The start of the UK festival season has always been marked by Glastonbury at the end of June.
But more often than not, the first photos of celebs wearing fringed clothing and clutching plastic drinks glasses hit our newsstands earlier in the spring, making us dream of warm, summer festivals while Blighty is still suffering April Showers.
As a result, more and more of us seem to be chasing the sunshine and heading to festivals abroad, but is it worth the effort? We debate it out…
Why Stay at Home?
1. Britain’s Got Loads of Talent
Ever since the Isle of Wight Festival in 1968, Britain has been famous for its music festivals. In fact, it’s safe to say that we put on some of the best in the world. Everyone from Beyoncé to Bowie has played Glastonbury’s famous Pyramid stage, proving that our festivals are not just the destination of choice for home-grown talent, but they’re also the place to catch all your favourite global mega-stars.
2. Specialist Sounds
While every country may have a speciality when it comes to genre, one thing that the UK does extremely well is diversity. If you’re a pop princess you can head for T in the Park, while Download excels at heavy rock and at Back with Mods you’ll find a like-minded crowd decked out in Ben Sherman and Paul Smith. And that’s before we get to the folk scene…
3. Singing (and Dancing and Drinking) in the Rain
Sure, the UK may not have the best weather for festivals, but we like to think that’s all part of the fun. Us Brits don’t let a small (ok, heavy) downpour dampen our spirits, and besides there’s something strangely liberating about dancing in the rain wearing a black bin-liner with a pint of cider in your hand. Plus, let’s be honest: you haven’t got far to go for a hot shower once it’s all over.
Why Rock Out Abroad?
1. Have a (Beach) Ball
If you like to spend your holidays sipping sangria by the pool, then what could be better than adding a soundtrack? Ibiza Rocks sees everyone from The Vaccines to Tinie Tempah play sets at a hotel on the White Isle over the summer, while Benicassim festival takes place on a sunny Spanish beach – certainly a far cry from a muddy field in Somerset.
2. Party All Year Round
Britain’s temperamental weather means that our festival season is compacted into a few short summer months. However, if you choose to travel abroad then you can experience music festivals all year round, from Tall Trees which hits Australia in January to Iceland Airwaves in November. Who says the fun has to stop when August does?
3. Fewer Pounds = More Pints
One key reason to travel abroad has to be price, and we’re not just talking the lower cost of food and booze on the continent. While £300 will at a stretch cover your camping and entrance fee in the UK, at Rock Werchter in Belgium the €200 ticket also includes your train ticket to and from the festival – not a bad offer! And you can always check our latest deals to see if you can keep the prices down even further.
What do you think? Do you prefer festivals at home or abroad?