UK festivals might sound like places that are full of mud. They certainly can be at times, but they are so much more than that.
There are plenty of amazing rock festivals in the UK, as well as a handful of festivals that are great all-rounders. All of the festivals in this article are worth a look, especially when the bands that you love are playing at them.
Here are seven UK festivals that every rock and metal fan should experience:
1. Download Festival
Source: Download Festival
Download Festival is one of the most prominent festivals in the UK, attracting thousands of people from around the world to Donington Park every summer. This is one of the best-known rock and metal festivals in the country, with plenty of people choosing to camp for the entire weekend.
At this moment in time, the five-day tickets for Download Festival cost £250 per adult and the three-day tickets cost £243 per adult. Without camping, weekend tickets cost £216 per adult.
This year, we can see KISS, Iron Maiden, System of a Down, Deftones, Alter Bridge, KORN and many more bands leading the way on the main stage.
Over on the second stage and avalanche stage, we can see the likes of The Offspring and Killswitch Engage, Funeral for a Friend and Bowling for Soup.
There really is something for every rock and metal lover at Download Festival.
It's not even just about the music. Last year, we saw the UK Air Guitar Championship, Nitro Circus and The World's Greatest Wall of Death among a series of exciting entertainment options.
2. TRNSMT Festival
TRNSMT Festival is full of variety, with pop and dance acts performing alongside some of the best indie bands in the country. The line-up for this year includes the likes of the Courteeners, Liam Gallagher, Lewis Capaldi and Foals, all ready to take to the stage at Glasgow Green.
We recommend this festival for the atmosphere. Standard passes cost £62.50 for one day, £119.50 for two days and £165 for the entire weekend.
VIP passes are also available for a higher cost, granting access to flushing toilets (a wonder at festivals), a VIP bar and food area and even a chill-out zone.
If you're thinking about going to TRNSMT Festival, you can expect to see a pretty young crowd of indie lovers. In the past, the TRNSMT Festival line-ups have included the likes of the Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead, Biffy Clyro and Kasabian.
3. Glastonbury Festival
Source: Glastonbury Festival
Glastonbury Festival is the biggest festival in the United Kingdom, showcasing acts from a wide spectrum of genres. The roots of Glastonbury were built on the alternative rock scene and a strong rock presence is still visible at Glastonbury today.
One of our favourite things about Glastonbury would have to be the sheer size of the festival, decorating the countryside in Somerset every June. The Pyramid Stage is one of the most recognisable stages in the country, having hosted some of the biggest names in the industry over the years.
In 2019, we saw The Killers, Liam Gallagher and The Cure on this stage. In the years before, we saw Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro, Florence + the Machine, The Libertines, Motörhead and Metallica all put on memorable shows.
If you’re not watching bands at Glastonbury, you’re at the Theatre and Circus. Here, three fields full of entertainment makeup the soul of Glastonbury, with hundreds of entertaining acts performing thousands of shows over the course of the festival.
The high-flying acrobatics of Yuck Circus, dangerous circus acts of the Circus of Horrors and comedy straight from the minds of Nish Kumar and Jo Brand are just some of the things that we’re looking forward to in 2020.
This really is just the tip of the iceberg, as there are other stages and areas just waiting to be explored!
Given the popularity of Glastonbury, it makes sense that tickets are pretty difficult to get your hands on! General tickets are sold on the 3rd of October and the 6th of October, but resales do occur on the 16th of April.
4. Latitude Festival
Source: Latitude Festival
Situated within Henham Park, Suffolk, Latitude Festival has grown from a small affair that used to be described as a "mini Glastonbury" regularly to a festival with a reputation of its own.
The soul of Latitude Festival can be found within the bands that perform there, the quirky art installations that can be found there and the comedians who make people laugh with their clever jokes.
This year, Latitude Festival will be taking place between the 16th and 19th of July. The current line-up includes HAIM, Liam Gallagher and The Lumineers, as well as the comedic wit of Bill Bailey, Simon Amstell, Kerry Godliman and more.
Naturally, Latitude Festival draws in quite a quirky crowd of art and music lovers. If you're looking to make some artsy acquaintances, this is the festival for you.
You can pick up standard camping tickets for the entire weekend for £226.80 per adult. Alternatively, day tickets are available at £84.50 per adult for the Friday and Sunday or £89.50 per adult for the Saturday.
5. Whitby Goth Weekend
We would consider Whitby Goth Weekend to be much more than a typical festival, with people descending on Whitby twice a year. Whitby Abbey was one of the inspirations behind Bram Stoker's Dracula, and when you arrive at the seaside town it will be easy to see why.
Since Dracula was released, the links between Whitby and gothic culture have continued to grow.
There are two annual Whitby Goth Weekend events, one in April and one in October. Both of these events include a selection of bands, DJs and entertaining events.
In October 2019, we saw plenty of DJs playing industrial, nu wave, rock, glam rock and metal. There were also a few live bands and charity fundraisers.
Whitby Goth Weekend also houses the Bizarre Bazaar Alternative Market, where dozens of indoor stalls will provide you with everything that you need.
Our favourite thing about Whitby Goth Weekend is the people. Goths from around the world descend on Whitby, walking the steps up to Whitby Abbey, meeting new people and shopping along some of Whitby's delightful cobbled streets.
6. Leeds & Reading Festival
Source: Leeds Festival
Leeds Festival and Reading Festival are pretty much the same festival, both taking place at the end of August. The only difference is the structure of the line-up, as each set of bands plays on a different day at both festivals.
This year, Rage Against the Machine are headlining on Friday and Leeds and on Sunday in reading. The music that can be found at Leeds Festival and Reading Festival is quite a mixed bag, but its roots are primarily rock and metal.
The fact that this festival is held in both Richfield Avenue (Reading) and Bramham Park (Leeds) is amazing, as it makes the festival accessible for people around the UK.
In 2020, we can see Rage Against the Machine, Liam Gallagher and more headlining. Over in The Pit, we have the likes of Sleeping with Sirens, Gallows, Cancer Bats, Black Peaks and Ashnikko.
While this festival has now evolved into a mainstream affair, in the past it has seen a mixed bag of rock and metal bands. Just last year we had the Food Fighters headlining, while 2018 saw Metallica on the main stage.
Weekend tickets for Leeds Festival and Reading Festival currently cost £232.20 each. Day tickets cost £81.50 or £86.50, depending on the day.
7. Tramlines Festival
One of the newest festivals in the country, Tramlines can be found in Hillsborough Park, Sheffield. You shouldn't expect to see much metal here, but there will be a healthy number of rock and indie bands.
This year, the line-up includes Ian Brown, The Kooks, The Pigeon Detectives, The Hives and The Fratellis. The crowd that these bands attract is usually pretty young and quirky, with plenty of parties waiting to be had.
Day tickets for Tramlines cost £45 per day. If you need somewhere to sleep, you’ll be happy to hear that Tramlines have their own partnership with Central Quay. Central Quay is a hotel just a short tram journey away from Hillsborough Park.
If you want to stay for the full weekend, you'll be looking at £160 and the cost of your day tickets. Alternatively, you can get a general weekend ticket for £130 per person.
Rocking Out in the Rain
There you have it, seven of the best UK festivals that rock and metal lovers should experience. While most of these festivals do take place in the summer, you should always make sure that you check the weather forecast.
At UK festivals, most people find themselves walking around in their wellies and waterproof ponchos over the top of their amazing costumes!
Have you been to any of these awesome UK rock fests? Let us know - and don’t forget to share this article with your friends!