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Ann Wallace • Editor

“In 2016,


suffered the

worst rain and

mud since the

festival began

48 years ago,

consuming the

region’s entire


of woodchip”


estivals have long been a feature of our great British summer, as

revellers in their thousands fill muddy fields to hear the latest bands.

And mud certainly seems to be a feature – certainly at Glastonbury,

arguably our most famous festival. In 2016, it suffered the worst rain

and mud since the festival began 48 years ago, consuming the region’s entire

supply of woodchip – which had been spread over the 1,000 festival acres – in

the process.

Thought to be the oldest popular music festival still in existence, the Reading

Festival launched in 1961 as the National Jazz and Blues Festival. This year,

it’s on 24th-26th August with acts including Fall Out Boy, Kendrick Lamar and

Panic! At the Disco.

Festivals are far older than you might think. The first known music festival

was the Pythian Games, a precursor of the Olympics, which was held from

the late sixth century BC at the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi. A general

celebration of all things beautiful, it included a day of musical competitions.

Back up to date, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best festivals on page 26, not

just music but family fun and food, and you’ll find three more foodie festivals

on page 96.

On the subject of food, Anna Turns has been tasting the delights of South

Hams in Devon for us, from Alf ’s hearty breakfast to a glamorous high tea and

posh dinner. Eat your fill on page 48.

We also talk to Fred Sirieix, everyone’s favourite Frenchman and the

mâitre d’ on Channel 4’s hit show

First Dates

. He talks about the importance of

restaurant service, and his love for his home town, Limoges, on page 16.

The place to be this summer is Edinburgh – and not just for the famous

festivals (see, we’ve got a theme going here!). It’s a beautiful city with plenty of

culture, green spaces, great restaurants and fun things to do. Read our guide

on page 42.

We also check out this year’s Open golf championship, try out the new

rooftop pool at Ragdale Hall Spa, and visit a business that’s all about bikes.

All this and more.

Enjoy your flight – and your copy of

Flight Time.

Start time