The top 15 summer music festivals
The best time to enjoy a music festival is definitely the summer and Europe offers each year thousands of summer music festivals. We have selected for you the top 15 summer music festivals in Europe. From Secret Garden Party in the UK to Ibiza Closing Parties, discover the best music festivals in Europe and be prepared to live unique experiences. There is so much to discover in Europe !
Exit is an award-winning summer music festival. It is held annually at the Petrovaradin Fortress in the city of Novi Sad (Serbia), which is
considered by many as one of the best festival venues in the world.
Exit is unique in the festival world as it started as a student movement fighting for peace and democracy in Serbia and the Balkans. Even today, Exit has a strong social mission to help youth in the Balkans and it is run by a non-profit organisation.
Secret Garden Party
Secret Garden Party: sickened by commercial gigolos and the false promise of fame and Fortune achievable only through wearing the right deodorant? Well then, join us in saying
"Goodbye (to the) Yellow Brick Road" and its promise of (social/financial) redemption.
Within the shelter of the Garden, where the dogs of society's howl is inaudible, we are exploring the more positive visual imagery in our favourite songs - so dust off your old LPs say an oh my and a boo hoo to the 9 to 5… Dance with us beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free; because, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. (©secretgardenparty.com).
Tomorrowland is a large electronic music festival held in Belgium. It used to be organized as a joint venture by the original founders, the brothers Beers. The festival takes place in the town of Boom, Belgium (16 kilometers (10 miles) south of Antwerp, 32 kilometers (20 miles) north of Brussels), and has been organized since 2005. It has since become one of the most notable global music festivals. (©tomorrowland.com).
Glastonbury Festival is the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world and a template for all the festivals that have come after it. The difference is that Glastonbury has all the best aspects of being at a festival in one astonishing bundle.
It's like going to another country, a hip and thrilling Brigadoon that appears every year or so. Coming to Glastonbury involves a fair amount of travel, and probably a queue to get in but, when you get past these impediments, you enter a huge tented city, a mini-state under canvas. British law still applies, but the rules of society are a bit different, a little bit freer. Everyone is here to have a wild time in their own way. (©glastonburyfestivals.co.uk).
Sziget Festival is one of the biggest multicultural events of Europe, starting in 1993 and already celebrating its 22nd edition. The festival attracts almost 400 000 fans from over 70 countries to a beautiful island in the heart of Budapest, providing a complete festival-holiday experience with non-stop party, great live concerts, a widely international community and all the touristic features the city has to offer.(©szigetfestival.com).
Colours of Ostrava
Colours of Ostrava is a multi-genre music festival held annually in the city of Ostrava. Since 2012, the event is being held in the impressive surroundings of Dolní Vítkovice – the site of former blast furnaces, mines and ironworks.
The festival has brought a number of impressive headliners to Ostrava over the years including Grinderman, Robert Plant, Alanis Morissette, Cranberries, Sinéad O´Connor, Bobby McFerrin, Mariza, Salif Keita, Jamie Cullum, Janelle Monáe, The Flaming Lips, Antony and the Johnsons, Jan Garbarek, Gipsy Kings, Kronos Quartet, Michael Nyman as well as Animal Collective, plus top names in jazz, world music, rock, pop as well as the alternative scene. The festival also offers a diverse accompanying programme including theatre, workshops, discussions, films etc. (©www.colours.cz)
Since the first edition was held in 1999 (in an airplane hangar), Iceland Airwaves has become one of the premier annual showcases for new music – Icelandic and otherwise – in the world. It’s made a heap of friends and won many fans along the way, and been lavished with praise pretty much everywhere they write about music. Example: Rolling Stone magazine called it “The hippest long weekend on the annual music-festival calendar.” (©icelandairwaves.is).
Tisno - Croatia
Organised by one of London’s top promoters, Rob Waller/Soundcrash, along with one of the managing directors and curators of Outlook & Dimensions Festivals, Noah Ball, the event is a wonderful opportunity to experience a music festival on the beautiful Croatian coastline – what could be better? This “unique European boutique festival” has a very loyal following, with many revellers returning year after year; a third of tickets are snapped up before any artists are even announced, and the festival is always fully sold out beforehand.
Soundwave is a perfect choice if you’re just after a long weekend festival event in Europe, although there’s also a great opportunity for you to combine it with a holiday on Croatia’s coastline either before or after. (©visit-croatia.co.uk)
Roskilde Festival is an annual week-long international cultural event offering quality experiences based on modern music and creative kinship.
With its attitude towards environmental issues, humanitarian causes and cultural work, Roskilde Festival reflects and challenges the surrounding society and world.
Roskilde Festival is a boundary-pushing cultural-political manifestation. Roskilde Festival is based on the efforts of an unpaid workforce who focus on all aspects of audience service, quality, creativity and safety.
All profits from Roskilde Festival are donated to humanitarian and cultural work. (©roskilde.org).
The wonderful world of Bestival was born out of ten fun years of pioneering music events and record releases from Rob da Bank’s Sunday Best empire. The BBC Radio 1 leftfield DJ had a dream to one day create his vision of how the modern day festival should be. Along with Creative Director and wife Josie da Bank and co founders / partners John and Ziggy from Get Involved that dream is now fulfilled. On a mission to change the face of independent festival culture, the fearless foursome are bringing some magic to the shores of the Solent and spreading the love worldwide. (©bestival.net)
The Donauinselfest (German for Danube Island Festival) is an open-air free music festival taking place annually at Donauinsel in Vienna, Austria. It usually takes place in mid or end of June.
According to numerous media reports the Donauinselfest is Europe's biggest open air event; soon expected to reach the 3 million visitors mark. Some 1500 volunteer assistants and visible police presence help make the Donauinselfest one of the most secure big events. (©donauinselfest.at).
In the beginning... there were three men - Peter Gabriel, Thomas Brooman and Bob Hooton who put their innovative musical heads together and founded The WOMAD Festival. This was 1980. It took two years to actually realise their dream and bring WOMAD Festival to Shepton Mallet. And this was July 1982. The crowds came in their droves and encountered a feat of extraordinary musicians and artists, workshops for all. Don Cherry, Simple Minds, Imrat Khan, The Drummers of Burundi, Echo and The Bunnymen and Peter Gabriel (to name but a few). WOMAD was perhaps the first truly international music festival to emerge at this time. (©womad.org).
Tromsø is renowned for breeding innovative artists within the electronic music field. Insomnia Festival seeks to evolve the creative energy this has given rise to by creating a platform for new electronic music and techno culture.
Insomnia is a festival for innovative electronic music – which means music created with electronic contraptions. The creative process within the genre is as varied as the music itself, and the festival hopes to display a wide variety of it. (©insomniafestival.no).
Bout du Monde Festival
Every August for the last ten years, the Festival du Bout du Monde has succeeded in attracting a truly cosmopolitan crowd. The music is remarkable and the location is fantastic too. Situated at the very heart of the Parc Naturel Régional d’Armorique, with stunning views of the Breton coastline for backdrop and in the shade of pretty little houses scattered amongst the grasslands of Landrevarzec, this music festival is a must for lovers of world music. Now one of the most successful world music festivals in France, and renowned for its family atmosphere, during this festival, for a weekend at any rate, the world revolves around Brittany – which is no longer at the ends of the earth! (brittanytourism.com)
Bukta Open Air Festival
Bukta Tromsø Open Air Festival is an annual outdoor rock festival held in Tromsø, Norway. The 2014 edition takes place 17-19th of July.
The festival takes place in Telegrafbukta – one of Tromsø’s most popular camping and swimming spots during the summer. On the beach, surrounded by trees and mountains, Bukta can claim to have one of the most beautiful festival sites in the world. Things only get better with the midnight sun – during the months of June and July the sun doesn’t set on Tromsø, meaning there is no night. You can literally party all day long – something that virtually no other rock festival in the world can claim! (©bukta.no).
On Mid July we have another splendid edition of the Cactus Festival that will take place at the minnewaterpark of Bruges. In the previous years it proved to be an amazing mix of music and culture for everyone. Cactus Festival stands for a musical outdoors happening which is offered each summer almost for free. This cosmopolitan summer festival gives his attention to quality, atmosphere and enjoyment for a big audience. A lot of well-known and undiscovered foreign and Belgian groups will pass the revue, for example: dEUS, Hooverphonic, Beach House, Ozark Henry, Calexico, Michael Kiwanuka, Balthazar, Bonnie Raitt, The Raveonettes, Thurston Moore & Chelsea Light Moving, The Tallest Man On Earth, Blaudzun, SX to name a few. (©cactusfestival.be).