Whether your Summer 2022 objective is to down Bulmers within sweat-flicking distance of Liam Fray or take in an astrophysics lecture with a paper plate of world cuisine in your lap, the North West’s festival calendar has it covered once again. After two years of cancellations, delays and improvised replacement weekenders in the early Autumn chill, the region can finally expect a full complement of parties in the coming season. 

Parklife | 11-12 Jun | Heaton Park

With over a decade spent as the biggest red ‘X’ in every Mancunian calendar, Parklife needs little introduction. This year, following a belated return to form last September, the festival nestles back into its usual early-summer slot while looking set to somehow improve yet again. Old favourites like Gorgon City, Andy C and Patrick Topping are back to detonate the dance stages, while another parade of A-listers including Tyler, The Creator, Megan Thee Stallion and 50 Cent round off the evenings. 

Bluedot Festival | 21–24 Jul | Jodrell Bank Observatory

Another renowned Northern festival of choice, Bluedot reinforces its position as a world-class newcomer with a fifth instalment of its science, culture and music carnival at Jodrell Bank. This year, organisers of the galactic quest have enlisted Bjork—with the help of Manchester’s Halle Orchestra—alongside fellow headliner Mogwai, and will also host relaxed discussions about the cosmos from various scientific luminaries, all catered with the best of regional cuisine. 

Highest Point Festival | 12–14 May | Williamson Park, Lancaster

Further afield but with no shortage of big-draw names, Highest Point is Lancaster’s Parklife, and their full return from a Covid-enforced fallow season brings a line-up to prove it. A euphoric blend of nostalgic DJ sets—with spinning from noughties icons like Basement Jaxx and Sub Focus—and live performances from main stage maestros like Example and Low Steppa, Highest Point is the North West festival scene’s worst-kept secret. 

Neighbourhood Weekender | 28–29 May | Victoria Park, Warrington

This certified indie dreamland returns to the Cheshire-Merseyside border for another Wayfarers-and-cider party featuring almost all the modern legends from the last twenty years. Headlined by Kasabian, Blossoms and, naturally, the Courteeners, Neighbourhood is an unabashed riff-heavy Who’s-Who of your teenage bedroom wall. 

Lytham Festival | 28 Jun–10 Jul

Stretching across ten dates, Lytham Festival lands in 2022 as a two-part marathon party boasting a staggeringly impressive line-up. Whether it’s timeless golden-era gods like Diana Ross and Nile Rodgers, beloved UK rockers like Elbow and Snow Patrol or 80s pop juggernauts like Duran Duran and Tears for Fears, Lytham offers the all-time best of several genres for over a week under the west coast sun. 

Kendal Calling | 28–31 Jul | Lowther Deer Park, Lake District

Promising ‘the biggest party the Lake District has ever seen’, Kendal Calling looks set to deliver with interest: over 250 artists across 13 stages and a jaw-dropping expanse of ‘experiences’ beyond the music—including a Great Gatsby party, cinema, disco, Oktoberfest and deer lodge—suggests this festival has been planned with literally everybody in mind. With Bastille, Supergrass, Stereophonics and Hacienda Classical headlining and daytime slots featuring everyone from The Wombats and Sophie Ellis Bextor to Andy C and Bill Bailey, Kendal Calling 2022 may inadvertently end up being the most eclectic party in Britain.

Moovin Festival | 26–28 Aug | Whitebottom Farm

Just fifteen minutes drive south of Stockport, Moovin returns to inject the Cheshire countryside with some much-needed grooves on August bank holiday weekend. Featuring the electronic mastery of Orbital and Shy FX alongside mythically funky party-starters like Sister Nancy, Huey Morgan and The Sugarhill Gang, this outrageously under-hyped weekender is likely to be the highlight of summer across the region. 

Leeds Festival | 26–28 Aug | Bramham Park, Leeds

While its sister event takes care of southern revellers down in Reading, Leeds Festival has once again flexed its unrivalled pulling power to bring the North one of its best musical rosters in recent years. National treasures like Dave, Little Simz and Arctic Monkeys rub shoulders with state-side hit machines including Jack Harlow and Halsey, while Eurovision-winners-turned-viral-sensation Maneskin touch down for their first of many years coolly tearing apart the UK festival circuit. 

Sat 28 May - Sun 28 Aug
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Mon 2 May 2022