Festivals are a staple of summer. Where else can we get away with shameless clothing, embarrassing dance moves and questionable behaviour without onlookers batting an eyelash?
And yes, we hear you cry, a virtual festival is just not the same. But there are some well-schooled organisers giving it some welly to get you very close to the real thing. We’re talking exclusive sets, 3D effects and much much more. Here are the best virtual festivals this summer has to offer and best of all they’re free or by voluntary donation!
Daily: United We Stream
Image: United We Stream
The collective effort of 49 cities and 762 artists, across 180 locations, United We Stream is a shining example of how people come together in times of adversity. And what better to bind us together than underground music? The streaming service allows visitors to donate at their discretion, with all proceeds going towards bars, pubs, clubs, performers and other cultural organisations impacted by the pandemic. With no queue and the ability to access all areas, how can you refuse?
5th-7th June: Big City Beats
Image: Broadway World
It’ll take more than a virus to stop Big City Beats hosting a party. World Club Dome Las Vegas will go ahead this year, combining VR experiences with a drive-in version of the festival in Germany. It will feature immersive light shows and DJ sets from the likes of David Guetta, Afrojack, Robin Schulz and many more. If that didn’t convince you, we’ve heard rumours that there will be pillars of fire, lasers, CO2 cannons and pyrotechnics galore. Why not find out for yourself?
6th June: Dear Class of 2020
Okay, so this isn’t a festival as such. It’s a graduation. But it’s probably the most star-studded graduation ever. Beyoncé, J-Lo, Lizzo, Taylor Swift, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga and Demi Lovato will all be taking to the YouTube stage this year to give performances and inspirational messages. The marathon livestream starts at 7pm GMT this Saturday, and will also include a commencement address from the dashing Barack Obama. We’ve missed him.
6th June: Junction 2
Image: Junction 2
Junction 2’s physical festival may be postponed until next year but that hasn’t stopped them taking the party to another realm. J2v, its virtual replacement, will feature some of the finest underground house and techno DJs spread across three 3D digital stages. Expect abstract designs, geometric shapes and mind-bending visuals. Our pick is The Vault stage –with sets from Daniel Avery and Maya Jane Coles. Check out the full line up here.
12th-14th June: Download Festival
Image: Download Festival
The UK’s premier rock festival is also taking to our screens this year in the form of Download Festival TV, with a suitably heavyweight line-up. Tune in for 3 days-worth of live music, exclusive interviews, interactive content and unseen performances. Headliners include Kiss, Iron Maiden, The Darkness and many more rock legends. Whack out your air guitar and get ready to mosh (safely, from your homes).
Which festival are you gearing up for? Let us know in the comments below. If you like our blog, you’ll love our Instagram.