Posted in Music | By Richard Mellor
21/03 2010

London Summer Festivals – a round-up

With details of this summer’s London festivals flooding in thick and fast, it can be hard to keep track.  With that in mind, here’s SOIWT’s pocket guide to the most interesting ones, with the lowdown on what each bash promises.  This will be updated periodically:

Camden Crawl
Date: Saturday 1 – Sunday 2 May, Camden (various venues)
Confirmed line-up:  Pendulum, Calvin Harris, Ms Dynamite, New Young Pony Club, The Drums, Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip, Speech Debelle, We Are Scientists Lostprophets.  Oh – and Sugababes.  No, really
Cost:  Weekend tickets are £54.90 if booked early, and £61.3o otherwise.  Days are £38.25 whenever you snaffle ‘em (tickets)
Is it gonna be whack or what?  High chance of whackness, dude.  The line-ups much more multifaceted than normal, but there still remains the terminal CC problem: getting into more than two venues all night. 
Go if your favourite Skins character is:  Emily

Stag & Dagger
When/where:  Friday 21 May, Shoreditch (various venues)
Confirmed line-up:  Filthy Dukes, Is Tropical, The Radio Dept, Django Django, Comanechi, Mount Kimbie, Sian Alice Group
Cost:  £15.45 (tickets)
Is it gonna be whack or what?  Though far from fully furnished, the line-up looks a mite weaker this year - but as the bands of most repute are always impossible to see (such are the busy bars), what’s it matter anyway?  The tix remain hideously cheap, and the event always comes with a bonkers friendly atmosphere, verging on the indisciplined…
Go if your favourite Skins character is:  Freddie

When/where:  Friday 2 – Sunday 4 July, Hyde Park (no camping)
Confirmed line-up:  LCD Soundsystem, 2manydjs, U.N.K.L.E, Plan B, The Big Pink, Jay-Z, The Temper Trap, P!nk and Lily Allen – her final performance, apparently.  SOIWT has been more gutted.
Cost:  £110 for the weekend, £85 for a two-day combo and £47.50 for a single day (tickets)
Is it gonna be whack or what?  As ifff!  With some seriously heavyweight dancery – U.N.K.L.E’s return is particularly exciting – on the Saturday, and Jay-Z to close things out on Sunday, this should be excellent.  Jay-Z in Hyde-P, brup brup brup…
Go if your favourite Skins character is:  Cook

When/where: Friday 16 – Saturday 18 July, Victoria Park (no camping)
Confirmed line-up:  Grace Jones, Mark Ronson, Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music, Groove Armada, Chromeo, Crookers, Chase & Status, Hurts, Hot Chip, Ellie Goulding, Empire of the Sun, Rox, Joy Orbison and Wild Beasts
Cost:  £99 for the weekend, £80 for two days and £45 for just the one (tickets)
Is it gonna be whack or what?  As previously discussed, Lovebox is suddenly a lot cooler, with some pop and indie edge to its sometimes pedestrian dance headliners.  With a likely Groove Armada and Bryan Ferry duet, this could be ruddy excellent.
Go if your favourite Skins character is:  Panda

The 1-2-3-4 Shoreditch
When/where: Saturday 24 July, Shoreditch Park
Confirmed line-up:  These New Puritans, Vivian Girls, Wavves, We Have Band, Dum Dum Girls, Trailer Trash Tracys, Wild Palms.  Lots of up-and-comers you can pretend to have heard of
Cost: £16.50 at the moment (tickets)
Is it gonna be whack or what?  Always a bit cheap and cheerful this one, but with a stonkingly piffling price tag and some vary decent bands on the bill, what’s to lose?
Go if your favourite Skins character is:  Naomi

Field Day
When/where:  Saturday 31 July, Victoria Park
Confirmed line-up:  Phoenix, Caribou, Memory Tapes, Pantha du Prince, Hudson Mohawke, These New Puritans, The Fall, Andrew Weatherall, No Age
Cost:  £33.33 (tickets)
Is it gonna be whack or what?  Only if it rains yet again.  Otherwise, these days Field Day is well-run and comes with a friendly atmosphere, kicking afterparties and – crucial – and egg-and-spoon racing field.  It’s diverse – with various cultures well represented – and bitesize, and Phoenix’s headline slot should ensure things end with a real bang.
Go if your favourite Skins character is:  Thomas

When/where:  Saturday 4 – Sunday 5 September, Hainault Forest (camping)
Confirmed line-up:  First wave now announced: including Liquid Liquid, Cluster, Telepathé, These New Puritans, Rolo Tomassi, Bo Ningen, Fiction.
Cost:  £65 for the weekend with camping, £55 without.  Day tickets are £28 (tickets)
Is it gonna be whack or what?  Not a chance, sonny.  This is London’s hippest festival, with legendary punksters and the trendiest, newest young things all being convivial in the unexpectedly pretty Hainault Forest. 
Go if your favourite Skins character is:  Effy

Get Loaded in the Park, the SW4 Weekender and Hard Rock Calling are all also on, but they’re a little too mainstream and mostly Claphamish for SOIWT’s hip-as-shit tastes.  Give them the scorn they deserve, dear readers…  There’s also the Somerset House Series of concerts, but that’s not really a festival now is it?



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  1. 25/03 2010

    Great blog entry – thanks for explaining the whole low down n ting even if the whole ‘Skins’ thing is lost on me. makes me cry that i’m marooned in 45 quid to see anyone-who’s-not-a-crappy-aussie band in melbourne, Oz. Good work.

  2. ripamel
    25/03 2010

    Yes sorry about the Skins thing.. it was the best I could come up with, but a bit lame really.

    Non-interesting fact: I recently wrote a guide to chic, luxury Melbourne – despite having never been. The neverending wonders of journalism, eh?

    thanks vm for writing, and I’m really pleased with the kind words
    Richard (editor)