Music

Best UK city festivals for amazing music AND a real bed

You don't always have to head to a field to enjoy a great, varied music line up

Camilla George - among the acts at Glasgow Jazz Festival, one of the best city festivals in the UK

Camilla George. Image: Glasgow Jazz Festival

If you’re sick of having to pack your wellies for another rainy UK festival in a field, why not hedge your bets with some of the best city festivals? You’ll even be able to get a shower in the morning before you go out and do it all again!

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Get Together

May 20
Various venues, Sheffield
£35

This bargain all-dayer takes place across the bars, warehouses and studios of Sheffield city’s trendy Kelham Island, with a line-up including Irish alt-country star CMAT, Klaxons singer James Righton, and Friendly Fires, who celebrate the 15th anniversary of their self-titled debut. Sets from the likes of Queer House Party will keep the party going into the night, fuelled by craft beer from local Kelham Island Brewery.
welcometosheffield.co.uk

Jazz Stroud

May 25-28
Various venues, Stroud
£68

The Gloucestershire market town once again plays host to the best in UK jazz, neo-soul and hip-hop, with highlights including Manchester-based polymath Alabaster dePlume, ten piece collective TC & The Groove Family and all-female Afro Latin ensemble COLECTIVA. There’s a strong showing of acts from the South West too, including Bristol piano trio Yetii, and three new ensembles of local young people.
jazzstroud.org

Long Division

June 9-10
Various venues, Wakefield
From £1

After 12 years, Long Divison is sadly coming to a close – but Yorkshire’s best city festival is going out on a high, with sets from the likes of Arab Strap, The Lovely Eggs, and specially reformed local legends The Research. Tickets to the festival’s main day on Saturday are priced on a sliding scale, with £1 tickets for under 18s, making this indie celebration genuinely financially accessible. 
longdivisionfestival.co.uk

Glasgow Jazz Festival

June 14-28
Various venues
Ticket prices vary

Since its founding in 1987, this beloved city-wide festival has played host to icons including Gladys Knight, Pharoah Sanders and Miles Davis. This year, R&B singer Geno Washington and trombone pioneer Steve Turre are among the scene legends gracing Glasgow’s stages, alongside local favourites Andrew Wasylyk and Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra. There’s also late night jam sessions, and a jazz ensemble reimagining the songs of Radiohead.
jazzfest.co.uk

Core.

August 18-20
Various venues, Glasgow
From £105


Brand new for 2023, Core. is a city festival of heavy music, headlined by two of the buzziest American bands on the scene right now: post-metallers Deafheaven, and sludgey noise rockers Chat Pile, in their Scottish live debut. The line-up is bolstered by local bands including death metal Fifers Party Cannon and Glasgow hardcore two-piece Moni Jitchell, with loads more to be announced.
corethefestival.com

Read our full 2023 festivals guide here.

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