London’s festival season gets under way this weekend with Camden Crawl and Land Of Kings, allowing music fans to charge around looking at line-up clashfinders, then stare at the back of someone’s head, but we love it.
This year, the range of live music on offer is better than ever, with the Olympics encouraging the world's biggest stars to come to our city. But as Field Day and 1234 Shoreditch show, it’s new music which keeps London’s festivals the best in the world.
As there are so many taking place, we’ll be looking at indie and rock, dance and pop, and commuter festivals separately, giving you our top tips and the best London acts to watch. We’ll be at as many as possible, so if you see us around a cider’s always welcome.
Land Of Kings @ Dalston- various venues 4-5 May
We say: Two days of underground music and art takes over Dalston.
Headliners: Slow Club, Factory Floor
Key London Acts: Kwes, Toy, NZCA/Lines.
Hot Tips: My Panda Shall Fly, Male Bonding
Tickets: £30 www.landofkings.co.uk
Camden Crawl @ Camden – Various Venues 4-7May
We say: Camden’s crowds have never been so exciting.
Headliners: Death In Vegas, Glass Vegas, Gaz Coombs
Key London Acts: Fanzine, Echo Lake, Psychologist, Clement Marfo
Hot Tips: Niki and The Dove, FOE, Fear Of Men
Tickets: £70 www.thecamdencrawl.com
I’ll Be Your Mirror @ Alexandra Palace 25-27 May
We say: Genre pushing alternative Valhalla from London’s peak.
Headliners: Slayer, Mogwai, Afghan Whigs
Key London Act: Yuck
Hot Tips: Death Grips, Tennis, The Make Up
Tickets: £130 www.atpfestival.com
Field Day @ Victoria Park 2 June
We say: An essential day out for any London music lover.
Headliners: Franz Ferdinand, The Vaccines
Key London Acts: SBTRKT, Kindness, Summer Camp
Hot Tips: The Men, Korallreven, Friends
Tickets: £45 www.fielddayfestivals.com
The Apple Cart @ Victoria Park 3 June
We say: A laid back family Sunday without compromising quality.
Headliners: Adam Ant, Billy Bragg, Beth Jeans Houghton
Key London Acts: Lianne La Havas, Noah and the Whale
Hot Tips: Marques Toliver, Scritti Politti
Tickets: £29.50 www.theapplecartfestival.com
Hard Rock Calling @ Hyde Park 13 July
We say: International mega rockgods descend for a weekend of classic axe wielding.
Headliners: Soundgarden, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon
Key London Acts: Guillemots, but it’s all about the US of A this weekend.
Hot Tips: The Mars Volta, Skindred, Dawes
Tickets: £50-£55 www.hardrockcalling.co.uk
Meltdown @ South Bank centre 1-12 August
We say: Antony Hegarty curates a glorious eclectic line up for this annual festival which highlights London as a culturally rich centre.
Headliners: Elizabeth Fraser, Marc Almond, Laurie Anderson
Hot Tips: Coco Rosie, Light Asylum
Tickets; Various prices www.meltdown.southbankcentre.co.uk
Best Of British @ Hyde Park 12 August
We say: Wave goodbye to The Sport with indie music legends.
Headliners: New Order and The Specials join Blur for possibly their last gig, in celebration of the running and jumping finishing. With a line up like this everyone’s a winner.
Hot Tip: Hooky with New Order, Dammers with The Specials? Probably not.
Tickets: £55 www.btlondonlive.com/tickets
Underage Festival @ Shoreditch Park 31 August
We say: Under 18s get to appreciate music the way it’s meant to be, without grumpy interference.
Headliners: Pulled Apart By Horses, Summer Camp
Key London Acts: Spector, Dry The River
Hot Tips: Outfit, Iceage, Maverick Sabre
Tickets: £19.50 www.underagefestivals.com
1234 Shoreditch @ Shoreditch Park 1 September
We say: The best line up of the year and the ultimate chance to name drop the best new bands.
Headliners: S.C.U.M, Frankie Rose
Key London Acts: Lets Wrestle, Bleeding Heart Narrative
Hot Tips: Savages, The Proper Ornaments, The Pre New
Tickets: £15-£25 www.the1234shoreditch.com
Click here for London’s best Dance RnB and Pop festivals, and here are the best commuter festivals.