Gary Flockhart: A corner of muddy field that’s forever festival

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YOU may recall that last week, in this column, I was saying the UK festival scene is facing some stiff competition from overseas events, with many music lovers opting instead to mix a bit of foreign travel and sunshine in with their festival experiences.

They’re an attractive alternative, these overseas jaunts, but I wasn’t meaning to infer that our own festivals aren’t worthy of your time and money.

Indeed, if you don’t mind spending your festival with all manner of crazies in a (probably) muddy field, queueing for yonks to pay over the odds for warm lager, and don’t care that most of the bands will be playing near-identical sets at other festivals, there’s plenty to look forward to.

The one that’s getting people most excited is, as ever, Glastonbury, which starts on June 26.

At long last, head honcho Michael Eavis has managed to persuade wrinkly rockers the Rolling Stones to hobble on down to Worthy Farm, where Mick, Keef, Ronnie and Charlie will co-headline the three-day event alongside Arctic Monkeys and Mumford & Sons.

Closer to home, T in the Park returns for its 20th edition. Joining Rihanna and The Killers at Balado in mid-July are Glasgow synth-poppers Chvrches, Dumfries’ dance-music demigod Calvin Harris and Edinburgh’s very own pop princess, Nina Nesbitt.

To these eyes, Kraftwerk looks be the highlight, especially if the German electronic pioneers continue their recent trend of handing out 3D glasses to everyone in the crowd.

Latitude, in mid-July, has a good line-up – Bloc Party, Kraftwerk and Foals topping the bill in Suffolk.

Leeds and Reading return to their alternative roots this year, with Eminem, Green Day and Biffy Clyro headlining, while V, in Stafford and Chelmsford, boasts Beyonce.

The cliché about ‘Queen Bey’ being a consummate entertainer is a cliché only because it’s true, and the definitely-not-pregnant star is sure to be looking her bootylicious best after quashing rumours she’s with Bey Bey (see what we did there?).