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Best Alternative UK Indie, Pop & Rock Festivals: A Look at Some of the UK’s Less Well Known Rock & Indie Festivals

Published by Leandro Mayle

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Tickets for Glastonbury sold out in a picosecond? Looking for an event attended by slightly less than the population of a small to medium city? Try this brief guide to some of the more overlooked dates on the UK festival circuit…

Guilfest 2009: Line-up and Details

What: A decidedly family-friendly festival (Guilfest won the Best Family Festival at the UK Festival Awards in 2006), this event boasts an extensive KidZone and mixes comedy, theatre and children’s entertainment with rock, pop and alternative music for a truly eclectic line-up.

When: 10th-12th July

Where: Stoke Park, Guildford

Headliners: Motorhead, Brian Wilson, The Happy Mondays

Best of the rest: The Charlatans, The Wailers, Athlete, Nouvelle Vague, Imelda May, Eat Static, with many more to be added

The Wychwood Music Festival: Line-up and Details

What: Described by Time Out magazine as ‘an excellent hybrid of the Big Chill, WOMAD and The Cambridge Folk Festival’, the Wychwood is a chilled festival which also features a strong comedy line-up.

When: 29th-31st May

Where: Cheltenham Racecourse, Gloucestershire

Headliners: Super Furry Animals, Supergrass, Dub Colossus

Best of the rest: Super Furry Animals, The Wonder Stuff, John Jones, Danny & The Champions Of The World, Hoodlums, Alice Gun, The Beat, Kissmet, Bellowhead, Cara Dillon

Wickerman Festival: Line-up and Details

What: Like a mini-Glastonbury in its scope and eclecticism, this rapidly growing Scottish festival is set near many of the locations used in the classic 1973 British horror film The Wicker Man and culminates with the burning of its own thirty foot high wicker man on the Saturday – though without a screaming Edward Woodward inside.

When: 24th-25th July

Where: East Kirkcarswell, near Dundrennan, Southwest Scotland

Headliners: The Human League, The Zutons, Candi Staton

Best of the rest: Billy Bragg, Dreadzone, Zion Train, Utah Saints, The Dickies, Kid British, Pearl and the Puppets, Luva Anna, We Were Promised Jetpacks, UK Subs, Penetration

Relentless Boardmasters Festival: Line-up and Details

What: Running from 4th-10th August, Rip Curl Boardmasters is Europe’s biggest combined surf, skate and music festival, incorporating the 2-day Unleashed music festival sandwiched in amongst the boarding action.

When: 5th-9th August

Where: Fistral Beach & Watergate Bay, Newquay

Headliners: The Streets, Cypress Hill

Best of the rest: Roots Manuva, The King Blues, Dan le Sac v’s Scroobius Pip, Master Shortie

Green Man Festival: Line-up and Details

What: A throwback to the hippy roots of the modern-day music festival, the site for the Green Man Festival has already been blessed by druids. This year’s festival will see more than 100 acts play psychedelia, folk, indie and americana across 5 stages, while they also promise that DJ’s playing everything from psychedlia, dub-reggae, modern electro and stoner rock will keep the party alive right through the night.

When: 21st-23rd August

Where: Glanusk Park Estate, Usk Valley, South Wales

Headliners: TBC

Best of the rest: Four Tet, Grizzly Bear, Dirty Three, Vetiver, Rodriguez, Andrew Bird, Joe Gideon & The Shark, The Phantom Band, Unicorn Kid, Beth Jeans Houghton, The Leisure Society, Wilco, Bon Iver, British Sea Power

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