That Time Of Year Again …

(Spark Magazine is changing so you’ll be seeing less and less of these in the next few weeks! But just you wait and see what’s happening! http://www.sparksunderland.com.magazine)

The sun is finally shining outside so what better thing to do then plan summer festivals. With such a wide choice on offer, there’s bound to be something to appeal to absolutely everyone. Whether you want to see the biggest band in the world or the next big things, there will be a festival for you. Boutique urban festivals are springing up all over the country, beginning with Live At Leeds from the 29th April, with bands that are playing including The Futureheads, Slow Club and The Young Knives. Of course there is the daddy Camden Crawl, featuring a range of high profile acts and emerging talent. A relative newbie that I’ll be at this year is Long Division in Wakefield, 10th-12th June, with their Saturday programme including The Wedding Present, Los Campesinos! and Skint & Demoralised, with a whole host of local talent on show too. And with urban festivals on the increase there is a wide range to choose from, including the regions very own Split and Evolution festivals, all at bargainous prices to boot.

If you’re of the literary minded you’re even catered for. Here in the UK we have Latitude, a festival that successfully mixes music, comedy, and literary arenas, including performances from the Royal Shakespeare Company and the English National Ballet. And this year they’re cranking it up a notch with a live episode of Never Mind The Buzzcocks. But if you’re after your traditional rite of passage, muddy field type of festival, then don’t despair. At the time of writing tickets for Reading/Leeds (delete as applicable) are still available, and with headliners The Strokes, My Chemical Romance and Muse it’s bound to be a hell of a weekend. There’s also Glastonbury, this year headlined by U2, Coldplay and Beyonce (personally I cannot wait for that one!), T In The Park with Arctic Monkeys and Foo Fighters, and Isle Of Wight featuring The Courteeners, Kings Of Leon and Pulp. Or even head to the winner of the country’s most beautiful festival Rockness, headlined by Kasabian and Paolo Nutini. And if that’s not enough for you, there’s also Bestival on the Isle Of Wight if you fancy live music and the chance to dress up.

If the money’s tight why not combine festivals with a holiday? Head over to Benicassim in Spain to see The Strokes and Arcade Fire, or even all the way to Chicago for Lollapalooza, rumoured to be headlined by Muse, Eminem and the Foo Fighters. If you’re not one for sunshine, there’s Lowlands in Holland or Sziget in Budapest or even Zagreb in Croatia, anywhere you can think of there’ll be something going on! At the least Rock En Seine is a short hop over the channel in Paris, where you’ll get the chance to see The Kills, Interpol and the up and coming Anna Calvi.

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