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Summer gigs

With free-roaming peacocks, bollywood cocktails, all-night bonfires and real ale, don’t forget there’s music, too.

August 14-17: Green Man Festival, Brecon Beacons

What? This intimate festival takes place at Glanusk Park Estate in the Black Mountains, where leylines converge amid ancient oak trees. For four days the lush Welsh wilderness will be packed with 10 entertainment areas and 1,500 performers, with comedy, poetry, literature, arts and science, spas, therapies, hot showers, luxury camping areas, all-night bonfires and local food, ale and cider. The Green Man has the UK’s only 24-hour festival licence, so be prepared to party straight through. Over 100 performances will take place across three sustainably powered stages in the Einstein’s Garden area.

Lineup: Beirut, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Waterboys, Bill Callahan, Caribou, First Aid Kit, The War on Drugs, Daughter, Kurt Vile and the Violators, Sharon Van Etten and many more.


August 16-17: Beautiful Days, Devon

What? Beautiful Days is the Levellers’ family music festival, at Escot Park in Devon. You’ll find six stages, site art, a huge children’s area, comedy, walkabout theatre, family camping, licensed real ale bars from Otter Brewery and a great choice of food and craft stalls. Beautiful Days has no sponsors or branding and does not advertise. It’s a family-friendly weekend camping festival with a central area for kids, from toddlers right up to teenagers. It won Best Family Festival at the 2011 UK Festival Awards and was shortlisted for Best Family Festival, Best Medium Sized Festival, Grass Roots Festival Award and Best Toilets at the 2013 Awards.

Lineup: Steve Earle and the Dukes, Seasick Steve, Levellers, Jimmy Cliff, Dead Kennedys, Seeed, Reverend and the Makers, The Undertones, Dreadzone, Bellowhead and plenty of others.


August 21-24: Shambala Festival, Northamptonshire

What? Over 200 diverse musical acts perform across 12 live stages, alongside world-class cabaret, workshops, stand-up comedy, inspirational talks and debates, jaw-dropping circus and acrobatics, interactive theatre and poetry – all in beautifully decorated venues. Shambala was rated outstanding by A Greener Festival in 2013; 94% of the power it used came from renewable sources, and over 3,000 phones were charged using pedal and solar power. This year, Shambala is set to become the UK’s first festival to achieve zero waste to landfill – and will be powered entirely by hybrid technology using renewable sun, wind, waste vegetable oil and pedal power.

Lineup: Mulatu Astatke, Collie Buddz, Public Service Broadcasting, Cumbia All Stars, The Apples, Catrin Finch, Seckou Keita, Emily Portman Trio, Andy C, DJ Marky and loads more.


August 29-31: End Of The Road Festival, Wiltshire

What? Within the gently sloping hills of North Dorset and South Wiltshire you’ll find the End of the Road. The lush evergreens, fiery autumn shrubs and free-roaming peacocks in the Victorian Larmer Tree Gardens paint a picturesque landscape, and the entertainment’s not bad, either. This festival takes a lot of pride in the things some organisers miss; expect good food (organic and local where possible), good beer, caring and well-mannered staff, good site decorations and hygiene. You’ll find a woodland library, cinema, comedy stage and healing retreat as well as the main stages. Lounge on hay bales in tipi tents or drink hot cider in a converted bus while you wait for your favourite acts.

Lineup: The Flaming Lips, Wild Beasts, The Gene Clark No Other Band, John Grant, St Vincent, The Horrors, Yo La Tengo, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks and lots more.


Sept 4-7: Bestival, Isle of Wight

What? Radio 1 DJ Rob da Bank’s musical brain always ensures an eclectic range of music at Bestival, his wife Josie – the festival’s creative director – takes care of the magic. You’ll find a Bollywood cocktail bar, a gypsy camp with shamanic workshops, fortune tellers and hammocks, en masse fancy dress and a landlocked port as well as a unique boutique camping experience over a four-day festival set in a beautiful, leafy country park. Tomorrow’s World is an entire field envisaging an inspired, sustainable, green and fun future with a Biofuelled Bandstand, and there are 92 compost toilets on site. Many organic traders are involved and the festival serves as much Fairtrade food and drink as possible.

Lineup: OutKast, Foals, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, Beck, Busta Rhymes, Candi Staton, Sven Väth, Chase & Status, Paloma Faith, Basement Jaxx, Major Lazer and plenty of others.


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