Monthly Archives: August 2014

List of the best places to stream free music online

Best places to stream music for free online

We all love music (who doesn’t) and nowadays it’s all about streaming. Many people have their favourite streaming choices but have you tried any of the others? Which is your favourite?

Here’s a short list, plus a brief description, of the top players in the sector. Perhaps it’s worth trying out something new?

Rdio rdio.com

Launched last year this new streaming service comes from the creators of Skype, so you can trust they kind of know what they’re doing with internet technology. Rdio giving users unlimited (and more importantly ad-free) access to a library of up to 18 million songs. It also has a social element, allowing you to follow others users.

Rdio is free for the first six month but then £4.99 a month for web streaming and £9.99 a month for mobile.

Deezer deezer.com

This online streaming site has a huge library and access to countless radio channels. With agreements with over 2,000 labels and featuring more independents than any other streaming site it is a great option for someone after something new and fresh

Spotify spotify.com

The big name in the industry. Sports a super user-friendly interface and a large library of tunes. The adverts however can get annoying meaning the premium service is pretty much a must have (if you value your sanity).

Free with adverts or £9.99 a month for unlimited access, including a nifty mobile app,

Napster Unlimited napster.co.uk

The oldest name and most synonymous with music streaming Napster’s latest offering includes a huge music-streaming library, Apple and Android apps and the option to save music to play in offline mode.

Napster is free for 30 days but then £5 a month for unlimited and £10 for mobile access.

LastFm last.fm

This streaming station helps you uncover music based on your tastes and habits. Using ‘The Scrobbler’ option is great fun – lets LastFM track what you’re listening to across other platforms and makes suggestions.

Last FM offers a free ad-supported service and a subscription option. It’s cheaper than Spotify too, For only £3 a month you get ad free access and the use of the mobile app.

Soundcloud soundcloud.com

Soundcloud belies its origins as a place for unsigned acts to distribute music with its slick interface and easy sharing functions. It’s mostly new stuff but as it doesn’t cost a penny it’s worth getting involved if you like having your fingers on the pulse.

How to have summer fun on a budget

Enjoy the summer on a budget

With summer well and truly underway it can be difficult to get out and about without spending loads of money.

There is lots to do but if you’re trying not to spend too much money you may be thinking there are no options. Never fear, here is a straightforward list of free or cheap activities to keep you occupied this summer. Whether you have children or not there’s something for you.

Have a picnic

Whether it’s a romantic picnic, a family outing or a group of friends just chilling out, a picnic is a great shout. Head to a free park with some food and drink, lay out a blanket and just relax. It’s way cheaper than heading to a bar or restaurant and if the weather’s nice it can be great fun.

Get fit outside

If the weather’s nice why not head out and exercise? Cycling, running and hiking are all free and fun exercises which will help you get in shape.

Read this article on how to get fit on a budget for more.

Host dinner – take turns?

Take turns hosting dinners among your group of friends. It’s much cheaper than going out to a restaurant and hosting and trying new things can be fun.

Board game nights

Board games are fun and it’s not sad to admit it. Try having a board game night where everyone brings their favourite game.

Free coaching sessions for the children

Looking to get the kids out of the house but cannot afford to spend a whole load of money? Boys and girls aged between 5-11 can take part in free football coaching sessions throughout the school holidays.

Run by FA Tesco Skills places are subject to availability and must be booked in advance. See Tesco Deals for more details.

Free festivals

Most of the big name festivals cost a pretty penny to attend. There are a large number of free festivals and events which can be just as fun.

Try the Freedom Festival in Hull which runs from September 5 – 7.
The line-up hasn’t been announced yet but previous acts have included the likes of McFly, The Saturdays and The 1975.

The world famous Notting Hill Carnival (London) Takes place on August bank holiday (Sunday – Monday 25) and features colourful costumes, music and countless offerings of Caribbean food.

For more free festivals check out: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/deals/free-uk-festivals

Visit a museum

Many of the country’s biggest, best and most famous museums are free to enter. The two big ones are the national history museum and the science museum (both London) but there are plenty of others around the country, for example:

The National History Museum in Tring, Hertfordshire

The People’s History Museum, Manchester

Riverside Museum of Transport, Glasgow

Cheap cinema tickets

If you have kids the cost of a trip to the cinema can quickly add up. Nevertheless don’t write it off straightaway. There are a number of things you can try to get cheaper tickets. Just don’t waste the money you save on expensive food from the foyer.

If you have children the Movies for Juniors offer from Cineworld means selected films will cost adults and children £1.50 on a Saturday morning.

Similarly, Vue offers £1.75 school holiday tickets with the Kids AM offer.

It’s hardly a new thing but you’d be surprised how many people still don’t make the most of Orange Wednesday’s 2 for 1 offer. If you’re not on Orange ask around – plenty of your mates will be.

Still time to squeeze in a festival or two

UK Summer Festivals

The festival season has well and truly started and you may already have been to one, if not there are still more to come.

Read on for a list of upcoming festivals including some that are a bit of a step away from the mainstream and stereotypical. Don’t fancy camping in the mud with thousands of teenagers? Well there are a few options in there for you.

Rock the Farm 2014

Taking place on August 30 and 31 and playing host to some of the finest folk bands in the industry this laid back festival is a bit of a break from the mainstream. Headliners include the Mystery Jets, the Cuban Brothers, BBC Radio’s Huw Stephen’s, Chasing Grace, The Ramona Flowers, Daniel James, Jefferson Duke, and Queen Beats Ja.

Rock the farm happens at Rosemaund Farm, Preston Wynne, Hereford.

For ticket information visit http://www.rockthefarm.co.uk/

Reload Festival

Reload Festival in Norwich is a huge 70s, 80s and 90s festival which brings together British and US music legends. Saturday’s main stage line-up is confirmed to include a UK exclusive performance by Kool & the Gang, along with Soul II Soul, Rick Astley, ABC, Hot Chocolate, Imagination and Oddysey and From the Jam. The Human League, Billy Ocean, Sister Sledge, Jason Donovan, and Heaven 17, complete the main stage line-up on the Sunday

For tickets click here.

The Rock and Metal Circus

For those of you who have a slightly, shall we say, heavier taste the Rock and Metal Circus, Northamptonshire, could be more for you.

Headlined by Voodoo Six, Godsized, Tygers of Pan Tang, Falling Red it’s a weekend of rock and metal on September 12 – 14.

Check out www.rockmetalcircus.co.uk for tickets and info

Bestival (Bestival website)

The Isle of Whight, Bestival is taking place on September 4-7 at Robin Hill Country Park has come to mark the end of the festival season. It is a festival where multiple music genres are represented. This festival covers multiple music genres and acts this year include OutKast, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, Foals, Beck, Basement Jaxx and Busta Rhymes. You can buy tickets from here.

LodeStar Festival

Attracting festival-goers of all ages and offering a huge amount of fun and entertainment at low cost Lodestar Festival, Cambridgeshire, takes place on the weekend of August 29 – 31.

Offerings this year include Public Service Broadcasting, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Delays, The Hoosiers, Lyla Foy, FEMME and The Sunshine Underground.

They got UK Festival Award for Best Toilets in 2012.

For tickets http://www.lodestarfestival.com/tickets/

Little Big Gig

For those of you who live in the South West there is Little Big Gig which takes place September 19 – 22 at The Lizard. It’s an eclectic mix of music among hay bales and farm animals.

Tickets available from http://www.littlebiggig.co.uk/

KingsStock Music Festival

Taking place at Burleigh Hill Farm, St. Ives, Cambridgeshire, this is a grassroots fest with no big sponsors and run by volunteers. A line up of over 30 acts has been booked with music styles ranging from funk to punk and rock to gospel

Takes place August 29 – 31. Ticket information and other details available on www.KSMF.co.uk

If you’re thinking of heading to one of the above be sure to read our handy festival guide tips. Packed full of useful titbits.

Top 5 must go to UK Festivals for the rest of 2014

Late Summer Festivals

It’s the middle of August and festival season is well and truly here. In fact a couple of big ones (Glastonbury, Isle of Wight etc.) have been and gone. Don’t give up however as there are plenty more festivals on the horizon.

So whether you’re late to the party, or are simply jealous of friends who have already been to a festival this year, here are a list of the upcoming events.

V Festival (V Festival website)

One of the biggest left in the calendar. Takes place in Hylands Park, Chelmsford and Weston Park, South Staffordshire on the weekend of August 16-17.

Performing this year are (amongst others) Justin Timberlake, The Killers, Ed Sheeran, Elbow, Kaiser Chiefs, Manic Street Preachers, Paolo Nutini, and Lily Allen.

Buy V Festival tickets here.

Creamfields (Creamfields website)

The biggest dance festival around (probably) is scheduled for August 22-24 in Daresbury, Cheshire. This year’s headliners are Avicii, Deadmau5, Armin van Buuren and Steve Angello. Other performers strutting their stuff over the weekend include Annie Mac, Eric Prydz, Pete Tong.

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