Our guide to the best UK & International music festivals

With so many music festivals around – and even more appearing all the time – music fans are spoilt for choice this summer!

There will be some amazing acts performing across the country, including many of our own students and graduates, so try and make time to see as many as possible.

To help you decide which festival is right for you, we have put together our own handy guide to some of the best major and independent festivals around the UK and beyond. 

14th - 16th April

  • Where?  Indio, California, USA 

  • What do I need to know?  The desert festival started in 1993 when Pearl Jam boycotted venues controlled by Ticketmaster and has since risen from these rebellious roots to become one of the largest  festivals in the US.

  • Headliners: Radiohead; Lady Gaga; Kendrick Lamar. You can also catch Declan McKenna (ft Drum student Gabi King).

15th April

  • Where?  Various venues in Manchester 

  • What do I need to know?  A hub for emerging talent in the north of England, the day-long festival provides a chance to catch up and coming artists across a range of different venues. 

  • Headliners: Jordan Allen; The Tuts; Kashmere. You can also catch Honey Lung (ft Drum student Omri Covo).


28th - 30th April

  • Where? Various venues across Leicester city Centre. 

  • What do I need to know? This independent music and arts festival aims to find the best new and forward thinking music, comedy, art, film, performance and photography in an event curated by some of the city’s best loved independent venues and promoters. 

  • Headliners: Twin Atlantic; Frightened Rabbit.  You can also catch Husky Loops (ft Music Business student Tommaso Medica on bass).





18th - 20th May

  • Where?  Various venues across Brighton 

  • What do I need to know?  This city-based festival takes advantage of Brighton’s buzzing venues to host the definitive event for new music in the UK. 

  • Headliners: Slaves; Rag ‘n’ Bone Man. Check also out Husky Loops (ft Music Business student Tommaso Medica on bass), JUDAS (ft current Guitar student Todd Blackmore) and Honey Lung (ft current Drum student Omri Covo), plus Vocal graduate Matt Maltese and Songwriting graduate Denai Moore




26th - 28th May

  • Where? Various venues across Nottingham, Bristol and Manchester.

  • What do I need to know? Playing across three major cities in one weekend, Dot to Dot describes itself as the premier UK festival for unearthing new talent.  

  • Headliners: Sundara Karma; Amber Run; The Growlers. You can also catch Husky Loops (ft Music Business student Tommaso Medica on bass).



29th - 30th May

  • Where? Various venues across Leeds.

  • What do I need to know?  The award winning metropolitan festival takes place over a number of venues and is dedicated to showcasing new and emerging talent 

  • Headliners:  Rag ‘n’ Bone Man; Slaves; White Lies.  You can also catch Husky Loops (ft Tommaso Medica on bass); JUDAS (ft Todd Blackmore on guitar) and Vocal graduate Matt Maltese.  Also playing will be HAUS, formed of four Diploma graduates – Ellis Mortimer, Sam Kelly, Daniel Hylton and Lyle Simpson. 


31st May - 4th June

  • Where? Barcelona, Spain.

  • What do I need to know? One of Europe's biggest indie and alternative music festivals, Primavera prides itself on providing a platform for up and coming and more underground artists as well as big-name bands and performers 

  • Headliners:  Arcade Fire; Frank Ocean; Aphex Twin. You can also catch Songwriting graduate Odina (aka Blanca Romero).



3rd June

  • Where is it?  Various venues across Camden 

  • What do I need to know?  This one-day festival in the heart of one of London’s trendiest alternative hotspots features 250 bands across 25 venues 

  • Headliners:  Feeder; The Coral; The Damned.  You can also catch Chinese Missy (ft Guitar graduate Rich Bond and Drum graduate Tom Moore); Rival Karma (ft graduates Piergiorgio Ciarla, Kevin Barre and Vassilis Lazouras), King Korea (ft Drum graduate Ian Kelly), Rews (ft Drum tutor and Admissions Advisor Collette Williams) and Duke of Wolves.


8th - 11th June

  • Where?  The Isle of Wight (ferries from Southampton, Portsmouth, Lymington or Southsea) 

  • What do I need to know?  The festival was a major counter-culture hotspot in late 60’s/early 70’s with famous performances from Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix among many others.  

  • Headliners:  David Guetta; Run DMC; Arcade Fire; Rod Stewart.  Keep an eye out for JUDAS (ft Guitar student Todd Blackmore), Clean Bandit (ft Drum graduate Luke Patterson) and Victoria (ft Music Business graduates Joe Housley and Alex Thomas and Guitar graduate Charlie Martin). 


9th - 11th June

  • Where?  Donnington Park, Leicestershire 

  • What do I need to know?  The premier metal and rock festival in the UK, Download has showcased the biggest names in the scene for over fourteen years. 

  • Headliners: System of A Down; Biffy Clyro; Aerosmith.  You can also catch The Raven Age (ft Drum graduate Jai Patel).



21st - 25th June

  • Where?  Worthy Farm, Somerset 

  • What do I need to know?  The granddaddy of UK festivals, Glastonbury first started in 1970 and has risen to become one of the world’s leading festivals. 

  • Headliners:  Radiohead; Foo Fighters; Ed Sheeran. You can also catch Bear’s Den (ft Graduate Andrew Davie); Daughter (ft ICMP graduates Elena Tonra, Igor Haefeli and Remi Aguilella); 
    Dub Pistols (ft Drum graduate Jack Cowens); Declan McKenna (ft current Drum student Gabi King); JONES (aka Vocal graduate Cherie Jones).



13th - 16th July

  • Where?  Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk 

  • What do I need to know? The festival prides itself on offering a similar style of festival to that found on continental Europe and is a haven for up and coming acts with dedicated sections run by BBC Music as well as Huw Stephens.   

  • Headliners: The 1975; Mumford & Sons; Fleet Foxes.  You can also catch sets by Vocal graduate Matt Maltese and Declan McKenna (ft current Drum student Gabi King). 



14th - 15th July

  • Where?  Victoria Park, London 

  • What do I need to know? Spearheading the trend for city festivals set within London, the Lovebox festival typically focuses more on club and dance acts with prominent slots for major DJs.

  • Headliners: Frank Ocean; Chase & Status.




21st - 23rd July

  • Where? Hill Farm, Oxfordshire 

  • What do I need to know?  Founded in 1998 as an independent alternative to major festivals, Truck aims to provide the same quality of acts found at its bigger cousins while retaining a smaller festival feel. 

  • Headliners: The Libertines; Franz Ferdinand; The Vaccines (ft Bass graduate Arni Hjorvar Arnason). You can also see Clean Bandit (ft Drums graduate Luke Patterson) and Husky Loops (ft Tommaso Medica on bass).



27th - 30th July

  • Where? Hertfordshire 

  • What do I need to know?  Started as a birthday barbeque for its founder in 2001, there is a different theme each year and attendees are invited to get in the spirit by getting dressed up – this year’s theme is ‘Tales of the Enchanted Valley’ 

  • Headliners: Orbital; Grace Jones; Clean Bandit (featuring Drum graduate Luke Patterson).



27th - 30th July

  • Where? Peak District, Derbyshire  

  • What do I need to know?  This laid back countryside festival prides itself on providing a wide range of local, up and coming and major acts. 

  • Headliners: Stereophonics;Two Door Cinema Club.  Keep an  eye out for Clean Bandit (ft Drum graduate Luke Patterson) and The Vaccines (ft Bass graduate Arni Hjorvar Arnason)


3rd - 6th August

  • Where?  Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire 

  • What do I need to know?  The festival prides itself on providing a community spirit and focus on nature with performers from the wider arts scene
    alongside musical acts. 

  • Headliners: Two Door Cinema Club; Grace Jones; Bonobo.



19th - 20th August

  • Where? Hylands Park, Chelmsford and Weston Park, Shropshire 

  • What do I need to know?  Virgin supported V Festival is packed full of high profile pop acts over two sites in Chelmsford and Shropshire. 

  • Headliners:  Pink; Jay Z. You can also catch Clean Bandit  (ft Drum graduate Luke Patterson).


19th - 20th August

  • Where? Tokyo and Osaka, Japan 

  • What do I need to know?  This iconic Japanese festival  host a diverse range of acts across two sites in Japan. 

  • Headliners: Calvin Harris; Foo Fighters; 5 Seconds of Summer; Liam Gallagher. You can also catch Declan McKenna (ft current Drum student Gabi King).



24th - 27th August

  • Where? Daresbury, Cheshire 

  • What do I need to know?  The iconic dance festival is a dream for ravers and discerning dance fans.

  • Headliners: Above & Beyond; Stormzy; Sigma; deadmau5. 


25th - 27th August

  • Where? Richfield Avenue (Reading); Branham Park (Leeds) 

  • What do I need to know?  Traditionally the home of alternative rock acts, the festival takes place over two different sites in Reading and Leeds with acts performing on alternate days over the same weekend. 

  • Headliners: Kasabian; Eminem; Muse.



Next year it could be you!

It's great to see so many of our current students and graduates performing at such high profile events this year. If you aspire to push your playing to the next level and dream of playing to huge festival crowds then let us help you find the right course for you. Our Admissions Team are on hand to help you, call them on 020 7328 0222 or email enquiries@icmp.ac.uk, we still have place available to start in September 2017!

Find a course