Our 2016 festival listing has been updated again this morning. Thanks to those that have alerted us to festivals we have not known about (and thanks to those that have pointed out the obvious one we forgot about).
Festivals are the most fun you can have with your clothes on – although you don’t necessarily have to stay fully clothed. They are a gathering of like minded individuals who wish to escape the drudgery of wage slavery and let their hair down listening to music, drinking beer and standing around campfires talking nonsense. These days many festivals will include children’s areas, cinemas, political debates, craft workshops, comedy tents and more. If you have never been to one, you really should. It might just change your life – it certainly changed ours.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s the strong arm of the law came down very heavily on free festivals and it took the scene a very long time to recover. In the wake of legislation aimed specifically at stopping free parties organisers tried out various models for events, some more successful than others. These days there are a lot of grass roots festival organisers who have got their shit together and put on safe, vibrant, innovative, sustainable events for anything from a few hundred to a few thousand.
Capitalism has woken up to the fact that people like to go to festivals. Where there used to be a handful of commercial events like Reading and Donnington, there are now huge commercial events all over the country throughout the summer.
Smaller events are generally less commercial, more friendly and have a better vibe that the giant McFestivals where you can find yourself, literally, half a mile from the stage with a sea of strangers in-between you and the band you are watching. Small does not necessarily mean lower quality. No, you won’t get huge stars playing to a crowd of five hundred, but you will still find some high quality cutting edge talent on display – for a fraction of the price of the big commercial events. The vibe will be more relaxed and your neighbours are more likely to talk to talk to you.