The best British music festivals to get to in 2024


After winter made a couple of extra encores in Britain this year, summer has finally arrived. It’s time to book some friends and pack your bags for a weekend of unbridled joy, with live music, dress-ups and fairground rides, plus performance poets, world food and pop-up hot-tubs – the UK’s music festivals are worth planning a holiday around. 

Tickets to the internationally renowned Glastonbury get snapped up the moment they go on sale, but there is a festival for every taste (and budget) across the country this summer. However, things are not all rosy for Britain’s music festivals with a few notable events not running in 2024 due to economic pressures. Corporate sponsors keep many major festivals afloat while smaller independent ones are hugely reliant on ticket sales. 

Here are the top music festivals to look out for in 2024. Why not add a weekend of uniquely British festival magic to your summer vacation.

Fans who missed Glastonbury tickets can tune in to the Pyramid Stage on the BBC © Anna Barclay / Glastonbury Festival

1. Glastonbury

Dates: June 26-30, 2024 at Worthy Farm, Somerset
Tickets: Sold out

It needs no introduction and scoring a ticket to Glastonbury feels like winning the life lottery these days. Glastonbury is the world’s largest green field performing arts festival in the world. Founded by farmer Michael Eavis in 1970, the festival is held on a 900-acre working dairy farm in Somerset, but it also reaches a worldwide audience in the millions with a live broadcast on the BBC and online. In 2024, Dua Lipa and SZA are joining Coldplay as headliners, but the list of major artists continues with P J Harvey, Michael Kiwanuka, LCD Soundsystem, Idles, and The National (to name just a few). For those who are desperate to attend but missed out on tickets when they were snapped up back in November, there is the option to volunteer on site (although these roles are equally as popular). Check the website for more. 

A handy guide to Glastonbury: survival tips from someone who’s done it

People doing yoga in a bell tent at Latitude music festival UK
There’s plenty to do beyond seeing the bands at Latitude © Matt Eachus / Latitude

2. Latitude

Dates: July 25-28, 2024 at Henham Park, Suffolk
Tickets: latitudefestival.com

So far the headliners announced for the 2024 Latitude festival include Duran Duran, Kasabian, London Grammar, and Keane. The comedy lineup is dominated by women with Jo Brand, Sara Pascoe, Joanne McNally and Judi Love taking the main billing for the Comedy Arena. As always, there will also be plenty of poetry, podcasting and paddleboarding (pack your swimsuit for some lake swimming and book your paddleboarding spot before they sell out). Food also plays a prominent part of the festivities with cooking demonstrations and a pre-bookable festival restaurant experience. Taking the whole family? Head to the festival website for some excellent tips on how to enjoy Latitude with kids in tow.

Yellow flags adorn the Womad site as the sun sets on its first day reigning in the 40th anniversary celebration.jpg
Fatoumata drew a huge crowd for her stunning performance at Womad’s 40th birthday last year © WOMAD

3. WOMAD

Dates: July 25-28, 2024 at Malmesbury, Wiltshire
Tickets: womad.co.uk

The brainchild of Peter Gabriel, the first WOMAD was held in the fields of England in 1982. Now staged annually in destinations as far-flung as Australia and Chile, this year’s UK festival lineup of world music ranges across the spectrum from Young Fathers, Sampa the Great, Amadou & Mariam to Alison Goldfrapp. The sense of community at WOMAD is strong. As well as a wide range of the best “world music” artists, you can expect debates by prominent thinkers, workshops for kids and adults, a spoken word performance space, plus food from across the globe at Taste the World. Festival goers looking for a little luxury to complement their stay should book the Womad Spa with wood-fired hot tubs, all-day yoga, and a bar serving alcohol-free cocktails and tonics.

The essential packing guide for music festivals

4. Download

Dates: June 14-16, 2024 at Donington Park, Leicestershire
Tickets: downloadfestival.co.uk

Download Festival, “the greatest rock and metal festival of all time”, is back at Donnington Park albeit without any genre defining names (well when compared to 2023’s Metallica sets) this year. The 2024 headliners will appeal to a younger demographic with Queens of the Stone Age, Enter Shikari and Avenged Sevenfold taking the top bill. The more alternative/ indie American rock group Fall Out Boy is closing on the Apex stage on Saturday to the surprise of some metal fans, suggesting Download is keen to widen its appeal. As always, Big Green Coaches run carbon neutral buses direct to the festival from multiple UK pick-up locations. Are you ready to rock?

A small huddle of women enjoying the Isle of Wight Festival in the summer. Atmosphere, Festival Photographer, Music
The holiday-like atmosphere at Isle of Wight is one reason people love this festival © James Bridle / Isle of Wight Festival

5. Isle of Wight Festival

Dates: June 20-23, 2024 at Seaclose Park, Newport
Tickets: isleofwightfestival.com

Referred to as Europe’s answer to Woodstock when it began in 1968, the Isle of Wight Festival has an iconic lineup in 2024 with artists spanning 40 years of music. Green Day is playing (a UK festival exclusive), plus The Prodigy, Pet Shop Boys and Simple Minds are among the list of era-defining acts you’ll see on the island this summer (not to mention The Pretenders, Suede, Natalie Imbruglia and McFly). There’s also plenty here to entertain little ones in the Kids’ Zone as well as a family-specific campsite, making this another kid-friendly festival.

 Festival goers set up in the campsite on the first day of Camp Bestival
Camp Bestival is one of the UK’s most family-friendly festivals © Caitlin Mogridge / Redferns / Getty Images

6. Camp Bestival 

Dates: July 25-28, 2024 at Lulworth Castle, Dorset; and 15-18 August, 2024 in Weston Park, Shropshire
Tickets: campbestival.net

Very much aimed at families, fans of this multi-award-winning festival have two chances to get away to Camp Bestival again this summer. At two locations, Dorset on the coast and Shropshire in the English countryside, both festivals have a similar offering: bell tents, fancy-dress parades, Cosmic Kids yoga, sound meditation and ice baths. Along with top musical acts (Paloma Faith, The Darkness and Rick Astley among them), there is also plenty of comedy, theater, talks and activities, plus a specially curated lineup of kids entertainment including The World’s Biggest Bouncy Castle, a pirate sandpit, junkyard-robot making, and a spectacular fireworks display. If you can’t make it in person, Josie and Rob Da Bank have also published a Camp Bestival at Home activities book this summer. 

Festival goers enjoying the Boom Town music festival, UK with a stage and colourful crowd
Boomtown Fair is a parade of color and creativity divided into different zones © Ben Smith / Boomtown Fair

7. Boomtown Fair

Dates: August 7-11, 2024 in Matterley Estate, Hampshire
Tickets: boomtownfair.co.uk

Boomtown was started by a small team of young partygoers who wanted to put on a festival that brought to life underground music, art and theater culture. In 2024 the theme “Chapter 3: Revolution of Imagination” is part of “an ongoing narrative with hundreds of characters roaming the streets, guiding the citizens through the labyrinth of adventures waiting to be discovered”. This is an immersive festival experience, building a makeshift city from scratch with roving performers from contortionists to mime artists and buskers, plus dance floors and pop-up sound systems playing every musical genre from reggae, roots, and folk to ska, metal, punk and gabber. 

View of people creating in a tent at the End of the Road Festival in 2023
There are many ways to keep kids entertained away from the main stage © Gem Harris / End of the Road

8. End of the Road

Dates: August 29-September 1, 2024
Tickets: endoftheroadfestival.com

About 13,500 people descend on Larmer Tree Gardens in Dorset for the late summer End of the Road festival, now in its 18th year. This is one for fans of indie rock, folk and alternative music. EOTR has a reputation for its welcoming atmosphere and eclectic program of music, comedy and literature. The 2024 lineup includes Idles, Slowdive, Fever Ray and contemporary Irish folk music group, Lankum. The comedy stage will feature well-known entertainers like Lebanese-American comedian Janine Harouni, London-based Stewart Lee, and Taskmaster favorite, Fern Brady who hails from Scotland. Authors giving talks range from the acclaimed cultural historian Richard King to environmentalist Lucy Jones. If we’re heading into autumn and you haven’t made it to a festival yet, grab your tickets before it’s too late.

9. Secret Garden Party(ies)

Dates: July 25-28 and August 5-12, 2024 at Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
Tickets: secretgardenparty.com

This is a very boutique music festival returning to the lush landscaped lawns and gardens of Cambridgeshire, but with some changes for 2024. First, the festival has been split into three separate events. “SGP: Roots” is the OG event, with all the whimsical, immersive, hedonistic fun that characterizes Secret Garden Party. In August a week-long family-friendly festival called “The Wild Meadows” will bring out the same creative spirit but with a child-friendly focus. And finally, “Mistress Mary” is an invitation-only event for SGP members. Some acts have been announced (Unkle), but organisers stress that this is a fluid event with a mix of live and programmed music, where wild swimming, workshops and community have equal billing with performances. 

Traveling to Europe this summer? Here are the best festivals to plan your Europe trip around

10. Cambridge Club Festival

Dates: June 7-9, 2024 at Childerley Orchard, Cambridge
Tickets: thecambridgeclub.co

Bringing a feel-good weekend of soul, funk and disco, Cambridge Club returns to Childerley’s apple orchard this summer. The 2024 lineup includes long-time favourites like Chaka Khan, Soul 2 Soul, Sister Sledge and British Pop music icon Jessie Ware. Dance floors around the festival will be DJed by Fat Tony, Norman Jay and German producer, Mousse T. Families can congregate at the Imagination Station for children’s entertainment where a schedule of theater, games, arts and crafts, storytelling, and sing-a-longs will keep the little ones happy.

Festival goers surrounded by colorful tents and flags in a field enjoying the Green Gathering festival, Wales
Local musical acts from folk to punk play at Green Gathering festival, Wales © Nathan Eaton-Baudains / Green Gathering

11. Green Gathering

Dates: August 1-4, 2024 in Chepstow, Monmouthshire, Wales
Tickets: greengathering.org.uk

A non-profit low-impact festival, Green Gathering is “powered by sun, wind, people and passion for change”. Held over four days in Piercefield Park, Chepstow (about 30 minutes from Bristol or Cardiff), you’ll enjoy a lineup of around 100 local acts from solo singer-songwriters to radical punk bands, plus folk tunes, swing, dance, ska, reggae, cabaret and poetry. But one of the best reasons to head to this award-winning festival is the information and skills-sharing on everything to do with low-impact and off-grid living, including solar set-ups, traditional Greek windmills, health, healing, and permaculture. As well as music and workshops, there’s an abundance of activities for children including face painting, hula-hooping, upcycled crazy golf, and forest school experiments. Teens are often overlooked in the family-friendly festival space, but not here where there are workshops for 11–17 year olds plus music-making, trapeze, juggling, and grown-up crafts.

But wait, there’s more…

12. Black Deer brings Americana royalty to Eridge Park in Kent this June 2024, with headliners Joe Bonamassa, Sheryl Crow and Rufus Wainwright among others. Camping, smokehouse cooking, vintage motorcycles and activities just for “young folk” are all part of this unique festival experience. 

13. Love Supreme Jazz Festival, a three-day event at Glynde Place in East Sussex, is on July 5 to 7 with a lineup that includes the up-and-coming Olivia Dean, plus stalwarts of global soul, jazz and R&B talent like Dionne Warwick, Chaka Khan and Kool & the Gang. 

14. Wilderness always delivers a weekend of pure hedonism at Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire. Running from August 1 to 4 in 2024 with Faithless, Michael Kiwanuka, and Jessie Ware on the headline bill.   

15.  The inaugural Wild Fields, a socially-conscious festival “amplifying the voices of green industry leaders and climate activists”, will be held at Earlham Park next to the University of East Anglia in Norwich. Food, talks and a range of artists including Ezra Collective and Kae Tempest have been announced. 

16. Parklife Festival is set in one of the largest municipal parks in Europe, the 600-acre Heaton Park in Manchester on the weekend of June 8 to 9, 2024. Headliners include Doja Cat, Disclosure, J-Hus and Becky Hill​.

17. Reading and Leeds (August 21 to 25) have always been popular with a younger crowd (that’s over 16s, taking young kids is discouraged) maybe because they’re easy to access without a car. Headliners in 2024 include Blink-182, Fred Again, Lana Del Rey, Liam Gallagher, and Catfish. 

18. While the Connect festival in Edinburgh is taking a breather in 2024, TRNSMT Festival is on in Glasgow Green (July 12 to 14, 2024) with Liam Gallagher, Gerry Cinnamon, Calvin Harris and Garbage​. If you’re in Edinburgh this summer look out for Edinburgh’s Summer Sessions concerts instead.

19. We Out Here, on in Dorset this August 15 to 18, celebrates British club culture with a cross-genre lineup curated by BBC Radio 6’s Gilles Peterson. It’s the best of clubbing in the countryside.

20. British Summer Time (BST) in London’s Hyde Park is held over multiple dates in June and July with Shania Twain, Stevie Nicks, Kings of Leon and Kylie among the headliners in 2024.

Tips to avoid being scammed by festival fraudsters

Alas scam websites are rife in 2024. Make sure you check you’re buying festival tickets from a genuine ticket-seller by looking for a proper address, not a PO box number; read the terms and conditions carefully including whether you can resell if you need to cancel; pay with a credit card to minimize your risk; and check the actual payment pages are secure by looking for a padlock symbol in the address bar. 

If you’re planning to attend any of these festivals, including Glastonbury, as a volunteer be aware: there have been reports of bogus schemes where companies claim to be recruiting for festival volunteering teams, then ask for a deposit to secure a space that doesn’t exist. It’s best to email or call festival organizers to be sure you’re signing up for the real deal – and not being taken for a ride.

This article was first published Jun 9, 2022 and updated May 29, 2024.



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