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Outstanding in their fields ; SUMMER FESTIVAL GUIDEFestival season is upon us. TOM PELL picks out the best places to chill out and enjoy the alfresco... [Birmingham Mail (UK)]

May 24, 2013

YellowBrix

Outstanding in their fields ; SUMMER FESTIVAL GUIDEFestival season is upon us. TOM PELL picks out the best places to chill out and enjoy the alfresco musical experience.

T'S that time of year again.

INo, not Christmas, but the time where you REALLY get all the things you want bundled up together near a tree - it's festival season.

Yet where to spend that hard earned cash? With a myriad of options, near and far, to choose from, it is becoming increasingly difficult to sort out the festival dos from the festival don'ts.

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So with wellies, booze, a borrowed tent and that emergencybought Nokia 3210 that you are clearly going to lose at the ready, it's time to explore what is on offer.

For those who love a freebie... Godiva Festival, War Memorial Park, Coventry. July 5-7 Last year, the pesky British weather caused the cancellation of Godiva Festival, at a cost of almost Pounds 450,000 to the city council.

But perseverance and, well, hopefully the sun, will see the festival's flame reignited this July. For starters - it's free. Including the parking!

Echo And The Bunnymen, Maximo Park and Amelia Lily will rock up at the War Memorial Park and headline the three respective nights at the local festival.

As well as the big-name acts, Godiva Unsigned gives an opportunity to many a local band to share the stage with their heroes. Who will replace last years winners Dark Actors on the podium? Aside from the music stages, the Paradise Tent is the go to venue for up and coming comedy. Meryl O'Rourke will host, and then pass on the torch to circus acts such as Ms Merlin, Bang On and vaudevillian juggler Ian Marchant. The Tent is housed in the Family Field, which will amuse adults and children of all ages with attractions such as a petting zoo, vintage market and inflatable area.

Performers include: Devlin, The View, Reverend and The Makers For no nonsense rockers...

Download Festival, Donington Park, Derby. June 14-16 Where other 'rock' festivals may compromise and chuck in a few softer bands for the masses, Download aggressively declines, horns aloft in protest.

Slipknot. Iron Maiden. Rammstein. Korn. Motorhead. Queens Of The Stone Age. Even Limp Bizkit are there. Got it? Sponsors at the festival include Tuborg, Zippo lighters and Jagermeister, which also indicates the type of weekend on offer. But for when all that moshing takes its toll, the festival market offers a 'Total Rock Massage', for treatment of those aching limbs injured during some vigorous head banging. And, there's even a separate tent for girls (or guys) to get a few minutes' use of hair dryers and straighteners. Rock and roll, meet 2013. Pounds 195 w/camping, Pounds 170 arena only. Day tickets Pounds 82.50 Performers include: Bullet For My Valentine, Papa Roach, Thirty Seconds To Mars.

For families... Wychwood Festival, Cheltenham Racecourse. May 31- June 2. Taking pride in hosting THE family festival, Wychwood Festival organisers will put on an eclectic mix of feel good activities alongside iconic headliners Soul II Soul and Human League.

The multi-talented Bill Bailey provides the comedy, with one of his infamous stage shows that see him take on many musical elements alongside surrealist laughs. For a break from the norm, a huge variety of classes and activities are on offer.

Stands such as Zumba and Pilates are joined by African drum workshops, and musical theatre treats where families can learn and perform the songs from Mamma Mia and Les Miserables. Craft lovers can try their hand at jewellery making, whilst circus and street performers will be roaming around the campsite all weekend.

Attractions include: Lucy Rose, Johnny Kowalski and The Sexy Weirdos, CBeebies Mr Bloom Tickets: Pounds 120 weekend, Under 10's go free. (Day passes available from Pounds 37.) For variety on your doorstep... Lichfield Festival. July 4-14. After bursting onto the scene with Green Garden and securing fourth place in the BBC Sound of 2013 poll, Kings Heath songstress Laura Mvula will make an appearance at the multi-arts based Lichfield Festival.

Musical diversity at the event will stretch to folk stars Speirs and Boden, pianist Roberto Fonseca and The Philharmonic Orchestra, with some performances being held in the breathtaking Lichfield Cathedral. Other venues hosting the festival are the Garrick Theatre, St Michaels Church and The George Hotel, which will house comedians, speakers and authors.

Camping is off the table, with local boutique hotels suggested as possible places to stay.

Attractions include: Alan Davies, Chris Addison, Jaqueline Wilson, Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain Tickets for all events sold separately.

For a chance to dance... Global Gathering, Long Marston Airfield, Stratford-Upon-Avon. July 26-27.

Voted Best Dance Event at last year's UK Festival awards, Global Gathering promises alternative entertainment alongside a huge assortment of live shows and DJ sets.

To keep up the tempo, the now infamous Urban Village is home to hip hop DJ's, extreme sports displays and even an outdoor cinema.

But, for a truly VIP feel and a well earned recharge at the end of the day, a package is on offer for Pounds 190 which will see an upgrade in surroundings to the nature infused Global Springs.

A luxury hideaway of wooden hot tubs, hammocks and hand built beds; the exclusive mini spa resort will truly transform the stereotypical festival goers stay.

Performers include: Plan B, Example, Rita Ora.

Tickets cost Pounds 115 (Pounds 190 VIP).

For fans of local up and coming musical gems... Now We Are Weekender, The Public, West Bromwich. May 25-26.

The region's newest independent mini-festival is now in its second year, and will provide a platform for Birmingham and the Black Country to show the rest of the country what the West Midlands is about.

Whilst attracting bands from afar such as Brit/Aussie foursome Allo Darlin', up and coming Brummie blighters Johnny Foreigner will coheadline the bill.

Support also comes in numbers, with heaps of local bands taking the stage.

The festival is inside, so even when it rains, you won't have wasted the already superb weekend ticket price of Pounds 23 (day tickets Pounds 16.50).

Performers include: Kid, Carnaveral, The Traps, God Damn, Shatter Effect, The Bombergs.

For those who love to chill out... Moseley Folk Festival, Moseley Park, Birmingham. August 30-September 1 and Mostly Jazz Funk and Soul Festival, Moseley Park, Birmingham. July 5-7. This picturesque park normally off limits to the public (unless you have a key) is a great setting for those looking for a good old knees up in a more intimate setting.

The folk festival offers a relaxed vibe for folk lovers and highlights this year include musical talent from local boys Ocean Colour Scene to Edwyn Collins, The Staves, British Sea Power and The Dubliners.

Highlights at the jazz festival in July include disco legends "le freak" Chic, featuring Nile Rodgers plus Soul II Soul, The Blockheads and Bonobo.

Tickets for both festivals cost Pounds 85 for weekend ticket (non camping) or Pounds 35 for a day ticket.

MORE FESTIVAL FEVER - P4 For festival virgins... V Festival, Weston Park, Staffordshire, and Hylands Park, Chelmsford. August 17- 18.

Sitting comfortably on the poppier side of the fence, V Festival offers a more gentle shove into the debauchery of a festival weekend. The toilets won't be any nicer, but the commercial crowds might. The festival, like others, takes place in two locations over two days, with the same lineup alternating both venues. After triumphing in 2012 at Glastonbury, the bootylicious Beyonce will headline this year's V alongside southern rockers Kings Of Leon (both pictured).

The pop factor is turned up with the appearances of Olly Murs, Little Mix and James Arthur, but a whiff of danger is provided by Rudimental and Beady Eye. Emelie Sande will be there too, but nowadays, where isn't she, to be honest. Give that girl a day off, world! Performers include: Stereophonics, Two Door Cinema Club, Basement Jaxx Tickets cost from Pounds 89 for day ticket. Weekend tickets sold out. Luxury camping still available, prices vary.

For easy home comforts... Fusion Festival, Birmingham. August 31- September 1 Obscenely close to home is Capital FM sponsored Fusion Festival, held in Cofton Park.

Camping, gazebos and blankets are not permitted at the pop- friendly spectacular, but with its home location and accessible car park it is a troublefree option, priced at a tempting Pounds 35 per day (Pounds 60 for weekend ticket).

If you are feeling flush, you can even opt for the festivals hospitality package. For Pounds 250 you will get your weekend ticket, complimentary snacks and soft drinks, luxury toilets, and exclusive access into the hospitality tent. Gates open at 12pm with the fun kicking off at 2.30pm and lasting until 10pm. Performers include: Jessie J, Ne-Yo, Mcfly, JLS (pictured).

A service of YellowBrix, Inc.


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