Deciding precisely where you want to squander £200 on the right to listen to a Pink Floyd tribute act whilst lying comatose in a pool of your own vomit can be a painful process. Basing your pick of summer festival on which of Oxford’s discothèques you frequent makes this difficult decision a little easier.
If you like Junction, try… V
V is as simple as festivals come. It offers a no-nonsense split between rock and pop royalty, with artists of such regal magnitude as the Kings of Leon and Beyoncé ‘Queen B’ Knowles gracing the main stage. Head to Staffordshire for a weekend of debauchery, albeit debauchery liberally plastered with advertising for Virgin Media, if you frequent Junction. Or indeed Bridge. Or Park End.
If you like Babylove, try… Latitude
If to you ‘clubbing’ means ‘standing round looking cool with an edgy haircut smoking rollies and talking about photography’, the laid-back atmosphere of the achingly cool music-comedy-poetry-cabaret-dance melting-pot in Suffolk will suit you perfectly. From Kraftwerk to Eddie Izzard, from Bloc Party to the Ballet Boyz, this is the festival for Oxford’s abundance of hipsters to enjoy sneering at.
If you like Purple Turtle, try… Tramlines
Purple Turtle costs nothing to enter, and with good reason. The previously free Tramlines festival now costs a mere £6 for a day pass, but whereas at PT you will only hear Rebecca Black and moans of despair, you can catch Lianne Le Havas, Toddla T and more at Sheffield’s 3-day shindig.
If you like Mutiny at Purple Turtle on Sundays, try… Download
To the best of my knowledge, Oxford offers only a solitary metal night. Likewise, Download is more or less the default option as far as hard rock festivals are concerned, offering Slipknot, Iron Maiden and Rammstein amongst others. If you like your guitars thrashed, your pits moshed and your crowds predominantly male and dressed in black, look no further.
If you like Switch, try… Wakestock
The mid-range acts of the O2’s new EDM night are best mirrored in the convivial atmosphere of Wales’ mid-range music-cum-wakeboarding festival. However, the names at Wakestock are slightly bigger (Bastille, Rudimental, Magnetic Man), and whilst the O2 is essentially a dirty box with some speakers in, the festival on the LlÅ·n Peninsula promises golden sands, roaring surf and (potentially) blue skies.
If you like Cellar, try… Womad
This is perhaps one of the more stretched comparisons on the list. Nonetheless, Cellar’s intermittent Balkan electro-gypsy and reggaeton-dancehall fusion nights come closest to an Oxford approximation of Womad’s globe-spanning eclecticism. Rokia Traoré and former Brazilian government minister Gilberto Gil spearhead a cosmopolitan line-up.
If you like Carbon, try… Glastonbury
There’s no point of comparison here at all, but nothing Oxford has to offer can compete with Glasto, and this article couldn’t go by without mentioning the almighty grandfather of the UK festival scene. It’s less about the headliners (though the Arctic Monkeys and the Rolling Stones are not to be sneezed at) and more about the vast variety of acts, the eccentricity of the crowd and the sheer scale of it all. If you can, go.