UK festivals artists can apply to play at in 2024

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Demos and mixes at the ready. These are some of the best UK festivals to apply to now if you want a slot in 2024.

Say whatever else you like about this country, there’s no match for the UK’s appetite for summer festivals. From as early as April, through September, there are seemingly limitless opportunities to attend world-class EDM festivals, drum and bass festivals, indie festivals, and everything in between. From boutique, holistic, ambient retreats, to epic, chaotic, hedonistic experiences, there’s no reason to spend weekends indoors this summer.

If you’re a live act, DJ, or in a band, you’ve probably spent some time at music festivals fantasising about being on stage or on the other side of the decks. To avoid being in the exact same position this year, apply to play at summer festivals in 2024 early.

Many UK festivals this year have a bespoke application process, most of which are quick and easy, but with strict closing dates. Other upcoming festivals ask that hopeful performers reach out to bookers directly via email. Below, we've put together some tips on tackling both sorts of festival applications in 2024, as well as a list of UK festivals currently filling slots.

How to apply to perform at music festivals

To apply to perform at music festivals in 2024, you’ll either need to fill out a custom application form or email a booker directly.

In both cases, it’s important to include everything the festival needs to properly consider your pitch. Even bookers for small UK festivals review hundreds of applications each year; they don’t have time to chase you for missing information.

With a custom form, it’s much easier to know exactly what information to include, but even with the application divided into neat little sections, it can be difficult to know how much detail to go into in your bio, what sort of file to send your music as, how many press images to include, and so on.

You need to nail your pitch to stand out from the crowd, so here are some tips to help you do just that:

  • Record your music. It goes without saying that to get booked, you need to show the festival team what you can do. Make sure your demo is good quality, and uploaded to a streaming service. Don’t make bookers download your music. Make accessing your demo as easy as possible by sending a Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud or Mixcloud link. (Sending unreleased material? You can send private links on most platforms.)
  • Use social media. If you don’t have an Instagram account dedicated to your act, set one up. An account with few followers is still better than none at all. You don’t need to have Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok profile, though this would be optimal. Just set up as many accounts as you’re comfortable with, and have time to maintain. If you’re in a band, this is a responsibility you can all share.
  • Get professional press shots taken. When you do get booked, it’s likely that you’ll be asked for press photos to feature on the festival’s website and social media. Having these already shows the booker that you’re prepared. If you’ve got a friend with a camera, book them in for an hour. It’s as easy as that.
  • Write an artist bio. There are many different ways to approach writing an artist bio. You want to get your personality across, in exactly the right amount of words. There’s quite a lot to consider when it comes to summing yourself up, so we’ve put together separate comprehensive guides on how to write a music artist bio and how to write a DJ bio. Both are available on the Pirate website.
  • Create an EPK (electronic press kit). This is a document that contains all the information above, along with your upcoming gig schedule, tech rider and links to your website, any music videos etc. It’s essentially a one-stop shop for information about your band. There are lots of great platforms online that will help you structure your own EPK easily and professionally, such as ReverbNation, Bandzoogle, Sonicbids and LoudUp. You don’t need any graphic design skills, I promise.

1. Parklife

Parklife Festival - Manchester

Heaton Park, Manchester, England

8 June – 9 June 2024


Manchester's wildest weekend and biggest annual celebration of modern youth culture, Parklife, is back for 2024. Embodying the essence of summer with its epic lineup — including Doja Cat, Disclosure, Kaytranada, Four Tet, Pawsa, Nia Archives, and J Hus — Parklife 2024 promises an unforgettable experience.

Whether you're on the cusp of your big break or you're a seasoned artist aiming for new heights, Parklife offers the ideal stage for what could be the best gig of your summer.


2. Dot To Dot Festival

Bristol & Nottingham, England

25 May – 26 May 2024

OPEN TO: Live artists and bands

Championing local talent, this mulit-venue event spans indie rock, post punk, electro pop and everything in between. Launched in Nottingham in 2005, the festival has since launched in Manchester and Bristol, now programming over 100 eclectic acts each year — previously welcoming Jockstrap, Snapped Ankles and Squid, to just a few.

To apply to perform at Dot To Dot 2024, get in touch with the organisers via the contact form on their website. They ask that you include the city you'd like to perform in, links to your music, an artist bio and a summary of your gigging experience to date.


3. Kite Festival

Kirtlington Park, Oxfordshire, England

7 June – 9 June 2024

OPEN TO: Live artists and bands

Building on the success of its inaugural event in 2022, which spotlighted acts like Black Country, New Road, The Orielles, Confidence Man, and Gwenno, KITE Festival has quickly established itself as one of the UK's best small festivals. It's a great place to cut your teeth if you can get a slot.

To apply, the festival team ask that you email with information about your act and some examples of your music. Video footage is a big plus.


4. Isle of Wight Festival

Seaclose Park, Isle of Wight

20 June – 23 June 2024

OPEN TO: Bands

With The Prodigy, Pet Shop Boys, and Green Day announced as this year's festival headliners, the Isle of Wight's annual talent competition offers you the chance to join an iconic lineup at this rite-of-passage weekender.

To apply, fill in the dedicated form with your band's name, genre, music, and a video of your performance. There's also space to provide any additional information you'd like, so make the most of it and inform the judges about your prior experience and accolades. If you've had some airplay or played on festival stages before, don't keep it to yourself.


5. Green Man Festival

Truck Festival - Crowd of guests at an ourdoor festival

Bannau Brycheiniog National Park, Wales

15 August – 18 August 2024

OPEN TO: Live artists and bands

For Green Man Festival 2024, aspiring performers have the opportunity to join a prestigious lineup in the stunning surroundings of the Brecon Beacons. Celebrated for its enchanting atmosphere and diverse range of music, arts, and cultural experiences, Green Man is the perfect platform for emerging talent to gain recognition alongside established artists.

To apply for a performance slot, you should email the artist submissions team directly. Your submission should include an electronic press kit (EPK) containing an up-to-date bio, high-resolution photos, links to your music, and video footage of a live performance if you can.


6. Kendal Calling

Truck Festival main stage tent

Lowther Deer Park, the Lake District, England

1 August – 4 August 2024

OPEN TO: Live artists and bands

Kendal Calling 2024, set amidst the stunning scenery of the Lake District, is once again inviting talented artists to perform at one of the UK's most cherished festivals. Celebrated for its dynamic atmosphere and eclectic mix spanning various genres, the festival serves as an unmatched stage for emerging talent to stand out alongside renowned performers.

'Apply to Play' submissions will officially open in Spring 2024, well before the festival happening in August. While you wait, now is the ideal time to begin assembling a detailed electronic press kit (EPK)!


7. El Dorado

Eastnor Castle Deer Park, Herefordshire, England

11 July – 14 July 2024

OPEN TO: Bands, DJs & performers of all disciplines

Situated in lush, dense countryside, El Dorado is loved for its eclectic programming of live acts, DJs, cabaret, comedy and food. Previously hosting Kojey Radical, Enny, Riot Jazz, Sherelle, LCY and Zaltsman, you can find a perfect soundtrack for an afternoon hang or late night dancing, whatever your mood.

You can apply for a live performance or to DJ using the dedicated form on the El Dorado website.


8. 2000 Trees

Cheltenham, England

10 July – 13 July 2024

OPEN TO: Bands

Small but mighty, this multi-award-winning festival is one of the rock highlights of the year. The Gaslight Anthem, Manchester Orchestra, Kids in Glass Houses, Boston Manor, and many more have been announced for 2000 Trees 2024.

By simply filling out the application form on the 2000 Trees website, you and your band could perform at this eagerly anticipated upcoming music festival.


9. Worcester Music Festival

Worcester, England

13 September – 15 September 2024

OPEN TO: Bands

Worcester Music Festival, a September highlight in the city centre, showcases emerging bands across more than 20 venues. This volunteer-run, non-profit event offers around 250 bands the chance to perform over three days, all within walking distance in the heart of Worcester. Entry to the festival is free, emphasising its community and charity focus.

New bands can apply to join the line-up by applying via a dedicated form on the festival's website. However, gigs are unpaid to maximise the event's fundraising efforts. Worcester Music Festival offers a unique opportunity to cut your teeth as a performing band on a smaller stage and contribute to a good cause.

APPLY TO PERFORM AT Worcester Music Festival 2024

10. Equinox

Chalk Farm, Lincolnshire, England

19 September – 23 September 2024

OPEN TO: Bands, DJs & Live Performers

Equinox Festival, the season's ultimate party, combines live music, dance, and a vibrant atmosphere in a unique celebration. Featuring the Crispy Disco Stage, Soundscape Stage, and The Big Dub Pub, plus dance tents Sunrise, Lunar, and Half Moon Hotel, it caters to a wide range of musical tastes.

Artists, bands, and DJs interested in joining this eclectic mix can apply through the festival's dedicated submission form. This is your chance to be part of a community-driven festival that celebrates music, arts, and crafts with their dedicated following each year.


11. The Great Escape

Brighton, England

10 May – 13 May 2024

OPEN TO: Live artists, collectives & DJs

Unanimously considered the most important festival in the UK for new bands, artists, DJs and MCs, The Great Escape is attended by the most influential names in the music industry.

As well as being the best annual networking opportunity, The Great Escape is also a seriously good party. Apply to be in with a chance of joining over 500 emerging artists at Brighton's most famous music festival.


12. End Of The Road Festival

Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset, England

29 August – 1 September 2024

OPEN TO: Artists & bands

Arguably the best medium sized festivals doing it, End Of The Road’s lineup is reliably peppered with acts about to blow up every year. Focusing on the coolest indie live acts, with a small but interesting electronic music offering, each year End Of The Road garners rave reviews, with good reason. Read our End Of The Road 2022 review if you’re still unsure.

Apply today and you might just find yourself opening a stage at this idyllic Dorset music festival, come August.


Don't see what you're looking for? These aren't your only opportunities to perform at festivals this year.

As more festival applications for 2024 in the UK open, they'll be added to this list. Some of the largest music festivals run talent competitions each year, so make sure to keep an ear to the ground (or an eye here).

Lastly, if there's somewhere you're dying to play, and they don't seem to be looking for artists at all, try visiting their website, find a contact form or email address, and reach out. The worst thing that could happen is you won't get replied to. The best thing that could happen is you end up performing at your favourite music festival in 2024. Sound worth the risk?

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