Forget queuing for hours on winding country lanes and camping overnight in muddy fields, because London's where it's at for festivals this summer.
The metropolis may not be the first place your thoughts turn to when you think of festival season, but with its vast green parks and easy peasy transport links, it's an ideal location for an outdoor summer shindig.
There are loads of festivals taking place in the Capital this summer, bringing some of the biggest names on the global music scene to London's parks, and covering a vast range of genres. Here's our pick (in no particular order) of some of the biggest and best of London's 2011 festivals:
South West Four
Taking place over two days in August, the Clapham Common dance gathering boasts a big, big line-up of electronic superheroes headlined by Pendulum and Underworld. The full line up has just been revealed, with Sven Vath, Above & Beyond, Laurent Garnier, Sub Focus and Sasha amongst the names joining already announced acts including John Digweed, Laidback Luke and Pete Tong. For the full, incredible line-up, check out the SW4 page in our Festivals Guide.
Essentially three separate one day festivals taking place in the idyllic surroundings of Hyde Park, Wireless festival provides three very distinct line-ups of world class talent, catering for three very different festival crowds. Friday 1st July sees US urban megastars The Black Eyed Peas top a bill of hip hop and D&B acts that includes Plan B, Tinie Tempah, Bruno Mars, Example, Chipmunk and more. The Saturday meanwhile sees Hyde Park take on an altogether more electronic feel, when the mighty Chemical Brothers lead the charge with Chase&Status, The Streets, Aphex Twin and more in support. The final day of Wireless, on Sunday July 3rd is headlined by alt-indie icons Pulp, with support from Grace Jones, Tv on the Radio, Foals, The Horrors, and more.
Hard Rock Calling
Now in its sixth year, Hard Rock Calling brings some of the world's biggest bands and rock n roll acts to its huge stage in Hyde Park, for three very loud nights of anthemic rock and roll. Friday night at Hyde Park sees the return of Las Vegas superstars The Killers for a very special headline appearance. On Sunday meanwhile, rock n roll veteran Rod Stewart rounds the weekend off is style with support from Steve Nicks, Adam Ant, Rumor, Train, Barenaked Ladies and more.
Get Loaded in the Park
After taking a year off in 2010, the sister festival to SW4 returns on Sunday June 12th to showcase the very best in indie and alternative live music. This year's event will be headlined by Razorlight, with The Cribs, The Noisettes, Darwin Deez, British Sea Power, Slow Club and Los Campesinos! amongst the names announced so far to play at the one day event.
Celebrating the very best in Southern Hemisphere sounds under a Northern sky, Southern Sounds brings together a wide range of acts from below the equator for one fantastic day on Clapham Common. Aussie superstars INXS have already been announced as headliners, with support from mighty New Zealand rockers Shihad. More acts will be announced over the coming weeks.