Summer is officially here: this week sees some of the UK’s newest and most established festivals throwing the window wide open to light nights, too many overpriced beers and trusty denim shorts, so we thought we’d compile a helpful little list of 17 totally brilliant things you could be doing. From Victoria Park’s All Point East Festival and the impending, inevitably triumphant live return of Karen O’s Yeah Yeah Yeahs to the cheap and cheerful three-city-wide Dot to Dot Festival, this week promises to be one filled with brilliant music, and hopefully, brilliant sunshine. Oh, and there’s a new Star Wars film…
Monday 21st May
SOUTH EAST ENGLAND
See: Bill Bailey
Where? G-Live, Guildford
How much? £29
Why? Comedy titan Bill Bailey has appeared on TV favourites from Never Mind the Buzzcocks to Black Books and his standup show Tinselworm: he’s side-achingly funny. Always riotously funny, and never boring, catch Bill on his UK tour from Monday.
YORKSHIRE AND THE HUMBER
See: Mahalia and Alicai Harley
Where? The Leadmill, Sheffield
How much? FREE!
Why? The chance to see Mahalia, one of the UK’s most promising and exciting new vocal talents, for FREE as part of BBC Music’s The Biggest Weekend Tour, in one of Northern England’s finest small venues, should not be passed up. Expect soaring, rich vocals infused with a heavy dose of R&B influence.
Tuesday 22nd May
See: The Rolling Stones (and Liam Gallagher)
Where? Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London
How much? General admission tickets have sold out – but you can still nab them on secondary ticket sites.
Why? It’s The Rolling Stones! And Liam Gallagher! If that fact alone isn’t enough to persuade you, just think of the heavy ticket price as a life experience AND bragging investment – your friends are going to be jealous, your dad’s going to be jealous, and above all, you’re going to remember seeing ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ performed live for the rest of your days (even if it does mean going without food for a few weeks).
See: Our Girl
Where? Moth Club, Hackney
How much? £8
Why? With dreamy vocals, hypnotic riffs and sweet-with-an-edge lyrics, Our Girl are definitely one to watch. Catch them at the wonderfully intimate Moth Club before they embark on bigger things.
Where? Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow
How much? £16.50
Why? Aussie boys DMA’s have amassed a loyal fan base this side of the Pond, and it’s easy to see why. Gallagher-brother reminiscent swagger, catchy choruses and colossal hit single ‘Delete’ are all reason enough to head down to the Barrowlands on Tuesday and catch the boys in action.
Wednesday 23rd May
See: Solo: A Star Wars Story
Where? Cinemas Nationwide
How much? Prices depend on your local cinema
Why? People really like Star Wars, don’t they? The latest instalment in the franchise is the origin story of a young Han Solo (played by Alden Ehrenreich) and Chewbacca, with a star-studded lineup including the Mother of Dragons herself, Emilia Clarke, and everyone’s favourite multi-talented chameleon, Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino).
Where? Heaven, Westminster
How much? £15.40
Why? The green-haired singer rose to fame in 2013 after appearing on Finland’s talent show Idols. Years later, she’s been signed to Universal Music, has one of the coolest Instagram accounts in existence, and has recently done a Live Lounge performance with Dua Lipa, Charli XCX, MØ and Zara Larsson. Alma is sure to set the world alight with her fun bops and eclectic on-stage persona in 2018.
Thursday 24th May
See: Trainspotting Live
Where? The Vaults Theatre, Lambeth
How much? £25
Why? Perhaps the most controversial yet revered Scottish/British modern novel and film of our time, Trainspotting has long divided and excited critics, especially since its film adaptation by Danny Boyle. This live interpretation of the story of a group of heroin-addicted friends in Edinburgh trying to ‘make it’, or merely make it through the day, is accompanied by a live DJ playing pre-and-post show. A truly unique production, The Vaults’s interpretation of Mark Renton and co’s story lays testament to the ongoing relevance of Trainspotting – don’t miss out!
Any other dates? Trainspotting Live is on daily at The Vaults throughout May and June 2018.
Friday 25th May
See: All Points East Festival
Where? Victoria Park, Hackney
How much? £59.95 (or £169.95 for a full weekend ticket)
Why? East London’s newest festival, All Points East is a new-for-2018 series of events and music in Victoria Park. Friday 25th May promises one of the summer’s strongest lineups, with headline sets from Brooklyn dance-rock heroes LCD Soundsystem and fellow New Yorkers, Yeah Yeah Yeahs. If the return of Karen O to British shores isn’t enough to tempt you, you can also catch sets from Phoenix, Glass Animals, and George Fitzgerald, to name a few.
Any other dates? All Points East is also headlined by The xx (with Lorde, Lykke Li and Rex Orange County) on Saturday 26th and Bjork (with Father John Misty and Beck) on Sunday 27th.
Go to: We Are FSTVL
Where? Damyns Hall Aerodrome, Upminster
How much? Single day general admission tickets have sold out but you can buy a VIP ticket from £85.50, and standard camping tickets start at £179.50.
Why? The award winning festival has it’s biggest lineup yet, with over 300 acts playing across the weekend. Highlights come in the form of Pendulum, Gorgon City and Eric Prydz, as well as Bugzy Malone and Yxng Bane.
See: The Wedding Present
Where? O2 Academy, Birmingham
How much? £18
Why? For a chance to hear seminal album ‘George Best’ live. The Wedding Present’s live shows are always euphoric.
YORKSHIRE AND THE HUMBER
See: World Island Festival, 2018
Where? Globe Road, Leeds
How much? £35 for a single day or £104.50 for weekend
Why? Leeds’ premier festival has an incredible lineup including Friday headliner Sampha, London lad Loyle Carner heading up Saturday and psychedelic titans Unknown Mortal Orchestra taking the reins on Sunday. Leeds’ very own Nightmares on Wax and dance-soul heavyweights Jungle also feature.
Saturday 26th May
YORKSHIRE AND THE HUMBER
See: Slam Dunk Festival (North)
Where? Various venues, Leeds
How much? £53.90
Why? If nostalgic pop-punk and sweaty moshpits are your thing, Slamdunk is surely your dream way to spend a Saturday. See live performances from Good Charlotte, Jimmy Eat World, Taking Back Sunday and Four Year Strong, and plenty more.
Any other dates? Slam Dunk Festival rolls into Hatfield Park (Hatfield) on Sunday 27th May and to Birmingham’s NEC on Monday the 28th.
See: Father John Misty
Where? Piece Hall, Halifax
How much? £41.25
Why? Father John Misty’s only UK headline show this summer, the backdrop of Halifax’s stunning, outdoor, Piece Hall will provide the perfect marriage to Misty’s soothing tones and spellbinding lyrics.
MANCHESTER AND THE NORTH WEST
See: Strange Waves III Festival
Where? Albert Hall, Manchester
How much? £27.50
Why? A psychedelia/shoegaze fan’s perfect Saturday, Strange Waves III will feature sets from headliners Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and Deerhunter, Black Lips and Boy Azooga.
Sunday 27th May
See: Love Saves The Day Festival 2018
Where? Eastville Park, Bristol
How much? £54.45
Why? Saturday may be sold out, but there’s a few tickets left for Sunday’s stellar offering, with sets from Sampha, David Rodigan, Hot Since 82 and Loyle Carner providing musical gems to accompany one of the coolest festivals in the South of England; expect crazy fancy dress, street-food galore and quaint decorations.
See: Dot to Dot Festival 2018
How much? £14.30
Why? Catch The Horrors, Dermot Kennedy, Pale Waves, Peach Pit and others in various venues across Nottingham for another annual installment of Dot to Dot Festival.
Words: Poppie Platt