Whether you’re after homegrown heroes, pop-punk icons or intimate inner-city celebrations, there is no shortage of outdoor gigs and festivals to pick from across the North this summer.

Take a look through a few of the highlights below.

Kendal Calling | Thu 1 - Sun 4 Aug

Created by music lovers ‘who felt the fabulous fields of the lake district could be put to better use’, Kendal Calling’s mix of stunning surroundings and consistently incredible lineups has cemented its status as one of the UK’s best. This year’s lineup is particularly impressive, with Paolo Nutini, Noel Gallagher and The Streets topping the bill.

Lowther Deer Park, Hackthorpe, Cumbria CA10 2DY
Parklife | Sat 8 - Sat 9 Jun

Now a stalwart of the Mancunian festival calendar, Parklife returns to Heaton Park once more, with the likes of Doja Cat, Disclosure, J Hus, Becky Hill and Peggy Gou just a few of the standout names joining this year’s shenanigans.

Heaton Park, Middleton Road, Higher Blackley M25 2SW
Leeds Festival | Wed 21 - Sun 25 Aug

Just a short trip up to t’Yorkshire, Leeds remains a genuine behemoth and this year’s billing is a testament to its international pulling power — Pop-punk royalty Blink 182 headlining Saturday night being a prime example of such sentiment. Elsewhere, Lana Del Rey, Fred Again.., Liam Gallagher, The Prodigy, Jorja Smith and Catfish and the Bottlemen feature across a truly genre-hopping lineup.

Leeds Festival, Bramham Park, Leeds LS23 6ND
Outbreak | Fri 28 - Sun 30 Jun

Outbreak really has pulled out all the stops this year as it prepares to take over Bowlers Exhibition Centre. The brilliant Action Bronson tops Friday’s billing, Have Heart and cult heroes Basement will play Saturday while American Football close proceedings on Sunday.

Longbridge Rd, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester M17 1SN
Sounds of the City | Thu 4 - Sat 13 Jul

Sounds of the City always delivers a hugely special few days at Castlefield Bowl, and the latest lineup suggests 2024 will be no different, with The National, The Saw Doctors, Tom Grennan, Jungle and Hacienda Classical all set to appear throughout July.

Rice St, Manchester M3 4JR
Live from Wythenshawe Park | New Order & Blossoms | Sat 24 - Sun 25 Aug

Following a magnificent debut which saw Noel Gallagher christen Wythenshawe Park as Manchester’s newest outdoor venue last year, two more special homecomings are in store for 2024.

First, New Order will take to the stage on Sat 24 Aug, with support coming from Johnny Marr and Róisin Murphy, with Blossoms following on Sun 25 Aug, who will be accompanied by Inhaler, Shed Seven, The K’s, Seb Lowe and TTRRUUCES.

Wythenshawe Park, M23 0AB
Tramlines | Fri 26 - Sun 28 Jul

Another Yorkshire outing, Tramlines takes over the gorgeous Hillsborough Park with a lineup that boasts an apparently very busy Paulo Nutini, Jamie T and Snow Patrol as its headliners. There’s plenty to go at outside of the top spots too, with Yard Act, The Human League, Sophie Ellis-Bexter, Annie Mac and The Charlatans all booked in.

Hillsborough Park, Parkside Rd, Sheffield S6 2AB
Slam Dunk | Sun 26 May

For the pop-punk, emo and alternative fans, Slam Dunk’s Leeds edition is back this May, hosted in Temple Newsam Park. You Met at Six will be making their final ever UK appearance at this year’s festival, joined by All American Rejects, Funeral for a Friend, I Prevail and The Ghost Inside amongst others.

Temple Newsam Park, Leeds LS15 0AD
Highest Point Festival | Fri 10 - Sat 11 May

One of the earliest festivals of the year, running across Fri 10 & Sat 11 May, Highest Point returns to the glorious Williamson Park in Lancaster. Tom Odell and Busted headline this year’s edition of the award-winning event, which also features Cat Burns, Sam Ryder, Gok Wan and Caity Baser.

Quernmore Rd, Lancaster LA1 1UX
Lytham Festival | Wed 3 - Sun 7 Jul

Running for five days in July, just a stone’s throw from the seaside at Lytham Green, this year’s Lytham Festival headliners are Shania Twain, Hozier, Madness, James and The Courteeners.

Central Beach, Lytham Saint Annes FY8 5LD
Fair Play | Sat 6 Apr

Following sell-out successes of the FAIR PLAY all-dayer in April 2022 and 2023, the event is set to return in 2024, taking over a host of iconic Northern Quarter venues.

In partnership with Albert Hall, Interior and Do Your Best, FAIR PLAY is dedicated to providing equal opportunities for all, featuring a diverse lineup that’s fair and accessible, inclusive of genre, gender, sexuality, race and beyond.

Various Northern Quarter venues
Manchester Psych Fest | Sat 31 Aug

The annual multi-venue celebration of all things psych is set to take over some of the city’s most iconic establishments, including Albert Hall, o2 Ritz, Projects Skatepark, Man Met Student Union, Canvas, Gorilla, YES and Deaf Institute, with more still to be announced. The Horrors, Baxter Drury, Temples, NewDad and Juniore are a few of the names appearing this year, with a whole host of other activities like workshops, films and art running alongside.

Sounds From the Other City | Sun 5 May

Lovingly recognised by many as ‘Salford Christmas,’ Sounds From the Other City’s annual celebration of new music, performance, and art never fails to deliver. Set along Chapel Street and Salford Crescent, the festival is brought together by an eclectic group of the region’s finest promotors, club nights and platforms.

Various Salford venuesDescribed as a ’boutique festival in a bull field’, Moovin has established itself as one of the region’s best small festivals since its debut in 2016, set in the picturesque Etherow Country Park.
Moovin | Fri 23 - Sun 25 Aug

Described as a ’boutique festival in a bull field’, Moovin has established itself as one of the region’s best small festivals since its debut in 2016, hosted in the scenic Etherow Country Park. In what is undoubtedly a huge get for the organisers, this year’s event has already announced iconic electronic duo Leftfield as the event’s first headliner, which is some way to start.

Whitebottom Farm Compstall, Etherow Country Park, Marple Bridge, Stockport SK6 5JQ
Forest Live @ Delamere Forest | Thu 13 - Sun 16 Jun

In what is surely one of the most beautiful settings imaginable for a live gig, Forest Live transforms Delamere forest into a natural amphitheatre, one which will this year be graced by genuine musical icons, including Sting, Nile Rogers & Chic, Bryan Adams and Becky Hill

Linmere, Delamere, Northwich, CW8 2HZ
Green Island Festival | Sat 15 Jun / Sat 27 Jul / Sat 7 Sep

2024 sees the grassroots favourite, Green Island, double in size, taking over Hulme Community Garden Centre, NIAMOS and Warwick Street for three chapters across June, July & September.

Unveiling wave one of the line-up – June sees Afriquoi, the 5-piece band celebrated for their unique blend of African sounds and live electronics headline, while July’s chapter brings Def MaMa Def in to headline, two powerful women and rising stars of Senegal’s music scene, fusing contagious rhythms of amapiano, hip-hop and afrobeat, while singer and multi-instrumentalist David Walters who combines influences from his
Caribbean heritage with electronic beats and acoustic folk will take centre stage in September.

28 Old Birley St, Hulme, Manchester M15 5RG / Warwick St, Hulme, Manchester M15 5EU
Boogietown | Sat 27 Jul

Boogietown is set to host its first-ever northern edition this summer, bringing a handful of disco, funk and soul icons to Barton Aerodrome in late July. Sister Sledge FT Kathy Sledge will headline the debut outing, along with Soul II Soul, BoneyM, Tunde of the Lighthouse Family, Craig Charles and others. Get down, get down.

Liverpool Rd, Eccles, Manchester M30 7SA
Bradley Lengden
Published on:
Mon 11 Mar 2024