I'm pretty sure this is unprecedented: the majority of the big, small, boutique and everything-in-between festivals for 2010 already have ticket sales - the majority of which are "early bird" offers, where prices are kept at 2009 prices for a limited time.
First up are Leeds Festival 2010 and Reading Festival 2010, taking place over the last bank holiday weekend of 2010 (27th - 29th August). 2009 saw the usual ticket-rush on the day tickets went on sale, and yet another great line-up, with Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys, Kings of Leon, Kaiser Chiefs, The Prodigy, Bloc Party, Placebo, Maximo Park and many more crowd-pleasing acts. No line-up announcements have yet been made for the 2010 events (being that they are almost exactly eleven months away!), but early-bird tickets are on sale, with weekend tickets costing £175. There's one easy way to guarantee entry to the 2010 event and avoid the crush: book the early-birds while they're still available!
Rob da Bank's multi award-nominated Bestival 2010, which takes place on the Isle of Wight next September has now sold-out its allocation of early-bird tickets, but 2010 tickets are now available. With an emphasis on the dancier side of alternative (or should that be the other way around?), the 2009 space-themed event featured Massive Attack, Kraftwerk, Elbow, MGMT, 65daysofstatic, Fleet Foxes, Little Boots, Mika, Klaxons, Soulwax, 2manydjs, Seasick Steve, Friendly Fires, Bat for Lashes, Florence and the Machine, Zane Lowe, La Roux and many more. Tickets will cost you £150 for an adult weekend ticket, £75 for a teen-ticket (13-15) and free for 12-and-unders.
Both Bestival and Camp Bestival are running their usual "Payment Plan" enabling you to spread the payments for your festival tickets - see the end of this article for more info.
Early bird tickets for the 2010 V Festival events in both Chelmsford and Staffordshire have now, unfortunately sold-out. Tickets go on general sale in March 2010.
Another with no more early-birds is T in the Park 2010, but don't complain to us - we did warn you back in July! No line-ups announced as yet for the event, which takes place between 9th and 11th July, but tickets, ranging from £145 to £180 are due to go on sale in March 2010.
Last, and of course not least is this festival held in Somerset called Glastonbury - some of you may have heard of it... No early-birds for this, I'm afraid, and tickets cost £10 more than last year, but Glasto is a biggy, so expect another great event for 2010. Tickets require pre-registration (www.glastonburyregistration.co.uk) and go on sale this Sunday, 4th October at 9AM.
A relatively new breed of festival, the "Family-Friendly" category, is ever expanding, with organisers seemingly bending-over-backwards to accommodate the whole family, with the addition of kids' events, fairgrounds, theatre, poetry and in some case ballet/ contemporary dance.
First up is Betsival's mainland off-shoot: Camp Bestival, staged in Dorset since 2008. The 2009 event featured Florence and the Machine, PJ Harvey, Will Young, Tinchy Stryder, VV Brown, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Mercury Rev, Goldie Lookin' Chain and even a Silent Disco so that the partying parents wouldn't wake the young 'uns (bless!). Taking place between 30th July and 1st August, early bird tickets for the 2010 event (like that of Bestival, it's bigger brother) have now sold-out, but general tickets are now available, costing £145 for an adult weekend ticket (concessions: £135), £72.50 for 11-17 year olds, and free for 10-and-unders.
Latitude, in Suffolk's Henham Park, has become the arts festival par excellence, with the programme regularly featuring literature, poetry, film, cabaret, poetry, theatre, comedy, ballet, contemporary dance, art, childrens' activities and of course music (phew.. did I miss anything there?). Aural entertainment for 2009 was provided by Pet Shop Boys, Grace Jones, Doves, White Lies, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Editors and many, many more. Limited pre-sale tickets are on sale now, costing £150
The Wychwood Music Festival 2010 takes place this year between 29th and 31st May at its usual venue: Cheltenham Racecourse, with an initial music line-up featuring The Levellers, Dreadzone and Adrian Edmonson and the Band Shepherds as well as workshops with English National Ballet. Early bird tickets are on sale now, costing £105 for an adult weekend ticket with camping (£95 without camping), £75 for 16-18 year olds and concessions, £40 for 10-15 year olds, free for under-10s.
Finally, as mentioned a few days back, early bird tickets are now on sale for the Bearded Theory Festival 2010, taking place between Friday 14th and Sunday 16th May, but only until this Wednesday (30th September), priced at £65 for adult tickets, £15 for under 16s, £15 for under12s, free for under 5s and £140 for a family ticket (two adults + two children). The 2009 event featured a diverse line-up, including Hawkwind, The Saw Doctors, Neville Staple from the Specials, 3 Daft Monkeys, Mad Dog Mcrea, Goldblade, Justin Sullivan and Dean White from New Model Army and many more.
As in previous years, Bestival and Camp Bestival have a payment plan allowing you to secure a ticket for either (or both) events, but to split the payment into four parts, with the down-payment being made now, and subsequent equal payments on 15th October, 15th November and finally 15th December, making a £37.50 payment for an adult Bestival ticket and £24.20 for an adult Camp Bestival ticket. This is a great scheme, in that, not only do you secure a ticket, you effectively get it interest-free for a while!