Christmas is over, New Year is but a distant memory and we’ve negotiated the most depressing month of the year pretty much unscathed – what now? It’s time to start looking forward to the summer and, with Glasto taking a fallow year, decide which music festivals to hit.
If you’re getting a little bored of the same paint-by-numbers UK festivals, with over-priced booze, beige food and perilous British weather, then maybe it’s time to get out of your comfort zone, hop on a plane and head to a European festival.
We know what you’re thinking: you’ve camped in the same spot at Reading Festival for the past 7 years and you’re on first name terms with the bloke who runs the ice cream van next to the main stage. We get it, you don’t want to lose that, but it’s time to let go and sample something new.
Just think back to those magical feels of your first ever festival – the freedom, the partying, the music, the elation, the friendships, the all-nighters – well, with a European festival, you can experience that novel excitement all over again, times ten. Trust us, we’ve been there. Not only that, it provides another opportunity to scratch that travel itch and tick some more countries off your bucket list.
For the 2018 season, we have teamed up with festival aficionados Festicket to bring you ticket and accommodation packages to some of the greatest shows in Europe. Check out some of our favourites – alongside 2017’s epic after movies – below.
Boom, Belgium – 27-29 July
Let’s kick off with Tomorrowland, the most revered EDM (electronic dance music – but you knew that, right?) festival on earth. Renowned for showcasing the most popular DJs on the planet, Tomorrowland’s unforgettable stage design and spectacular firework displays will make you think you’re in another universe.
Due to its immense popularity, standard tickets to Tomorrowland have already sold out before a single act has been announced. But fear not, my eager raver, STA Travel and Festicket still have some ticket and accommodation packages. But hurry, they won’t be around for long!
Split, Croatia – 6-8 July
Sticking with the EDM theme, the European leg of the famous Ultra franchise hosts some of the greatest dance, techno and house acts from around the globe. 2018’s edition will be headlined by huge names such as Carl Cox, David Guetta, Eric Prydz, Armin van Buuren and many more across 3 hedonistic days.
FIB: Festival Internacional de Benicassim
Castellón, Spain – 19-22 July
Festival Internacional de Benicassim – or ‘Beni’ to the regulars – is a mainstay of the European festival scene and attracts music-lovers from around the world every single year. Running from early evening until the early hours to combat the Spanish heat, Benicassim boasts the latest and greatest names in rock, indie, rap, dance and pop music.
This year’s edition will feature Liam Gallagher, Travis Scott and The Killers as headliners, alongside The Vaccines, Two Door Cinema Club, Bastille and many, many more over 4 scorching days of live music.
Paris, France – 21-22 July
Lollapalooza is Paris’ latest major music festival and the European chapter of the iconic US festival of the same name. Debuting last year in Paris’ iconic Hippodrome de Longchamp, Lollapalooza 2018 will feature a wide range of genres with acts such as Depeche Mode, Gorillaz, Kasabian, Travis Scott and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, to name a few.
Novalja, Croatia – 25-29 June
Founded back in 2010 and the second Croatian rave on our list, Hideout is an electronic festival that attracts dance fans from far and wide. Located right on the beach, the festival encompasses world famous clubs Papaya, Aquarius and Kalypso, as well as unforgettable boat parties that help nurture those summer holiday vibes.
This year’s edition of Hideout boast key EDM stalwarts, such as Jamie Jones, Chase & Status, Andy C, Eats Everything and lots more.
Mad Cool Festival
Madrid, Spain – 12-14 July
Despite only being around since 2016, Mad Cool has already established itself as a major player on the rock festival circuit. Held in Spain’s capital, Mad Cool has hosted huge names such as Neil Young, Foo Fighters, Green Day and Kings of Leon in its short – but very sweet – history.
2018 will see Mad Cool’ stages graced by giants such as Pearl Jam, Arctic Monkeys, Depeche Mode, Jack White, Queens of the Stone Age, Tame Impala and many, many more.
If none of these tickle your fancy, head over to our European Music Festivals page for more events on the continent.