Did someone say, Eurotrip?
Okay, let’s break it down for you. Summer has arrived in all its insatiable glory, and while a few of us don’t mind basking in it, the majority are looking to getaway to more temperate zones for the next few months. Europe has understandably been a popular summertime destination, so here is a well-researched and definitive list of music festivals taking place in the continent that can help change the course of your vacation.
1. Glastonbury Festival
Where: Somerset, England
Undoubtedly one of the biggest and most loved festival’s in the world, there aren’t many events—of any kind, anywhere in the world—that could pull off a charming spell on you like Glastonbury. But then, now in its 44rd edition, it still stands head and shoulders above so many others. Hosting upwards of 150,000 people, the gathering offers an infinitely diverse range of cultural, social and musical experiences. Plus this year? You’ll get to see Kanye West and The Foo Fighters in action.
Where : Barcelona, Spain
When: June 18 to 20
In a time when headline acts sell tickets, Sonar stands out and maintains its image as one of the best musical experiences on the globe. In order to move enough tickets, most festivals of its size lean hard on big and sometimes obvious names. And yet Sónar, has managed again and again to pack its two huge venues with impressively bold lineups. This year’s three-day event in Barcelona will be one of the most uncompromising yet. Their big names are beyond reproach: Chemical Brothers, Flying Lotus, Seth Troxler are just some of them.
3. Primavera Sound
When : May 28 to 30
Spain in the summer is beyond gorgeous, with it’s sandy beaches and beautiful people out in their bikini-bests. And while this time is perfect for dance music fests like Sonar, Primavera Sound takes up the challenging task of featuring amazing independent acts. In fact, it makes a point to feature only indie talent. This year’s lineup is quite beastly with names like Alt-J, The Black Keys, Chet Faker, Diiv decorating the roster. So if you’re heading to Spain to see some good music, do not miss out on Primavera.
4. EXIT Festival
Where: Novi Sad, Serbia
When: July 9 to 12
Serbia’s EXIT Festival is the one of the best festivals that mixes up radical politics, a beautiful setting, and unparalleled musical offerings. This heavyweight combo earns EXIT the distinction as one of the most sought-out summer music festivals in the world.
This year we’ve got an unusual mix of Clean Bandit, The Prodigy, Motorhead, Tom Odell as the headliners.
Where: Boom, Belgium
When: July 24 to 26
What sets Tomorrowland apart from the rest is its storybook setting and immersive nature. Described as Trippy Technicolor Fantasies, stages undergo seamless transformations with a well-executed attention to detail. In 2011, the “Alice in Wonderland” theme translated into a real-life journey down the rabbit hole with live characters, real waterfalls, next-level pyrotechnics, and life-size mushrooms that catapulted stage design to new heights. The line-up is always a banger, as you can expect every respectable dance music act to be playing at Tomorrowland.
Where: Grafanhainichen, Germany
When: July 17 to 19
Set in one of the most unique festival locations in the world, Melt! brings life to the gigantic monuments of the machine age with its colorful lighting and thumping tech beats. This is the ultimate “Industrial Meets Electronic” music festival that takes place in the massive industrial museum of Ferropolis, Germany. The event location spreads over 6 floors, and has a line-up of nearly 100 live acts over the weekend.
7. Wacken Open Air
Where: Wacken, Germany
When: July 30 to August 1
Germany’s heavy metal festival, Wacken Open Air is renowned as one of the prime metal gatherings in the globe. It takes place annually in the small village of Wacken in Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany. With 80,000 festival visitors, and including personnel a total of roughly 86,000 attendees in 2011, it attracts metal music fans from all around the world.
8. Secret Garden Party
Where: Abbots Ripton, England
When: July 23 to 26
Two words. Magical and carnival-esque. This annual independent festival for music and arts is probably the most well known and loved boutique festival that exists. It takes place in Abbots Ripton, near Huntingdon, England. The location of the festival is its USP – a Georgian farm house accompanied by its own lake, river and gorgeous landscape. The organizers concentrate on making the festival a visual experience with floating boats, crazy entertainment and a yearly theme. Over the years (starting in 2004) Chase and Status, Django Django and Bastille are some of the bands who have featured at this festival. This year awesome acts like The Cat Empire, Public Service Broadcasting, Angus And Julia Stone will be performing at this lovely festival.
Where: Zrce Beach, Island of Pag, Croatia
When: June 28 to July 2
Croatia is slowly but surely becoming the new Ibiza, with a variety of destination for beach and music festivals sprouting up all over its shores. Among the many taking place in the beautiful country Hideout is definitely one of the best and will return to its home on the island of Pag. Set around two clubs located on the beachfront, the pools and palm trees make it feel tropical – a place to let go and breath the fresh sea breeze. The line-up is as killer as ever Loco Dice, Nina Kraviz, Duke Dumont and Gorgon City all set to headline the spectacular event this July.
Where: Near Zaragoza, north-eastern Spain
When: July 7 to 12
As the main European Burning Man event, Nowhere embraces and celebrates all aspects of Burning Man in the extreme conditions and harsh beauty of northern Spain. However, unlike Burning Man, Nowhere doesn’t include fire as a key feature of the event as open fires are strictly forbidden by the municipality of the area. This is because every summer many areas of Spain, including the Nowhere area,are on wildfire alert. If you’re the experimental kind, Nowhere will undoubtedly give you an experience of a lifetime.
When: July 28 to August 4
Pretty much the most sought after psytance festival of the season, The Boom Festival is a biennial “transformational festival” that takes place in Portugal that The festival features music performances and a broad variety of visual art exhibits. Boom Festival began in 1997 as a psychedelic trance music festival with a main stage and a lounge area with mellow, “chill-out music”. Now, there are five stages – each dedicated to type of music. Other attractions include sculptures, an art gallery, street theatre, and fire performances.
Where: Budapest, Hungary
When: August 10 to 15
A week long festival with a whole Island to itself. That should be enough information to haul your ass over there. The Island Of Freedom, has around 50 program venues with around 200 acts playing daily. You will find all the music you need and much more – from international rock to dance music to Jazz and alternative, Sziget is where it’s aaaaat.
When: August 3
O.Z.O.R.A the most immersive, self-actualizing psy-trance experience you can ask for. You have to actually attend this festival to understand what it is.
Where : Netherlands
When: August 29 to 30
This one hardly needs an introduction, Mysteryland Amsterdam is as impressive and loved as it’s versions in other countries. If you’re looking to go hard before you go home, Mysteryland is the festival you need to be at.
15. Festival No.6
Where: Portmeirion, Wales, UK
When: September 3 to 6
Timed right at the end of the UK summer, and with the tiny village of Portmeirion as a backdrop along a Welsh coastline, this festival is supposed to have the most stylish setting imaginable. The Italian-style village comes alive with spontaneous performances, installations and bizarre street theatre. This festival could easily be considered one of the most beautiful festivals in the UK. Take a look at the pictures and see for yourself.
Where : Isle of Wight, UK
When : September 10 to 13
The mother of all boutique festivals, Bestival is a music and art extravaganza that could well be called ‘Beastival’. Situated on the Isle of Wight, the festival venue can be reached only by taking a ferry to the festival island. Once you have escaped to this quaint, magical little land, prepare yourself for a beastly line-up of party music, comedy, a custom built ballroom and even a burlesque tea room!