With festivals across 2020 almost entirely cancelled, attention well and truly turned to 2021 several months ago. Here, Travel and Culture previews the best ones around with fingers firmly crossed the millions of anticipating them won’t have anything to worry about come the summer.

Words by: Hal Keelin

What’s Brighton got?

Boundary Brighton 

Starting our preview nice and local, Boundary is Brightons biggest electronic music party. Three stages at Stanmer Park on 25th September plays host to a run of house and bass acts.

Isle of Wight 

One of Britain’s oldest festivals, Isle of Wight festival continues to also be one of the most popular. Although discounted to its islanders, the festival this year has an extremely reasonable price considering its lineup regularly features some of the biggest names in the music world. Lewis Capaldi, Snow Patrol, Carly Rae Jepsen are just a few of the names confirmed so far for what’s sure to be a memorable 16th-19th September.

Black Deer Festival 

Prefer motorbikes, old cars and country music? Black Deer festival in Kent is another more local festival dedicated to Americana and Country Music. But, there’s also room for heavier Blues rock and songwriting workshops. Taking place in Kent’s historic Eridge Park between 25th and 27th June, Black Deer provides a welcome alternative scene to a festival season in fierce competition for the same dance and indie rock artists.

Whats on Up North?

Kendall Calling 

In the stunning lake district of Cumbria, Kendal Calling provides an alternative and diverse festival offering something slightly different to the local areas rich array of lake side tea rooms and mountain peaks. A family friendly festival packed with a range of musical styles, a market, cinema, and even art installations, Kendall Calling provides a tantalizing offer. Although their 2021 lineup is yet to be announced, many hope the bill will include may of the names that they sadly never got to see in 2020: Primal Scream, The Kooks and Dizzee Rascal among many more. 

Y Not Festival

In yet another National park, Y Not Festival takes place in the Peak District between 29th July -2nd August and has gradually assumed status as one of the better small festivals around. It is primarily a rock and indie festival, with a smattering of dance acts spread throughout. It’s not all about the music at Y Not though, as the festival that began as a house party in a field now boasts comedy gigs, paint fights, carnivals alongside a tent named ‘The Watchtower’ is host to a range of local ales.

What’s on in London? 

Cross the Tracks 

Selling out their 3rd release over the weekend, cross the tracks may just be one of the best events in London this September. Hosted in Brixton’s Brockwell Park on the 5th September, Cross the Tracks promises a lot for a one day festival. Boasting an array of emerging talents from the UK jazz scene – Saxophonist Nubya Garcia and percussionist and producer Yussef Dayes, to name a few – the lineup is nicely complimented by 40 street food traders and a craft beer fair.

Wide Awake 

A bit less jazzy than its London counterpart above, Wide Awake promises in other areas musically. They target themselves at the leftfield indie and post punk crowd (whatever that means) and I personally want some of the action with Black Midi, Tinariwen and Tropical Storm all announced so far.

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