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Summer Festival Guide: Glastonbury

10th July 2015 | Music

Held over five full days across three farms in a usually very tranquil corner of Somerset, Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts lives up to its name by playing host to innumerable singers, rappers, bands, DJs, dancers, authors, poets, circus acts and, of course, the Dalai Lama.

Whilst Florence + The Machine and The Who blew the audiences of their headline slots away with astonishing performances of tracks like Drumming Song and Baba O’Riley, the man who all too often likens himself to the son of God was predictably underwhelming on Saturday night, thanks both to his tremendous ego and priceless inability to hit the first note of an abysmal cover of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

Musically, my highlight of the week was Jack Garratt’s afternoon set on William’s Green. Just about filling a tiny tent tucked away in the far eastern corner of the site, his deliciously bass-laden tracks Chemical and The Love You’re Given sent shivers down my spine. This one-man band is one to watch!

Whilst everyone is spoilt for choice musically, the sheer enormity of the site teaches you to expect to encounter something unexpected on your stroll from one stage to the next.

After hauling tents and bags from the car to the campsite, what better way to unwind than a half hour deep tissue massage in the Healing Fields... for a mere £10? Then walk two doors down for a palm reading.

Sit back and have your hair braided whilst listening in to the Other Stage or hear a debate on holding Christmas in July from a walking, talking Christmas tree outside a medieval bar in the Field of Avalon.

When it’s time for a break, the world-famous Glastonbury sign makes for the perfect perch for watching the sunset…

Summer Festival Guide: Northside Festival

10th July 2015 | Music

With a population of just 300 000, Aarhus is the sleepy second city of Denmark.

Bagging an absolute bargain of a return journey from Stansted for just £50 before wheeling our suitcases in to a cosy little AirBnB apartment in the centre of town, my friend Jessica and I felt that we had done very well as we unpacked our bags and headed out to see what this university town had to offer.

Aarhus is renowned for it’s musical history, in particular for it’s jazz and rock scene. So it is no surprise that this year’s Northside Festival, held on a hill in a small park just on the edge of town, attracted big names such as Ben Howard and alt-J.

Despite playing on the central Green and Blue stages, respectively, Northside is a tiny festival by British standards, making getting an up close and personal view at the front of the crowd for these acts a breeze. From such a standpoint, the majesty of Ben Howard’s I Forget Where We Were and alt-J’s cover of Bill WithersLovely Day truly washed over us.

Northside also played host to some rather more energetic artists. Denmark’s home grown answer to Sporty Spice, , invigorated the crowd with her latest collaboration Lean On with Major Lazer whilst I got my first taste of Years & Years as they performed hits like Shine.

Northside set itself aside from my previous festival, Wildlife. Despite having a much smaller line up, the organisers demonstrated that there is much more to events like these than the music. The entire site was beautifully constructed, adorned with sculptures, paintings and a myriad of unconventional furniture allowing for enjoyment of the music from pretty much any angle. The city of Aarhus…

Summer Festival Guide: Wildlife Festival

10th July 2015 | Music

Yet again, the Disclosure brothers have failed to disappoint.

This year saw an ordinarily sleepy little airport on the south coast of England play host to a little experiment. The house duo partnered up with Rudimental to curate the first ever Wildlife Festival, transforming an array of fields and runways in to a spectacular weekend of music and more. Hosted on the same weekend as Manchester’s Parklife Festival, which features a similar yet much larger line-up, this festival faced tough competition but turned out to be a sell out success.

The main stage played host to some big names throughout the weekend. Performing under the sunshine were the likes of Karen Harding and Annie Mac before Disclosure closed the show on Sunday night by debuting their new track Holding On to the world.

Despite being spotted around the site on the weekend, Sam Smith’s recent operation caused him to give up his spot on the weekend. Much to my delight, his surprise replacement was none other than the grime trio JME, Skepta and Wiley. With the whole crowd quite literally skanking to hits like That’s Not Me and A.W.O.H., their set was certainly the highlight of the weekend.

The smaller Warehouse Project stage featured non-stop house from open ‘til close whilst one of the mammoth big-top tents handed over the decks to the infamous Andy C, known the world over for his remix of Major Lazer’s legendary track Get Free. Finally, in the aftermath of the release of his long awaited debut album In Colour, Jamie xx interlaced some of his beautiful new material like Gosh and Loud Places in to yet another tremendous DJ set.

The Good Bits
1. Location: Beautiful backdrop of the Sussex hills on one side and of…