Whether your ideal outdoor music experience is to pester security for a selfie within sweat-flicking distance of Richard Ashcroft or recline beneath the infinite cosmos with a paper plate of world cuisine in your lap, the North’s 2023 festival calendar caters to every taste from the first tentative 8pm sunset to the final days of summer.

From MySpace-era indie blowouts to world-renowned astronomy parties, here are some of the North’s best festivals coming in 2023.


Highest Point Festival | Lancaster | Thu 11 - Sun 14 May | From £65

Headlined by Bastille, Anne Marie and Hacienda Classical, Lancaster’s Highest Point kicks off the 2023 northern festival season with a four-day early summertime party in the park in the shadow of the imposing Grade I-listed Ashton Memorial Dome. Keep checking the Highest Point Festival Facebook for hundreds of imminent act reveals.

Williamson Park, Quernmore Rd, Lancaster LA1 1UX
Neighbourhood Weekender | Warrington | Sat 27 - Sun 28 May | From £74

Transforming the May Bank Holiday weekend into a British millennial nostalgia trip starring The Kooks, The Wombats, Ocean Colour Scene, Sugababes, Scouting For Girls and more, Warrington’s Neighbourhood Weekender relives the halcyon days of noughties indie and pop music in the unsung DMZ between Manchester and Merseyside.

Victoria Park, Warrington, WA4 1DG
Slam Dunk Festival | Leeds | Sat 27 May | From £89

Taking place on the same weekend and in honour of a parallel subculture from the exact same era, West Yorkshire’s unapologetic pop punk jamboree stars The Offspring and Enter Shikari as headliners, with Bowling For Soup, Billy Talent, Less Than Jake and Yellowcard also performing on a weekend where the checkered Vans slip-ons are visible beneath even the deepest puddles.

Parklife | Heaton Park | Sat 10 - Sun 11 Jun | From £79.50

Back and somehow bigger than ever with a recently announced lineup featuring The Prodigy, Wu-Tang Clan and Skrillex alongside a slate of local legends including Aitch and The 1975, the north’s most popular festival takes over Heaton Park with another mud-caked instalment of cider-swilling bedlam across nine stages to commence summer in earnest.

Middleton Rd, Manchester M25 2SW
Outbreak Fest | Depot Mayfield | Fri 23 Jun - Sun 25 Jun | From £135

Headlined by Death Grips and Denzel Curry, the alternative hardcore and punk festival upsizes to Depot Mayfield for a fresh headbanging frenzy with a selection of international acts including Earl Sweatshirt, skating, art exhibitions and more.

11 Baring St, Manchester M1 2PY
Sounds of the City | Castlefield Bowl | Thu 29 Jun - Sat 8 Jul | From £44.45

Now a cornerstone of the Manchester live music calendar, Sounds of the City returns for 2023 with a series of headline shows in Castlefield including Porcupine Tree, Blossoms, Bastille and Hacienda Classical, with each performing across nine hazy summer evenings in the city centre.

Rice St, Manchester M3 4JR
Lytham Festival | Lytham | Wed 8 Jun - Sun 2 Jul | From £199

Uniting another impressively diverse group of astonishingly accomplished musicians across five pleasant nights on Lytham Green, Lancashire’s biggest festival returns with a lineup fit for Glasto including Y2K trailblazer Jamiroquai, smash hit specialist George Ezra and 80s titans like Sting, Lionel Richie and Kim Wilde alongside ageless rockers Def Leppard and Motley Crue.

Lytham Saint Annes FY8 5LD
Bluedot Festival | Jodrell Bank | Thu 20 Jul - Sun 23 Jul | From £219 (Adult)

Described by The Times as a ‘sense-blitzing spectacular’, Britain’s best science-infused music festival brings another year of live experiments, expert panels, seminars from world-leading intellectuals and a cosmic coterie of legendary artists performing across four days including Grace Jones, Django Django, Black Country New Road and Annie Mac.

Bomish Ln, Macclesfield SK11 9DW
Tramlines Festival | Sheffield | Fri 21 Jul - Sun 23 Jul | From £60

Over the Pennines, Sheffield’s beloved throwback party gathers more indie luminaries at Hillsborough Park and brings in a selection of 90s giants for reinforcements, with Richard Ashcroft and Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott (formerly of The Beautiful South) performing alongside Blossoms, The Courteeners, Reverend and The Makers, Kate Nash, Kaiser Chiefs and more.

Parkside Rd, Sheffield S6 2AB
Kendal Calling | Kendal | Thu 27 Jul - Sun 30 Jul | From £175 (Adult)

From UK festival lynchpin Nile Rodgers to a reinvigorated Serge-fronted Kasabian, Britain’s most scenic shindig provides the broadest imaginable spectrum of live music as well as a dizzying array of experiences including The Picture House, Oktoberfest, Kids Calling and more spread across the lush woodlands of the Lake District.

Lowther Deer Park, Lowther, Penrith CA10 2HX
Manchester Folk Festival | Northern Quarter | Thu 19 Oct - Sat 21 Oct | £90

Taking place across several iconic Northern Quarter venues including Night and Day, Matt & Phred’s, SOUP and Band on the Wall, as well as The Stoller Hall, Halle St. Peter’s and New Century Hall, Manchester Folk Festival unites a wide range of talented musicians to celebrate the breadth and diversity of contemporary folk music. The star-studded line-up includes Bonfire Radicals, Granny’s Attic, Blackbeard’s Tea Party and Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.

Full festival tickets start from £90, but individual gig tickets are now available.

Manchester City Centre
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Wed 17 May 2023