Top 10 British music festivals FEATURE

With summer almost upon us, it's the time of year where the wellies once again see the light of day to squelch their way through inches of mud at music festivals across the country. We list our own favourite festivals, from the popular to the lesser-known.

Top 10 British music festivals

By Amanda Arnold, contributor.

The summer is nearly upon us, which means we are counting down to some of the best festivals in the UK.

Britain has some of the finest festivals in Europe, and we highlight ten of our own favourite music festivals:

1. Glastonbury Festival

22nd 26th June, Pilton, Somerset

Hailed as the highlight of the summer festival season, Glastonbury is one of the biggest and oldest festivals in the UK. Last year's 40th Anniversary of Glastonbury was their best ever year, even though the headlining supergroup U2 cancelled last minute due to Bono injuring his back.

The Festival has an eclectic mix of music, with bands including Coldplay, Beyonce, Plan B, Pendulum, Biffy Clyro amongst others appearing on the main Pyramid Stage. U2 is expected to return this year.

2. V Festival

20th and 21st August, Highlands Park, Chelmsford and Western Park, Staffordshire.

This year, V Festival are offering V-style camping, new for 2011. If you are lucky enough to have an unlimited budget, then why not camp in style in a pod pad, Hotel Bell Tent, Pop up Hotel or a Cloud yurt, all of which are available to hire for the weekend, costing between £1,150.00 - £2,900.00 for the weekend!

3. Latitude

14th - 17th July, Henham Park, Suffolk

Now in its sixth year, this festival is the choice for more discerning families. Attention is provide visitors with a range of entertainment to accompany the music, including comedy, cabaret, theatre and literature.

This year sees comedy greats including Alan Carr and Omid Djalili perform live on stage. Sadler's Wells and the English National Ballet will be performing.

Jon Dunn, Music Booker commented on the festival, saying "Acts are coming to them and asking to be on the festival". With the line-up as massive as Latitude, no wonder artists want to return each year!

4. Reading and Leeds Festival

26th and 28th August, Little Johns Farm, Reading and Bramham, Park Leeds

Another double-headed festival, Reading and Leeds festival organisers must be the luckiest this year, as they have managed to secure one of the best UK bands of the moment - Muse. This band will never let you down, their stage performance is immense, and with their previous concert support band My Chemical Romance, the fantastic Thirty Seconds To Mars, Pulp and Elbow this year festival will be the talk of the town.

5. Download Festival

10th and 12th June, Donington Park Derby

After AC/DC made a return to the Download Festival for their 30th anniversary in 2010 (their first in 19 years), this Rock festival has got to pull out all the stops to make this year just as memorable.

But, there are no worries there as the deafening festival have booked some of the best Rock bands of the moment, including Linkin Park, Bullet For My Valentine, Skunk Anansie, Rob Zombie, Pendulum and Def Leppard. With this lineup, this year's Download is set to be a corker.

6. T in The Park

8th to 10th July, Balado Airfield, Kinross-shire

This year Beyonce was a late addition to the T in the Park Festival, where she will join fellow headlining bands Foo Fighters, Coldplay, My Chemical Romance, Pulp and the Arctic Monkeys. This festival is aimed at the younger generation of festival goers, having the reputation for heavy drinking and boisterous behaviour.

7. Camp Bestival

28th to 31st July, Lulworth Castle, Dorset

Camp Bestival were winners of the Best Family Festival 2008-2010, meaning that this is a very family-friendly festival. This year Camp Bestival are putting on a fantastic line-up of artists including ABC, Blondie, Eliza Doolittle, Mark Ronson and Primal Scream.

Children are well looked after with performances from Shrek the Musical, Mr Tumble and the CBeebies rock band the Zingzillas. Best of all children under the age of 11 go free!

8. Sonisphere

8th to 10th July, Knebworth House, Hertfordshire

A relatively new festival, Sonisphere has an impressive lineup in 2011. With Headliners such as Metallica, Slipknot, Slayer, Limpbizkit and Motorhead you would be forgiven in thinking that this festival is rivalling the Download festival. But there's more - throw in comedy genius Bill Bailey, who is set to have the biggest comedy performance at a UK music festival, and this a no brainer!

9. Nibley Festival

2nd July, North Nibley, Gloucester

Nibley Festival is a non-profit festival run entirely by volunteers. The event is the friendliest festival around and is ideal for first time family festival goers.

Set in the stunning Cotswolds, Nibley Festival also provides entertainment for kids, stalls, world-foods and locally sourced beers. There are well-known bands playing this year such as The Beat, N.U.M.B., Rob Cowen and The Dissidents, and Kill It Kid, along with Nibley's choice of lesser-known bands.

10. Shrewsbury Folk Festival

26th to 29th August, West Mids Show Ground, Shrewsbury

Heralded as one of the best Folk Festivals in the UK, this festival is only in its sixth year, and has already built up a reputation as being the country's leading folk event, bringing in artists and bands from all over the world.

This event is great for getting historic Shrewsbury on the music map and highlights this beautiful town which is full of culture and history. The event is more than a music festival - it's packed full of dance workshops, a children's festival and a youth programme. With an enviable range of catering stalls and bars, it's no wonder this festival sells out every time!

What do you think? Do you agree with our list of music festivals, or do you have your own personal favourite? Let us know by posting your choice of music festival below.

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