The best new artists to catch during festival season 2018

Get on these lot early

Festivals – they’re not just great for watching some of the best and biggest bands in the world, but for discovering your new favourite artist too. In the fields of the UK and Europe this summer you’ll find a ton of potential candidates vying for a place in your record collection and your heart. And who knows, maybe in a few years time you’ll be able to look back on those moments of discovery as you watch your chosen ones headlining. Here’s NME‘s tips for the best new artists to check out this festival season.


Who: New York’s most exciting new band who make tongue-in-cheek post-punk for the digitally-reliant generation.
Key track: ‘Jack In Titanic’
Where to see them: Latitude, July 13.

Black Honey


Who: Brightoners who look and sound like they’ve stepped out of a Tarantino film. Recent single ‘Bad Friends’ hints they’re aiming for gigantic things this year.
Key track: ‘Bad Friends’
Where to see them: 2000 Trees (July 12), Latitude (July 15), Truck Festival (July 21), Tramlines (July 22), Kendal Calling (July 26-29), Rize Festival (August 18), Bingley Music Live (August 31-September 1), Electric Fields (September 1).

Just Banco

Who: Matty Healy-approved Manchester rapper who calls his slick mix of R&B, grime and hip-hop “Trapanese”.
Key track: ‘Ashleigh’
Where to see them: Wireless Festival (July 6)


Who: Bristol punks who are politically-minded and brilliantly fun, and can turn any room (or tent) into complete carnage in seconds.
Key track: ‘Colossus’
Where to see them: Kosmonaut Festival, Germany (June 29), Down The Rabbit Hole, Netherlands (June 30), Rock Werchter, Belgium (July 8), EXIT Festival, Serbia (July 13), Latitude (July 15), Electric Castle, Romania (July 22), Paléo, Switzerland (July 18), Leopallooza XII (July 27-29), No Borders No Nations, Switzerland (July 27-29), Bestival (August 2-6), FILF @ Rebellion Blackpool (August 2), Visions Festival (August 4), Boomtown Fair (August 9), Cabaret Vert, France (August 25), Electric Fields (September 1), End Of The Road (August 30-September 2).



Who: London-based Irish trio who make sugary sweet indie-pop and have already been given the seal of approval by The Maccabees’ Felix White and, erm, Bono? NBD.
Key track: ‘Pretty Pure’
Where to see them: Deer Shed Festival (July 20), Truck Festival (July 21), Kendal Calling (July 26-30), Y Not Festival (July 28), Neverworld (August 2-5), Bestival (August 2-5), All Together Now (August 3-5).

Boy Azooga

Who: The sound of Cardiff musician Davey Newington’s record collection come to life and melded together by his own imagination. Expect hints of psych-pop, Nigerian funk, Krautrock, soul and more.
Key track: ‘Face Behind Her Cigarette’
Where to see them: West End Festival (June 24), Latitude (July 14), Deer Shed Festival (July 21), Bluedot (July 22), Port Eliot Festival (July 26-29), Lunar Festival (July 27), JoeFest (August 10-12), Green Man (August 16-19), Sea Change Festival (August 24-25), End Of The Road (August 30-September 2).


Who: South Londoner Rachel Keens who’s collaborated with Charli XCX, Jax Jones, Avelino, Stefflon Don and more, and makes some of the catchiest R&B around.
Key track: ‘Wife Me’
Where to see them: Wireless Festival (July 7), Boardmasters Festival (August 10), Rize Festival (August 18), Ibiza Rocks (August 30).



Who: Inventive London bunch who make the kind of lo-fi indie that’s hard to pin down and is exhilarating in its curiousness.
Key track: ‘2 Down 2 Dance’
Where to see them: Latitude (July 13), Visions Festival (August 4).

Nilüfer Yanya

Who: “Soulful indie one piece from London,” reads Nilüfer’s Facebook bio and she’s pretty much bang on. We’d add that even though she’s all by herself (or occasionally joined by saxophonist Jazzi Bobby), she’s still one of the most arresting, impactful performers you’ll see this year.
Key track: ‘Thanks 4 Nothing’
Where to see them: Visions Festival (August 4), MS Dockville, Germany (August 17-19), End Of The Road (August 30-September 2).

Hardy Caprio

Who: The Croydon native is one of the UK’s fastest-rising new rappers, who scored a Top 40 hit with his track ‘Rapper’ earlier this year.
Key track: ‘Rapper’
Where to see them: Wireless Festival (July 7), Leeds Festival (August 24), Reading Festival (August 26).