Ultimate festival guide: European summer
Let’s dance. Put on your red shoes and dance– to every freakin’ music genre (#maybenotcountry #sorrynashville) you can think of. Live. From the world’s leading musicians. In some of Europe’s best-loved destinations. For an entire summer filled with amazing festivals. Breathe.
Summer in Europe gets even hotter thanks to a season of unparalleled festivals, currently in full swing. Most of these festivals are so legendary they probably don’t need an introduction, but if nothing else seeing them all listed together below will have you lusting for an unforgettable summer in Europe next year (take me with you)…
PINKPOP, Netherlands, June
PINKPOP is the Netherland’s leading rock music festival. And probably the world’s leading pink, pop music festival too. Everyone from Pharrell Williams to Robbie Williams has performed. Think 40 of the world’s best bands and camping with 45,000 of your new mates all dressed in pink over three super-chilled days.
Glastonbury, UK, June
One of the last originals, Glastonbury has consistently delivered some of the world’s best and most memorable festival performances since 1970. This five-day festival is a right of passage for anyone who wants to call themselves a festival junkie, but get in quick as 1750,000-plus tickets have been known to sell out in under half an hour.
Primavera Sound, Spain, June
Featuring ridiculously large and diverse line-ups year out, Primavera is a Barcelona music festival that attracts hundreds of thousands of punters from across the world. Plus it’s right in Barcelona (#nocamping)! Think a focus on independent music ranging from The Cure, Motörhead and The Arcade Fire, sideline events a-plenty plus acts from the country's indie scene.
Sonar, Spain, June
Music, creativity and technology merge for Sonar Festival – three days dedicated to electronica, art and dance music lovers in Barcelona. Meaning ‘sound’, Sonar extends beyond your typical electronica festival to include everything from TEDx talks to showcasing long form digital art. Past headliners include Massive Attack, Flume, Yelle and Ben Frost.
Tomorrowland, Belgium, July
EDM. Held in a town called Boom (boom!) over three days alongside hundreds of thousands of new friends. Expect a diverse line-up of underground music as well as heavy hitters like past attendees Fat Boy Slim, Dave Clark, Paul van Dyk, David Guetta and Pendulum. Plus freakin’ ridiculous, fancy decorations from explosive butterflies to gushing waterfalls.
Open’er, Poland, June/July
Four days at Open’er is yet another great reason to visit Poland. A quirky music and arts festival located in an old airbase on the Baltic coastline; get ready for mornings at the beach, bunker discos and underground shows actually underground. Florence + The Machine, Sigur Ros and Chili Peppers to headline in 2016.
Love the #festivalife? Check out this epic rundown of the best events and festivals on the planet!
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Melt!, Germany, July
Melt! takes place in an abandoned coal mine conveniently close to Berlin. The three-day festival sees music and industrialization collide and, nearing 20 years old, still draws top acts like Portishead, Kylie and Massive Attack, Underworld and a crowd ready for music set beside a beautiful lake where they can swim and BBQ a wurst.
Paleo, Switzerland, July
Nothing to do with the diet. Simply a small 70s folk festival turned six-day mega music festival attracting 200,000 punters to its home in Nyon, Switzerland. This is one of the big European festivals famed for its social responsibility, independence and attention to detail as much as the music itself.
T in the Park, Scotland, July
Attracting over 255,000 people each year, this Scottish music festival features three days of glorious music held in a castle! With tea! Strathallen Castle provides the venue for T in the Park, the second largest greenfield festival in the UK behind Glastonbury. Expect musos in the league of Bjork, Morcheeba and The Verve.
Ultra Europe, Croatia, July
How many summer music festivals can one country have? Spend your days in turquoise waters and your nights kicking it to some of the best dance music at one of the hottest tickets in the Europe festival calendar. Expect three-days of electronic music with over 150,000 attendees and acts like David Guetta and The Chemical Brothers.
BBK, Spain, July
Fancy a music festival on top of a hill overlooking Spain’s Basque country? Then BBK Bilbao Live is for you. Arcade Fire, Hot Chip, New Order, Pixies, have all performed here in the past – wait that’s just part of this year’s line-up.
LoveFest, Serbia, August
Serbia’s music, art and cultural extravaganza takes place in Vrnjacka Banja. Held over three days and four stages, LoveFest’s house, techno and electro line-up isn’t the only drawcard with a swimming pool onsite and backdrop of forests and a giant lake adding to its’ charm. SWEET!
Sziget Festival, Hungary, August
Half a million peeps a year can’t be wrong. A seven-day Burning Man-esque extravaganza, Sziget takes place on an island smack bang in the middle of Budapest. Prince, Pulp, Radiohead, Interpol, Skunk Anansie, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Queens of The Stone Age and Dizzee Rascal have all got their song on here. Everyone loves the party train with travelling DJs collecting revelers for the festival across Europe.
Oyafestivalen, Norway, August
Say what? Just say Oya for four stages of music fun in downtown Oslo, now one of Norway’s largest festivals. Previous years have featured the likes of Outkast, The National, Cat Power, Iggy Pop and The Stooges, Beck, Air, Ladyhawke and Primal Scream. Expect plenty of Scando rock and fancy cuisine thrown in too.
Outlook, Croatia, September
OK we’re heading out of summer. But listening to the world’s best electronica, hip hop, grime, reggae, dub step, house and techno acts at a massive beach party held in an abandoned Roman fort overlooking the Nordic Sea in Croatia was worth stretching ‘summer’ for. There’s even a network of underground tunnels.
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