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UK Music Festival Guide 2006
With the British summer seemingly here at last, the UK music festival season has managed to get off to a great start with RISE, Monsters of Rock, the Isle of White Festival and the recent T in the Park weekend. While Glastonbury will be much missed this year, there are many more great events across the country than even the most hardened festival goer can shake a muddy stick or tent peg at.

One of the best events in July has to be Wickerman. Although it has only been running for 4 years in Scotland, the "Burning Man" inspired event has managed to firmly establish itself in the festival calendar as an alternative to the more commercial and mainstream events. If you are someone who likes their comfort, preferring short break holidays in a plush hotel, to mud and mayhem, then this is probably not for you. With the emphasis firmly on "alternative lifestyle", Wickerman consists of various organised events, alternative music, fire displays, acrobatics, and dancing, all leading up to the highlight of the festival which is the lighting of the eponymous 30ft high wickerman, which is specially constructed as a "sacrifice to the festival gods".

Another of July's highlights is Womad (World Of Music And Dance). Womad was created in 1980 by Peter Gabriel and is a diverse and colourful cultural event aimed at the whole family, and features some of the best international as well as great British musical talent, alongside workshops, music and dance sessions and special events for children.

August is littered with so many great events it is difficult deciding which ones to attend:

• Big Chill is a stylish relaxed smaller scale festival than many of the other, with cool tunes, craft stalls, cinema tents, and street performers, against the great backdrop of the Malvern Hills. As the name suggests, the focus for the weekend is simply to chill out.

• V Festival, has become one of the biggest and most popular of the UK events, originally created by Richard Branson in 1996, the musical line up features current chart toppers, alongside breakthrough acts and big name established groups. This year Blur, Coldplay, The Chemical Brothers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Morrissey and The Pixies are just a few of the huge names to be found gracing the various stages.

• The eighth annual Carling Festivals take place over the three day bank holiday weekend at the end of August. Rather than a single event, there are two different sites, one in Leeds and the other is the long running Reading Festival. Headliners this year are Franz Ferdinand, Muse, Pearl Jam, Kaiser Chiefs, Primal Scream, Maximo Park and the Arctic Monkeys.

• The Creamfields one day event in Liverpool has become the one of the biggest and most popular dance music festivals in the world, with a series of franchised events taking place across the globe. Always winning industry awards and offering big names, this year The Prodigy, Goldfrapp, The Zutons, Paul Oakenfold, Paul Van Dyk, Tiesto, DJ Shadow and Ferry Corsten are all confirmed to appear.

For those who want the full festival experience including camping onsite, remember to take a tent (Doh!) or camper van, bin bags, cash, toilet rolls, sleeping bag, sellotape or duct tape, drinks, and a mud resistant change of clothes. Also remember, whenever possible, not to leave valuables in your tent as possessions sometimes go missing, as do entire tents. Most of all however, remember to have a great time, whichever events you go to.
About the Author
Author of the article is Michael Hanna. For further information check short break holidays.
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