UK festivals are known to be some of the best festivals in the world. They are notorious for bringing together top talent from around the globe for incredible performances and an amazing atmosphere. Not only does the UK boast widely renowned festivals such as Glastonbury and Wireless, it also has a roster of vibrant smaller festivals and showcase festivals. To help you understand which of the UK festivals is the perfect fit for you, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 Best UK Festivals to play at.
1. Focus Wales
Located in the northern region of Wales, Focus Wales is an international, multi-venue showcase festival that gives the spotlight to emerging talent from Wales and the rest of the world. Returning for its 12th edition, the festival will rival many of the other UK festivals as it provides a jam-packed weekend, with 20 stages, interactive industry sessions, film screenings and more! Luckily, Focus Wales 2023 applications are still open!
2. Liverpool Sound city
If you’ve never been to Liverpool, you’re missing out. The vibrant city captures all of the key characteristics of the UK. This annual, multi-venue festival is a great opportunity to get in front of an audience of music lovers. Furthermore, the festival isn’t just for over 18s, so if you’re interested in reaching a younger audience (14+) this festival will be perfect for you.
3. The Great Escape
Love the seaside? Well, then maybe Brighton’s The Great Escape Festival is the one for you. Taking place across 30 venues in the beautiful coastal district of Brighton and Hove, TGEF is undoubtedly one of the best UK Festivals for emerging artists. The event is full of networking opportunities, conferences and of course, great music.
Toby Corton told us his thoughts about the festival:
“I was super excited when I found out I would play at The Great Escape. I love playing live. That’s why I make music and that’s how I got into music. As a British artist, it is kinda a checkbox, that you are doing the right thing, you are going in the right direction.”
Wild Paths is the pinnacle of UK Festivals culture. It celebrates genre diversity in a multi-venue events collective. Taking place in Norwich, a beautiful city in the east of the UK, the festival is rich with history and culture. On top of that, the festival focuses on creating a fun, vibrant atmosphere as the shows take place in small venues all over the city. Festival goers and locals combined, the city feels alive with all the laughter and singing. It’s an amazing experience for any artist to play there.
5. Mangata Festival
Now, of course, we have to include one for all the heavy metal lovers out there. Mangata Festival is the perfect opportunity to network and play alongside other metal enthusiasts. Spanning over two days, the festival will see metal bands come together in the heart of Nottingham to put on a memorable performance. If you’re an emerging metal band and want to showcase your talent to a crowd of metal lovers, there aren’t many better opportunities than this!
6. Outcider Festival
Looking for a unique, fun and crazy festival experience? The Outcider festival just south of Bristol will be just that! This old school festival celebrates three things we all love: Live music, cider and madness! The weekend long festival is simple, inclusive, fun and rivals all other UK Festivals despite being a small event. Outcider Festival boasts high customer satisfaction and has people returning yearly. It’s the perfect opportunity to play at a high energy festival and experience the amazing culture and atmosphere Bristol has to offer. To get an idea of what you might be in for, here’s a quote lifted from their website:
“No tribute bands. No X-Factor. No Carling lager. No tossers!”
7. Live at Lydiard
The northern parts of the UK often host a large majority of the music festivals, but Live at Lydiard Festival is definitely a strong competitor for the best UK Festival. Although it’s only a one-day event, this multi-genre event is an amazing, family-friendly party. As well as having four stages with amazing musical performances, the festival also features a boutique cocktail bar, food court and much more. Without a doubt one of the best events the south-west has to offer!
Perhaps one of the more well known festivals on this list, but for very good reason. Boardmasters utilises its unique location on the beautiful coast of Cornwall to offer a combination of live music and surfing/skateboarding. The festival routinely boasts some big names on the lineup, but it also has a large roster of emerging artists. It is a very reputable event and very popular amongst British festival goers. Whether you’re hoping to play there, or simply attending, the combination of sun, beaches, music and drinks will ensure you have a getaway you’ll never forget.
9. Green Man
Whilst most UK Festivals focus primarily on music, the Green Man Festival incorporates not only emerging musical talent, but also celebrates many of the other arts that the UK has to offer. Ranging from science and film all the way to theatre and comedy, this festival has it all. The family friendly event often has some big names on the roster, and offers a week-long stay in the notorious Brecon Beacons. The festival is held annually and is a perfect opportunity for emerging artists to showcase their talent.
10. Tokyo World
Bristol is widely known for its wild drum and bass scene. Tokyo World manages to transform that atmosphere into something bigger and better. Taking place in Eastville Park in Bristol, the weekend event brings together all the top DnB artists as well as many popular rappers for crazy performances in the heart of Bristol.
UK Festivals are some of the best festivals in the world! Playing a show there can be an amazing experience and will certainly aid you in your career. We hope you’ve found this list useful. To see the full range of festival opportunities we offer, head over to gigmit.com. Our site is constantly being updated with new opportunities so make sure you check it out!
Furthermore, if you have a gigmit PRO membership, you will have access to the Festivals and Venues database and many more essential tools for those looking to take their music career to the next level. We have a full blog post explaining the benefits of a PRO membership here.
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