VIVA Hand Picks Our Top 20 Favourite Summer Festivals

Lucy Matthews | 17th May 2015

It’s nearly that time of the year again to dig out the Hunters, strap on those bum-bags and put on your craziest headdress because festival season is coming. Here at VIVA, it’s our favourite time of the year, as festival season marks the start of a full summer of partying whether it’s in the muddy fields of Glastonbury or on the idyllic beaches of Croatia. We’ve picked some of our favourite festivals from across the world to give you all the lowdown on what’s happening on the festival circuit this year and we’re pretty certain they will be some of the highlights of your 2015.

Common People


Where: Southampton Common | Date: 23rd – 24th May

Line-Up: Fatboy Slim, Grace Jones, De La Soul, Clean Bandit, Jaguar Skills, Band Of Skulls, DJ Yoda, Years & Years and more

VIVA Loves: This year’s line-up welcomes legends of dance like Fatboy Slim and newcomers like Years & Years to make sure the crowd parties hard ALL weekend. For those who don’t like roughing it up at festivals, you can make sure you’re partying in true style by reserving premium tickets. These will get you into The Nook, a brand new, VIP journey experience where you will be showered with divine cocktails, delicious street food and some of the best main-stage views. Common People also have some of the coolest street food a festival can offer, so forget those greasy burgers!




Where: Heaton Park, Manchester | Date: 6th-7th June

Line-Up: Disclosure, Rudimental, Ben Howard, George Ezra, Mark Ronson, Fatboy Slim, Grace Jones, WU Tang Clan and more

VIVA Loves: Of course we may be a little bit biased in choosing the supreme Parklife as one of our Top Twenty festivals but it is, of course, THE best festival in rainy Manchester and possibly even Northwest England! This year’s line-up will not disappoint either as there are some of the biggest names in music who will be helping you party during the day and a world-class DJ line-up to keep you raving. There is then, of course, Afterlife for all you raving animals who want to carry the party on where a whole host of special after-parties will take place across Manchester.


BL9 Weekender


Where: Event City, Manchester | Date: 13th-14th June

Line-Up: Happy Mondays, Razorlight, James Arthur, Tinchy Stryder, Echo and The Bunnymen, Peter Hook And The Light, The Farm, Coolio and more

VIVA Loves: Twenty amazing bands across one weekend, BL9 is a newcomer on the festival scene and has a line-up of some of the best musical acts past and present. The festival will be the first of it’s kind to be held at EventCity and aims to bring together local people who all share a love for truly great music. BL9 is about giving Manchester a weekend to remember and that’s exactly what they’ll do this summer as the mancunian legends, Happy Mondays, are headlining on the Saturday and indie band Razorlight, will be taking to the main stage on the family focused Sunday.




Where: Somerset | Date: 24th-28th June

Line-up: Foo Fighters, Kanye West, Florence & The Machine, Pharrell Williams, ALT-J, Lionel Richie, Motorhead, Mary J. Blige and more

VIVA Loves: It’s the legendary festival with that famous Pyramid stage that all budding musicians dream of playing. Glastonbury is one of Britain’s biggest music festivals around and is steeped in musical history. With over twenty different areas to explore, Glastonbury is like its own little island with a ton of different festivals all merging together, ensuring there really is something for everyone of all ages. They’re still being tight-lipped about the line-up, however you just know that it will be one of the best line-ups on the festival circuit.


New Look Wireless


Where: Finsbury Park London | Date: 3rd-5th July

Line-Up: Drake,Avicii, Kendrick Lamar, David Guetta, Nicki Minaj, Mary J Blige, Childish Gambino, ASAP Rocky and more

VIVA Loves: It’s one of the best RnB and rap UK festivals there is and it’s the only place to grind some moves, twerk those bottoms and spit some bars – not sober of course! As well as their famous weekend festival, Wireless will be celebrating their tenth birthday this year and they’re doing it in style with the one and only Drake headlining their special one day event in June. Drake will also be headlining the main festival in July along with rap queen, Nicki Minaj and the legendary RnB songstress, Mary J Blige.


Electric Elephant


Where: The Garden Tisno, Croatia | Date: 9th-13th July

Line-Up:  The 2 Bears, Todd Terry, David August, Bicep, Lindstrom, Prins Thoma, DJ Harvey, Derrick Carter and more

VIVA Loves: Sometimes the only downfall of a British music festival is the rainy weather that is guaranteed with it. Imagine instead a sun-soaked festival by the aquamarine waters of the Adriatic, some of the world’s best electronic dance music and a whole hoard of party spirits. Well, stop imagining and buy your tickets to Electric Elephant one of Croatia’s best festivals this summer. Expect house, disco, electronica and a whole lot of raving in the sunshine along with beachside views and sunburnt bodies!


Electric Daisy


Where: Milton Keynes | Date: 11th July

Line-Up: Hardwell, Steve Aoki, Markus Schulz, Tiesto, Paul van Dyke, Phillip George, Shy Fx Feat Stamina MC, Sigma and more

VIVA Loves: VIVA Loves: Electric Daisy Carnival UK is a creative collaboration between Insomniac and Cream so you know it’s going to one BIG party. The line-up is pretty epic too as they have invited some of the most talented and well-known acts in the world of dance music. As well as some pretty mental raving, you can expect lots of carnival rides, dazzling costumes and one massive and raring-to-rave crowd.




Where: Benicàssim, Spain  | Date: 16th-19th July

Line-up: Blur, The Prodigy, Florence and The Machine, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Jamie T, Crystal Fighters, Portishead, Los Planetas and more

VIVA Loves: Envisage sipping on sweet sangria, basking in the sunshine and being serenaded by the sultry sound of a certain Florence Welch’s angelic voice. Well that’s exactly what you can do at this year’s Benicàssim festival. Once you’ve finished being serenaded by Florence and The Machine, you can then get your party on to the legendary Prodigy and Madeon. The festival site is the perfect distance away from the Spanish beachside so you can even top up your tan in between acts.




Where: The Ribble Valley, Lowely Lancashire 

Date: 17th–19th July

Line-Up: Basement Jaxx, MistaJam, Parov Stelar Band, Andrew Weatherall, Boxed In, Catz ‘N’ Dogz, Mistajam, Mr Scruff and more

VIVA Loves: A review of Beat-Herder Festival reads, ‘Imagine the mutant offspring of Alice In Wonderland and Lord Of The Rings – in the 70s’ that’s the type of craziness VIVA loves at any festival. Along with the craziness, they also have a sterling line-up with the epic Basement Jaxx headlining the weekend. The array of things for you to explore is as endless as last year when there was everything – their own swimming pool, dance fortress, tattoo studio, church-themed DJ venue and a whole lot of eccentric fancy dress.


Kendal Calling


Where: Lake District | Date: 30th July–2nd August

Line-Up: Elbow, Snoop Dogg, James, Kaiser Chiefs, Groove Armada, The Vaccines, Groove Armada (DJ Set), Grandmaster Flash  and more

VIVA Loves: It’s not that often that you get to party hard in the depths of the British countryside, particularly not in the picturesque setting of the Lake District. However, Kendal Calling allows you to do just that and, with an eclectic mix of artists in this year’s line-up, 2015 is set to be a cracker for the award-winning festival. They will be celebrating their Tenth Birthday extravaganza this summer and, in pre-festival celebration mode, have even allowed their lovely festival goers to pick part of the line-up!


Kaiser Chiefs colour 2 Danny North 2014


Where: Dorset | Date: 30th July-2nd August

Line-up: Kaiserchiefs, Clean Bandit, Wretch 32, Bob Geldof, Ella Henderson, Professor Green, Underworld, Wretch 32

VIVA Loves: From the success of Bestival, Rob Da Bank and wife have continued creating new festivals and came up with Camp Bestival, winner of best family festival. Set in the idyllic Lulworth Castle in Dorset, Camp Bestival has so much to offer for the entire family. As well as a star-studded line-up there is so much to do from comedy, theatre and shows to food stalls and The Den which is special area for thirteen to seventeen year-olds to explore fashion, music, disco yoga and poetry.


Forgotten Fields


Where: Sussex | Date: 7th-9th August

Line-up: Super Furry Animals, Razorlight, Basement Jaxx, Levellers, The Horrors, Levellers, De La Soul and more

VIVA Loves: The creative team behind Kendal Calling are the party brains behind Forgotten Fields Festival which takes place in the stunning Sussex countryside. This festival may be small in size (only four thousand capacity) however it makes up for it with a pretty mammoth line-up. There’s five stages filled with some of the best music on offer, a cinema, boutique camping, real ale, fancy dress frolics and some good old grub. What more could you want?


Casabian shoot 2011


Where: Chelmsford and Staffordshire | Date: 22nd-23rd August

Line-Up: Kasabian, Stereophonics, Sam Smith, Calvin Harris, Olly Murs, Ellie Goulding, Courteeners, The Script and more

VIVA Loves: V Festival is the festival for all the BIG superstar names in music to entertain the thousands that party there every summer. During the day you’ll be serenaded by some of the biggest names in pop, like Paloma Faith and Ella Henderson. Then, as soon as the sun sets, you can make your way over to the dance tents where you can party all night to the sound of Hannah Wants and Oliver Heldens. You can even visit the V Festival website where they have put together an essential festival pack with direct links to purchase the items. Let’s get packing!


Creamfields Festival 2014 Photos


Where: Daresbury | Date: 28th–30th August

Line-Up: Avicii, Steve Angello, Martin Garrix, Tiesto, Duke Dumont, Oliver Heldens, Knife Party, Wilkinson and more

VIVA Loves: It’s the oldest dance festival in the UK and just seems to get bigger year on year. We’ve given you a little taster of the line-up just to get the taste buds tingling. However, Creamfields 2015 is set to be the best line-up yet. They are welcoming a flurry of the world’s top DJs to the dance-filled fields to make sure they give all festival-goers a party to remember. This festival is not for the faint-hearted as you will need some serious stamina for the all-night raving.


The Libertines


Where: Paris, France | Date: 28th – 30th August

Line-up: The Chemical Brothers, Alt-J, The Libertines, Kasabian, Marina and The Diamonds, Tame Impala, FFS (Franz Ferdinand & Sparks), The Offspring and more

VIVA Loves: Rock en Seine Festival takes place on the edge of Paris in the majestic Domaine National de Saint-Cloud and has a whole host of stars from all genres making up the line-up. From indie boys, Catfish and The Bottlemen to pop sensation Marina and The Diamonds, there is a musical offering for everyone. It provides something for the whole family as they even have their own Mini Rock en Seine Festival where children can rock away, get creative at various workshops and even have a dabble at some guitar and dance lessons. Parent free, of course!




Where: Reading & Leeds| Date: 28th – 30th August

Line-Up: Metallica, Mumford & Sons, Metallica, The Libertines, Wilkinson, Deadmaus, Alt-J, Royal Blood and more

VIVA Loves: It’s one of the grungiest, dirtiest, rock ‘n’ roll festivals in the UK and that’s exactly why we love it! There will be some serious head-banging at this year’s festival as legendary Metallica and rock newcomers Royal Blood will be headlining. Fear not, it’s not all heavy electric guitars though as the rave begins at night with big names like the one and only Deadmau5.


Festival No.6


Where: Portmeirion | Date: 3rd – 6th September

Line-Up: Belle and Sebastian, Grace Jones, Metronomy, James Bay, Catfish and The Bottlemen, Mark Ronson (DJ Set), Years & Years, Greg Wilson & Kermit and more

VIVA Loves: Set in one of the most jaw-dropping, festival locations, the Welsh coastal village is very Italianate-inspired, surrounded by sea, mountains and forests. If the location isn’t enough to tempt you to buy a ticket then surely the incredible line-up might be. It’s only in its fourth year however, Festival No. 6 has officially cemented itself as one of the most unique music and art festivals in the UK. Festival No.6 offers much more than just a pretty view and an incredible line-up as arts and culture are an integral part of the festival, from theatre spectacles to stand up comedy.




Where: Norfolk | Date: 4th – 6th September

Line-Up: Rudimental, Sigma, Tinie Tempah, Jess Glynne, Labrinth, Nero, Lethal Bizzle and more

VIVA Loves: It’s one of the best festivals to close the summer season and has some of the biggest names in RnB and dance acts to help you party hard. Also exclusive to campers is their Sundown Festival’s almighty big top opening party and their closing after-party with DJ Ez and it’s the only appropriate way to open and end your weekend in style.




Where: Isle Of  Wight | Date: 10th – 13th September

Line-Up: The Chemical Brothers, Underworld, Duran Duran, Tame Impala, The Jacksons, Rudimental (DJ), Skrillex, Annie Mac and more

VIVA Loves: Founded by Rob da Bank, Bestival is one of our favourites and also one of the most diverse music festivals around. Their fancy-dress themed days are a particular hit with us and considering Bestival goers have always been lovers, not fighters, it makes sense that this year’s theme is Bestival’s Summer of Love. This year’s line-up is also pretty mighty, if we say so ourselves. However, as it so clearly states on their website, ‘It’s not all about the music’ and boy, are they right! Bestival offers an abundance of things to delve into like free twenty-four hour haircuts, a late night cinema in the amphitheatre and even reggae aerobics. (yes really!)