Top Music Festivals In Europe
The beauty of heading to a music festival in Europe is that you get a bit of everything. Live music acts, a line-up of international DJ’s plus some summer sun and a bit of a holiday to boot! Chances are, after a few consecutive late nights listening to all your favorite bands, you’ll be ready to hang up your dancing boots for a couple of days relaxing by the beach. That’s where the latest music festivals set in the most amazing locations present an excellent opportunity to rave and then recover! Of course, a summer rave-cation might not be to everyone’s tastes, but a boat party with banging beats against the backdrop of the ancient coastal towns of Croatia has got to trump camping in a muddy British farmers field.
With pretty much all of Europe easily accessible by plane or at least boat these days, you might even venture further off the beaten track this year. Summer music festivals are big business so let’s track down the boutiqu-est, biggest and arguably some of the best music festivals in the world to add to that festival bucket list. The options are actually pretty overwhelming once you start doing the research, so we’re narrowing down your options and have shortlisted what we think are 10 Of The Best Music Festivals In Europe.
Vibe: Musical retreat with a healthy dose of well-being
Taking place each June in the region of France’s Causses de Quercy National Park, this is part music festival and part wellness retreat. With a lineup that’s heavily geared towards new wave with a smattering of techno beats, take advantage of actives including meditation, yoga, cave exploration or horseback riding. It’s said to have one of the darkest, and deepest natural pools in Europe so don’t forget your swimming trunks unless you prefer to go au naturel.
2. Meadows In The Mountains
Vibe: Techno meets tranquility
Set some 850 meters above sea level in Bulgaria’s Rhodope Mountains, this is your opportunity to rave and relax. With a vista of sunsets and sunrises, forests and lakes, you can enjoy a techno soundtrack while sampling home-cooked meals and traditional Bulgarian hospitality. Spanning four days in June, most festival goers opt to camp in the local village or stay in the homes of local grandmothers known as babas.
3. Secret Solstice
Vibe: Endless daylight hours
Secret Solstice is all about what happens when the sun is up rather than after dark! There is no dark at this time of year, so this is a non-stop festival of delight. Iceland itself has to be a must-visit destination, and with the drama of the landscape set against the promise of a lineup that includes the Black Eyed Peas alongside Patti Smith, there really is something for everyone.
4. Love International
Vibe: Glamorous all-nighters
For the best in disco, house, and techno with Andrew Weatherall being a particular favorite, the Love International festival in Tisno, Croatia, has garnered quite a legion of lovers! With all-night parties, open-air clubs and plenty of daytime boat parties to soak in the sun of a secluded beach, the usually sleepy seaside town of Tisno comes alive to the sound of music every July. It’s high octane glamour, and up-tempo beats so maybe pack your glitter!
Vibe: Dance paradise along the Albanian Riviera
With the sparkling backdrop of the azure tinged sea and Albanian’s stunning golden beaches, the Kala festival takes part in June and offers up the opportunity to immerse yourself in extended DJ sets from an eclectic lineup. With venues like Gjipe Beach only accessible via boat and plenty of private coves to explore, this is one of the new breed of European festivals and a sure-fire hit with dance music lovers.
6. NOS Alive
Vibe: Eat, Drink, Party
With an eclectic line-up catering for all musical tastes from The Cure to The Chemical Brothers, NOS Alive is set among the rolling hills, whitewashed walls, and the terracotta tipped vistas of Lisbon in Portugal. Party by day and skinny dip by night, all the while enjoying the best sardines and sangria the hidden bars of this vibrant city has to offer. From rap to R&B and staying in your own boutique B&B, this music festival takes part in July and promises sunshine and sounds.
7. Another Love Story
Vibe: Jigging and gigging
Quickly gaining a reputation as now of the best music festivals in Europe right now, this Irish based weekend of music lines up local talent alongside international acts. With hot tubs, a swimming deck, a library, and cinema too, there’s plenty to do at this festival in County Meath.
Vibe: Cool slice of Scandi paradise
This is definitely an off the beaten track kind of vibe. Accessible via sea, regular official boat parties transport revelers to the island district of Helgeland in Norway. With a backdrop of snow rather than sun-kissed mountains, this is paradise re-imagined and experienced the Norwegian way. Expect local music as well as international acts as part of this seriously cool summer festival.
9. Wilderness Festival
Vibe: Make like the landed gentry
This August festival is set in a 690-hectare sprawling estate resplendent with its own 16th-century stately property. Based in Cornbury Park, expect plenty of eclectic music alongside activities which include paddleboard yoga to enjoying a session in a wood-fired hot tub. Just be warned, too much of the lady and lord of the manor lifestyle might make it difficult ever to leave this tranquil and idyllic spot.
Vibe: Edgy arty installations
Not so much a festival, more an immersive experience, the Tomorrowland extravaganza in Belgium fuses dance music with technology and start of the art installations. Easy to access from pretty much anywhere within Europe, once you’re through the festival gates prepare to be very much transported to an alternate reality.