Student festival guide 2022
Music festivals are the ultimate summer experience, but they're not known for being student-budget-friendly. We review this year's hottest festivals, with one eye on cost...
With so many festivals taking place in the UK, it's getting trickier every year to decide which ones to go to – and more importantly, which ones you can actually afford.
No music festival is going to be cheap, but if the line-up features lots of your favourite artists, they can be cheaper than going to lots of individual gigs.
Plus, some festivals offer once in a lifetime experiences that are worth the money. Remember, the artists themselves are only part of the full package: the atmosphere, food, surroundings and other activities are all things to take into account.
Note that the prices indicated for these festivals are just for tickets and/or camping, so they don't include travel to and from each festival and are subject to availability. Keep in mind that there could also be additional booking fees (usually a few quid) on top of the ticket prices.
Top 20 UK festivals 2022
Here are the best student festivals in summer 2022:
Parklife – Heaton Park, Manchester
- Dates – 11th – 12th June
- Headliners – Tyler, The Creator and 50 Cent
- Cost – £155 (weekend ticket), £84.50 (one day ticket).
Manchester's favourite music festival is, unsurprisingly, a favourite with the city's massive student population.
The weekend usually features a top drawer line-up with loads of acts alongside a few big headliners.
You can also pay more for a weekend VIP upgrade (which includes access to 'Luxury Lounge', an exclusive backstage garden!).
You can't camp at Parklife, so you also have to factor in accommodation in Manchester.
Latitude – Henham Park, Southwold
- Dates – 21st – 24rd July
- Headliners – The Chemical Brothers, Wolf Alice and Bastille
- Cost – £254.05 (weekend ticket with standard camping).
Latitude is one of the pricier festivals out there, but the lineup normally justifies the dollar. The festival will boast big artists alongside its main headliners.
It's a great all-rounder festival, where you can get back to nature by camping and lake swimming before dancing to DJs until the early hours.
Oh, and there's also pink sheep.
Wireless – London
- Dates – 1st – 3rd July Crystal Palace, 8th – 10th July Finsbury Park & Birmingham
- Headliners – A$AP Rocky, J.Cole and Tyler, the Creator (Crystal Palace), Cardi B, SZA and Nicki Minaj (Finsbury Park), Dave, Cardi B and J. Cole (Birmingham)
- Cost – £245 (weekend ticket at each location).
We're still in a bit of a grump with Wireless for cutting the Birmingham leg of the festival, making it a London-only affair.
Wireless hosts the sounds of grime, hip-hop, rap and R&B in North London's Finsbury Park.
Wireless isn't a camping festival, so you'll have to factor in the price of London accommodation for this one.
Lovebox – Finsbury Park, London
- Dates – 16th July
- Headliners – TBC
- Cost – TBC.
Lovebox festival has come a long way since it started back in 2002 as a nightclub. You can now enjoy this one-day festival in Finsbury Park in London on the 16th of July.
If you’re looking for the best festival for pop, hip-hop, RnB, grime and rap, this is one to check out.
Reading and Leeds – Richfield Avenue and Bramham Park
- Dates – 26th – 28th August
- Headliners – Arctic Monkeys, Halsey, Dave, Bring Me The Horizon, Megan Thee Stallion and Rage Against The Machine
- Cost – £259.20 (weekend ticket with camping), £94 (one day ticket).
As two of the longest-running music festivals in the world, Reading and Leeds are something of an institution in the UK.
The festivals run the same line-up, alternating between Richfield Avenue in Reading and Bramham Park in Leeds.
Reading and Leeds started out a lot more rock, metal and punk-focused, but over the years they've become a bit more open to mainstream hip-hop and dance music (causing a bit of controversy among loyal fans).
Camp Bestival – Lulworth Estate, Dorset and Weston Park, Shropshire
- Dates – 28th – 31st July (Dorset) and 18th – 21th August (Shropshire)
- Headliners – Rudimental and Rag'n'Bone Man (Dorest), Fatboy Slim, Rag'n'Bone Man and Becky Hill (Shropshire)
- Cost – £228 (weekend ticket with camping in Dorest), £206 (weekend ticket with camping in Shropshire).
Camp Bestival, the little sister of Bestival (RIP), is a confirmed unmissable date in the UK festival calendar, and its line-up never fails to get us excited.
Although the festival used to take place on the Isle of Wight, it has now been relocated to the Lulworth Estate in Dorset. And since 2022, they also have a version of the festival in Shropshire a few weeks after the Dorset event – keep in mind that the lineup is different though.
Creamfields – Daresbury Estate, Cheshire (North) and Hylands Park, Chelmsford (South)
- Dates – 25th – 28th August (Creamsfield North), 2nd – 4th June (Creamsfield South)
- Headliners – Armin van Buuren, Carl Cox, David Guetta (Creamfields North), Calvin Harris, Swedish House Mafia, deadmau5 (Creamfields South)
- Cost – £270 (Creamfields North, 4-day camping ticket), £240 (Creamfields South, 3-day camping ticket).
Creamfields is a raver's paradise, with some of the biggest DJs in the business making appearances every year. The line-up is absolutely huge and basically reads like an A–Z of the industry.
In 2022, Creamfields is hosting two festivals – Creamfields North in Daresbury Estate, Cheshire, and Creamfields South in Hylands Park, Chelmsford. The new South edition is spread over two days.
Tickets are on the pricier side of things, but they do offer payment plans to help you spread out the cost. The payment plans don't charge interest, but there is a fee to use this service which varies depending on how much your ticket is worth.
Plus, like most major festivals these days, they offer boutique camping in the form of Dreamfields.
Victorious – Southsea Seafront, Portsmouth
- Dates – 26th – 28th August
- Headliners – Paolo Nutini, Sam Fender, Bastille
- Cost – £160 (weekend ticket with camping), £45 – £50 (day ticket).
This one is for the indie fans out there, with a brilliant big-name line-up considering this is still a relatively little known festival.
Since there are so many big acts, it's also a pretty cost-effective option too.
Best of all, the Castle Stage is situated in front of the stunning Southsea Castle, making this one of the most picturesque festivals around.
Isle of Wight Festival – Newport
- Dates – 16th – 19th June
- Headliners – Lewis Capaldi, Kasabian, Pete Tong, Muse
- Cost – £186.90 (student weekend pass with or without camping), £80.50 (day ticket).
Situated just off the South coast (not far from Portsmouth and Bournemouth), the Isle of Wight might be a slightly trickier destination to get to, but it's well worth the trip for such an amazing line-up.
As well as the main headliners, you can also look forward to Madness, Blossoms, Rudimental and more.
Mighty Hoopla – Brockwell Park
- Date – 3rd – 4th June
- Headliners – Steps, Sugababes, Anastacia
- Cost – £110 (weekend ticket), £59.50 (day ticket).
The poptastic Mighty Hoopla is back again this year in Brockwell Park, celebrating all things glitz and glam! This year, the festival is spread over two days.
The main headliner will be accompanied by the likes of Agnes, Big Freedia and Cascada.
We Are FSTVL – Upminster, London
- Dates – 6th – 7th August
- Headliners – Craig David, Armand Van Helden, Rudimental, Marco Carola
- Cost – £113 (weekend ticket), £62 (day ticket).
One of the best EDM festivals around, We Are FSTVL always guarantees a stellar line-up, big beats and jewels – lots of jewels.
It takes place on the Airfield of Dreams (a.k.a. Damyn's Hall Aerodrome) in London and, unlike a lot of festivals in the capital, you can get the full camping experience.
TRNSMT Festival – Glasgow Green, Glasgow
- Dates – 8th – 10th July
- Headliners – Paolo Nutini, The Strokes, Lewis Capaldi
- Cost – £193 (weekend pass), £142.35 (two-day pass), £77.40 (one-day pass).
TRNSMT festival started life as a replacement to T in the Park, but has grown into a hugely popular festival in its own right.
It's spread out over a weekend, right slap bang in the centre of Glasgow, designed for you to spend time exploring the city as well as enjoying the festival.
If you're going for a one-day pass, just make sure all the acts you want to see are playing on the same day.
Field Day – Victoria Park, London
- Date – 20th August
- Headliners – The Chemical Brothers, Kraftwerk
- Cost – £70.
Field Day is back this year, but for one day only. Don't fret though – the line-up includes some of the best names on the techno scene.
You'll be able to catch your usual insanely eclectic mix of acts. Have a read of what we thought of it!
Green Man – Brecon Beacons, Wales
- Dates – 18th – 21st August
- Headliners – Kraftwerk, Michael Kiwanuka, Beach House
- Cost – £183 (weekend pass for students).
If you fancy a more chilled and laid back vibe, then Green Man might be more up your street.
This folk festival takes place against a backdrop of stunning Welsh mountains, with fewer beats and more acoustic guitars. There are 10 different areas with something for everyone to enjoy, be it literature, comedy, science and/or Welsh beer.
Boardmasters – Newquay, Cornwall
- Dates – 10th – 14th August
- Headliners – George Ezra, Disclosure, Kings Of Leon
- Cost – £255 (weekend ticket with camping), £86 – £91 (day ticket).
If you're looking for some good old British beach fun (yes, this exists), then look no further than Boardmasters in Cornwall.
With surfing competitions, surf art and intimate gigs on the beach, it's an outdoor-lovers dream.
Snap your tickets up now and cross your fingers for some sunshine!
NASS Festival – Shepton Mallet, Somerset
- Dates – 7th – 10th July
- Headliners – Headie One, The Streets, Becky Hill
- Cost – £184 (3-day ticket with camping), £69 (day ticket).
NASS in Somerset is one for all the adrenaline-junky skateboarders and BMXers out there.
Whether you want to take part in the action or just watch from the sidelines, NASS is a great weekend for drum and bass, hip hop, grime and dance music lovers too.
At NASS, you can expect some pretty big names in music – as well as appearances from some of the best pro BMXers and skateboarders.
Shambala – Secret Location, Northamptonshire
- Dates – 25th – 28th August
- Headliners – TBC
- Cost – £219 (weekend ticket).
If you're on the hunt for something a little bit different with your festival experience, then it's well worth checking out Shambala in Northamptonshire.
This laid back and intimate festival is all about creativity and participation – from yoga to flash mobs, theatre troupes and cabaret, Shambala is more than just music.
It's also one of the most eco-friendly festivals around. They've already got rid of single-use plastics like cups and straws. Plus, they don't allow glitter, encouraging you to use face paints or masks instead.
Music ranges from funk, soul, disco and reggae to drum and bass, so there's guaranteed to be something to suit your taste somewhere.
Beautiful Days – Escot Park, Devon
- Dates – 19th – 21st August
- Headliners – Flogging Molly, The Specials, Levellers, The Dandy Warhols, Maximo Park, and more
- Cost – £160 (weekend ticket with camping).
Set up in 2003 by rock band the Levellers, Beautiful Days prides itself in being a completely independent festival: no sponsorship, no advertising and an extremely chilled-out vibe.
The festival site even has a Walkabout Theatre, family camping, real ale bars and Folk Sessions.
British Summer Time Hyde Park, London
- Dates – 24th June – 10th July
- Headliners – Elton John, Eagles, Adele, Pixies, Stereophonics
- Cost – From £68.05 (day ticket).
BST Hyde Park started back in 2013 and generally includes a line-up of international superstars and epic supporting acts.
The festival is held over quite a few days, with various fantastic acts performing across different dates. If you're only going for one day, make sure you don't miss any of the acts you really want to see! Plus, they offer a payment plan to spread the cost of the tickets.
All Points East, Victoria Park, London
- Dates – 19th – 28th August
- Headliners – Gorillaz, The Chemical Brothers, The National, Disclosure
- Cost – £68.55 (one-day ticket).
All Points East is also a London-based festival spread over multiple days. There are tons of free activities during the week, but if you want to see some of the headliners during the weekends, you'll have to get a ticket.
Other acts announced include Tame Impala and Fleet Foxes.
Tip: if you can't afford to buy a ticket to your dream festival, you could always go as a volunteer!