The Top Ten UK Music Festivals In 2016

By Ben Barker - March 11 2016


Music festivals are one of the highlights of the British summer – and rightly so. The big players like Glastonbury, Download, and T in the Park are virtually British institutions, each with their own unique style. Here are the top ten UK music festivals that any self-respecting music lover should seriously consider attending. Get outside, rough it or go glamping, wave a glow stick or two if that’s your thing, and don’t forget your wellies!


1. Glastonbury (Somerset, 22-26 June) surpasses all others as the UK’s favourite music festival. It attracts around 135,000 music-lovers per day and is ranked as the second biggest festival in the world. Coldplay, ELO, Muse, and PJ Harvey are confirmed as headliners for 2016.


2. T in the Park (Perthshire, 8-10 July) is the UK’s second biggest festival, attracting an estimated 85,000 guests each day. The Stone Roses, Calvin Harris, and Red Hot Chili Peppers are headlining the 2016 event, with Jamie xx, The 1975, Faithless, and plenty more contributing to a typically strong line-up.


3. Reading & Leeds (24-26 August) attracts around 75,000 visitors per day. Previously known as Reading Festival and the Carling Festival, it retains its original ethos of catering for alternative rock and metal fans. Top acts in 2016 include Foals, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Biffy Clyro.


4. Download Festival (Leicestershire, 10-12 June) brings in 37,000 music fans per day. Headliners in the early years, when the festival was known as Monsters of Rock, included Rainbow, Judas Priest, and AC/DC. The line-ups remain monstrously good for rock and metal fans, with Rammstein, Black Sabbath, Korn, and many more appearing in 2016.


5. Isle of Wight Festival (9-12 June) has a solid rock and roll history; the 1970 line-up included Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Joni Mitchell, and The Who. The 2016 festival is headlined by Queen, as well as Stereophonics and Faithless, with other performers spanning the rock/pop spectrum.



6. Latitude (Suffolk, 14-17 July) is a relative newcomer to the UK festival scene. The first Latitude was held in 2006, and featured Snow Patrol and Mogwai. Latitude’s mellow vibe and picturesque location are complemented by a diverse arts and stand-up comedy strand, making it popular with families as well as the usual festival crowd. The Maccabees, The National, and New Order headline in 2016.


7. V Festival (Staffordshire/Chelmsford, 20-21 August) is celebrating its 21st birthday this year. It has proved a hit with mainstream music fans, and this year’s stellar line-up is headed by Justin Bieber and Rihanna.



8. Green Man (Wales, 18-21 August) is a medium sized festival with a family-friendly hippy ethos. Amid the stunning vistas of the Brecon Beacons National Park, 2016’s festival invites Belle and Sebastian, James Blake, and Wild Beasts to share the mystical bliss.


9. Womad (Wiltshire, 28-31 July) is the UK’s most famous world music festival. In fact, the name is an acronym for World of Music, Arts, and Dance. Headliners for 2016 include George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic and Baaba Maal. Jazz, Blues, and rock acts also play at Womad.


10. Boardmasters (Newquay, 10-14 August) celebrates sun, sea, surf and, of course, great music. Boardmasters operates one site for bands and another for surfing, skating, BMX, and beach events. The musical line-up for 2016 includes Deadmau5, James Bay, Kaiser Chiefs, and Primal Scream.


Global festival attendance estimates taken from:
Further information taken from:

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