A guitarist's guide to the 2010 festival season: The festivals

20th May 2010 | 14:42

A guitarist's guide to the 2010 festival season: The festivals
Glastonbury
Band to watch: Muse

The festival season is almost upon us and over the next few weeks we'll be bringing you various tips, tricks and picks, in what we're imaginatively titling, 'A guitarist's guide to the festival season'. First up – the festivals themselves.

Not only is the mainstream scene in its rudest health in years, it's also more diverse than ever and guitar-fans are spoilt for choice. We felt it was important to stick our oar in and highlight our top five picks for the 2010 festival season.

Glastonbury

23 – 27 June - full line-up - tickets (good luck with that)

The UK's most famous festival by a country-mile and certainly the BBC's favourite corporate jolly, Glastonbury is generally thought to have something for everyone. Everyone that is, that doesn't like metal.

Yeah, it's not exactly the ideal stop-off for heavy rock, but we reckon Glastonbury holds a special place in the hearts of most musos, whether it's the astonishing diversity of the acts it hosts, or the legendary atmosphere.

This year Worthy Farm is leaving the Saturday night headline slot in the very-capable hands of TG's Guitarist of the Decade, Matt Bellamy of Muse. If that's not enough for you U2 are stopping-by on the Friday and Slash will drop in on the Sunday.

A guitarist's guide to the 2010 festival season: The festivals
Reading and Leeds
Band to watch: Guns N' Roses

Not only is the mainstream scene in its rudest health in years, it's also more diverse than ever and guitar-fans are spoilt for choice. We felt it was important to stick our oar in and highlight our top five picks for the 2010 festival season.

Reading and Leeds

27-29 August - full line-up - tickets

Many a young muso has cut their festival-teeth during the August bank-holiday weekend at Reading or Leeds. This year sees the organisers return to their rock roots and frankly, we're expecting big things.

For one reason or another, headliners Guns N' Roses always put on a show worth watching and you can rely on Bumblefoot (Buckethead's replacement) to deliver on the solos.

Other TG faves in attendance include Biffy Clyro, The Gaslight Anthem, Blink-182 and a specially-reformed Libertines.

A guitarist's guide to the 2010 festival season: The festivals
Sonisphere
Band to watch: Iron Maiden

Not only is the mainstream scene in its rudest health in years, it's also more diverse than ever and guitar-fans are spoilt for choice. We felt it was important to stick our oar in and highlight our top five picks for the 2010 festival season.

Sonisphere

30 July – 1 August - full line up - tickets

Another new kid on the block, this metal-fest takes place in the grounds of the Knebworth estate, which has had enough rock-history carved in its turf to engrain the event with a sense of authenticity.

Definitely one for fans of all things heavy, spiky and generally epic, this year's event has been expanded to a full three-day festival schedule and will feature a headline set from Iron Maiden (that's THREE guitarists).

Along with 'Maiden there will be appearances from Slayer, Alice In Chains, Anthrax, Gallows, Iggy and the Stooges and, err… Europe. We mock, but 'The Final Countdown' solo live will be a moment to behold.

A guitarist's guide to the 2010 festival season: The festivals
Latitude
Band to watch: Vampire Weekend

Not only is the mainstream scene in its rudest health in years, it's also more diverse than ever and guitar-fans are spoilt for choice. We felt it was important to stick our oar in and highlight our top five picks for the 2010 festival season.

Latitude

15 – 18 July - full line up - tickets

A relative new-comer, Latitude has fast-established itself as the event for more discerning festival-goers and it now has a great reputation, both for its unique atmosphere (one stage hosts gigs in the woods) and for its colourful sheep.

All this would be worth diddley squat without great tunes and fortunately the festival has them too. For guitarists that aren't metal fans, it's a great alternative to the larger, heavier festivals and so far Vampire Weekend, Rodrigo y Gabriela, The National and Grizzly Bear are all scheduled for the weekend's bigger slots.

Acoustic fans will be served well too and Latitude looks like it will provide a good summary of the UK's healthy folk scene, with sets from Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling and Noah & The Whale all ready to go off with typical foot-stomping, acoustic panache.

A guitarist's guide to the 2010 festival season: The festivals
Download
Band to watch: AC/DC

Not only is the mainstream scene in its rudest health in years, it's also more diverse than ever and guitar-fans are spoilt for choice. We felt it was important to stick our oar in and highlight our top five picks for the 2010 festival season.

Download

11-13 June - full line up - tickets

For guitarists, it doesn't get much better than Download's 2010 line up. When we heard the organisers were celebrating 30 years of rock at Donnington, we knew they were going to pull something special out of the bag.

A heavenly head-lining trio of AC/DC, Rage Against The Machine and Aerosmith is more than we expected and consequently has most of TG's staffers foaming at the mouth.

However, if none of the above float your hard-rock boat (what's wrong with you!?), the festival has confirmed appearances from Megadeth, Slash, Bullet For My Valentine and Lamb Of God. Not to mention new hopes Cancer Bats, Young Guns and Taking Dawn.

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