If you live in the UK then you will surely know that the season of bank holidays is upon us. A gripe to your boss and a blessing to, well, everyone else, spring brings not only a higher pollen count and an irrationally sudden desire to clean, but Good Friday, Easter Monday, Early May and Spring Bank Holidays.
What’s more, this year the turning clogs of time have brought these public holidays even closer together, with all occuring within the space of a month and a half. If you didn’t have the foresight to take advantage of the calendar and book a mammoth holiday to Bali using minimal leave (hmm, Clive in accounting kept that one quiet) and are stuck on home shores, then fear not.
To spruce up the coming holidays beyond going on a hungover egg-hunt with your nephew and downing a couple of bottles of Rekorderlig and tending to a dodgy disposable barbecue on Clapham Common, we’ve put together a guide of the UK’s best festivals taking place over the coming holidays. In chronological order,
Bad Pond Festival
Lineup: Jamie Lenman, Three Trapped Tigers, Slugabed, The Physics House Band, Natalie Evans, Kagoule, Press To Meco
Though Brighton rock may be famous as the kind of boiled sugar sweet your nan would like, the bohemian coastal city has for decades been home to a burgeoning scene of alternative and progressive rock. That's something celebrated this Easter weekend at Bad Pond Festival, organised by one of the city's independent labels Small Pond. You'll find everything from chaotic, jazzy electronica (Three Trapped Tigers) to bleepy, bonkers bass music (Slugabed) to grungy garage rock (Kagoule) and beyond, and has this year committed to PRS' Keychange 50/50 representation initiative. If eating gourmet junk food, buying records and meeting fellow music nerds on the beach is your thing, then this is one for you.
When & where: 20-21 April, Brighton
Live At Leeds
Lineup: Sundara Karma, Tom Grennan, Metronomy, Kate Tempest, Elder Island, Sam Fender, Black Honey, Swimming Tapes
Beginning in 2007 to help mark Leeds' 800th birthday, Live At Leeds is a one day festival held across several of the city's venues with a particular emphasis on emerging artists within the contemporary indie rock scene. The West Yorkshire city has a brilliant range of venues and bars on a bad day, so you can imagine they're a their best for this bank holiday weekend.
When & where: 4 May, Leeds
Lineup: Metronomy, The Sherlocks, The Futureheads, Ibibio Sound Machine, C Duncan, Pixx, Jamie Lenman
Another city takeover festival, Leicester's Handmade festival has somewhat more curated approach to its different venues and stages, with different venues often pairing with independent labels to indicate the kind of music expected to hear, though generally centring around the fields of indie, emo, post-punk and alternative rock. Though some recent architectural refurbishments have hindered the festival in practical terms, thankfully the quality continues to grow as Handmade goes into its seventh year.
When & where: 4-5 May, Leicester
All Points East
Though its a newbie on the scene, the fact that it needs no introduction is surely a testament to All Points East's gravitas. Making its debut last year with a premium level lineup, this year the festival begins back in Victoria Park on the Spring Bank Holiday weekend with the likes of The Chemical Brothers, The Strokes and Christine and the Queens, only to return again the weekend after with Bring Me The Horizon, Mumford & Sons. But beyond its big names, what really sets the festival apart is the curation behind each day, so that, despite a lack of camping, each weekend acts as a festival where artists complement and contrast with each other, as opposed to a series of consecutive concerts.
When & where: 24 May - 2 June, London
Love Saves The Day
Lineup: Lily Allen, Maribou State, Elder Island, Ray Blk, Jimothy Lacoste, Shy FX
For almost a decade Bristol's Love Saves The Day Festival has been a staple bank holiday celebration for those in the South West, though as it has continued to grow so have the numbers of visitors from around the country. The festival has a healthy mix of house, disco, drum & bass, techno, grime, hip hop and jazz, so whatever your preference, there's enough to feel the love.
When & where: 25-26 May, Bristol
We Are FSTVL
Lineup: Andy C, Chase & Status, Nina Kraviz, The Black Madonna, Marco Carola, Bugzy Malone, Craig David presents TS5
One of the UK's most popular dance music festivals, We Are FSTVL welcomes familiar brands such as ABODE, Defected and CircoLoco to curate its stages. If you like electronic music you'll find something you like, from classic Drum & Bass and dubstep to electro, grime, deep house and techno; this year sees legends Craig David, Nina Kraviz, Andy C and Chase & Status grace its Airfield of Dreams.
When & where: 25-27 May, London
Dot To Dot
Lineup: Crystal Fighters, Jordan Rakei, Swim Deep, The Night Café, Dream Wife, The Orielles, Alex Lahey, The Viagra Boys
Taking over the venues of Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham consecutively, Dot To Dot Festival is all about new music. Past editions have included Wolf Alice, Bastille, Sundara Karma, The Japanese House and Pale Waves, which gives an indication to the organiser's ear-to-the-ground approach, so as well as each city having a plethora of drinking holes you can be sure to find an artist on the cusp of hitting the big time.
When & where: Manchester (24 May), Bristol (25 May) & Nottingham (26 May)