It’s been tough couple of years for UK music festivals, with financial concerns forcing a number of upcoming and smaller players to mothball events for a year or two or cancel them completely. But fear not, as although the UK may still be suffering under austerity measures, frozen wages and cutbacks, there are still some hardy festival organisers who refuse to give up the good fight. In this PAMM volunteer management software blog we bring you a rundown of some of the festivals having their first outing this year, plus a couple that are making a welcome return to the scene. Thankfully there are still some people out there who believe music lovers should be rewarded with quality outdoor extravaganzas whatever the financial landscape.
New UK festivals for 2014
Acoustic Isle, Various locations, Isle of Wight, 13-23 March 2014
Acoustic Isle is a brand new 11-day music marathon set to take place from 13 to 23 March this year on the Isle of Wight. Aimed at giving festival goers an out of season musical treat, the event will see hundreds of performers unleash their talents on intimate venues across the island including restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs. Acoustic Isle offers the ideal opportunity to explore the musical heritage of the island before the big crowds gather for the world famous rock behemoths that are the Isle of Wight Festival (June) and Bestival (September).
Visit Isle of Wight CEO David Thornton said: “The Isle of Wight is a hotbed of musical talent and we believe that hosting a music event at this time of year will give people considering an out of season break the extra encouragement they may need to choose us rather than Devon, Cornwall or Dorset”.
L2G Festival, Alder Coppice, Northway, West Midlands, 5 April 2014
Taking place on Saturday 5 April at Alder Coppice, Northway, in the West Midlands, the L2G Festival makes its debut this year in support of the Love2Give charity. The event promises a mix of headline acts, brand new artists and acoustic sets. Already confirmed for the Main Stage are modestly big names such as Circle of Reason, Reap, From The Sticks, The Rimes, A Poetic Yesterday and Danyl Johnson. Artists taking to the Second Stage include Tiger Lily, Rogue Ambition, Morning Riot and The Self-Titled, while Rhiannon, Loose Lips, Sally Pepper and Gareth Icke are expected to appear on the Acoustic Stage.
The organisers have also promised funfair rides, market stalls and lashings of beer. Tickets are an unbelievably reasonable £15 for adults and £10 for the under 16s and over 60s. And if you feel like splashing out, VIP tickets are also available for £25. The festival starts at noon and runs on until 11.30pm.
Once Upon A Time In The West (Out West Festival), Secret Location, South West Heartlands, 18 & 19 July 2014
Once Upon A Time In The West, also known as Out West Festival, is being bought to us this summer by some seasoned hands on the UK festival circuit circuit. The team running things have all previously worked with massive music events including Glastonbury, Bath Fringe, Endorse It In Dorset, Bearded Theory and Walcot Nation, so we’re expecting good things (no pressure guys!).
Although the final line-up is still to be confirmed, acts that have already signed on the dotted line include Subgiant Hobo Jones & The Junkyard Dogs, The Roughneck Riot, The Doghouse Boat Boys, New Groove Formation and The Boot Hill All Stars.
The main focus will be great music in gorgeous surroundings, but as the idea for Once Upon A Time In The West was conceived during several meetings over dinner and wine, the organisers agreed that the event should also put some emphasis on quality food and beverages. So expect the best of national and international talent mixed with fabulous locally sourced West Country yummies. The party will take place over the weekend of 18 & 19 July. Tickets cost £45.
Leicester Music Festival, Welford Road Stadium, Leicester, 25 & 26 July 2014
As mentioned in our previous blog, the Leicester Tigers’ Welford Stadium will be transformed into a brand new summer music festival for two days at the end of July. The brainchild of two local businessmen, Leicester Music Festival promises to bring big names and even bigger crowds to the arena on 25 and 26 July.
Already confirmed as headliners are urban pop chart-topper Professor Green, R&B veteran Billy Ocean and the legendary Soul II Soul. Around 22,000 music lovers are expected to fill the stadium to lap up the acts from noon until late into the evening. Early bird tickets are available from £41.25.
UK festivals returning in 2014
Coastival, Various locations, Scarborough, 14-16 February 2014
This year, Scarborough’s Coastival makes a welcome return after a two-year hiatus. The three-day event kicks off on Valentine’s Day with entertainment for all the family including live bands, theatre, dance, comedy and a whole heap of other activities.
Headlining at the Spa Grand Hall on the Friday evening will be the Brand New Heavies. The British acid jazz band, which has been pumping out a mix of jazz, funk and soul for two decades, will be supported on the night by Nubiyan Twist, a jazz inspired 10-piece outfit that fuses the music of Brazil, West Africa and the Caribbean.
Saturday will see the implementation of the jazz theme with performances from top names like Kate Peters and the Heavy Horns, while Sunday is dedicated to folk and hip-hop, with Demon Barbers currently looking like the standout act. Also not to be missed is the magnificent central spectacle of 750 performers using giant puppets, lanterns and live music to illustrate the epic journey of Orpheus The Mariner in a procession through the streets of Scarborough. Events are separately priced.
Wizard Festival, New Deer Showground, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, 26 & 27 August 2014
Organisers of Wizard Festival, the Northeast’s biggest music festival, have confirmed that the big bands will be returning to Aberdeenshire this year. Previous events have seen massive acts such as Happy Mondays, James and Supergrass grace the Main Stage at the New Deer Showground, and this year looks set to be no less epic, with Cast, The Stranglers and The Magic Numbers already confirmed.
Festival organiser Roy Thain is quoted by 57north as saying: “2014 is a big year for Scotland with lots going on like the year of homecoming and the Commonwealth Games, and we certainly want the festival to play a part in the celebrations”. In the past, the event has played host to thousands of fans who travelled from all corners of Europe to soak up the great music, top DJs, fabulous food and family entertainment. Weekend tickets cost £75, Saturday tickets £50 and kids under 12 go free.