The end of the winter season is rapidly approaching for us Brits and for music lovers, the blossoming of spring and summer can only mean one thing: the festival season is nearly upon us. With this in mind, Neil Dowd sinks his teeth into everything confirmed, hinted, rumoured or speculated to bring you his top picks for the most anticipated festivals of 2019.
1: Reading and Leeds Festival: 23rd – 25th August
Reading and Leeds Festival has always been of sentimental value to me, being the first full weekend festival I ever attended in 2014. The festival has been active since 1955 and as such is the world’s oldest popular music festival. What still draws many people to this iconic festival is its willingness to adapt and grow with the popular music trends of the times. It is widely thought that the main genres of the festival are rock, alternative, indie and metal. However , it can be argued that particularly in more recent years, the festival has made many efforts to incorporate more and more pop, hip-hop and dance influenced bands and artists, providing a more diverse and eclectic range of music. The lineup for Reading and Leeds 2019 is no exception to this, with headliners ranging from British indie pop icons The 1975, the legendary rock gods Foo Fighters and genre melding duo Twenty One Pilots who are co-headlining alongside possibly the most surprising headliner of the weekend: Post Malone. Additionally, artists such as Anderson Paak, Lil Uzi Vert and Aj Tracey are few examples of acts that bring a more hip-hop and rap infused flare to the festival, supporting the 1Xtra an
2: Glastonbury Festival: 26th – 30th June
Of course, we couldn’t possibly discuss British festivals without mentioning the largest greenfield festival in the world: Glastonbury. With the festival’s attendance reaching a staggering 135,000 people in recent years, Glastonbury festival is regarded as a major event in British culture. Furthermore, the festival has hosted some of the biggest names in rock and pop music, with Radiohead, Foo Fighters and Ed Sheeran being the headliners for 2017. The majority of the line-up is currently still shrouded in mystery. However, many people are placing their bets on who they think the remaining acts and headliners will be.
Currently, there have been four acts confirmed for Glastonbury 2019: Kylie Minogue, Janelle Monae, Janet Jackson and the Friday night headliner Stormzy. Rumours that Stormzy would headline the Friday night began after Emily Eavis stated that “one of the most interesting acts in British music will headline”. Since Stormzy has now been confirmed, many believe that either Childish Gambino or Liam Gallagher will also take a high slot on that evening. The Cure and The Killers are the bookies’ favourites to take the other two headlining slots. However, enormous household names such as Kendrick Lamar, Madonna and even former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney have rumoured as possible additions to the line-up. Speculation for who will fill those slots is underway, but it goes without saying that we can expect some big names will be used to fill the remaining slots – so good luck getting tickets in the April resales.
3: Wireless Festival: 5th – 7th July
For us Londoners, our next choice is one that is hosted right on our doorsteps. Wireless is a weekend-long festival which is normally hosted in Finsbury Park. Throughout the years, the festival has had a vast range of different sponsors and as such, has had an eclectic range of acts, branching from many different musical genres. Since 2015, the festival has been sponsored by New Look. The festival was first founded in 2005 and through the earlier years since its inception hosted many renowned indie and rock bands such as Kasabian, The White Stripes and even The Who.
However, in more recent years the festival’s line-up has opted towards pop, hip-hop and grime artists in response to these genres’ increasing popularity in the UK. The two headliners who have been announced so far are Cardi B and A$AP Rocky, whom will take to the main stage on the Friday and Sunday nights respectively. They will also be joined by a great number of other acts, both up and coming and well-established, such as Migos, Rae Sremmurd, Tyga and Travis Scott. With such an immense range of talented acts and the Saturday night headliner still waiting to be announced, this , this is a festival that any grime and hip-hop lover cannot miss.
4: Download Festival: 14th – 16th June
Our next choice goes out to the rock and metalheads in our readership: Download Festival. Download is a world-renowned British rock and heavy metal festival held annually at Donington Park in Leicestershire. Whilst it is widely known as a British festival, many countries have begun to introduce their own versions of the festival, including France since 2016 and Australia since 2018. Since its inception in 2003, the festival has hosted the biggest names in the rock world such as AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Judas Priest. In short, if you can think of a worldrenowned rock n roll act, they have more than likely played Download.
Looking at the acts announced for this year’s festival, it is clear that 2019 will be no exception. Taking the headlining slots this year are Tool, the legendary Def Leppard performing their classic Hysteria album in full and the return of the iconic, mask wearing nine-piece Slipknot.
If performances from Slash, Smashing Pumpkins, Skindred and Enter Shikari haven’t created enough anticipation regarding this event, it has also been rumoured that this Download appearance will be Slayer’s last ever UK show. If this packed line-up doesn’t get you metalheads raring to go, I honestly don’t know what will.