England has gone music festival crazy. Every weekend from June to September now sees some kind of musical happening – and in July and August literally dozens of outdoor events take place simultaneously in parks, town centres, farms, beaches and disused airfields up and down the country, often drawing tens of thousands of people to camp out for a weekend of partying under (hopefully) sunny skies. Here are ten to choose from; check wwww.efestivals.co.uk for details of hundreds more.
Sunrise Celebration (early June; wwww.sunrisecelebration.com). Hippyish “festival of organic arts and culture”, held in Somerset as a prelude to summer.
Isle of Wight Festival (mid-June; wwww.isleofwightfestival.com). Three days of established rock and pop acts for thirty/forty-something groovers.
Glastonbury (late June; wwww.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk). Top-class musical line-up – nothing can dampen the trippy-hippy vibe.
Latitude (mid-July; wwww.latitudefestival.co.uk). Genteel, family-friendly fest, strong on the wider arts and comedy, in a gorgeous part of Suffolk.
Secret Garden (mid-July; wuk.secretgardenparty.com). A gorgeous lake and wacky art installations distinguish this genial Cambridgeshire hippie-fest.
WOMAD (late July; wwww.womad.org). Renowned three-day world music event at Charlton Park, outside Malmesbury, Wiltshire.
Global Gathering (late July; wwww.globalgathering.com). A weekend of top DJs and the odd crossover live act at Long Marston Airfield near Stratford-upon-Avon.
Cambridge Folk Festival (late July/early Aug; wwww.cambridgefolkfestival.co.uk). Mellow and unpretentious folk festival that’s still going strong almost five decades after it began.
Leeds Festival (late Aug; wwww.leedsfestival.com). Raucous weekend of rock, punk and indie acts, both new and established.
Bestival (early Sept; wwww.bestival.net). Quirky event on the Isle of Wight, featuring big names, wild electronica and fancy dress.