Music Festivals; Your Definitive Guide to Summer 1997

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Tribal Gathering '97

Sat 24 May noon-Sun 25 May, 8.30am. Kicking off the summer in astral style, the immense Tribal Gathering leads you away from urban decline and into rural mayhem, as 35,000 revellers shake their collective neo-glo sticks in a "Futuristic Medieval Carnival", somewhere in a field in Bedfordshire. Now in its fifth chapter, the cosmic masters at Universe have once again proved that Criminal Justice Act or no, people simply have to unite in sociably large groups and gently amuse themselves with twenty hours of repetitive beats. There are ten geographically themed tents - think The Crystal Maze only more so - with the usual nomenclature of organic titles like Planet Earth, Trans Atlantic, Pacific and Sahara. The big news is the chance to see Kraftwerk emote for the first time in nearly a decade. Excitement abounds with Eddie Izzard heading the comedy line-up; Diesel launching an auro-visual breakbeat crusade amid their half-pipe skate ramp and muscle car sound system; a cinema tent showing four hours of The X-Files episodes and parlour games courtesy of the Double Six Club. Luton Hoo Estate, Luton, Bedfordshire. Tickets pounds 35 (any Mean Fiddler venue, credit card booking, with pounds 5 fee, 0171-344 0044/ 0541 500044). Info line - 0181-963 0940. Essential Music Festival Sat 24-Mon 26 May, 1-11pm. Vying with Tribal Gathering for crowds and kudos is this rightly proclaimed "Essential" summer festival. Now in its seventh year, the Brighton weekend is one of the more diverse festivals where musical proclivities are divided over three days; Dance, Indie and Roots. The Elite model agency have announced they'll be sending their minions to scout for the next British supermodel. For Internet junkies, the mesmerising Future Sound of London will be performing their first ever live transmission to an outdoor event. They will be filmed in the studio, transmitting sounds and visualise live by ISDN. Other headliners include Dreadzone, Brand New Heavies, The Orb, Eat Static, Death In Vegas, Kenickie, My Life Story, and Chemical Brothers. Stanmer Park, Brighton. Tickets pounds 25.00 per day, with pounds 2.25 fee. 24hr credit-card booking 0171-344 4444. Info line - 0891 230190. Sundance 97 Sat 31 May, 1-11pm. A day out in Delia Smith country, in the esteemed musical company of Space, Sneaker Pimps, Apollo 440, Audio Web, Red Snapper and Zion Train. Also this year, there are appearances from local bands Shere Khan, Bliss and Oroogadoogas, and a dance tent that plays host to DJs Billy Nasty, Bentley Rhythm Ace and Con-Brio-O. Earlham Park, UEA, Norwich. Tickets pounds 15, with pounds 1 fee, children 5-13 half price. Credit card hotline - 01603 764764. June Fleadh Sat 7 June. Urban festival now in its eighth year which brings a celtic aroma to the Seven Sisters Road. Big names to have graced Fleadh in the past include Sting, The Pogues and Crowded House. Highlights of this year's event include Brian Kennedy, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Suzanne Vega, the Divine Comedy, Lightning Seeds and everyone's favourite Australian export Midnight Oil. Refreshments are available, but expect to live by Guinness alone. Finsbury Park, London, N4. Tickets pounds 30, with pounds 5 fee from any Mean Fiddler venue. Credit-card booking 0171-344 0044/0541 500044. Nearest tube, Finsbury Park. Jam In The Park Sun 8 June. Not to be confused with T in the Park, Jam offers a funked-up, double- staged Sunday of Jamiroquai, Faithless, Morcheeba, Lamb, Neneh Cherry, Urban Species and The Pharcyde, all in the safety of the big smoke. Finsbury Park, London, N4. Tickets pounds 25, from selected HMV and Tower stores and same contact numbers as above. Glastonbury Festival of Performing Arts Fri 27-Sun 29 Jun. The flyer hails ". . . legend tells of the enchanted city, which appears for just three days a year, at mid-summer, in the flowering meadows of the Vale of Avalon. And 'tis said that there may be found entrancing music, amazing spectacle and strange wonders beyond compare. …