Top 10 Festivals For Guitarists

25th May 2011 | 15:45

Top 10 Festivals For Guitarists
Slam Dunk
The one keeping the punk flame burning...

Slam Dunk

28 May, Leeds University, Leeds/ 29 May Hertfordshire University, Hatfield

Bands to watch: Less Than Jake, Goldfinger, Reel Big Fish, Anti-Flag, Framing Hanley, Lower Than Atlantis

When European punk tour/extravaganza Deconstruction went bust in 2007, it seemed like the UK’s youth would no longer have an outlet for their US-centric punk fixations. Fortunately, the good people behind Slam Dunk stepped up and the two-date festival is comfortably occupying its place as Deconstruction’s spiritual successor.

Slam Dunk even improves on its forebear by showcasing smaller British bands, such as Lower Than Atlantis, alongside Stateside behemoths Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish. There’s also plenty on offer for the swishy-haired post-emo masses, with the likes of Framing Hanley and We Are The Ocean making appearances.

Tickets :: Line-up

Heading to a festival this summer? Check out our 12 Dos and Don'ts of the festival season!

Top 10 Festivals For Guitarists
Isle Of Wight
The one with Jeff Beck...

Isle Of Wight

10 to 12 June, Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle of Wight

Bands to watch: Jeff Beck, Foo Fighters, Kings Of Leon, Manic Street Preachers, Kasabian, Band Of Horses

In the 60s and 70s, this legendary festival played host to everyone, including Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, The Who, Black Sabbath, Bob Dylan and Jefferson Airplane. Now it’s returning to its rock roots and celebrating the 10th anniversary of its post-millennial reincarnation. And that means Isle Of Wight has pulled in some seriously A-list names.

If the pickless fingers of Jeff Beck – touring his Grammy-winning ‘Emotion And Commotion’ album – don’t do it for you (leave this place!), then perhaps a Foo Fighters, Kings Of Leon, or Manic Street Preachers set might.

Tickets :: Line-up

Heading to a festival this summer? Check out our 12 Dos and Don'ts of the festival season!

Top 10 Festivals For Guitarists
Glastonbury
The really, really BIG one...

Glastonbury

22 to 26 June, Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset

Bands to watch: BB King, U2, Elbow, Laura Marling, Pendulum, Biffy Clyro. If we listed them all we'd be here all night.

Glastonbury is a festival so good that some bands play it twice in one weekend (usually because they got lost on the way back from the falafel van). If you didn’t get tickets, just tell everyone you aren’t going because you made a promise to yourself that the first time you trod the boards at Worthy Farm, you’d be onstage.

This year’s line-up is as impressive as ever. Only at Glastonbury would you get BB King playing the same stage as Biffy Clyro and U2. No doubt dance-rockers Pendulum will put on a good show on the Sunday and Elbow will make a triumphant return too....

Tickets :: Line-up

Heading to a festival this summer? Check out our 12 Dos and Don'ts of the festival season!

Top 10 Festivals For Guitarists
Bloodstock Open Air
The one keeping the faith...

Bloodstock Open Air

12 to 14 August, Catton Hall, Walton-On-Trent, Derbyshire

Bands to watch: Devin Townsend Project, Exodus, Immortal, Morbid Angel, At The Gates, Wintersun

Since its rather modest one-stage inception in 2005, Bloodstock Open Air has quickly made its name as a dyed-in-the-wool metal festival for true believers. Now operating three stages over three days, this year’s line-up sees some incredible guitar bands taking to the stage.

There’s a rare UK appearance from legendary Norwegian black metallers Immortal, Devin Townsend (interviewed in TG215) will be dropping by, At The Gates are re-reunited and power metal wunderkinds Wintersun will be showcasing more rakes than the Chelsea Flower Show.

Tickets :: Line-up

Heading to a festival this summer? Check out our 12 Dos and Don'ts of the festival season!

Top 10 Festivals For Guitarists
London Guitar Festival
The one with the experts...

London Guitar Festival

3 to 5 June, Southbank Centre, London

Bands to watch: Eric Bibb, Jack Bruce with Joe Bonamassa, Graham Anthony Devine, Guitarist Of The Year

Hosted by the much-respected International Guitar Foundation, the London Guitar Festival is the event for the serious six stringer. Drawing together a series of performances, recitals and workshops, it will offer much to inspire guitarists of all levels.

Likely highlights include a guest appearance from Joe Bonamassa alongside legendary Cream/Bluesbreakers bassist Jack Bruce, blues journeyman Eric Bibb and the final of (TG sister mag) Guitarist's Guitarist Of The Year awards. That’s in addition to a host of special workshops from some of the leading names in tuition, including Neville Marten, editor of Guitar Techniques and a contributor to TG.

Tickets :: Line-up

Heading to a festival this summer? Check out our 12 Dos and Don'ts of the festival season!

Top 10 Festivals For Guitarists
Latitude
The one with the gigs in the woods...

Latitude

14 to 17 July, Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk

Bands to see: The National, Suede, Anna Calvi, Seasick Steve, Os Mutantes, The Vaccines, Grouplove, Y Niwl

Latitude’s a fantastic festival for those less inclined to offer their daughters as a sacrifice to the metal masters, or burn their possessions on the first night and spend the rest of the event wearing nothing but a muddy poncho.

Instead it offers a tasteful selection of brilliant music, showcasing both up-and-coming bands and longer-standing acts that are deserving of your attention. This year, you can catch axe whiz Anna Calvi; Kurt Cobain’s beloved Brazilian psych rockers, Os Mutantes; and a sure-to-be-inspiring headline performance from The National. And we've barely even mentioned the picaresque lake stage, the gigs in the woods, or even the multi-coloured sheep...

Tickets :: Line-up

Heading to a festival this summer? Check out our 12 Dos and Don'ts of the festival season!

Top 10 Festivals For Guitarists
Reading and Leeds
The one with Bellamy...

Reading and Leeds

26 to 28 August, Richfield Avenue, Reading & Bramham Park, Leeds

Bands to watch: The Strokes, My Chemical Romance, Muse, Deftones, Glassjaw

With last year’s Guns N’ Roses fiasco – in particular, the sound of an enraged Axl squawking through a megaphone – still ringing in the ears of the Reading and Leeds festivals’ organisers, it’s not surprising they’ve opted for acts that will deliver in 2011.

My Chemical Romance have been playing shows like this before breakfast for the last six months, so expect a finely honed performance to remember from them. On top of that, Deftones were in truly fine form at Download last year, there’s a rare UK show by Glassjaw and a Muse headline set, which means fireworks, big riffs and epic stage props.

Tickets :: Line-up

Heading to a festival this summer? Check out our 12 Dos and Don'ts of the festival season!

Top 10 Festivals For Guitarists
High Voltage
The one with Slash and Petrucci...

High Voltage

23 to 24 July, Victoria Park, London

Bands to watch: Slash, Dream Theater, Black Country Communion, Judas Priest, Rivals Sons

It may be sponsored by TG’s sister mag, Classic Rock, but High Voltage is on this list for its own merits. And not least among those is that it’s running a beer festival within a music festival – it’s like the perfect storm.

Music-wise, there’s Slash, John Petrucci and Joe Bonamassa all appearing at the same event. On top of that, you’ve got Judas Priest’s last ever UK festival appearance and a selection of TG’s favourite up-and-coming bands, including Rival Sons, Von Hertzen Brothers and Primitai.

Tickets :: Line-up

Heading to a festival this summer? Check out our 12 Dos and Don'ts of the festival season!

Top 10 Festivals For Guitarists
Download
The nostalgic one...

Download

10 to 12 June, Donnington Park, Castle Donnington, Derbyshire

Bands to watch: The Darkness, System Of A Down, Alter Bridge, Mr Big, Def Leppard

Two words: JUSTIN HAWKINS OF THE DARKNESS RIDING A TIGER TO HAIR-METAL GLORY! Err, we might have overrun there, but TG still holds a candle for The Darkness, so news of their reformation has bought a tear to our eye and a wee to our pants.

If that doesn’t float your boat, then there’s always the other big reformation act of the weekend to get excited about: System Of A Down. Plus there’s Alter Bridge, Mr Big and Def Leppard to send you screaming back to your rehearsal rooms.

Justin Hawkins and co. have recently released a video of The Darkness rehearsing for Download, it's most amusing.

Tickets :: Line-up

Heading to a festival this summer? Check out our 12 Dos and Don'ts of the festival season!

Top 10 Festivals For Guitarists
Sonisphere
The one with the Big Four...

Sonisphere

8 to 10 July, Knebworth Park, Knebworth, Hertfordshire

Bands to watch: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slipknot, Biffy Clyro, The Mars Volta

Despite being a relatively new contender, Sonisphere 2011 is looking like it might steal the best heavy festival crown for the first time. Again, the dual Saturn and Apollo main stages are back, meaning that the major artists won’t clash with each other, and then there’s THAT line-up.

We’re talking about The Big Four onstage together in the UK for the first time ever, Biffy’s first mainstage headline slot, The Mars Volta’s only 2011 UK show and Slipknot post-Paul Gray. It’s a must-watch selection for guitarists and metal fans alike.

Tickets :: Line-up

Heading to a festival this summer? Check out our 12 Dos and Don'ts of the festival season!

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