Wave your phones in the air if you love getting into the thick of the live action at a massive music festival!
Music and travel are pretty much the perfect trouble, throw in food and we’ve got ourselves a tasty love triangle. Knowing that, we’ve turned our gaze towards this year’s incredible line up of music festivals, both across the UK, and further out to Europe.
This is by no means an exhaustive list; there are smaller festivals stamping their mark on the circuit, and gigs galore rolling through the UK.
To kick things off, and get you in the mood, flick on this playlist that you guys helped to pull together over on Facebook. It was themed on the best way to kick off your adventures, and it’s a firm favourite on the turntables at STA Travel Towers.
So, now you’re in the mood, let’s move on to the main stage, with a scoot through Europe’s best music festivals.
Europe’s Best Music Festivals
If you’re heading to any of these festivals, let us know! They’re the perfect events to plan your travels around — and in case you haven’t noticed, we’ve got some pretty amazing deals on travelling in Europe, and around the world, this summer.
In no particular order, other than chronologilogilogilogical…
26 – 28 May 2012 | Landgraaf, Netherlands | Website
Pinkpop has been delivering a range of music for over forty years, on the fantastically named Megaland festival site, in Landgraaf. This year’s acts include Bombay Bicyle Club, Linkin Park, and The Cure.
Primavera Sound Festival
30 May – 3 June 2012 | Barcelona, Spain | Website
A stalwart of the Catalonia festival scene, Primavera Sound began in 2001 and quickly established itself as the festival for pop, rock and underground dance music. This year sees the Pixies, Pulp, and Arcade Fire take to the stage.
Rock am Ring
1 – 3 June 2012 | Nurburg, Germany | Website
Over 100,000 music fans will get their fix in Nurburg, Germany this summer, with Metallica returning to the historic Rock am Ring mainstage alongside Linkin Park and Toten Hosen. Also look out for sister fest, Rock im Park.
Barcelona 15 – 16 June 2012 | Barcelona, Spain | Website
Spain’s slickest music festival celebrates in unmistakable style, that splices avant garde and experimentation. Over 80,000 people enjoy modern electronica, emerging artists and djs, and trendsetters.
28 – 30 June 2012 | Zagreb, Croatia | Website
Franz Ferdinand, The Cranberries, and Mando Diao headline INmusic this year, held on the shores of Lake Jarun in Zagreb, Croatia, this is open-air festival, mostly centres around modern rock and urban music.
4 – 7 July 2012 | Gdynia, Poland | Website
In its tenth year, the unmistakable Björk headlines this year’s Open’er Festival in Gdynia, Poland. Look out for the giant ferris wheel, and enjoy their Silent Disco between sets.
The Garden Festival
4 – 11 July 2012 | Tisno, Croatia | Website
The first of two back to back festivals at The Garden, Tisno, this week long festival takes to a brand new venue, with beats from 2020 Soundsystem, Nicolas Jaar, Tiger + Woods, and No Fakin featuring Kwasi.
5 – 8 July 2012 | Roskilde, Denmark | Website
An old boy of the Festival circuit, Roskilde continues to make its name as Europe’s most comprehensive cultural event. This year’s event welcomes Bruce Springsteen, Björk, The Cure, and The Roots.
12 – 15 July 2012 | Novisad, Serbia | Website
One of Europe’s biggest music festivals takes place in Novisad, a town in northern Serbia. Guns N’ Roses, Duran Duran, New Order, and Plan B are among the dozens of bands that make this one of Europe’s most popular festivals.
The Festival Internacional de Benicàssim
12 – 15 July 2012 | Benicàssim, Spain | Website
Bob Dylan leads a full force of well known artists at this year’s FIB, with Florence + The Machine, The Stone Roses, and David Guetta also making an appearance at east coast Spain’s biggest music festival.
12 – 16 July 2012 | Tisno, Croatia | Website
Following straight on from The Garden Festival, Electric Elephant is headlined by Kompakt.fm’s indomitable line-up of dance music, set along one of Europe’s most beautiful coastlines.
19 – 23 July 2012 | Tisno, Croatia | Website
DJ Yoda, De La Soul, Ghostpoet, and Fink lineup at one of Europe’s most talked about festivals. Located at the coastal town of Tisno in Croatia, this is perfect for those looking to combine the holiday and festival in one!
27 – 29 July 2012 | Antwerp, Belgium | Website
Calvuin Harris and Fat Boy Slim are among the line up for this year’s Tomorrowland festival which takes place somewhere south of Antwerp, in Holland’s windmill swept outback.
3 – 5 August 2012 | Katowice, Poland | Website
Alternative music is the order of the day in Katowice, for the annual Off Festival in Poland. In its sixth year, this year’s lineup includes Iggy and The Stooges, Suicide and Death In Vegas.
6 – 13 August 2012 | Budapest, Hungary | Website
This festival takes place on an island in the Danube river, in the beautiful city of Budapest. Organisers claim it’s “more than just a festival: it’s a place to meet, a place to make friends and fall in love”. Or watch Glasvegas.
Katzenjammer are one of the great acts at this year's Sziget festival | Image by Kata Vermes
7 – 10 August 2012 | Šibenik, Croatia | Website
Fan of rock and pop? Head to Croatia’s eclectic music festival. Emanating from the southern town of Šibenik, this fest brings together the Ting Tings, Friendly Fires and a masterclass of European music.
7 – 11 August 2012 | Oslo, Norway | Website
Björk steals the headlines at Oslo’s premier music festival, with four days of incredible music dolling out The Stone Roses, The Black Keys, Florence + The Machine, and Bon Iver among heaps more.
16 – 18 August 2012 | Kiewit, Belgium | Website
If it’s the Foo Fighters, The Stone Roses, and Björk you’re craving this summer, head over to Belgium’s biggest alternative open-air festival in Kiewit, Belgium for a programme of progressive music.
17 – 19 August 2012 | Hellendoorn, Holland | Website
One of Europe’s oldest music festivals — and Holland’s best known — returns to Hellendoorn this year, with headline act Feist, leading some of the best in rock, dance and pop music.
The Biggest Music Festivals in the UK
If you’re a festival junky, you’ve just made it through some of Europe’s most exciting music festivals to a backdrop of our homegrown talent, with a great collection from the UK music festival scene.
Again, we haven’t covered each and every festival — we’d be here until next summer — but this should give you a flavour of what’s on, and who’s playing, at some of the biggest UK fests in 2012.
4 – 6 May 2012 | London | Website
Camden’s best-loved music venues link arms for the Bank Holiday to form the capital’s most diverse music festival, headlined by Death in Vegas and The Cribs among others.
Liverpool Sound City
17 – 19 May 2012 | Liverpool | Website
Making a stand on the UK indie music festival circuit, LSC combines an international music, media and technology conference, and live arts and music festival.
18 – 19 May 2012 | Tewkesbury | Website
Three guys meet in a cafe and have an idea. 18 months later, and Lakefest returns for its second event that celebrates that beautiful combination of music from the likes of Reef and Toploader, and cider!
1 – 3 June 2012 | Bangor | Website
Kaya kicks off the UK festival scene with a global World Music festival set overlooking the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales.
1 – 4 June 2012 | Oswestry | Website
80 live acts and all the fun of the festivals combine in Oswestry in rural Shropshire to deliver a line-up boasting Razorlight, Dappy, and Hard-Fi.
3 – 4 June 2012 | Newcastle | Website
Looking for the perfect way to spend the Diamond Jubilee weekend? Look no further than Evolution, at Newcastle’s Spillers’ Wharf. Headline acts include Dizzee Rascal and deadmau5.
Love Saves The Day Festival
3 June 2012 | Bristol | Website
There’s more to this greenfield Bristol-based dance festival than a cute name; not least because it supports one of the country’s fastest rising music scenes.
8 – 10 June 2012 | Donington Park | Website
The Download Festival at Donington Park returns for its ten year anniversary with one of its best line ups yet, headliners include The Prodigy, Black Sabbath and Metallica, rocking out their entire Black Album.
8 -10 June 2012 | Loch Ness | Website
Headline acts including Biffy Clyro and Mumford & Sons rattle the shores of Loch Ness for this famous three day fest near Inverness.
The Isle of Wight Festival
21 – 24 June 2012 | Isle of Wight | Website
Firmly establised as the leading contender to Glasto, the IoW Fest rolls on through 2012 with massive headliners, including Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, and Example.
Paul Weller Live from Jodrell Bank
24 June 2012 | Manchester | Website
Paul Weller is one of a great line up of artists this summer to hit the right notes in the shadow of the Lovell Telescope in Manchester.
29 June – 1 July 2012 | Winchester | Website
Blissfields returns for its 12th annual weekend familiarly fabulous style, with the Noisettes and Patrick Wolf taking to the stage at Winchester’s premier festival.
T in the Park
6 – 8 July 2012 | Balado | Website
Scotland’s most famous music festival shines out of Kinross-shire again this year, with Snow Patrol, The Stone Roses, and Kasabian leading the charge, with a great line up of popular bands and artists backing them up.
6 – 8 July 2012 | Cardigan Bay | Website
What do you get when you combine wakeboarding and music? Wakestock. Wales’ Cardigan Bay welcomes Dizzee Rascal, Ed Sheeran and Calvin Harris among others.
V Festival 2012
18 – 19 August 2012 | Staffordshire & Chelmsford | Website
The Stone Roses, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Killers, and Snow Patrol team up to headline the two festivals at Weston Park, Staffordshire, and Hylands Park, Chelmsford. Sadly, tickets are all sold up.
24 – 26 August 2012 | Cheshire | Website
The legendary dance fest takes over the August bank holiday once again, with The Chemical Brothers, deadmau5, Tiësto, Paul van Dyk and David Guetta headlining the revered Cheshire venue.
Reading and Leeds Festivals
24 – 26 August 2012 | Reading & Leeds | Reading & Leeds
The sister fests return in their respective cities (well, one’s a town). Co-sharing some of the planet’s biggest acts; 2012 sees the Foo Fighters, The Cure, and Kasabian among many more of the festivals’ big hitters.