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10 Amazing Festivals to Visit in Europe This Summer

From Tomorrowland to Latitude, here’s our comprehensive guide to some of the best music festivals happening in Europe this year

Gaurav Narula Jun 16, 2017
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Which festival crowd will you be part of this summer? Photo: Anosov1505/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

Which festival crowd will you be part of this summer? Pictured: Tomorrowland. Photo: Anosov1505/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

The summer festival scene in Europe is jam-packed with some of the best and craziest events in the world. No matter what kind of escape or debauchery you are looking for, you are bound to find it. Europe’s festivals come in every size and type, varying from small and hippie to extra-large and trippy. The global boom of festivals in the last decade has meant that new events are popping up all over the world, which makes us spoiled for choice, and consequently, overwhelmed with the decision of which one to attend. Thankfully, we’ve compiled a list of ten amazing festivals to help you make the most of your summer holiday plans.

Roskilde Festival, Denmark

Roskilde is not just a music festival--it is a hedonist’s retreat. Photo: Christian Hjorth

Roskilde is not just a music festival–it is a hedonist’s retreat. Photo: Christian Hjorth

Dates: June 29th to July 1st

Tickets: Rs. 20,500  (approx)

Roskilde is not just a music festival–it is a hedonist’s retreat. This year will mark the 47th edition of this 100% nonprofit festival, which takes place just about an hour’s train ride away from the capital city of Copenhagen. The festival is spread over eight days, with the last three days lined up with the biggest artists. In the past, the festival has seen all-time greats like Metallica, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Kraftwerk, Stevie Wonder and Pearl Jam.

Line-up highlights:

Foo Fighters, The xx, Moderat/Modselektor, Bonobo, Solange, Nicolas Jaar, Trentemoller, Anthrax, Arcade Fire, Justice, Ice Cube, Future Islands, The Weekend, The Avalanches, Lorde, Kink, Erasure, Icona Pop, Seun Kuti, Acid Arab. Check out the full line-up here.

 

Rock Werchter, Belgium

If there is one festival that guarantees the best line-up of artists year after year, it is Rock Werchter

If there is one festival that guarantees the best line-up of artists year after year, it’s Rock Werchter.

Dates: June 29th to July 2nd

Tickets: Rs. 17,000 (approx.)

If there is one festival that guarantees the best line-up of artists year after year, it’s Rock Werchter. They even bagged the title of “Best Major Festival,” voted for by the public at the European Festival Awards in 2016.  With four days and three stages, topped with rock headliners, fresh  new bands, a variety of singer-songwriters and an impressive list of DJs and electronic music producers, there’s no doubt that the Rock Werchter’s commitment to every musical genre is solid.

Line-up highlights:

Kings of Leon, Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Alt-J, Linkin Park, System of a Down, Blink 182, James Blake, Prophets of Rage, Arcade Fire, The Chainsmokers, Imagine Dragons, Soulwax, Above & Beyond, Bonobo, Crystal Fighters, Beth Ditto. Check out the full line-up here.

 

Latitude Festival, U.K.

Not only is Latitude of the friendliest and most laid-back festivals in Europe, this is also one festival you can even attend with the whole family. Photo: Jen O'Neill

Not only is Latitude of the friendliest and most laid-back festivals in Europe, but this is also one festival you can even attend with the whole family. Photo: Jen O’Neill

Dates: July 13th to July 16th

Tickets: Rs. 16,000 (approx.)

Not only is Latitude of the friendliest and most laid-back festivals in Europe, but this is also one festival you can even attend with the whole family–you can let the kids loose at the playground and pick them up later!  By day, festival-goers of all ages can enjoy the innovative and varied stages and entertainment areas, such as the floating stage on the lake, music and film arena, big screen for audio-visual artists, the literary and poetry arena, comedy and theater stages, folk music stage, cabaret theater, and a specially curated stage hosted by BBC Music. At night, the party moves into the woods, where you can boogie away to some of the finest and the funkiest DJs playing all night long.

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Line-up highlights:

Mumford & Sons with Baaba Maal, The 1975, Fleet Foxes, Fatboy Slim, John Cale, Placebo, Goldfrapp, Sohn, Mount Kimbie,  Nish Kumar, Soho Theater, Katherine Jenkins. Check out the full line-up here.

 

Melt! Festival, Germany

Though Melt! is predominantly an electronic music festival, the line-up over the years has transformed into a scholarly mix of indie, electro, rock and techno artists

Though Melt! is predominantly an electronic music festival, the line-up over the years has transformed into a scholarly mix of indie, electro, rock and techno artists

Dates: July 14th to July 16th

Tickets: Rs. 10,500 (approx.)

Melt! is a festival extraordinaire. When you think of a festival, you probably think of people spread out over vast fields of green grass, but Melt! defies whatever the norm may be. This festival’s location is nothing less than a spectacular, jaw dropping, open-air museum of huge industrial machines on the site of a former mining area called Ferropolis, “the city of iron.” The mighty machines make an astonishing backdrop with an impressive display of lasers, intelligent lighting, a giant mirror ball and a strategically raised sound console for stages. Though Melt! is predominantly an electronic music festival, the line-up over the years has transformed into a scholarly mix of indie, electro, rock and techno artists spread over eight mighty stages big enough to disperse the 20,000 festival dwellers.

Line-up highlights:

Bonobo, M.I.A, Phoenix, Fatboy Slim, Richie Hawtin, Modselektor, Dixon, Die Antwood, Mø, Tale of Us, Sampha, Warpaint, Soulwax, Glass Animals, Hercules & Love Affair, Adam Beyer, Claptone, Agoria, The Kills, Ben Frost, and many more. Check out the full line-up here.

 

Secret Garden Party, Germany

The lineup for Secret Garden Party 2017 features U.K. folk/electronica band Crystal Fighters, electronica group Metronomy and more

The lineup for Secret Garden Party 2017 features U.K. folk/electronica band Crystal Fighters, electronica group Metronomy and more.

Dates: July 20th to July 23rd

Tickets: Rs. 16,000 (approx.)

Secret Garden Party is not a festival: it’s a massive theme party set in a parallel universe of avant-garde lotus-eating gardeners who are dedicated to the simple pursuit of pleasure and self-expression. Literally started as a small garden party 15 years ago with just 500 attendees, this is one festival which has come a long way, but unfortunately will not go any longer. Heartbreakingly, this year will be the last party for SGP, so this is your last chance to attend.

Line-up Highlights:

The Ska Vengers, Metronomy, Crystal Fighters, Toots & The Maytals, Peaches, Zero 7, Soul Clap, Abstract Orchestra, Andhim, Be Charlotte, Butch, Craig Richards, Eats Everything, George Fitzgerald, Kate Nash, Maxxi Soundsystem. Check out the full line-up here.

 

Tomorrowland, Belgium

Tomorrowland has been referred to as the mother of all music festivals. Photo: Anosov1505/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

Tomorrowland has been referred to as the mother of all music festivals. Photo: Anosov1505/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

Dates: July 21st to July 23rd, July 28th to July 30th

Tickets: Rs. 20,000 (approx.)

One could say Tomorrowland is what festival dreams are made of for the vast majority of electronic music fans. It’s a bucket-list festival for many. Tomorrowland is your wildest imaginings coming to life: dancing fairies, life-sized mushrooms, talking trees, pumping bass, waterfalls, lakes with magical fountains, 20 stages of all sizes with exclusive themes, and a stellar line-up consisting of the biggest and loudest DJs and music producers from around the world. Expect spellbinding pyrotechnics, lasers, and massive sound systems, plus thousands of happy people with only one aim–to party like there is no tomorrow.

Line-up highlights:

Axwell, Ingrosso, Carl Cox, Eric Prydz, Lucas & Steve, Marshmello, Steve Aoki, Tiesto, Ferry Corsten, Gareth Emery, Markus Schulz, Paul Van Dyk, Joris Voorn, Afrojack, Bassjackers, Nicky Romero, Armin Van Buuren, Roger Sanchez. Check out the full line-up here.

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Sziget Festival, Hungary

Photo: Gergely Csatari/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0

This year is Sziget’s 25th anniversary, so expect extra madness. Photo: Gergely Csatari/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0

Dates: August 9th to August 16th

Tickets: Rs. 15,000  (approx)

Regarded as the best festival in Hungary, Sziget happens on a beautiful island situated on the Danube River in the capital city Budapest. It’s a seven-day non-stop music and arts festival that hosts almost 500,000 people coming from more than 100 countries every year. This year is Sziget’s 25th anniversary, so expect extra madness. Sziget is more than just a music festival too. There is lot of variety of music from electronic and rock to folk and traditional music, as well as a dazzling line-up of theater, circus, cultural treats, all night dancing and tons of other activities. Since the festival is located right in the middle of the picturesque Budapest, which also happens to be one of the most beautiful and affordable destinations for travelers in Europe, the trip is relatively easy to plan and you don’t have to camp in a tent. And in case your hangover get too hard to handle, you can simply walk down to the nearest traditional Hungarian baths and wash off your sins.

Line-up highlights:

The Chainsmokers, Kasabian, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Major Kazer, Pink, Wiz Khalifa, Dimitri Vegas, Flume, PJ Harvey, Alt J, Rita Ora, Biffy Clyro, Interpol, Two Door Cinema Club, Rudimental, Jamie Cullum, Tom Odell, The Kills, George Ezra, Steve Aoki, Metronomy, White Lies, Tycho, Nervo, DJ Shadow, Andy C. Check out the full line-up here.

 

Dimensions Festival, Croatia

Dimensions takes place between a beach and an abandoned fortress in Pula, Croatia. Photo: Orlovic/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Dimensions takes place between a beach and an abandoned fortress in Pula, Croatia. Photo: Orlovic/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Dates: August 30th to September 3rd

Tickets: Rs. 20,000  (approx)

There are plenty of reasons why this festival should be on your “must-visit” list. The most obvious is that it brings you to one of the most beautiful holiday destinations in Europe–Croatia! Set across five days in an abandoned fortress, next to a pristine soft sandy beach, Dimensions Festival is an essential date in the diary for any electronic music aficionado. In just five years, this festival has created a loyal following, which many new festivals fail to establish.

Line-up highlights:

Grace Jones, Moderat, Yussef Kamaal, Jeff Mills, Theo Parrish, Marcel Dettmann, Floating Points, Nina Kravitz, Shuggie Otis, Danny Krivit, Goldie, Helena Hauff, Daphni, Gilles Peterson, Ben UFO, Maurice Fulton, Antal, Alix Perez. Check out the full line-up here.

 

Lollapalooza Festival, Germany

Lollapalooza Berlin is an offshoot of the original Lollapalooza in Chicago. Photo: Courtesy of Lollapalooza Berlin

Lollapalooza Berlin is an offshoot of the original Lollapalooza in Chicago. Photo: Courtesy of Lollapalooza Berlin

Dates: September 9th to September 10th

Tickets: Rs. 10,000  (approx)

It’s a widely-known fact that if art and music is your thing, then Berlin is the place to be. Unlike many other festivals, Lollapalooza Berlin is a day festival with no camping, spread over a weekend in September, away from the hectic tourist season. Because of this, it gives you enough time to plan and go about exploring the city on other days. The line-up is a huge mishmash of genres, which appeals to all kinds of music enthusiasts. Not only that, the kids always have plenty to get excited about too at the festival, as Kidzapalooza is a special festival within the festival itself with a wide range of activities for the young ones.

Line-up highlights:

Foo Fighters, Mumford & Sons, The xx, Hardwell, Beatsteaks, Marteria, Marshmello, CRO, Two Door Cinema Club, George Ezra, London Grammer, Rudimental, Metronomy, Galantis, Michael Kiwanuka, Djamgo Django, Roosevelt, Meute. Check out the full line-up here.

 

Iceland Airwaves Festival, Germany

Iceland Airwaves attracts some of indie's biggest names, like Fleet Foxes. Photo: Richard Eriksson/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

Iceland Airwaves attracts some of indie’s biggest names, such as Fleet Foxes. Photo: Richard Eriksson/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

Dates: November 1st to November 5th

Tickets: Rs. 10,000  (approx)

This festival has come a long way since its humble beginnings in an airplane hangar at Reykjavík Airport. The line-up consists ofsome popular but mainly up-and-coming artists from Iceland and across the world. Make sure you get your hands on all the audio demos circulating around at the festival.There is no singular set venue or location, but the concerts, parties and gigs instead happen across the city of Reykjavik in the most unique locations. Expect venues as varied as music record stores and music shops, art museums, bars and clubs and old beautiful churches, giving you a real-city festival feel.

Line-up highlights:

Ham, Vagabon, Torres, Emiliana Torrini and the Colorist, Be Charlotte, Billy Bragg, Fleet Foxes, Sycamore Tree, Gurr, Gunnar Jonsson Collider, Octal Industries, KA-AKA, Halldor Eldjarn. Check out the full line-up here.

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