The Ten Festivals You Need To Try In 2013

From boutique to totally bonkers, here is my must do festival list for 2013, in no particular order (that would be way too hard)

ATP Weekender, 10-12 May

There is something about watching your favorite bands from a retro holiday camp that feels weirdly wholesome. Not a word I would usually connect with a festival, but heading into my thirties, it is reassuring to go to a festival where you can stay in a chalet, sleep in a bed, & cook in your kitchen (ok, I might not go that far). All while checking out new bands (TV On The Radio are curating this year so the lineup is cherry-picked by them: result), playing on arcade machines & gate crashing other people’s chalets until 6am (wholesome? who am I kidding). Previously in Minehead, ‘All Tomorrow’s Parties’ comes this year in Camber Sands.  

The Telegraph Hay Festival, 23 May – 02 June 

If your idea of being a bookworm is curling up in a deckchair on a pretty lawn cradling a pitcher of Pimms, then this dazzling arts festival in Hay on Wye is one for you.

Winterwell, 8 June 

With The Great Gatsby set to be the film of the summer, I am surprised there are not more festivals cashing in on the roaring 1920s theme. If flappers do float your boat then this Winter well should be at the top of your list.

Benicassim, 18-21 July

Festivals In 2013I have heard so much about this Spanish beach festival over the years. Sigh. But this year I am getting even – & I am going.

Latitude, 18-21 July.

An old favourite of mine & my school friends, it was the first event that seemed to put as much effort into the theatre, literary, comedy side as music – & pull it all off so amazingly well.

Wilderness, 9-11 August

The festival that introduced me to hot tubs & lake swimming will always have a special corner in my heart. Now in third year, it continues to be what so many others try so hard to be – an intelligent fusion of great acts (this year Empire of the Sun & Tom Odell are on the line-up), amazing food (Er, hello, Polpo’s Russell Norman & Mr Mark Hix), thought-provoking arts & hard partying (don’t miss the masked ball in the woods).

The Green Man, 15-18 August 

OK, there is a bit of a theme here. I love Wales & I am not ashamed to admit my festival choices are often steered by the promise of some quality time on those rolling about green hills. If you feel the same then look no further than The Green Man, which always has a stellar line-up & a great vibe. It is not full of drunken teens. It is not full of screaming babies. It is just nice.

The Big Feastival, 31 August-01 September 

In association with The Jamie Oliver Foundation, this could be the big foodie ticket for 2013 with farmers markets, pop-ups & boutique bars.

Bestival, 5-8 September

With an iconic fancy dress theme & a stomping line-up  for me is the unquestionable daddy of all the festivals. Mixing old indie favourites (Franz Ferdinand), hip hop legends & new talent & the legend that is Sir Elton John CBE.

Festival No 6, 13-15 September 

If you have not been to the eccentric little seaside town of Portmeiron in beautiful  Wales yet, then I insist you kill two birds with one stone & get your ass down here in the month, September. Explore the quirky little village where cult 1960s drama” The Prisoner” was filmed while checking out one of the coolest new festivals (it was recently voted NME’s Best Small Festival 2013). What more could you ask for?
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