Which festivals are going ahead and when do live gigs restart?

Music fans have had a disappointing 12 months with festivals and gigs cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

But with the silver lining of lockdown easing on the horizon, many will be hoping they can get back into shows in the near future.

Boris Johnson’s COVID-19 roadmap says that from 17 May, fans may be able to get their first taste of live music for more than a year.

No earlier than 21 June, as long as things go to plan, all limits on social contact will be removed. While some issues around mass events are still to be ironed out, the government is hoping to reopen nightclubs and lift restrictions on large gatherings such as festivals at this point.

Below is a rolling list of live music shows – both festivals and touring acts – that have already revealed plans to hold events in full.



When: 22-25 July

Where: Henham Park, Suffolk

Only three acts have been revealed so far for the event – Bastille, First Aid Kit and Snow Patrol – but organisers insist it is all systems go for July.

Previously acts such as Haim, the Chemical Brothers and Bill Bailey have performed at the festival in the past.

A general view of the Latitude festival in Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk.
Latitude has only announced a handful of acts but say it is all systems go this year

Camp Bestival

When: 29 July – 1 August

Where: Lulworth Estate, Dorset

Rob Da Bank’s family-friendly festival returns for another year, with Becky Hill, Fatboy Slim and Groove Armada among the big names.

You can also expect comedy from Dick and Dom, fun with Sam and Mark, and entertainment for the little ones with Mr Tumble.

Revelers dance in the Temple Field at Bestival at the Lulworth Estate in Dorset.
Camp Bestival will go ahead this year

Kendal Calling

When: 29 July – 1 August

Where: Lowther Deer Park, Cumbria

Stereophonics, Supergrass, The Streets and Dizzee Rascal are among the performers announced for this one.

Surrounded by the majesty of the Lake District, acts such as Craig David’s TS5, Sundara Karma and Strictly Come Dancing winner Bill Bailey are also on the bill.

Dizzee Rascal performing at the V Festival in Hylands Park, Chelmsford.
Dizzee Rascal will hit the stage in the Lake District this summer

Reading & Leeds

When: 26-29 August

Where: Richfield Avenue, Reading, and Bramham Park, Leeds

Held simultaneously in the north and south of England with a rotating line-up, you’ll hear from headliners Liam Gallagher, Queens Of The Stone Age, Stormzy, Catfish And The Bottlemen, Post Malone and Disclosure.

If that’s not enough, fans can also expect to hear from Brit-nominated AJ Tracey, YouTube sensation Madison Beer and scouse indie rockers The Wombats at the sold-out events.

Festival-goers at Leeds Festival at Bramham Park, West Yorkshire.
Leeds Festival is a staple on the circuit


When: 10-12 September

Where: Glasgow Green

Ian Brown, Sam Fender and Courteeners lead the bill at the Scottish festival.

TRNSMT was born out of the aftermath of T in the Park in Strathclyde, and also features YouTuber-turned-boxer-turned musician KSI, Manchester group Blossoms, and up-and-comer from Lincolnshire, Holly Humberstone.

Fans watch The Wombats perform on the Main Stageduring the TRNSMT festival at Glasgow Green, Scotland.
TRNSMT takes place on Glasgow Green


When: 11-12 September

Where: Heaton Park, Manchester

Around 80,000 people will pile into the North West to watch the likes of Brit-award winning Dave, Grammy-winning Megan Thee Stallion and dance music legend Eric Prydz.

Camelphat, AJ Tracey and Skepta also feature on the bill – but tickets have already sold out.

View from above of the festival site on day 2 of Parklife festival on June 07, 2015 in Heaton Park Manchester, United Kingdom
Parklife sold out shortly after announcing its line up

Isle of Wight

When: 16 -19 September

Where: Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle of Wight

Liam Gallagher, Snow Patrol, David Guetta and Duran Duran will all headline the event, which has been moved from its usual summer slot.

Elsewhere on the bill you can expect to hear from Tom Jones, Sophie Ellis Bextor and Imelda May.

Festival-goers relax in the main stage arena on day four of the Isle of Wight Festival 2017, at Seaclose Park, Isle of Wight.
The Isle Of Wight festival has moved from its usual summer spot to the end of September

Major live shows

The below list (unless stated otherwise) shows the first music acts to perform at the venues after lockdown measures ease.

The O2, London

Who: Squeeze, 22 May

Squeeze will put on one of the first in-person music gigs in months when they hit the stage at the O2 in May.

This one is before all lockdown measures are eased on 21 June, so will be socially distanced – the arena’s 20,000 capacity will be reduced to just 4,700 in an effort to keep everyone safe while watching the Cool For Cats rockers.

London,  UK - 7th March 2014: The 02 Arena at night with reflections in the water. This is a popular concern and entertainment venue.
Squeeze will perform a socially distanced gig in May

Wembley Arena

Who: Arijit Singh, 17 July

The Indian megastar will be the first act to say the hallowed words, “Hello Wembley!” when he visits the northwest London arena.

Simple Minds and McFly are also among the early performers at famous venue.

London, United Kingdom - May 22, 2009 : Wembley Arena at night with colorful lighting before a concert
Indian superstar Arijit Singh will perform at Wembley Arena in July

Utilita Arena, Birmingham

Who: Arijit Singh, 18 July

Singh will then hotfoot it to the West Midlands to take his show to Birmingham the day after he performs at Wembley.

Birmingham, United Kingdom - June 6, 2016: View of the National Indoor Arena aka the Barclaycard Arena at Old Turn Junction with people passing by, Birmingham, England, UK, Western Europe.
Birmingham’s arena will also host Arijit Singh in July

SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Who: Haim, 22 June

It looks as if the Haim sisters will be the first music act to perform at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro arena in June.

The gig is part of their European tour, which also sees them visiting Nottingham, Manchester, Leeds, Dublin, London and Cardiff.

Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

Who: Haim, 23 June

After a show in Glasgow, Haim will then head to Cardiff to perform.

Este Haim, left, Alana Haim, and Danielle Haim of music band Haim arrive before the Erdem Autumn/Winter 2018 London Fashion Week show held at the National Portrait Gallery, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION. Picture date: Monday February 19, 2018. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes/PA Wire
Haim will hit the UK in June

AO Arena, Manchester

Who: Dua Lipa, 16 September

The Grammy-winning, Brit-nominated artist looks set to be the first act in months to perform at Manchester’s arena.

The show was initially scheduled to take place earlier, but was pushed back by the pandemic.

Dua Lipa won best pop album. Pic:  Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Fresh from her Grammy win, Dua Lipa will tour in the summer. Pic: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

First Direct Arena, Leeds

Who: The Isley Brothers, 25 June

All being well, the Grammy Hall of Fame inductees will grace the stage in Leeds in June.

The group is known for hits including It’s Your Thing and Shout.

Ronald Isley (R) performs "Try Me" with the Isley Brothers during a special tribute to James Brown at the 21st Annual Soul Train Music Awards in Pasadena, California, March 10, 2007. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES)
The Isley Brothers will play at the arena in Leeds when it reopens after the lockdown. Pic: Reuters

Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham

Who: Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons, 5 July

The legendary Frankie Valli looks to be opening up the arena in Nottingham in July, with organisers saying that it may end up being a socially distant event.

The musical version of the group’s rise to fame in the ’60s and ’70s, Jersey Boys, will also open up in the West End in the summer.

M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool

Who: Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons, 6 July

A day after performing in Nottingham, the group will take a trip to Liverpool to do the same there.

Frankie Valli performing at BBC Proms in the Park in Hyde Park, London.
Frankie Valli is back in the UK this summer

Utilita Arena, Newcastle

Who: Simple Minds, 20 August

The ’80s pop-rockers will restart Newcastle Arena’s gig calendar with a visit in August as part of their UK tour.

Brighton Centre

Who: Simple Minds, 2 September

Simple Minds will also be one of the first artists to perform in Brighton.

Simple Minds perform during the 2014 Sports Personality of the Year Awards at the SSE Hydro, Glasgow.
Simple Minds will be among the first acts to perform in Newcastle and Brighton

Other notable venues across the UK that will be looking to host gigs not long after lockdown

  • Rock City, Nottingham – Yungblud, Passenger and Black Stone Cherry
  • O2 Academy, Bristol – Lupe Fiasco, New Hope Club and The Specials
  • Electric Ballroom, London – Twin Atlantic, The Beat and The Magic Numbers
  • Engine Shed, Lincoln – John Cooper Clarke, Blossoms and Becky Hill
  • LCR, Norwich – Declan McKenna, Postmodern Jukebox and Tom Grennan
  • Leadmill, Sheffield – Martin Kemp, You Me At Six and The Rifles
  • O2 Apollo, Manchester – The Isley Brothers, Van Morrison and Louis Tomlinson
  • King Tuts, Glasgow – The Rifles, Another Sky and Cloth
  • O2 Academy, Leicester – Circa Waves, Twin Atlantic and Showhawk Duo
  • St David’s Hall, Cardiff – Black Stone Cherry, Leo Sayer and Jamie Cullum
  • Waterfront Hall, Belfast – Passenger, Elbow and Rag N Bone Man
  • O2 Academy, Newcastle – Max & Harvey, Goldie Lookin’ Chain and The Vamps