The rest of the world is beginning to catch up, but many countries in Europe have been putting on stellar festivals for decades now and as a result, have got the art down to a T. Nowadays there is a staggering selection to choose from whatever your tastes are; from huge electronic productions to tiny niche parties and they all take place within the warm months of May-September. This time of year finds many Europeans eschewing the more traditional holidays in favour of hopping from one festival to the next with only a few days of recovery in between. It takes a fair amount of saving up and a lot of stamina, but if you think you can keep up, you could be in for one of the most unforgettable summers of your life.
Here are 5 of the best to consider:
Primavera Sound, Barcelona
Barcelona is host to a number of music festivals but this is without a doubt the best of the bunch. Primavera caters to those with an eclectic music taste and brings in the biggest names of all genres so that you can see all of your favourites in one glorious weekend. In classic Spanish style, the stages don’t open until 7 in the evening which means you can catch a beautiful Mediterranean sunset before getting the party started. Expect to see the sunrise as well.
Cost: $200 approx
Denmark’s biggest festival is famous for extra-long sets, twenty hours of daylight and a very friendly crowd. It’s mainly run by volunteers and a huge amount of its proceeds go to charity. Expect to see your favourite band and realise you, fancy Danish people.
Cost: $300 approx
Croatia now hosts more festivals than you’ve had hot dinners so it can be hard to choose which one is for you, but Hideout is the only one that has gotten considerably better and better each of its five years in existence. It’s a dance festival through and through so only get involved if the house is your bag. Expect boat party after boat party and get a great tan.
Cost: £220 approx
Sziget takes place on a 266-acre island in the middle of the Danube River in Hungary. The festival is a whole week long and acts range from the biggest names in pop to small Hungarian gipsy bands. Often compared to Burning Man, Sziget is not just about the music but has huge art installations and surreal venues as well. The weather is warm and dry and you can cool off in the Budapest baths when you feel you can’t dance anymore. Expect for no day to be the same and to be very, very tired by the end.
Cost: $260 approx
Bestival, Isle of Wight
The clue is in the name, Bestival really is the best festival. A huge affair with a boutique feel, Bestival draws in huge acts from all over the world along with a strong line-up of all your favourite UK indie and dance acts. There is a different dressing-up theme every year that people get really into and a huge abandoned ship called HMS Bestival where legendary Annie Mac will DJ all of your cares away into the night. Expect to find out how much Brits love festivals.
Cost: $300 approx