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The Field Report #9: European festivals get bigger and bigger, whilst UK events are newer than ever…

Festival season, like an impending wave of low pressure threatening to burst our river banks, is upon us. And to get our taste buds tingling, organisers have been chomping at the bit to let you know of their exclusive headline acts ready to define our summers. These days, the great line-up announcement has become a bit of a furore in itself, with countdowns a-plenty smattering Twitter feeds and Facebook pages alike, battling for your precious £65.95 + booking fee.

The sun is shining, the flowers are smiling and another week in the world of festivals brings bountiful news as ever.  First off Dekmantel and Dimenisons went head to head this week, each unleashing a slew of new names to their line ups. The former taking place just outside Amsterdam at the start of August beefed up with techno heavyweight Jeff Mills heading up the new batch, alongside Marcel Dettmann and Julio Bashmore. Dimensions, which takes place at the other end of August in sunny Croatia announced regular hit Theo Parrish on the second line up reveal backed up by Matthew Halsall and indie girl band Warpaint, making this the most diverse dimensions line up to date. Between the two festivals, I wouldn’t try and pick a winner – a great way to bookend August.

Staying with our continental neighbours for a moment, as Spain is quickly becoming the place to go this summer – and its nothing to do with Magaluf. Bilbao’s BBK festival is proving to be a front runner with Bastille and Band of Horses added to the luine up. However BBK unfortunately had to announce the cancellation of Imagine Dragons from the line up who although insist they ‘love Spain’ have had to stay in the US due to second album issues. Another Spanish party Innovation In The Sun has shown it’s hand with Sigma, Friction and Hye heading up a huge drum & bass line up. Taking place in Barcelona this summer Innovations intends to throw Europe’s biggest foam party as well as wavepool parties and beach parties galore. Grab your cossie! Finally from the Balearics, Ibiza’s Bloop festival – a month long program of interactive arts events has announced a competition to coincide with its launch. Teaming with creative productions company Biokip, particularly arty folk amongst us can enter a poster contest in which the winner’s work will proudly adorn the walls of Ibiza. Get your crayons at the ready.

From new additions to new festivals altogether as the UK’s family of summer events expands rapidly. This week saw the announcement of Birmingham’s premier venue The Rainbow announce its own mini-festival in order to celebrate its ten years of existence. The events will comprise of four main parties over 3 days with street closures planned to enhance the spirit. Artists already confirmed included Gorgon City, DJ EZ and Heidi with many more support acts in the pipeline. From banging electro to a more sensitive side as Third Rail festival in Reading announced it’s inaugural line up this week. Headliners Lakker will be providing the atmospheric vibes whilst guitar friendly Grumbling Fur will be a sure highlight. Taking place on the bank of the Thames the one day event will be short and sweet, and hopefully not submerged.

- Liz Ward

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