Pack your tent

Whether it's theatre, music or spoken word, here's our pick of the best festivals this summer.

Latitude 14-17 July
This laid-back, grown-up festival includes a debate between Liz Jones, Jon Cruddas, David Davis and Peter Tatchell.

Edinburgh International Film Festival
15-26 June
With the UK Film Council shut, this year's events promise to be less red-carpet-driven. Some are now free.

Glastonbury 22-26 June
The UK's largest music and performing arts festival has largely outgrown its rock origins. This year it will host a variety of genres across 27 arenas.

Pride London 24 June to 3 July
Two weeks of celebrations and parades - the big one is on 2 July, starting at 1pm at Broadcasting House.

Greenwich and Docklands International Festival 24 June to 2 July
Free theatre and dance performed outside London landmarks.

The Big Feastival 1-3 July
A weekend food and music event on Clapham Common, backed by Jamie Oliver.

Hop Farm Music Festival 1-3 July
No sponsorship and no VIPs - but acts include Morrissey, the Eagles and Prince.

Ledbury Poetry Festival 1-10 July
The biggest in the UK, taking place over ten days, with live readings and workshops.

Edinburgh Fringe 5-29 August
The world's largest arts festival, featuring theatre, comedy, dance and much more.

Reading Festival 26-28 August
A crowded, sometimes lawless atmosphere prevails here, but the headliners are top-notch - including Muse, Pulp, the Streets.

Bestival 8-11 September
“Rock stars and divas" is the fancy-dress theme this year for this festival, which usually closes the season.

This article first appeared in the 20 June 2011 issue of the New Statesman, Sunni vs Shia