Had enough of winter already? Thinking about summer? Well now is the time to start planning, and festivals are a great way to kick off the holidays!
We’ve taken a look at the most famous festivals, the cheapest festivals, multi-genre festivals as well as techno and electronic festivals, to see which are the best European experiences on offer. And wow, there is a big variety to consider. Check these out and decide which festival will start your epic summer. Is it starting to feel warmer yet?!
Held in Serbia, in the city of Novi Sad, Exit Festival was named Best Major European Festival at the EU Festival Awards in 2013, as well as ‘Best European Festival’ at the UK festival awards in 2007. It started as a student movement, fighting for peace and democracy and became one of the most well-known festivals in Europe. This year’s acts include Wiz Khalifa, Bastille, Ellie Goulding, Lost Frequences, Nicky Romero, Dimitri Vegas&Like Mike, Anti-flag, Robin Schulz and many more! The popularity of this festival is soaring as it has been attended by more than 2.7 million people from over 60 countries in the world so far. Will you join the crowd this year?
The Secret Garden Party
Don’t want to leave England? Maybe The Secret Garden Party is for you! Held in the countryside near Huntingdon, 70 miles out of central London, the ‘Big Green Coach’ can take you there from London Victoria Station and many other locations across the UK. You can even rent a vintage caravan to sleep in, doesn’t that sound amazing? This year Caribou, Primal Scream, Petite Meller, The Age of L.U.N.A, Lissie, Maribou State, Rae Morris, SG LEWIS, Oscar and many more will hit the stage. Check it out.
If you like to be surrounded by nature, and would you like to stay in a tent next to a lake or in the middle of the forest, then Wilderness festival is definitely for you! Wilderness takes place between the 4th-7th of August in Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire. This isn’t your typical, rave all night to EDM festival. Wilderness is far more refined, offering wild swimming and a spa in the most natural and beautiful setting. A wide variety of music, as well as theatre and dance shows make Wilderness a place where you can switch your phone off and become one with nature and culture. Price? It’s £164, which is expensive, but a small price to pay for a truly unique experience.
If you fancy going abroad but have a tight budget, Open’er festival in Poland is a very cheap option – just 90 pounds for four days of festival and camping! Opener is held in a city called Gdynia in an old, decommissioned airport. Many well known artists have performed in previous years, including A$AP Rocky, The Chemical Brothers, Massive Attack, The Kooks, Artic Monkeys, Crystal Fighters, Coldplay and Bjork. The temperature is rising this year, Florence and The Machine, Wiz Khalifa, Tame Impala, Bastille, The 1975, The Last Shadow Puppets and… Red Hot Chilli Peppers are all set to perform! As well as these great acts there is also a silent disco and fashion show.
Another cheap option, also held in Poland, is Woodstock festival. It’s a free entry festival organised by the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation, to acknowledge all supporters and volunteers who take part in the annual Grand Finale fundraiser in January. Artists taking part this year include Tanja Turunen, Bring Me the Horizon and Apocalyptical. More bands to be announced soon.
Bout du Monde Festival
Fancy going to France this summer? Then why not check out Bout du Monde Festival. It’s currently the most popular festival in France, situated in Parc Naturel Régional d’Armorique and takes place between 5th – 7th of August. This year A-WA, The Shoes, Tiken Jah Fakoly, Too Many Zooz, Soviet Suprem, Natacha Atlas, Boulevard des Airs and Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyaté are all performing, with more to be announced. Visit their website for updates, and… don’t forget your funny festival costume!
Rock en Seine
Another festival held in France worth recommending, especially for rock music lovers, is Rock en Seine. Held at Domaine National de Saint-Cloud, the historical national park, this festival focuses mainly on rock and pop and there are also exhibitions situated in different nooks of the park. This year’s acts have not yet been announced, but last year Arctic Monkeys, Foo Fighters, Green Day, System of a Down, Sonic Youth, The Chemicals Brothers and Radiohead all graced the stage. I can guarantee that it will fun! One ticket for three days (27-29 August) is just €119 (92 pounds).
Soundwave Festival is held on Croatia’s coastline and organised by one of London’s most well-known promoters, Rob Waller. During the festival there are many different and exciting events, including an open-air cinema and graffiti events with street style artists, mural artists and illustrators from Croatia. Many amazing artists have already been announced, including So Fresh So Clean, Plates, DJ Gilla, DJ Mylz, Tehbis, Gentleman’s Dub Club, Riot Jazz, plus more to be announced soon. You’ll have to book four days off work as this kicks off on the 4th of August and finishes on the 8th! Grab your tickets now as early-bird tickets have just popped up!
The last Festival we recommend you check out is Tommorowland. Keep this festival in mind for the next year though, as tickets have already sold out for this summer! Held in Belgium, in a place called Boom, it is one of the biggest electronic music festivals in the world. Fireworks, fountains and magical stage structures create the atmosphere of a magical wonderland. Many festival goers say it is the best music experience they’ve ever had. Cost? Well this year the price for all three days was €272,50 (210 pounds)… So not so cheap, I must admit, but definitely looks worth it. Get saving for the next year!
Words: Dobrawa Zowislo
Main Photo: The Secret Garden Party