Best of the Fest: Top festival picks of this summer
Grim up north? Shurrup, daft sod. Festival season is nigh and here are just some of the many fine bashes taking place in or within a short drive of the Steel City which won’t cost you an arm and a leg. So grab yer wellies, a warm tinny or two, and get royally stuck in!
On yer doorstep
Where: Hillsborough Park
When: 20-22 July
Headliners: Stereophonics, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Craig David’s TS5
Who else: Clean Bandit, Blossoms, Jake Bugg, Shed Seven, De La Soul, Milburn, Everything Everything
£££: £79 full weekend pass (Tier 6)
Sheff’s biggest and longest-running festival turns 10 this year, t’owd lad. It’s all change in 2018 with a move to the larger-capacity venue of Hillsborough park, a number of brand new stages, plenty of local talent, and a greater emphasis on showcasing the crème de la crème of the city’s finest food and drink traders. That’s before we even get started on the legendary after parties…
Where: Various Sheffield locations
When: 7-12 June
£££: Prices vary between specific events but full weekend passes are also available
The UK’s premier documentary festival is a celebration of the art and business of documentary and non-fiction storytelling in all its forms, including film, series, audio, interactive technology, augmented reality, virtual reality and live events. It welcomes over 32,000 people a year and will feature guest speakers such as Vicky McClure, Guy Martin and Mark Cousins, plus live performances from GAIKA, Reeps One and Weish. The full line-up will be announced on the website on 3rd May.
Peace in the Park
Where: Ponderosa Park
£££: Free to attend, but donations welcome (see website)
Organised by a wide group of volunteers – artists, musicians, students, event’s organisers and other everyday Sheffield folk – coming together in a not-for-profit collective and promoting humanity, diversity and peace. It’s a family-friendly event with plenty of live music, DJs, arts and an unlimited supply of good vibes.
Where: Don Valley Bowl
When: 2 June
Headliners: Bad Manners, The Pigeon Detectives, The Christians
£££: Adults (16+) £25 // Juniors (8+) £8 // Kids free
A family-friendly all-dayer that has gone from strength to strength over the years, necessitating a move to a larger-capacity Don Valley last year. The local scene is well-represented too, with the likes of Cellar Door Moon Crow, Velcro Teddybears and Seamonsters on the bill.
Y Not Festival
Where: Pikehall, Peak District
When: 26-29 July
Headliners: The Libertines, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Jamiroquai
Who else: Kaiser Chiefs, Manic Street Preachers, The Wombats, Razorlight, Circa Waves, The Amazons
£££: £119.50 full weekend pass (Tier 5)
A rain-soaked Y Not had a bit of a ‘mare last year, let’s be honest. But organisers have been keen to learn from any lessons and alongside a whole host of changes and improvements to the site have announced one of their biggest line-ups to date. Throw into the mix the fact that it’s situated less than an hour’s drive from Sheffield city centre in a picturesque Peak District setting and you can’t go too far wrong.
Where: The Showground, Bakewell
When: 17-19 August
£££: £20 weekend pass // Camping prices vary
The Thornbridge Brewery presents the return of the three-day Peakender: three days dedicated to the best UK breweries, fine street food, live music and entertainment – all set in the iconic location of Bakewell Showground, offering stunning views of the Peaks. There are also a range of outdoor activities including climbing, caving and abseiling and opportunities to camp (or glamp, if yer feeling fancy) overnight.
Where: Sheffield Parkway
When: 4 August
Headliners: Caspa, DJ Hype, Holy Goof, My Nu Leng, Rudimental, Kurupt FM
£££: Standard ticket £35 (+£3.50 booking fee)
Arriving at the home of bassline this summer, this outdoor all-day festival will bring over 100 artists across five stages and celebrates a range of genres including house, drum & bass and UK garage.
Where: Friden Grange, Peak District
When: 15-17 June
£££: £35 3-day pass/£20 day pass
Dress to impress at this award-winning three-day boutique festival dedicated to family fun, glorious vintage, food, drink and cycling. The ‘world’s most handsome bike ride’ takes an exciting – if not quite gruelling – tour of the picturesque peak district; while over on the festival side of things, you’ve got live music all weekend ranging from Brit Award nominee Beth Rowley to big brass and swing bands.
Music in the Gardens
Location: Botanical Gardens
When: 29 June – 1 July
Headliners: Ultimate Bowie, Michael – The Legacy, The Magic of Motown
£££: Daily tickets £22 adult (17+)/ £11 child (under 16)
The Rotary Club of Sheffield is at it again and has put together another fundraising garden party to remember – this year raising for Weston Park Cancer Charity. Music in the Gardens was originally a one-day event and has grown into a four-day festival bringing together a wide range of music, ranging from world-renowned acts to tribute bands to full orchestra collaborations.
Sheffield Food Festival
Where: Sheffield city centre
When: 26-28 May
Sheffield’s largest free event returns for its eighth year, bringing more than 40,000 hungry stomachs to the city centre. A wide selection of tasty stalls and events will spread across the Peace Gardens, Winter Gardens, Millennium Square, Town Hall Square and Fargate. There won’t be many cuisines not catered for, and the popular Eats, Treats and Beats Village returns to provide a chill spot for craft beer, cocktails and tunes.
Where: Cliffe Park
When: 4 August
Headliners: Liberty Ship, StoneRun, Rib Eye, Jungle Lion, JayRar
Dronfest prides itself on being a well-established, family-friendly, not-for-profit music festival. After raising more than £10,000 for a wide range of charities in 2017, the event is now in its 19th year and committed as ever to showcasing local talent across a range of genres.
Heading over yonder, eh? Here are a few decent shouts…
Where: Jodrell Bank Observatory
When: 7-9 July
Headliners: The Chemical Brothers, The Flaming Lips, Future Islands
£££: £159 (first release)
An intergalactic festival of music, science, art, culture and space exploration – all set in the grounds of a deep space observatory. Where you can catch Richard Dawkins, Public Service Broadcasting, Joy Orbison and David O’Doherty live – possibly on the same day!
Where: Baldersby Park, North Yorkshire
When: 20-22 July
Headliners: Goldfrapp, Drenge, Field Music
£££: Adult £145 / 6-15 years £50 / 3-5 years £20 / 2 years and under free
One of the best family festivals in the UK, you’ve got everything ranging across music, comedy, sports, arts and cinema crammed into one weekend. Away from the headliners, you can catch the best comedy, spoken word and literature talks or get involved with the many science and crafts workshops taking place.
Slam Dunk Festival
Where: Leeds City Centre
When: 26 May
Headliners: Good Charlotte, Jimmy Eat World, Lower Than Atlantis, Taking Back Sunday, PVRIS, Reel Big Fish
£££: £49 weekend / £55 with afterparty
The incredibly good value touring pop-punk, ska punk, metal and alt-rock fest makes its return with another mahoosive host of bands to knock your socks off.
Cocoon in the Park
Where: Temple Newsam, Leeds
When: 14th July
Who: Sven Väth, Seth Troxler, B2B Craig Richards, Tale of Us, Enzo Siragusa
£££: £49.50 (third release)
One day, one night, one stage – one of the best dance all-dayers returns with another impressive array of the biggers and best acts from the worlds of house, techno and dance.
Dot to Dot Festival
Where: Manchester // Nottingham
When: 25 May // 27 May
Who: The Horrors, Pale Waves, Marika Hackman, Dermot Kennedy, Ady Suleiman
Ridiculously well-priced and back boasting another impressive lineup, Dot to Dot brings another mix of established performers and seasoned and rising talent on tour each year.