Get Set for Festival Fever

Rock and roll at the 2008 summer sessions

Amy Winehouse is due to play at this year's V Festival If you've been lucky enough to bag yourself a pass to any of this year's big rock festivals, read on for our invaluable guide to getting there and staying cool.

Hundreds of thousands flock to these events so check the status of the roads before you leave, with AA Roadwatch. And plan your journey with our free online Route Planner.

A crowd watching a gig Make sure you go prepared. Stock your car with essentials from the AA Travel Shop, and try to avoid a breakdown with some basic car checks before you hit the road.

Whether you're a camper or a day-tripper, the very least every festival survival kit should contain is:

  • Tickets
  • Ray-Bans
  • Stetson or headscarf
  • Novelty wellies and lipgloss (for the girls)
  • Sun block and after-sun lotion (be optimistic)
  • Umbrella (be realistic)
  • Paracetamol
  • Cameraphone
  • Cream for bites and stings
  • Ear-plugs
  • Tissues, antibacterial hand-gel and drinking water (for the dodgy loos)

Festival-goers at Glastonbury If you're an overnighter or you have the kids in tow you'll obviously need lots more baggage. Some gigs are now family friendly and see the value of catering for little ones. Glastonbury's 'Kidz Field' boasts 'informed, credible and motivated' artists including circus acts, storytellers and much more.

27-29 June

Glastonbury Festival, Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset
Perhaps the most famous of the UK festivals, 'Glasto' began in 1970 and now attracts more than 175,000 visitors annually. There's something for everyone on the 900-acre site, with more than 10 musical stages and arenas plus markets with more than 600 stalls, a children's enclosure, a theatre and a circus. Big names for 2008 include the Editors, the Ting Tings, Massive Attack, Hot Chip, Fatboy Slim, Pete Doherty, Dizzee Rascal, Elbow, Duffy, Groove Armada, KT Tunstall, Shakin' Stevens and The Zutons. Official website »

3-6 July

Faithless at last year's Wireless Festival Wireless Festival, Hyde Park, London
The 4th annual event in the capital will see performances by Jay-Z, Morrissey, Counting Crows, Beck, Sam Sparro, Fatboy Slim, Mark Ronson, Hot Chip, Robyn, Bootsy Collins, Róisin Murphy and lots more. Official website »

4-6 July

Guilfest, Stoke Park, Guildford, Surrey
Perhaps the most family-oriented festival sadly boasts the fewest big-name acts. Highlights this year include Blondie, The Levellers, Dodgy, Dreadzone, Kula Shaker, Cerys Matthews, Freakpower, White Sunday, The Australian Pink Floyd Show, Seth Lakemen, and British Sea Power. There's also camping, a comedy stage, and plenty for children with jugglers, theatre, face-painting, rides and a circus area. Official website »

19-20 July

Lovebox Weekender, Victoria Park, London
Top names across the weekend include Goldfrapp, Groove Armada, The Flaming Lips, Frankie Knuckles, Jack Penate, The Human League and Roni Size Reprazent. Official website »

1-3 August

The Big Chill, Eastnor Castle Deer Park, Malvern Hills, Herefordshire
The first club night to create its own festival, it mixes music with visual and performance art, spoken word, cinema and cafe culture. As the name suggests, its philosophy is intimate and sedate. Highlights this year include David Holmes, The Mighty Boosh, Leonard Cohen, Norman Jay, Martha Wainwright, Beth Orton, Lykke Li, and Róisin Murphy. Official website »

16-17 August

Tents at Glastonbury V Festival, Hylands Park, London Road, Chelmsford
V Festival, Weston Park, Weston-under-Lizard, Staffordshire
The V Festival launched in 1996 and was the first to be held simultaneously at two sites. Half the acts play the Staffordshire event on the Saturday and the Essex event on the Sunday; and the other half does the opposite. So Northerners and Southerners get to see all the acts. Headliners this year include The Feeling, Chemical Brothers, Girls Aloud, The Verve, Amy Winehouse, The Prodigy, Duffy, The Hoosiers, Alphabeat, The Futureheads, Lenny Kravtiz, Kings of Leon, The Charlatans, One Republic, The Stranglers, Calvin Harris, Sam Sparro, Travis, Ian Brown, Estelle, Sugababes, The View, and Scouting for Girls. Official website »

22-24 August

Reading Festival, Richfield Avenue, Reading, Berkshire
Leeds Festival, Bramham Park, Wetherby, Yorkshire
More than 150 acts will grace the stages across three days at two sites. Popular performers at this year's extravaganza include The Killers, Bloc Party, Queens of the Stone Age, Rage Against The Machine, Metallica, Slipknot, Tenacious D, Babyshambles, Feeder, Editors, The Raconteurs, Manic Street Preachers, Dizzee Rascal, The Mystery Jets, Vampire Weekend, Robots in Disguise and more.

The Killers are due to play at Reading and LeedsBabyshambles are due to play at Reading and Leeds

23-24 August

Fatboy Slim is playing at several festivals this summer Creamfields, Daresbury Estate, Warrington, Cheshire
This two-day party marks the event's 10th anniversary and sees Creamfields going green. There's a car-sharing scheme, recycling points throughout the site, wind turbines, a tent donation station, and an arena made from sustainable materials. Festival-goers are encouraged to dress up and unwanted clothes will be donated to Oxfam at the end of the event. Acts include Lisa Pin-Up, Underworld, Fatboy Slim, Ian Brown, Paul Van Dyk, Erick Morillo, Sasha, Pete Tong, Dubfire, Annie Mac, Judge Jules, Roots Manuva, Rob Tissera, Kasabian, Paul Oakenfold, John Digweed, Ferry Corsten, and Axwell.
Official website »

Blissfields, which was due to take place from 4 to 6 July at Matterley Bowl in Winchester, Hampshire, has been cancelled due to disappointing ticket sales.


Check out our other inspirational ideas for days out and weekend breaks.

Wherever you're heading...

...plan your trip with the AA Route Planner, stock your car with essential accessories from the AA Travel Shop, and check for traffic blackspots before you leave with AA Roadwatch. Find the best places to eat, drink and sleep, and check out our brilliant travel guides.

And try to avoid a breakdown with some basic car checks before you hit the road.

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19 June

Glastonbury images courtesy britainonview/Jon Spaull
Amy Winehouse image courtesy Jason Bryant
Faithless image courtesy Jess Gilbert