Festival Flyer

The best UK Festival reviews written by expert fans

The best festival listings calendar, previews, reviews, and photos

We are a respected independent website that features festival news & festival reviews. We also cover the bands that make festivals great.

Our team have been attending festivals across the UK and elsewhere for the last 25 years. We haven’t just stood in the crowd. We’ve run our own events, and booked bands, managed stages, and provided online web presence.  This has been for festivals including Glastonbury, Leeds, Beautiful Days, Download, and more.

This is a non-commercial website with no affiliations to particular events beyond the fact that we know many of the people behind them. We are always amazed by the hard work and passion that goes into putting them on.

Note – no advertising!

Festival reviews

We try to write honest and sometimes challenging reviews. If things are perfect, we’ll celebrate that. If things could be done better we’ll make suggestions in a positive spirit.

Do you feel you have a similar perspective and would like to share your own impressions of events you attend? If you do, please do get in touch as we’d love to carry more content than we can produce ourselves on zero income…but 100% love for the spirit of festivals.

We also host and run our own micro-listing and reviews hyper-local music website for Hastings: www.hastingsflyer.com. This model could easily be applied to any other town in the UK… so if you fancy running something similar please get in touch.

  • 10 great music venues in Montreal – a taster of what music means to this mighty Canadian city
    By: Sara-Louise Bowrey / John Bownas Leonard Cohen, Arcade Fire, Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Just three of the many musical exports that Montreal is perhaps best known for. Our pilgrimage to this lovely city wasn’t, however, to pay homage to the greats. Rather it was to unearth some of the best new and emerging (or sometimes established, but hidden) bands and singers the city and the country have to offer. For our band reviews from M for Montreal 2022 click HERE…we found some corkers! And along the way we were given the chance over a long and snowy weekend in…
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  • Bands at M for Montreal 2022 and amazing UK festival predictions for 2023
    M for Montreal 2022 Words: John Bownas … Pictures: Sara-Louise Bowrey M for Montreal How do you choose your favourite bands from such a strong list of performers playing across four days in the heart of this amazing musical city at ‘M for Montreal’? Well, it’s not easy, but if someone held a really sharp and rusty knife to our thoats and demanded to know who the top acts were, we’d have to say: THE BURNING HELL LUMIERE KAMIKAZE NURSE DIAPHENIE LAURA NIQUAY BARRY PAGUIN ROBARGE BALAKLAVA BLUES MOBINA GALORE C’EST KARMA Otherwise…well, we managed to see about 35-or-so other…
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  • Hastings Bonfire 2022 – photo gallery
    Hastings Bonfire is one of the largest events in the localevents calendar – and that’s say A LOT given the number of festivals the town hosts every year! 2022 was a windy affair that had sparks flying…and sadly for spectators and organisers alike meant the traditional firework finale had to be curtailed. But the parade through the town was as colourful and raucous as ever, and the bonfire itself, fanned by a strong south-westerly wind, was a spectacular blaze in its own right. This year’s effigy turned out to be Southern Water… who haven’t been makling friends with coastal towns…
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  • End of the Road Festival 2022 – full review and photo gallery
    End of the Road Festival 2022 – a music-lovers paradise End of the Road is definitely a music lovers festival – with a heavy emphasis on the musical road less traveled. Even seasoned festival-goers will find themselves turning to the programme descriptions of bands they have only half heard of previously to inform their decisions about which of the stages to head to next. Having said that its also a festival for food lovers, shoppers, and parents with young kids…or adults who just never grew up. Although the food circle at the top of the Woods stage isn’t huge there’s…
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  • End of the Road 2022 – two days in 12 minutes
    A quick-fire video journey through End of the Road 2022 From spoon-carving and wild-stick hunting through to some amazing musical finds, End of the Road 2022 was a brilliant end to the peak festival season in what has been a vintage year as we’ve all got used to being out having fun in the fields all over again. This truly is a festival to reaffirm your love of new music and a place to make new friends. We have a tonne of photos to sift through, edit, and categorize – but in the meantime enjoy this little trip down memory…
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  • Beautiful Days Festival 2022 – in perfect focus…
    Back with a bang – Beautiful Days 2022 met every expectation We’ve been at every edition of Beautiful Days since the festival started – almost 20 ears ago – and this was a vintage year if ever we saw one. From the quietly raucous Thursday-night 100% acoustic shenanigans at the back of Dirty Davey’s bar tent to the festival’s first official wedding (that took place to the distant soundtrack of the Leveller’s opening set), and the usual great array of food traders, through to outstanding sets from the likes of Funke and the Two Tone Baby, The Sweetchunks Band, Samantics,…
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  • All Points East 2022 (FRIDAY) – our favourite bands in photos
    Photos by: Sara-Louise Bowrey All the best photos of All Points East Festival 2022 – in sharp focus… The National – Fleet Foxes – Dreamz – Mogwai – Perfume Genius – Phoebe Hall – Kurt Vile – Jana – Lucy Dacus – Honey Mooncie – Villagers – DEHD – Valerie June – The Deep Blue – Tune Yards – Bess Atwell – Rae Morris We do the pictures – others do the words… Check out these reviews from the festival. The National The National – Fleet Foxes – Dreamz – Mogwai – Perfume Genius – Phoebe Hall – Kurt Vile…
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  • All Points East 2022 (SUNDAY) – our favourite bands in photos
    Photos by: Sara-Louise Bowrey All the best photos of All Points East Festival 2022 – in sharp focus… Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Sleaford Mods – The Smile – Spiritualised – Aldous Harding – Anna Calvi – Jehnny Beth – Tinariwen – Lucy Tunn – Kae Tempest  – Starcrawler – Joan as Policewoman – Party Dozen – Chilli Jesson We do the pictures – others do the words… Check out these reviews from the festival. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Sleaford Mods – The Smile – Spiritualised – Aldous Harding…
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  • Truck Festival 2022 – full weekend photo galleries
    Dozens of bands, hundreds of fans – we always bring you the largest and best galleries from the front row of festivals
  • Womad 2022 – in photos
    Photos by Simon Partington All the best photos of Womad 2022 in sharp focus… Madame Electrifie – The Future Shape of Sound – ADG7 – Nubian Twist – B.Dance – Angelique Kidjo – Kae Tempest – Barmer Boys – The Selector – Fatoumata Diarwarra Madame Electrifie at Womad 2022 Madame Electrifie – The Future Shape of Sound – ADG7 – Nubian Twist – B.Dance – Angelique Kidjo – Kae Tempest – Barmer Boys – The Selector – Fatoumata Diarwarra The Future Shape of Sound at Womad 2022 Madame Electrifie – The Future Shape of Sound – ADG7 – Nubian Twist…
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  • Sunday at Camp Bestival 2022 in high-quality pictures
    Wow – what a scorcher Camp Bestival 2022 turned out to be at Lulworth Castle in 2022! Even with Sunday starting out pretty breezy and overcast the temperature soon soared again and the crowds basked in yet another perfect day of festival weather. And of course alongside the regular festival shenanigans there was a small matter of those Lionesses taking on the German machine and striking that second goal for gold. Our hearts went out for Too Many Ts though. They had been due to hit the Big Top stage around the time the final whistle blew, but extra time…
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  • Camp Bestival 2022 – huge gallery of photos from Saturday, as the festival set a new Disco Dance World Record
    Did we snap you in the crowd on Saturday at Camp Bestival 2022? Photos by Sara-Louise Bowrey / Festival Flyer Check out these cool photos from around the site and out in the crowds plus sets from some of the great bands and artists who played on Saturday at Camp Bestival 2022. Snapped Ankles – Oh My God It’s The Church – The Earth, Wind, and Fire Experience – Proghorn – Sophie Ellis Bextor – The Proclaimers – The Showhawk Duo – Rhoda Dakar – Dick and Dom Camp Bestival Dorset,the UK’s favourite family festival, has officially broken the GUINNESS…
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  • Camp Bestival 2022 – huge gallery of photos from Friday’s fun
    Did we snap you in the crowd at Camp Bestival 2022? Photos by Sara-Louise Bowrey / Festival Flyer Check out these cool photos from around the site and out in the crowds plus sets from some of the great bands and artists who played on Friday. Rag’n’Bone Man – Razorlight – Jo Whiley – Cuban Brothers – Orla Gartland – Elvana – Lola Young – Gok One thing is for sure, after the last hastily convened episode of this annual family-friendly event, the team have really pulled out the stops to bring all the old Camp Bestival magic back to…
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  • Truck Festival 2022 – Tremendous Sunday photo galleries
    Truck Festival 2022 – Band photos (Sunday) Here’s a great selection of shots from a load of the great acts we caught at the Sunday of Truck Festival 2022: Pixey – Enola Gay – The Hara – Grandma’s House – Bleach Lab – Alfie Templeton – Magic Gang – Kid Brunswick – Crawlers – Orla Gatland – Inhaler – Sam Ryder – Easy Life – Sorry – Kid Kim And of course we’d have been missing a trick if we didn’t capture a tonne of friendly festival faces and scenes from around the site… Truck Festival 2022 – Sunday Crowds…
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  • Truck Festival 2022 – Amazing Saturday photo galleries
    Truck Festival 2022 – Band photos (Saturday) Here’s a great selection of shots from a load of the great acts we caught at the saturday of Truck Festival 2022: Sam Fender – Shame – Piney Gir – The Kooks – The Office for Personal Development – Kelis – The Murder Capital – Sports Team – The Goa Express – Gen and The Degenerates – Do Nothing – Baby Queen – Folly Group – Abbie Ozard – Coach Party – Big Reference – Courting – The Shapes – Deep Tan – Lime Garden And of course we’d have been missing a…
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  • Fabulous photo galleries from Truck Festival 2022 (Friday)
    Band and Crowd Photos from Truck Festival 2022 We’ve collated hundreds of fabulous photo galleries of bands and crowds from Truck Festival 2022. Browse below for shots of: Chiika – Beach Riot – Yard Act – Lauren Hibberd – DITZ – Only The Poet – Orchards – Spector – Just Mustard – Sea Girls – Cruel Hearts Club – Sigrid – The Subways – Bombay Bicyle Club And if you were out in the crowd there is a good chance we might have snapped you too! A bit about Truck Festival… It’s our first time at Truck – which has…
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  • 3,000 Amazing 2000Trees Festival Photos plus overview
    2000Trees gave us almost 3,000 great photos. As well as capturing 2000Trees Festival photos from around the site we snapped around 50 of our favourite acts – although we still managed to miss a few we’d have loved to see as we couldn’t be everywhere at once! Here are some of our favourite 2000Trees Festival photos from the weekend for 2022 Picture credit Sara-Louise Bowrey / Festival Flyer Overview of 2000Trees 2022 This isn’t our first visit to ‘trees (as it is known to fans) – and we hope it won’t be our last. This fiercly independent festival sits at…
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  • Turnstile at 2000Trees – and about 350 crowdsurfers in pictures
    If you were one of the 350+ Turnstile crowdsurfers you may well find yourself here…
  • 2000Trees 2022 – Photo and Video Gallery #3
    2000trees 2022 Photo and Video Gallery (three of three) Wow! 2000Trees is back, and with a bang! It’s the hard festival with soft edges – and is that ‘Goldilocks size’ … not too big, not too small. And what great weather the laid on for us too… The weekend (Thursday to Saturday – Trees takes Sunday off for good behaviour) was spent capturing some great images and a few video moments… There are loads more to come, but here is a taster – photos by Sara-Louise Bowrey/Festival Flyer 2000Trees Gallery One – Gallery Two – Gallery Three If you are…
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  • 2000Trees 2022 – Photo and Video Gallery #2
    2000trees 2022 Photo and Video Gallery (two of three) Wow! 2000Trees is back, and with a bang! It’s the hard festival with soft edges – and is that ‘Goldilocks size’ … not too big, not too small. And what great weather the laid on for us too… The weekend (Thursday to Saturday – Trees takes Sunday off for good behaviour) was spent capturing some great images and a few video moments… There are loads more to come, but here is a taster – photos by Sara-Louise Bowrey/Festival Flyer 2000Trees Gallery One – Gallery Two – Gallery Three If you are…
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  • 2000Trees 2022 – Photo and Video Gallery
    2000trees 2022 Photo and Video Gallery (one of three) Wow! 2000Trees is back, and with a bang! It’s the hard festival with soft edges – and is that ‘Goldilocks size’ … not too big, not too small. And what great weather the laid on for us too… The weekend (Thursday to Saturday – Trees takes Sunday off for good behaviour) was spent capturing some great images and a few video moments… There are loads more to come, but here is a taster – photos by Sara-Louise Bowrey/Festival Flyer 2000Trees Gallery One – Gallery Two – Gallery Three If you are…
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  • Five amazing days, Glastonbury 2022 – words and great pictures
    Leaving Glastonbury 2022 was hard to do… Leaving the Glastonbury 2022 site is quite literally a challenge if you have to cart everything back to your car up the infamous ‘hill of death’. So hat’s off to those who made this final push to get back to normality even though the pull of the festival site behind them was still strong. Was Glastonbury 2022 the ‘best Glastonbury Festival ever’? Well, given the forced absence it certainly felt that way – and the weather was certainly the best we can remember since we started going back in 1993. We did our…
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  • Sunday at Glastonbury, and what a festival 2022 has been!
    What a fantastic festival Glastonbury 2022 has turned out to be! (Photos by Sara-Louise Bowrey / Festival Flyer) – links below to previous days. Let’s get some of the common grumbles out of the way first. Those who did bother to take the time to post on social media from the festival over the weekend typically seemed to do so for the explicit purpose of having a good old British moan. The crowds are too big! Ummm – it’s an enormous festival… so yes, there will be big crowds. Get over it. OK, so they sold more tickets this year,…
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  • Saturday at Glastonbury Festival 2022
    As Saturday at Glastonbury 2022 draws to an end could we be seeing a festival weekend that has the most perfect weather ever? We have been at every Glastonbury Festival except one since 1993 and have seen every weather varient that the British Summer can throw at a field full of festival goers. And if we are not mistaken (and if the forecast for tomorrow looks like holding firm) it seems that 2022 might well set a record for being the best weather the festival has ever experienced. It’s shaping up to be a true ‘Goldilocks year’ – not to…
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  • Glastonbury 2022 – Friday in photos
    Glastonbury 2022, Friday: sunshine, showers, crowds and some amazing music From start to finish, the first ‘big band’ day of Glastonbury 2022 brought us truly brilliant sets from bands ranging from the smallest to the biggest on the planet. Over on the Sensation Seekers’ Stage we sat and enjoyed fish and chips in the sun with Bob Slayer (owner, driver and comedy conductor) of the Blundabus whilst watching yet another set from Mik Artistik’s Ego Trip. (Small side-fact: we once owned that very bus… next time you buy a ticket to ride ask Bob for the story!) Bumping into Mik…
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  • Thursday at Glastonbury Festival 2022 – photos and highlights
    Glastonbury Festival 2022, Thursday highlights There’s something really special about Thursdays at Glastonbury. It’s maybe something to do with the fact that main stages don’t fire up for another day. That means it really is the best opportunity for emerging bands to make their mark – so a top tip for agents with new talent on your roster is to push as hard as possible for Thursday slots, because the crowds will be big, keen, eager, and loud. And for audiences the best part of Thursday’s is the fact that the journey around the site is more of a slow…
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  • Glastonbury 2022 (Wednesday) Photo Gallery and Review
    Glastonbury 2022 – sunshine and smiles all around Photos by Sara Bowrey / Festival Flyer As you can see from our photos, today was probably the perfect festival weather. Sunny and warm, but not so scorching that heat became a problem. And when the sun set it was a picture-postcard moment up at the stone circle (or whichever of the two top fields you decided to aim for this year). Finding the scattered live performances proved harder than expected as the festival removed all the scheduled shows from their programme some time ago…we assume due to licensing conditions. But some…
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  • Bearded Theory 2022: are festivals back?
    Our view on Bearded Theory in these post-Covid times is that it’s still a winner We arrived at Bearded Theory 2022 in what looks like being a crunch-year for many festivals as they teeter between enforced Covid absences and a new world which seems dominated by rising event production costs coupled with squeezed household budgets. The big question, it seems, is whether people see festivals as an essential shopping bag item or an expensive luxury they may be forced to do without. We made our regular trip to Bearded Theory to see how an event which is widely regarded as…
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  • BODEGA launch their new album and 70-day world tour from Brighton’s most intimate venue, The Albert
    Watching BODEGA launch their new album (‘Broken Equipment’) was a must-see event. I go to a lot of gigs. Maybe not as many gigs as a few people I know of course, but way more than is probably healthy for a 50+ year-old who really ought to know better. That said, on the age thing, I’m more than a little concerned that I’m finding myself at the younger end of the age scale when I’m out to watch bands that my 16-year-old self would have chewed his own arm off to be at. It really makes me wonder what the…
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  • Hastings Fat Tuesday: an amazing Mardi Gras-on-sea (best bands)
    Words: John Bownas, Pictures: Sara Bowrey What else are you doing at the end of February that is more important than a great five-day party by the seaside – at Hastings Fat Tuesday? And Hastings has this covered…because, in preparation for the solemn start of Lent, the town throws caution to the wind in the name of Mardi Gras… or ‘Fat Tuesday’ as it’s better known to non-French speakers. Now we know there are Mardi Gras celebrations all around the world, but Hastings really extends the concept into a Mardi Marathon, because the doors open to the fun factory on…
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Festival reviews
Put smiles on their faces!

What makes our festival reviews score highly?

There are five things that really make a difference regarding whether a festival stands out from the crowd, and you should know these because they are what makes you want to keep coming back. We focus here on music-based mutli-day camping events:

Range of artists

We know not every event has a huge budget to pull in the big names, but there are tonnes of really excellent bands around the UK too, who can put on shows so that your event can rival those with the biggest names in the business. Do your reaserch, have an open mind, and have the courage to book innovative acts – because this is what will leave your audience wanting more.

What to do between the bands?

It’s not all about the music because guests have to eat and sleep and may want to escape the bands for a while. Ensure your food and drink vendors are of the best quality and offer a good variety and value for money. Craft ales and good-sized portions score highly in our eyes. Try and offer camping to suit different lifestyles. Some late-night party animals like to keep the action going into the small hours, whilst other people prefer an early night. If you have the space have sections for both. And don’t skimp on site art and tents where people can do more than listen to music.

Production values

There is no point having great bands performing if nobody can hear them. Invest in good quality PA systems run by people who understand festival environments. And put money into good lights and screens for when the sun goes down.

Communication and information

Your audience are your customers and you have lots of them. If they need to know something make it as easy as possible to find out the answer. If they can’t find it on your website make it easy to get in touch…and answer their questions quickly. On site make sure all staff are fully briefed…and have comms channels so if someone doesn’t know an answer they can quickly find out.

Organised chaos

The best festivals feel chaotic but are safe and well-rganised at the same time. This is a really difficulty trick to pull off, but remember that going to a festival is, for many people, and escape from normality. Let them let their hair down, but don’t take risks.

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