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BRITS BITS: 10 UK summer music festivals

RAF MILDENHALL, England -- Summer has arrived here in the United Kingdom, signaling a highly anticipated music festival season. For years, musical acts of all genres from all over the world have made their way to various stages throughout the U.K. Nowadays, these festivals host hundreds of thousands of music lovers looking to catch a glimpse of their favorite singers and bands performing live.

Several music festivals have come and gone, but don't let that dampen your spirits. With a full year to prepare, it's never too early to start the countdown to next Summer.  

Glastonbury
Where: Glastonbury, Somerset
Why: Glastonbury is arguably the most popular music festival in the U.K. and among the most popular in the world. Approximately 1,500 people attended the first festival held in 1970. Since then, ticket sales have soared to more than 130,000 recorded in 2011. Headlining acts have included U2, Paul McCartney, Coldplay, David Bowie, Jay-Z and more. For more information, visit www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk.  

T in the Park
Where: Near Kinross, Scotland
Why: This music festival is Scotland's largest. In 2005 the Scottish festival won the highly-coveted Best Major Festival award in the U.K. Festival Awards. The following year, the festival took the award home again thus cementing its place in the festival scene. Popular artists such as Coldplay, Beyoncé and Foo Fighters have had fans lining up for years. For more information, visit www.tinthepark.com.  

Wireless Festival
Where: Hyde Park, London
Why: Now in its seventh year, the O2 Wireless Festival is the "new kid on the block." Boasting multiple stages and performances from Top 40 artists such as Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars and Kanye West, the three-day festival packs in all the fun without the camping. For more information, visit www.wirelessfestival.co.uk
 
Wakestock
Where: Pwllheli, Gwynedd, North Wales
Why: The music, the crowds, the atmosphere ... the wakeboarding? Spawning from a party in a parking lot, Wakestock has all the music festival essentials plus wakeboarding. Today, Wakestock hosts some of the music industry's top bands and artists and has grown into the biggest wakeboard competition in Europe. For more information, visit www.wakestock.co.uk.
 
V Festival
Where: Chelmsford and Staffordshire
Why: The V Festival attracts popular artists and bands from around the world such as Rihanna, Eminem and Kings of Leon. Whilst many festivals have multiple stages, the V festival is unique in that it has two separate, historic venues. Weston Park has a stunning 17th-century stately home and a 1,000-acre parkland; Hylands Park boasts a neo-classical listed house set in 570 acres of parkland including ancient woods, pleasure gardens and a serpentine lake. For more information, www.vfestival.com.

Leeds and Reading Festival
Where: Leeds, West Yorkshire/Reading, Berkshire
Why: Rock, alternative and indie music fans have been flocking to the Leeds and Reading festival for 52 years. Although one of the oldest festivals in the world, top-notch artists to include blink-182, Foo Fighters, Radiohead and The White Stripes keep it from losing its edge. This year the festival will host up-and-coming acts like Mallory Knox, a local Ely band. For more information, visit www.leedsfestival.com or www.readingfestival.com.
 
Creamfields
Where: Daresbury, Halton (near Liverpool)
Why: Creamfields is a dance music festival that has earned massive praise in the U.K. Also voted best dance festival from 2009 to 2011, it's no wonder the festival has enjoyed international success. Since its first show in Liverpool, it has made its way to more than 15 different countries throughout Europe and South America as well as Australia and New Zealand. For more information, visit www.creamfields.com.

The Secret Garden Party
Where: Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
Why: The Secret Garden Party is held on a serene 220-acre landscaped garden, bordering a river and lake. Throughout most of the year, the area is a wonderful place to enjoy the scenery; however for four days in the summer, the music takes over and crowds let loose. The four-day event offers an eclectic music line up as well as kid-friendly activities making it fun for the whole family. For more information, visit www.secretgardenparty.com.

Latitude Festival
Where: Southwold, Suffolk
Why: Latitude is more than just a music festival. With the arenas jam-packed with diverse acts from the worlds of music, cabaret, comedy, film, literature, theatre and poetry, it's clear why the public voted the Latitude Festival as Best Family Festival in the U.K. in 2012. For more information, visit www.latitudefestival.com.
 
Download Festival
Where: Donington Park, Leicestershire
Why: Time and time again Download Festival has proven the best is yet to come. As it enters its second decade, over the years audiences have been treated to musical performances by heavy-hitters of the rock genre including Iron Maiden, Marilyn Manson, Metallica, Audioslave and Black Sabbath. These artists and more have helped the festival win the Line-Up Of The Year award at the U.K. Festival Awards in 2012. For more information, visit www.downloadfestival.co.uk.