The end of September was marked by euphoria for those music fans who managed to snag a ticket to Glastonbury next year - and utter disappointment for those who failed to do so. If you're in the latter camp though, don't worry. Summer will soon roll around and there are so many other events where you can sit in a tent, roll around in the mud and appreciate some good music. While no one - not even Glasto - has even started confirming acts yet, they may cause some comfort to those who missed out at the end of September. Arrange your transport with Kings Ferry and be sure of an enjoyable ride there and a swift ride back.
Download generally takes place in June and features three days of non-stop rock music with more than 150 acts participating. A grand total of five (count them! Five!) stages are erected in Donington Park, the spiritual home of this hard and fast music genre. Tickets are not yet on sale, but they usually cost around £180 for the camping experience and the music, and even more if you're opting for VIP accommodation. Quite apart from the music, there will also be an after-hours entertainment zone to keep festival-goers happy. Keep an eye on the Download Twitter feed for the first hint of when tickets will go on sale, to make sure you don't miss out.
Music and coloured sheep have long been the hallmarks of Latitude Festival, but it's well worth remembering that the extravaganza also features a full-to-bursting programme of events that cover film, comedy, theatre, cabaret, dance, poetry, literature and art together for a fun-filled, cultural adventure by the sea. Generally, all of these are linked by a single theme to encourage participants to see how these mediums can be linked together to deliver a powerful message. The theme for 2015 has yet to be confirmed. If you have family members who want to enjoy the festival atmosphere, they are well catered-for. Children will be able to partake in a miniature extravaganza dedicated especially to them, with activities for budding chefs, wildlife explorers and wannabe West End performers, while older kids should prepare for the things like bushcraft challenges. It's most definitely a festival for everyone to get involved in.
The Secret Garden
Brimming with creativity and excitement, the Secret Garden festival is more of an all-out party experience that takes place in the gorgeous 220-acre landscaped garden Mill Hill Field at Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire. It manages to attract an eclectic mixture of acts that reflect its independent mindset, as a festival that doesn't utilise sponsorship. And while you can't expect this approach to attract the likes of Beyonce and U2, the Secret Garden's uniqueness and all-around fun factor does bring in some surprisingly large guests. As well as the music, the festival offers restaurants, food talks, cocktail bars, ale tents, massages, kids area, barefoot discos and twilight fire circle tales for a thoroughly hipster experience.
Arguably the king of the festival scene after Glastonbury, Reading regularly attracts the biggest names and is your best bet if you're after huge stars. Counting Muse, the Arctic Monkeys and Ian Carroll among its previous performers, you can certainly count on the organisers to put together a stellar lineup. The first batch of tickets for 2015 has already been sold, but there's no need to panic as more will go on sale throughout the year. Keep an eye on the website and social media for the first clues of when you might need to book them. Be quick though - these sell out fast. Reading takes place towards the end of August every year.