Glastonbury 2018 alternatives: The best festivals to head to this summer

Harry Fletcher
Plastic bottles could be banned from Glastonbury Festival from next year: Getty Images

You’ve packed away your wellies, put the tent back in the loft and carefully folded away your waterproof poncho and Jeremy Corbyn t-shirt for another year. It can mean only one thing: Glastonbury festival is cancelled.

Sadly, more than 135,000 festival goers will have a gap in their summer plans this year after Michael Eavis made the decision to postpone the legendary festival until it moves to a new site in 2019.

The summer certainly won’t be the same without the celebrations down on Worthy Farm. However, there are plenty of alternative ways for fans to get their festival kicks in 2018.

Thankfully, music lovers are pretty blessed when it comes to festival choices in the UK and abroad and 2018 could be the perfect opportunity to explore alternative options and check out events they’d never previously considered.

London's finest: Lovebox could be a great alternative to Glastonbury this year

From city escapes to more remote events and adventures abroad, these are our top alternatives to Glastonbury. Make sure to check out our comprehensive guides to the best festivals in London, the rest of the UK and Europe too.

In the city

Firstly, it's worth considering that the cost of a ticket to Glastonbury festival in 2017 was £238, plus a £5 booking fee, which is a pretty hefty sum in anyone’s book. With that in mind, attending a number of city-based music festivals could be great option for curious music fans this summer.

These camping-free options are a chance to check out top live music for a great price. Manchester's Parklife (June 9-10, £65 per day) and London's Field Day (June 1-3, £69), All Points East (May 25-27, £67), Citadel (July 15, £49.50), BST festival series (July 6-15, from £75), Lovebox (July 13-14, £115) and Community (July 1, £40) are all top options.

However, many people crave that genuine festival camping experience, and city festivals just won’t cut it. For these die-hard festival fans, nothing beats the thrill of throwing yourself into the deep end and pitching a tent at one of the UK’s many great music events.

In the country

So where to try in 2018? Of all the bigger festivals taking place this summer, Latitude feels like the most obvious choice when it comes to Glastonbury alternatives. Just like Glasto, Latitude celebrates a diverse range of arts, theatre, comedy and literature (which might explain why it’s frequently described as the ‘most middle-class festival’ in the UK) as well as offering a fantastic live music, all with a family-friendly feel.

Latitude: Music meets theatre, poetry, documentaries and talks

The 40,000 capacity event has been running since 2006 and is increasing in popularity year on year. Weekend tickets start at £197 (July 13-15), with the Killers, Solange and alt-J set to headline.

Other boutique-feeling options come in the form of the excellent Green Man Festival (August 16-19, £189), End of the Road (August 30-September 2, £195) and Festival No. 6 (September 6-9, £180), which all have diverse lineups in idyllic settings. If you're after more refined festival experiences, these could all be fantastic alternatives to Glasto in 2018.

European adventures

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous this year though, Europe is playing host to some of the biggest and best musical celebrations of 2018.

For a great festival experience (with infinitely better weather, let's face it) why not try Primavera Sound, which takes places in sunny Barcelona between May 30 & June 3 (around £200).

If it's European city-based events you’re after, hop over to Paris for We Love Green (June 2-3, around £79) or Øya Festival (7-11 August 2018, around £257 for a week pass) in Oslo, which are all well worth checking out.

For sheer scale and spectacle though, Denmark’s Roskilde is offering up a music celebration on a massive scale. Bruno Mars, Eminem, Cardi B, Gorillaz, David Byrne, First Aid Kit, Fleet Foxes and Stormzy all perform between June 30 and July 7.

With tickets costing £255 pus flight prices, Roskilde is a slightly pricier option than Glasto, but if you were ever thinking of taking a European trip during festival season, 2018 is the year to do it.

Whatever you choose to do though, there are plenty of ways to fill the Glastonbury-shaped hole in your summer plans this year. After all, everyone enjoying a great festival experience in 2018 is exactly what Michael Eavis would have wanted.

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