The best festival line-ups of all time

25 May 2019, 12:00 | Updated: 26 June 2019, 15:56

What would be YOUR dream festival bill? Maybe it's already happened - there have been some incredible line-ups over the years...

  1. Woodstock, 1969

    The grandaddy of them all saw thrilling sets from The Who, Jefferson Airplane and Crosby Stills Nash And Young, all wrapped up with an incredible performance at sunrise on Monday morning from Jimi Hendrix.

    Wide-angle view of audience at Woodstock festival, 1969
    Wide-angle view of audience at Woodstock festival, 1969. Picture: John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
  2. Glastonbury, 1997

    A career best headline slot from Radiohead, this year also saw Beck, Smashing Pumpkins, The Prodigy and Supergrass on the Pyramid Stage. That's not all: Ash, Placebo, Chemical Brothers and Britpop faves Kula Shaker gave electric performances on the Other Stage. Plus mud. Lots of it.

    Supergrass performing at Glastonbury 1997
    Supergrass performing at Glastonbury 1997. Picture: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images
  3. Coachella, 2007

    Amy Winehouse performs during day 1 of the Coachella Music Festival held at the Empire Polo Field on April 27, 2007
    Amy Winehouse performs during day 1 of the Coachella Music Festival held at the Empire Polo Field on April 27, 2007. Picture: Michael Buckner/Getty Images

    Amy Winehouse at the peak of her powers. Interpol. The Jesus And Mary Chain. Arctic Monkeys, Jarvis Cocker, Sonic Youth, Faithless, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Arcade Fire, Kings Of Leon, Rage Against The Machine, Happy Monday, Air, Placebo, Damien Rice...we could go on, but that's probably enough, right?

  4. Wireless, 2007

    The same year as Coachella's amazing line-up, London's Wireless festival boasted some whopper headliners: Daft Punk, White Stripes, LCD Soundsystem and Queens Of The Stone Age. Four very different bands, but each one amazing in their own way.

    Daft Punk performing live on stage at the O2 Wireless Festival in Hyde Park, 2007
    Daft Punk performing live on stage at the O2 Wireless Festival in Hyde Park, 2007. Picture: Naki/Redferns/Getty Images
  5. Isle of Wight, 1970

    A year after Woodstock, Jimi Hendrix brought his incredible stage presence to the Isle of Wight and delivered a performance that's gone down in history. The fact that The Doors and The Who also played makes it a shoo-in for this list.

    Jimi Hendrix  caught mid guitar-break during his performance at the Isle of Wight Festival, August 1970
    Jimi Hendrix caught mid guitar-break during his performance at the Isle of Wight Festival, August 1970. Picture: Evening Standard/Getty Images
  6. Reading Festival, 1992

    As well as the iconic Nirvana performance that saw Kurt brought onstage in a wheelchair, Reading 1992 saw Smashing Pumpkins, the Manic Street Preachers and the Beastie Boys - when nobody took them seriously. Plus, Suede on the second stage and Mark Lamarr, Al Murray and Frank Skinner in the comedy tent.

    Kurt Cobain performing live on stage at Reading Festival, 1992
    Kurt Cobain performing live on stage at Reading Festival, 1992. Picture: Mick Hutson/Redferns/Getty Images
  7. Monsters of Rock, 1988

    On the 20 August 1988, the gods of rock sent titans to entertain the crowds at Donington Park: Iron Maiden, Kiss, David Lee Roth, Megadeth and Guns N'Roses then about to become the biggest band in the world…

    Axl Rose performing live onstage at Monsters Of Rock, 1988
    Axl Rose performing live onstage at Monsters Of Rock, 1988. Picture: Neil H Kitson/Redferns/Getty Images
  8. Austin City Limits, 2018

    This annual city festival in Texas ticked all the boxes: indie, rock, R&B, dance, hip hop, gospel… and a bloody Beatle. Paul McCartney headlined, alongside Metallica, Arctic Monkeys, Travis Scott and The National. Even former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne showed up. Childish Gambino was meant to play, but hurt his foot - so you can’t have everything.

    Paul McCartney performs during the 2018 Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park on October 5, 2018 in Austin, Texas.
    Paul McCartney performs during the 2018 Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park on October 5, 2018 in Austin, Texas. Picture: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
  9. Desert Trip, 2016

    A phenomenally brilliant one-off antidote to the increasingly fashionable Coachella, this featured Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones on night one, Neil Young and Paul McCartney on night two and The Who and Pink Floyd man Roger Waters on night three, across two weekends. Rihanna rocked up to perform FourFiveSeconds with Macca and the Stones covered The Beatles. We shall never see its like again.

    The Rolling Stones perform during Desert Trip at The Empire Polo Club on October 14, 2016 in Indio, California.
    The Rolling Stones perform during Desert Trip at The Empire Polo Club on October 14, 2016 in Indio, California. Picture: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Goldenvoice
  10. Coachella, 2008

    The annual excursion to the Californian desert has had many amazing line-ups, but this may be our favourite: Prince, Roger Waters doing Dark Side Of The bloody Moon, Kraftwerk, Aphex Twin and even Portishead. Not only that, there was The Verve, Fatboy Slim, The Raconteurs, Justice and a whole load more. Wow.

    Prince performs at Day 2 of the Coachella Music And Arts Festival on April 26, 2008 at Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, California.
    Prince performs at Day 2 of the Coachella Music And Arts Festival on April 26, 2008 at Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, California. Picture: Barry Brecheisen/WireImage/Getty Images
  11. V97, 1997

    V festival was tailor-made for the Britpop era and for its second year, the event hosted Blur (during their Song 2 era), The Prodigy (during their Fat Of The Land era) and Foo Fighters (during their Colour And The Shape era). In one of the smaller tents, you could watch The Chemical Brothers and Daft Punk. Someone get us a time machine - quick.

    Damon Albarn of Blur performs at V97
    Damon Albarn of Blur performs at V97. Picture: NEIL MUNNS/PA Archive/PA Images
  12. Leeds Festival, 2002

    Reading and Leeds was an odd one in ’02 because Guns N’Roses only headlined in Leeds on the Friday - Reading punters had to “make do” with The Prodigy. The Strokes and Pulp headlined the Saturday, with Foo Fighters and Muse finishing off the weekend. You could also watch The Streets top the bill on the “Dance Stage” and bloody Soulwax DJing on the Radio 1 stage. Nice.

    The Prodigy at the Carling Leeds Festival Weekend, 2002
    The Prodigy at the Carling Leeds Festival Weekend, 2002. Picture: Brian Rasic/Getty Images
  13. Reading Festival, 2009

    How about this to end the first decade of the millennium? Kings Of Leon, Arctic Monkeys and Radiohead. Further down the bill, you could enjoy Courteeners, Vampire Weekend, Bloc Party, Ian Brown, The Maccabees and The Gaslight Anthem.

    Ricky Wilson of Kaiser Chiefs performs on stage on Day 1 of Reading Festival 2009
    Ricky Wilson of Kaiser Chiefs performs on stage on Day 1 of Reading Festival 2009. Picture: Andy Sheppard/Redferns/Getty Images