UK Festivals 2021: Everything You Need To Know

Get ready for the rave - festivals are back this summer!


OK, let’s be honest – we all miss festivals. After over a year of being stuck at home, seeing our families and friends only through social media, being banned from going anywhere but groceries to a local corner shop (I could continue for much longer) – THIS is the moment we have been patiently waiting for as it looks like the brighter days are finally coming.

Low Cases, High Hopes 

Since the start of the year, the average number of COVID-19 cases in the UK has substantially decreased and there has been no need to change or postpone the post-lockdown reopening schedule, thankfully. The nearest stage of the prime minister’s lifting plan which is due May the 17th (that’s already next Monday, yay!) will allow indoor hospitality to reopen, bringing us even closer to the long-awaited party season. However, we will have to wait till 21st of June when the remaining restrictions are set to be removed – this would signal a green light for all festivals to return.

In terms of music events, we have already made huge progress during this month, though. On May 2, the first UK post-lockdown gig took place in Liverpool. The Sunday evening concert, organized as a part of the government’s Event Research Programme to trial how mass post-pandemic events might look like, was started by Stockport guitar band Blossoms in Sefton Park and looked unbelievably  “near-normal”. The 5.000 visitors did not have to follow any restrictions as having a negative Covid test was their ‘entry ticket’, so they enjoyed the music event without sweating in face masks or keeping their distance from the others. 

Buying A Ticket? Might Be Too Late 

Although it is still unclear how exactly the summer will look like, it might be already too late to buy festival tickets as some of them are either canceled, postponed, or sold out.

Recently, many festivals have been called off by their organizers who said the government did not provide enough backup insurance in case of a potential third COVID-19 wave. According to the latest report by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), 26% of UK festivals with a capacity of over 5.000 have been already canceled due to government inaction and lack of insurance, with Glastonbury, BST Hyde Park and Download among them. And more than three-quarters of the remaining festivals could end up in the same situation if the insurance policies are not reviewed.

To top it up, it can be quite challenging to find tickets to the remaining ones. Some of the biggest UK festivals such as Creamfields, Boomtown, Field Day, Reading and Leeds have already sold out in record time and it is not even surprising as the desire to get out and enjoy social life again is way too big.


2021 Festivals Which Are Set To Go Ahead 

Nobody can predict what will happen in the next few weeks but with the government’s roadmap, there is a possibility of returning to something close to normality and hopefully, most of the events will go ahead as planned.

As we get excited for the summer full of fun, have a look at the overview on the most popular UK festivals going ahead this summer and find everything you need to know – from tickets, dates, line-up and more:

1.    All Points East

The four-day music and entertainment event has moved from its usual slot in May to August, bringing rock, indie and alternative music back to London. The festival will host artists such as Jamie XX, London Grammar, Kano, Jorja Smith, Slowthai, Little Simz and Loyle Carner.

WHEN: 27 – 30 August
WHERE: Victoria Park, London

Tickets available here.

2.    Creamfields

After the cancellation in 2020, the UK’s biggest dance and electronic music festival is going ahead this summer again. The award-winning four-day event confirmed its return after Boris Johnsons’ roadmap announcement earlier this year. The event sold out in February, but you can sign up to its ticket waiting list here.

WHEN: 26 – 29 August
WHERE: Daresbury, Cheshire

3.    Field Day

Field Day is one of London’s most loved summer events. After being away since 2017, the iconic outdoor music festival comes back with a line-up full of exciting names, including BICEP, The Black Madonna, Donna Leake and Artwork. Same as for Creamfields, the event is sold out but you can sign up to a mailing list to get notified about any future re-sale here.

WHEN: 29 August
WHERE: Victoria Park, East London

4.    Glastonbury

Worthy Farm, the home of Glastonbury festival, canceled this year’s installment due to the coronavirus pandemic and offered an online stream on 22nd May instead, featuring artists such as Coldplay, HEIM and Jorja Smith. However, the organizers have recently informed that the Somerset festival, which was already postponed in 2020, could take place later this year. The event would utilize only the main Pyramid Stage field with a maximum capacity of 49.999 visitors and overnight camping would not be allowed.

WHEN: this September
WHERE: Worthy Farm, Somerset

The tickets for the five-hour live stream are on sale Wednesday, May 12, and you can buy them here.

5.    Kaleidoscope, Alexandra Palace

Rescheduled from last year, London’s highest festival is back in the capital with a vibrant line-up including artists such as Groove Armada, The Coral and Norman Jay MBE as well as comedians like Phil Wang, Sophie Duker and more. Ally Pally is known for incredible live music, DJ sets, comedy theatre and entertainment for families.

WHEN: 24 July
WHERE: Alexandra Place and Palace

Tickets available here.

6.    Kendal Calling

The four-day festival, which celebrates its 15th birthday this year, will offer the best in-house, drum n bass and house music. The Streets, Dizzee Rascal, Supergrass and Stereophonics are among this year’s headliners with many more to be announced soon. The event is sold out but you can sign up on the waiting list or find tickets on resale websites.

WHEN: 29 July – 1 August 2021
WHERE:  Lowther Deer Park, The Lake District

7.    Latitude

The family-friendly festival announced Bastile, Snow Patrol Reworked and First Aid Kid as headliners of this year’s installment but you can expect much more from top music, theatre, art, cabaret and comedy acts.

WHEN: 22 – 25 July
WHERE: Henham Park, Suffolk

Tickets available here.

8.    Manchester Pride Festival

Manchester Pride Festival is an annual pride festival held in the heart of Manchester featuring various events like MCR Pride Live, the Gay Village Party, the Superbia Weekend and more. Considered as one of the world’s leading celebrations of LGBTQ+ life, the festival already announced its line-up with names such as Zara Larsson, Sigala, Ella Henderson, Eve, Example and Jodie Harsh.

WHEN: 27 – 30 August
WHERE: Manchester City Centre

Tickets available here.

9.    Reading and Leeds

The famous festival duo, which simultaneously takes place over the same UK bank holiday weekend in August, will host a huge variety of artists from Stormzy, Aj Tracey, Slowthai, Machine Gun Kelly to Doja Cat, Yung Blud, Becky Hill, Liam Gallagher, Disclosure and many more. Unfortunately, both festivals are already sold out.

WHEN: 27 – 29 August
WHERE: Little John’s Farm, Reading; Bramham Park, Leeds

10.    The Big Feastival

Perfect for lovers of delicious food and good music, the family-friendly fest will come to the Oxfordshire-Gloucestershire border in the end of August with a line-up full of various artists from Sigala, Zara Larsson, Rag’n’Bone Man, Tom Walker and Ella Eyre.

WHEN: 27 – 29 August
WHERE: Kingham, Oxfordshire

Tickets available here.

11.    WOMAD

WOMAD is an international art, music and dance festival celebrating the power of performance in any form. Various musicians, poets, artists, actors and other entrepreneurs from all over the world arrive every year to take part in this performance madness with The Comet Is Coming, Jordan Rakei and Anoushka Shankar already included in this year’s line-up.

WHEN: 22 – 25 July
WHERE: Charlton Park, Wiltshire

Tickets available here.