With summer fast approaching what better way to spend the extra daylight hours than at one of the many music festivals on offer. Festivals are the perfect way to combine wanderlust with a host of world-class musicians in what’s usually a weekend of sunshine, dancing and madness!
Europe has become one of the go-to destinations for festivals, with quite literally hundreds of options to choose from. From indie and house, to jazz, rock and pop, you’re guaranteed to find a sound to suit your tastes somewhere on the continent. In fact, many of the larger festivals will have multiple stages that are dedicated to different genres. In this post we’ve painstakingly narrowed it down to a list of our 7 favorites that are guaranteed to give you the experience of a lifetime:
7. A Summer’s Tale, Germany
This festival is relatively new on the scene but is highly recommended for its unique, super relaxed and family friendly atmosphere. You’ll find a great mix of folk, pop and rock music against the enchanting backdrop of the leafy green German countryside. In addition to the amazing music, you’ll also be able to enjoy an unparalleled program of performing arts shows, workshops and activities. This year’s’ highlights include music by Sigur Rós, Parov Stelar and Amy Macdonald as well as circus performances, family yoga sessions, Japanese tea tasting and even a didgeridoo workshop!
Dates: August 10th-15th
Tickets: Four-day pass with camping $190, for more info visit asummerstale.de
6. Primavera Sound, Spain
Primavera Sound is the biggest indie festival in the world and was voted the number 1 festival in the world by Timeout. The festival is held in the heart of magical Barcelona and perfectly blends the amazing weather, food and culture of the city with some of the best indie and alternative artists from across the globe. The city completely transforms during the festival, with plenty of shows and extra stages hidden away that are completely free to enjoy. Make sure you get your tickets quickly though, as they sell out fast and early bird tickets could save you as much as $50!
Dates: June 1st – 5th
Tickets: Day tickets start from $90 and Week Tickets $220 – For more info visit primaverasound.es
5. Boom, Portugal
Dubbed as Europe’s version of Burning Man, Boom festival is all about the love of art, music and being at one with nature. The festival is held in Portugal next to Idanha-a-nova Lake, which is about 4 hours drive from Lisbon. Apart from the mind-altering sounds of psychedelic trance you’ll also have the opportunity to take part in workshops, yoga classes and listen to talks. Whilst you won’t find yourself stuck in the desert for a week cut off from all humanity, you will be exposed to the elements – so do pack plenty of sunscreen.
Dates: August 11th-18th
Tickets: From $145 for Week Ticket, for more info visit: boomfestival.org
4. Exit Festival, Serbia
This is truly a festival with a difference – it’s one of the only places in the world where you can party in an 18th century fortress (the Petrovaradin in Novi Sad). The festival was originally started by a student movement to help the youth of a once war-torn country but is now consistently voted one of the most popular music festivals in Europe – which draws in more that 200,000 party-goers every year. You’ll find an impressive mix of pop, rock, hip-hop and EDM artists on show at Exit with headliners this year including the Prodigy, Ellie Goulding and David Guetta.
Dates: July 7th-10th
Tickets: Four-day pass from $115, plus camping $36 exitfest.org
3. Secret Solstice, Iceland
Each summer, festivalgoers seek out the unusual combination of stunning natural beauty and eclectic music that is on offer at Secret Solstice. The festival which is hosted in Reykjavik is positioned ideally for maximizing daylight hours during the summer and enjoying the northern lights in winter. During Secret Solstice you can expect to enjoy 20+ hours of sun per day, so whilst you’re body may be tired from all the dancing it definitely won’t be short of vitamin D. If you’re really adventurous you could try listening to live music inside a volcano. If on the off chance that’s on your bucket list we highly recommend it – but with a price tag $2,000 a ticket, maybe just stick to cheaper thrills like their beer glass hot tubs or a midnight sun boat ride – where you can literally witness the sun touching the horizon.
Dates: June 16th-19th
Tickets: Weekend pass $300 for more info secretsolstice.is
2. Glastonbury, UK
Glastonbury is one of the UK’s most iconic festivals and also one of the largest greenfield music and performing arts festivals worldwide! There’s an amazing mix of artists from around the world and tickets are extremely hard to come by (they usually sell out in minutes). The Festival is hosted in picture perfect Somerset but don’t be fooled it’s quaint appearance – the town of Glastonbury descends into musical chaos once a year by over a hundred thousand people. Due to the UK’s slightly unpredictable weather, we highly recommend investing in a good pair of wellington boots (like one of these top 10 festival wellies) and some outfits that are versatile and look good with a splash of mud.
Dates: 22nd – 26th June
Tickets: From $330 for a weekend ticket – For full price list visit glastonburyfestivals.co.uk
1. Tomorrowland, Belgium
Tomorrowland is an electronic music festival of mythical proportions, which annually hosts over 180,000 people in the aptly named town of ‘Boom’ in Belgium. Boom is around 30km from Brussels, and very easily accessible via Belgium’s great train network. If you’re Belgian, tickets are slightly cheaper and are released earlier, so make sure to take advantage of this (or make friends with someone who can). The festival has become so popular that it is now also held in the U.S. and Brazil. Every year world class DJs descend upon Tomorrowland and this year’s lineup is no different with David Guetta, Tiesto and Fedde Le Grand amongst the top names set to perform. There are various camping options available in ‘Dreamville’ (Tomorrowland’s campsite) from the standard bring your own tent to the luxurious (and very expensive) mansions. If you can get your hands on a pair of tickets you definitely won’t be disappointed.
Dates: July 22nd – 24th
Tickets: From $300 for a weekend ticket – For full price list visit tomorrowland.com
If you’re new to the festival scene you’ll want to make sure you plan well in advance as tickets quickly sell out for the very best events. Our top tip for increasing your chances of securing those tickets is to pre-register with the official festival organizer as early as possible and have as many friends login at the same time when tickets go on sale. This should get you notified of ticket sales before the general public and make the odds ever so slightly in your favor!
Accommodation at festivals typically consists of what you can carry on your back, which unless you’re the Hulk, will usually be a tent, some clothes and plenty of toiletries – showers are sparse at festivals so a good deodorant is a must (try this guide if you can’t live without your daily shower). Camping in a large field filled with thousands of exhausted (and probably inebriated) festival goers is all part of the experience and you’ll definitely be needing some of these survival tips from seasoned party animals. You’ll also receive specialist military grade training in how to navigate portaloos in the night, how to wash yourself with a bottle of water and how to dance for hours on end without collapsing.
We recommend you take a mobile phone with you for a number of reasons. When amongst thousands of people you’re likely to get lost once or twice (at least), so it’s helpful if you can call or message friends to let them know where you are. You’ll also find your mobile’s camera really great for snapping your favorite artists, artwork or the amazing scenery. You can find a list of the best essential mobile apps for festivalgoers here. One last thing that to remember is that festivals are usually held in very large open spaces which means internet is likely to be even sparser – unless you plan on using data roaming (which is extraordinarily expensive). So why not save money and rent Tep’s portable wifi device that could help you stay safe and take plenty of amazing pictures – even from the middle of a mosh pit! The device is just $9.95 per day for unlimited internet and can be used for up to 5 devices at the same time – meaning you and your friends can all connect once you arrive back at your tent for the after party! For more information or to rent your own portable wifi device visit tepwireless.com.