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5 Music Festivals To Book If You Missed Out On Glastonbury

Matt Crisp April 22, 2024

The last wave of tickets for the Glastonbury Festival have been released and sold out in just 22 minutes. BBC News reports that the coach hire ticket packages sold out in 18 minutes, and the general admission tickets were snapped up in 22 minutes. The tickets were a resale of returned or unpaid-for tickets from the initial release last November.

This time, fans knew which acts they would be seeing, as the festival lineup was announced in March. There will be two female headline acts at the event on 26-30 June at Worthy Farm in Somerset; Dua Lipa and SLZ. Coldplay will be headlining the Pyramid stage, and country star Shania Twain will be playing the Sunday afternoon legends slot.

For many Glastonbury fans there will be disappointment on missing out on tickets, but some music fans are now looking elsewhere for the most exciting new acts in the UK and worldwide. There are many excellent and more affordable festivals held around the UK this summer. Here’s a roundup of some of the best events to attend.

The Great Escape, Brighton, May 15-18

The Great Escape is considered one of the best festivals for discovering the freshest new music. It has a dedicated beachside location in Brighton, and events also take place at various venues across the city. This year there will be much-anticipated sets from Wunderhorse, Kneecap, Soft Play, Lauren Mayberry, and Lambrini girls.

Wide Awake, Brockwell Park, London

The Wide Awake festival features a blend of indie, post-punk, techno, electronica, and techno. This year, the headline acts are King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, alongside Young Fathers, Slowdive, Dry Cleaning, DJ Ben UFO, and Alice Glass. 

The independent festival is committed to showcasing up and coming new acts, and the lineup has an equal split. The organisers describe it as a sustainable, environmentally conscious and socially aware festival for people who care about music. They hope to influence the way that other music festivals are set up with their ‘positive policy.’

FOCUS Wales, Wrexham, May 9-11

FOCUS Wales takes place across various venues in Wrexham, north east Wales. It describes itself as an international showcase festival that puts the spotlight on emerging Welsh talent, alongside some of the best new acts from around the world. The event was awarded  ‘Best Festival for Emerging Talent’ at the UK Festival Awards.

This year is the 14th anniversary of the well-regarded festival, and features The Royston Club, The Mysterines, The Bug Club, and many more. There will be over 300 live music performances, plus film screenings, talks, interactive sessions and conferences featuring some of the most respected figures in the industry. 

Shindig Festival, Somerset, Dillington Estate, May 23-26

Somerset’s other music festival, Shindig celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Its vibe is techno, house, and drum and bass, and this year there’s a DJ set by Groove Armada, plus the Brand New Heavies, Mad Professor, and more. 

The BBC describes it as a ‘top alternative to Glastonbury’, and it has a fun family atmosphere. Besides the music, there’s a Kid’s Kingdom, circus and cabaret acts, a holistic sanctuary, a beach bar and discotheque, art installations, crafts corner, and a range of high quality food and drink stalls.

Camping tickets for the whole weekend start from £200,  but if you’re not keen on pitching your own tent, there’s a boutique campsite with a choice of caravans, yurts, bell tents, touareg tents that are luxuriously equipped and have their own private loos. There’s also a pamper parlour, a bar, and a 24-hour reception service.

Live at Leeds, Temple Newsam Park, Leeds, May 25

Live at Leeds was launched ten years ago and now attracts fans from all over the UK to see alternative and indie acts. This year includes favourites such as The Kooks, The Mystery Jets, The Cribs, Melanie C, The Slow Readers Club, White Lies, and more over five stages. 

It’s a one-day event for people of all ages, and the under-fives go free. There is also a sister event, Live at Leeds in the City, that takes place in November across various city venues. One ticket allows access to all the venues and the November event is restricted to the over-14s only.