Our guide to the best UK & International music festivals

With so many music festivals around – and even more appearing all the time – music fans are spoilt for choice this summer!

There will be some amazing acts performing across the country, including many of our own students and graduates, so try and make time to see as many as possible.

To help you decide which festival is right for you, we have put together our own handy guide to some of the best major and independent festivals around the UK and beyond. 

14th - 16th April

  • Where?  Indio, California, USA 

  • What to know: The desert festival started in 1993 when Pearl Jam boycotted venues controlled by Ticketmaster and has since risen from these rebellious roots to become one of the largest  festivals in the US.

  • Headliners: Radiohead; Lady Gaga; Kendrick Lamar.

  • ICMP Bands: Declan McKenna (Gabi King on Drums).

15th April

  • Where?  Various venues in Manchester 

  • What to know: A hub for emerging talent in the north of England, the day-long festival provides a chance to catch up and coming artists across a range of different venues. 

  • Headliners: Jordan Allen; The Tuts; Kashmere.

  • ICMP Bands: Honey Lung (Omri Covo on Drums).


28th - 30th April

  • Where? Various venues across Leicester city Centre. 

  • What to know: This independent music and arts festival aims to find the best new and forward thinking music, comedy, art, film, performance and photography in an event curated by some of the city’s best loved independent venues and promoters. 

  • Headliners: Twin Atlantic; Frightened Rabbit. 

  • ICMP Bands: Husky Loops (Tommaso Medica on Bass).

18th - 20th May

  • Where?  Various venues across Brighton 

  • What to know: This city-based festival takes advantage of Brighton’s buzzing venues to host the definitive event for new music in the UK. 

  • Headliners: Slaves; Rag ‘n’ Bone Man.

  • ICMP Bands: Husky Loops (Tommaso Medica on Bass), JUDAS (Todd Blackmore on Guitar), Honey Lung (Omri Covo on Drums), Duke of Wolves, VictoriaMatt Maltese and Denai Moore

26th - 28th May

  • Where? Various venues across Nottingham, Bristol and Manchester.

  • What to know: Playing across three major cities in one weekend, Dot to Dot describes itself as the premier UK festival for unearthing new talent.  

  • Headliners: Sundara Karma; Amber Run; The Growlers.

  • ICMP Bands: Husky Loops (Tommaso Medica on Bass), Matt Maltese.

29th - 30th May

  • Where? Various venues across Leeds.

  • What to know: The award winning metropolitan festival takes place over a number of venues and is dedicated to showcasing new and emerging talent 

  • Headliners:  Rag ‘n’ Bone Man; Slaves; White Lies. 

  • ICMP Bands: Husky Loops (Tommaso Medica on Bass); JUDAS (Todd Blackmore on Guitar), Matt Maltese and HAUS.

31st May - 4th June

  • Where? Barcelona, Spain.

  • What to know: One of Europe's biggest indie and alternative music festivals, Primavera prides itself on providing a platform for up and coming and more underground artists as well as big-name bands and performers 

  • Headliners:  Arcade Fire; Frank Ocean; Aphex Twin.

  • ICMP Bands: Odina (aka Blanca Romero).


3rd June

  • Where is it?  Various venues across Camden 

  • What to know: This one-day festival in the heart of one of London’s trendiest alternative hotspots features 250 bands across 25 venues 

  • Headliners:  Feeder; The Coral; The Damned. 

  • ICMP Bands: Chinese Missy (Rich Bond on Guitar and Tom Moore on Drums); Rival Karma, King Korea (Ian Kelly on Drums), Rews (Collette Williams on Drums), Duke of WolvesTarantula, Cohesion (Stuart Cooney on Vocals), Lilith & The Knight (Thomas Louvet on Bass).

8th - 11th June

  • Where?  The Isle of Wight (ferries from Southampton, Portsmouth, Lymington or Southsea) 

  • What to know: The festival was a major counter-culture hotspot in late 60’s/early 70’s with famous performances from Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix among many others.  

  • Headliners:  David Guetta; Run DMC; Arcade Fire; Rod Stewart.  

  • ICMP Bands: JUDAS (Todd Blackmore on Guitar), Clean Bandit (Luke Patterson on Drums), Victoria (Joe Housley on Vocals, Alex Thomas on Guitar and Charlie Martin on Keys), and Duke of Wolves.

9th - 11th June

  • Where?  Donnington Park, Leicestershire 

  • What to know: The premier metal and rock festival in the UK, Download has showcased the biggest names in the scene for over fourteen years. 

  • Headliners: System of A Down; Biffy Clyro; Aerosmith. 

  • ICMP Bands: The Raven Age (Jai Patel on Drums).



21st - 25th June

  • Where?  Worthy Farm, Somerset 

  • What to know: The granddaddy of UK festivals, Glastonbury first started in 1970 and has risen to become one of the world’s leading festivals. 

  • Headliners:  Radiohead; Foo Fighters; Ed Sheeran. 

  • ICMP Bands: Bear’s Den (Andrew Davie on Vocals), DaughterDub Pistols (Jack Cowens on Drums); Declan McKenna (Gabi King on Drums); JONES (aka Cherie Jones); BURNZ; Rews (Collette Williams on Drums); Matt Maltese.

13th - 16th July

  • Where?  Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk 

  • What to know: The festival prides itself on offering a similar style of festival to that found on continental Europe and is a haven for up and coming acts with dedicated sections run by BBC Music as well as Huw Stephens.   

  • Headliners: The 1975; Mumford & Sons; Fleet Foxes. 

  • ICMP Bands: Matt Maltese and Declan McKenna (Gabi King on Drums). 


14th - 15th July

  • Where?  Victoria Park, London 

  • What to know: Spearheading the trend for city festivals set within London, the Lovebox festival typically focuses more on club and dance acts with prominent slots for major DJs.

  • Headliners: Frank Ocean; Chase & Status.

  • ICMP Bands: The Hempolics (Daniel Collier on Vocals)



21st - 23rd July

  • Where? Hill Farm, Oxfordshire 

  • What to know:  Founded in 1998 as an independent alternative to major festivals, Truck aims to provide the same quality of acts found at its bigger cousins while retaining a smaller festival feel. 

  • Headliners: The Libertines; Franz Ferdinand; The Vaccines (ft Bass graduate Arni Hjorvar Arnason). 

  • ICMP Bands:  Husky Loops (Tommaso Medica on Bass).

27th - 30th July

  • Where? Hertfordshire 

  • What to know: Started as a birthday barbeque for its founder in 2001, there is a different theme each year and attendees are invited to get in the spirit by getting dressed up – this year’s theme is ‘Tales of the Enchanted Valley’ 

  • Headliners: Orbital; Grace Jones; Clean Bandit (Luke Patterson on Drums).

27th - 30th July

  • Where? Peak District, Derbyshire  

  • What to know: This laid back countryside festival prides itself on providing a wide range of local, up and coming and major acts. 

  • Headliners: Stereophonics;Two Door Cinema Club. 

  • ICMP Bands: Clean Bandit (Luke Patterson on Drums), The Vaccines (Arni Hjorvar Arnason on Bass), Declan McKenna (Gabi King on Drums), HAUS.

19th - 20th August

  • Where? Hylands Park, Chelmsford and Weston Park, Shropshire 

  • What to know: Virgin supported V Festival is packed full of high profile pop acts over two sites in Chelmsford and Shropshire. 

  • Headliners:  Pink; Jay Z. 

  • ICMP Bands: Clean Bandit  (Luke Patterson on Drums), Ella Eyre (David Baker on Bass, Natasha Stewart and Eliza Kellman on BV's)

19th - 20th August

  • Where? Tokyo and Osaka, Japan 

  • What to know: This iconic Japanese festival  host a diverse range of acts across two sites in Japan. 

  • Headliners: Calvin Harris; Foo Fighters; 5 Seconds of Summer; Liam Gallagher.

  • ICMP Bands: Declan McKenna (Gabi King on Drums).


25th - 27th August

  • Where? Richfield Avenue (Reading); Branham Park (Leeds) 

  • What to know: Traditionally the home of alternative rock acts, the festival takes place over two different sites in Reading and Leeds with acts performing on alternate days over the same weekend. 

  • Headliners: Kasabian; Eminem; Muse.

  • ICMP Bands: Decklan McKenna (Gabi King on Drums), HAUS, Bear's Den (Andrew Davie on Vocals).


Next year it could be you!

It's great to see so many of our current students and graduates performing at such high profile events this year. If you aspire to push your playing to the next level and dream of playing to huge festival crowds then let us help you find the right course for you. Our Admissions Team are on hand to help you, call them on 020 7328 0222 or email enquiries@icmp.ac.uk, we still have place available to start in September 2017!

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