When it comes to mega music festivals, arguably nobody does it better than the UK, and 2023 might just be the biggest year ever for live music.
From the biggest popstars in the world, to K-pop giants, to techno legends and metal mayhem, here are the ultimate British festivals deserving of your attention for the coming year.
Dig out your bumbags, wellies and festival glitter and add these dates to your diary. The only question is: which field will you be heading to first?
Slam Dunk North & South
Where: Temple Newsam, Leeds & Hatfield Park, Hertfordshire
When: 27 (South) and 28 May 2023 (North)
Ticket price: £97.90
Headliners: The Offspring, Enter Shikari
Other confirmed acts: Billy Talent, Bowling For Soup, Yellowcard, Less Than Jake, Kids In Glass Houses, Creeper
Get ready for a pop punk party, because Slam Dunk 2023 is set to be the festival’s biggest weekend yet, boasting some of the very biggest bands in the scene alongside the most exciting new ones shaping the future of alternative music and Noughties band reunions to delight any former emo kid, with Kids In Glass Houses and The Academy Is… both making a return to the Slam Dunk stage. Slam Dunk South will also mark Enter Shikari’s arguably biggest homecoming show ever (they’re from neighbouring St Albans), so brace yourself for a particularly raucous show from the spectacular live performers.
Where: Brockwell Park, London
When: 3-4 June 2023
Ticket price: Day tickets from £59.60, full weekend £114.50
Headliners: Kelly Rowland, Years and Years
Other confirmed acts: Aqua, Jakes Shears, Confidence Man, Kelis, Dagny, Natasha Beddingfield
Ready to leave pretence at the festival gate and dance to poptastic bangers all weekend long? Then get ready to boogie, as Mighty Hoopla, dubbed “The UK’s best pop festival,” is the festival for you. From nostalgia-laden acts of yesteryear to the brightest new pop starlets on the scene, 2023’s lineup is absolutely guaranteed to have you singing along in the sunshine.
Where: Donington Park, Derby
When: 8-11 June, 2023
Ticket price: Full weekend plus four nights camping £325
Headliners: Metallica, Bring Me The Horizon, Slipknot
Other confirmed acts: Evanescence, Placebo, Parkway Drive, Alexisonfire, Ghost, The Distillers, and more
As if the UK’s premier rock festival wasn’t big enough and loud enough in any given year, 2023 will see Download celebrate its 20th anniversary. To celebrate, Metallica will headline not one but two nights of the extended four night festival, playing a completely different set on each night. The special anniversary weekend will be rounded out by veteran headliners Slipknot and Bring Me The Horizon, making their Download headline debut. Expect sets as heavy as the inevitable UK summer downpour.
Where: Heaton Park, Manchester.
When: 10-11 June 2023
Ticket price: TBC. Presale registration available.
Headliners: TBC. Previous headliners include 50 Cent, Tyler, The Creator and Megan The Stallion.
The huge Manchester-based, non-camping festival sold out its 2022 tickets in just 48 hours — so when 2023 tickets become available, you’ll have to move quickly to snap yours up. Why? For young people in the North West, Parklife is the party of the year. Don your face gems and wellies, as an A-list lineup is almost as guaranteed as Heaton Park’s mud.
Isle of Wight Festival
Where: Newport, Isle of Wight
When: 15-18 June, 2023
Ticket price: Weekend with camping £230
Headliners: Pulp, George Ezra, The Chemical Brothers, Robbie Williams
Other confirmed acts: Blondie, Manic Street Preachers, Courteeners, N-Dubz, Anne Marie, Example, The Human League
With a crowd-pleasing mainstream multi-genre lineup and family-friendly vibes, it’s no surprise that the Isle of Wight attracts an eclectic audience of all ages - from those hopping on the ferry to the island to enjoy their very first festival, to those who saw Jimi Hendrix perform at the “Europe’s Woodstock” in 1970. This year, music history will continue to be created with Pulp returning to the main stage after 12 years, Grammy-winning pop by George Ezra and Robbie Williams in a UK festival exclusive. That’ll entertain us.
Where: Worthy Farm, Somerset
When: 21-25 June, 2023
Ticket price: General admission full weekend tickets £335
Headliners: TBC. 2022 saw Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar and Paul McCartney headline
Other confirmed acts: TBC
In the festival calendar, the iconic Glastonbury festival is as big as it gets. Tickets always sell out immediately, but if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one, Arctic Monkeys, Guns N' Roses and Elton John are all rumoured to take to the Pyramid stage for 2023’s festival. Whoever ends up playing, you can be sure it will be epic.
British Summer Time
Where: Hyde Park, London
When: Weekends between 24 June - 8 July, 2023
Ticket price: From around £95.75 for one day general admission
Headliners: Take That, Pink, BLACKPINK, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen
Other confirmed acts: The Script, Sugababes and more TBC
The central London day festival seems to get bigger every single year, and with 2023 boasting headliners from K-Pop superstars BLACKPINK to Grammy legend Billy Joel in his only European performance of the year, you really can expect something for everyone. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band and Pink will both headline two nights of the festival each, too.
Where: Finsbury Park, London
When: 7-9 July
Ticket price: TBC
Headliners: TBC. Previous headliners include A$AP Rocky, J. Cole, Tyler, the Creator, Dave, Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, and SZA.
A staple of the UK festival calendar, Wireless is the destination for the very best in hip hop, rap, grime and urban music from the UK and the US. Well connected and just a tube ride from Central London, this non-camping festival is always huge in starpower… and in vibes.
Where: Henham Park, Suffolk
When: 20-23 July, 2023
Ticket price: Weekend with camping £286.45
Headliners: Pulp, Paolo Nutini, George Ezra
Other confirmed acts: The Kooks, Metronomy, Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott, Lightning Seeds, Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Twelve years since Pulp last headlined packed festivals, the Britpop icons will count a headline set at Latitude festival among their hotly anticipated 2023 reunion tour. Elsewhere, the award-winning festival will continue to showcase the best in music, performing arts and all the weird and wonderful quirks in between, all set in the magical and family-friendly Suffolk woods.
Where: Hillsborough Park, Sheffield
When: 21-23 July 2023
Ticket price: Weekend from £140
Headliners: Sam Fender, Kasabian, Madness
Other confirmed acts: James, The Vaccines, Sigrid, Becky Hill, The Wombats
If you’ve ever bounced around in a festival crowd to Madness, you’ll know that the sheer giddy fun of it all is enough reason alone to head to Tramlines. Elsewhere, of course, there’s plenty of excitement to be had at the UK’s largest inner-city music festival — not just when it comes to music, but with a stellar comedy lineup too, thanks to sets from Jason Manford, Russell Kane and Seann Walsh.
Where: Lowther Deer Park
When: 27–30 July, 2023
Ticket price: Weekend £169
Headliners: TBC. Previous headliners include Stereophonics, Supergrass, The Streets, Manic Street Preachers and The Libertines.
2023 marks 15 years of the picturesque Kendal Calling — and we’re told to expect the biggest party the Lakes have ever seen. Aside from the inevitable star-studded headline lineup, the festival will offer magical experiences through woodlands, disco tents, immersive art installations, an open-air cinema, circus performers and plenty to keep little ones entertained.
Where: Lulworth Castle, Dorset
When: 27-30 July 2023
Ticket price: Weekend £190
Headliners: Grace Jones, Craig David, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Ella Henderson
Other confirmed acts: Confidence Man, Sam Ryder, Melanie C, Scouting For Girls
Not only does Bestival promise impeccable vibes and great acts, but it’s arguably the most family-friendly festival going. After all, Mr Tumble even has pride of place on the lineup. Yoga, wellbeing workshops, circus performers and theatrical spectacle mean this is about as wholesome as festivals — or “festi-holidays” as the organiser describe — get. Plus, the theme for 2023’s festival, which party goers of all ages famously don fancy dress for, is “Animal Snap”, so now’s the time to get your creature costume together. Now, that’s a wild festival.
Boomtown Fair Festival
Where: Matterley Estate, Winchester
When: 9-13 August 2023
Ticket price: Weekend £285
Headliners: TBC. Previous headliners include Kool and the Gang, Lauryn Hill, Wu-Tang Clan, Chase & Status, De La Soul, Four Tet and Gorillaz.
Boomtown is not your average festival. In fact, it describes itself as a ‘city,’ erecting a fully immersive, made-up town in the South Downs national park, complete with different districts and even a storyline. You’ll find endless dancefloors to discover in the constructed sets and real forests — not least because of the scope of music genres represented, from reggae and roots, to drum and bass, to underground electronic house, techno and jungle. You’ll have to trust that assortment, too, as rather than announcing a lineup, the organisers like to go against the music industry standard and keep it secret until just before the festival gates open - which is all part of the fun. Regardless, you’ll certainly be in for an experience like no other.
Where: Newquay, Cornwall
When: 9-13 August 2023
Ticket price: From £229
Headliners: Liam Gallagher and Florence + The Machine
Other confirmed acts: Little Simz, Four Tet, Example
Why camp in a muddy field when you could be on the beach? Set on the stunning Cornish coast, Boardmasters counts world-famous Fistral Beach, along with its beach bar and seafront shops, as much a part of the festival as its ten mighty music stages. Between big-name headliners, you can catch a pro surfing competition, or even join a surf school yourself. Whether you’re watching a surf competition, Little Simz or a Cornish sunset, Boardmasters is a truly unparalleled UK festival.
Reading & Leeds Festival
Where: Richfield Avenue, Reading and Bramham Park, Leeds
When: 25-27 August 2023
Ticket price: Weekend with camping £259.20
Headliners: TBC. Rumoured: The Weeknd, Muse, Billie Eilish
Other confirmed acts: TBC
From rock and indie to an ever-growing hip-hop lineup and dance stages, multi-genre Reading and Leeds festivals are a right of passage for anyone who loves music (and mud). This year’s lineups are yet to be announced, but one thing is certain: If you fancy spending the August bank holiday weekend with some of the biggest artists from the UK and across the pond, Reading and Leeds will be the places to be.
Where: Daresbury, Cheshire
When: 24-27 August, 2023
Ticket price: Day tickets from £70, full weekend from £250
Headliners: Swedish House Mafia, more TBC
What started as a relatively small one day event has since exploded into a four-day electronic extravaganza, with a reputation as the most prestigious electronic dance festival in the UK… and beyond. For 2023’s edition, house supergroup Swedish House Mafia have already confirmed, with more world-class DJs yet to be announced. Can’t wait to rave? Get an earlier festival fix at Creamfields South in Chelmsford, which debuted last year to celebrate the festival’s 25th anniversary, and will be held from 26th-28th May, where Calvin Harris, Tiësto and Swedish House Mafia are confirmed to perform.
All Points East
Where: Victoria Park, London
When: Weekends from 18–27 August, 2023
Ticket price: Day tickets £90.95
Headliners: Stormzy, The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs more TBC
There’s a good reason why East London’s All Points East festival has won a host of accolades, including Best Festival at the Music Week Awards and ‘Line-Up of the Year’ at the UK Festival Awards. Generally skewing towards rock, indie and alternative lineups, you’ll also find a great variety of big-name acts lighting up Victoria Park for the 10 days of All Points East. On 18 August, Stormzy will headline and curate ‘This Is What We Mean Day’ in celebration of his latest album, which promises to be one seriously epic homecoming show for the Londoner and all-round national treasure. While 25 August sees New York rockers The Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs headlining a day of alt-rock.
End Of The Road Festival
Where: Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset
When: 31 August - 3 September 2023
Ticket price: Weekend £235
Headliners: TBC. Previous headliners include Fleet Foxes, Pixies, Michael Kiwanuka, Bright Eyes, Damon Albarn
Dubbed “the most imaginative and exploratory festival of the summer” by The Independent, End Of The Road’s specially curated mix of rock, folk, indie music and comedy makes for a special weekend, with the chance to see big-name artists in a festival far more intimate than some of the other giants of the UK scene. Less time trudging across fields, and more time to soak up the best in indie music in the sunshine? We’ll see you by the mainstage.
Watch: Glastonbury tickets sell out