Back-garden Festivals: The Playlists That Will Get You There


Rewind to December 31st 2019. You’re ringing in the new year with 1920s expectations: raucous parties, lots of booze, a little bit of sparkle. Feels like a world away doesn’t it?  Little did we know we’d be hitting the pause button on pretty much all the plans we’d looked forward to this year. Perhaps the most heart-wrenching of those lost plans, are the festivals. 
No one ever said you couldn’t party one-man style in your garden though, and with these playlists you might even enjoy it. Not a patch on the real thing, sure, but maybe an inch or so further away from the impending doom that is a festival-free summer.  

Reading and Leeds

The first festival on our list: Reading and Leeds Fest. Despite softening it’s palette in recent years, R&L is classically known for it’s meatier, heavier genres. A controversial rebrand, but this year’s lineup was set to boast the likes of Stormzy, Lewis Capaldi, and Two Door Cinema Club. To appreciate these acts virtually, however, I recommend Tom Jardine’s ‘Leeds Fest 2020’ Spotify playlist. A thirteen-hour, twelve-minute thing of beauty, full of all the music that should have been set to pummel your ears this August. Listed below are some of my favourite tracks: 

Nobody Speak / DJ Shadow, Run The Jewels | You’re walking into the arena slo-mo style. Your feet are slipping in some already-muddy wellies, a chuffed-to-bits smile on your face.

Never Fight A Man With A Perm / IDLES | One to get you really jazzed up against Capitalism, Fascism, and all things wrong with modern society. I like to think of this band as the materialisation of Dewey Finn’s ‘stick it to the Man’.

Acrylic / Courteeners | You’re on a steady buzz from Aldis-own cider, the sun is shining, your non sunscreen-ed skin is burning. Courteeners are on. Everything’s already much more class than it was ten minutes ago.

Boys In The Better Land / Fontaines D.C. | A lesser-known band with a bootiful Irish twang. Well worth a listen, festival or no festival.


Ahhhh, Glasto. A big one for many. Unsurprisingly, the lineup planned for this year was about to cook up something special. Kendrick Lamar, Paul McCartney, and Diana Ross are just a rough sketch of the names in bright lights that were set to play this June. Would we expect nothing less from a 50th anniversary? Tap into the ‘Glastonbury 2020’ playlist created by richardmunden to get a true gist of this iconic festival. Here are some faves: 

Cold Cold Cold / Cage The Elephant | Try and find someone who doesn’t love this song. Go on. Impossible isn’t it?

Dragonball Durag / Thundercat | Groooovy baby. You’re queueing for another plastic-cupped beer. You find yourself nodding along to a distant bass-line. A moment later, your whole bod is bopping. Thundercat.

Come Down / Anderson .Paak | I’m very late to the party, but Anderson .Paak is one of my favourite finds of this year. You can’t not move to this song. Upbeat Kendrick vibes with a funky bass.

Stop This Flame / Celeste | I saw Celeste first on Jools Holland and was totally transfixed. You’ll be, too, with this tune of all summer-y tunes. Fruity, fresh and zesty like the Rekorderlig you’re about to consume.


What is Lovebox I hear you say? A smaller, London-based festival founded by Groove Armada. With it, a fun range of sound from a handful of chilled genres. To get a full sense of what you could have experienced this summer, give both ‘Lovebox 2020 Official Playlist – Enter The Decade’ by festival founders, and ‘Lovebox 2020’ by Ayrton Burgess a follow. The stand-out tracks are as follows:

Water /  Kojey Radical, Mahalia, Swindle | As smooth as the title would suggest.

Mother May I Sleep With Danger? / Joy Crookes | It’s late afternoon. You’re sun-tired. Joy Crookes plays. The day is given an instant face-lift.

CHANCES / KAYTRANADA, Shay Lia | It would be at this point in the day when I’d pull out the iconic moves. Such as the robot, the slightly-crap moonwalk, maybe a spin or two. The world (/garden) is your oyster.

Starry Night – Edit / Peggy Gou | There’s a cool evening breeze. You’ve lost your mates again. At this point: who cares?

And there you go. Now I’ve given you all the tools you’ll need to recreate your own festival-favourite memories — in a safe, self-isolating type of way. What more could you want?
Pitch your tent. Don your bucket hat. Bob’s your uncle. Think of the positives: at least this way, you can pee in a proper toilet.

Words by Emily Moscrop


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here