2017 festival guide

Our 2017 Picks: The best festivals for Hip Hop, Grime and Soul lovers this summer

Summer 2017 is almost here and it is set to be jam-packed with renowned festivals like Glastonbury, Wireless, Park Life and V Festival, along with a handful of new festivals popping up for fans and up-and-comers alike to network, party, and hear some great music.

Many festivals might claim to be multi-genre but will often feature very few acts from the worlds of Hip Hop, Grime, Soul, R&B, Reggae and other Urban genres. With so many events taking place across the country – some for as little as £35 – here are some of the best summer music festivals that put these sounds at the forefront or feature them heavily amongst the mix. 

Wireless Festival

Each year, Wireless Festival sees the hottest urban acts from the States head over to the UK for one huge party in London. Skepta, Chance The Rapper and Travis Scott are all set to grace the Finsbury Park stage this summer.

Where: Finsbury Park, London

When: 7, 8 and 9 July 2017

Headline Acts: Chance The Rapper, Skepta, The Weeknd

Who Else Is Playing: Nas, Wiley, Bryson Tiller, Tory Lanez, Dave, MoStack, Wizkid, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty


Afropunk London 

AFROPUNK has expanded beyond Brooklyn, offering a new festival in London. It promises an eclectic line-up and an audience as diverse as the acts they come to see. 

Where: Printworks, London 

When: 22 & 23 July 2017 

Headline Acts: Lianne La Havas, NAO, Thundercat, Jme

Who Else Is Playing: Little Simz, Willow Smith, Danny Brown, Nadia Rose, Kojey Radical, Jazzie B 



Offering a line-up of popular and alternative acts, as well as boutique stalls and food stands. Lovebox Festival packs as much fun in two days as many festivals manage in three days, this year’s massive headliners include Frank Ocean and Solange.

Where: Victoria Park

When: 14 & 15 July 2017

Headline Acts: Frank Ocean, Solange, Chase & Status, Jamie XX 

Who Else Is Playing: Sampha, Kano, Kaytranada, Mac Miller, Ray BLK, AJ Tracey



Parklife returns with its biggest line-up yet, bringing more than 100 acts and over 75,000 people together for a massive weekend of partying at Heaton Park. Frank Ocean, Boy Better Know, Stormzy, Chaka Khan and Anderson .Paak are all set to grace the Heaton Park stage. 

Where: Heaton Park, Manchester

When: 10 & 11 June 2017
Headline Acts: Frank Ocean and The 1975 
Who Else Is Performing: Boy Better Know, Giggs, Sampha, NAO, Ghetts, Stefflon Don, Damian Marley 

Relatively new in the festival game, the one-day independent music festival is set to hit Cambridge this June, featuring a line-up of some very exciting names indeed. 

Where: Haggis Farm, Cambridge
When: 17 June 2017
Headline Acts: Wiley, Shaggy 
Who Else Is Playing: J Hus, AJ Tracey, Donae'o, So Solid Crew, Mike Skinner, P Money 

Fresh Island

Fresh Island is the only beach festival in Europe where you’ll see DJs, MCs, boat parties, pool parties and more representing the absolute best in Hip-Hop, R&B and Grime. Young Thug, Giggs, Rae Sremmurd and Krept and Konan are all set to hit the Zrce Beach stage.

Where: Zrce Beach, Croatia

When: 11, 12 & 13 July 2017

Headline Acts: Rae Sremmurd, Sean Paul & Young Thug 

Who Else Is Playing: French Montana, Krept and Konan, Tim Westwood, Giggs, Lady Leshurr 


Reading and Leeds 

This festival fave, which takes place in both Reading and Leeds over the August bank holiday, remains one of the most popular festivals in the country. Despite having a primary focus on rock music, Giggs, Tory Lanez, Wiley and Eminem, and more, are set to hit the festival stage this year.

Where: Richfield Avenue, Reading / Bramham Park, Leeds
When: 25, 26 & 27 August 2017
Headline Acts: Eminem, Kasabian, Muse 
Who Else Is Playing: Lethal Bizzle, AJ Tracey, Abra Cadabra, Stefflon Don, Bugzy Malone, J Hus, Dave, Vince Staples 
Holland's hottest hip-hop party, APPELSAP Festival, returns this year boasting an incredible line-up filled with some of biggest names in Hip Hop. Lil Wayne, Young M.A, and J Hus are all set to take the main stage this year. 
Where: Flevopark, Holland 
When: 12 August 2017 
Headline Acts: Lil Wayne
Who Else Is Playing: Young M.A, Dave, 67, J Hus
Serving as one of the UK’s biggest music festivals, you can always count on V Festival to provide a line-up of the biggest anthem makers on the planet. Jay Z, P!nk and Stormzy are all set to hit the festival stage this year.
Where: Hylands Park, Chelmsford and Weston Park, Staffordshire
When: 19 & 20 August 2017
Headliners: P!nk & Jay Z
Who Else Is Playing: Craig David, Dizzee Rascal, Sean Paul, Rudimental and Jess Glynne

Outlook Festival returns to Croatia this September, offering a celebratory fusion of dub, reggae, hip-hop, drum ‘n’ bass, garage, house and more on the dazzling Adriatic coast. Dizzee Rascal, Giggs and Wiley are all set to grace the Fort Punta Christo stage. 
Where: Fort Punta Christo, Croatia
When: 7, 9 & 10 September 2017 
Headline Acts: Dizzee Rascal 
Who Else Is Performing: Giggs, Goldie, Wiley, AJ Tracey, Nines, Akala, Ghostface Killa

Bestival returns for four more glorious days of live music and premier league DJs, boasting (as ever) a great line-up of bands and artists from across the style spectrum.

Where: Lulworth Estate, Dorset 
When: 7, 8, 9 & 10 September 2017
Headliners: The XX, Pet Shop Boys & A Tribe Called Quest 
Who Else Is Playing: Dizzee Rascal, Wiley, Soul II Soul, MNEK, Ray BLK, Stefflon Don 
Meltdown is one of the UK’s most anticipated music events each year, as an iconic artist curates their own personal festival, revealing their interests and influences through a series of one-off gigs and performances across 10 days. This year, M.I.A steps in to curate the festival. 
Where: Southbank Centre 
When: 9 - 18 June 2017 
Headliners: M.I.A, Giggs, Young Fathers
Who Else Is Playing: Yung Lean, Abra Cadabra, 67, Mykki Blanco, Young M.A, Afrikan Boy 
Disclosure and Rudimental’s sister festival of Parklife returns for another edition of top acts from around the world and fun festivities in Brighton.  Stormzy, Giggs, Dizzee Rascal and Mura Masa are all set to grace the Brighton City Airport stage.
Where: Brighton City Airport
When: 9 & 10 June 2017
Headline Acts: Fatboy Slim, Jess Glynne, Dizzee Rascal, Stormzy
Who Else Is Playing: Damian Marley, Jme, Wiley, J Hus, Tom Misch, AJ Tracey, Giggs

Glastonbury Festival

Glastonbury Festival may not be the first choice for urban music lovers, but the 2017 line-up includes a plethora of acts from the worlds of Grime, Hip Hop and Soul. Boy Better Know, Stormzy and Solange are all set to grace the Worthy Farm stage this summer.

Where: Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset 
When: 21, 22, 23, 24 & 25 June 2017
Headline Acts: Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Ed Sheeran
Who Else Is Playing: Anderson .Paak, Emeli Sande, Boy Better Know, Stormzy, Solange, Sampha, The Jacksons, Nines, Wiley 
With its 16 stages, 200 DJs, stylised stages and VIP arena with bubbling hot tubs, spa treatments, gourmet food and champagne bars, We Are FSTVL is about to launch into 2017 with more clout, more colour and more incredible EDM masters than last year even dared get close to. 
Where: Airfield Of Dreams at Damyn’s Hall, Upminster
When: 26 - 28 May 2017 
Headline Acts: Jamie Jones, Dizzee Rascal, Craig David's TS5, Carl Cox
Who Else Is Playing: Giggs, Wiley, Mist, Bugzy Malone, Section Boyz