The Far Out Festival Guide: the UK’s best day festivals

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No tents, no camping, no grotty Sundays on day three without a wash – day festivals are the dream, delivering all the musical greatness without the packing stress or grimness. Don’t get us wrong, we love a three-day bender spent in a field with our mates. Camping festivals remain the bread and butter of the season. But for an easy fix and a chance to see some of the best acts around without significantly less worry, the UK has some fantastic day festivals on offer.

Simply put, day festivals cut the fat off and leave you with just the good stuff. There’s no need to worry about the weather as long you have a raincoat with you in case of a classically British downpour, but it’s not like you’ll be damp for days. Usually taking place close to city centres, you can just hop on the tube to a London park or get the bus across town to the festival grounds, rather than having to bribe that one friend who can drive you to some forest. You can still gorge yourself on paper cup pints and festival grub, but once the day is done, you can head home for a hot shower and a Sunday where the hangover doesn’t feel quite as desperate in the comfort of your own house.

It’s not all logistics, though. The UK undeniably hosts some of the best festivals in the world, such as Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds, and Green Man. But that knack for excellent bookings and unbeatable vibes extends to our day festivals. This year, especially All Points East, British Summer Time, and even smaller events like Manchester Psyche Fest or Sheffield’s Get Together Festival, we’ve seen some of the best lineups. 

This is your one-stop shop, with all the information in one place, along with our personalised tips and schedule suggestions. Send it to your mates, pick a date or two, and book your ticket to the best days of your summer.

The Far Out Festival Guide- the UK's best day festivals - 2024

(Credits: Far Out / Yvette de Wit / Samuel Regan-Asante)

Sounds From The Other City

Where: Greater Manchester
When: May 5th
How much: £45

For one day, the towering cultural force that is Manchester hands over its spotlight. Instead, it shines on their often smothered or overlooked neighbour of Salford. Sounds From The Other City is all about the underdogs. Sure, the city centre has some great acts and great venues, but this festival celebrates the best bits in the outer regions as it turns its eyes towards the talent in Greater Manchester.

As a multi-venue offering that will see you dipping around town, it takes place in the pubs, churches, studios, warehouses and what they call ‘in-between’ spaces of Chapel Street and the Crescent. On the lineup this year, pay attention to Viji, Lilo, Good News and Halo Maud.

Sounds From The Other City - Manchester

(Credits: Sounds From The Other City)

Get Together Festival

Where: Kelham Island, Sheffield
When: May 18th
How much: £44

In venues across the coolest neighbourhood of Sheffield, the Get Together festival will no doubt be a great day. In general, the Steel City is a painfully overlooked music town. Despite giving the world Pulp and Arctic Monkeys, it’s too often lost in the shadows of Manchester and Leeds, so head here to give it a look. Kelham Island, especially, is such a nice area that promises a lovely vibe. With plenty of great boozers like Shakespeares and Fat Cat, the city is one of the top brewery hot spots in the UK, so you can be assured that the drinks will be just as good as the music.

Headlined by CMAT, we’d make sure to make the sets by Picture Parlour, Ellie Bleach, Ellur, Heartworms and Terra Twin. Also, catch some of the best acts Sheffield has to offer, such as Femur and Shelley Byron.

Get Together Festival - Sheffield

(Credits: Get Together Festival)

Live At Leeds In The Park

Where: Temple Newsam Park, Leeds
When: May 25th
How much: £71.50

If what you’re after is good old-fashioned indie fun, look no further than Live At Leeds. They’ve led in this space for a while now. Starting out with their city centre venue hopping event each winter, they’ve now expanded into outright festival energy with this early summer park day.

The lineup this year is especially appealing. Sure, they have the cookie-cutter standard lineup additions of The Kooks, Sea Girls and Circa Waves, who are good for a boozed-up singalong, but not much else. But once you look beyond that, Live At Leeds is surprisingly eclectic. Baxter Dury, Billy Nomates, The Mysterines and Hot Wax would be on our must-see list.

Live At Leeds In The Park - Temple Newsam Park

(Credits: Live At Leeds In The Park)

Dot To Dot

Where: Bristol / Nottingham
When: May 25th / May 26th
How much: £40

Taking this show on the road, Dot To Dot festivals see some of the most exciting names in new music dipping between Bristol and Nottingham. The story is the same in both cities; scattered around the various local venues, a lineup of hot new names takes over for a big day of alternative, indie and rock.

This year, the likes of Wunderhorse, Jockstrap, Bleach Lab and Hovvdy are going to be there. We’d also make sure to catch The Dare, a name to note as New York’s coolest indie kid building an ever-growing yet cultish following. The Magic Gang will also be there as one of their last-ever performances before the 2010s indie staple troupe calls it quits. From the smallest font to the headline names, this is definitely a lineup to consider if you’re someone who likes to run ahead of the curve and know artists before they blow up.

Dot To Dot Festival - Bristol - Nottingham

(Credits: Dot To Dot Festival)

Brighton Psyche Fest / Manchester Psyche Fest / Edinburgh Psyche Fest

Where: Brighton/Manchester/Edinburgh
When: August 30th / August 31st / September 1st
How much: £40

Another travelling roadshow of a day festivals is this family of psyche festivals, celebrating the top names in alternative spheres. However, the lineups differ slightly from place to place. Out of the three, Manchester definitely wins out with the best offering as Baxter Dury and The Horrors step up as headliners. Other stand-outs are Molly Payton, Lime Garden, New Dad, and Holly Macve. The energy in the Northern Quarter during a big event is also always a treat as Manchester’s pedestrianised central streets come to life.

Brighton does boast sets from city favourites Lime Garden and Hutch, while in Edinburgh, you can see Temples and French exports Juniore. Really, any of the three days is going to be a good one, so pick which one is more convenient and enjoyable.

Manchester Psych Festival - Manchester

(Credits: Manchester Psych Fest)

The best day festivals in London

Visions Festival

Where: Hackney, London
When: Late July (Last year was on the 22nd)
How much: Unknown

Imagine a day festival of the best new alternative acts, and then imagine that day festival also had a dog competition. That’s Visions Festival. Scattered in East London’s best venues, last year’s lineup included a headline set from Spiritualized as well as sets from Katy J Pearson, Picture Parlour, Just Mustard and more. The 2024 event hasn’t been announced yet, but it feels guaranteed that they’ll deliver more greatness.

But really, who cares about the music? Go for the dogs. In a paddock behind Hackney Church, the cutest dogs in the area battle it out for categories like waggiest tail or most original name. There is also a fancy dress category that last year saw pups dressed up as rock legends. That’s cute enough to get us there, but there’s something about Visions festival that feels rich in community as Hackney suddenly feels like a village.

Visions Festival - London

(Credits: Visions Festival)

British Summer Time

Where: Hyde Park, London
When: June 29th, June 30th, July 4th, July 5th, July 6th, July 7th, July 12th, July 13th, July 14th
How much: A lot… and largely sold out.

If you’re looking to splash out on one huge show this summer, British Summer Time is always a good shout. As central as they come, the festival takes over Hyde Park for a bunch of weekends in the height of summer, meaning nice weather is somewhat guaranteed. Throughout history, the park has hosted its fair share of iconic musical moments and each year, they add to that pile.

This year especially has one huge hitter; Stevie Nicks. On July 12th, the Fleetwood Mac legend will be taking over the park for her first UK show in a long while. As the rest of the day’s lineup is always crafted around the headline, it’s sure to be a good one for rock fans. The Far Out office is currently locked in a bloody battle over which of us might get to go. As for the other days, SZA, Kings Of Leon, Shania Twain and Kylie are descending on the park, along with pop legend Robbie Williams and country star Morgan Wallen.

But I’ll reason with you a second – British Summer Time is a huge event that can end up feeling catered to people paying the big bucks. The higher-priced golden circle pushes you further away from the stage. But, it also offers a chance to see real legends in the city centre. Seeing The Rolling Stones there remains one of my favourite ever musical memories, so if you can afford it, and if you’re fine watching from a distance, it’s a great day.

British Summertime Festival - BST

(Credits: BST Hyde Park)

Brockwell Park day festivals

Wide Awake

Where: Brockwell Park
When: May 25th
How much: £60

For Londoners with a love for left-field and alternative sounds, this is one to put in the calendar. Organised by the team behind Shacklewell Arms, Wide Awake brings the energy of that beloved local venue to the park for a one-day affair that always ends up being a fun one. It’s exactly the type of place where you can go only knowing a few names on the lineup and end up having one of the best days of your summer, likely bumping into plenty of friends or old hinge dates.

This year, the lineup is looking better than ever. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are headlining for a trippy climax, with Slowdive and Young Fathers also promising big sets. On the lower tiers, we’ll be heading to sets from Lambrini Girls, Bodega, The Itch and Hannah Diamond.

Also, make sure to catch maybe the most unique but fun act you’ll see all festival season: a Byrne’s Night Talking Heads tribute act where London’s finest musicians form supergroups to celebrate the legend that is David Byrne.

Wide Awake Festival - Brockwell Park London

(Credits: Wide Awake Festival)

Cross The Tracks

Where: Brockwell Park
When: May 26th
How much: £70

If your tastes lean more towards jazz, funk and soul, the south London park has a lineup for that too. Cross The Tracks is another big one in the city’s live music calendar, switching up the vibes from the previous day’s alt-energy into something altogether funkier.

This year, the iconic Erykah Badu will be taking to the stage for a major headline. BADBADNOTGOOD and En Vogue are also there to soundtrack your dance.

Cross The Tracks Festival - Brockwell Park London

(Credits: Cross The Tracks Festival)

Victoria Park day festivals

All Points East

Where: Victoria Park
When: August 16th, 17th, 18th, 23rd, 24th, 25th
How much: £80

For two long weekends in August, All Points East takes over Victoria Park. A perfect event for East Londoners to simply walk over and join in the fun, it also boasts some of the biggest names in the world for often UK-exclusive shows that you won’t be able to catch anywhere else that festival season.

This year, we’re especially paying attention to the LCD Soundsystem date, which is Friday, August 23rd. With sets from Pixies and Jockstrap as well, you’ll find the more alt-leaning Far Out team pushing their way to the front. As for the sad girls on the team (me), I’ll be weeping at Mitski’s beautifully curated date with sets from Ethel Cain, Arlo Parks and TV Girl.

Other dates are led by Loyle Carner, Kaytranada, Pinkpantheress, The Postal Service and Death Cab For Cutie, providing something for everyone across the weekends. Really, regardless of the lineup, All Points East always ends up being a real summer highlight for me. The weather is usually great, the energy of a weekend in London is unmatched in August, and the park is a perfect setting for good times.

All Points East - Victoria Park - London

(Credits: Samuel Regan-Asante)

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