Festival Frolics: Dots & Dashes' Fest Bests.

Year in, year out a plethora of beat-hungry, mucky revelers scratch names and abbreviations into the backs of hands and soggy programmes so as not to miss those gems secluded beneath the grandiosity of headliners Muse, LCD Soundsystem and... um... Kasabian, whilst slumped on a tent amidst acres and acres of desolate farmland in a drunken stupor. Doubtless, nigh on every avid festival goer will have their wishlists all set out in permanent marker by now, following a frantic month of announcements stemming from almost every corner of the globe. But if you're in need of a little inspiration, here's a run-down of this summer's most unshakable, unmissable and omnipresent acts.

Empire Of The Sun
Who? Sleepy Jackson frontman Luke Steele and estranged Pnau man Nick Littlemore no longer Walking on this Dream, allegedly off working with Elton John.
Why? Can Steele carry off the kaleidoscopic carnival he's promised us for almost a year? Can he even tie down his ego for an hour? Absolutely anything could happen, and that's why Empire Of The Sun are quite possibly Stevie's most potent Sunday night adversary.
Where? Glastonbury, Heineken Open'er, Rock Werchter, Les Eurockéennes, Oxegen, T In The Park, Latitude, Lovebox.
   We are the People - Empire of the Sun TGIK Remix by thisguyiknow

Roxy Music
Who? Reunited glam rockers, once shoved Bryan Ferry, Brian Eno and Phil Manzanera beneath a single spotlight.
Why? Eno's unlikely to appear but if you've never moped to More Than This, wiggled about like a maggot on a string to Angel Eyes or swayed and stumbled to If There Is Something, what've you been listening to all this time? Without Roxy, the musical output of Suede, Scissor Sisters and... The Darkness would probably have been rather more varied. Make of that what you will...
Where? Sónar, Lovebox, Rock en Seine, Electric Picnic, Bestival.
   Roxy Music - Angel Eyes (Kaos Remix) by Lovebox Official


Who? Wandering Sigur Rós frontman whose debut solo LP Go tones down the Icelandic troupe's signature introspective melancholy dial.
Why? It'd make a change to enjoy Jónsi's majesty with a touch more major key. In the words of Steven Patrick Morrissey, I Just Want to See the Boy Happy. Expect fireworks. If he's ever booked for an outdoor stage...
Where? Sónar, Latitude, Melt!, Øya, Pukkelpop, Rock en Seine, Electric Picnic, Bestival.
   JONSI // Sinking Friendships by influxmusic

Crystal Fighters
Who? London "Basque" freedom fighters, housed by Parisian label de résistance, Kitsuné.
Why? Xtatic Truth was Dots & Dashes' track of 2009, every song sounds entirely different live every time and if you don't come out with a sweaty chunk of wood block sticking out of an eye, count yourself unfortunate.
Where? Isle of Wight, Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party, Boardmasters, V Festival, Creamfields, Bestival.    Crystal Fighters - Xtatic Truth (Hungry Man Edit) by Hungry_Man

Surfer Blood
Who? Charming alt.surf darlings of the Daytrotter generation. Think Weezer surfing on a sharp-shaped rocket off the coast of Palm Beach.
Why? Vitamin D + Surfer Blood + San Miguel + Best Coast = Primavera Sound.
Where? Primavera Sound.
   Surfer Blood - Floating Vibes by HighVoltageMusic

Who? Small and humble breasts, truthful hips and lupine howls make the prospect of an early evening Pyramid Stage slot from Shakira at this year's Glastonbury intangibly tantalising.
Why? Shakira, wading about in the inevitable mud just like in that Whenever, Wherever vid. Pretend it's 2001 all over again.
Where? Glastonbury.
   Shakira - She Wolf (Kid Mank Remix) by kidmank

These New Puritans
Who? Rejuvenated Southend trench foot indie rokers.
Why? Hidden is doubtlessly set to emerge from the shadows come the wintry climes of December, scaling all sorts of end-of-year album lists and live, provided the bassoons and Japanese drums don't sink, it could all be rather spectacular indeed...
Where? Glastonbury, Lounge On The Farm, Lovebox, 1234 Shoreditch, Field Day, Kendal Calling, Standon Calling, Pukkelpop, Green Man, Electric Picnic, Offset.
   These New Puritans - Attack Music (PRDCTV Remix) by theQuietus

Best Coast

Who? Insatiable blog heroine, Bethany Cosentino whose 60s haze-pop tendencies were engineered for aestival months.
Why? See Surfer Blood.
Where? Primavera Sound.
   Best Coast - So Gone by musicmule

Joy Orbison
Who? Whizkid producer Peter O'Grady, whose claustrophobic suburb sounds have already sent a few preconceptions crumbling into disarray.
Why? Blurting out the searing squeals of Hyph Mngo amidst the concrete jungles of Barcelona and London alike, O'Grady's sure to steal a fair few mind marbles, if nothing else.
Where? Sónar, Glastonbury, Lovebox, Camp Bestival, Bestival.
   Joy Orbison - Hyph Mngo [HFT009] by Hotflush

Charlotte Gainsbourg

Who? A bona fide idol, a petit trésor, the daughter of France's greatest preacher man and the country's most delectable lady since Carla Bruni stuffed her face full with the rest of Sarkozy's 2010 botox stash.
Why? Having starred in perhaps Michel Gondry's bestest work ever, The Science Of Sleep, as well as ruffling a few feathers earlier this year with her monumental post-brain hemorrhage LP IRM Gainsbourg's almost as vital as her old père. Almost...
Where? Les Eurockéennes, FIB Heineken, Latitude.
   Charlotte Gainsbourg // IRM by Mood-for.fr

Who? Perhaps the greatest Danes that ever lived and authors of Dots & Dashes' LP of 2009.
Why? Latest LP's as irrationally named as Chris Martin's kids and live, they're an irrationally phenomenal prospect. Oh and their appearance at this year's Truck Festival's a UK exclusive.
Where? Truck.
   Mew - Beach by mydarlingmusic

Esben & The Witch
Who? Über-trendy, equally haunting disgruntled trio. Not entirely suited to daylight saving; entirely essential act for this year's field trudging.
Why? Will they dissolve in sunlight?
Where? Latitude, Truck, Field Day, Standon Calling.
   Lucia, at the Precipice by Esben and the Witch

Magnetic Man
Who? Heavyweight dubstep trio, made up of Skream, Benga and Artwork unite to produce sanity-mangling bass-hefty slabs of electro devilry.
Why? The Cyberman gets down deeper'n'dirtier than Stereo MCs ever could have dreamt.
Where? Glastonbury, Wireless, FIB Heineken, Glade, Big Chill.
   Benga's Essential Remix Pale Fire by G3tD0wn

Flying Lotus

Who? Californian jazz fusionist whose latest offering, Cosmogramma conjoins Avalanches instrumentation, the hippest of hip hop samples and a spot of wailing from a certain Thom Yorke
Why? Who can tell what to anticipate live. Or "live". Or what he'll spin. Who bloody knows but who doesn't appreciate the odd bit of ambiguity?
Where? Sónar, Bestival.
   Flying Lotus - Computer Face, Pure Being by inertiamusic

Who? ANOTHER boy/girl duo comprised of Milky and George. Twee doesn't even begin to explain this one..!
Why? Somebody Tell Me is the greatest British pop song since Cheryl's 3 Words.
Where? Bestival.
   Muchuu - Somebody Tell Me by statemagazine

See you in a field/ tent/ custom-built Spanish festival site some time soon. In the sun. Pretty please.