Summertime comes around and so does the huge list of festivals and events in and around the city.
To help you distinguish your Creamfields from your Fyre Festival I've popped together a roundup of all the best events in the North West. Many still have tickets available too!
Liverpool Sound City 2018
Friday 4th to Sunday 6th May 2018
Sound City has been in Liverpool for 11 years now and it looks to be bigger and better than ever. This year also sees it move to various city centre venues.
DMA’s, The Slow Readers Club, Picture This, Idles, Wye Oak, Black Honey, Peace, Sunset Sons, Yellow Days, Baxter Dury, Jaws, Dermot Kennedy, Jade Bird, The Blinders, Gaffa Tape Sandy, Sorry, Sam Fender, Billie Marten, Matt Maltese, Saint Phnx, Stereo Honey,
Saturday/Sunday Day Tickets – £32.45, Full Weekend Tickets – £55
Various Venues in Liverpool City Centre
Sounds from the Other City 2018
Sunday 6th May 2018
The other city of course is Salford, and you should expect plenty of new music from around these parts.
Goat Girl, Her’s Aja, Lioness, Barbarossa, Ex-Easter Island head, Boy Azooga, Duds, Have You Ever Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic Vhs?, hey Colossus, 77:78, Kxngs, Mt Hall, Pearl City, Suzi Wu, Wolf Girl, Xamvolo
Tickets are on sale priced at £25
Chapel Street, Salford, Greater Manchester, M3 5HW
Dot to Dot Festival 2018
Friday 25th May 2018
Taking place at various venues around the city – Dot to Dot hopes to showcase up and coming bands and DJs from the UK and further afield. It’s a bit of a joint event – with acts shared between Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham over 3 days.
The Horrors, Dermot Kennedy, Pale Waves, Marika Hackman, Ady Suleiman, Peach Pit, Mahalia, Turnover, Bad Sounds, Gus Dapperton, The Regrettes, Dead!, Cassia.
There are still some tickets available and they cost £16.50
Various Venues, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 5NQ
Positive Vibration – Festival of Reggae 2018
Friday 8th to Saturday 9th June 2018
With a programme consisting of live music, art exhibitions, creative workshops, child-friendly activities, markets and loads of Caribbean food and drink, Positive Vibration is a massive party celebrating Reggae music and Jamaican heritage.
Dub Pistols, Macka B & The Roots Ragga Band, Adrian Sherwood and Creation Rebel, Sister Nancy and Legal Shot Sound System, Mungo’s Hi Fi with Eva Lazarus, Iration Steppas, Lee Scratch Perry, Subatomic Sound System, Roni Size, Misty in Roots, Don Letts, Channel One Sound System, Manudigital with Parly B and Bazil, Capital Letters, Radikal Guru with Echo Ranks and Cian Finn, Dubkasm with Solo Banton, Count Skylarkin’ presents ‘Derek’s Island Discs’.
Tickets are priced at £44.25 for both days, or £25.55 either Friday or Saturday.
Baltic Triangle, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 0BS
Neighbourhood Weekender 2018
Saturday 26th to Sunday 27th May 2018
Going one giant step further this year, the guys at Neighbourhood have organised a full weekend festival down Warrington way. The line-up is fantastic too – good job!
Courteeners and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Jake Bugg, Blossoms, Circa Waves, Starsailor, The Coral, Editors, Kodaline, Miles Kane, Reverend and the Makers.
Tickets are sold out for both weekend and day passes. I’m sure there will be some knocking about closer to the time though.
Victoria Park, Knutsford Road, Warrington, Cheshire, WA4 4UK
Download Festival 2018
Friday 8th to Sunday 10th June 2018
Everyone who wears black eyeliner, black t-shirts, those big Neo boots and long flowing leather jackets will descend upon Donington Park to rock out and do that thing with their hands.
Avenged Sevenfold, Guns n’ Roses, and Ozzy Osbourne, Marilyn Manson, Bullet For My Valentine, Parkway Drive, Black Stone Cherry, Rise Against, Shinedown, Babymetal, Hatebreed, Bury Tomorrow, Alexisonfire, Thunder, Less Than Jake, Black Veil Brides, Volbeat, Asking Alexandria, Cradle Of Filth, Neck Deep.
Weekend Arena Only tickets are £175, while camping goes up to £200 (3 nights) or £210 (5 nights). Day tickets start at £79.50.
Donington Park, Donington, Derbyshire, DE74 2RP
Parklife Weekender 2018
Saturday 9th to Sunday 10th June 2018
Tickets for Parklife are now sold out but if you managed to get yourself one beforehand – then you’re in for a treat at this massive weekend party. Since moving from Platt Fields a few years ago it just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
The XX, Liam Gallagher, Skepta, N*E*R*D, Lorde, Bonobo, Jamie XX, Giggs, A$AP Rocky, Justice, Chvrches, J Hus, Bugzy Malone, Four Tet, Sampha, Carl Cox, Eric Prydz, Annie Mac, Jessie Ware, Everything Everything, Kelela, Soul II Soul
SOLD OUT but I’m pretty sure if you head on down to Heaton Park there will be some flying around. Or look on Gumtree or Twickets on the Friday before – there’s usually plenty of people who decide they can’t go.
Heaton Park, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M25 2SW
Sounds of the City 2018
Wednesday 27th June to Friday 6th July 2018
Castlefield Bowl hosts Sounds of the City featuring plenty of bands from Manchester and strangely enough quite a few that aren’t. I don’t think the name is to be taken too literally to be fair. The gigs are spread out over a few weeks – so pick someone you like and head to that one.
Wednesday 27th June: Nile Rodgers & Chic, with Crazy P (live), and Greg Wilson.
Friday 29th June: Shed Seven with Reverend & the Makers, & The Twang.
Saturday 30th June: Hacienda Classical, with Stereo MCs.
Sunday 1st July: A Beautiful Day Out with Levellers, New Model Army, The Wildhearts.
Wednesday 4th July: Rag N’Bone Man plus guests.
Friday 6th July: Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott, with Elvis Costello and The Imposters, plus special guests.
Tickets are still available and start from about £45.
Castlefield Bowl, Liverpool Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 4JR
Blackpool Festival 2018
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th July 2018
Taking place at the foot of Blackpool Tower, this festival features a mix of legendary DJs and a family friendly day on the Sunday.
Example & DJ Wire, Faithless (DJ set), Roger Sanchez, Danny Howard, Josh Butler, Pirate Copy, Endor, Mason Maynard, Paul Oakenfold, Erick Morillo, Altern8, Todd Terry, Judge Jules, Dave Pearce, Utah Saints, Marco V, Solarstone, Darren Styles
Standard Weekend tickets start at £82.75
Blackpool Tower Headland, Promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY1 1NE
Friday 13th to Sunday 15th July 2018
Beat-Herder is a ‘Boutique’ festival which offers something a bit different from the mainstream mega-festivals you can find yourself in. They have no involvement with large corporations, and don’t receive any sponsorship – they are proud to be a truly independent festival. I don’t have a clue what they mean by ’boutique’ but the line-up is pretty decent.
Orbital, Soulwax, Django Django, High Contrast (live), David Rodigan, Congo Natty And The Rezistance (live), Patrick Topping, Denis Sulta, Artwork, Ben Sims, Camelphat, Erol Alkan, Redlight, Sam Divine, Dreadzone, Elderbrook, Ibibio Sound Machine, Hollie Cook, Hookworms and more
Start at £137.50 for an adult ticket.
Ribble Valley, Sawley, Gisburn, Lancashire, BB7 4LF
Lytham Festival 2018
Wednesday 18th to Sunday 22nd July 2018
Everyone loves the seaside and you can’t get more seaside than Blackpool and its surrounding areas. One such area is Lytham St Annes, which prides itself on being considerably posher and more middle class than neighbouring Blackpool – and as such they have set themselves up a big festival to celebrate.
Wednesday 18th: Steps, Whigfield, Vengaboys, & DJ Pat Sharp.
Thursday 19th: Pete Tong Presents Ibiza Classics with The Heritage Orchestra, plus Basement Jaxx.
Friday 20th: George Ezra, Emeli Sande, & Rae Morris.
Saturday 21st: Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, Bananarama, & Soul II Soul.
Sunday 22nd: Il Divo
Spread over various venues throughout St Annes, ‘The Pass’ gives you access to all 5 days for £169, while specific act/day tickets come in between £30 – £50 depending on who you’re watching.
Lytham Green, Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, FY8 5LB
Thursday 19th to Sunday 22nd July 2018
Jodrell Bank hosts this festival of ‘discovery’ featuring a complex mix of artists, speakers, scientists and performers.
The Flaming Lips, Future Islands, The Chemical Brothers, Halle Orchestra doing ‘Blue Planet In Concert’, Gary Numan, Little Dragon, Roni Size, Gilles Peterson, Unkle, Booka Shade, The Orb, Public Service Broadcasting and many more.
Weekend tickets are still available and start at £169.
Jodrell Bank Visitor Centre and Arboretum, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK119DL
Blackthorn Festival 2018
Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd July 2018
Held at Whitebottom farm, Blackthorn is going from strength-to-strength each year with a stellar line up for 2018. Just try and avoid the geese.
Pete Doherty, Peter Hook and the Light, We Are Scientists, The Bluetones, Twisted Wheel, William McCarthy (Augustines), The Blinders, Winachi Tribe and many more
Weekend tickets start at £70 each.
Whitebottom Farm, Etherow Country Park, Compstall, Stockport, Manchester, SK6 5HZ
Saturday 28th July – Sunday 29th July
Located in St Mary’s Park in Prestwich, Festwich proclaims to be the UK’s biggest free tribute festival – and they’re probably not wrong. Spread over two days, the Saturday is for the rockers while the Sunday is for the pop crew. If the line-up was the real people it would probably be the best festival in the world.
Guns N Roses, Metallica, Queens of the Stone Age, Nirvana, Green Day, Black Sabbath, Slayer, Korn, Megadeath, Deftones, Faith No More.
Queen, Muse, Foo Fighters, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, The Smiths, Stereophonics, Madness, Pearl Jam, Joy Division, Happy Mondays, Pulp, New Order, REM
This bad boy is FREE!
Saint Mary’s Park, Prestwich, Manchester M25 1GG
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th August 2018
So named probably because it features 80’s old school acts that you used to listen to on your tape deck, Rewind North has a bloody brilliant line up this year.
The Jacksons, OMD, Bonnie Tyler, Heaven 17, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, Imagination…, Soul II Soul, Boomtown Rats, Billy Ocean, The Fizz and more.
Adult Weekend with camping starts at £135 while Day Tickets come in at around £65. Kids are a lot less.
Capesthorne Hall, Siddington, Cheshire, SK11 9JY
Cotton Clouds Festival
Saturday 18th August 2018
Brand new one this, and one which is close to my heart because it’s in Oldham and that’s where I’m from. I must explain though that the Festival is held in Saddleworth which is the proper posh part of Oldham – not the rough area where I’m from. Saddleworth is bloody beautiful so you can experience the nicer side of the town while watching some belting music.
Sister Sledge, Starsailor, Toploader, The Orielles, The Allergies, Scarlet, Hyde Park Brass, Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles, Trampolene, Gareth Brooks, Deja Vega, Fuzzy Sun, Average Sex, Mysterines and more.
Day tickets for fully grown humans is £45, while children are £25. There’s 3 stages, street food, a real ale tent, kids activities and loads more things going on.
Saddleworth Cricket Club, Well-I-Hole Rd, Greenfield, Oldham OL3 7HY
Thursday 23rd to Sunday 26th August 2018
Most people have heard of Creamfields – it’s that mental clubbing festival in a huge field near Warrington where everyone goes absolutely ape-shit to robot clanging noises with lasers in the background.
Armin van Buuren, Armand van Helden, Carl Cox, The Chainsmokers, Chase & Status (DJ set), Eric Prydz presents HOLO, Fatboy Slim, Faithless (DJ Set), Giggs, Goldie, Groove Armada (DJ Set), Idris Elba, Major Lazer (Live), Paul van Dyk, Pete Tong, Ramz, Rudimental (DJ Set), Sigala, Sigma, Tiesto plus LOADS MORE!
Tickets are £230 per Adult for 4 days camping but there are loads of options available.
Daresbury Estate, Halton, Cheshire, WA4 4AR
Friday 24th to Sunday 26th August 2018
Named ‘Moo’-vin Festival probably because it takes place on a farm – this looks set to be pretty decent and probably the second best thing you can do in Stockport this Summer.
De La Soul, Groove Armada (DJ Set), Goldie, Dub FX, Eek A Mouse, Cold Cut, General Levy, Stereo MCs, The Herbaliser, DJ Yoda, Krafty Kuts, Greg Wilson, A Skillz, Afriquoi, Slamboree, and many more.
You can buy a weekend ticket for £93.50 and add camping on there for an additional £20.
Whitebottom Farm, Etherow Park, Compstall, Stockport, SK6 5JQ
Friday 24th to Monday 27th August 2018
The highlight of Manchester’s yearly calendar, well in BB’s eyes anyway, Manchester Pride closes off the Gay Village, sets up some stages and proceeds to have the biggest party of the year. It’s always fun and there’s always some old school 90’s washed-up pop act to watch which drinking copious bottles of Blue WKD.
Jake Shears, Sigala, Alexandra Burke, Nadine Coyle, Louise, Pete Tong, Ana Matronic, Danny Howard, Sink the Pink, Guilty Pleasures And Bongo’s Bingo
Big Weekend tickets are priced at £28 for the full weekend, £20.00 for day tickets and family and children’s tickets are also available.
Manchester’s Gay Village, Canal Street, Manchester, M1 3HE
Friday 14th to Sunday 16th September 2018
Another biggie down Merseyside way and this one is conveniently set out just before you have to go back to Uni or school or whatever it is that you do after the six-weeks’ holiday. Now in its 4th year you can expect some pop juggernauts to bowl in, dance all sexily, take some pics for Instagram and leave.
David Guetta, Shawn Mendes, Jess Glynne, Years & Years, James Arthur, Clean Bandit, Zara Larsson, Disciples and plenty more apparently.
Weekend Tickets start at £95, with Day Tickets coming in at £60.
Otterspool Park and Promenade, Liverpool, Merseyside, L17 5AY
Head for the Hills
Friday 14th to Sunday 16th September 2017
Formerly Ramsbottom Festival, they’ve had a pretty extensive list of brilliant past performers throughout their 8 years and although the name has changed, you can expect the usual high-jinx and music that you’ve experienced before. Get yourself on the steam train there too – it makes you feel like you’re on your way to Hogwarts. With Cider.
Hope & Social, The Boomtown Rats, The Selecter, The Beat ft Ranking Roger, The Lovely Eggs, Alice Jemima, Young Monarch, Stealing Sheep’s tribute to the Suffragettes, Emily Capell, with more to be announced.
Full Festival tickets are now £85 per adult which gives you access to every day, whereas Single Day tickets are £34.
Ramsbottom Cricket Club, Ramsbottom, Bury, Lancashire, BL0 0AT
The British Sound Project
Saturday 22nd September 2018
Less of a project and more of a series of gigs, The British Sound Project returns to Victoria Warehouse this year with more guitars, more hair and more leather jackets.
Franz Ferdinand, The Cribs, Prose, Larkins, Eliza and the Bear, The Lottery Winners, Lion, The Hubbards, Glass Caves with more to be announced.
Tickets start at £30.
Victoria Warehouse, Trafford Wharf Rd, Stretford, Manchester, Manchester, M17 1AB