Discovery Festivals: The Best Festivals to Discover New Music in 2020



If you like to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to music, then you'll know that one of the best ways to discover new artists is at a festival. We are spoiled in the UK with a huge array of different festivals across the country, with opportunities to see up and coming artists and niche talents in often intimate spaces.

Whether you're looking for a new experience or want to find out where the best places are to discover new music this festival season, then we're here to help. Check out some of our favourite Discovery Festivals. Grab tickets to the next lesson in your musical education.

Live at Leeds Festival

Renowned as the first place to hear the essential sounds of the year ahead, Live At Leeds takes place across multiple venues in Leeds city centre on May Bank Holiday. Since 2007, Live at Leeds Festival has given platforms for now-international artists to perform some of their most important and most intimate early shows. Some of the Live at Leeds alumni includes Sam Fender, Sam Smith and The 1975.

This year, the festival brings you headliners in the form of DMA'S. You can also catch other notable acts such as Pale Waves, Easy Life and Mystery Jets. But as with any good metropolitan festival, there's plenty to see and do across the day and you're bound to discover some incredible acts along the way.

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Dot to Dot Festival

Award-winning, multi-venue festival Dot To Dot has been bringing quality music to the masses since 2005. Since its origins in Nottingham, the festival has grown year-on-year. It now takes place in three locations over spring Bank Holiday weekend, in Nottingham, Bristol and Manchester. In the past, it's seen performances from legendary acts ahead of their rise to super stardom, including The xx, Ed Sheeran, Florence + The Machine, Lewis Capaldi and Foals.

Headlined this year by Leicester based alt band Easy Life, who placed second in the BBC Music's Sound of 2020, Dot to Dot will once again bring a stellar line-up. D2D 2020 welcomes names such as Steam Down, Skinny Living, Alexandra Savior and many more.

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Liverpool Sound City

Liverpool Sound City is the UK's leading independent music festival and conference. The festival takes place this year between 1st and 3rd May in Liverpool's Baltic Triangle. Expect to see pop-up bars, clubs, warehouses, workshops and some of the best up and coming (and well established) artists around. At Sound City, you can witness the hottest new music talent from around the globe. This year Friendly Fires lead the charge with an exclusive headline show.

Unlike other metropolitan festivals of its kind, Sound City not only boasts an impressive line up but also holds its annual Sound City+ conference. Sound City+ offers the chance to engage with, learn from and share ideas with leading industry professionals across a multitude of expertise.

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Wide Awake Festival

Wide Awake is a festival for music fans looking for something different. Expect leftfield indie, post punk, electronica, techno, jazz and more from an array of artists you won’t find anywhere else at a festival in London.

Brought to you by Bad Vibrations, LNZRT and SC&P, some of the original Field Day and Dimensions festivals founders and the people behind MOTH Club, The Shacklewell Arms, The Waiting Room and Peckham Audio, the inaugural Wide Awake festival will see Metronomy headline, alongside performances from Shame, Black Midi, The Comet is Coming and loads more.

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Sea Change Festival

Now in its fifth year, Sea Change Festival brings exciting and often surprising music line ups. It also has a widely recognised eye for emerging talent. Alongside the music offerings, the festival also includes a wide range of cultural and artistic attractions which this year includes a weekend residence from Rough Trade Books.

Join this year's big names Tim Burgess of The Charlatans and Aldous Harding. Explore the festival for the latest in up and coming artists, while Sea Change provides a platform for some of the most exciting and current talents in the industry. Discover for yourself this May in Dartington, Devon.

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Ritual Union

For the past three years, Ritual Union has been Oxford's premier one-day festival. Bringing acts such as Fontaines D.C., Teleman, Peace, Nadine Shah and Gaz Coombes, now the festival turns to the South West. Acclaimed singer-songwriter Marika Hackman will be heading up an eclectic line-up in Bristol.

Expect to see some of the best new talent and established names in the alternative scene. Taking place across key venues on Bristol's Nelson Street, Ritual Union gives music fans the chance to enjoy some of the best established and up and coming acts the country has to offer. All in the setting of one of the most influential and buzzing musical cities in the UK.

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Melon Yellow

This new festival is designed as a celebration of shoegaze, punk, arts and sustainability. Melon Yellow aims to test the best sounds in a live environment accompanied by a full sensory experience, across food, drink and the visual arts.

For its inaugural event in 2020, Melon Yellow welcomes headliners Ride. The 90s shoegaze icons join a wealth of talent including Turnover, The Regrettes, Lauren Hibberd and more. This brand new event takes place in Liverpool, at The Invisible Wind Factory next month. You won't want to miss it.

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Gold Sounds Festival

Gold Sounds takes place in the beating heart of Hyde Park, at Brudenell Social Club in Leeds over two days in May. The festival is dedicated to shoegaze, punk, psych, noise and grunge, boasting an alumni including Yuck, Cabbage, Cloud Nothings, Fat White Family, The Wytches and more.

This year, you can see Dream Wife and Girl Band headline, with a whole host of other acts across the weekend. Don't miss your chance to discover these up and comers while you can, in an unrivalled and intimate space.

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I'm Sarah: Digital Marketing Manager at See Tickets, Journalism graduate, and parent to two disobedient cats named after Pokémon. A life-long music fan, I flitter happily between emo, R&B, pop and alt music. As I approach 30, I can often be found complaining of back pain at gigs and festivals across the UK and beyond, or wielding my camera at any event that will have me.

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