12 music festivals in Hampshire in 2015
PUBLISHED: 10:12 08 June 2015 | UPDATED: 10:12 08 June 2015
Festival fever has taken hold in Hampshire. Whatever your taste in music, Natalie French has rounded up a selection of the best music events taking place in our county this year
Isle of Wight Festival
This festival kingpin kicks off the season with another colossal line-up including Brit-pop legends – Blur; Groove Armada and The Prodigy. “With a brand new album coming out next year it’s great to welcome The Prodigy back to The Isle of Wight Festival,” says festival promotor, John Giddings, “they never fail to deliver and are one of the best live acts around. We’re all big fans of The Black Keys and their live show is phenomenal, I know they’re going to go down well with the crowds. And of course man of the moment Pharrell Williams, this just continues to reaffirm him as one of music’s most exciting and crowd-pleasing artists around.”
If that wasn’t enough to encourage you to set sail to the beautiful island, then there will be 12 stages of live music to choose from over the weekend.
“We always strive to put on acts at all levels – from breaking acts to the headliners and we’re very excited to have James Bay at the festival this year. It’s no secret that Fleetwood Mac have been on my wishlist for The Isle of Wight Festival for some time now, so I’m very pleased and extremely proud to have them headline this year’s event. With Christine now back in the band too, it is going to be a momentous occasion, a moment in music history.”
• When: 11 – 14 June
• Find out more and book tickets from £197.60 at www.isleofwightfestival.com
For some, Blissfields is synonymous with summer. This small but beautifully formed fest’ transforms a hidden Hampshire valley into a deliciously laid-back soiree. Kick back under a tree with an icy cold beverage, whilst soothing beats fill the hazy glade. Blissfields embraces the wild festival shenanigans, so don’t be surprised to see snake-hipped Hula-hoopers or a man riding a pennyfarthing whilst periodically honking a French horn. On the music front, the main draw for most is bona fide hiphop DJ GrandMaster Flash! Simian Mobile Disco (Live) return this year, as well as Blissfields royalty, Dub Pistols, and the chance to sink some real ales at the Hobgoblin Beer Festival. Blissfields’ appeal spans the ages, so expect to party with a mix of lithe young teens with flowers in their hair; broods of festival-weathered kids – towed along in fairy-lit trolleys; and 30 & 40+ somethings – showing them all how it’s done.
• When: 3 & 4 July
• Find out more and book tickets from £95 at www.blissfields.co.uk
50,000 folk will flock to the beautiful Isle of Wight to celebrate the 12th anniversary of Bestival this year. “We’re taking it right back to our roots,” explains co-founder Rob da Bank. “It’s also the 20th birthday of the club where it all started - Sunday Best, and that club and our beloved Bestival were founded on some pretty simple aims - listen to amazing music, make new friends, have fun, and maybe stay up all night. Two decades later we’re rigidly sticking to those principles, and this edition of Bestival, with its Summer of Love theme, is all about one huge musical, well, orgy...So, returning friends the Chemical Brothers rave alongside iconic popstars Duran Duran and The Jacksons, and some of my favourite modern musical mavericks - Tame Impala, Flying Lotus and Jungle - jump in bed together…and this is just the start of the party.”
Bestival’s door has been flung wide open to all walks of life, says Rob: “We’re not just talking about bell-bottomed hippies with flowers in their hair, or red-jeaned ravers circumnavigating the M25. It’s deeper and wider, and even longer than that. It’s about positivity, peace and love, and bananas not guns. We want all people, all sexes, all ages, all cultures to come together and to share the good times, to celebrate the simple joy of unity, to feel the unparalleled pleasures of dancing shoulder to shoulder with wonderful strangers and loving every second. We want the greatest party of all time. And we know you do too.”
• When: 10 – 13 September
• Find out more and book tickets from £205 at www.bestival.net
Just a stone’s throw from the sea, Victorious is back this year with another great line-up including Basement Jaxx, Tinie Tempah and The Flaming Lips. Perfect for families, the festival ticket also gives you access to Southsea’s seafront attractions, like the Blue Reef Aquarium and even a beer festival. Best of all, it’s cheap as chips! (£18 per day).
• When: Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 August 2015
• Find out more and book tickets at www.victoriousfestival.co.uk
For the second year running, Meonfest returns to the beautiful Bereleigh Estate in East Meon. This magical setting is perfect for families – who can picnic on the hill overlooking the main stage with a knock-out view of East Meon. Confirmed acts include Daisy Trail, Chalk Flowers, Southampton Ukulele Jam and Damiain Lodrick – with local Meonstoke headliner, folk-punker, Frank Turner - who will be hot-footing it from Glastonbury.
• When: 27 June
• Find out more and book tickets from £15 at www.meonfest.org.uk
If I could walk 500 miles…I’d walk to Wickham Festival to sing my heart out to the Proclaimers. Located on the outskirts of the historic village of Wickham, this fest has earned its reputation as one of the most relaxed and family-friendly of the summer.
• When: 6 – 9 August
• Find out more and book tickets from £35 at www.wickhamfestival.co.uk
Smoked & Uncut
If intimate, laid back festivals with delicious food and booze are on your summer checklist, then look no further. Smoked & Uncut takes place in the beautiful grounds of two of the New Forest’s sexiest hotels; Lime Wood and The PIG - the latter, promises headliner - Andy Burrows – a local lad who rose to fame drumming for both Razorlight and We Are Scientists.
• When: Limewood – 12 July, THE PIG – 6 September
• Find out more and book tickets from £30 at www.smokedanduncut.com
Let’s Rock Southampton
80s throwbacks rejoice! A sea of shoulder pads and big hair will take over Southampton Common when Let’s Rock Southampton returns this summer. Family friendly, kids can run loose (like only 80s kids did!) with free circus workshops, the ‘Disco Shack’ and face painting. Whilst the parents can embarrass their kids by rocking a makeover from an 80s stylist - before ordering a few retro cocktails and swinging their parachute pants to the likes of Jimmy Somerville, Kim Wild, T’Pau and Hot Chocolate.
• When: 11 July
• Find out more and book tickets from £43 at www.letsrocksouthampton.com
Established as a fundraising event in 2011, Lowde Fest donates all profits to The Lowde Music Trust, who help to support, motivate and fund young people in the music and creative performance industries. This year Paul Young, with his band Los Pacaminos, will be headlining at Hazeley Bottom, along with other bands, epic scale choirs, live orchestras and solo performers. Or you can spend your time mooching about the market place sampling the world food stalls, or some of the 80 real ales and ciders.
• When: 4 July
• Find out more and book tickets from £20 at www.lowdefest.com
One Love Festival
Channelling Bob Marley’s One Love philosophy, this fest rolls into Winchester in a haze of soothing Reggae and Dub sounds. With the promise of being a diverse melting pot – One Love Festival is multi-cultural, multi-ethical and environmentally friendly with a feel-good vibe.
• When: 4 - 6 September
• Find out more and book tickets from £43.50 at www.onelovefestival.co.uk
Now in its fourth year, Basingstoke Festival boasts around 100 events in over 30 venues throughout the city, reaching an audience of over 160,000 people from Hampshire and beyond. Enjoy theatre, orchestras, choirs, dance, film festivals, art installations and not forgetting the pièce de résistance: Basingstoke Live - a free, two-day, music festival which has secured Brighton-based electronic rock act, The Qemists, and Mungo Jerry - famous for their cult summer hit: ‘In the Summertime’.
• When: 19 June - 12 July
Boom Town Fair
Looking for something to blow your mind? Then this is the beast for you. Join thousands of BoomTown citizens and lose yourself for a whole weekend in this sprawling metropolis - made up of nine individual districts. Music is an eclectic mix - ska, reggae, folk, hip-hop, drum ‘n’ bass, jungle and garage acts, across a whopping 22 main stages. Kidztown offers something for the little people, whilst grown-ups are guaranteed a ginormous theatrical trip.
• When: 13 – 16 August
• Find out more and book tickets from £155 at www.boomtownfair.co.uk