Features

Been to any festivals this summer?

With summer over for another year, Rebecca Newby reviews the festival season.

Whether the British summer brings rain or shine, festivals are where we tend to excel. And despite the Olympics stealing the limelight (and most of our portaloos), 2012 has been no different. So, as we leave our stages, tents and wellies behind for another year, here’s a snappy rundown of some of Summer 2012’s stand-out fests…

PARKLIFE
Dates?
9-10 June
USP? Still fairly fresh as far as festivals go, but hosts a line-up to make its bigger brothers and sisters madly jealous.
Crowd-pleaser? On Saturday the Flaming Lips played an explosive set (literally) with frontman Wayne Coyne blasting a confetti cannon into the crowd.
Disappointment? Although Azealia Banks dropped out last minute, her disgruntled fans were consoled with the likes of Labrinth and the ever energetic Dizzee Rascal.
Something unexpected? There is a skate ramp in the Desperados tent and you have the chance to sample a variety of flavoured oxygen shots.
Tip for next year? The organisers have decided to move location away from Platts Field Park due to complaints from the locals, so keep an eye out for Parklife 2013 news.

BEACH BREAK LIVE
Dates? 14-18 June
USP? A giant, thoroughbred student party.
Crowd-pleaser? Headliners Chase & Status proved their worth with an electric show on the Friday night, pumping the crowds out of the mud and into high spirits.
Disappointment? Ben Howard’s sunshine set was cut short due to technical difficulties, much to his own and his devoted fans’ frustration.
Something unexpected? Good prices. You can grab a pint of cider for £3.30 and eat for under a fiver. Oh, and Europe’s biggest toboggan ride.
Tip for next year? Don’t forget your raincoats and wellies. This year some of the less waterproof festival-goers were forced to leave on the Friday due to the adverse weather conditions.

LATITUDE
Dates? 12-15 July
USP? A chilled version of other major festivals with a showcase of unfamiliar sounds.
Crowd-pleaser? Relative unknowns the Alabama Shakes were fantastic, with front woman Brittany leaving half the audience in tears with her breath-taking vocals.
Disappointment? If you’re not a fan of beer and cider don’t expect to pay less than £13 for your favourite cocktail.
Something unexpected? Many eccentricities: from artists arriving to a stage by boat, a mad hatter’s tea party, to hoe-downs, yoga workshops and a poetry takeaway stall.
Tip for next year? Be open-minded and do something you wouldn’t normally. The Faraway Forest and Pandora’s Playground offers plenty of surprises after the sun goes down.

BESTIVAL
Dates? 6-9 September
USP? Rob da Bank conducts a weekend of weird and wonderful things culminating in a spectacular fancy dress parade on the Sunday. There is something for everyone.
Crowd-pleaser? Stevie Wonder. Need I go on?
Disappointment? With so many great acts and too many clashes it is difficult to see everyone that you want to.
Something unexpected? The new Amphitheatre Stage deep in the heart of the Ambient Forest delivered some captivating spoken word performances and the arena was full of members of the Invisible Circus and their interactive theatrics.
Tip for next year? Try and see something different, there is so much more than just the music.

ONE TO WATCH?
After a year off for the Olympics, Glastonbury is back for 2013. With the Rolling Stones hotly tipped to be making an appearance, the world’s biggest festival is set to return with a bang…

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