Having just about recovered from the winter barrage, we’re finally ready to don our sunglasses and bum bags and start throwing up tents across the country. As the lakes slowly turn back into fields the UK is readying itself for one of the biggest summers of festivals to date, with a few tasty additions stepping up to compete with the established favourites. Bido Lito!’s Josh Ray has traversed this year’s mammoth festival calendar, giving you a pick of the best events on offer on our doorstep, so that you don’t end up at a drizzly scooter fest in Runcorn like last year.



5th7th September / Portmeirion, Gwynedd –


Aside from its outrageously beautiful setting in the Mediterranean-styled village of Portmeirion, there are countless reasons to go to this year’s FESTIVAL NUMBER 6. Entering its third year, the boutique festival will once again offer a bespoke banquet of cultural delights, spread across the village and into the woods. As well as headline performances from BECK and the formidable soulstress MARTHA REEVES AND THE VANDELLAS, the infamous cassette digger Brian Shimkovitz will be bringing his AWESOME TAPES FROM AFRICA to the banks of the Dwyryd estuary, while ALL WE ARE will be flying the flag for Liverpool. On top of this, the festival boasts a plethora of industry and literature talks alongside a side-splitting roster of stand-up comedy whilst housing you in some of the most luxurious festival accommodation on offer. festivalnumber6.com


21st – 22nd June / Sefton Park, Liverpool

Bido Lito! Highlight: MISTY IN ROOTS

Having recently received the Inspiration Award at the 2014 GIT Award for its service to the community, AFRICA OYÉ returns to Sefton Park for its twenty-second year this June, armed with over eighty stalls of arts, crafts and food from across the African continent and diaspora. As well as JUPITER AND OKWESS INTERNATIONAL and WARA, from the Congo and Cuba respectively, two big-name British acts will be gracing the Sefton Park stage: alongside the trip hop fusion of FINLEY QUAYE, the legendary Southall reggae outfit MISTY IN ROOTS will be taking the helm. This all adds up to one of Oyé’s most eclectic feasts of world music delicacies to date, and it’s free admission once again. africaoye.com


7th – 10th August / Heslaker Farm, Skipton

Bido Lito! Highlight: DANIEL AVERY

Bringing a genre-bending line-up to the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, BEACONS has quickly become one of the UK’s festival highlights. Marrying hotly-tipped buzz bands with local grassroots heroes, the quirky, carefully-curated bill is up there with the best. Where else would you see Leeds trip hop heavyweight NIGHTMARES ON WAX feature on the same bill as THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART? This isn’t your typical mud-drenched swill either, as Beacons like to keep things very civilised with tearooms scattered across the site. Though I’m sure there will be some muddy moments brought on by the tumult around DANIEL AVERY and Mark E. Smith of THE FALL. greetingsfrombeacons.com


19th July / Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

Bido Lito! Highlight: GHOSTCHANT feat. LÅPSLEY

Perched on the end of the Leisure Peninsula, New Brighton is a seaside town that time nearly forgot. Thankfully it didn’t, and the newly-regenerated resort now has its own music festival that reflects the region’s fresh musical verve. Now in its third year, ASTRAL COAST has assembled its strongest line-up to date, under the guidance of the Open Door Centre. Domino artists BILL RYDER-JONES and WE ARE CATCHERS head up a strong local contingent, and the collaboration between GHOSTCHANT and LÅPSLEY represents something of a coup. Not to be outdone, TEMPLE SONGS, THE LUCID DREAM and DAZES give the line-up some national clout too.  astralcoast.co.uk


19th – 22nd June / Anglesey, Wales

Bido Lito! Highlight: CRAZY P SOUNDSYSTEM

Bringing together some of the UK’s finest underground promoters and collectives in the middle of the woods, it is no wonder GOTTWOOD has grown to become one of the most sought-after electronic festivals on the British calendar. To celebrate its fifth year, the festival has drafted in the slinky deep disco of CRAZY P SOUNDSYSTEM as well as the ethereal bass music of MARIBOU STATE, alongside the usual elaborate art, visuals and designs. The Panorama Bar’s PROSUMER will also be there spinning some cutting-edge house grooves, whilst the WAXXX DJs will head over from Liverpool to give Gottwood a taste of what their old Haus parties used to be like. gottwood.co.uk


11th July / Liverpool Guild Of Students

Bido Lito! Highlight: HALF MOON RUN

If you can’t quite manage a long weekend outdoors convening with nature then you might want to squeeze your festival fix in to a single day, and that’s precisely what X&Y offers. This summer sees them take root in the newly refurbished Guild Of Students, spreading the live action across the Mountford Hall and Stanley Theatre stages as well as a courtyard stage of local artists. Organisers I Love Live Events know what makes a Liverpool audience tick, and have curated the bill accordingly: Canadians HALF MOON RUN proved popular with the natives when they packed out The Shipping Forecast last year, while CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN can boast a sizeable regional following which they’ve built up over the past eighteen months. facebook.com/XYFestival


15th – 31st August / Liverpool (multiple venues)


2014 is set to be a year of progression for LIVERPOOL INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL, as the festival looks to build on last year’s successful debut by flexing its muscles in all manner of creative areas. Spread across seventeen days and numerous venues, the emphasis is on bringing world class performers in to complement the homegrown talent on the biggest of stages. Sefton Park hosts the bulk of live action in the LIMF Summer Jams, centred around the August bank holiday weekend (22nd-25th August), featuring IAN BROUDIE AND THE LIGHTNING SEEDS performing live with the ROYAL LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA. Producer Steve Levine will also host a collaborative performance at St. George’s Hall that will include TIM BURGESS and BOY GEORGE among others. limfestival.com


1st – 3rd August / Lowther Deer Park, Lake District

Bido Lito! Highlight: SUEDE

With a big name main stage, supported by a number of other stages, tents and even a house party, there are many different ways to experience KENDAL CALLING. As well as the music there are countless market stalls scattered across the festival site alongside the late-night cinema and the Garden Of Eden, for those who have partied too hard. With a diverse, albeit quite populist bill, the family-friendly festival appeals to a wide range of people: the likes of SUEDE and THE CRAIG CHARLES FUNK AND SOUL SHOW may attract an older audience, but names like WOMAN’S HOUR and Liverpool favourite LÅPSLEY should draw in the younger crowds. kendalcalling.co.uk


18th – 20th July / Fell Foot Wood, Lake District

Bido Lito! Highlight: THAT FUCKING TANK

If you fancy going to the Lakes but you’re not too keen on Kendal, then FELL FOOT SOUND might be your bag, with a line-up catering for a more alternative taste. Back-dropped by the picturesque Fell Foot woodland glade, which overlooks Lake Windermere, the eco-friendly festival’s carefully curated bill this year features a legend of the Leeds scene (THAT FUCKING TANK) as well as one of its most exciting new bands (GALAXIANS), not forgetting Scouse-Swiss songstress NADINE CARINA. Splash out a little more and you can stay in one of the festival’s renowned yurts, complete with wood-burning stoves. fellfootsound.net


30th May – 1st June / Isaf, Cnwch Coch, Aberystwyth


The rustic, almost pagan FIRE IN THE MOUNTAIN has one of the most devoted followings on the festival circuit mainly because of its renowned community spirit; the majority of the proceeds are fed back into the village and farm that hosts the enchanted event. Festival favourites SHEELANAGIG will be feeding the good spirits, as will the NUDIE SUITS and LOOSE MOOSE STRING BAND. A family-friendly jam tent will be set up for anyone who wants to join in the music, and a range of local ales and ciders will be on tap to slowly nudge people towards doing so. Liverpool favourite MAMADOU AND THE SUPER LIBIDOR BAND will provide some diversity to the festivities, which culminate in the burning of a giant wooden figure on the final night. fireinthemountain.co.uk



If you prefer your festivals with a side of sun then Croatia is probably your best bet this year with a trio of events taking place on the Dalmatian coast. And if you like your music with a hefty low-end then OUTLOOK (3rd – 7th September) just about trumps DIMENSIONS and SOUNDWAVE, with the likes of DIGITAL MYSTIKZ and Massive Attack’s DADDY G on the bill. There are plenty more reasons to stay in the UK though too: Sheffield’s TRAMLINES (25th – 27th July) offers a great line-up at a bargain price, this year featuring HORSE MEAT DISCO, whilst the boutique GREEN MAN (14th – 17th August) will be bringing the gorgeous STRAINS OF WE ARE CATCHERS and THE WAR ON DRUGS to the picturesque Brecon Beacons. Purporting to be “the last authentic festival”, BEAT-HERDER takes residence in the Ribble Valley once more with JAGWAR MA and THE 2 BEARS set to roam round their bespoke site that features a Chinese fortress, working men’s club and red telephone boxes.


If you’re not one to fly too far from the nest then Liverpool has plenty to keep you occupied this summer too. New addition LIV-BCN brings some Catalan flavour to The Kazimier and Garden on 21st June, in an intercontinental exchange that features Barcelona’s DJ COCO and our own ETCHES among others. LIVERPOOL CALLING (26th July) splits its action across St. Luke’s Bombed Out Church, Korova and Maguire’s Pizza Bar, headlined by D/R/U/G/S and THE RIFLES. Meanwhile there’s the annual KRUNK FIESTA to look forward to, as well as ABOVE THE BEATEN TRACK and SUMMERCAMP as part of LIMF. To bookend the summer we also have the might LIVERPOOL INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF PSYCHEDELIA to gorge on over 26th and 27th September, headed up by Swedish voodooists GOAT and Canadian celestialists SUUNS.

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