With exam season just around the corner, we know that you’re probably busy putting a revision plan together to get you through the next few months. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, though, because as exam season comes to an end, festival season begins. With new lineups being released every day, it can be a challenge choosing how you’re going to celebrate getting through the busiest period of the academic year.
It’s up to you how you choose which festival you go to: would you prefer to sample a few smaller events, or are you going to go all in and try one of the larger, more mainstream festivals? We’ve put together a list of our favourites to help you decide.
Love Saves The Day
Love Saves the Day Festival is the perfect option if you’re based in Bristol. With affordable ticket pricing and some big names in dance music, this festival is ideal for anyone looking to celebrate the end of the exam period. Like other festivals on this list, you don’t have to commit to the full weekend, meaning you can just pick the best day of music for you.
The festival is located just a 15-minute drive from our Hotwells House accommodation, which makes it one of the best-located events on our list – getting home has never been easier (or if you’re not ready for bed, you’re still just a 20-minute drive from the city centre).
Cost: Between £49.50 (day ticket) and £82.50 (weekend ticket)
When: 26th-27th May
Where: Eastville Park, Bristol
Headliners: Fatboy Slim, Sampha, Loyle Carner
If you fancy heading to Wales for a weekend of camping and dance beats, then you’ll enjoy this underground festival based in Anglesey. Hidden in the middle of the woods, this three-day event will be the perfect way to celebrate getting through your exams. Here you can party next to a lake, or dance in the shade of an old manor house – ideal if you like a more intimate atmosphere with the same great music that the larger festivals offer.
Cost: £165 + £11.50 booking fee
When: 7th-10th June
Where: Anglesey, Wales
Headliners: Andrew Weatherall, Ben UFO, Hunee
If you’re into your rock music, then Download will be the festival for you. It’s the go-to event for all things heavy-metal, and the only mainstream festival that you can attend if you don’t fancy stumbling across any pop music. This is one of the earlier festivals in the year, so if you’re in need of an instant celebration when you get through your exams, this festival could be perfect for you.
When: 8th-10th June
Where: Donington Park, Derby
Headliners: Avenged Sevenfold, Guns N’ Roses, Ozzy Osbourne
This year, the organisers of Manchester-based club night The Warehouse Project bring Parklife’s biggest lineup yet. Set in North Manchester’s Heaton Park, you can expect some of the biggest names in dance music, rivalling the EDM giant that is Creamfields. It’s not just limited to electronic music, because this festival offers a range of artists covering several different genres.
The festival is known for its innovative use of technology, with impressive stage design, incredible visual shows, and affordable tickets. Any Manchester-based student would be silly to miss it.
Cost: Between £65 (day ticket) and £130 (weekend ticket)
When: 9th-10th June
Where: Heaton Park, Manchester
Headliners: Liam Gallagher, The XX, Eric Prydz
If you’re still suffering from post-festival depression following Parklife, its southern cousin, Lovebox takes place in London the following month. Here you can find a similar mix of music, featuring some prominent names in dance, and some huge artists from the world of hip-hop. Like Parklife, this festival takes place over two days, which means you’ve got the flexibility of choosing the day of music that suits you best – great if you’re on a budget.
Cost: Between £75 (day ticket) and £115 (weekend ticket)
When: 13th-14th July
Where: Gunnersbury Park, London
Headliners: Childish Gambino, Skepta, N.E.R.D
Bestival takes place in a wooded country estate near the Dorset coast. This multi-award-winning festival attracts the biggest names in music, and is known for its laidback atmosphere. There’s a good reason why it calls itself the most colourful show on Earth, because each year there’s a set fancy-dress theme – which attendees are fully expected to stick to. The organisers are yet to release this year’s theme, but to give you an idea, last year’s was ‘colour’.
Cost: £172 (including booking fee)
When: 2nd-5th August
Where: Lulworth Estate, Dorset
Headliners: Diplo and Mark Ronson (i.e. Silk City), London Grammar, M.I.A.
Surfing and music: what could be better? Boardmasters, in the South of England, is the festival to attend if you’ve got a passion for skating, surfing, or any other extreme sports. Although it’s aimed at surfers, anyone can enjoy the adrenaline rush of riding gnarly waves in the day, and, of course, you can party in the evening to great tunes.
With a laidback atmosphere and an eclectic line up, Boardmasters brings people together from all different backgrounds, and it’s always reassuring to know that a decent percentage of ticket sales are going towards saving the planet.
When: 8th-12th August
Headliners: Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Chemical Brothers, George Ezra
Boomtown is the home of the weird and wonderful. It’s a place without prejudice, where you’re almost expected to explore new aspects of your personality. It’s a great one to go to if you and your friends want a few days to let loose after your exams. Now entering its tenth year, Boomtown creates a magical town-like space, where the stages are built to particular themes and the entertainment goes on into the early hours. Expect psychedelic visuals and a community vibe.
When: 9th-12th August
Headliners: Gorillaz, Die Antwoord, Limp Bizkit
If you’re into your dance music, Creamfields could be the festival for you. Year after year, this festival showcases the best in electronic music, from new upcoming artists through to rave aficionados. This four-day party usually brings in the award for the Best UK Dance Event, which means you’re guaranteed to be dancing your socks off from Thursday right through to Sunday.
The best part is that all you hardcore ravers can buy shuttle bus tickets to Liverpool if you want to carry on partying when the festival ends.
Cost: Between £90 (day ticket) and £220 (weekend camping)
When: 23rd-26th August
Where: Daresbury, Cheshire
Headliners: Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox, Annie Mac
Never Miss Out on the Best Student Events
We’re dedicated to providing the best information on student life because we want you to make the most of your time in Uni. Keep an eye out for the best student events, bars, and even day-to-day money-saving tips on our blog.