Our top festival picks for 2017 (and we go to them all)

Festival season is fast approaching, which of course means dancing, singing and (hopefully) long, sunny days enjoying all your favourite bands. Whether you’re into the latest pop tunes, all things rock’n’roll or the sweet beats of d’n’b and techno, we’ve rounded up all our top festival picks to suit every taste. And, don’t forget, our coaches are able to get you to each and every one direct, which means no lugging tents on and off trains for you. Yay!

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    Get glitter and flower crown ready for V Festival

    When: 19th – 20th August
    Where: Hylands Park and Weston Park

    Pop prince and princesses gather round, one of the biggest events in the UK music calendar is back and bigger than ever. This year’s V Festival is not to be missed and will have performances from worldwide chart-toppers including P!nk, Craig David, Stormzy and Jay Z. Speaking of Jay Z, did you know that this year’s V Fest marks his first UK show since the Magna Carter world tour in 2013? Plus, we’ve heard a rumour or two that he’ll drop some new material in time for his headline set. And when he does, there’s no better way to prepare for the festival than with the official Spotify playlist. If you fancy a break from the music when the festival arrives, swap singing and dancing for a belly laugh or two (or ten) at the Glee Club Comedy Tent. With a lineup of both household names and up and coming acts from the thriving comedy scene, there’ll be something to tickle everyone’s funny bone.

    Image credit: birminghammail.co.uk

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    Lose yourself in the madcap streets of Boomtown

    When: 10th – 13th August
    Where: Matterley Estate, Winchester

    As the only UK festival with Hollywood quality film sets, madcap streets and a fully immersive storyline from the moment you arrive, Boomtown is a musical experience like no other. From the moment you walk through the gates, you are welcomed as a citizen of the town and can make yourself at home in its nine uniquely themed districts. Every year, the festival plays host to an eclectic array of musical acts chosen not because of their big names, but the fact they’re guaranteed to make the crowd go wild every time. You can expect everything from ska and party bands, to cabaret, gypsy, folk, reggae, dub and bluegrass (American roots music if, like us, you were scratching your head). So whether you’re a jungle junkie, disco diva or soul man, we can assure you there’s something for absolutely everyone in the weird, wonderful and wacky world of Boomtown.

    Image credit: radio1190.org

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    Dig out the air guitars for Download

    When: 9th – 11th June
    Where: Donington Park

    When it comes to all things rock’n’roll, they don’t get much bigger than Download Festival at Donnington Park, the self-acclaimed spiritual home of rock. From partying till 3am at the Doghouse (the only time being in the doghouse is ever appealing), through to hearing rock royalty perform at the brand new Avalanche Stage, you’ll have three days and nights of being completely spoilt with the most sought after acts. The number one you don’t want to miss? The legendary Aerosmith. Get your air guitars at the ready, Download Festival will be the band’s last ever UK appearance and it’ll certainly be one for the history books. Our final tip? Grab those earplugs at night. No, we’re not trying to ruin the fun, but did you know that Donington Park is pretty close to East Midlands Airport? So, when you finally do manage to get some much-needed shuteye, we’re pretty sure you won’t want to be awoken by the hum of planes taking off.

    Image credit: downloadfestival.co.uk

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    Rock out at Reading and Leeds

    When: 25th – 27th August
    Where: Richfield Avenue (Reading) and Bramham Park (Leeds)

    Another favourite in the UK festival calendar and definitely not one for the fainthearted, you’re invited to a bank holiday rockfest at the unforgettable Reading and Leeds. With headliners set to be festival veterans, you’ll see long-running legends including Muse, Eminem and Kasabian. As Kasabian’s only announced UK festival for 2017, chances are that you’ll also get a taste of the band’s new album geared up to be released later this year. Whilst we’d advocate planning ahead so you’re guaranteed to catch all your favourite acts, don’t be afraid to throw caution to the wind, either. The festival has over seven stages of different music waiting to be discovered, so spare some time to wander and see where the wind takes you. After all, the best festival experiences can often be found off the beaten track.

    Image credit: rocksound.tv

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    For all the d’n’b and techno lovers - We Are FSTVL 2017

    When: 26th – 28th May (Bank Holiday)
    Where: Damyns Hall, Upminster, Greater London

    If d’n’b and techno are your thing, then there’s no way you’ll want to miss We Are FSTVL! Now in its fifth year, it’s the rising star of the UK’s electronic music scene and for 2017, the festival will play host to a range of amazing acts including Dizzee Rascal, Katy B and Gorgon City. After a day dancing to your favourite stars, you’ll be able to chill out at the amazing We Are Camping nirvana where sleeping outside has never looked better. Or, if carrying on the party into the night is more your style, you can do so at the legendary We Are House Party and yes, it’s actually a full-scale house! You can also do everything from diving into a giant ball pool and soaking away the festival mud at a woodland spa. Our final tip? If you’re planning on buying drinks from the bar, you have to use tokens so either purchase these on the day or pre-order to avoid the queues.

    Image credit: wearefstvl.com

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    Feel the spirit of the swinging sixties at Green Man

    When: 17th – 20th August
    Where: Brecon Beacons, Wales

    Forget the crazy crowds and VIP areas you find at most festivals, if you’d rather join a more intimate party amongst friends and family, then Green Man is the festival for you. Located in the breathtaking Welsh Brecon Beacons, the independent festival rekindles the spirit of the swinging sixties with an eclectic mix of folk, electronic and psychedelic sounds. Saying that, Green Man is so much more than its music – you can also enjoy circus, theatre, comedy and art all brought to you with that warm and witty Welsh hospitality we all know and love. Oh, and did we mention there’ll be locally sourced food, specialist dishes and continental treats too?

    Image credit: greenman.net

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    Indulge your senses at Wilderness

    When: 3rd – 6th August
    Where: Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire

    If escaping the humdrum of reality and entering a world rich with experiences sounds like your kind of thing, then we’d advise hopping on the coach and into the Wilderness. At the four day award-winning festival, you can enjoy live music from the likes of Two Door Cinema Club, Grace Jones and Bonobo (amongst many other heart-stopping delights) in an intimate outdoor wonderland. Explore far and wide and you won’t just find music. Wilderness awakes all the senses and you’ll have opportunities to take part in everything from early morning yoga and late night revelry (the perfect combination, if you ask us), to rolling in glittery grass and even wild swimming (can’t say we’ve ever done those last two, but now we’re very intrigued).

    Image credit: wildernessfestival.com

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    Party with unique acts at End of the Road

    When: 31st August – 3rd September
    Where: Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset

    Hosted in the wooded wonderland that is the Larmer Tree Gardens – Dorset, End of the Road is a unique festival strewn with art installations and beautifully decorated spaces. Acts are personally handpicked by the organisers based on what they want to see each year, making for an exciting, one of a kind line-up every time you go. This year, expect a mix of alternative music, folk, country and Americana. With no VIP areas, you’ll often find musicians wandering around and watching other bands’ shows, so who knows, you may end up dancing beside one of your idols!

    Image credit: theboar.org

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    Beard up and break a world record at Bearded Theory

    When: 25th – 28th May
    Where: Catton Hall, South Derbyshire

    Would breaking a Guinness World Record spice up your festival experience? We thought it might, and in that case, you should definitely head over to the National Forest’s beautiful Catton Hall for Bearded Theory. A multi-award winning creative and performing arts festival, Bearded Theory will host its annual world record attempt for the largest number of people wearing false beards in one location – so don’t forget yours! Couple of fun facts for you – due to its pretty central location Bearded Theory is actually only a two hour journey for 50% of the UK’s population, which is pretty amazing when you think about it! And, they’ve been shortlisted for a ‘Best Toilets’ award which means the toilets are a far cry from the portaloos you’d find at most UK festivals, all of which really makes the difference when you’re sleeping outside and partying until the early hours of the morning.

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Can’t make your mind up on which one to visit? We feel you! But don’t worry, whichever you choose, our coaches will get you there and back direct and you’ll have a comfy seat waiting for you too. Bliss!