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Arctic Monkeys! The 1975! Florence + The Machine! Here comes the Big Indie Summer
The big beasts are out, the festivals are fizzing with new talent, indie heroes are returning to rip up the silent discos. This summer looks hotter than ever before.
Published: 1:21 pm, April 10, 2018
Common ‘industry’ talk would have you believe that Q4 is music’s silly season. As Christmas comes round, so the story goes, the biggest artists emerge, ready to shift those units into Santa’s stocking and fill those major label vaults with Scrooge McDuck volumes of dollar.
But then, your Nan probably isn’t buying you a CD for a pressie anymore. In a world of all you can eat streaming, where even owning a download feels to be vaguely retro, all scheduling bets are off. For the world of alternative music, festival season has always been of vital importance. In this brave new world, a few months of touring the world to massive audiences - perhaps with a few casual listeners scattered within - is pretty damn attractive. Why wouldn’t they want to tap in with some new material to flog?
Not that it’s all about commercial concerns. Some bands have just been tweeting about a specific date in early June for yonks. Whatever the reason, it’s about to get noisy in here.
Big Indie Summer is packed with huge albums from massive acts, new talent ripping up the airwaves, returning legends, rumoured cameos from all-star names and our faves bringing flame emoji to the festivals. Here’s everything you should be looking out for.
New albums from alternative music’s mightiest heroes!
Like an inconsistent striker’s goal return, massive albums do tend to arrive in patches, and the next few months look positively purple. When drawing up our expected returns list for 2018, we didn’t actually believe they’d all make it - never mind drop in the same short period. Here are just a few of the records we’re (probably **coughThe1975**) getting in the next few months.
Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
The indie daddies are back! We’ve only just recovered from the raw hype of ‘Tranquility Base…’’s big reveal last week. The gold standard in band buzz, the gap between the supermassive ‘AM’ and here feels to have made t’Monkeys an even bigger deal. We’re yet to hear a full track from the record, but we have seen Alex Turner’s new beard. Really, Al. Summer is coming. Think of how hot it’s gonna get. Sort it out lad.
Released: 11th May 2018
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Photo: Sarah Louise Bennett[/caption]
Music For Cars
If anyone could challenge Arctic Monkeys’ throne, it’s The 1975. In truth, they already feel like the most important band on the planet. A uniting force, they’re both indie pop’s biggest oversharers and most mysterious enigmas in the same short, flustered breath. We know loads about their new album ‘Music For Cars’, and yet at the same time, we’re sure of basically nothing. Manager Jamie Oborne throws out sneaky hints via Twitter, but we’re not even 100% sure on a release date yet. Matty loves the 1st June, which - as a Friday - looks like a decent guess, but for now, all bets are off.
Released: Maybe 1st June 2018? Possibly?
Years & Years
Okay, so in many ways we know even less about Years & Years’ new album. We’ve heard one new track - the absolutely brilliant ‘Sanctify’ - and that’s it. But it’s coming, and we couldn’t be more ready. Another band that feel to be more vital than their music alone, there’s no hiding Olly Alexander’s development into legit icon is almost complete. With bangers this good, they’re the dark horses to take the sun-kissed crown.
Released: We don’t know yet, but we’d be surprised if it’s not very soon indeed.
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Love Is Dead
The perfect trio are putting their unblemished track record up to the test this summer. New album ‘Love Is Dead’ sees them writing with outside influence for the first time in the form of pop mega-mind Greg Kurstin. The addition of someone who’s got a credit for an imperial phase Rachel Stevens b-side is a smart move. The fact he’s also helped craft bangers for Tegan & Sara, Sia and Adele doesn’t do much harm either. Spoiler alert - the album doesn’t disappoint.
Released: 25th May 2018
Florence + The Machine
There’s been rumours about a new album from Florence + The Machine for a while now. They picked up with the announcement of some European festival slots earlier this year, and seem about to go off the chain. There’s a new track supposedly coming for Record Store Day in a couple of weeks, with internet goss is already suggesting ‘Sky Full Of Song’ is going to drop imminently. There’s also talk that the album, apparently titled ‘High As Hope’, is coming in June. More as we get it.
Released: Soon, we think.
Kindness Is The New Rock And Roll
The glue that holds our little world together, the return of Peace is big news at Dork towers. Third album ‘Kindness Is The New Rock And Roll’ sees the quartet take a more singular voice, and it works. Most recent track ‘You Don’t Walk Away From Love’ - a swaggering, strutting banger - shows it best. This is a new Peace, and yet they’re the most Peace-y they’ve ever been.
Released: 4th May 2018
Sheezus is back for her throne. Planet pop is no fun without its sassy counter culture queen, so it makes perfect sense that a big summer of big names would need our Lily to complete the job. The tracks we’ve heard from ‘No Shame’ so far have been a touch less direct than her previous megabangers, but there’s no denying their brilliance. ‘Trigger Bang’ especially is an earworm that’ll still be hanging in there when the nights draw in.
Released: 8th June 2018
Panic! At The Disco
Pray For The Wicked
The showman is ready for the limelight. With a Reading & Leeds headline set scored, Brendon Urie is sparkling even without one of his trademark spangly jackets. The two tracks we’ve heard from ‘Pray For The Wicked’ so far - ‘Say Amen (Saturday Night)’ and the gloriously sweary ‘(Fuck A) Silver Lining’ - both blast out the cobwebs in fabulous style.
Released: 22nd June 2018
Tell Us How You Really Feel
The Wonder from Down Under’s big return is as welcome as it is fantastic. Ever since 2015’s fantastic debut ‘Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit’, Barno’s follow up has been on our most wanted lists. It doesn’t disappoint either. The two tracks ‘out there’ so far - the fantastically frenetic ‘Nameless, Faceless’ and album standout ‘Need A Little Time’ both hit the mark. We feel great, since you asked.
Released: 18th May 2018
Let’s Eat Grandma
I’m All Ears
‘I, Gemini’, Let’s Eat Grandma’s debut album, was great. It made our 2016 Album of the Year list and everything. But even with that high bar, the first listen to comeback banger ‘Hot Pink’ stopped Dork HQ in its tracks. A pulsing, winding, fresh-as-fuck slice of future pop perfection, it matches the duo’s rampant creativity with the production of mastermind SOPHIE. Her inventive, assertive aesthetic bleeds through to create one of the most exciting pieces of music we’ve heard in years. It’s no one-off, either - follow up single ‘Falling Into Me’ makes a near six-minute track feel like a three minute shot of immediacy. Right now, it feels like LEG could be anything they wanted, and they want to be magical musical unicorns. We’re on board with that.
Released: 29th June 2018
Parquet Courts have always been fun. From their breakthrough moment, they’ve felt to walk that tightrope between ‘critical acclaim’ and ‘having a good old time’ to perfection. Their latest full length, though, looks set to see them embrace the party spirit. Title track ‘Wide Awake’ is a strutting, sizzling funk odyssey, gloriously silly in the best way possible. Expect it to soundtrack your summer to perfection.
Released: 18th May 2018
Ben ‘Ben Howard’ Howard’s return is a big deal. It’s sort of easy to forget just how successful the double BRIT Award winner has been to date. Besides a couple of big gongs, his last album also scored a Number 1 chart slot. One for the quiet nights of contemplation, ‘Noonday Dream’ is a twinkling, winding, emotional powerhouse. Headphones, a glass of something nice and the dying summer sun should set it off just perfectly.
Released: 1st June 2018
Photo: Sarah Louise Bennett / Dork[/caption]
The return of the tropical kings!
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In the what-felt-like-eons since we last heard from Friendly Fires, their whereabouts started to take on an almost mythical quality. In the space between 2011’s ‘Pala’ and today, their status as lords of the indie dance only grew stronger, every absent hip shake and laser targeted slide only magnified by the hole left behind. Sure, others helped plug the gap admirably, but while just as amazing in their own special ways, none of them were Friendly Fires.
But now they’re back, and they’re primed for a party. Brand new banger ‘Love Like Waves’ is up there with 2018’s finest to date. A euphoric slice of tropical joy, it’s more effective than two weeks away in the Bahamas. Beats thump, synths punch, everything goes wiggy for a bit near the end. If they’ve secretly been saving up their magic for a whole record, Harry Potter and Gandalf are properly fucked.
There’s a new class ready for action!
It’s not just the legends of today that are gearing up for a summer spectacular. There’s a whole new class of names preparing to drop records over the next few months.
1, 2, Kung Fu
Unless you’ve had your head under a Brand New Banger rock for the past couple of months, you’ll have caught a blast of Boy Azooga’s ‘Loner Boogie’. A slice of frenetic basement rock, it’s the most infectious fun we’ve had since the first time we heard arch-banger merchants Spring King. There’s a debut album ‘1, 2’ Kung Fu’ coming this summer.
Released: 8th June 2018
Check out: ‘Loner Boogie’
HalfNoise aren’t really a new act. Built around Paramore’s once-and-now-again drummer Zac Farro, there’ve been albums released under the name for Quite A While Now. Over the last couple of years, however, HalfNoise have evolved. Slowly becoming more of a band, their output has also shifted up several levels. Even with that in mind, new EP ‘Flowerss’ is a startling gem full of genuinely brilliant pop nuggets. This is no side project.
Released: 4th May 2018
Check out: ‘All That Love Is’
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We’ve been waiting for the debut record from upstart crooner Matt Maltese, and we’re about to be rewarded. Titled ‘Bad Contestant’, he’s worked on the release with Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado and Alex Burey, and it’s due on 1st June via Atlantic Records. With a stint on the road with Isaac Gracie coming up, he’s also set to play London’s Scala on 6th June.
Released: 1st June 2018
Check out: ‘Greatest Comedian’
Being a middle kid isn’t easy (probably, like, y’know - Ed), but being in Middle Kids - i.e. the band - looks like a riot. Titled ‘Lost Friends’, the band’s debut full-length is set to arrive on 4th May, and follows up on last year’s self-titled debut EP. Speaking about the record, guitarist Hannah Joy explains: “In a time where a lot of division is growing, we want to be part of the conversation that unites people around certain ideals that are universal, like hope and love. That’s so much a thread throughout this album: Even though things are tough, it’s worth believing in something good and in the idea that we can heal. And in some ways, I wanted the music to be beautiful and a respite from what’s going on.”.
Released: 4th May 2018
Check out: ‘Mistake’
Baltimore-based Lindsey Jordan - better known as Snail Mail - will drop first full-length ‘Lush’ on 8th June via Matador Records. If you’re a fan of top quality alt rock, high on melody, you’re in luck. Lead track and standout ‘Pristine’ shows it off best. She’ll hit the UK in May, where she’ll play dates in London, Leeds, Manchester and Bristol.
Released: 8th June 2018
Check out: ‘Pristine’
Can we rule out this lot joining the party before the summer is out?
We never know everything that’s bubbling under in the big world of music. There’s always someone about to drop a surprise - but this lot all have stuff going on beneath the surface that we’ve at least had a hint at. Don’t be surprised if they arrive with it before too long.
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Our mate Dan has been talking about new ‘stuff’ for a while now. Not just album three, which seems to be coming round pretty damn quickly, but also the latest edition of mixtape ‘Other People’s Heartbreak’. We talked to the always creative frontman about what was coming next not that long ago - you can catch up with the latest here.
Father John Misty
FJM only dropped his last album back in 2017, but we’re expecting its follow up to arrive this summer - especially after the arrival of the Really Very Good ‘Mr Tilman’ earlier this year. One of the most divisive artists ‘on the circuit’, he’s sure to make things more interesting, at the very least.
Half of our Dec/Jan issue cover star line-up, we’ve heard whispers King Nun are away in their bunker, working hard on a debut EP. On the strength of everything we’ve heard so far, we’re expecting it to knock our socks straight into the pool. Last year, they were warming up the festival circuit. This year, they’re laying down a claim.
It seems like forever since we last heard from Lykke Li, but from the looks of her recent movements, that’s going to be put right Very Very Very Soon Indeed. Posting a clip to social media, the singer attached the caption “So sad so sexy,” which is definitely an apt description of our go-to vibe. Thanks for noticing, mate. Lykke Li’s last full-length ‘I Never Learn’ was released back in 2014. She’s set to play All Points East and BBC’s Biggest Weekend this summer.
[caption id="attachment_28754" align="aligncenter" width="1500 Photo: Sarah Louise Bennett / Dork[/caption]
Indie pop’s newest but most likely chart stormers, we know Pale Waves have been away at work on their debut album. We know they’re currently teasing something new. We know they’re playing basically every festival in the country over the course of the summer. Add these things together and it’d be a shock if we didn’t have at least a taste of new material from them to stick a curly straw into.
If we’re talking about absent friends, our Sky is always going to top the list. We’ve been waiting - patiently, obviously - for her next album ‘Masochism’ for what feels like a lifetime. We’ve had teased snippets, photographs and all sorts - but no firm news yet. Still, we remain impossibly excited, and here’s why.
Stars of Dork’s first ever magazine cover two years ago, Spring King have always been our favourite indie party starters. They’ve been working on their second album for a while now, which makes us believe we can’t be that far away off something new. With a summer of festivals to come, hopefully we’ll get a first taster before too long. We caught up with Tarek last year to get a status update.
Given Vampire Weekend are playing End of the Road this year (more on that later), it’d not be a shock if we had the band’s much, much hyped fourth album soon. Indie prince Ezra Koenig has let slip various details about the record - codename ‘Mitsubishi Macchiato’ - for a while now. Their first without production mastermind Rostam Batamglij in the band, when firm news arrives, it’ll break the alt-music internet.
And we’ve not even started on the festivals yet
The summer is all about festivals. It’s not about your hols, or the sun, or getting a nice tan - it’s about standing in a field or a dark venue with a bottle-slash-glass-slash-plastic-tumbler of something intoxicating, watching a band you thought you hated but actually, after a few, you’re ready to admit you like really. Just don’t tell anyone.
This summer’s selection is packed with hot new talent and established megastars. You’ll be able to get the full rundown in this year’s Dork Festival Guide, which drops this Friday - 13th April - but here’s a quick run through some of the highlights.
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Location: Leicestershire, UK
Date: 3rd-5th August 2018
Line-up: Fickle Friends, Peace, Blaenavon, The Magic Gang, Marika Hackman, High Tyde, Saint Raymond, Jade Bird, Ten Tonnes, Freak, Bloxx, Sea Girls, Eliza And The Bear, the Beach, Flyte, Anteros, Judas, Haus, Marsicans, Deco, Hey Charlie, Rascalaton, Spinn, Youth Club, Keir, Seafret, Airways, Idle Frets, Low Island + more
If you’re a fan of ‘the kind of bands Dork likes’, then you’ll struggle to do better than the line-up for this summer’s 110 Above festival. Last year’s event was a bobby dazzler, and this year’s looks even more ‘up our street’.
It’s not just the bigger names (Fickle Friends, Peace, Blaenavon, Circa Waves and The Magic Gang) that look picked from our dark, twisted indie brains. The supporting bill features the likes of Marika Hackman, Ten Tonnes, Freak, Bloxx, Anteros, Sea Girls, Ten Tonnes and loads, loads more. If an atom bomb was to go off in Leicestershire this August, we’d probably have more important things to worry about than the death of the entire UK indie scene, but it’d still be unfortunate.
Location: Upcote Farm, UK
Date: 12th-14th July 2018
Line-Up: Enter Shikari, At The Drive In, Creeper, Arcane Roots, The Xcerts, Black Foxxes, Black Peaks, Sløtface, Blood Red Shoes, Black Honey, Brutus + more
Without a doubt one of the UK’s most fondly thought of festivals, 2000trees has a regular batch of fans and bands who rave about it every summer. “It’s always been a favourite of ours,” reveal Frightened Rabbit; “[It’s] our favourite independent festival,” confirm Blood Red Shoes; “[It’s] always been very special to our band,” say Black Peaks; “We hold the festival very dear to our hearts,” add The Xcerts. See, told you. It’s easy to see why they’re heaping on the praise, too. 2000trees cherry-pick the very tippity-top in alternative, rock-leaning groups who all feel like they’re probs the best of mates even when they aren’t doing this music lark. With a capacity of just 10,000, it’s also one of the more intimate summer events.
All Points East
Location: London, UK
Date: 25th May-3rd June 2018
Line-up: LCD Soundsystem, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Phoenix, The xx, Lorde, Justice, Bjork, Beck, Father John Misty, Lykke Li, Friendly Fires, Young Fathers, Superorganism, Hookworms + more
Where to start with All Points East? It’s a new festival launching in Victoria Park, London this year, having turfed out usual residents Field Day and Lovebox for a whopping ten days of activities, including three main festival days, several one-off shows, free outdoor cinema, street food, theatre, activities and loads more.
The band line-up is ridiculous, too: LCD Soundsystem, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Phoenix, The xx, Lorde, Justice, Bjork, Beck, Father John Misty, Lykke Li, Friendly Fires, Young Fathers, Superorganism, Glass Animals, Sample, Django Django - and that’s before even looking at the one-offs, which include headline sets from The National and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Can’t wait, mate.
Barn On The Farm
Location: Gloucester, UK
Date: 5th-8th July 2018
Cost: £115 + booking fee
Line-up: Tom Grennan, Mystery Jets, Pale Waves, Lewis Capaldi, Jade Bird, Nina Nesbitt, Aquilo, Gengahr, Bad Sounds, Islands, The Night Café, Anteros, Ten Tonnes The Pale White, Marsicans + more
You’ll never guess where Barn on the Farm takes place. Yes okay, it’s a real-life actual working farm. The clue’s in the name, huh? While you probably won’t find some pigs down the front raving to headliner Tom Grennan, the setting offers the festival a charming, intimate vibe that’s hard to replicate.
Joining Tom at this year’s event, you’ll find recent Dork cover stars Pale Waves, along with Mystery Jets, Gengahr, Bad Sounds, Island, Marsicans, Easy Life, Anteros, Sea Girls, Ten Tonnes and loads more bands you’ll regularly see across our pages.
Location: Dorset, UK
Date: 2nd-5th August 2018
Line-Up: London Grammar, Silk City, M.I.A, Grace Jones, Plan B, Chaka Khan, First Aid Kit, Mura Masa, Stefflon Don, The Big Moon, IDLES, Sundara Karma, Jorja Smith, Django Django, Thundercat, Songhoy Blues, Kelela, Mabel, IAMDDB, Gentleman’s Dub Club, This Is The Kit + more
Probably more famous for its legendary fancy dress than its line-up (because the dress up is amazing, not because the bands are pants), Bestival goes all-out all the time. This year’s theme is Circus, so expect red noses and wigs aplenty, a human cannonball, trapeze school, and probably some twirly batons and stuff too.
They’ve also a craft cabin, a crafty corner, free haircuts, hip hop party Hard Cock Life, the world’s largest disco ball, and a W.I. tea tent. We’ll have some scones, please.
Bands-wise, they’ve a few exclusives up their sleeves this year with London Grammar and Jorja Smith not playing any other UK fests; they’re playing alongside M.I.A., Grace Jones, Plan B and loads more. Nice one.
Location: London, UK
Date: 15th July 2018
Line-Up: Tame Impala, Chvrches, Leon Bridges, Goat, The Horrors, Honne, Shame, Gang of Youths, Sea Girls, Goat Girl, Hawkwind, La Femme, Sam Fender, Isaac Gracie + more
This one isn’t just a festival exclusive, oh no - it’s a UK exclusive. You’re not going to see Tame Impala anywhere else without getting on a plane, boat or, er, going under a tunnel. The Aussie psych-rockers are currently working on the follow-up to 2015 album, ‘Currents’.
They're joined by the likes of the brilliant Chvrches, Leon Bridges, Goat, The Horrors, Shame and Goat Girl for a summer Sunday not to miss.
Location: Donington Park, UK
Date: 8th-10th June 2018
Line-up: Avenged Sevenfold, Guns n’ Roses, Ozzy Osbourne, Marilyn Manson, Boston Manor, Cradle of Filth, Marmozets, You Me At Six, Parkway Drive, Rise Against, BabyMetal, Milk Teeth, Black Foxxes, Employed To Serve, Dream State + more
Ozzy Osbourne was the first Download headliner to be announced for 2018, with his debut solo bill-topping set at the festival. “Osbourne is no stranger to Download, and after Black Sabbath closed the festival in 2016, how could I not ask The Prince of Darkness to come back all on his own?” said promoter Andy Copping upon revealing the booking.
He’s joined by some of the biggest names in rock, including fellow headliners Avenged Sevenfold and Guns n’ Roses, and titans Marilyn Manson and Bullet For My Valentine. There’s also a good showing for newer bands, with sets from Culture Abuse, Milk Teeth, Employed To Serve, The Faim, Puppy, Dream State and more.
End Of The Road
Location: Larmar Tree Gardens, UK
Date: 30th August - 2nd September 2018
Line-Up: Vampire Weekend, St. Vincent, Feist, Ezra Furman, Jeff Tweedy, John Cale, Gruff Rhys, Julia Holter, Josh T. Pearson, Hookworms, (Sandy) Alex G, Shame, Julien Baker + more
End of the Road come joint first with Reading & Leeds for the best ‘how did that happen?’ bill-topping duo of 2018, with Vampire Weekend and St. Vincent (R&L have Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco, swoon). Either one of those two acts would have had us excited, but combined they’re a real force to be reckoned with. Add in that this year’s weekender marks the only place you’ll find Vampy Weeks on the UK festival circuit - plus who knows, maybe they’ll have new material by then - and it’s really going to be something special. Full to the brim with the kind of acts that are generally accompanied by the words “critically acclaimed”, “masterpiece” and “profound”, there’s also (Sandy) Alex G, John Cale, Yo La Tengo, Hookworms and third headliner, Feist.
Location: Portmeirion, UK
Date: 6th-9th September 2018
Line-Up: The The, Friendly Fires, Franz Ferdinand, Everything Everything, Ride, Anna Calvi, The Horrors, Goat Girl + more
The best thing about Festival No.6 might just be its location, in the magical village of Portmeirion, Wales home of the cult TV series The Prisoner. What bands wouldn’t sound fab in that setting? This year heading to the coastal tourist spot you’ll find mid-00s legends Friendly Fires and Franz Ferdinand, alongside the recently reformed The The.
It’s not ‘all about the music’ either - you could probably go the whole weekend just wandering around the woodland trail, taking advantage of the swimming, paddle boarding, hot tubs, yoga and massages, and exploring the local produce market and food offerings.
Location: Brecon Beacons, UK
Date: 16th-19th August 2018
Line-up: The War on Drugs, Fleet Foxes, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, John Grant, Grizzly Bear, Dirty Projectors, Goat Girl, The Lemon Twigs, Phoebe Bridgers, Snail Mail, Sorry + more
Green Man is another festival that doesn’t ‘just’ concern itself with booking musical talent - though they’ve done a smashing job this year, with The War on Drugs, Fleet Foxes, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s first ever bill-topping set, and further-down-the-poster spots for Grizzly Bear, The Lemon Twigs and more.
In addition to the opportunity to camp onsite all week if you like (with the fancy “Settler’s Pass”), there’s also comedy, literature, film, performing arts, visual arts, workshops and loads more. The line-up’s largely still ‘underway’ for that stuff, but there’s sure to be enough going on to keep even the most eager music obsessives busy.
Location: Leicester, UK
Date: 5th-6th May 2018
Line-Up: Circa Waves, Drenge, The Big Moon, Idles, Future Of The Left, Spector, Spook School, The Orielles, Anteros, Weirds, Indoor Pets, Easy Life, Phobophones, Gender Roles, Sports Team, The Wytches, Genghar, Her’s + more
Handmade Festival will return to Leicester’s O2 Academy for two days of music, comedy, art, film, performance and photography. It’s all going on, with some of Dork’s fave bands too - from ‘where on earth have you been’ Drenge, to ‘one of the best debuts of last year’ The Big Moon, plus Circa Waves, Spector, Phobophobes, and - well - all the lovely bands you can read about in the list to your right. As well as all the top-notch acts, for the first time, Handmade will also be introducing The Handmade Conference. Taking place on the Friday before the festival itself, Handmade will present a programme of talks and discussions about the music industry and more. Exciting stuff.
Location: Southwold, UK
Date: 12th-15th July 2018
Line-up: The Killers, Alt-J, Solange, Wolf Alice, The Vaccines, Parquet Courts, Fickle Friends, Black Honey, Jessie Ware, Alvvays, Hinds, IDLES, Mogwai, Superorganism, Tune-Yards, The Breeders, The Orielles, Bloxx, Boy Azooga, Confidence Man, Pop Blom, Sorry, whenyoung + more
It’s still not getting boring by the sheep. The summer’s most refined festival, Latitude might have a rep for being artsy, family-friendly and well to do, but it also knows how to bring the musical buzz.
This year’s headliners go from the legit indie blockbusters (The Killers, Alt-J), to the really bloody exciting (Solange!). Beneath them sit some of our favourite bands - headliners-in-waiting Wolf Alice, The Vaccines, Idles. Parquet Courts, Black Honey, Superorganism, Bloxx, Boy Azooga, Sorry and loads of others. There’s also great comedy, Adam Buxton’s Bug, and, erm, Ed Miliband. Which begs the question, can you headline from the afternoon with your podcast?
Live At Leeds
Location: Leeds, UK
Date: 5th May 2018
Line-Up: Peace, The Vaccines, Circa Waves, The Horrors, British Sea Power, IDLES, The Magic Gang, Superorganism, Blaenavon, Pale Waves, Ten Tonnes, Spring King, Yak, Rae Morris, Bad Sounds, King Nun, The Night Cafe, Demob Happy, Easy Life, Sorry, whenyoung, Sports Team, Boy Azooga, Stella Donnelly, The Ninth Wave, Bloxx, Pip Blom, Suzi Wu, Our Girl, Boniface, The Xcerts, Sea Girls, Nadine Shah, Fenne Lily + more
Live At Leeds tends to mark the start of festival season proper. A day of fun across the North’s alt-music superpower, it’s always packed with the best new names. This year is no different, with the likes of Pale Waves, Superorganism, Sports Team and Bloxx appearing alongside established names Peace, The Vaccines, Circa Waves and more.
We’ve also got our own stage at Church - yes, in an actual Church! Us! With our loose morals! Heading up the bill are The Horrors, who released their fifth album ‘V’ last year. Pretty perfect, right? Before them, we’ll also have London four-piece Stereo Honey, former Kaiser Chief Nick JD Hodgson, and local duo Krrum. And as if that weren’t enough, there’s also Dork faves Bad Sounds and Ten Tonnes, and singer-songwriter Tom Walker.
[caption id="attachment_20374" align="aligncenter" width="1498 Photo: Sarah Louise Bennett / Dork[/caption]
Location: Hever, UK
Date: 2nd-5th August 2018
Line-up: Bastille, Clean Bandit, Declan McKenna, Tom Grennan, Sub Focus, Rae Morris, We Are Scientists, Girli, whenyoung, Lucia, The Ninth Wave, Honey Lung, Estrons + more
If you've never been to Neverworld, formally LeeFest, you're missing out on one of the gems of festival season. A delightfully intimate experience of themed areas and hidden spaces, it's definitely nothing like your usual big stage corporate affair. That doesn't mean they can't pack in the names, though - none bigger than Bastille, who we've already hinted are most certainly 'up to stuff' in the nearish future. There's little doubt they'll blow the roof off Neverworld's main stage this August - and with a supporting cast including Declan McKenna, Rae Morris, Girli and whenyoung, they'll not be the only ones.
Reading & Leeds
Location: Reading, Leeds, UK
Date: 24th-26th August 2018
Line-Up: Fall Out Boy, Travis Scott, Kendrick Lamar, Panic! At The Disco, Kings of Leon, Wolf Alice, Dua Lipa, Fickle Friends, SWMRS, Creeper, Waterparks, Mike Shinoda, The Wombats, Rae Morris, Dream Wife + more
It’s a good job we didn’t put money on Arctic Monkeys headlining Reading & Leeds this year, because guess what? They’re not. Nope. Contrary to all the rumours, it’s an Arctic Monkeys free zone. If anyone had suggested topping the bill would be a five-way split between Fall Out Boy, Travis Scott, Kendrick Lamar, Panic! At The Disco and Kings of Leon, we’d likely have fallen off our chair, dropped our cup of tea, and told them that was just plain weird. But hey-ho, here we are. Who’d have thought R&L could still pull a surprise like this out of the bag? Elsewhere on the bill, there are loads of Dork faves too, including Wolf Alice, Fickle Friends, SWMRS, King Nun, Ten Tonnes, Dream Wife, The Magic Gang, Spring King, Pale Waves, Sunflower Bean and more.
Location: Chelmsford, UK
Date: 17th-18th August 2018
Line-Up: Liam Gallagher, Stereophonics, James Bay, Craig David, Plan B, Manic Street Preachers, Dave, Circa Waves, MNEK, Bastille, Years & Years, Rag’n’Bone Man, Rita Ora, Sinead Harnett, Example + more
V Festival has a bad rep these days, but the line-up has featured some of the brightest names in pop - from Beck and Radiohead, to Sugababes and Girls Aloud, to Oasis and The Feeling. (The Feeling were great, go away.)
This year, however, V has gone kaput, replaced by new event RiZE which aims to bring together “an exciting mix of the very best music from classic indie, pop, urban, dance and new upcoming talent.” We’ll be the judge of that, thank you very much.
Headline sets for the inaugural year come from Liam Gallagher and Stereophonics, with ‘further down the bill’ appearances from the likes of MNEK, Example, Circa Waves, Rita Ora and Dork faves, Years & Years and Bastille.
Location: Leeds, Hatfield, Birmingham, UK
Date: 26th-28th May
Line-Up: Good Charlotte, Jimmy Eat World, PVRIS, Frank Carter, Taking Back Sunday, Sleeping With Sirens, Twin Atlantic, Creeper, Every Time I Die + more
If you're a fan of rock music, you're probably gonna be hyped about Slam Dunk. This year's line-up has legit legends Jimmy Eat World, Good Charlotte, barnstormers PVRIS, Frank Carter & his Rattlesnakes, Taking Back Sunday, Twin Atlantic, the awesome Creeper, Every Time I Die, Sleeping With Sirens and loads, loads more. Held across three legs over three days in Leeds, Hatfield and Birmingham, it's a late May bank holiday delight not to miss.
The Great Escape
Location: Brighton, UK
Date: 17th-19th May 2018
Line-up: ALMA, Goat Girl, The Rhythm Method, Bad Sounds, Bloxx, Jack River, King Nun, Drahla, Superorganism, Easy Life, Stella Donnelly, Phoebe Bridgers, Sorry, Pale Waves, Phobophobes, Ecca Vandal, Freak, Ten Tonnes, The Night Cafe, whenyoung, The Magic Gang, Japanese Breakfast, Marsicans, Milk Teeth, Nervus, The Faim, IDLES, Demob Happy, The Orielles, Suzi Wu, The Regrettes, The Spook School, Swimming Girls + more
The south coast’s annual new music jamboree is coming round again, and it’s packed with all your fave names. There are all sorts of ace acts playing too across the event, including (but not limited to) ALMA, Bad Sounds, Benin City, Black Futures, Bloxx, Boniface, Boy Azooga, Bruno Major, Børns, Canshaker Pi, Crewel Intentions, Declan Welsh and the Decadent West, Dream State, Easy Life, Feet, Freak, Gaffa Tape Sandy, Gender Roles, Ginger Snaps, Goat Girl, Her’s, Hero Fisher, Hotel Lux, Husky Loops, Jack River, Japanese Breakfast, King Nun, Let’s Eat Grandma, Lo Moon, Marsicans, Milk Teeth, Nelson Can, Nervus, Nilufer Yanya, Pale Waves, Peaness, Phobophobes, Phoebe Bridges, Pip Blom, Puppy, Rina Sawayama, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Sea Girls, Self Esteem, Sports Team, Stella Donnelly, Stereo Honey, Superorganism, Suzi Wu, Swimming Girls, Team Picture, Teleman, Ten Tonnes, The Faim, The Night Cafe, The Ninth Wave, The Orielles, The Rhythm Method, The Spook School, whenyoung, White Room and loads, loads more. Phew.
Location: Glasgow, UK
Date: 29th June-1st July, 6th July, 8th July 2018
Cost: £260 (five days)
Line-up: Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, Queen + Adam Lambert, Liam Gallagher, Stereophonics, Wolf Alice, Blossoms, Declan McKenna, CHVRCHES, Friendly Fires, Franz Ferdinand, Jessie Ware, James Bay + more
One of the highlights of Scotland’s music calendar, TRNSMT Festival returns this summer to bring a show-stopping line-up to Glasgow city centre, with headliners Stereophonics, Liam Gallagher, Arctic Monkeys (who’ll have a new album to show off by then, too), Queen + Adam Lambert, and The Killers at Glasgow Green from 29th June–1st July, 6th July and 8th July.
Taking place over two weekends for the first time, TRNSMT will also host some of Dork’s fave bands lower down the bill, including Sigrid, Declan McKenna, Friendly Fires, CHVRCHES and Wolf Alice.
[caption id="attachment_21715" align="aligncenter" width="1500 Photo: Phil Smithies[/caption]
Location: Oxfordshire, UK
Date: 20th-22nd July 2018
Cost: £110 (but £120 “soon”)
Line-Up: Peace, Friendly Fires, George Ezra, Courteeners, Everything Everything, Circa Waves, Peace, The Amazons, Drenge, Blaenavon, Fickle Friends, Marika Hackman, The Magic Gang, Rat Boy, Pale Waves + more
So many good names, right? In addition to former Dork cover stars Geoff, Pale Waves, Blaeners, Fickle Friends, and Marika Hackman, and the cover stars of this very magazine, Peace (hello), there are so many of our fave bands heading to Oxfordshire for Truck this year that we couldn’t fit them all in the box to your right. Black Honey, Dream Wife, whenyoung, Sorry, The Orielles, Bloxx, Jaws, Bad Sounds, Goat Girl, Girli, Anteros - it’s just ridiculous. There’s so much more to come, too: “We still have plenty of talent and stages to announce over the next couple of months,” festival organiser Matt Harrap reveals. Where are you going to fit them all, guys? The line-up’s more jam-packed than your average Victoria Sponge.
Find more info on your Big Indie Summer in the new issue of Dork, and the Dork Festival Guide, both out this Friday, 13th April.
Give all this a try
Their first full-length is coming this May.
He's on his way to the top.
The follow-up to 2015’s ‘Drive North’ is out now.
There's also Indoor Pets, Stella Donnelly, Self Esteem, The 1975 and more.
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