Worcester Music Festival

Kicking off on September 15th and culminating on the 17th, the Worcester Music Festival brings together hundreds (yes, hundreds) of acts from the best new and emerging artists in the country. It’s one of the UK’s fastest growing metropolitan live music events, not least because of its excellent location, and this year’s fest is likely to attract plenty of interest.

A far cry from the immense muddy fields of Leeds or Reading, the Worcester Music Festival takes place in multiple venues across it’s charming host city. That means anything from pubs and clubs to restaurants and record shops – Worcester Music Festival will even take you to a brewery. Better yet, the entire festival is free.

Without paying a penny, you’ll be able to check out music from pretty much every genre imaginable. Rock, indie, pop, and punk will be supplied in abundance, as will blues, hip hop, reggae, folk, and country. The Worcester Music Festival is nothing if not inclusive, which might explain why over 1,000 bands and artists applied for a slot at this year’s event. 250 were available, and they’ve been snagged by acts such as:

  • Exeter-based reggae dub wizards The Barefoot Bandit.
  • Hardcore outfit Constructor, hailing from South Wales.
  • Rockerbilly from Nottingham-based The Superkings.
  • Leicester-based Collosloth, for eclectic soundscapes.

And enjoying Worcester Music Festival tunes is about getting involved as much as enjoying other people’s work. There are a whole host of free music-related workshops aimed at both adults and children, including Q&As with industry experts, an annual photography competition for amateur photographers of any age or experience, and drum clinics.

Despite being a non-profit making event that demands no cash from its attendees, the Worcester Music Festival manages to raise money for charity. They’ve certainly excelled at doing so in the past, with over £44,000 drummed up across the last eight years via collections, raffles, wristbands sales, and so on. This year’s charity has not yet been announced, but we’re sure those who attend will continue supporting worthy causes. If you’re attending and want to contribute yourself, just look for one of the festival’s many fancy dress-clad charity collectors.

Keep checking the official website to find out more, or follow on Twitter @worcsmusicfest. We think you’ll be glad you did.

V Festival 2017 Tickets + Info

V Festival 2016 has only just wrapped up, but eager-beavers among the festival community have the opportunity to get a jump start on next year by picking up pre-sale tickets for V 2017. You can now snag a ticket with a tempting £42 discount off the full price, so now is a good time to act if you’ve already picked up a 2017 calendar and written in V fest for Aug 19th to Aug 2nd.

If this year’s event is anything to go by, that won’t be money wasted. V has always been able to combine the tastes of pop-loving crowds with plenty of veteran rockers, and this year was no exception.

Rihanna seems to have unanimously won out among festival-goers. Despite arriving more than half an hour late, she made up for things by delivering a searing set that began with new pop-ballad Stay before covering select tracks from her career. We even got a rendition of Umbrella accompanied by a downfall of rain.

Anyone who found Rihanna a little too mainstream will have had little cause for complaint after checking out Sia. She actually performed her own take on Diamonds, a hit that she herself penned for the Barbadian songstress. Bringing a sense of theatricality you might associate with an artist such as Björk, Sia’s whole set was performed from behind a face-obscuring wig, with dancers providing abstract interpretations and using old-fashioned telephones for props. It might sound a little mad, and it was a little mad, but it worked, and we appreciated a break from the commercial singers that many music-lovers have criticised V for in the past.

Another surprise highlight was Rick Astley. He also gave some Rihanna a whirl with a shockingly good cover of We Found Love, plus plenty of the expected hits for true-blue fans to enjoy, and we’ve rarely seen someone enjoy themselves quite so much on the stage. Other standout acts included Jodie Abacus on MTV Stage with a stirring soul set and the girls from X Factor’s Little Mix. Bastille, often hit-and-miss when it comes to performing live, rocked the mainstage while the whole field chanted their songs back to them.

Gutted you missed out? Longing to relive the memories? Make sure you snatch up one of the limited pre-sale tickets to secure a spot for next year’s event while saving yourself a bit of cash in the process.

Freedom Festival 2017

Hull has recently been named the UK’s City of Culture for 2017, and the Freedom Festival was instrumental in the success of the city’s bid.

Of course, the Freedom Festival has been an important part of UK culture for years now, and represents the most eagerly awaited summer of cultural events in the city.

The 2017, the Freedom Festival is set to kick things up a notch by creating an even more extensive programme showcasing the very best artists, producers, musicians, thinkers, and innovators from Hull, the UK, and all across the world.

Artistic Director and Chief Executive Mikey Martins boasts years of experience putting together some of the most famous outdoor arts events and festivals in the world. In his own words: “To have this opportunity here in Hull, a place with such a strong sense of identity, such incredible history and stories, and at a moment of such exciting change, regeneration and genuine positivity – that is a recipe for the extraordinary to happen!

If there’s one event that is likely to prove unmissable, it’s the Launch Party, but there’ll be plenty else on during the event, which is set to run from the 1st to the 3rd of September.

Kids will find themselves entertained by a wide selection of shows. Head to The Flycycle and The Submercycle, presented by Pif-Paf Theatre, to travel across time aboard Pif-Paf’s famous machines during an unforgettable piece of cycle-based, interactive street theatre. You can also indulge your kid’s penchant from nonsense at the Gobbledegook Theatre. For a slightly more educational day, don’t miss The Science Lab. Presented by the University of Hull, this event will make learning fun with a number of mind-boggling and entertaining science based attractions.

And there’s still plenty for the adults to enjoy. You can take in some comedy theatre from The Wandering Orquestra, check out outsider art in the forms of Olivier Grossetête’s The People’s Tower and Cirque Bijou’s The Umbrella Project, and attend The Dream Engine. The latter show, presented by Heliosphere, will feature a world-class balletic aerialist tumbling and turning gracefully through the air from twenty meters up, and she’ll be suspended by nothing more than a large helium balloon. Those with a literary leaning can head to the Beyond Words Book fair.

These are just a few of the events that will be available. With everything from comedy to cabaret on offer, make sure you check out the Freedom Festival.