Festival Frolics: Dots & Dashes Round-Up

With festival announcements currently splurging out from every organisational pore like plasticine through a rusted cheese grater, anticipation has steadily built to a disturbingly precarious level for those sat staring into internet portals whilst Austin, Texas receives its annual influx of SXSWers frenetically scampering for a week of genre-bending, ear-splitting chaos. Thankfully, the pick of the bunch are spread lavishly over the likes of this year's Primavera Sound, Camden Crawl and Bestival festivals, provided your head and heart can tolerate the wait. Impatience is a virtue. Following a rather overtly hectic week of line up reshuffling, reconstructing and revelation, Dots & Dashes flits between counties and continents, chopping down the body parts of said announcements into fractured pieces, concise enough to fit beneath the floorboards. Printers and scissors at the ready to turn the following previews into Top Trumps for those gruelingly extensive festival-bound journeys.

With tickets inexplicably still on sale, fresh off the NME tour The Big Pink lug their abrasively engaging wares over land and sea, as do fellow tour companions and jolty post-punk whippersnappers Bombay Bicycle Club.
When: Friday 11th- Sunday 13th June.
Where: Seaclose Park, Newport. Isle of Wight.
Headliners: Jay-Z, The Strokes, Paul McCartney.
Dots & Dashes' Highlights: Blondie, Biffy Clyro, Devendra Banhart, Local Natives, N-Dubz.
How Much: £150/130 (weekend with/without camping).

Bryan Ferry's reformed glam stalwarts Roxy Music follow on from recent announcements as headliners of both this year's Bestival and Lovebox festivals, prescribing Barcelona's Sonar with a dose of Love Is The Drug.
When: Thursday 17th- Saturday 19th June.
Where: Barcelona.
Headliners: The Chemical Brothers, Dizzee Rascal, Air, LCD Soundsystem.
Dots & Dashes' Highlights: Air, Fuck Buttons, Jónsi, Joy Orbison, Roxy Music.
How Much: €155.

Yesterday, Worthy headquarters leaked the news that canceled tickets will go on sale at 9am, 11th April, offering revelers a last-gasp chance to get into the festival's 40th Anniversary bash. With the Eavises on the scent of Snoop Dogg now that he's allowed back on British shores and the likes of Hot Chip, Empire Of The Sun and Orbital all recently confirmed, this year's Glastonbury looks as utterly essential as ever.
When: Wednesday 23rd- Sunday 27th June.
Where: Worthy Farm, Glastonbury.
Headliners: U2, Muse, Stevie Wonder.
Dots & Dashes' Highlights: Empire Of The Sun, Ray Davies, Stevie Wonder.
How Much: £185.

Viewed as something of a festival circuit friendly (reverting to football terminology), Werchter consistently manages to concoct an unparalleled pile of headliners in sheer number, at least. Awarded the prestigious middle finger from the NME for their 'Outstanding Contribution to Music' last month, The Specials play the Pyramid Marquee in July, alongside recent additions Midlake and The Black Keys. Elsewhere, Kelly Jones' Stereophonics warm things up on Thursday for Muse & Faithless, and Paramore play Friday with Green Day.
When: Thursday 1st- Sunday 4th July
Where: Werchter. Belgium.
Headliners: Muse, Green Day, Rammstein, Pearl Jam, Pink, Arcade Fire.
Dots & Dashes' Highlights: Booka Shade, Phoenix, Rammstein, The Specials.
How Much:
€188 (four-day camping tickets).

T In The Park
Following the initial announcement of Kasabian as Sunday night headliners many, many moons ago, T In The Park's really picked its socks up, not only reeling off the likes of Hot Chip and La Roux at will, but shoving them about half way down the bill. Encompassing the relentless hedonism of Reading yet taking in a fair extra pinch of maturity Scotland's gargantuan bash, the line up documents the state of modern music, branching out beyond the NME index.
When: Friday 9th- Sunday 11th July.
Where: Balado, Kinross. Scotland.
Headliners: Muse, Eminem, Kasabian.
Dots & Dashes' Highlights: Black Mountain, Delphic, Dirty Projectors, Eminem, Paloma Faith.
How Much: SOLD OUT.

Where once the Basque lands' largest city was recognised for little more than a Guggenheim, the Bilbao BBK Live festival is slowly-but-surely making something of a name for itself, drawing hard-hitting headliners at minimal cost. Last year saw Depeche Mode and Primal Scream entertain in España. This year sees an exclusive outing from the Godfathers of angst and preachers of The Holy Bible, Manic Street Preachers, as well as German pyrotechnics Rammstein and comic book enthusiasts Coheed & Cambria all play in a shrubbery-littered park overlooking the city. A rather valid alternative to the claustrophobic British buzz surrounding Benicassim.
When: Thursday 8th- Saturday 10th July.
Where: Bilbao. Spain.
Headliners: Rammstein, Pearl Jam, Faith No More.
Dots & Dashes' Highlights: Manic Street Preachers, Rammstein.
How Much: £65.

Renowned these days for fairytale frolics revolving about multicoloured sheep, bands right on the cusp of greater things, wooded theatrics and cult figureheads, Suffolk's Latitude Festival has swiftly stapled itself firmly onto an obbligatory cog amongst the UK festival clock. Scribing the next chapter in the stories of Florence & the Machine and Vampire Weekend, headlining the weekend alongside returning Scot counterculture heroes Belle & Sebastian, this year's edition ripples substantially on the ponds of progression. Alongside Luke Steele's Empire Of The Sun and a rare live outing from Charlotte Gainsbourg, Latitude looks to cement its position as the ultimate in chic, twee and the accessibly eccentric.
When: Thursday 15th- Sunday 18th July.
Where: Henham Park Estate, Southwold, Suffolk.
Headliners: Florence & the Machine, Belle & Sebastian, Vampire Weekend.
Dots & Dashes' Highlights: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Empire Of The Sun, Grizzly Bear.
How Much: £155.
Something of a rejuvenated student sensation (valid NUS holders get £10 off all weekend tickets), the Isle Of Wight's Bestival signs the summer off in reckless fashion, with Essex heavyweights The Prodigy kicking up the dying embers of the festival season, headlining the final night of the fest. Sigur Rós frontman Jonsí mucks in on the action for what is currently an exclusive UK festival slot in the Big Top, whilst Heaven 17 kick off proceedings on Thursday night. Electric eclecticism and dancefloor eccentricity are quite evidently on organiser Rob Da Bank's agenda this year.
When: Thursday 9th- Sunday 12th September.
Where: Robin Hill Country Park. Isle of Wight.
Headliners: Flaming Lips, Roxy Music, Dizzee Rascal, Hot Chip, The Prodigy.
Dots & Dashes' Highlights: Crystal Fighters, Erland & the Carnival, Fever Ray, HURTS.
How Much: SOLD OUT.