That’s a wrap folks, festival season is officially over. While we’re sad to see it gone we’re really excited to sit back, relax and take stock of what has been an amazing year for live music and the UK festival scene.
We’ve compiled a list of the ten best UK festivals that took place in during the summer of 2019. It’s an eclectic mix and we think our choices are pretty well justified!
If you disagree with any of our choices or think another UK festival should have made the list then let us know in the comments below.
Parklife Festival knocked it out of the park this year (Terrible pun intended). It’s a completely different experience to your normal festival, but that’s what we love about it.
Parklife just oozes Manchester, it’s cool, industrial and we never want to leave. It’s easily one of our favourite UK festivals.
Blossoms were a particular highlight for us, hailing from just around the corner in Stockport, the five-piece indie band were bloody brilliant, especially considering that Parklife isn’t the sort of festival you’d expect to see them at. George Ezra, Diplo and Major Lazer and of course The Streets all bossed it as well.
9) South West Four
Unlike Parklife, South West Four Festival was blessed with blazing sunshine. It was B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L.
This two-day dance extravaganza held at Clapham Commons, London, saw some huge names grace the decks including Martin Garrix, Pendulum and Chase and Status.
The sad passing of Keith Flint saw headliners The Prodigy understandably cancel all of their tour dates. However the thousands of ravers that did attend made the most of the incredible weather and fantastic music.
8) Slam Dunk
If you couldn’t already tell, we’re suckers for a bit of nostalgia. What’s more nostalgic than rock, emo and pop-punk goodness.
Slam Dunk Festival is now split up into a North and South Festival. We had the pleasure of attending both in Leeds and the picturesque Hatfield House in Hertfordshire.
Californian Metalcore band Atreyu rocked this year, despite missing frontman Alex Varkatzas. We also threw ourselves around the pits to punk heroes Bad Religion, Neckdeep and Simple Plan. Plain White T’s calmly topped off what was a fantastic and very heavy festival for us.
Quickly growing to become one of the largest and most renowned UK festivals, we absolutely LOVE Boomtown Fair for all its weird and wonderful charm.
Amazing, creatively built stages, weird performance artists around every corner and a solid line-up made for a great time.
Rap-metal supergroup Prophets of Rage melted the faces of many-a-festival-goers and an eclectic mix of artists such as Slaves, The Streets and of course Groove Armada were all brilliant.
This cosy independent rock festival tucked away in the Cotswolds really landed on people’s radars this year.
Attending 2000trees was about so much more than just the music, despite having an absolutely stacked line-up. The location was stunning and the people friendly! We genuinely don’t have anything bad to say about 2000trees.
Officially one of our new favourite UK festivals, stand-out bands this year included: You Me at Six, Enter Shikari and the absolutely electric Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes.
One of the best dance acts of all time made their timely return to Creamfields Festival this year, Swedish House Mafia. Their performance genuinely divided ravers, however we loved it for the nostalgia factor alone.
A very late set from Ibiza legend Carl Cox in the wee hours of the morning and a cracking Calvin Harris appearance both sat high on our list of magic moments.
We couldn’t talk about Creamfields and not mention The Chemical Brothers (again), their absolutely sublime set made our weekend.
4) BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend
They really got this one right this year. Stormzy opened the Middlesbrough festival in style, controversially, starting the ‘fuck Boris’ chant for the first time, which would go on to go down in festival folklore at Glasto later in the festival season.
There was a few bands thrown into the line up that surprised us in 2019, including Bring me the Horizon, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Vampire Weekend.
That said, there was certainly no shortage of pop-goodness at 1 Big Weekend this year, Miley Cyrus is back and is better then ever after what has been a somewhat rocky few years. Little Mix, Charli XCX, Billie Eilish and the 1975 were all firm favourites with the mostly-younger crowd.
3) All Points East
This glorious ten-day festival in Victoria Park, London was insane! There are not many UK festivals you’ll attend where you’ll see such a weird collection of some of the world’s best artists. All Points East has the lot.
The first weekend saw The Chemical Brothers, one of the most timeless festival acts of all time send Tower Hamlets into raptures. Johnny Marr and The Strokes were big hits too.
The killer trio of Run the Jewels, Architects and Bring Me The Horizon blew up the Friday night of the second weekend. Big shoutout to Bon Ever who closed the festival.
2) Download Festival
Slipknot. Need we say anything else? The weather absolutely sucked, but that didn’t matter. Thousands and thousands of people flocked to Donington Park Race Circuit for this year’s instalment of the world’s greatest rock and metal festival, and they made the most of every single second.
Of course, Slipknot kicked serious ass, but there were SO many fantastic bands and artists that rocked in 2019. Just to name a few stand-outs we LOVED… Tool, Rob Zombie, Skindred, Sumo Cyco and Die Antwoord (Controversial, we know).
You can wash out the crowd, but you can’t wash out their spirit. Download Festival delivered it all this year and rightly take a spot near the top of our top 10 list.
1) Glastonbury Festival
Who else would top the top of this list? Glastonbury Festival is the number one UK festival of all time. And after a hiatus we were all itching to welcome back the festival’s much anticipated return.
This year saw an incredible line up at Worthy Farm, there were so many brilliant bands and artists that it truly is impossible to see them all, but the one’s we did get to see did not disappoint.
Friday saw Stormzy break the internet, with his strong worded political message, the feisty Liam Gallagher was a firm favourite on the Saturday and Sunday was dominated by Kylie and The Cure.
Glastonbury Festival is, was, and always will be incredibly special. The spiritual home of UK festival-goers easily tops our list of the top 10 UK festivals of 2019.
If you liked this small taster of 2019 then keep an eye on Festival Empire for in-depth reviews of all of this year’s festivals.