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Summer Festivals: The best for 2011

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Rejoice! Summer has finally arrived (yes, we know) - meaning it's time to dig out the tent from the garden shed and pack up your wellies, sleeping bag, loo rolls and that all-important poncho and experience all manner of audio treats on offer at this year's music festivals. With more than 100 across the country to choose from and Download, Isle of Wight and Rockness due to kick off this weekend, we've selected our favourite 15 festivals worth checking out this year.

A reveller at Glastonbury

© PA Images

Glastonbury
When is it? 22-26 June
Where? Somerset, Worthy Farm
Who's playing?: Coldplay, U2, Beyonce, Tinie Tempah, Plan B, The Vaccines, Kaiser Chiefs, Cee Lo Green, Robyn, Hurts.
How much does it cost? Weekend £195
What to expect: As the UK's flagship music festival, this year boasts another impressive trio of headliners - one of which we hear could be joined by Glasto alumni Jay-Z. Expect to lose yourself amongst its twelve headline stages and, as ever, a helluva lot of boozing.

Hop Farm
When is it? 1-2 July
Where? Kent, The Hop Farm
Who's playing? Prince, The Eagles, The Human League, Death Cab For Cutie, Morrissey, Lou Reed, Bryan Ferry
How much does it cost? Weekend £130, day £70
What to expect: With a no branding, no sponsorship philosophy, Hop Farm plays host to rock legends as well as up 'n' coming bands, catering for the seasoned festival-goer.

Lovebox
When is it? 15-17 July
Where? London, Victoria Park
Who's playing? Snoop Dogg, Blondie, Kelis, Beth Ditto, Robyn, Wombats, Example
How much does it cost? Three-day ticket £99, day ticket £28.50-£48.50
What to expect: Set in the trendy surroundings of East London, Lovebox boasts an oh-so-trendy lineup of underground artists as well as big name stars.

Reading Festival Main Stage

© PA Images

Reading/Leeds Festival
When is it? 26-28 August
Where? Reading, Richfield Avenue and Leeds, Bramham Park
Who's playing? My Chemical Romance, Muse, The Strokes, Pulp, Patrick Wolf, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Two Door Cinema Club, Friendly Fires
How much does it cost? Weekend camping £199.50, day £89.50
What to expect: A long-time staple of the festival season, the simultaneously held contemp-rock shows have another stellar lineup planned for the August bank holiday.

T in the Park
When is it? 8-10 July
Where? Kinross-shire, Scotland
Who's playing? Arctic Monkeys, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Swedish House Mafia, Tinie Tempah, Deadmau5, The Saturdays, Ke$ha, Primal Scream
How much does it cost? Weekend camping £180, day £65-75
What to expect: The Scottish festival's lineup has improved tenfold in the last few years, but it has always provided a successful blend of rock, indie and pop across its 11 stages, as well as a host of off-piste activities.

The Big Chill
When is it? 4-7 August
Where? Herefordshire, Eastnor Castle
Who's playing? Kanye West, Chemical Brothers, James Blake, Empire of the Sun, Jessie J
How much does it cost? Weekend £165
What to expect: Founded in 1994, The Big Chill's popularity has escalated over the past few years since settling in its rural surroundings of Herefordshire. Bringing together a collection of popular and alternative music acts, it prides itself on its artistic diversity.

The Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury

© PA Images

Sonisphere
When is it? 8-10 July
Where? Hertfordshire, Knebworth House
Who's playing? Metallica, Biffy Clyro, Limp Bizkit, Megadeath, Slipknot
How much does it cost? Weekend camping £190, non-campers £155
What to expect: Now in its third year, this heavy metal festival which tours across Europe boasts its biggest and most impressive lineup yet.

Global Gathering
When is it? 29-30 July
Where? Stratford Upon-Avon
Who's playing? Pendulum, Eric Prydz, Ms Dynamite, Annie Mac, Skream & Benga
How much does it cost? Weekend £99, day £62.50
What to expect: Global Gathering has become one of the biggest dance festivals in the world, winning a number of 'Best UK Festival' accolades over the years. Host to hundreds of acts and over 16 stages, expect the best in house, trance and dubstep music, making it one for serious ravers.

V Festival
When is it? 20-21 August
Where? Chelmsford, Hylands Park and Staffordshire, Weston Park
Who's playing? Eminem, Arctic Monkeys, Rihanna, Plan B, Razorlight
How much does it cost? Weekend with camping £175, day £83.50
What to expect: The UK's most commercial music festival features all the major top 40 artists, including headliners Eminem and Rihanna. Perhaps they'll find time to perform that duet?

The crowd at Glastonbury

© PA Images

Oxegen
When is it? 7-10 July
Where? Ireland, Punchestown Racecourse
Who's playing? Foo Fighters, Arctic Monkeys, Coldplay, The Strokes, Black Eyed Peas, Deadmau5
How much does it cost? Weekend camping £200, non-campers £178
What to expect: Often touted as Ireland's Glastonbury, Oxegen has expanded year on year and sports strong lineups to crowds of 90,000 people. It's also one of the greenest festivals in the world, now a 100% carbon neutral event.

Creamfields
When is it? 27-28 August
Where is it? Cheshire, Daresbury
Who's playing? Katy B, Armin Van Buuren, Calvin Harris, Eric Prydz, Dirty South, Diplo, Magnetic Man
How much does it cost? Three day pass £135, two day pass £115
What to expect: Hosted by Liverpool's infamous Cream night club, Creamfields is a premier dance festival that pulls together a lineup of DJs and live acts to perform in front of thousands. Whistles, glow sticks and UV body paint are the event's must-have accessories.

Latitude
When is it? 14-17 July
Where? Suffolk, Henham Park
Who's playing? Suede, Paolo Nutini, Anna Calvi, Foals, My Morning Jacket
How much does it cost? Weekend camping £177, day £77
What to expect: Latitude prides itself on being more than just a music festival, offering a cultural ensemble that consists of theatre, politics, cabaret, dance and literature...though the lineup isn't half bad either, right?

Painted legs at a festival

© PA Images

Wireless
When is it? 1-3 July
Where? London, Hyde Park
Who's playing? Black Eyed Peas, Tinie Tempah, Ke$ha, Chase & Status, Bruno Mars, Pulp, Grace Jones
How much does it cost? Weekend £101, day £55
What to expect: One of London's biggest music festivals, Wireless includes a range of rock, pop and R&B acts currently gracing the upper echelons of the charts. With easy access to Hyde Park and thousands of hotels surrounding the event, it's the perfect festival for those with a phobia of camping.

Lounge on the Farm
When is it? 8-10 July
Where? Canterbury, Merton Farm
Who's playing? The Streets, Ellie Goulding, Example, Everything Everything, The Vaccines, The Joy Formidable
How much does it cost? Weekend £105, day £45
What to expect: Since its humble beginnings in 2006, Lounge on the Farm has expanded over the last few years due to increasing popularity. That said, its organisers remain true to the festival's roots, taking a non-conformist approach to the event's lineup by continuing to promote the best music that Kent has to offer.

Muddy tents at a festival

© PA Images

Bestival
When is it? 8-11 September
Where? Isle of Wight, Robin Hill Country Park
Who's performing? Pendulum, PJ Harvey, Public Enemy, Primal Scream
How much does it cost? Weekend camping £170
What to expect: The ultimate closer of the festival season, Bestival is a mix of rock, dance, indie, folk and funk. Be sure to dig out your favourite afro wig/weave, as this year's fancy dress theme is rock stars and divas.

Which festivals are you looking forward to this year? Leave your comments in the box below:

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