Headline news – Major festivals confirm top acts for 2014

Last month T In The Park proudly announced they’d secured the UK Festival Awards 2013 Best Headliners Arctic Monkeys for their Caledonian answer to Glasto. Since then there’s been a flood of announcements, as events relying specifically on the draw of their music stages rush to capture the hearts and budgets of the increasingly cash-strapped fan.
Perhaps we’re biased, but we think the Saturday line-up just announced by Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time 2014 in Hyde Park may prove hard to beat. A greenfield music festival across four stages with easy access by bus and tube, the new BST proved irresistible to a range of crowds this year, and it was a real privilege to be involved. A fun Sunday out with new pop supergroup McBusted is on offer for 2014, with eight further bills still to be announced, but Neil Young plus The National on 12 July must already be in the diary of any serious British music-lover.
The rock veteran cancelled several UK dates this year because his guitarist was injured, while The National sold out two London arena gigs last month, confirming their new star status. Aaron Dessner of the band recently told The Independent supporting Young was a “dream come true,” citing the guitar legend as a “huge influence on The National and a great hero of North American music.” Tickets go on general sale at 9.00am on Friday 13 December. Expect them to sell out fast.
Meanwhile, the revitalised historic Isle of Wight Festival has rock gods Biffy Clyro for 2014, with popular DJ Calvin Harris and this year’s breakthrough act, Rudimental, completing a storming Friday bill. Which begs the question: what must they still have up their sleeves for Saturday? With the Waterboys also confirmed and more headliners to be announced, they’re releasing £170 early bird tickets on Thursday 12 December.
A fuller line-up has been announced for Belgium’s Rock Werchter 2014. Everyone’s favourite garage blues rockers Black Keys join headliners Metallica plus Arctic Monkeys, Pixies and Placebo. Passes are already on sale for a nuts-and-bolts music event with a growing tendency to sell out due to superb organisation and impressive bills.
Roskilde, like Glastonbury, can now sell tickets on the basis of its international reputation as a cultural phenomenon, but it’s already announced some acts including HAIM and Deerhunter. Expect this to be the tip of a big musical iceberg. Tickets are already on sale.
The most significant UK festival to announce so far has been Reading and Leeds. Blink 182 is the only confirmed headliner. Jake Bugg, Disclosure and Metronomy will also appear at the twin August Bank Holiday 2014 events. £50 deposit tickets were released on the morning before an announcement that really only hints at a world-class bill as yet to emerge. Let’s hope those who took the plunge find their faith rewarded.
Other recent announcements include Black Keys joining the Arctic Monkeys for Portugal’s Optimus Alive! and headlining Poland’s Open’er, Pixies joining Queens Of The Stone Age, Franz Ferdinand, The National and Arcade Fire at Denmark’s NorthSide, Black Sabbath and Soundgarden for Belgium’s Graspop and Metallica and Iron Maiden back at Knebworth for Sonisphere 2014.


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