Festival season, you beautiful beast. It’s the first time in years we’re actually kicking off in sunny May, as the emo gods intended – and we cannot wait. With the best weekends of the year shuffled around, rescheduled, and cancelled even in last year’s almost-respite, 2022 is the year it all gets perfect. And festival lineups have come through for us. Here are six of the reasons we can’t wait (besides warm pints and sore feet).
Bring Me The Horizon and Friends – Malta – 26th May 2022
Well, we’re starting with an absolute bang and an international trip to sunny Malta – how else? Bring Me The Horizon cement their status as icons, pioneers, the best band that’ll always have our back, and they’ve proved it with the merry gang they’ve rounded up and shipped to the Med. Featuring not just career-spanning sets from BMTH themselves, but also a lineup recently expanded to include fellow pioneers (though at the start of their monumental rise) Static Dress, kings of UK metalcore While She Sleeps, Malevolence, DeathbyRomy and a host of legendary rock DJs to tear up boat parties and late night fun. They join the likes of Bullet For My Valentine, Beartooth, Nova Twins, Spiritbox… all good things.
Slam Dunk Festival – Leeds and Hatfield – 5th and 6th of June 2022
Slam Dunk comes along every year to prove that, actually, yes – you can squeeze as many bands as you’d usually see over a weekender into one day. With both North and South migrating to the fields in recent years, we’re wondering how long it’ll be till they do go full R+L and throw us a campsite, but for now, it’s another banger of a lineup distilled into twelve magical hours. There are highlights classic and new from across the musical spectrum – Sum 41 and Neck Deep, each pop-punk royalty in their own right, join Alexisonfire as headliners, and from there the names are relentless. The Used, Motion City Soundtrack, and The Wonder Years return to our shores – and we’ve missed them, a lot! And they’re joined by the trailblazers in their respective genres, too, which is where some of the day’s most exciting sets lie. KennyHoopla, Stand Atlantic, Nova Twins, Hot Milk, Meet Me @ The Altar, Cassyette, Yours Truly, pinkshift… The new guard of Slam Dunk are looking good.
Outbreak Fest – Manchester – June 24-26th
In a new location for their tenth birthday, Outbreak Fest are giving us an absolute treat of a lineup. Dare we say, the absolute highlights of hardcore? We reckon so. The charge is headed up by Knocked Loose, Turnstile, Deafheaven, and Touche Amore, but every name on that poster conjures up a feral kind of excitement for the sheer energy that’s going to fill Bowlers Exhibition Centre. Too many to hone in on just a handful – it’s going to be special. But of course, we have to hone in on a handful of BSP faves, so quickfire round: Venom Prison! Static Dress! Higher Power! Fiddlehead! Loathe! With Fever! Basement! Ok, we’re about to get carried away and list the whole lineup.
2000Trees – The Cotswolds – July 6-9th
To be building hype for a 2000Trees that is in a mere few months conjures a kind of ecstatic excitement it’s impossible to put into words… But we’ll try! Always providing the most perfect cross-section of genres and artists big and small, 2000Trees has a mission of creating the friendliest, rowdiest few fields in the UK for three days in July, and we can’t wait for this one. From Trees staples like You Me At Six, Creeper (who’ve ascended almost to headline status), Boston Manor, Vukovi, Anti-Flag, PUP, Fangclub, Nervus… to the future Trees staples, like Witch Fever, Ithaca, Cassyette, James and the Cold Gun, LibraLibra, Sick Joy, CLT DRP… 2000Trees is where you see your forever favourite band, and you find your new favourite band, too.
Download Festival – Donington Park – June 10-12th
Download astounded us with the magic that was Download Pilot, and its Best-In-Class lineup comprising the greatest that current rock has to offer. And in their full-size comeback in 2022, they’re keeping the new gems and throwing us some legends for good measure. Death Blooms play alongside Deftones, you can catch Malevolence then Megadeth, Kid Brunswick then Korn, Phoxjaw then Funeral For A Friend. We can’t hope for a non-clash schedule this time around, so these choices are already looking painful… Just how we like it.
Reading and Leeds Festival – … Reading and Leeds – August 26-28th
Reading and Leeds, you dependable, delicious bunch. They pull out the bag in the rock world, and they broaden our palate too, with a stunning selection of rock-adjacent artists in their cross-genre blend of legends. With Bring Me The Horizon and Rage Against The Machine headlining, hurricanes of newcomers Maneskin, artist spectacular Halsey, live-show heroes Enter Shikari, and powerhouse WILLOW amongst the bigger names, we can already see how this year’s R+L lineup is a celebration of everything in rock that’s pushing at the boundaries. That’s continued in the Pit stages, too: Fever 333, Witch Fever, Kid Kapichi, Static Dress, Kid Brunswick, Poppy, Crawlers, 100 gecs… there’s something for everyone, and all of it is bloody good.
Grab your tickets from the festivals’ outlets. See ya there!