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Top five British festivals of 2013

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Summer is soon approaching and it’s time to round up this year’s best festivals. From the muddy fields of Glastonbury to the quirky charm of Bestival, and headliners ranging from the Rolling Stones to Kraftwerk and Beyoncé, there is something to suit all tastes over the next four months. Here’s our pick of the biggest and best British festivals in 2013:

Glastonbury

Worthy Farm, Pilton — 26th-30th June

Glastonbury absolutely needs no introduction. This year’s mammoth four-day affair will include the legendary Rolling Stones, performing their smash hits like Brown Sugar and Jumpin' Jack Flash.

After strong rumors of their inclusion, Fleetwood Mac will not be making an appearance, although the Arctic Monkeys and Mumford and Sons have stepped in to provide adequate cover; many are hoping that Alex Turner and the lads will showcase some new material, with a new album announcement imminent.

90s legends Primal Scream will provide more than adequate Madchester representation and Dizzie Rascal will pull the usual dance-pop crowd; if the main stage isn’t your thing, Glastonbury, as always, satisfies all niches and tastes.

For dance lovers, the Silver Hayes tent is worth checking out — Rudimental, Sub Focus and Netsky will provide the necessary drum n bass beats, while international hip hop legend Nas will hope to better rival Jay-Z’s recent Glasto performance.

Unfortunately the event is now sold out, but if you were lucky enough to get a ticket, make sure you pack your wellies!

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Guest post: The importance of shade at events

The following is a guest post by Ben Vaughn.

Shade tent
Photo by Ken Lund. CC-BY-SA 2.0

If you've ever suffered through sweltering heat at a midday baseball game, you know the importance of shade at outdoor sporting events. Shady areas can not only serve as a comfortable reprieve from the heat, they can also help prevent heat stroke during sporting events. Many open air arenas, such as baseball stadiums lack a lot of cover from the sun and can heat up very quickly during the summer months. Like any other occasion where you are spending long hours in the sun, you should take reasonable precautions against becoming overheated at sporting events. Drinking plenty of fluids and getting out of the direct sun from time to time is advisable. This may be easier to do at certain kinds of sporting events over others. Baseball games, for example, are quite long and offer plenty of opportunity to leave your seat and find some shade.

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The piano, a lesson in history

The following is a guest post by Kevin Maddox.

Piano

The history of the West’s relationship with music is a fascinating story and one that continues to be added to. The French horn, the double bass, the accordion, the saxophone and the guitar are all thought to have been invented in Europe. The same can be said for that most dramatic and diverse of instruments — the piano.

Invented by Cristofori Bartolomeo during the early years of the 18th century, the piano or ‘pianoforte’ as it was then known, has become one of the most essential, most enduring instruments of modern times. There’d be no Coldplay without Bartolomeo. No Bruno Mars either, but let’s not blame him — he couldn't have known. So, where did it come from and why was it invented in the first place?

Just how did the pianoforte grow to become as iconic as it is now?

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Five most popular soccer teams and why people love them

The following is a guest article written by Kandace Heller.

Soccer - The World's Sports

When it comes to picking out the five most popular teams in the world, it would be hard to bet against teams in England and Spain. These are the only two countries you need to look at while you are searching for the teams on this list, and the passion behind these club teams is found to be at the same level as some of the most followed national teams in the world. These teams were chosen based on the ever-increasing popularity. Often, their fans are loyal and make sure to show this loyalty at games with body paint, jerseys or footy scarves.

5. Arsenal

Founded in 1886, Arsenal is one of the top clubs in England, and their current fan base is somewhere around 115 million people. The team's jerseys are made by Nike and the team is sponsored by The Emirates Group. The kit colors are white and red. Although they play their club matches in London, Arsenal is one of the few clubs that is able to garner a lot of attention from different parts of the world. In fact, Arsenal has routinely been referred to as the favorite club of American fans of the sport.

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The following is a guest article by Chris Jones.

NCAA

Count another bastion of major network television among the endangered species. CBS and Turner Sports recently announced that TBS will broadcast the NCAA men’s basketball tournament semifinal games in 2014 and 2015. The Final Four always had been broadcast on major network television prior to the latest agreement.

The Final Four joins “Monday Night Football” and the college football bowl system (minus one game in 2012) that have made the transition to cable (or satellite) television. According to Sports Illustrated, cable subscription fees are the underlying factor that several major sporting events are cutting ties with the Big Four television networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox). Those over-the-air networks don’t charge viewers broadcast fees.

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