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The Best Music Festivals in the UK 2021

The Best Music Festivals in the UK 2021

Luke Nightingale | Features & Interviews
With the hope that 2021's festival season will still go ahead, we pick out 20 of our favourite UK music festivals that should be on every music fan's radar.


Festival lineup (2021): deadmau5, Carl Cox, Martin Garrix, Adam Beyer, Timmy Trumpet, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Peggy Gou, Eric Prydz

The UK's foremost dance music festival, Creamfields has it all when it comes to electronic music. Whether you're a fan of house, techno, EDM, drum and bass or trance, you're in good hands at Creamfields as each and every year the Daresbury festival curates an epic lineup of the biggest and best in dance. 

When & where: 26th - 29th August 2021; Daresbury Estate, Warrington

Find out more and book Creamfields 2021

Isle of Wight

Festival lineup (2021): Lewis Capaldi, Lionel Richie, Duran Duran, Snow Patrol, Jess Glynne, Primal Scream, Kaiser Chiefs, Pete Tong

One of the UK's oldest and most historic music festivals, a lot has happened to the Isle of Wight Festival over the past 50 years. From attracting 700,000 people to see Jimi Hendrix in 1970, to subsequently being banned until 2002, it has since welcomed music icons such as Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie and The Rolling Stones. Nowadays its great for families thanks to its diverse modern and nostalgic lineups, as well as expansive programme of theatre, film, comedy, activities and games.

When & where: 17th - 20th June 2021; Seaclose Park, Isle of Wight

Find out more and book Isle of Wight Festival 2021


Festival lineup (2020): Tyler, the Creator, Skepta, Lewis Capaldi, Khalid, Jorja Smith, Anderson .Paak, Bicep, Robyn

Manchester's very own Parklife is now a major part of the UK's music scene as it consistently attracts the biggest names in dance and alternative music to the city's Heaton Park. House, techno, garage, drum and bass, grime and hip-hop are all represented across Parklife's eight stages.

When & where: 12th - 13th June 2021; Heaton Park, Manchester

Find out more about Parklife 2021


Festival lineup (2020): Sir Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, Dua Lipa, Fatboy Slim, Diana Ross, Lana Del Rey, FKA Twigs

The boss of all UK festivals and a major player on the worldwide festival stage, Glastonbury's hallowed Pyramid Stage could be compared to the Holy Grail of festival stages. But that's just part of the festival, with the "real Glastonbury" taking place away from its main music stages. Take a wander around Glasto and lose yourself in the depths of Shangri-La, up at Stone Circle, in the wilderness of The Glade or throughout the Healing Fields. 

When & where: 23rd - 27th June 2021; Worthy Farm, Pilton

Reading & Leeds

Festival lineup (2020): Rage Against The Machine, Liam Gallagher, Stormzy, Lewis Capaldi, Migos, Run the Jewels, Courteeners, Two Door Cinema Club

A rite of passage for all young festival-goers in the UK, Reading and Leeds festivals have made the August bank holiday weekend their own with their huge rock-centric lineups that now feature artists from the worlds of indie, grime and dance. Ask any experienced festival-goer and you're guaranteed they'll have some fond stories of their times at either.

When & where: 27th. 29th August 2021; Little John's Farm, Reading & Bramham Park, Leeds

Find out more about Reading Festival 2021

Find out more about Leeds Festival 2021

South West Four

Festival lineup (2020): Major Lazer, The Streets, Kano, Krept & Konan, Rudimental, Kelis, Dizzee Rascal, Andy C

South London dance gem South West Four is the capital's go-to dance destination come August bank holiday weekend. Each and every summer thousands of fans flock to Clapham Common for party alongside their favourite artists underneath the beaming London sun, before heading out into the city to one of the countless afterparties. 

When & where: August 2021; Clapham Common, London

Find out more about South West Four 2021

Junction 2

Festival lineup (2020): Jon Hopkins [live], Adam Beyer, Four Tet, Ben Klock, Amelie Lens, Nina Kraviz, Blawan, Maceo Plex

Another London favourite is Junction 2. Held our west in Boston Manor Park, quite literally part-underneath a motorway junction, the festival is a haven for techno fans. It's curated by some of the scene's foremost brands, including Adam Beyer's Drumcode label, and recently expanded to two days to allow it explore beyond its four-to-the-floor techno roots and into genre's such as house and electro.

When & where: 4th - 5th June 2021; Boston Manor Park, London

Find out more about Junction 2 Festival 2021

All Points East

Festival lineup (2020): Tame Impala, Kraftwerk 3D, Massive Attack, Caribou, Iggy Pop, Glass Animals, Johnny Marr, Neneh Cherry, Nils Frahm

A relatively new addition to the London festival scene, All Points East has well and truly made its mark on the capital, and beyond. Since its inception in 2018, the festival has welcomed the likes of The Strokes, The Chemical Brothers, Björk and LCD Soundystem to Victoria Park for a set of six shows across two weekends each May.

When & where: May 2021; Victoria Park, London

Find out more about All Points East 2021

BST Hyde Park

Festival lineup: Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, Pearl Jam, Little Mix, Post Malone

The Queen of the huge outdoor concert, BST Hyde Park is all about showcasing the biggest and best in music in London's most famous park. Think the likes of Stevie Wonder, Florence + the Machine, Eric Clapton and Bruno Mars.

When & where: July 2021; Hyde Park, London

Find out more about BST Hyde Park 2021


Festival lineup (2021): Courteeners, Liam Gallagher, Lewis Capaldi, Ian Brown, Foals, Snow Patrol, Sam Fender, Keane

Since picking up the mantle from T in the Park, TRNSMT has quickly become Scotland's number one music festival. But as well as bringing those household names to Glasgow, TRNSMT is also a great place to discover the hottest new artists coming through in the indie scene thanks to its now vital King Tut's Stage.

When & where: 9th - 11th July 2021; Glasgow Green, Glasgow

Find out more about and book TRNSMT Festival 2021

Download Festival

Festival lineup (2020): KISS, Iron Maiden, System of a Down, Korn, Deftones, The Offspring, Disturbed, Volbeat

Rock and metal fans should look no further than Download Festival. It took over from the legendary Monsters of Rock Festival at Derby's Donington Park, and kept taking things up and up. Its three days packed full of the biggest names from the 70s right up to the newest generation, and if the heavier end of the spectrum is your thing then Download will take a heck of a lot of beating.

When & where: 4th - 6th June 2021; Donington Park, Derby


Festival lineup (2020): A$AP Rocky, Lil Uzi Vert, Skepta, D-Block Europe, Meek Mill, Young Thug, AJ Tracey, Burna Boy

It's telling that Wireless Festival sells out almost immediately year after year. But once you see it's lineup it's easy to see why. Quite literally a who's who of hip-hop, grime, R&B and rap, Wireless is without doubt the number one urban music festival in the UK.

When & where: 2nd - 4th July 2021; Finsbury Park, London

Find out more about Wireless Festival 2021

El Dorado

Festival lineup (2020): Groove Armada, Earth, Wind & Fire Experience, Hybrid Minds, Shy FX, Kojey Radical, Skream, High Contrast, D Double E

A magical world of shenanigans, El Dorado lays on a weekend of delightful and surreal surprises at its home in the beautiful grounds of Eastnor Castle. Curated by the creative minds behind Cirque Du Soul, the festival welcomes festival-goers to jump head first into its its immersive world and enjoy its programme of music, wellness, art, theatre and all kinds of outlandish games.

When & where: 1st - 4th July 2021; Eastnor Castle, Ledbury

Find out more about El Dorado Festival 2021


Festival lineup (2020): Skepta, Kings of Leon, The 1975, Dizzee Rascal, The Kooks, Loyle Carner, Mura Masa, Damian Marley

Music and surf fans should get to know Boardmasters. Held each summer down on the Cornish coast, the festival is all about bringing together music, surfing, wellbeing and the outdoors. While we can party hard to some of our favourite artists in indie, pop, grime, drum and bass, house, rock and more up at Watergate Bay, a quick jaunt down to Fistral Beach and we'll find international surfers competing in professional competitions.

When & where: 11th - 15th August 2021; Fistral Beach & Watergate Bay, Newquay

Find out more about Boardmasters 2021


Festival lineup (2020): HAIM, Liam Gallagher, The Chemical Brothers, Michael Kiwanuka, The Lumineers, Keane, Charlie XCX, James Vincent McMorrow

Held in a beautiful corner of the Suffolk countryside, Latitude is a festival for the refined festival-goer. A great one for families, Latitude it way more than just a music festival, although its music lineup is as enviable as can be. But Latitude really comes to life beyond its music, with festival-goers able to enjoy outdoor theatre, opera on a lake, woodland film premiers, dance troupes, literary greats, artistic wonders and a dedicated children's area.

When & where: July 2021, Henham Park, Southwold

Find out more about Latitude 2021


Festival lineup (2020): Wu-Tang Clan, Underworld, The Libertines, Kano, Damian Marley, Mura Masa, Kelis, Orbital

An immersive world of vibrancy, theatre, fantasy, escapism and creativity, Boomtown is an incredible assault on your senses. Consisting of multiple districts with a different emphasis, this roots, reggae and bass-driven festival will have you relaxing to folk one moment, and hurtling at 180 BPM the next.

When & where: 
11th - 15th August 2021; Matterley Estate, Winchester


Festival lineup (2020): Tyler, the Creator, Disclosure, Khalid, Anderson .Paak, Jorja Smith, Charli XCX, Hot Chip, FKA Twigs

Co-founded by Groove Armada as a club night way back in 2002, Lovebox is now one of London's most vibrant and hip music festivals. Nowadays it puts together a diverse lineup of house, techno, hip-hop, R&B and grime for a weekend inside west London's Gunnersbury Park.

When & where: 11th - 13th June 2021; Gunnersbury Park, London

Find out more about Lovebox 2021

Southport Weekender

Festival lineup (2021): Kerri Chandler, Louie Vega, David Rodigan, Roger Sanchez, Kenny Dope, Moodymann, Gilles Peterson, Mr. Scruff

Dubbed the "world's friendliest party", Southport Weekender takes over Bognor Regis' Butlins Resort for three nights of epic parties of house, soul, garage and disco by the seaside.

When & where: 19th - 21st March 2021; Butlin's Resort, Bognor Regis

Find out more about Southport Weekender 2021

Nass Festival

Festival lineup (2021): The Streets, Andy C, Shy FX, Holy Goof, Hybrid Minds, Kings of the Rollers, SaSaSaS, Jaykae

NASS Festival is the UK’s only professional action sport and music festival, as it celebrates music, street art, skate and BMX at the Bath & West Showground alongside artists from the worlds of drum and bass, hip-hop, grime, house and more.

When & where: 8th - 11th July 2021; Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet

Kendal Calling

Festival lineup (2020): Foals, Stereophonics, Primal Scream, Supergrass, Blossoms, Craig David presents TS5, The Kooks, Dizzee Rascal

Each summer the beautiful Cumbrian Lake District plays host to a diverse lineup of rock, indie and dance music, alongside quirky art installations, pop-up bars, a market, and even a cinema. What's more, Kendal Calling is also a perfect festival to take the family to, thanks to its dedicated kid's area that showcases all kinds of entertainment throughout the weekend.

When & where: 29th July – 1st August 2021; Lowther Deer Park, Penrith

Find out more about Kendal Calling 2021

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The Best Music Festivals in the UK 2021

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