Top Gigs & Festivals for 2018

January 24, 2018

Standing in a room full of people who all share the same love of a particular sound, watching familiar-looking humans recreate that sound in front of you is a strangely intoxicating experience. Live music seems to stitch memories on to our favourite songs and makes us feel as though we’re a part of the music. For some, it also makes a great opportunity to test the quality of your phone’s camera and audio recording abilities.

Though you can watch gigs through live DVDs and your friend’s braggy social media post, they never really capture the experience of a live concert. You won’t feel like it’s socially acceptable to sing at the top of your voice or to swap sweat with a complete stranger whilst watching Live At Pompeii on DVD, would you? Or maybe you would, IDK. But don’t even get me started on human behaviour at festivals…. actually, let me get started on festivals.


On the 2nd of June, leather-clad rockers from across the nation will end up on Camden’s doorstep. Camden Rocks Festival is a one-day event that can only be described as carnage. Pil and The Professionals have both been announced, both containing members of the Sex Pistols. Can we expect a reunion? Every year is full of bands that make you go “oh they’re playing!” and new bands that make you say “actually, they’re quite good”. The festival guarantees you’ll come away with a new favourite band and a royal Camden hangover.

Download Festival announced that they will be hosting a date from Ozzy Osbourne‘s farewell tour. Though it will be sad to say goodbye to the great uncle of darkness, it’s a second chance for those who couldn’t make it to Black Sabbath’s The End tour. Ozzy will be joined by other royalty such as ‘the god of fuck’ Marilyn Manson & ‘royal pain in the axe’ Guns ‘n’ Roses throughout the 8th to the 10th of June.

Last year’s Stone Free Festival was a neat slice of the summer where we had the opportunity to catch Blue Oyster Cult, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow and Sweet in the cavernous shelter of the O2 arena. Although it’s almost impossible to hit capacity, Stone Free will attempt once more on the 16th & 17th of June with sunglass endorsers Scorpions and the 50-year-old Yes (featuring Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman).

Also celebrating 50 years is the Isle Of Wight Festival which had the likes of Jefferson Airplane headling along with equally amazing supporting acts like T. Rex and The Pretty Things back in 1968. For the weekend beginning the 21st June, the festival has pulled together the best of today’s rock circuit like Liam Gallagher, The Killers and Kasabian. But for those who love a bit of the old, they’ve given us Van Morrison. Cheers to another 50 years of the Isle of Wight Festival.

The big-bank-sponsored British Summertime is naturally going to be a significant event in the UK calendar- the acts are the best that money can buy. On the 6th till the 8th of July, we are expected to part with our hard earned cash in order to eyeball the guitar god Eric Clapton, the original Edward Scissorhands Robert Smith in The Cure and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters. The following week they also have that velvet-throated Buble, but who wants to hear from that sickeningly charming jazz man other than on Christmas? Not me…

Glenn Hughes and Black Star Riders, the band born out of Thin Lizzy, will be headlining across the border at Steelhouse Festival. Also making their way to the too-often forgotten land of Cymry is Motorhead’s Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons. We can expect to see more announcements of hard rock flesh appearances for the 27th to the 29th of July in time.

For something with a little more spit-in-your-eye, the annual punk rock Rebellion Festival will do the trick on the 2nd- 5th of August. Stiff Little Fingers and Cockney Rejects are injecting us with traditional punk while Peter Hook And The Light will be treating us to music from Joy Division’s gloomy discography. Rebellion Festival is probably the most important attraction in the seaside town since the Blackpool tower.


This year, the chiselled face of Billy Idol will be showing itself at three UK locations while fellow blonde singer Debbie Harry has announced a much wanted UK Blondie tour. Given the current collaboration with Joan Jett, let’s hope they’ll drag Joan along for the ride.

After two sold-out shows, original Thin Lizzy Drummer Brian Downey has announced another date in February to perform a spectacular Thin Lizzy set with his new band Alive & Dangerous. If you love the inextinguishable songs of Thin Lizzy, then Downey and co will get your kneecaps tingling.

The ever-appealing allure of Robert Plant will be placed upon the civilised attendees of arts event The Bath Festival and a date in Debryshire. While we beg from the crowd that he gets back together with Led Zeppelin one last time, Jethro Tull are celebrating their 50th anniversary with a tour presented by Ian Anderson.

I’ve also heard several rumours that The Rolling Stones will be announcing a UK date after slicing their home country out of their No Filter Tour. Hey Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ronnie! At least pop by for a cup of tea, you sods!?

Along with a Stones show, hopefully, we’ll hear more gig announcements in the future. If you want to get a heads up before anything sells out, we can let you know via email. Is there anything already that’s getting you fired up for 2018? Let us know in the comments below.

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