Rock on for our top guide to the best of the fests

Robert Smith, frontman ofTthe Cure - who are playing their only European show at Bestival this year.
Robert Smith, frontman ofTthe Cure - who are playing their only European show at Bestival this year.

DUST off your wellies and air out your tent - the festival season is nearly upon us, writes Emily Heward.

Music-lovers are spoilt for choice once again with up to 450 events estimated to be taking place across the UK this summer - so to help you decide, we’ve rounded up our pick of the best:

Latitude festival in Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk is a cultural wonderland with music, theatre, literature, poetry, dance and much, much more

Latitude festival in Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk is a cultural wonderland with music, theatre, literature, poetry, dance and much, much more

Best for a blast from the past...

Rewind, August 19-21, Temple Island Meadows, Henley-on-Thames

Retro fans will love this 80s extravaganza featuring headline performances from pop legends Holly Johnson and The Human League, plus appearances from iconic acts like The Village People and Bananarama.

True 80s glamazons will be pleased to hear they don’t have to rough it - luxury camping is available, and quality vino will be on sale from The Wine Bar, that paean of 80s chic.

PAGE ONE PIC -'Crowds go wild at the Leeds Festival, Bramham Park. .  26th August 2007

PAGE ONE PIC -'Crowds go wild at the Leeds Festival, Bramham Park. . 26th August 2007

This year’s festival also sees the debut of the world’s first solar-powered cinema, showing the best of the decade’s classic blockbusters.

£90/weekend, £47.50/ day. www.rewindfestival.com

Best for rocking out...

Leeds Festival, August 26-28, Bramham Park, Leeds

If you’re proud to like your music loud then this is the festival for you - and best of all, it’s practically on our doorstep.

With the main stage headlined by Muse, My Chemical Romance and Pulp, and other acts including Liam Gallagher’s new band Beady Eye, it’s easy to see why Leeds Fest has become something of a Mecca for rock-lovers.

£192.50/weekend inc. camping, £82.50/day. www.leedsfestival.com

Best for veteran music fans...

Hop Farm, July 1-3, Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Extended from two days to three to incorporate musical maestro Prince’s first UK gig in four years, the hype surrounding this staunchly independent festival continues to mount.

Priding itself on being a “festival for the ticket-holder”, it’s the brainchild of Reading and Leeds festival founder Vince Power.

The Eagles, Morrissey, Iggy and the Stooges, Bryan Ferry, Lou Reed, Patti Smith and Killers frontman Brandon Flowers are also all set to bring their epic sounds to the stage over the weekend.

£170/weekend, £130/2 days, £70/day. Weekend camping costs £30pp or £25 pp for one night. www.hopfarmfestival.com

Best for arty types...

Latitude, July 14-17, Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk

More than just a music festival, the cultural wonderland that is Latitude boasts enough literature, theatre, comedy, cabaret and poetry to keep you entertained all weekend without ever even seeing a band.

But you’d be mad to miss out on this year’s incredible music line-up, featuring a dizzying array of some of the best artists around.

Highlights include The National, Paolo Nutini, Bombay Bicycle Club and Bright Eyes, plus Calderdale-born Ed Sheeran, creating the perfect soundtrack to ring out across the magical lakeside grounds.

£170/weekend inc. camping, £70/day. www.latitudefestival.co.uk

Just the best...

Bestival, September 8-11, Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight

The swan song of the festival season, Bestival truly lives up to its name. Curated by Radio 1 DJ Rob da Bank, the line-up is always well worth a hop across the Channel for.

The Cure’s Saturday night headline slot is their only European show this year, and other acts range from the sublime (Primal Scream, Brian Wilson and Paloma Faith, to name but a few) to the ridiculous (Mr Motivator, anyone?)

But the undoubted highlight of this family-friendly festival, as ever, is its fancy dress parade, as thousands of costumed revellers dress up for this year’s theme: Rock Stars, Pop Stars and Divas.

Also check out Bestival’s little sister, Camp Bestival, from July 28 to 31 in Dorset.

£160/weekend inc. camping. www.bestival.net

Don’t forget to take...

Toilet roll

• Hand sanitiser

• Baby wipes

• Torch

• Painkillers

• Sunscreen