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List of music festivals in the United Kingdom


List of music festivals in the United Kingdom

There are a large number of music festivals in the United Kingdom, covering a wide variety of genres. Many of the UK's music festivals are world renowned, and have been held for many years including the most famous, Glastonbury. There are also many high quality free festivals around the country including Scarborough's Acoustic Gathering Festival where performers are rowed onto a stage in the middle of a lake. The largest (best attended) free music festival in the UK is Basingstoke Live - with the attendance in 2010 estimated at 30,000.


  • History of music festivals in the UK 1
  • Annual festivals 2
    • Bluegrass 2.1
    • Classical & Opera 2.2
    • Dance & Electronic 2.3
    • Ethnic 2.4
    • Folk 2.5
    • Jazz 2.6
    • Metal 2.7
    • Pop 2.8
    • Punk 2.9
    • Rock 2.10
    • Tribute Act Festivals 2.11
    • Cross-Genre 2.12
  • Travelling Festivals 3
    • Metal Music 3.1
    • Rock Music 3.2
  • One-Time Festivals 4
  • References 5

History of music festivals in the UK

Large-scale modern music festivals began in the 1960s with festivals such as the Isle of Wight Festival and following the success of Woodstock in the United States and free festivals. Some began as jazz festivals - Reading Festival began as the National Jazz and Blues Festival in the 1960s and the first Glastonbury Festival was the 1970 Pilton Pop, Blues & Folk Festival.

Dance music at festivals became more popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s due to the rave scene popular at the time.

In the 21st century the number of festivals has grown significantly,[1] particularly with the emergence of smaller-scale "boutique" festivals. However, in 2011 and 2012, several festivals were cancelled at short notice - some due to weather conditions and some due to poor sales - prompting fears that the festival market is saturated.[2]

Annual festivals


Classical & Opera

Dance & Electronic



The stage at Fairport's Cropredy Convention festival, Oxfordshire, in August 2009.





  • City Invasion Festival [174]
  • Concrete Jungle Festival [175]
  • Durham Punk Festival [176]
  • F3GC Music & Art Festival [177]
  • Give it a Name Festival [178]
  • Nice n Sleazy Festival [179]
  • Rebellion Festival [180]
  • Slam Dunk Festival [181]
  • The Pie Race Festival [182]


The Main Stage at the 2006 Reading Festival.

Tribute Act Festivals


Travelling Festivals

Some festivals do not appear in the same location every year, but in different places around the country, or even in other countries. Notable festivals to appear in the UK include:

Metal Music

Rock Music

One-Time Festivals


  1. ^ Warman, Janice (2010-08-27). "How music festivals are singing the changes". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  2. ^ "Extreme weather and the effect on the music world". Gigwise. 2012-07-09. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  3. ^ 
  • A to Z of Music Festivals
  • List of UK Music Festivals
  • Guide to UK Music Festivals
  • Andrew Blake (1997) The Land Without Music: Music, Culture and Society in Twentieth Century Britain. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  • George McKay (2000) Glastonbury: A Very English Fair, inc. chapter one 'Histories of festival culture', also 'Timeline of British pop festival culture'. London: Victor Gollancz. ISBN 0-575-06807-8.
  • George McKay (2005) Circular Breathing: The Cultural Politics of Jazz in Britain, chapter one 'New Orleans jazz, protest (Aldermaston) and carnival (Beaulieu [Jazz Festival 1956-60])'. Durham NC: Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-3573-5.
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