UK music festivals 2017: 4 top places for new and unsigned acts

Dust off your tents, dig out your wellies and round up your mates, because festival season is almost upon us. And the good news is, if you head to any of these four UK music festivals you’ll leave with some brand new names on your playlist…

Glastonbudget, Leicestershire, 26-28 May 2017

Looking for Glastonbury tickets and not having much luck? No worries. Get in quick and you’ve still got time to make it to Glastonbudget from 26-28 May. That’s right – the cheap and cheerful alternative to Glastonbury lines up tribute acts aplenty, including MJUK, Britain’s top Michael Jackson tribute.

Aside from tribute acts, though, Glastonbudget also promises more than 100 new and unsigned acts across five stages, so you’ll be first to hear up-and-comers across the rock, indie and alternative music scenes. Plus, at just £86.92 for an adult weekend ticket, Glastonbudget certainly lives up to its name.

Getting there

Glastonbudget takes place at Turnpost Farm, Back Lane, Wymeswold, Leicestershire. Take the megabus to Loughborough, which is about a ten-minute taxi ride from Wymeswold, or you can take the line 8 bus.

Boardmasters, Newquay, 9-13 August 2017

Boardmasters, set on the golden shore of Newquay’s coastline, promises a winning mix of surf, sea, sand, and some brilliant musical acts. Two Door Cinema Club, Stormzy and Alt-J tick all the boxes when it comes to songs you’ll have heard on the radio. But the line-up of fresh faces is a lot more interesting, particularly when it comes to home-grown acts.

Expect folksy harmonies from Wildwood Kin, bluesy tunes from Joanna Cooke, and punchy pop-rock from BANFI, who are so new their debut single was only released last year. It’s all served up alongside professional surf competitions and blistering sunsets. What’s not to like?

Getting there

Boardmasters takes place at Cornwall’s Watergate Bay and the surf events happen at Fistral Beach. Take the megabus to Newquay, then it’s a 10-minute drive to Watergate Bay.

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Groove Loch Ness, Inverness, 19 August 2017

If you’re looking for an alternative to T in the Park – which isn’t running this year – you’ve got plenty of options in Scotland. And if electronic music is your thing, your first port of call should be Groove Loch Ness. Billed as ‘Scotland’s biggest nightclub under the stars’, it’s a one-night party next to the waters of Loch Ness. Although the organisers have been pretty quiet on the line-up front, Faithless are set to headline alongside some lesser-known names on the scene.

Also in Inverness is Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival from 3-5 August, which is about as different to Groove as it gets. The festival’s tagline is ‘homegrown in the Highlands’ and it’s Scottish to the bone – you can buy a kilt in Bella-branded tartan, and work up a sweat at a massive ceilidh.

Getting there

Take the megabus to Inverness for both festivals. Groove Loch Ness is held in the village of Dores, next to Loch Ness – you can take a taxi or the number 16 bus to get there. Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival is held on the Belladrum Estate in Beauly – the train from Inverness takes 15 minutes.

Lovebox, Victoria Park, 14-15 July 2017

With the likes of Solange, Jamie XX, Frank Ocean and Jess Glynne on the line-up for 2017, Lovebox is no stranger to big names. And in 2017 the annual event is celebrating its 15th year, so they’ve gone all-out with the A-listers. But for every well-known muso at the Victoria Park festival you get another lesser-known artist courtesy of the smaller stages.

Check out The Bandstand for acts like The Hempolics, for example, who regularly wow crowds at their underground club night in London. And head to the Corona Sunsets stage for out-there acts like Vilma Rae, whose sound is described as ‘a combination of new wave, Italo synths and electronics full of groovy basslines and boogie riffs, an unexpected disco jam.’ Which says it all, really.

Getting there

Take the megabus to London Victoria Coach Station. Then take the District Line Tube to Mile End station and walk to Victoria Park.

Ready to go? Book your cheap coach tickets today before they sell out.

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