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Festivals on film! 7 of our favourite music fest movies


Bawdy new comedy The Festival is out now in Cineworld, reuniting actor Joe Thomas with the makers of The Inbetweeners. Thomas stars as a recently dumped bloke who decides to immerse himself headlong in a hedonistic music festival, with hilarious results.

To mark the release of the movie, we've brought you seven of our favourite music festival movies, ones that celebrate the irresistibly exhilarating festival experience in all its bleary-eyed, crowd-surfing glory. 

Scroll down to discover our choices. And if you really want to get into the spirit of things, you can always don some wellies and forego the deodorant as you read. 

Woodstock (1970)

Quite possibly the music documentary to end them all, this is a mammoth, three-hour chronicling of the most famous festival of all time. Edited by the likes of Goodfellas director Martin Scorsese, it's a fascinating and candid depiction of a watershed moment in pop culture history, with the raw footage of the likes of Jimi Hendrix positively burning off the screen. If only we could go back...

Gimme Shelter (1970)

Boldly delving into the darker side of the festival experience, this blistering documentary movie explores the violence that erupted at the Altamont concert at the end of The Rolling Stones' 1969 tour. That the incident took place just four months after the life-affirming Woodstock makes the events all the more disturbing.

Message to Love (1970)

One thing's for certain: 1970 was the best year for festival documentaries. An enjoyably anarchic account of that year's Isle of Wight festival, the movie explores the various upsets and calamities that befell the event, including crowds invading the stage and large scale riots. The movie wasn't in fact released until 1997, which only served to make its footage of Jimi Hendrix (in his final UK appearance) and others all the more potent. 

Wayne's World 2 (1993)

Ex-squeeze me? Wayne's World 2, a festival movie? Well, don't forget that in Mike Myers' comedy sequel, eponymous slacker Wayne decides to put on the 'Waynestock' concert. Brilliantly, he's inspired when The Doors frontman Jim Morrison, accompanied by 'a weird naked Indian,' appears to him in a dream. Among the bands booked by Wayne: Aerosmith, Pearl Jam and Van Halen.

All Tomorrow's Parties (2009)

This documentary explores the history of the eponymous alternative music festival, named after the song by The Velvet Underground. Described as 'post-punk DIY bricolage' (whatever that is), the film is comprised of footage shot by people attending the festival itself, with camcorders, mobile phones and a host of other devices used to capture the pulsating atmosphere of this popular event.

Taking Woodstock (2009)

Overlooked in Life of Pi director Ang Lee's oeuvre, this flower power-infused drama is an affectionate, dramatised account of how the eponymous music festival was founded. The film is based on Elliot Tiber's memoir 'Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, A Concert and a Life,' with the cast including Britain's very own Imelda Staunton.

You Instead (2011)

Scotland's T in the Park festival takes centre stage in this offbeat British indie, which sees two bickering rockers handcuffed together just before they're due to go on stage. Let's face it, that's unlikely to happen to The Killers. Still, at least the atmosphere is reasonably authentic: the filmmakers shot for five days during the 2010 edition of the festival and utilised the footage in the movie.

Click here to book your tickets for The Festival and tweet us @Cineworld with your choice of top festival movies.