickets - can’t remember if it’s been mentioned but it is literally free

Boardmasters (8-12 August)

Location: Newquay
Three acts to see: Stefflon Don, Craig David, The Chemical Brothers
Atmosphere: Sandy and/or grassy - the fest is split across two sites, one on the beach, and one in a field. Take your pick - they’re all full of very enthusiastic punters
Go if you like: A bit of extreeeeeme sports, dude
Don’t go if you like: Having to travel by taxi to cover all the parts of the festival
Punter most likely to see: Lots of blonde hair, nice pair of Havaianas and with at least one hand in the hang-loose position. They’ll be ‘stoked’ to meet you
Drink most likely to be drank: Some sort of crispy light beer, or a nonsense drink like toffee apple cider (not a bad thing)

Buy tickets here

There's no Glasto this year, so try these festivals instead, why don't you? 3

Festival + beach = OK then I will

Lost Village (23-26 August)

Location: Lincolnshire
Three acts to see: Artwork, Leftfield, Friendly Fires
Atmosphere: Woody, you’re in the woods. Like a secret hidden village (hence the name) - very peculiar, very fun
Go if you like: A lovely bit of experimental electronic music for your pleasure
Don’t go if you like: Wide open spaces and being far away from evil trees
Punter most likely to see: Someone absolutely 100% covered in glitter
Drink most likely to be drank: Tree sap

*Don’t drink tree sap you idiot

Buy tickets here

Creamfields (23-26 August)

Location: Cheshire
Three acts to see: Ilan Bluestone, MK, Disciples
Atmosphere: Hands in the air, lasers in the air, drinks in the air, brain in the air
Go if you like: Jumping up and down non-stop for three days straight
Don’t go if you like: Chilling out in any way, shape or form
Punter most likely to see: Someone in a bucket hat and shorts (whatever the weather), and obviously a pair of Huaraches
Drink most likely to be drank: Water

Buy tickets here

There's no Glasto this year, so try these festivals instead, why don't you? 4

More like GREENfields, innit, because of the green, the green in this picture of Creamfields, green rhymes with cream

Eastern Electrics (4-5 August)

Location: London
Three acts to see: TQD, David Rodigan, D Double E
Atmosphere: A bit of a younger crowd here, so expect a lot of shouting, screaming, and jumping around like a bunch of absolute fleas. Pissed fleas
Go if you like: That old leccy tronic musak
Don’t go if you like: A nice cup of tea in a conservatory
Punter most likely to see: Sunglasses on, of course, top off, potential arse out, drink in hand at all times
Drink most likely to be drank: Red Stripe

Buy tickets here

Wireless (6-8 July)

Location: London
Three acts to see: J. Cole, J Hus, DJ Khaled
Atmosphere: Lots of very happy hip-hop/grime fans - there’s not much festival-wise that really rivals Wireless in terms of their genre line-up
Go if you like: Seeing actual megastars on stage one minute, then nipping round the corner to see some proper underground acts the next
Don’t go if you like: Slipknot
Punter most likely to see: Swaying from side to side, shaking their head extremely rapidly with a permanently music-induced screwface on
Drink most likely to be drank: Whatever’s going mate

Buy tickets here

There's no Glasto this year, so try these festivals instead, why don't you? 5

Wireless festival, the opposite of Leeds festival (credit: @MikeRampton)

Bestival (2-5 August)

Location: Dorset
Three acts to see: The Cuban Brothers, CASisDEAD, Grace Jones
Atmosphere: An overwhelming sense of joy - if you see someone without a smile on their face, you’re not at Bestival
Go if you like: Dressing up, running around, big festivals, actual other stuff to do
Don’t go if you like: Clean, simple, local one-day festivals
Punter most likely to see: Someone in fancy dress, definitely, glitter on their face, neon paint everywhere, goggles probably, God knows, people like to wacky it up at Bestival
Drink most likely to be drank: Strongbow

Buy tickets here

Isle Of Wight Festival (21-24 June)

Location: No idea
Three acts to see: Depeche Mode, LANY, Sigrid
Atmosphere: That special kind of anything-goes that only the huge mainstream festivals can bring - difficult to put your finger on it. A big melting pot, basically.
Go if you like: A bloody bit of everything
Don’t go if you like: Only one genre - you might find it here, but only for two hours
Punter most likely to see: There will be fancy dress, but I’d go with someone sporting your average festival attire, here. Maybe one bloke with a bit too much arse crack on the go, the usual
Drink most likely to be drank: Bit of Old Mout Cider - they’ve got an entire Kiwi Camp full of it

Buy tickets here

There's no Glasto this year, so try these festivals instead, why don't you? 6

The Isle Of Wight Festival (the stage is over there, mate)

British Summer Time (6-15 July - only on weekends)

Location: London
Three acts to see: Bruno Mars, Steve Winwood, Khalid
Atmosphere: A lovely afternoon in the park - nothing heavy, just a jolly nice time had by all
Go if you like: Chart music, old and new. Oh, and toilets that aren’t completely covered in shite
Don’t go if you like: Getting royally pissed and kicking up a right storm - you’ll stand out like you did at your nephew’s 6th birthday
Punter most likely to see: Perhaps someone in their - God forbid - thirties, with a bad hat on, having a right good old go of it with their mates
Drink most likely to be drank: Pimms

Buy tickets here

TRNSMT (29 June - 1 July, 6 July, 8 July)

Location: Scotland
Three acts to see: Arctic Monkeys, The Darkness, Chvrches
Atmosphere: Loud, essentially. Lots of guitars being played very loud, and lots of people shouting very loud. You know what Arctic Monkeys fans are like? Well, that
Go if you like: People jumping around a stage in tight jeans thrashing a guitar and singing with their mouths far too close to the microphone
Don’t go if you like: Taylor Swift, probably, because she won’t be there
Punter most likely to see: A man, with a hat on, a dirty t-shirt, bit of bum-fluff, black vans on, just yelling, absolutely yelling his neck off
Drink most likely to be drank: Lager, any one, just give me a fucking lager

Buy tickets here

There's no Glasto this year, so try these festivals instead, why don't you? 7

TRSNMT Festival - beware, there will be sniffer dogs at the entrance and they will confiscate any vowels you may have on your person

NASS (5-8 July)

Location: Near Bristol
Three acts to see: Bugzy Malone, RUN DMC, Ocean Wisdom
Atmosphere: ‘Gnarly’, yo. Lots of BMXing and skateboarding at this sports/music festival
Go if you like: Well, BMXing or skateboarding. It’s not essential though - you could quite easily swerve every single sporting event and just enjoy the music
Don’t go if you like: The kind of festival where you can do yoga on a canoe or something
Punter most likely to see: Black jean shorts, Thrasher t-shirt, shoes with a big rip on the side that their little toe is sticking out of, saying “sick” on repeat
Drink most likely to be drank: Vodka Red Bull, vodka Monster, vodka Relentless - that type of thing

Buy tickets here

The Great Escape (17-19 May)

Location: Brighton
Three acts to see: Pale Waves, Joan, Mist
Atmosphere: All over the shop, in a good way. This is because the festival is held in a load of different venues all around Brighton, each hosting an eclectic spread of music - you WILL find something to like at this one
Go if you like: Keeping up with the new stuff - nearly every act is an up-and-comer, with very few exceptions. If you’re cool, basically. Go if you’re coooooooooool
Don’t go if you like: ‘80s music, exclusively
Punter most likely to see: Well, someone coooooooooool, probably
Drink most likely to be drank: Bet there’ll be a fair few gin and tonics on the go

Buy tickets here

There's no Glasto this year, so try these festivals instead, why don't you? 8

A *pushes glasses back up nose* ‘great escape’ would be pre-tay difficult if you were *snorts* in the middle of this quite large crowd *dies*

Hospitality in the Park (22 September)

Location: London
Three acts to see: High Contrast, Etherwood, London Elektricity
Atmosphere: Can an atmosphere be fast? If yes, the atmosphere of this festival is fast. If not, the atmosphere of this festival is fast
Go if you like: Well, drum and bass, obviously
Don’t go if you like: Everything else but drum and bass, obviously
Punter most likely to see: Someone jumping up and down really fast
Drink most likely to be drank: Spirit and mixer - take your pick

Buy tickets here

Bluedot (19-22 July)

Location: Cheshire
Three acts to see: Roni Size, Craig Charles’ Space Funk Odyssey, George Fitzgerald
Atmosphere: Sciency, if that makes sense. There’s a big science vibe on the go - lots of talks, experiments and workshops, as well as music. Can a festival make you more intelligent? Considering the amount of brain cells you normally lose at one, this might have a good chance
Go if you like: Learning stuff, ya big nerd
Don’t go if you like: Purposefully knocking seven shades of shit out of your head on a regular basis
Punter most likely to see: Maybe a child? This one is family friendly, so bring that snotty kid of yours along - it’s very clear to everybody but you that his grades are drastically slipping
Drink most likely to be drank: A milkshake for the kids, and a ‘fun milkshake’ for the adults

Buy tickets here

There's no Glasto this year, so try these festivals instead, why don't you? 9

This is a picture from Bluedot festival so maybe it’s not actually that kid-friendly

Cool Brittania (31 August - 2 September)

Location: Hertfordshire
Three acts to see: Happy Mondays, N-Trance, Toploader (obviously)
Atmosphere: An older crowd, but a happy one - we’re looking at a “mad fer it” vibe with this one. Practice your Manc walk, basically.
Go if you like: A lovely slice of Britpop, a bit of nostalgic dance music, and shouting
Don’t go if you like: “The state of music today. The bloody state of it. They don’t make ‘em like they used to, I’ll tell you that fer free”
Punter most likely to see: If you see anyone without a mod cut then you’re probably at the wrong festival. Chances are they’ll be leaning back with about a 45 degree angle, too, feet pointing outwards
Drink most likely to be drank: Lager

Buy tickets here

Reading and Leeds (24-26 August)

Location: Again, no clue about this one
Three acts to see: Fall Out Boy, Fickle Friends, Dua Lipa
Atmosphere: Young, basically. Reading and Leeds are a right-of-passage for the youngsters, so if you reckon you’re still down with the kids, then head on in
Go if you like: A bit of everything - it’s not a rock festival anymore
Don’t go if you like: CHILDREN
Punter most likely to see: A very hyperactive teenager sprinting between tents whilst shrieking 
Drink most likely to be drank: Do kids still drink WKDs? They should do

Buy tickets here and here

There's no Glasto this year, so try these festivals instead, why don't you? 10

Reading AND Leeds? I’m not made of festivals mate!

Citadel (15 July)

Location: London
Three acts to see: Honne, Leon Bridges, Tame Impala
Atmosphere: Very chilled - it’s on a Sunday, but it’s definitely the kind of festival you can go to without having to take the Monday off work
Go if you like: Listening to relaxing music, being able to hear yourself think, and having maybe five drinks across the whole day
Don’t go if you like: The opposite of the above, in which case, head to Lovebox, which is on the same site on the Friday and Saturday
Punter most likely to see: Someone horizontal
Drink most likely to be drank: If you can find it, Sharp’s brewery have a secret bar - not telling you where it is though

Buy tickets here (or if you want the polar opposite experience, buy tickets to Lovebox here)

Wilderness (2-5 August)

Location: Oxfordshire
Three acts to see: Nile Rodgers and Chic, Groove Armada, Kamasi Washington
Atmosphere: It’s the kind of festival that isn’t necessarily just about the music - there’s absolutely loads of stuff to do (some of it fun, some of it, erm, weird)
Go if you like: Being all silly and warm and middle-class, with your nice hair and your linen trousers
Don’t go if you like: Being in a big thumping tent at all times, leaving only to ‘go eat’ or ‘go toilet’
Punter most likely to see: Someone with a hell of a lot of accessories on - bangles, crowns, necklaces, hats, face-paint - you name it, it’s on ‘em
Drink most likely to be drank: Prosecco

Buy tickets here

There's no Glasto this year, so try these festivals instead, why don't you? 11

The great Wilderness massacre of 2015

Neverworld (2-5 August)

Location: Kent
Three acts to see: My Nu Leng, Rae Morris, Sub Focus
Atmosphere: The same kind of vibe as Bestival, but smaller, basically. This festival (back when it was called LeeFest) took place in one bloke’s back-garden - that gives you an idea of the cosy nature of it
Go if you like: Themes - not simply tents with a DJ in them, the fest is split into three ‘realms’: The Neverwoods, Mermaids Lagoon and Skull Ridge
Don’t go if you like: Simply tents with a DJ in them
Punter most likely to see: This man
Drink most likely to be drank: A wacky cocktail with elderberry in it or something

Buy tickets here

Rewind Festival (20-22 July) (3-5 August) (17-19 August)

Location: Perth, Cheshire, Henley
Three acts to see: Kool & The Gang, Howard Jones, Nik Kershaw
Atmosphere: Silly, fun, nostalgic and full of songs you know and love. Fancy dress abounds, once more, too
Go if you like: ‘80s music - you won’t be hearing much else
Don’t go if you like: Whatever is in the charts at the moment
Punter most likely to see: A bloke dressed up as Maverick from Top Gun, with an inflatable guitar, screeching “I AAAAMMM, THE ONE AND ONNLLYYYY!!” (Your uncle)
Drink most likely to be drank: Some sort of fruity-tooty cider that tastes like Ribena, or something mega-’80s like a Long Island ice tea

Buy tickets here

There's no Glasto this year, so these are all the festivals you should try instead

Rewind Festival, where they play all the songs backwards

All Points East (25-27 May)

Location: London
Three acts to see: Chromeo, Popcaan, Soulwax
Atmosphere: This is one for all you lot who know about your music, so expect to have at least one very in-depth discussion about Björk in the bar queue
Go if you like: Chromeo. Chromeo are playing. Do you really need any other reason to go to a festival this year. CHROMEO.
Don’t go if you like: Watching Top Of The Pops at Christmas
Punter most likely to see: Most likely someone wearing cords, to hazard a guess
Drink most likely to be drank: Probably a CRATE beer or something, or a Jager - the JägerHaus is setting up shop there this year

Buy tickets here

Field Day (1-2 June)

Location: London
Three acts to see: Erykah Badu, Kurupt FM, Loyle Carner
Atmosphere: One of the most east London festivals of all-time, is now in Brixton? Not that it’ll stop it being any less east London, of course, it’ll still be that.
Go if you like: Your music between the underground and the mainstream - we’re looking at middle-weight names, but some quality ones all the same
Don’t go if you like: Only going to festivals in east London because that’s where you live and I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY’VE MOVED IT
Punter most likely to see: Many people displaying the widest range of ridiculous sunglasses you’ve ever encountered
Drink most likely to be drank: A lager, held by somebody with a load of big rings on

Buy tickets here

So there you go - quite a packed summer you could be having. It’s either going to one of them or attending the 15th year of that really smelly PS4 festival that takes place in your bedroom every summer!

(Images: Getty)

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Gary Ogden

Shortlist writer and "the least woke person in the office", Gary Ogden, likes horror movies, Cheestrings, tapping his leg under the desk, "having a drink", hiding from responsibility, screaming into the mirror whenever he is alone, and assorted other things. Mainly the screaming thing though. @garyblogden

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