The chill of winter is (finally) beginning to clear and, if you’re anything like us at STA Travel Towers, your thoughts are turning towards a time when your white white toes will see the light of day in fancy flip flops.
And with the coming light nights and hot(ish) days comes thoughts of festivals. While the UK is still an amazing musical hub (and we’ve included a couple here for good patriotic measure) European festivals really are amazing when it comes to value for money, hot line ups and, sometimes, more reliable sunshine.
Summer is coming…you better be ready.
Exit Festival : 9 – 12 July : Novi Sad, Serbia
Showered with awards, boasting 20+ stages, 500 performers and a 2015 line up that includes Faithless, Clean Bandit, Rudimental, Tom Odell and more, all inside a massive medieval fortress, Exit is the current king of European music festivals. Everyone should experience Exit festival once. And then come back every year because goodness me it’s awesome.
Download : 12 – 14 June : Donington Park, UK
It’s a local one but, if you love to rock, there really is nowhere else to be this summer. Just a sweeping glance at the line-up reveals massive names like Slipknot, Muse, Kiss, Faith No More, Billy Idol, Enter Shikari, Marilyn Manson…and we’ve barely scratched the surface.
Sziget Festival : 10-17 August : Óbudai-sziget, Hungary
From the mainstream headlines Robbie Williams, Florence and the Machine and Alt J, to electric music pioneers Infected Mushroom to the awesome and sometimes quirky World Music stage, this 7 day extravaganza on a beautiful island in the heart of Budapest truly has something for everyone.
Bilbao BBK Live : 9-11 July : Bilbao, Spain
Held in an incredible location on the slopes of Arriáiz mountains and celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Bilbao BBK is a real musical pilgrimage with an amazing pay off. Acts include Muse (they’re getting around a bit this year) Counting crows, Future Islands, Kodaline, The Jesus and Mary Chain and more.
Latitude 2015 : 16-19 July : Southwold, UK
Also in its 10th year, local boy Latitude is as well known for its other-worldly vibe, intimate rural setting and its flock of multi coloured sheep (not a joke). 2015’s line up hasn’t been announced yet, but as last year included music from Damon Albarn, Bombay Bicycle Club, Editors, Haim and Mogwai as well as comedy from Kevin Bidges, Dara O’Briain and Kevin Bridges, it’s probably a safe bet that it will be pretty great.
Hideout Festival : 23 June – 3 July : Novalja, Croatia
We’re back in Eastern Europe for this buzzing electro fest on the island of Peg nestled in the stunning Croatian coast. Sound good? Add in Sigma, Eats Everything, Duke Dumont, Gorgon City, MK, Jamie Jones and a whole host of boat and pool parties and it could just be your perfect summer.
Roskilde Festival : 27 Jun – 4 July : Roskilde, Denmark
Roskilde is not only an incredible, eclectic mass of amazing music in a killer location – it also donates all of its earnings to charity. Which means when you’re kicking back watching Pharrell, Lamb of God, Florence and the Machine, Noel Gallagher and Disclosure, you’ll actually be making the world a better place. Brilliant.
Primavera Sound : 28-30 May : Barcelona, Spain
Primavera Sound has an amazing reputation for showcasing the cream of Indi alongside incredible rising stars, all just a few kms from both Barca city centre and the beach. Bliss. This year expect The Black Keys, Alt J, Interpol, The Strokes and Underworld.
Ultra Europe : 10-12 July : Split, Croatia
When it comes to celebrations of electronic music it doesn’t really get much bigger than Ultra. Think the likes of The Chemical Brothers, David Guetta, Afrojack, Alesso, Armin van Buuren and Martin Garrix as well as boat parties and an amazing beach party on Hvar Island to finish the weekend. Where do we sign?
Bažant Pohoda : 9-11 July : Trenčín, Slovakia
This eclectic Slovakian extravaganza has such varied alumni it’s hard to know how to classify it! It’s not just all about the music either – there are theatre shows, debates, art exhibitions, film screenings and so much more. Combine that with a line up that includes Björk and the possibility of sleep pretty much gets thrown out of the window.
OpenAir St.Gallen : 25-28 June : St. Gallen, Switzerland
A beautifully located festival in lush green fields by a bend in the river, perfect for a quick dip. It’s also a cashless festival where revellers wear a chipped wristband which can be topped up with credit – such an amazing idea! Placebo, Rise Against, Future Islands, The War on Drugs and Kodaline all grace the stage this year.
Sónar : 18-20 June : Barcelona, Spain
Split into two parts – Sónar by Day and Sónar by Night – the former is a chance to spot up and coming acts while enjoying incredible views over the city, while the night edition in the south is where you’ll find the massive head-liners. The “Off-Sonar” parties are as much a part of the festival as the main events and you’ll probably find yourself on random roof-tops, pools and beaches throughout the weekend.