x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Whatever you rock out to, we've got the best of 2012's music festivals

An industry shift from record sales to touring means festivals are no longer four-day mudfests in a far-off European field. We round up the best, from rock to pop to rave.

People gather for a concert at the Roskilde festival in Denmark. Torben Christensen / Scanpix / AFP
People gather for a concert at the Roskilde festival in Denmark. Torben Christensen / Scanpix / AFP

Over the past decade or so, the music festival has changed almost beyond recognition and is no longer simply a four-day mudfest held in some far-flung corner of Europe. An industry shift that has seen touring replace record sales as the prime source of revenue - coupled with an explosion of budget airlines - means the festival circuit is expanding across the globe.

Louis Pattison rounds up the best music fests 2012 has to offer:


For Rockers

Roskilde July 5-8, Denmark

An old guard of the European festival circuit. Founded in 1971, Roskilde has grown from its humble, hippyish beginnings into an annual 130,000 capacity event that pulls in some of the biggest names in rock. This year will offer eight stages and more than 200 bands, with headliners including Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Björk, The Cure and Jack White. A weekend ticket costs about 1,790 Danish kroner (about Dh1,200).


Exit Festival July 12-15, Serbia

Held in and around Petrovaradin Fortress on the banks of the Danube, Exit grew out of a grassroots activism movement protesting in 2000 against the rule of former president Slobodan Miloševic. Following the regime's fall, Exit received hefty state sponsorship and has grown into a symbol of freedom for the new Serbia. Headlining this year are Duran Duran, New Order, Erykah Badu and Guns N' Roses. A dance arena will also feature Richie Hawtin and Laurent Garnier. A four-day ticket sells for £95 (Dh462).


Fuji Rock July 27-29, Japan

Held at Naeba Ski Resort, high in the mountains of Niigata Prefecture, Fuji Rock combines a unique location with a world-class bill. Founded on the ethic of 'co-existence with nature', stages are linked by scenic, sometimes steep trails that lead through forests or over mountain streams. This year's bill includes Radiohead, The Stone Roses, Ed Sheeran and the reformed At The Drive-In. A weekend ticket costs 42,800 yen (approximately Dh1,950).



For Ravers

Bloc July 6-7, UK

Moving from a Butlins Holiday Resort to a new city-centre space at Pleasure Gardens, a renovated waterfront space in east London's Royal Victoria Docks, this year's Bloc lines up an impressive mix of electronic, rap and experimental luminaries - the likes of Orbital, Snoop Dogg, Steve Reich and Gary Numan - with a packed bill of DJs and modern electronic acts. Weekend tickets cost £99, not including accommodation.



For Metalheads

Bloodstock August 8-10, United Kingdom

This year, Germany's extreme metal festival Wacken sold out in record time, but for a taste of its diverse bill of black, doom, thrash and classic metal on a smaller scale, try this younger festival in rural Derbyshire. Held in the scenic environs of a stately home, Catton Hall, headliners include Alice Cooper and Behemoth, with Watain, Anvil, Testament, Mayhem and Dimmu Borgir further down the bill. Weekend tickets cost £115, which includes camping.



For Something Different…

Iceland Airwaves October 31 - November 4, Iceland

Once a year, the Icelandic capital of Reykjavík opens up its venues, cafes and record stores to a five-day festival of live music, all accessible with a single wristband. Hyped international acts - this year, Patrick Wolf, Django Django and Exitmusic - rub shoulders with homegrown talent. Festivities extend to the nearby Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa that plays host to the festival's annual chill party hosted by some of Iceland's top DJs. Weekend wristbands cost 14,500 Icelandic kroner (Dh438).


OppiKoppi August 9-11, South Africa

If you prefer your festivals upmarket and boutique-y, with all modern amenities on hand, Oppi Koppi - it means "on the hill" in Afrikaans - is probably not for you. For those unfazed by the lack of home comforts, though, this no-frills camping festival held deep in the bush of South Africa's Limpopo province should offer the right sort of challenge. This year's bill and ticket information have yet to be announced, but it's really all about the chaos, the all-night parties and the joy of roughing it in a landscape where the civilised fear to tread.