By Jase Walker

Poster for RADAR Festival 2024It’s July! And that means the festival season is now in full swing, and coming up next for me is one of my highlight events of the year… it’s almost time to put ourselves on the RADAR! The sheer hype I have for this event and the fact that the lineup this year could be almost entirely tailored to my exact music taste is baffling, I mean look at it. I’m genuinely wondering when I’m going to have chance to even eat.

I could legitimately talk in depth about every single band on this lineup for hours and hours, as the poor sods on the RADAR Discord server have already experienced, bless their hearts. So, where do I even start with this? I do need to do a “Jase recommends…” thing, but I’ll keep it at five acts max and will choose some of what I feel are the lesser known acts to shout about (with the exception of The Midnight because come on).

So a bit of history about the RADAR festival itself. Starting out in Guildford at the Casino venue, it was already punching at a pretty heavyweight level right from the start with some fantastic bookings that we’re seeing a return of this year… Plini and Leprous but to name a couple. As of last year, this was moved to Manchester and initially was supposed to be at Manchester BEC much like another city based festival, Outbreak. Sadly this ended up hitting booking issues and RADARfound itself moved to Victoria Warehouse instead which admittedly probably ended up being a huge boon to the festival for it’s ease of access compared to BEC and proximity to a lot of hotels around Trafford and Salford.

And so here we have it, the RADAR festival staff have worked tirelessly to make good on feedback from the previous year (Seriously, check their Socials, it’s quite something) and 2024’s edition is now complete except for the event happening and the thousands of moshers with eclectic music taste to turn up.

So, without much more waffle, here, in no particular order, are my top five “must see” acts to catch at RADAR ’24:

The Midnight (Archetype: Stage – Friday 2130)

For anyone that even knows me a little, they will know I adore this band and seeing them on a headline slot alongside some very different bands that I also love is quite a unique situation for me. Anyway, listen to some properly emotional synthwave and then fall down that rabbit hole like I did.

Sungazer (Archetype: Stage – Sunday 1720)

Adam Neely and Shawn Crowder formed a band that scratches the itch of wanting some funky jazz that is also just that little bit silly. Sungazer are fantastic to watch live and seem to have more fun messing around on stage than most but don’t let the lack of seriousness fool you, you’ll be shaking those hips to ‘THICC’.

Giant Walker (Sneak Energy Stage – Friday 1300)

I’ve never had a band come out of nowhere and quite slap me around the face with a debut album of such staggeringly high quality in a long time but Giant Walker certainly did just that. Giant Walker are a fantastic example of atmospheric prog that’d get anyone who loves stuff like Karnivool or Leprous going with riffs and vocals like these.

Siamese (Sneak Energy Stage – Sunday 1640)

Denmark is producing some of the most outstanding pop-oriented metal around right now and Siamese are a band that I can literally not get enough of, live or studio, doesn’t matter. Siamese write some of the catchiest hooks I’ve ever heard and with vocal melodies that make Backstreet Boys look like amateurs, you won’t want to miss these.

Kyros (Archetype: Stage – Saturday 1330)

Bisexual lighting, the video. Kyros are without a doubt my favourite discovery of this year with their latest release, Mannequin. I would describe them as Haken meets Genesis with a sprinkling of post-Waters Pink Floyd: phenomenally catchy prog. ‘Mannequin’ has been on my heavy rotation since its release and finally getting to boogie to them live shouldn’t be missed.

RADAR this year is going to be a truly fantastic experience and the people at the helm take their craft very seriously and it shows with this well-crafted (sic) and rounded lineup.

  • RADAR takes place at the O2 Victoria Warehouse over the weekend of Friday 26 – Sunday 28 July.

You don’t want to miss this!

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