Top 10 Music Festivals

No Glastonbury this year, but there are lots of other festivals to keep you rocking and rolling all summer.

Download (June 8-10)
More than 80,000 metalheads will descend on Donington Park in Leicestershire to mark ­Download Festival’s 10th anniversary. The highlight of the weekend will be Metallica, playing their iconic Black album in its entirety on the Saturday night. The boys from Black Sabbath have kissed and made up with Ozzy and they take to the main stage on Sunday night. Dance act The Prodigy headline the Friday night. Other bands to rock out to include Machinehead, Slash, Soundgarden and Megadeth
The deal: Day tickets from £82.50 ­ camping tickets from £190

Rock Ness (June 8-12)
The shores of Loch Ness provide the perfect setting for Ed Sheeran, ­Mumford & Sons and Noah & the Whale. Sassenachs who want to join the party should book the RockNess Express. Leaving from Euston on June 7 ­(back on the 11th) it arrives in ­Inverness (via Birmingham, Derby, York and Newcastle). The train will have music, food and drink for £225 including a VIP ticket to Rock Ness.
The deal: Day tickets from £64, camping from £159

Hop Farm (June 29-July 1)
No sponsorship, no branding, no VIP ­areas. It’s all about the music at this Kent festival, something that Bob Dylan ­appreciates… this year he’ll be making his only UK festival appearance here. Also appearing are Bruce Forsyth and his big band, Joan Armatrading, Peter Gabriel, Patti Smith, The Stranglers and Billy Ocean. Free entry for kids under 12.
The deal: Day tickets from £55, ­weekend tickets £162

Womad (July 5-8)
Peter Gabriel’s Womad has UK festivals in Bristol and Wiltshire this summer, but the Sicilian version promises to be extra special. For the first time it will be held at Palermo’s ­Teatro di Verdura, with performers from around the globe. Relaxed and mellow, there’s no camping and you can book hotel and festival tickets in one package.
The deal: Day tickets start at £8. A pass ­including four nights in a hotel and transport to ­Womad starts at £380pp

Wakestock (July 6-8)
A British festival with a pleasing tang of sea air. Held in the trendy Welsh seaside town of Abersoch on the Llyn Peninsula, it started as a celebration of wakeboarding, and contests are still held during the day. The music ­demands as much attention as the sport, ­especially when the sun goes down. This year Dizzee Rascal, Ed Sheeran and Katy B top the bill. This is strictly an over-16s event.
The deal: Day tickets from £45, camping tickets from £125

Benicassim (July 12-15)
Seen as a Spanish take on Glastonbury, you’ll definitely need to stock up on sunscreen for Benicassim – it’s held along the coast from Valencia in the tiny port of Costa del Azahar. Most performances start late evening and partying carries on until dawn. There’s always a British flavour here… this year the Stone Roses, Florence & the Machine and Jessie J perform, along with Bob Dylan.
The deal: Tickets from £155 with

Exit Festival (July 12-15)
This wildly popular festival is the only one that comes in under £100 for a ticket that covers all four days. Held around an 18th Century fortress at Novi Sad in Serbia, there are 20 stages and around 400 acts to catch, including Duran Duran, Guns N’ Roses and New Order. Situated on a bend in the ­Danube, the site has its own beach. Things are quiet during the day, allowing festival-goers to head into town for a bite to eat before partying through the night.
The deal: Tickets start at £95

Latitude (July 12-15)
Arty, off-beat and hugely popular, ­especially with parents of young kids. The slightly shambolic country estate in Suffolk sees an influx of Londoners (capacity is 35,000) for a weekend of music, comedy and theatre. The headliners are Paul Weller and Elbow. Rufus Wainwright is a new addition to the bill and Chinese ­pianist Lang Lang will perform on a ­floating platform on the lake. The children’s arena qualifies as its own mini-festival with ­performers, theatre and bushcraft sessions.
The deal: Day tickets start at £75, camping tickets start at £175, under-12s £5

Green Man (August 17-19)
Van Morrison is headlining this bucolic ­festival in the Brecon Beacons. Now in its 10th year, it’s not ­really about big-name acts, more about hanging out in the 20,000 acres of Glanusk Park, catching secret gigs and comedy acts. There’s literary input from nearby Hay-on-Wye, some serious foodie action, massage tents, a chillout treehouse and an outdoor hot tub.
The deal: Tickets from £145

Bestival (September 6-9)
Stevie Wonder is closing Bestival on the Isle of Wight. This is a whimsical festival – fancy dress is pretty much compulsory for the 50,000 attendees (this year’s theme is wildlife). You’ll also find classic cinema and a meditation area and performances from New Order and ­Orbital. Teenagers will only be able to enter with the grown-up who bought their ticket.
The deal: Camping tickets from £170


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