Top 10 European Festivals
The best time to enjoy a music festival is during the summer, when you can enjoy listening to your favourite acts with a cold drink and the sunshine on your back. Each year thousands of world class artists take to the stage at festivals across Europe. From Glastonbury in the U.K, to Tomorrow Land in Belgium, here’s our pick of the top 10 European Festivals.
- Glastonbury – Held in Somerset every year, this five day festival is the largest Greenfield festival in the world, and arguably the most popular. Leading pop and rock artists such as Beyonce, Dolly Parton, Arctic Monkeys and Muse have headlined the iconic stages, alongside thousands of other smaller acts. In addition to contemporary music the festival also hosts comedy, theatre, dance, cabaret and circus acts, just to name a few. Every year the festival attracts around 175,000 visitors, and is notorious for selling out its tickets in mere minutes.
- Exit Festival: Located in Serbia with over 160,000 visitors every year, Exit is one of Europe’s biggest and most varied festivals. Every year the main stage welcomes international artists from all genres, while ‘After 2AM’ features electronic artists and DJ’s which often go on until dawn. For those that prefer heavier music, the festival even features an ‘Explosive stage’ which headlines artists from harder music genres such as punk and heavy metal.
- Sonar – Unlike many other festivals, Sonar is not a camping festival, and does not take place in a field. It is a city festival with two different sites, one for during the day in the city centre featuring concerts and DJ’s, and one for the evening that is located further out of town featuring the leading, and bigger acts in international music.
- Benicassim – Located in Benicassim in Spain, Benicassim festival is one of Europe’s most popular festivals. Featuring mostly pop and rock artists such as Arctic Monkeys and Oasis, Benicassim has a reputation as being one of the best festivals on the festival circuit. Located within walking distance from the beach, unlike other festivals visitors typically spend the day on the beach or at the nearby water park, and spend the evening in the festival site where the artists perform from 6pm to the early hours of the morning.
- Tomorrowland – As the largest annual electronic music festival, Tomorrowland has become one of the most notable global music festivals. Held in Belgium and featuring more than 15 stages and 300 DJ’s, previous headliners have included David Guetta, Avicci and Sweedish House Mafia. The festival’s design has become synonymous with the festival itself, with rivers running through the festival site, and the main stage being previously made into volcanos that erupted fire smoke and confetti, and a giant watermill, each of which make the festival recognisable around the world.
- Electric Picnic Festival – Located in Ireland and entering into its 11th year, the Electric Picnic festival has received international acclaim and has even been referred to as Ireland’s version of Glastonbury. With previous headliners including Arcade Fire, The Beastie Boys, The Sex Pistols and The Chemical Brothers, the festival tends to stick to a more rock and roll theme, and is must smaller in size compared to the likes of Glastonbury, earning it a status as a boutique festival.
- Sziget – Held every August in Budapest, Sziget has become one of Europe’s biggest festivals. The week long festival boasts over 1,000 performances across 60 stages. Although primarily a rock and electronic festival, it does offer other alternative entertainment to festival goers, such as dance and theatre performances, films, literary presentations and arts and crafts.
- Croatia Rocks – As the sister company of Ibiza Rocks, for five days and five nights Croatia’s Zrce beach opens its arms to some of the world’s biggest DJ’s and artists. Performing in club, beach and boat venues, artists such as Rudimental, Fat Boy Slim and Gorgon City will be bringing a beach side festival experience to Croatia. With pool parties and boat trips to break up the festival, this is one of Europe’s best festivals.
- Fusion Festival – Spanning across 6 days in Germany every June, Fusion is perhaps Europe’s most alternative festival. Although the festival is primarily an electronic and dance festival, the line-up is not released before hand. In addition to live musical performances, the festival also stages its own film festivals and art installations, and therefore encourages attendees to bring their own art and instruments to contribute.
- Roskilde Festival – Denmark’s biggest music festival is a European giant and one of the largest music festivals on the continent. The music at Roskilde is typically a mixture of well-known artists from all contemporary genres, alongside Scandinavian headliners and up and coming artists. Unlike any other festival, every year since 1999, on the Saturday of the festival Roskilde radio organises a naked run around the campsite, where one male and one female winner receives a ticket for the next year’s festival.
Whether you prefer a beach side location or a greenfield festival there's something for everyone in our list of Top 10 European Festivals.