MusicRadar's ultimate 2009 UK festival guide

From Green Man to Glasto, everything you need to know

Image 1 of 2 Festival Guide
From the stage at V Festival
Image 2 of 2 Festival Guide

Welcome to summer. And, of course, festival season...

There are more events this year than ever before, and we've trawled through every festival, summer bash and one-night extravaganza to bring you an essential guide to the best the UK has to offer.

MusicRadar ultimate 2009 UK festival guide


When? 24 – 25 April 2009
Where? Pontins Holiday Camp, Prestatyn, Wales

We'll kick off the season with a trip to Pontins! Not everyone's cup of tea, but if you like metal, you'll be in heaven. Organised by our mates over at Metal Hammer magazine.

Lineup highlights (so far): Opeth, Skindred, Saxon (more on Hammerfest)

All Tomorrow's Parties

When? 9 - 11 May and 15 – 17 May 2009
Where? Butlins Resort, Minehead, Somerset

ATP is all about choice: the first weekend is called The Fans Strike Back – 50% of the lineup is voted for by fans. The second weekend is curated and chosen by The Breeders (unfortunately Pixies aren't playing). The event is named after The Velvet Underground song – alternative, indie and impeccably cool.

Lineup highlights (so far): Teenage Fanclub, The Breeders, Tricky, Bon Iver, CSS, Gang Of Four, Beirut, Devo, Future Of The Left, Killing Joke, Spiritualized, The Soft Pack (more on ATP)

Isle Of Wight Festival

When? 12 – 14 June 2009
Where? Seaclose Park, Isle Of Wight

The first of two three-day events on the Isle Of Wight and the earliest of the UK's heavyweight offerings. Neil Young is the latest confirmed headliner so this year you can expect a sunset soundtracked by blissful folk… counteracted perfectly by The Prodigy.

Lineup highlights (so far): Neil Young, The Prodigy, Basement Jaxx, Pendulum, Razorlight, Stereophonics, The Charlatans, The Ting Tings

Rumours: Doves, Elbow, Paul Weller, Simple Minds (more on Isle Of Wight)

Download Festival

When? 12 – 14 June 2009
Where? Donington Park, Leicestershire

The original heavy-metal love-in and as far removed from 'blissful folk' as is humanly (or unhumanly) possible. Although devil horn hand gestures are a condition of entry, there's definitely more than a hint of 80's leather in the air this year…

Lineup highlights (so far): Faith No More, Slipknot, Def Leppard, Korn, Motley Crue, Limp Bizkit, Marilyn Manson, The Prodigy, Whitesnake, ZZ Top

Rumours: Papa Roach, Rammstein, New Found Glory, Manowar, Journey, Biffy Clyro, Enter Shikari (more on Download)


When? 12 – 14 June 2009
Where? Loch Ness, Scotland

Where else can you party with the Loch Ness Monster? One things for sure, if this lot doesn't wake the snake-like creature from the murky depths nothing will. Lineup looks strong so far, could be a 'mythical' year…

Lineup highlights (so far): The Flaming Lips, The Prodigy, Orbital, Placebo, Biffy Clyro, Basement Jaxx, Super Furry Animals, Dizzee Rascal, DJ Yoda (more on RockNess)

Glastonbury Festival

When? 24 – 28 June 2009
Where? Worthy Farm, Somerset

The Glastonbury Festival Of Contemporary Arts, Glastonbury or, simply Glasto, is the UK's largest festival. The 2009 shindig is sold out so (unless you're one of the lucky few to bag a returned ticket next month) you'll have to watch it from your sofa. It's always a blinder – just pray it doesn't rain this year…

Lineup highlights (so far): Blur, Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band, Franz Ferdinand

Rumours: Neil Young, Coldplay, Animal Collective, Lilly Allen, Fleetwood Mac, Doves, Glasvegas, The Ting Tings, Kanye West, Rolf Harris (more on Glastonbury)

Wireless Festival

When? 4 – 5 July 2009
Where? Hyde Park, London

The '02 Wireless Festival' – thanks, mega big phone company. You can't camp in Hyde Park by the way, but if you live in London, you're more than likely to have heard a previous headliner while passing: Jay-Z, White Stripes or Daft Punk? Anyone?

Lineup highlights (so far): Basement Jaxx, Dizzee Rascal, The Streets (more on Wireless)


T In The Park

When? 10 – 12 July
Where? Balado, Scotland

Scotland's monster annual bash looks like it's playing host to just about everyone this year. The 'T' stands for the festivals main sponsor Tennents (a Scottish brewing company) but other beverages are available.

Lineup (so far): Kings Of Leon, The Killers, Blur, Manic Street Preachers, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, The Game, Pendulum, Seasick Steve, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV On The Radio

Rumours: Nine Inch Nails, Jane's Addiction, Pet Shop Boys, Eagles Of Death Metal, Doves, Digitalism, Glasvegas (more on T In The Park)


When? 10 – 12 July 2009
Where? Punchestown Racecourse, Co Kildare

Ok, so we are aware than Ireland isn't in the UK, but… Oxegen is the same weekend as T In The Park and if you don't live in Scotland or you can't get a ticket, the very similar lineup is well worthy of your consideration…

Lineup (so far): Kings Of Leon, Nine Inch Nails, The Killers, Blur, Jane's Addiction, James, Pet Shop Boys, Nice Cave And The Bad Seeds, The Game, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV On The Radio (more on Oxegen)


When? 16 – 19 July 2009
Where? Henham Park Estate, Suffolk

Now in its fourth year, the east-of-England's offering has a reputation for being chilled out – a gentleman's festival, if you like. Usually draws in a bunch of cool indie bands but no one is confirmed (or even rumoured) yet. (more on Latitude)

Glade Festival

When? 16 – 19 July 2009
Where? Somewhere near Winchester

A spin-off from the wooded area at Glastonbury of the same name: The Glade. If you've ventured there during Glasto, you'll know Squarepusher holds a residency. Expect more of the same electro dance beats from this festival, the location of which is a secret.

Lineup highlights (so far): Underworld (more on Glade)

Global Gathering

When? 24 – 25 July 2009
Where? Long Marston Airfield, Warwickshire

From the people that bought you the Godskitchen clubbing brand comes another strictly dance-only affair. Most current big-name DJ names will turn up so get your glow sticks ready.

Lineup highlights (so far): Orbital, The Prodigy, Pendulum

Rumours: Gabriel And Dresdon, Sebastien Leger (more on Global Gathering)


When? 24 – 26 July 2009
Where? Charlton Park, Wiltshire

World Of Music And Dance was founded by Peter Gabriel in 1980. The first event was held in Shepton Mallet but has since spread itself globally to New Zealand, Australia and Spain. No headliners announced as yet but you can expect a worldly lineup. (more on WOMAD)

Cambridge Folk Festival

When? 30 July – 2 August 2009
Where? Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridgeshire

The festival's current title sponsor is BBC Radio 2 which should give you a good idea of output. It's has a prestigious reputation and sells out quickly so don't hang about…

Rumours: Jim Moray, Cara Dillon, Bella Hardy (more on Cambridge Folk Festival)


When? 1 – 2 August 2009
Where? Knebworth House, Hertfordshire

Brand newcomers to the festival circuit, Sonisphere calls at Knebworth for two days during its hard-rocking tour of Europe. They've managed to bag the only UK appearances of Metallica, Linkin Park and Machine Head…

Lineup highlights (so far): Metallica, Linkin Park, Machine Head, Nine Inch Nails, Alice In Chains, Thin Lizzy

Rumours: Jane's Addiction, Placebo (more on Sonisphere)

Underage Festival

When? 2 August 2009
Where? Victoria Park

Finally, something exclusive for the minors. Well, 14-18 years-olds, that is. Oldies need not apply – not that they'd want to. It's alcohol free!

Lineup highlights (so far): The Pigeon Detectives, Ladyhawke, Rolo Tomassi, The Whip, Metronomy, Hadouken!, Golden Silvers (more on Underage Festival)


Big Chill Festival

When? 7 – 9 August 2009
Where? Eastnor Castle, Herefordshire

Perhaps the most chilled out event of them all (well, that's what they want you to believe), The Big Chill is all about ambience. They've even got a field dedicated to 'healers, masseurs and alternative therapists'.

Lineup highlights (so far): David Byrne, Basement Jaxx, Calexico, Orbital, Mr Scruff, Lamb, Spiritualized (more on The Big Chill)

The Green Man Festival

When? 21 – 23 August 2009
Where? Glanusk Park, Powys, Wales

As the name suggests, Green Man is all about promoting 'sustainable living and environmental consciousness' through culture. Luckily, music plays the main part. Expect a decent mix of folk, indie and dance across five stages.

Lineup highlights (so far): Bon Iver, British Sea Power, Wilco, The Future Sound Of London (more on Green Man)

V Festival

When? 22 - 23 August 2009
Where? Chelmsford, Essex and Weston Park, Staffordshire

The Glastonbury faithful might turn their collective muddy noses up at this 'commercial' gathering but for many, V's mainstream outlook is appealing. It's a two-day event running simultaneously on two different sites in the heart of British summertime… August.

Lineup highlights (so far): Oasis, The Killers, The Specials, Fatboy Slim, MGMT, Seasick Steve, Biffy Clyro, Taylor Swift (more on V Festival)

Reading And Leeds Festivals

When? 28 – 30 August 2009
Where? Little Johns Farm, Reading and Bramham Park, Leeds

The second simultaneous event at two locations, the Reading and Leeds Festivals take place before a bank holiday (an excellent recovery day), officially known as the Carling Weekend until they parted ways with the sponsor in 2007. It's still a reasonably commercial experience but this year's rumoured line-up looks to be a strong one for headliners…

Rumours: Arctic Monkeys, Kings Of Leon, Radiohead, Kaiser Chiefs, Glasvegas, Florence And The Machine, White Lies (more on Reading and Leeds)


When? 29 – 30 August
Where? Daresbury Estate, Cheshire

The Cream clubbing brand may have had its heyday in the 90s, but it still pulls off a massive dance extravaganza every year. No lineup announced yet but if last year's headliners are anything to go by (Fatboy Slim, Kasabian, Paul Van Dyk, Pendulum and Tiësto) it'll be a ravers' dream as usual.

Rumours: Swedish House Mafia (more on Creamfields)


When? 11 – 13 September 2009
Where? Robin Hill Country Park, Isle Of Wight

Our season-closer is the second on the Isle Of Wight. Bestival began in 2004, organised by BBC Radio 1 DJ Rob Da Bank. This year's lineup is looking extremely tasty…

Lineup (so far): Kraftwerk, Massive Attack, Soulwax and 2many djs, MGMT, Fleet Foxes, Seasick Steve, Klaxons, Bat For Lashes, Little Boots, Squarepusher

Rumours: Antony And The Johnsons, Morrissey, La Roux (more on Bestival)

As mentioned earlier, there are more and more festivals cropping up every year. So, if there's an up-and-coming, cultural or bangin' event taking place in a field near you that we haven't listed here – let us know below.Now, where did we leave that jester hat…

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