Leavers Magazine – We Pick the Best of the FEST!

Pack your wellies and pick your party – festival season will soon be upon us.
Perhaps you’re in the market for a brand new offering along the lines of TRNSMT at Glasgow Green or Carnival 56 in Dundee. Possibly you plan to check out global big hitters Eminem and Muse at Reading & Leeds or rock your nuts off at Download. The choice is yours, obvs.

Radio 1’s Big Weekend kicks off the festival season on May 27-28 as the free party descends on Hull. That’s swiftly followed by Download the following month. TRNSMT takes care of July while August is taken over by Carnival 56 and Reading & Leeds. Bestival – September 7-10 – wraps it up for another year as Autumn hits and thoughts turn to, erm, Halloween and such like. Here’s SUSIE DANIELS’ guide to the six best festivals this year.

TRNSMT – July 7-9TH, Glasgow Green

Is there a T in the Park shaped hole in your life this Summer? Then thank the festival gods for filling that yawning chasm by providing Scotland’s newest festival TRNSMT.


The people behind T are bringing the festival to you by parachtuing in (no, not literally) global icons Radiohead and Kasabian to headline at Glasgow Green on Friday and Saturday respectively.
Local heroes Biffy Clyro are the main act on Sunday, with Biffy-lite Twin Atlantic further down the bill.
Leans very much towards indie guitar with less emphasis on dance.

PROS: City centre setting great for access, accommodation, etc.
CONS: No camping option so get yourself sorted on Air BnB NOW if you’re planning to stay the weekend.
TICKETS: Range from £65.45 for day pass to £234.95 for three-day VIP access.

DOWNLOAD – June 9-11th, Donnington Park

festival 1

If you’re attracted to bands with menacing names like Five Finger Death Punch and Prophets of Rage then this is the one for you.
Download features everything from old-school metal favourites such as Slayer and Suicidal Tendencies through to nu-metal heroes Sum 41 and Good Charlotte.
System of a Down, Biffy and Aerosmith headline the main stage. There’s also a ‘Quiet’ camping zone – good luck with that!

PROS: No one’s going to tell you to turn it down a bit as the monsters of rock, well, rock.
CONS: You might need a good neck rub by the end of this head-banging extravaganza.
TICKETS: From £83 for day ticket.

READING & LEEDS – August 25th-27th

Reading & Leeds have pulled off arguably the coup of the season by landing hip hop heavyweight Eminem.
The rap icon augmented what was already a stellar line-up with festival favourites Kasabian and sonic terrorists Muse sharing the limelight.


Saturday at Reading is already sold out so unless HAIM’s roadie is your auntie’s friend’s son or you win Student Rag’s ticket competition then you’re name’s not on the list so you’re not getting in.Which would be a monumental shame.

PROS: Twin sites means you get to pick your party
CONS: Saturday at Reading is sold out. Did we mention our ticket competition?
TICKETS: From £72 for one day access. Or free – including weekend camping if you win our competition.

music crowd

BESTIVAL – Sept 7-10th, Lulworth Estate, Dorset

WITH an inflatable church, the world’s biggest bouncy castle and a carnival day parade, you could be forgiven for forgetting there’s a shed load of live music to enjoy in this normally quiet corner of the country. Music mountain of the moment Rag ‘n Bone Man provides able support on the main Castle Stage, with The XX headlining.
For the retro-minded among you, 1980s heroes Soul II Soul and The Pet Shop Boys are also on the bill.

PROS: A chilled-out vibe at a boutique-style festival means you won’t end up scrapping with the locals at chucking-out time.
CONS: None, it’s all groovy here brothers and sisters.
TICKETS: Weekend student access is £160, not including camping.

RADIO 1’S BIG WEEKEND – May 27-28th, Burton Constable Hall, Hull

RADIO 1’s now annual jamboree has the power to attract pop’s world super powers and has developed a reputation for capturing the musical zeitgeist every Spring. Details on the line-up are sketchy – and by sketchy we mean almost non-existent – but judging by previous years’ performers the music-loving public will not be disappointed.

little mix

Think Pharell Williams in Glasgow 2014, Taylor Swift at Norwich 2015 and Coldplay last year in Exeter. All we know so far about this year’s edition is that Little Mix, Kings of Leon and Stormzy will be pitching up for the party.

PROS: Tickets are FREE. Yes, you read that correctly.
CONS: It’s too early to know if the line-up will be strong enough to tempt you to Hull.
TICKETS: See above. The 50,000 tickets are free, but are subject to an £8.50 admin charge.


CARNIVAL 56 – August 12-13th, Camperdown Park, Dundee

I know, I know, this is a new one on you – well, you’re not alone as Carnival 56 is fresh on the scene. But despite its focus on local and national talent, the festival line-up includes international-class DJ/producer Mark Ronson and Rockabye electronic faves Clean Bandit.

Camperdown Park was the venue for Radio 1’s Big Weekend back in 2006 and the organisers aim to recreate some of the excitement of that event this year. A multi-genre festival which also includes DJs and comedians.

PROS: Cultural hotspot Dundee’s just up the road and the festival is set in stunning parkland.
CONS: No camping option so get yourself sorted on Air BnB NOW if you’re planning to stay the weekend.
TICKETS: Student day tickets start at just £40. £134 will get you VIP weekend access.