Festivals, especially outdoor festivals amid the summer months, really are the absolute best thing to experience as a music fan. Festivals become a commune for the music lover. They’re a village of the arts, with a weekend of song and dance. For a moment in time that we very seldom get to experience, we’re no longer burdened by the capitalist western society that we have to live by day to day. For a brief period we get to live the life of those who thrived before us, in a period of nomadic pastoralism embracing and living for nothing but culture and love for one another.
These festivals, much like the cities and towns that we grow up in, become a part of us. Given the current crisis in 2020, it’s so heartbreaking to see so many of these events that we cherish so much sadly have to become cancelled. We must shout about these wonderful events that so many people have exhausted so much of their time and resources in. I highly recommend a listen of Rob Da Bank’s A-Z of Festivals here if you’d like to know a bit more of the goings-on behind the scenes.
Here’s a celebration of the talented and hard-working folk behind the scenes that were looking to bring us many treasured memories this summer, but heartbreakingly it was not to be.
End Of The Road
End Of The Road festival offers so much within its magical labyrinth. From its lovingly curated stages, stunning food and ale tents, the enchanted gardens and woods which features art installations, a piano-stage, games corner, a comedy stage, literature events, a woodland library, a hidden cinema and so much more as well as the incredible independent stores dotted around the arena, EOTR has it all for the music and arts lover. It’s the small touches of the festival that makes it such a huge part of a music fans calendar.
It seemed 2020 was going to be another corker before Covid-19 forced the festival to cancel with Angel Olsen, Pixies, Girl Band, Black Country, New Road, Penelope Isles, Sleep Eaters, Lazarus Kane, Goa Express, Katy J Pearson, Jerkclub, W.H Lung and so many more stellar acts set to play this year’s edition.
Whilst many spirits have been dampened due to the news, fortunately End Of The Road have announced that they will return 2 -5 September 2021 and they’re working on rescheduling as many acts as possible with Pixies and King Krule have already confirmed to be joining the 2021 edition. See you next year in the gardens with the peacocks..
Green Man Festival
Residing over the picturesque Welsh mountains, Green Man might just be the most aesthetically pleasing festival around. The 2020 itself was looking spectacular with the likes of Mac Demarco, Caribou, Ty Segall, Black Midi, Moon Duo, Lazy Day, Sinead O’Brien, Do Nothing, Egyptian Blue and lots more all set to play in the stunning setting that is Green Man. The festival team has already announced that the 2021 will take place 19 – 21 August and purchased tickets can indeed roll over to next year. There hasn’t been any word if the festival will be able to reschedule the same line-up, but it’s always a heavyweight line-up anyway, so purchase a ticket here for guaranteed good times.
The Great Escape Festival
The Great Escape is always the ultimate U.K multi-venue new music festival. Showcasing over 400 acts in the official showcase to a large number of fringe and unofficial events that take place concurrently, no event brings the music industry together in one place quite like TGE.
The Brighton festival was looking to be another cracker for 2020 with Silverbacks, Los Bitchos, Sons of Rapheal, Keg, Lunch Money Life, JOHN and lots more ace acts set to play on the sunny South Coast. Always focusing on the new, it’s unclear if TGE will reschedule the same line-up but is always worthy of your time and the 2021 edition looks to take place 12 – 15 May.
La Route Du Rock
The main site of Route Du Rock takes place with about a 30 minute bus ride outside of the walled city of Saint Malo within Fort de Saint-Père. The line up for 2019 saw the likes of Tame Impala, Growlers, Pottery, Crows, Fontaines D.C, Pond, black midi, Crack Cloud, Altin Gun and Stereolab all play the wonderful festival. Although Route Du Rock didn’t even get a chance to announce the 2020 edition, with always one of the mightiest line ups, impeccable sound and some of the most fervent music loving crowd, Route Du Rock 2021 will no doubt be worthy of a ferry trip to the beautiful city of Saint Malo.
Curated and presented by the fantastic Drift Record shop and taking place in one of the most picturesque parts of Devon, Sea Change looks like one of the most pleasant festivals around.
Whilst a free version of the event did indeed take place with Sea Change Goes Online (and if there were festival awards for the online presentation, then Sea Change absolutely deserve to take home the trophy), sadly the original festival was cancelled.
Set to take place from May 22nd to May 24th, Sea Change Festival featured a wondrous line-up of Katy J Pearson, Aldous Harding, Vanishing Twin, Keel Her, Porridge Radio, Squid, Pozi, Working Men’s Club, H.Hawkline and Dry Cleaning. It would appear no dates have been set just yet for Sea Change 2021, but fingers crossed for some news about next year’s edition at some point soon.
Wide Awake Festival
Whilst Wide Awake sadly didn’t get a chance to get its first year out of the way, the team behind it including Bad Vibrations and LNZRT have an abundance of experience with putting on some of the capitals finest events and thus, Wide Awake was looking to be one of the stand out events of 2020.
A bonkers line up boasting the likes of Shame, Goat Girl, Mauskovic Dance Band, Los Bitchos, black midi, Pregoblin, Beak>, Squid, The Comet is Coming, Girl Band, Lazarus Kane and Snapped Ankles, the forward thinking festival was looking to be one of the greatest days in the U.K music calendar. Whilst there has been no word if the event will be able to feature the same line up, the 2021 edition taking place on June 4th will still no doubt have an immense lineup given the history of the team behind the festival.
Formerly known as Liverpool Psych Fest, PZYK was looking to return in May after a long hiatus. Boasting an intergalactic line up, PZYK were due to bring Altin Gun, Los Bitchos, Vanishing Twin, Snapped Ankles, W.H Lung, Wax Machine, Yin Yin and Utopia Strong to Liverpool in mid-May. The festival has fortunately announced a rescheduled date of May 15th to 16th 2021.
Intertwining music, technology and science, the Bluedot Festival bill truly looked to be an out of this world one this year. The programming consisted of the likes of Bjork, Spirtualized, Tangerine Dream, Ride, BCUC and Beak>.
Bluedot Festival have already announced dates for 2021 with Bluedot set to return on the 22nd to 25th July with the headliners Bjork, Groove Armada and Metronomy all rescheduling for next year’s edition.
Tickets – https://bit.ly/3e57tbY
Raw Power Festival
The name is on the tin with Raw Power Festival. A festival of colossal, heady leftfield noise between doom-psych to electronica, Raw Power Festival was due to take place on May 22nd and featured a line up of Chrome Hoof, Scorn, Teeth of the Sea, Cocaine Piss and lots more. Whilst a date hasn’t been set officially for 2021 yet, it would appear the team behind it are aiming for the same weekend so keep your eyes peeled.
Beaches Brew Festival
With previous line-ups featuring the likes of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Oh Sees, Kikagaku Moyo, Courtney Barnett, Weyes Blood, Preoccupations, Altin Gun, King Khan and lots more, Beaches Brew Festival always has some of the most heavyweight line ups in Europe. The event itself takes place on a beach in Italy and most incredibly and mind-bogglingly of all, is totally free. Relying on sponsorship that has been lost due to Covid-19, Beaches Brew have launched a GoFundMe to allow the event to come back stronger in 2021.
Go fund me page is here.
Dot to Dot Festival
A multi-venue festival across multiple major cities, Dot to Dot takes place between Bristol, Nottingham and Manchester. The 2020 line-up was looking like an incredible one with the likes of Matt Maltese, Drug Store Romeos and Pip Blom being just a few names set to play. The festival was due to happen in May and whilst no rescheduled date has been confirmed, the festival team have stated that they’re still endeavouring to make Dot to Dot happen in 2020.
Fuzz Club 2020
The cult of Fuzz Club is ever growing with the label absolutely dominating the world of psychedelia with their consistently exceptional output. The seminal label also year-on-year book some of the finest line ups around with an annual outing to Eindhoven.
2020 was looking to be another mind-melter of otherworldly delights with Pigs x 7, Sonic Boom, Acid Rooster, Verstarker and The Heads being the first five names to be announced before its cancellation. There has yet to be any official word on Fuzz Club returning to Eindhoven for 2021, but as it has been an annual affair, we’re almost certain that the doors to Fuzz Club’s psychedelic realm in the Netherlands will be open come August 2021.
Formerly known as Portsmouth Psych Fest, Psyched Fest was to take place across multiple venues in Portsmouth with Warmduscher, PVA, Deep Tan, Lumer, Nuha Ruby Ra, Rosie Alena, Home Counties, Yowl, The Cool Greenhouse, Platypus Complex, BDRMM and Norman being just a handful of acts that were due to play the South Coast festival. There hasn’t been official word of a 2021 revival, but they do have a crowdfunder to help bring the festival back next year.
Crowdfunding page here.
If you’re in a position to support your favourite festival and to assist in ensuring their 2021 edition can take place, consider helping by purchasing an advance ticket or buying festival merchandise. I look forward to seeing you all in the arena next year.
Words by Brad Sked