The 10 best UK festivals in 2019
With the spring sun beaming and the flowers blooming, one can practically hear and feel the booming of speakers across the country — yes, UK festival season 2019 is almost upon us. Not sure which tickets to book? Get your tents, wellies and glow sticks ready because we have rounded up the best music fests in the United Kingdom, including the much-anticipated return of Glastonbury Festival (and the notable absence of Bestival).
Keep reading to see our list of the top 10 best festivals in the UK for 2019, or start shopping tickets here:
1. Glastonbury Festival 2019
- Where: Worthy Farm, Glastonbury
- When: June 26 - 30, 2019
- Lineup Highlights: Stormzy, The Killers, The Cure, Janet Jackson, Tame Impala, Years & Years, George Ezra, Liam Gallagher, Miley Cyrus, Ms Lauryn Hill, Diplo, Janelle Monae, Billie Eilish, Snow Patrol, Sheryl Crow
After taking a break last year, the UK’s biggest festival is back. The Glastonbury 2019 lineup includes The Killers, Stormzy and The Cure confirmed as the Pyramid Stage headliners. That said, there are tunes for all tastes; besides verified contemporary bop-makers like Years & Years and Miley Cyrus, there will be plenty of throwback hits from artists like Janet Jackson, Liam Gallagher and Sheryl Crow, amongst others. With highly anticipated new albums, Tame Impala and Vampire Weekend are also likely to debut new material
The Glastonbury Festival 2019 lineup is also 42% female — part of an effort for the event to be gender balanced. Among the talented women taking the stage are Ms Lauryn Hill, Janelle Monae, Christine & The Queens and up-and-comer Billie Eilish. Queer icon Kylie Minogue will also play a Sunday tea-time legends set.
Music is only a fraction of the experience at Glastonbury though. Another exciting change this year is the festival's iconic mechanical spider is being retired, with Arcadia Spectacular announcing there will be an "evolving show in the sky" featuring "giant bits of machinery". Plus, there will a 60-metre Victorian pier built at Worthy Farm, including seaside attractions and a full seafront.
2. Isle of Wight Festival 2019
- Where: Newport, Isle of Wight
- When: June 13-16, 2019
- Lineup Highlights: George Ezra, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Keane, Garbage, Biffy Clyro, Fatboy Slim, Courteeners, Lily Allen, Jess Glynne, Bastille, Anne-Marie, Sigrid, Haçienda Classiçal, Rick Astley…
- Be there: Isle of Wight Festival Tickets
Break out the flannel. While nobody is only happy when it rains during UK festival season, lovers of 90s alt-rock will be thrilled to hear Scottish band Garbage will be part of the Isle of Wight Festival 2019 lineup. They will be joined by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Keane, Lily Allen and special guests Fatboy Slim, among many others at the event — one of the longest-running, best festivals in the United Kingdom.
The first Isle of Wight Festival was held in 1968 and it ran until 1970, when an act of parliament shut it down. Nicknamed Europe’s Woodstock, it was revived in 2002 and today attracts around 90,000 festival-goers. While historically the event was most associated with rock music —having hosted everyone from Bob Dylan to Jimi Hendrix to The Rolling Stones to Fleetwood Mac— the Isle of Wight Festival 2019 will lend its stage to acts from across the sound spectrum alongside comedy, theatre, film and other family-friendly activities.
3. British Summer Time Hyde Park 2019
- Where: Hyde Park, London
- When: July 5-14, 2019
- Lineup Highlights: Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Florence + The Machine, Robbie Williams, Black Eyed Peas, Keane, Josh Groban, Claire Richards, The National, Lykke Li…
- Be there: BST Festival Tickets
So far as pop music legends go, British Summer Time Hyde Park 2019 (Barclaycard presents BST Hyde Park) has the biggest names on its lineup of any of the best UK festivals this year. While they may not be the latest, its headliners include some of the greatest like Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder and Lionel Richie. The words “epic” and “iconic” do not even begin to describe a lineup like that.
“We’re living in a time where there’s so much is going on in the world. But the one thing that we know for sure that we can celebrate is life, love and music. I’m very thankful that you all have been so wonderful to me, giving me your life and allowing me to share my music with you since I was 11 years old, which was just a little ago. So, we’re just going to play and have fun,” said Stevie Wonder in a statement.
The BST Hyde Park 2019 lineup is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see all these talents in one place. The event will be Celine Dion’s sole European date of the year and she will be performing for a crowd of 70,000; Barbra Streisand’s performance at British Summer Time 2019 will also be a European exclusive.
4. Reading and Leeds Festivals 2019
- Where: Little John's Farm (Reading) and Bramham Park (Leeds)
- When: August 23-25, 2019
- Lineup Highlights: The 1975, Post Malone, Twenty One Pilots, Foo Fighters, The Wombats, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Bastille, Dave, Machine Gun Kelly, Anteros, Mini Mansions, Of Mice & Men, Charli XCX, Pale Waves, The Distillers, The Amazons, Billie Eilish, Blossoms, Hayley Kiyoko, Yungblud, Mura Masa, CHVRCHES…
- Be there: Reading Festival Tickets, Leeds Festival Tickets
The Reading and Leeds Festivals 2019 are two separate UK festivals —Reading Festival and Leeds Festival— that take place simultaneously with identical lineups on the August bank holiday. (We suggest going with the edition closest to you.) Plus, the 2019 Reading and Leeds Festivals lineups are the perfect mix of styles, which you won’t want to miss.
While there was some hesitation with the initial lineup, recent additions have caused excitement online — including rapper Dave, who will be releasing his hotly anticipated debut album this year. Music fans also responded well to the inclusion of rockers Of Mice & Men and rapper Machine Gun Kelly. They join Reading and Leeds Festivals 2019 headliners The 1975, Post Malone, Twenty One Pilots and Foo Fighters, with this being the fourth time the latter band has had top billing.
5. Download Festival 2019
- Where: Donington Park, Leicestershire
- When: June 14-16, 2019
- Lineup Highlights: Def Leppard, Smashing Pumpkins, Whitesnake, Trivium, Slipknot, Tool, Slash (featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators), Die Antwoord, Lamb of God, Slayer, Rob Zombie, Skindred…
- Be there: Download Festival Tickets
Download Festival 2019 is the United Kingdom’s largest rock event — a hub for arm tattoos, guy-liner and all of the black band t-shirts. All of them. This year’s 53-act lineup ranges from alt-rock to heavy metal, and includes a constellation of rock’s biggest stars including Whitesnake, the Smashing Pumpkins and Slayer, in their last UK performance ever.
Head-banging headliners Def Leppard will also be performing their classic album Hysteria in full, while Tool will be releasing their first new album this year since 2006’s 10,000 Days. Though the Download Festival 2019 mentioned here will be held in Leicestershire, the event has also rock and rolled around the world — with events now held in France, Spain, Australia and, as of this year, Japan.
6. Creamfields Festival 2019
- Where: Daresbury Estate, Cheshire
- When: August 22-25, 2019
- Lineup Highlights: deadmau5, Calvin Harris, Swedish House Mafia, Martin Garrix, Tchami, Fatboy Slim, The Chemical Brothers, Tiesto, Adam Beyer, Annie Mac, Afrojack, Duke Dumont, Fisher…
- Be there: Creamfields Festival Tickets
According to organisers, Creamfields Festival 2019 has “the world’s biggest electronic festival lineup” — and it’s easy to see what they’re talking about. This year’s top billing includes Calvin Harris, deadmau5 and the recently reformed Swedish House Mafia, with all three acts being billed as UK festival exclusives.
Returning after a 7-year hiatus, the Swedish House Mafia trio said in a statement: “The UK truly is our second home...whether it be at our very first Creamfields or our last Milton Keynes Bowl, we want to bring it back to the festival. We’ve missed you guys and we can’t wait for festival season! See you at Creamfields!”
They will join the world’s best DJs in an EDM explosion of pyrotechnics, lasers and stage productions at Creamfields Festival 2019. Can’t make it to Cheshire this August? The UK festival has gone global, with the Creamfields brand now hosting similar events in Argentina, Lithuania, Lebanon and China.
7. Wireless Festival 2019
- Where: Finsbury Park, London
- When: July 5-7, 2019
- Lineup Highlights: Cardi B, Migos, A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott, Future, Lil Uzi Vert, Tyga, Stefflon Don, Rae Sremmurd, Young Thug, Lil Baby, Gunna, Ella Mai, Tory Lanez, Bugzy Malone, IAMDDB, Lil Yachty, Tiwa Savage, Rich the Kid…
- Be there: Wireless Festival Tickets
The tickets for Wireless Festival 2019 sold out in record time, with 135,000 purchased within hours of going on sale this past January. It’s no surprise — the event has become one of the best hip-hop UK festivals. This year’s edition will be headlined by heavyweights including Cardi B, Travis Scott, A$AP Rocky and more, all converging on London’s Finsbury Park.
Last year’s Wireless Festival led to the event’s licence being reviewed by Haringey Council, who wanted to impose stricter noise-level restrictions. Fortunately, organiser Live Nation was able to reach a compromise with the local government. Wireless Festival 2019 will bring some of the world’s biggest hip-hop stars to London from July 5 to 7.
8. Latitude Festival 2019
- Where: Henham Park, Suffolk
- When: July 18-21, 2019
- Lineup Highlights: George Ezra, Lana Del Rey, Snow Patrol, CHVRCHES, Futureheads, Everything Everything, Honeyblood, Primal Scream, MØ, Ray BLK, The Kingdom Choir, Jenny Lewis…
- Be there: Latitude Festival Tickets
Latitude Festival 2019 is where fantasy meets festival — held in Suffolk’s picturesque Henham Park, surrounded by forests and multi-coloured mutton. (Yes, you read that correctly. No, you don’t need to wait for the party favours to kick in; the sheep are dyed.) The Latitude Festival 2019 lineup includes musicians from around the UK and the world, with headliners George Ezra, Snow Patrol and Lana Del Rey sure to please music lovers of all ages.
The award-winning festival will also turned up the buzz volume by adding CHVRCHES, The Japanese House as well as as Ray BLK, winner of BBC’s Sound of 2017, to its lineup of more-than 70 creatives across music, comedy, theatre and the arts. Comedians Russell Kane, Michelle Wolf and Jason Manford will be headlining the comedy stage. Bringing littles ones with you? Latitude is a family-friendly festival, with dedicated areas and activities for kids and teens.
9. BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend 2019
- Where: Stewart Park, Middlesbrough
- When: May 25-26, 2019
- Lineup Highlights: Little Mix, Stormzy, Miley Cyrus, The 1975, Mumford & Sons, Rita Ora, Khalid, Zara Larsson, Ellie Goulding, Bring Me the Horizon, Anne-Marie, Charli XCX, James Arthur, Sean Paul, Billie Eilish…
- Be there: BBC Radio One Big Weekend Tickets
If you love British Top 40, BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2019 should be your top choice amongst the best UK festivals this summer. Its 16th edition promises to be… well, bigger than ever. With 32,000 tickets available for each of the event’s two days, demand is sure to exceed demand for BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2019 — especially with acts like Little Mix, Miley Cyrus, Mumford & Sons and more.
Last year’s event was spread across four cities around the UK: Belfast, Perth, Swansea and Coventry. While Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2019 will be held exclusively in Stewart Park, Middlesbrough, it promises to be a hugely amazing time for pop music lovers, particularly those enjoy female artists — with Billie Eilish, Anne-Marie, Jess Glynne, Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora, Zara Larsson and Sigrid being among the big draws.
10. Lovebox Festival 2019
- Where: Gunnersbury Park, London
- When: July 12-13, 2019
- Lineup Highlights: Solange, Chance The Rapper, Brockhampton, Loyle Carner, Four Tet, Lizzo, slowthai, Action Bronson, Annie Mac, H.E.R., Cupcakke, Vanjess, Loyle Carner…
- Be there: Lovebox Festival Tickets
Connoisseurs of hip-hop and R&B would be mad (and end up mad at themselves) to miss Lovebox Festival 2019. The event will bring together American genre royalty Chance the Rapper, Solange and 2Chainz as headliners, sharing the stage with the UK’s king of road rap Giggs — who achieved international fame after appearing on two tracks on Drake’s 2017 album, More Life.
Held in Gunnersbury Park, London, this best UK festival was founded by DJs Groove Armada in 2002 and consistently brings together key talent, with previous top billers including Frank Ocean, Major Lazer, LCD Soundsystem, M.I.A and Azealia Banks, amongst others. Lovebox Festival 2019 will continue the tradition, with the best sounds from dance, pop, hip-hop, indie, R&B and more.