We love festivals at Handpicked, and with the traditional likelihood of rain on the horizon for Glastonbury this weekend, we thought we’d share which other Great British Festivals we’re looking forward to and what we’d take from Handpicked…
The Ongoing Old Timers
Arguably the biggest, and some would say the best, Glasto is set in beautiful, rural and typically muddy Somerset. It’s expecting yet another record-breaking year for attendees, a whopping 200 000! This year a report was published stating that Glastonbury contributes £100 million annually to the British economy. Impressive stats, but what matters to the festival-goers is that everyone is guarenteed the ultimate festival experience. Glastonbury is the original, and what all festivals that exist today have ultimately modeled themselves on.
Massive headliners are always booked. This year U2 and Coldplay return to top the bill at the Pyramid stage on Friday and Saturday nights. Beyonce has been interviewed saying that she is nervous to have the coveted Sunday night headlining spot.
Glastonbury prides itself on its capacity for a huge variety of people; families are welcome and you’ll find kids, teenagers as well as old timers who’ve been going every year since the festival began in the 70’s.
A truly unmissable experience, Glastonbury has a reputation for being fairly safe as festivals go, and they’ve been doing it for over thirty years; these guys know how to put on a good show.
Reading is predominately a rock festival. From a starting point, this doesn’t give it the best reputation for a safety. Not quite so family-friendly (though of course you’ll find parents who would never think of children as a barrier to their favourite bands, and enjoy it families surely do) this is more of a grimy, mosh pit kind of weekend. Held over the August bank holiday and, due to links via the major sponsor Carling, it’s always had huge rivalry with Leeds Festival.
At Reading you can expect to find incredible line-ups; Muse are back for another surely massive night on the Sunday, whilst My Chemical Romance and The Strokes headline Reading Festival on Friday and Saturday respectively. A highlight is the ingenious collaboration on the NME and Radio 1 stage, all the acts look phenomenal (that’s where I’ll be most of the weekend!).
If you’re in to it, Reading is the place to be everything Rock and all that there is inbetween. Expect silent discos until the wee hours of the morning, overpriced burgers and LOT of people not scared to get a bit sweaty.
What we’d take from Handpicked: Pump-Up Animal Torch
Handpicked because: No need to panic about running out of batteries when you’ve lost your tent in the dark.
Set To Be Big
Also this weekend is the first out-of-London experience for highly-reputable London events company, The Last Tuesday Society. Their balls are usually held in either the romantic, narrow-staircased Adam Street private club near Embankment, at London Bridge or until recently Stone Horse Paper Cow at Liverpool Street. Their events herald masks, corsets, top hats and tails, chocolate fountains, naked people, fruit and rather a lot of merriment.
This is their first event which they have asked their followers to follow them outside of London (who says we’re Zone 1 snobs?) to Pylewell Park in Lymington to a beautiful country house where the same fun is to be had, just with a lot more space and better air quality.
Expect beautiful costumes, a carniverous feast and to stay up all night.
What we’d take from Handpicked: Pearl Stud Earrings £9.95
Handpicked because: Yes it is a festival, but we think a pair of 1920’s-esque pearl earrings will fit right in here.
Only in its second year, Farr Festival is all about the amazing line-up of djs that they’ve got coming; mostly organic British talent with a few big overseas names chucked in for good measure, these kids are equally about keeping the whole thing as homegrown and as much about the boutique experience as they can. Set in beautiful woods less than an hour outside London by train, they’re also going to upping the ante with plane rides over the site, but are still keeping it as good-doing roots with a large proportion of profits going to charity.
What to expect for Farr Festival? Can’t say for sure, I haven’t been yet, but I think it’ll be a lot of fun, dancing in a wood with some Londoners who appreciate 13 hours out of town.
The thing that really ignites curiosity with this festival (with me anyway) was that I read that they don’t disclose the location of the event until you’ve bought your ticket. It’s the oldest trick in the book to create intrigue, but apparently it still works for me! You could have an educated guess at whereabouts it might be from the equally entertaining idea of Shambala’s cycling scheme; it takes one day from London and up to three days from other destinations. The bicycle idea is all in support of their Sustainable Transport Initiative and what a brilliant way to meet a load of people who you’ll be spending a couple of incredible days with.
Expect a festival full of secret stages dotted around magical woods and little known bands and dance acts to have raves to all night long.
What we’d take from Handpicked: Space Hopper Bouncer £14.95
Handpicked because: It’s funny.
The Ones Who’ve Made it Big
Secret Garden Party
Secret Garden has grown hugely popular over the last few years; last year it doubled it’s capacity. There are big headline acts; last year Marina and the Diamonds hit the Main Stage when she was bang in the middle of her prime, I Blame Coco on the mainstage during the day and Gorillaz were another fantastic headlining act. Mystery Jets and Blondie are set to appear this year.
This festival has beautifully thought out attractions, the helter skelter, Where the Wild Things Are stage, the Collisillyum and Pagoda are all brilliant fun during the day and then the lights and art dotted throughout the grounds are magical at night. Every second of this festival is planned to create the best experience possible for everyone who goes.
Expect cardboard mazes, bells, hay bales, mud-wrestling, incredible fireworks, flying lanterns, dancing on the water as well as peaceful chillout areas with tea, comfy seats and bands hanging out of trees playing trumpets. Camping areas are comfortably near the music grounds. Costume themes are suggested but are not taken quite as seriously as the costumes themselves. Anything goes.
Latitude is truly a feast of culture. Though the music should definitely not go without a mention, Paolo Nutini, Paloma Faith and Suede, this festival is just as much about all the various other themes of stages, names have been made big in the industry with the Comedy Stage. Literature readings are a brilliant place to go, have a sit down and a soak up.
Latitude has a good reputation for being family-friendly and also for access to clean showers – though to be honest, the queues are pretty big.
What we’d take from Handpicked:
Handpicked because: Easy to squish into the corner of rucksacks; good to take advantage of the rare festival shower luxury; alternatively a scarf or extra layer.