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Best music festival you've been to?


With the summer approaching I always like to se what music festivals are coming up.
Long gone are my days of all night raves and coming home after 4 days of unwashed hair, no voice left and amazing memories made. However…I would love to know what your favourite music festivals have been?? I’ve been to a few in my time and now that my kids are getting a bit bigger I know of a couple which could be potentially good to take them and their ear defenders along to.
So I’ll start off, by far, the best festival I ever attended was “Connect”. It was set in the grounds of Inveraray Castle on the banks of Loch Fyne
. https://www.inveraray-castle.com/
In my opinion a beautiful part of Scotland. It was an Eco festival, they encouraged you to take buses from Glasgow to cut the carbon footprint. The music line up was outstanding with Elbow, KT Tunstall, Amy Mc Donald, Sigur Ros, Franz Ferdinand, Kasbian, Paolo Nutini, manic street preachers, Michael Franti and Duffy to name a few.
What I loved most was the tents. They had a comedy tent, a literary tent, a coffee tent, a whisky tent, a fine foods tent (That was awesome), the usual silent disco (Who doesn’t LOVE a silent disco), a red bull tent which consisted of half naked men in kilts drumming :smiley:! There were 3 stages and if you wanted to take a shower, your mate had to cycle outside to generate enough power to heat the water.
It turned into a bit of a mudfest by the end of 3 days but by far was the best festival I ever attended.
I’d love to know what other people experiences of festivals have been like and which have been your favourite and why? Bonus points for photos :wink:

Hello! :) Introduce yourself

I’ve been to most of the big ones - Reading, Glastonbury, V, Latitude, Bestival.

V (in Chelmsford) is fine, but a bit soulless. The lineups have tended to be good, although I think Texas played every year I went. I think that pretty much says it all about that festival!

Latitude had a nice vibe about it. Very chilled out and a bit more Radio 4 than the others. Saw some good stuff there - Elbow, Sigur Ros, Franz Ferdinand, Seasick Steve, Grinderman. The highlight for me was a Sunday lunchtime show by Joanna Newsom. The perfect accompaniment to a mild hangover.

Reading - never again. I’ve had a day ticket 3 times and never had to pay for it (a friend of mine was a tour manager and got me freebies), and that’s about right for me. I couldn’t stand the place. I saw some good stuff, with Arcade Fire playing in a pretty small tent being the highlight. Pete Doherty’s Babyshambles were on directly afterwards, playing to a much bigger crowd. They were appalling.

Bestival was fine, but I think I was a bit long in the tooth for a ravey festival by then! Most of the good stuff seemed to be on at 2am, which didn’t mesh well with my energy levels. Also, the main stage was at the top of the hill - it didn’t work.

Glastonbury is/was my absolutely fave. I went to 4 consecutive Glastos starting with 1999 - the first 2 were before they put up the superfence. I can see why they did that - there were a ridiculous number of people on site those first 2 years, lots of crime, and the facilities really couldn’t cope with it. But, odd as it sounds, it was a lot more fun then! After that, you needed a high speed internet connection to get a ticket, such was the demand, and so the demographic changed enormously. I think the 2000 Glastonbury was the best festival I went to. I had a good gang with me, and saw Chemical Brothers, Cypress Hill, The Bluetones, Elbow, Leftfield, Death in Vegas, Muse, Coldplay, Embrace, and ended the festival watching Bowie completely own the stage with an incredible greatest hits set.

I’ve done a couple of smaller festivals too - Summer Sundae in Leicester was good fun, and I went to The Levellers’ Beautiful Days festival once, but only because I was playing at it.

I would also call out The Great Escape festival that takes place in Brighton every May. It’s not a camping/outdoor/field type event, but rather a city festival with multiple venues all showing gigs. You get a wristband and then go to whichever gigs you like across the city over 3 days. It’s all new music, so I’ve never heard of any of the bands, but it’s a great way to discover new stuff. I had to skip it this year, but will hopefully do it again in 2019.


I’m a regular at Greenman Festival in Wales. One of those proper ‘holiday’ festivals where I just plonk myself in a foldy chair on the hill (natural amphitheatre in front of the main stage - would be great for vines!) with the beautiful view doing trips to and from the bar (usually over 100 different ales/ciders available).

Very relaxed family atmosphere but with a good number of late-ish night bands/tents if you fancy. Sounds a lot like your one at Loch Fyne but with a slightly more ‘folky’ hit. It’s a ‘medium sized’ festival so approximately 6 music tents, lots of craft work stalls, literary tents/comedy tents/cinema tents as well and you can walk across the site in about 20 mins.

Oh and the music isn’t bad either :wink:


Green Man is the one I’ve always fancied, but never made it to yet. One day…


This sounds excellent @horsleym, right up my street.
Sounds like you are quite the festival expert @Bargainbob . I’ve never been to Glastonbury as felt it might be too big and like you said, the ticketing is a nightmare.
Has anyone ever been to secret garden party or the Big chill??


I think I’ve been to about ten Glastos over the years. I absolutely love it. It feeds my soul and am somewhat bereft without it this year. I used to go with mates and now take my kids and love it both ways. It is huge but I tend to avoid the big stages most of the time; you always find something incredible and unexpected.

I did Latitude once. Great if you’ve got very young children but I thought it rather soulless - too many people drinking skinny lattes for me.

We’re off to Green Man this year. Looking forward to John Grant and War on Drugs but i have to admit i don’t know most of the bands playing.


That’s a fair shout - the first time I went, I made the mistake of thinking I could easily get from one stage to another in 20 minutes. I ended up stuck in crowds instead of seeing bands. It’s much easier to navigate these days, but it still takes well over an hour to get from one end of the site to the other.

It is an incredible place though. I wouldn’t call myself a hippy, but spending half an hour just relaxing in the Healing Fields after a couple of days of hardcore festivaling is a pretty amazing experience. I will definitely go back some day.


Maybe we should do a “Community festival pilgrimage” :rofl:


Count me in! Boxes of wine all round :+1:


Just read this and it made me snort my tea (bad language alert for those of a nervous disposition!). Although now I go with my children I am becoming more like this weirdo!


Sounds familiar. I remember the days when I could look at the NME gig guide and know pretty much EVERY band on the list - which is most definitely not the case now!


Indeed. In many ways it’s a blessing. As @Bargainbob said earlier - when you simply have to see this band, then that band you spend you’re time trying to rush from stage to stage, and that always takes longer than you think. Now I relax and let what will be will be…


That sounds a good way to approach it, I like that way of looking at things.


It’s definitely the way to go. That 2000 Glastonbury involved no rushing around. We picked out what we really wanted to see and apart from that we just went where the mood took us. Invariably that meant lunchtime libations and a short afternoon siesta before a more lively evening!


Stones in the Park, 1969


My son’s band played two ‘Great Escape’ and three ‘Alternative Escape’ gigs last month.


Excellent! What’s his band called? My friends may well have seen them.


I used to love Womad when it was in Reading and I lived around the corner, could slip home for a shower! Also like small festivals like All Tomorrow’s Parties (cancelled for 2018). Used to be a Glastonbury regular in the 90’s, before it got too big, too mainstream and too expensive (to my mind).


That reminds me, I roadied at the Vincent Gallo-curated ATP a few years back for an LA band called Autolux. After their set we took all their kit offstage into this big ante-room alongside the main stage. While we were packing down I remember getting annoyed with this woman who was noisily jamming away through a practice amp. She was pretty good, but I probably wasn’t in the mood for loud guitars as I humped massive amps around.

Found out later it was PJ Harvey. :open_mouth::heart_eyes::scream: