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Summer Guide: Festivals

Five festivals to travel to this summer.

Primavera Sound 
Barcelona, Spain, May 26 - 28
Famous for its focus on eclectic, independent music, Primavera nevertheless packs in around 100,000 eager music fans every year. This year’s line-up has the usual deluge of bands only hipsters have heard of, but since their music taste is nigh-on impeccable, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re looking for more recognizable bands, though, check out Mercury Rev, Big Boi, P.I.L., The Flaming Lips and Pulp. Did we mention they were eclectic?

Tennessee, USA, June 9 – 12
Bonnaroo is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, so expect a huge fricking party. For such a young festival, it’s been lauded as one of the best in the world over and over, and from looking at this year’s line-up, it’s easy to see why: slap your sun cream on and rock out to Arcade Fire, Eminem, The Black Keys, The Strokes, Lil Wayne and many, many, many more.

Glastonbury Festival 
Somerset, England, June 22 - 26
One of the biggest festivals in the world, Glastonbury (or “Glasto”, as it’s affectionately known in the UK) sees close to 200,000 people swarm into its grassy enclosure every year. As well as watching acts ranging from Snoop Dogg to Nine Inch Nails, with every folk, jazz, comedy and electronic act in between playing all over its 80 stages, it’s the legendary Glasto atmosphere that makes people come back again and again. Be warned – as amazing as it is, it it’s also hippie central, so just wash your hands after touching, well… anything.

Rock Werchter
Werchter, Belgium, June 30 – July 3
With a line-up that’s the envy of other festivals, the Belgian Rock Werchter is a massive draw for a country who’s mostly seen by the rest of Europe as the geographic equivalent of beige. This year’s line-up sees the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Eels, Kings of Leon, the National and The Chemical Brothers. The Black Eyed Peas also seem to be playing, so be prepared to see the European festival tradition of hurling bottles of piss at unpopular acts (that reminds us, take an umbrella).

Fuji Rock Festival
Naeba Ski Resort, Japan, July 29 – 31

Taking place in a ski resort surrounded by forests and streams, the Japanese Fuji Rock Festival gives you the chance to experience a little tranquility between tearing it up at one of the seven stages, especially if you take the ‘Dragondola’ to the special relaxing vantage point at the top of the mountain (maybe not the best place to drop acid if you’re the “I can totally fly!” kind of guy). Music-wise, it runs the gamut from Wilco to Atari Teenage Riot, so be prepared to be blown away by bands and atmosphere alike.