Sign up for our weekly newsletter
Waterfront Festival

29 Festivals You've Got To Get To This Year

17 May 17 words: LeftLion

If you’re struggling to find a festival best suited to you, worry no more, for we have put together a mildly comprehensive guide for you to follow. We’ve noted the headliners, a few Notts faces that’ll be making an appearance, and the cheapest possible ticket price. Summer sorted.


10-11 June, Manchester, tickets from £85
City-based festival with heavy tunes.
Big acts: Frank Ocean, BBK, A Tribe Called Quest
Notts link: London Grammar, Crazy P

21-25 June, Somerset, if you don’t have tickets, you aren’t going
The biggest, baddest and boldest.
Big acts: Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Ed Sheeran
Notts link: Sleaford Mods

13-16 July, Suffolk, tickets from £77.50
More than just the music.
Big acts: The 1975, Mumford and Sons, Fleet Foxes
Notts link: Alice Levine reading My Dad Wrote A Porno

Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe
4-28 August, Edinburgh
Theatre, comedy, music and literature – one city.
Big acts: Foil Arms and Hog, PJ Harvey
Notts link: Just The Tonic are hosting fifteen rooms

10-13 August, Hampshire, tickets from £202
The General Josie has been overthrown, and the city of Boomtown is now leaderless. There’s a revolution under way as the districts revel in their new found freedom. The next chapter of the Boomtown story asks you to fully immerse yourself in the town. Make your way around the districts, eyeing the debauched decadence of Mayfair, and the nuclear facility in Sector 6. Catch Notts heads Bud, Tumble Audio and Ferocious Dog playing their part an’ all.

V Festival
19-20 August, Shropshire and Essex, tIckets from £89
Pop-heavy, school leavers party vibes.
Big acts: P!nk, Jay-Z, Stormzy
Notts link: MistaJam

Leeds & Reading
25-27 August, ticket from £72
Muddy rock ‘n’ roll rite of passage.
Big acts: Kasabian, Eminem, Muse
Notts link: Young T and Bugsey

7-10 September, Dorset, tickets from £181
The ultimate hippy hideaway.
Big acts: The xx, Pet Shop Boys, Jamie T
Notts link: Origin One

Green Man
17-20 August, Wales, tickets from £180
Welsh settlement with music and comedy.
Big acts: Kate Tempest, The Shins, Josie Long
Notts link: Harleighblu


Pint of Science Festival
15-18 May, city centre venues, prices vary per event
The event that combines your love of learning with the comfort of a pint has had a growth spurt. The University of Nottingham and Impact have joined forces with the team behind Pint of Science to bring you a three-day festival, spread across six venues, all geared towards teaching you a thing or two. Learn about everything from love-seeking snails, to black holes and cosmic collisions, all in a familiarly boozy setting.

20 May, East Bridgford, tickets from £8
Charity younger sibling of Deerstock.
Big acts: Sons of Clogger, Skalinskis
Watch out for: Dirty Davey

Dot to Dot
28 May, city centre, tickets from £22
Nottingham’s original indie festival.
Big acts: Sundara Karma, Amber Run, The Growlers
Watch out for: The Big Moon, Eyre Llew

Castle Rock 40th Birthday Beer Festival and Yard Party
1-3 June, Castle Rock Brewery, tickets from £10
What better way to celebrate your birthday than to throw a three-day bash, complete with live music, good food and plenty of beer, and invite all your mates? That’s exactly what Castle Rock are doing for their fortieth this year. They’re pulling out all the stops, with forty-odd keg and cask beers on offer, performances from the likes of Fat Digester, Unknown Era and Lord Ha Ha, plus a bouncy castle for the kids. Sorted.

Detonate Festival
9-10 June, Colwick Park, tickets from £47.39
Almost twenty years after their first d’n’b night, Detonate Festival is making moves this year. Having expanded to a two-day event, you can expect to see the likes of Chase and Status, Wiley and Kano, plus stage takeovers from Krudd, Brickworks and Gangsta Wraps. The Nottingham Street Food Club are curating the scran, so you can fill your bellies good an’ proper. Keep an eye out for the floating stage, too…

Waterfront Festival
8 July, Canalhouse, tickets from £7
INFL’s canal-side charity bash.
Big acts: Unknown Era, Hallouminati, The Most Ugly Child
Watch out for: Mrs Green and the Rizlas, Chambers

22 July, tickets from £39.60
For one day, and one day only, Batman opens the doors to his gaff for the good folk of Hoodtown to revel in the grounds. Every year, the festival gathers the best in the local bizz, and beyond. The likes of the Kaiser Chiefs, Billy Ocean, and noughties favourite, Busted, are taking to the main stage. Plus, you can catch the very sweet Josh Wheatley, and rising star Georgie, doing their thing an’ all.

21-23 July, Newton (NG13), tickets from £52.50
Boutique music festival for families.
Big acts: Ruts DC, Transglobal Underground
Watch out for: Doggen All Stars, Def Goldblum

1-3 August, Victoria Embankment, free
When the weather is sweet, there’s probably no better way to spend the day than down by that there river. The entire stretch of Victoria Embankment is to be taken over by fairground rides, ice cream vans and mushy pea stalls once again, for a family- and purse-friendly affair. Catch the annual Dragon Boat race, and get involved in some top dollar street theatre as you wander down the way. And make sure you stick around on Saturday to catch the fireworks display.

19-20 August, Clumber Park, tickets from £27.50
The best in family-friendly fun.
Big acts: The Chuckle Brothers, S Club Party
Watch out for: Johnny and the Raindrops

MacMillan Fest
2 September, Rescue Rooms, tickets from £11
Lively and loud in aid of cancer sufferers.
Big acts: Line-up still to be announced, so watch this space.

Hockley Hustle
8 October, Hockley, tickets from £11
Town takeover raising big bucks for charity.
Big acts: Thirty-piece orchestra with Notts faces
Watch out for: Young Hustlers


Bearded Theory
25-28 May, Derbyshire, tickets from £110.25
Independent, family-friendly rock ‘n’ roll.
Big acts: Slaves, Seasick Steve, Skunk Anansie
Notts link: Ferocious Dog, Seas of Mirth

26-28 May, Leicestershire, tickets from £47.70
A tribute to the big gun.
Big acts: Guns 2 Roses, Letz Zep, Abba Revival
Notts link: Noose, Paul Walker, Kian Irwin

Gate To Southwell
8-11 June, Southwell, tickets from £20
Formerly known as the Southwell Folk Festival, organisers are pulling out all the stops for the four-day event this year. Pack up the kiddies, pitch the tent, and pray for good weather. While you grab a pint and listen to the likes of Jon Boden and Notts band Wholesome Fish, the sprogs can visit White Post Farm’s mini petting zoo, and get stuck into a show, courtesy of Handmade Theatre Company.

9-11 June, Donington, tickets from £83
Rock takes over at Donny Park.
Big acts: System of a Down, Aerosmith, Biffy Clyro
Watch out for: Hacktivist, The King Blues, The Dillinger Escape Plan

Forest Live
23-25 June, Sherwood, tickets from £33 per day

This summer, the powers that be – that’s the Forestry Commission, to you and I – have chosen Sherwood Forest to play host to a selection of musical talent over the summer, with the profits made from ticket sales pumped right back into protecting, improving and expanding England’s forests. Catch the likes of Olly Murs, Tom Jones and Elbow perform in exclusive, one-off events.

21-23 July, Sheffield, tickets from £46.20
Inner-city indie party.
Big acts: The Libertines, Metronomy, Primal Scream
Notts link: Past Primal Scream member, Barrie Cadogan, is from Beeston

Y Not
27-30 July, Derbyshire, tickets from £114.50
Makes Derby not so bad.
Big acts: Jake Bugg, Two Door Cinema Club, The Vaccines
Notts link: Kagoule, Heck, Rob Green, Daisy Godfrey

Southwell Music Festival
24-28 August, Southwell, prices vary per event
Southwell are pulling out all the stops this summer. They’re bringing around seventy of the UK and Europe’s best professional musicians and singers to the sleepy town. Young cellist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who gained the highest mark in the UK for his grade eight cello exam just three years after first picking up the instrument, is one act you don’t wanna miss. Check out the website for the full listings.

We have a favour to ask…

LeftLion is Nottingham’s meeting point for information about what’s going on in our city, from the established organisations to the grassroots. We want to keep what we do free to all to access, but increasingly we are relying on revenue from our readers to continue. Can you spare a few quid each month to support us?

Support LeftLion now