On the Festival Trail: The Best Festivals This Summer

As the festival season opens with the first weekend of Coachella, we get ready to roll out the fedoras and pull on our favourite western boots for another summer of alfresco music, comedy and literary talent.

Succumb to festival fever with our guide to the summer events to visit in 2018.


Coachella, California

13th – 22nd April

The sun-soaked valley of Coachella is home to the world’s most fashionable festival. Synonymous with celebrity-spotting and Instagram fame, the music event happens over the weekends of the 13th – 16th and 20th – 22nd April.

@michaeldrummondphoto / Instagram

This year’s line-up sets to reinstate Coachella as the performance powerhouse of American festivals with a line-up that includes Beyoncé, The Weeknd, Eminem and Cardi B, as well as more under the radar acts like Alt-J, Haim and SZA.



Primavera Sound, Barcelona

30th May – 3rd June

Bringing together a line-up of both the latest independent music and industry veterans, Primavera Sound festival has become a meeting place for artists and spectators of all generations and all genres.

This year, A$AP Rocky, Arctic Monkeys and Haim take the stage along with Bjork, Jane Birkin singing Birkin Gainsbourg Symphonic and Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein performing the music of Stranger Things.



Secret Solstice, Reykjavik

21st – 24th June

Only in its fifth year, Secret Solstice in Reykjavik, Iceland is an event like no other. Combining Iceland’s incredible summer midnight sun, a beauteous landscape, and some of the world’s most recognised artists, the summer festival has been called an unmissable experience.

Spend an evening in Iceland’s oldest geothermal bath with DJ’s playing your favourite tunes, attend the only party to be held inside a glacier, and take a midnight sun boat out to party in the Atlantic Ocean. For 2018, the festival’s line-up includes Stormzy, Gucci Mane, J Hus, IAMDDB, Clean Bandit and Steve Aoki.


Citadel, London

15th July 2018

‘A Sunday well spent brings a week of content’, so is the ethos of Citadel festival, the one day event held in Gunnersbury Park, London. Launched in 2015, the festival takes back the day of rest, re-energising it with a line-up of world class musicians, talks and debates, a programme of arts and ideas and the finest fitness classes in London.

@citadelfestival / Instagram

This year find Tame Impala, CHVRCHES and Leon Bridges amongst the musicians to play at the event. Sunday Papers Live will be debating the topics of the moment, the Science Museum and Guerrilla Science present a series of classes and camps and Mass Yoga, Aztec-Disco Golf and a Sunday Sports Day are there to get your hearts racing.



Boardmasters, Newquay

8th – 12th August

The four-day event in Newquay, Cornwall combines live music with surfing and skateboarding competitions. The 2018 line-up includes names like Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Chemical Brothers, George Ezra, Idris Elba and Declan McKenna.

@boardmasters / festival

The town of Newquay also hosts world renowned surf league competitions with the Quicksilver Open, Roxy Open, Men’s Longboard and Women’s Longboard events all taking place over the weekend. Beyond the event, Newquay also offers an array of activities such as Cornish Workshops and Surf & Sup Lessons. Don’t miss the UK’s largest silent disco and the world renowned after parties.



Afropunk, New York

25th – 26th August

‘No sexism, no racism, no ableism, no ageism, no homophobia, no fatphobia, no transphobia and no hatefulness,’ reads the house rules of Brooklyn’s Afropunk festival. Founded in Brooklyn in 2005, the event is an annual celebration of the African community in New York.

With a momentous line-up, this year’s sees Erykah Badu, Tyler the Creator, Janelle Monae, Jaden Smith, Lion Babe and Miguel all take the stage, as well as the event’s famed Battle of the Bands introducing new talent.


Burning Man, Nevada

26th August – 3rd September

Over five and a half square miles of desert are filled with a variety of art, culture, music and fashion at Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nevada. With no booked acts or sponsorships, the festival is less of an event and more of a community.

@benhopper / Instagram

Collaboration, inclusivity, creativity and connectivity are at the forefront of the festival’s spirit. There’s a common myth that Burning Man works on a bartering basis, instead, the culture is more focused on ‘gifting’. Whether it be food, water, creative thinking, literary talents, or design, individuals are invited to volunteer their skills to collaborate with the community.



Festival No 6, Portmeirion

6th – 9th September

Located in the magical North Welsh town of Portmeirion, Festival No 6 is an annual art and music event, presenting a wide variety of genres and artists across different stages. Including live music, poetry readings, comedy shows, talks, debates, and cultural activities, the festival has been dubbed, ‘beautiful’, ‘bizarre’, and ‘surreal’.

For 2018, artists such as Franz Ferdinand, Friendly Fires, Jessie Ware, The The, Reginald D Hunter, Tim Key and Lauren Pattison will share songs, jokes and good times with the people of Porthmadog.

Words by Georgia Leitch

Georgia Leitch

Georgia Leitch

Writer and expert

A fan of maximalist fashion and all things fluffy, you can find me layering prints or looking for new earrings. A disco queen at heart, if I'm not dancing around the house to 70s soul, I'm counting my flares.

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