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UK Festivals

We may be part way through the UK's rollicking festival season but there are still a load of events to come and decent ticket availability to boot. Try three of the best below, or,If a festivalling in the UK sounds altogether too risky (weather wise), try the foreign options in our Essential Ten Summer Music Festivals... good weather, good food, good music. How can it go wrong?

The Big Chill Festival (Aug 6-9)

Though tagged as a fest for former ravers (thirtysomethings with kiddies in tow), The Big Chill is so much more than a giant creche. The rolling hills of Eastnor Castle Deer Park make for a peaceful setting (if tricky camping situation) and the plot isn't so big that you'll lose your friends for days. Organisers favour dance acts (with a funk, jazz, experimental bent) over superstar headliners, and throw in some big name comedy acts too. Think Alice Russell, Bonobo, Emmy the Great and inimitable funnyman Dylan Moran.
Ones to catch? Basement Jaxx, Calexico, David Byrne, Pharoah Sanders and Lamb.
Same but different: If Big Chill is for chilled out has been ravers, then Global Gathering (Jul 24-25) is for those still larging it like it's the '90s.


Big ChillCamp BestivalLatitude

Camp Bestival (Jul 24-26)

Bestival may be sold out but it's little sister, Camp Bestival, isn't. Also kid friendly, this festival is more family-orientated than Bestival proper with a sort of summer camp feel. Non musical entertainment is strong with workshops, spoken word performers and lively theatre all on the grounds of the beautiful Lulworth Castle in Dorset.
Ones to catch? PJ Harvey, Candi Staton, Mercury Rev and Bon Iver.
Same but different: The winner of the Family Festival of theYear last year, the Larmer Tree Festival (Jul 15-19) in Wiltshire is packed with activites, non-musical workshops and performers.

Latitude (Jul 16-19)

Henham Park in Suffolk is where to head if you're after a more artsy festival. Latitude has built a reputation as one of the most exciting multimedia festivals in the UK. Theatre companies, comediens, dancers and spoken word performers pitch up to entertain the crowds.
Ones to catch? Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Thom Yorke, Doves and Pet Shop Boys
Same but different: The Secret Garden Party (Jul 24-27) relies on your creativity rather than invited acts. One for expressive, arty types with a love for experimental antics.

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