Calling all fans of rock, metal, punk and indie, if you’re planning on hitting the festivals this year, here is your guide to the best UK fests for rock. Some of these may not be considered traditional rock festivals but they have been included as their line-ups feature some huge names in the genre. With bands such as The Rolling Stones, Green Day and Slipknot confirmed for 2013, this is the year for rocking out.
Isle of Wight
Back in 1970, Isle of Wight Festival held the largest rock event ever with 600,000 turning out to see Jimi Hendrix play what would be his final gig. Since its revival in 2002 Isle of Wight hasn’t ceased to bring in the big guns with The Who, The Rolling Stones and David Bowie playing at Seaclose Park. This year will not disappoint: ‘Living on a Prayer’, ‘Waterfall’ and ‘Mr Brightside’ will no doubt initiate sing-alongs of epic proportions as headliners Bon Jovi, The Stone Roses and The Killers take to the main stage.
The ultimate festival for hard rock fans, its title was chosen in 2003 because downloading was a rebellious thing to do at the time, reflecting the rock genre. This year’s killer line-up includes Slipknot, Iron Maiden and Rammstein as headliners, along with Bullet for my Valentine, Queens of the Stone Age, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Black Stone Cherry, Enter Shikari and Limp Bizkit. Head toDownload Festival at Donnington Park in June for guaranteed face-melting guitar riffs.
It’s back with an bang with probably its most legendary headliner ever, The Rolling Stones. Completing Glastonbury’s all-rock headline acts are iconic indie rockers Arctic Monkeys and the Brit Award-winning folk rockers Mumford & Sons. Also playing the Pyramid Stage are The Vaccines, Vampire Weekend and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. The Other Stage will welcome Enter Shikari, Editors and Alt-J, while the John Peel Stage will be graced by Phoenic, Bastille and Everything Everything. Worthy Farm won’t know what’s hit it.
Hard Rock Calling
This two-day festival is known for bringing massive names to the heart of London, covering everything from indie to rock ‘n’ roll. 2013 will be no different with British indie-rockers Kasabian headlining Saturday and Bruce Springsteen finishing what he started last year by headlining Sunday. Joining them are Paul Weller, Alabama Shakes, Klaxons and many more. If you couldn’t get a Glastonbury ticket, this fest if over the same weekend. Make sure you don’t head to Hyde Park, as this year Hard Rock Calling is moving to the iconic Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
T in the Park
Scotland is host to an array of musical talent for July’s mega festival in Kinross. With seven music stages, a fair ground and fancy dress Friday, T in the Park no doubt welcomed a flurry of Glastonbury regulars for last year’s headliners The Stone Roses, Snow Patrol and Kasabian. 2013 will see Mumford and Sons, Phoenix and Imagine Dragons on the Friday; on Saturday there’s Beady Eye, Alt-J and Twin Atlantic; while Sunday boasts The Killers, Foals and Bastille, to name but a few of the acts set to rock the 20th anniversary.
The home of hard rock, thousands of metalheads flock to the grounds of Catton Hall in Derbyshire for an intense weekend of moshing and even some metal karaoke. Bloodstock Open Air brings the very best of the heavy metal scene including black, goth, death and thrash. BOA will see the likes of Slayer, Anthrax, Lamb of God, Firewind and many more for 2013.
Back in ’96, Pulp’s front man Jarvis Cocker decided he wanted to play two outdoor events in two days. More artists were added to the bill and V Festival was born. This year Hylands Park and Weston Park will welcome rock giants Kings of Leon, Stereophonics and Beady Eye, who will play alongside indie favourites The Vaccines, Two Door Cinema Club and Scouting for Girls.
Reading and Leeds
These festival favourites have gone through many musical phases with rock, punk and metal dominating. This year Richfield Avenue and Bramham Park will be headlined by punk rockers Green Day, Scottish band Biffy Clyro and…Eminem. Also rocking the main stage are Fall Out Boy, System of a Down, Bring Me The Horizon, Twin Atlantic and The Blackout. This year’s Reading and Leeds Festival promises ‘More stages, more music and more epic times’.