Rock the Planet; Your Guide to the Summer's Fantastic Festival Fun

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Virgin Radio's CHRISTIAN O'CONNELL gives us his guide to the hottest live rock events of the year.

Virgin Radio will be giving away some of the last remaining tickets for this summer's hottest festivals. So tune in to 105.8FM in London or 1215AM for details

HI-FI SOUTH May 27-28

Not much happens in Winchester, so this annual music festival allows the locals to moan about the mess it makes for the rest of the year. I went a couple of years ago and it was great. This has grown into a great, first division event from its beginnings as a dance-based festival. Although there is still a strong dance bias, this year's bill features Ian Brown, Hard-Fi and The Go! Team who are all brilliant live. Then there's Festival stalwarts Super Furry Animals who a guaranteed to deliver the goods. Elsewhere it's banging house a go-go with a host of top DJs including Pete Tong, Armin Van Buuren, Judge Jules and Mylo.

Tickets: 0870 042 2006.


The last couple of years we've had to suffer Party In The Park which is always populated by dreadful boybands miming to their latest bit of Top 20 nonsense.

Thank goodness this year we've now got some proper rock 'n' roll bands who play their own instruments and make a good racket.

Loudest of the lot will no doubt be The Who. I'm a big fan of the band, even though they're 272 years old - just a head and a wheelchair like something out of Doctor Who! Although the volume's taken a toll on poor Pete Townshend's lugholes, expect them to blow the crowd away at the site of last year's Live8 triumph. Another Live8 star headlines the night before. The Pink Floyd reunion being a one-off, bassman Roger Waters will be performing the Floyd's epic Dark Side Of The Moon in its entirety. Other acts over the weekend include Razorlight (at Roger Daltrey's request), Texas, Starsailor, The Zutons and Primal Scream. Tickets: 0870 400 0688.


The Northern leg of the Hi-Fi extravaganza takes place on the Matfen Estate just outside Newcastle and there's bound to be a great atmosphere. They love their music in this part of the world and that's why bands love playing Newcastle. People also love Ian Brown - witness the reception he got at the NME Awards. He's headlining the Live Stage. Much fancied up-and-comers Editors are also putting in an appearance, as are Maximo Park, The Subways, Brakes and Carl Barat's new outfit Dirty Pretty Things who'll be playing tracks from their debut album Waterloo To Anywhere.

Tickets: 0870 042 2006.

T IN THE PARK July 8-9

There's no doubt that rock fans in England get spoiled for choice when it comes to lavish festival line-ups, but the one event that consistently goes furthest to upstage them every year is Scotland's T In The Park. This year is no exception with a killer line-up, topped off by Californian funk-rockers the Red Hot Chili Peppers. For them to be doing T In The Park says a lot about the pulling power of this festival. Other bands include the Arctic Monkeys, Kaiser Chiefs and The Proclaimers.

I've never been to this event before but I will be going up this year. We're going to be doing the Breakfast Show from the festival on the Friday and hopefully getting some of the bands on live.

The atmosphere is amazing - people really go for it because it's the one big Scottish festival of the year. Friends who've been say they put the rest of the summer festivals to shame - I can't wait.

Now sold out


This is going to be a special weekend down in The Solent. I've never been - I was taken to the IOW so much as a kid - but I'm going this year as there's such a great line-up. …