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Festival Focus: Sziget, Liverpool Psych Fest, Bluedot

Benicàssim, Lowlands, BST Hyde Park, Y Not and House of Common also feature in IQ's weekly round-up of all the latest developments this festival season

By IQ on 16 Mar 2016

Rihanna, Kollen Sommerfestival 2012, Jørund F Pedersen

Rihanna on stage at Kollen Sommerfestival in Oslo

image © Jørund F. Pedersen

Rihanna will headline ‘day 0’ (aka the first day) of Sziget in Hungary on 10 August.

The 28-year-old singer, who has 14 US №1 singles and eight Grammy Awards to her name, has been on a cancel-happy streak recently, calling off her appearance at the Grammys after contracting bronchitis and cancelling a number of European dates for “logistical reasons”, so here’s hoping she’s got those pesky logistics sorted by the summer.

Other acts playing Sziget 2016 – held on an island in the Danube from Wednesday 10 to Wednesday 17 August – include Muse, David Guetta, Sia, The Last Shadow Puppets, Noel Gallagher and Bastille.

Skepta, DJ Shadow, Young Fathers and NOS Alive and Reading/Leeds headliners Biffy Clyro lead the latest batch of acts announced for Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (FIB), joining Muse, Major Lazer, Kendrick Lamar, The Chemical Brothers, Disclosure and more for four days of music on the Spanish coast near Valencia from 14 to 17 July.

Skepta, Lowlands 2015, Rene Passet

The MCD Promotions/SJM Concerts event was nominated for two Iberian Festival Awards earlier this month but lost to Primavera Sound and Bilbao BBK Live in the best major festival and best campsite categories, respectively. (Skepta photo by Rene Passet.)

Busy boys Biffy Clyro will also play A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise (or simply Lowlands for those of us in a hurry) in August, as will Biffy Clyro, Wolfmother, James Blake, Travi$ Scott and many more. The festival, held from 19 to 21 August in the Dutch village of Biddinghuizen, announced the addition of Muse to its bill last week, which also includes Disclosure, LCD Soundsystem, The Last Shadow Puppets, Foals and Sigur Rós.

Wolfmother, Sydney Entertainment Centre, Eva Rinaldi

Liverpool Psych Fest – which is, true to its name, a festival of psychedelic music held in said English city – made its first 2016 line-up announcement on Monday. Super Furry Animals, The Horrors, Acid Mothers Temple, Silver Apples and The Moonlandingz will be among the artists turning on, tuning in and then leaving in a tourbus on 23 and 24 September.

AEG Live’s British Summer Time seems to be going for a ‘full album’ theme this year: with no less than two seventies superstars playing their most celebrated long-players live. Joining Carole King (performing Tapestry) will be Stevie Wonder, who will play all 105-plus minutes of 1976’s Songs in the Key of Life to a presumably very middle-aged audience in Hyde Park. (Stevie Wonder photo by Thomas Hawk.)

Stevie Wonder, Thomas Hawk

Speaking of middle aged (how’s that for a segue), Jean-Michel Jarre and Underworld will play a brand-new festival of “music, science and the exploration of space”, Bluedot, held from 22 to 24 July at the Jodrell Bank observatory in Cheshire.

Its suitably space-age initial line-up features CaribouEverything Everything, Public Service Broadcasting, Mercury Rev, Steve Mason, 65daysofstatic, British Sea PowerMoon Duo, DJ Yoda and Erol Alkan and Richard Norris’s Beyond the Wizards Sleeve.

James Skelly, The Coral, megathud

Bluedot is promoted by Ben Robinson and the team behind Kendall Calling and Forgotten Fields and backed by the UK Space Agency, EuroScience and Manchester University.

Taking place the weekend after Bluedot in nearby Derbyshire is Y Not Festival moved a step closer to filling its 12 stages yesterday by adding Editors, Kelis, Band of Skulls, The Coral, Blossoms, Fun Lovin’ Criminals and 25 other acts to its bill. The IME Music-promoted event, which takes place near the village of Pikehall, was named best new festival at the 2015 European Festival Awards. Snoop Dogg, Primal Scream and Basement Jaxx headlined last year. (The Coral photo by megathud on Flickr.)

And back in London, we now know three of the 20 other acts joining Madness at their House of Common festival on Clapham Common on 29 August: Toots and the Maytals, David Rodigan and Norman Jay.