SCAN Recommends: the best festivals in the North West

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With festival season well and truly upon us, SCAN are taking a look at some of the finest festivals for all budgets in the North West.


What? Dot to Dot Festival

Where? Manchester

When? Friday 26th May

How much? £13.20

Lineup: Sundara Karma, Amber Run, The Growlers, Honeyblood, The Slow Readers Club and more…


Taking place at a variety of venues across Manchester city centre, this will be Dot to Dot’s twelfth year and the festival prides itself in uncovering new talent, with previous acts including Ed Sheeran, Florence + the Machine and The xx, to name a few. The festival will take you on a tour of the city as well as a tour of the best new music around currently. As it’s just the one day (and an hour away on the train), it’s the perfect escape from revision!


What? Liverpool Sound City

Where? Liverpool Waters/Clarence Dock, Liverpool

When? 25th – 28th May

How much? £38.50 – £49.50 for each day

Lineup: The Kooks, Slaves, The Human League, The Cribs, White Lies and more…


Based at the phenomenal Clarence Dock of Liverpool’s historic waterfront, Liverpool Sound City is one of the North West’s most established urban music festivals. It’s not just about the music, as many other one-day festivals often are; there’s a huge emphasis on arts & culture, with this year’s event featuring John Cale in conversation and a celebration of Brazilian music, dance and culture, amongst others. Tickets are priced differently for each day, so there’s something for all tastes and budgets.


What? Manchester International Festival

Where? Manchester

When? 29th June – 16th July

How much? Varies per event

Lineup: New Order, Arcade Fire, Bonobo, Ride, Sampha and more…


This biennial event returns to Manchester for it’s seventh, two-week long event. Taking place at various locations throughout Manchester, MIF is known for uncovering and using old and unusual spaces (from disused train stations to churches) for it’s spectacles. Albert Square becomes Festival Square for two weeks, hosting free music events, and nightly DJ’s. It’s a complete celebration of culture, with events ranging from ballet to comedy, big name bands to poetry slams, as well as everything in between.


What? bluedot Festival

Where? Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire

When? 7th – 9th July

How much? £159 with camping (deposit scheme available!)

Lineup: Alt-J, Pixies, Orbital, Warpaint, Goldfrapp and more…


Describing itself as “an intergalactic festival of music, science, arts, culture and the exploration of space”, this relatively new festival really is one of a kind. Aside from the music acts, you can also attend guided stargazing sessions, get a bite to eat in the G’Astronomy Village (whilst finding out how the bubbles get in your beer), or pay a visit to The Outer-Space; bluedot’s immersive multi-sensory arts experience, best visited after dark for some late night reflection under the stars.


What? Beat-Herder Festival

Where? The Ribble Valley, Lancashire

When? 14th – 16th July

How much? £145 with camping (deposit scheme available!)

Lineup: Kelis, Crystal Fighters, Sleaford Mods, The Sugarhill Gang, Lee Scratch Perry and more…


Starting in 2006 as a rave for a few friends, Beat-Herder is now one of the last independent festivals in the UK, and now draws in crowds of over 10,000. This year’s lineup is packed with nostalgic acts, from all different genres; acts will feature on over 20 stages, ranging from the Working Men’s Social Club to The Parish Church, each lovingly designed by the organisers. It’s even been referred to as a ‘mini-Glastonbury’, so if you’re looking for something without the extortionate price, the journey, or ticket-buying stress, give this one a go.

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