Buy some Wellington boots. Now. Buy some sun cream. Now. Buy some cider. Now. Buy a ticket to the festival. Now. Buy your coach/plane/boat tickets/petrol (if you're driving). Now. Buy a straw fucking hat. Now. Buy some gear. When you get there. Buy INTO the festival experience that is the UK and worldwide festival experience in 2012. Now!

This week's Weekly Review of Dance Music is all about festivals. I'll be looking at home grown festivals and foreign festivals and YOU will be finding out about them on here, now.

I absolutely LOVE dance music festivals. In my 31 years I've been to Sonar (twice), Wireless in Hyde Park (once), South West Four on Clapham Common (once) and Bestival Festival (once). No wonder people call me Festival Fred! So, take my hand and walk with me as I guide you through the very best of what the UK and worldwide festival experience has to offer YOU.


The UK festival season experience has to be seen to be believed. It kicks off in August EVERY year, without fail, at the Glastonbury Festival and ends on the Isle of Man at the Bestival Festival later in the year that very same year. Every year. I'm not sure about the worldwide festival schedule. Knowing what THEY are like its probably all upside down and round the corner - if any of you guys has a copy of the worldwide time-table, get in touch!

Before I begin with the reviews, allow me to review the festival called Glastonbury Festival.


Glastonbury has been run by Mike Manumission's dad, Michael Manumission, since 1976 and still continues to trade under the simple name, 'Glastonbury' - no tawdry sponsorship deals with this one. Its the real deal, dude. Pure as the driven rain. At Glastonbury Festival its all about the music, the people, LOVE and the festival experience. The only adverts you'll see at this place are the ones that proudly show off Greenpeace, Catholic Aid, Comic Relief, Mencap, Christian Aid, Shelter and The Body Shop. Also, the Guardian Group, Orange, Budweiser, Natwest, BBC and Carlsberg. All credit to the Manumission crew for keeping things real. Fuck the man, fuck the large corporations who want to suck the energy out of music and FUCK the other festivals who pander to the fat cat city banker wankers (LOL) who sit in their ivory towers in London LAUGHING at punters like you and me who rock up at these events and chow down on their big, thick-veined business cocks to suck money out of their bell-ends like hungry Lebanese prostitutes until our mouths are overflowing with money spunk. We don't swallow though, we let the creamy cash cum spill down our chins and onto the bathroom floor/into the fat cat's back pockets. It makes me sick. So, if you wanna be down with a festival other than Glastonbury then fuck you too. My fo-fo make sure all ya'll kids don't grow. Sit down, look over the road at Mike and Michael Manumission at Glastonbury and get ashamed. Music is ALL that matters to these cats. Know it and own it.

Keep up the good work, Michael!

The only thing that lets Glastonbury down is the music. I've never been but I always watch the coverage on BBC. Most of the time its either Coldplay or Dizzee Rascal doing an acoustic set for Annie Fucking Mack in a makeshift wig wam.

Buy a ticket for Glastonbury 2012 HERE

Glastonbury - 6/10

Hyde Park Festival of Legends

Last year I stayed out all afternoon and caught a glimpse of Steve Wonder's mouth organ on the top right hand corner of a big screen. Only in Hyde Park! Steve Wonder is a legend and its legends like him you can listen to every year at the weekly summer Hyde Park Festival of Legends. Best of all, its free if you're not bothered about seeing the artist/band on the stage. Get yourself some beers from Marble Arch Sainsbury's, sit outside the fence with your mates and LISTEN to the music of Snoop Doggy Dogg, Paul McCartney, Steve Wonder, Jamiroquai, Ke$ha, Madonna and Blur. Its like a live version of that shit BBC programme, The Voice, but with proper bands and no Jessie J breathing down your neck.

Buy a ticket for Hyde Park HERE

Hyde Park Festival of Legends: 8/10


I'm going to Lovebox this year on the Saturday to see Prosumer, who I think is a Manumission. I've never been before but I've got mates who have and they have all said Lovebox is good. It is owned and run by Groove Armada who, if I may say so, do a terrific job.

I'll be there ALL DAY wearing a white t-shirt and jeans. If you want to say hello and have a beer/line of Charlie Chalk with Tonka, just tap me on the left shoulder and say the following words, "its all about the groove with me, mate."

Buy a ticket for Lovebox HERE

Lovebox: 9/10


I've been to Sonar a whopping two times. No wonder people call me Sonar Sam! Sonar is held in Spain and Barcelona EVERY year and is a great place for meeting local Spanish shopkeepers, bartenders, tiki-taking footballers and pushy African prostitutes with HIV. And then there's the music. Fuck me, the music at Sonar is brilliant - that's why I keep going back. At Sonar you are GUARANTEED a Miss Kittin, a Richie Hawtin, a Jeff Mills, an Ed Banger, an Erol Alkan, a Tiga, some Beastie Boys, an Aphex Twin and a bit of Yazoo. That's the draw and THAT is why Sonar is the biggest selling festival of all time. Sonar is clever and innovative; it continues to pull in the punters by not only offering a day time festival in a university but also putting on a special bus to take you to a night time festival in a massive aircraft hanger. You just don't get that with Creamfields.

I once sat in a darkened room watching a film about Zinedine Zidane at Sonar by Day. I thought my mind was imploding.

This year at Sonar you can see New Order, Fatboy Slim, Dead Mouse, Luciano, Annie Fucking Mack, DJ Harvey (first discovered on WRDM), Elton John and Lana Del Rey (I really, REALLY would). These artists are all on the same bill, one after another with the DJs playing back to back. Mouth watering stuff, eh?

Get your tickets HERE.

Sonar 10/10

That's the reviews on festivals over and done with. Before you decide on which one to go to this year read this post over and over again so that you don't choose the wrong festival. Sonar got 10/10 so use your nut and fuck off to Spain. If you're still unsure Twitter me or send an email. I'll help you out, pal.

Next week I'll be reviewing podcasts, forums and all things dance on the internet. Did you know that dance podcasts have now overtaken dance CDs for volume, quantity and dance content? Pull that stat out of the bag when you're next looking to impress the lads! ;-)

Keep following me on Tweeter here: @tonkawrdm

Email me things on email: tonkawrdm@gmail.com