Europe’s Coolest Music Festivals – A World to Journey


Initially printed on Jun 17, 2015, final up to date on Jul 11, 2023.

Are you a music lover and a journey fanatic? Look no additional! On this article, we’ve got gathered insights from prime journey bloggers who share their favourite music festivals throughout Europe.

From the energetic streets of Barcelona to the enchanting levels of Budapest, prepare to find the music festivals that may make your European journey unforgettable.

So with out additional ado, let’s dive in and discover the colourful harmonies and electrifying atmospheres of those must-visit occasions!

1. Iceland Airwaves, Iceland

by Flora The Explorer

Iceland Airwaves by Flora The Explorer - The Coolest Music Festivals in Europe - A World to Travel-2

A pageant efficiency at KEX hostel in Reykjavik.

Iceland Airwaves is a five-day music pageant held each November within the nation’s capital metropolis of Reykjavik. Though the climate is chilly and the solar units early, individuals journey from everywhere in the world to attend Airwaves – primarily as a result of it’s so distinctive.

First up, whereas calling itself a world pageant, any worldwide act invited to carry out at Airwaves can solely ever accomplish that as soon as. This ensures that the Icelandic musicians, nonetheless new or with nonetheless small a fan base, all the time have an annual platform the place they will carry out.

Secondly (and that is my favourite side), the daytimes are comprised of ‘off-venue’ gigs, the place artists carry out quick, intimate units in Reykjavik’scoffee outlets, eating places, libraries, church buildings, swimming swimming pools, and hostel dormitories – mainly each location conceivable.

Off-venue performances are open to anybody, not simply ticket holders; the town’s streets are flooded with music and also you by no means know what you’re going to listen to subsequent.

Within the evenings, the actual (ie. festival-ticketed) performances kick off in a number of totally different venues, all inside strolling distance from one another, and afterward, the get together continues late into the night time within the metropolis’s bars, golf equipment, and the streets themselves.

I volunteered on the pageant in change for my Airwaves ticket the primary yr, fell in love with the nation/metropolis/pageant, after which stayed in Reykjavik the yr after, selecting to only attend Airwaves’ off-venue reveals every day. Should you’re seeking to price range, both one is a good choice!

This yr’s Iceland Airwaves dates are Thu, Nov 2, 2023 – Sat, Nov 4, 2023.

Flora Baker is Flora The Explorer

2. The Secret Backyard Celebration, the UK

by World Assist Swap

Secret Garden Party by Global Help Swap - The Coolest Festivals in Europe - A World to TravelThe Secret Backyard Celebration is among the most picturesque festivals you’ll ever attend. Set on the grounds of a Georgian Farmhouse with its personal lake (which you’ll be able to swim in), river, and landscaped gardens, this can be a place the place fairy tales are made.

The pageant started in 2004 and has gone from power to power. Held yearly in July at Abbots Ripton, close to Huntingdon, England, the pageant is often set round a theme. This yr’s theme is “Infantile Issues”. I might say 70% of the festivalgoers gown up across the theme which makes for some fascinating pictures!

This pageant is the place you possibly can catch acts which are about to hit the massive time. We have now watched Florence & The Machine, The XX, and Lily Allen all earlier than they turned headliners. Like Glastonbury, The Secret Backyard Celebration helps charities. The primary one is The Marketing campaign In opposition to Residing Miserably (CALM), which goals to forestall male suicide in the UK.

The Secret Backyard Celebration is a good medium-sized pageant with a enjoyable crowd. I’ll meet you on the Paint Battle!

The Secret Backyard Celebration returns from 20 – 23 July 2023.

3. Finish Of The Highway Pageant, the UK

by World Assist Swap

End of the Road Festival by Global Help Swap - The Coolest Festivals in Europe - A World to Travel

Beginning in 2006, the Finish of the Highway pageant is held yearly (in Sept) within the Larmer Tree Gardens on the borders of Somerset and Dorset, England. In 2011 the pageant gained the award for “greatest small pageant” and it’s not arduous to see why.

With 4 levels set round woods, gardens, and Tipis, this pageant has an ultra-mellow vibe. The music is centered round folks, Americana, and alt-country. This yr the pageant can be celebrating its 10-year anniversary with Tame Impala, The Struggle on Medication, and Laura Marling taking part in.

Because the pageant is held in fantastically landscaped gardens don’t be alarmed once you come throughout the peacocks roaming about. In addition to the music there are additionally kids’s play areas, a movie tent, a library within the forest, and way more. Like all different UK pageant, our recommendation is to discover, discover, discover!

Finish of the Highway Pageant returns from August thirty first to September third, 2023.

We attended this pageant for the primary time final yr and cherished the chilled-out crowd and ambiance. I’ll meet you within the woods for a recreation of cover and search. Paul Farrugia is an avid traveler and blogger. When he’s not touring he likes to spend his free time studying, going to festivals, and sitting down and having fun with a pleasant glass of crimson! If you want to succeed in him, try his weblog World Assist Swap! You may observe him on Fb as effectively. 

4. Couleur Café, Belgium

by Fantastic Wanderings

Couleur Café is an annual music pageant within the metropolis of Brussels. It’s distinctive because it doesn’t happen within the streets of the town, both on a pageant terrain, however on the occasions website of Tour & Taxis. Right here you possibly can hearken to large hip hop and rap artists, but additionally to all types of world music, together with reggae and Latin, and a little bit of dubstep

Moreover the stage acts, there are additionally all the time some facet acts, like a marching band or road performers, who entertain the crowds all through the day.

And should you do want a musical break, you possibly can head to the world market or to the meals stands. No must worry: the meals at Couleur Café is scrumptious and the choices are lots. There are about 50 meals stands with merchandise from everywhere in the world, together with vegetarian meals.

Tip for first-timers: Couleur Café is in the course of Brussels and parking choices are scarce. The pageant web site doesn’t even tackle coming by automotive. On the upside: there are numerous low cost choices with public transportation particularly for the pageant, so you should definitely test these out.

This yr’s occasion was held from Friday 23 June until Sunday 25 June 2023, on the Osseghem Park (close to the Atomium).

Sofie is a contract author, translator, and journey blogger who takes individuals together with her on her travels in Belgium and past. Her weblog Fantastic Wanderings focuses each on the must-sees and day by day life, on the massive sights and the locations you’d by no means discover by your self. You may join with Sofie on Fb.

5. Rock in Rio Lisboa, Portugal

by Concerteca

Rock in Rio was born in Brazil in 1985. In 2004, it arrived in Portugal to remain, with fairly large gigs corresponding to Paul McCartney,  Kings of Lion, and Foo Fighters in Belavista Park, a pure stage that turns into a rock metropolis each version. RiR has additionally been held in Spain and this yr it can arrive within the US, being Vegas the chosen metropolis for its opening within the nation.

Final yr, Rolling Stones and different bands celebrated in Lisbon the tenth anniversary, 90 thousand individuals loved how Bruce Springsteen made a last-minute shock look after being invited by Jagger to hitch the get together. Fairly epic.

Contained in the pageant grounds, other than a ferris wheel, there may be Rock and Road dance, a meals court docket, and a chillout space. Unluckily, this one doesn’t have a tenting space and when you enter the pageant, you possibly can’t exit, a little bit of a nuisance. However should you play alongside, it’s considered one of your greatest bets within the nation and it is possible for you to to get pleasure from Lisbon, a implausible metropolis, as effectively!

This yr’s occasion occurred on Saturday, 17 June 2023 at Parque da Bela Vista, Lisbon, LI.

6. Principal Sq. Pageant, France

by Concerteca

I might return on a whim simply to get pleasure from as soon as once more the unreal surroundings of the town the place is held, Arras previous city, about 150km away from Paris. 11 years previous, Principal Sq. is among the greatest put-together festivals we’ve ever been to. Aside from the comfy city, the tenting zone occurs to be situated actually close by and Lille and Charleroi airports are each conveniently situated round 45km away.

Sting, Inexperienced Day, Iron Maden, David Guetta, Muse, and The Prodigy performed there. This yr’s dates are July, third to fifth, being the 3-day passes and Saturday / Sunday tickets over. So if you wish to have a peak, the Friday cross is your greatest wager and you possibly can be listening to Lenny Kravitz and Shaka Ponk in just a few weeks.

An incredible ambiance, a mixture of festival-goers, households, and locals, excellent for first-timers and likers of all types of music. Actually fulfilling!

This yr’s occasion occurred in the course of the first weekend of July.

Maria runs Concerteca. Comply with them on Fb.

7. Pageant do Sudoeste, Portugal

by A World to Journey

Sudoeste Festival - The Coolest Music Festivals in Europe - A World to Travel

This one is held in Zambujeira do Mar, on the South West coast of Portugal, therefore the title. Jose was there in 2011.

Unluckily, Amy Winehouse – who was main the lineup – had simply handed away however nonetheless, he may get pleasure from another nice bands and DJs like Asian Dub Basis, Underworld, Deus, Scissor Sisters, David Guetta, Snoop Canine, Swedish Home Mafia, Alpha Blondie, Interpol, and plenty of others unfold throughout 4 levels, being his favourite the reggae one.

Though temperatures can get actually harsh and shades are nearly non-existent, there’s a pond the place you may get some aid in the course of the day. Extremely really useful.

This yr’s dates are Wed, Aug 9, 2023 – Solar, Aug 13, 2023.

8. Berlin Pageant, Germany

by Un Poco de Sur

Berlin Festival - The Coolest Music Festivals in Europe

If we wish to speak about music festivals we can’t neglect Berlin, the cradle of the (in)well-known Love parade has these days many different exceptional occasions to observe just like the small, however extremely essential, Berlin Pageant.

The Berlin Pageant used to happen at Tempelhofer Feld, the deserted airport and metropolis lung, however quick sufficient has left behind the “overpopulated” pageant thought and moved right into a extra intimate area, the Enviornment Berlin. It takes place 3 days in a row within the “metropolis middle” and provides an enormous quantity of prospects from cultural workshops, to Loopy DJ electro events until chillout mornings/afternoons in probably the most explicit swimming swimming pools within the metropolis, The Badeshift.

One of many exceptional issues is the assist to the native artists, the Berlin pageant counts with enormous worldwide names corresponding to Rudimental or Fritz Kalkbrenner but it surely’s additionally a spot with an enormous area for the area people giving Berlin bands and artists a bounce to the mass public.

I all the time seek advice from it because the “almost 30’s pageant”, is a metropolis pageant, due to this fact, no tenting place, you’ll sleep completely cozy in your mattress and have a bathe in your lavatory earlier than hitting the get together once more. It’s not a large pageant simply small situations, cultural occasions, and plenty of prospects… Name me previous however feels like paradise to me.

We haven’t discovered the dates for 2023, however there may be by no means a scarcity of nice events or festivals in Berlin!

Valen & Jesper have been touring for about 3 years now, they cool down in Berlín for some time and from right here plan their subsequent journey. Comply with them on Fb

9. Paredes de Coura Pageant, Portugal

by A World to Journey

Quite a bit has been stated round right here about our favourite music pageant ever. After having attended the final 4 editions (learn 2014 Paredes de Coura Uncut Chronicle Half 1 and Half 2 right here), we are able to solely anticipate subsequent August to return and stay it up as soon as once more. Dream location on a hill that includes a cool river – excellent for the afternoon ‘Jazz na relva’ periods in addition to cooling off when the solar is at its highest, and a few large levels that stay pumping it up until 5 am principally (typically, coming as a fantastic shock, additional within the wee hours!).

We even put a brief video that includes the easiest of final yr’s version.

Critically, you should test this one out. Priceless!

The Paredes de Coura Pageant can be returning in 2023, going down from the sixteenth to the nineteenth of August.

10. Hellfest, France

by Fotostrasse

Hellfest by Fotostrasse - The Coolest Music Festivals in Europe - A World to Travel.jpgI’ve labored as a photographer for years and years at this pageant, it was clearly one of the best place to see your fav band and have a good time. Within the 2011 version, I received the prospect to see for the primary time my one real love, not less than my 16 years previous’s love: Phil Anselmo, the previous lead singer of the legendary Pantera.

It was nice! I used to be with out phrases and a bit frozen to be so near my idol.

Hellfest grew an excessive amount of in the previous couple of years and a few issues got here with it, however however, it’s nonetheless in my prime place. It holds the medal for one of the best steel fest in Europe for my part.

My tip is: neglect about inns, go tenting.

The tenting website is nice, you’ll not miss one single present, there’s all the time a celebration happening and there usually are not sufficient buses to take you to the subsequent city. Keep away from a headache and embrace the headbanging.

The place: Clisson, France

Music: Rock, Steel, Punk, and extra.

This yr’s occasion occurred from Jun 15, 2023, to Jun 18, 2023.


11. Sonisphere, the UK

by Fotostrasse

My first European expertise as a photographer occurred at Sonisphere in 2009. Since that day, Sonisphere grew on my coronary heart as my vegetation develop within the summertime.

I don’t know whether it is the truth that I used to be seen Metallica for the second time stay if it was the truth that I met the fellows or the truth that I used to be lastly doing work for an enormous journal overseas. I used to be working with Rolling Stone again within the day.

Gotta say that of all of the crowds I’ve seen as a music photographer over time, the UK delivers one of the best and most humorous characters each time! It’s spectacular the vitality and the shortage of self-preservation that you just see throughout festivals within the UK, particularly in England.

Even should you’re not there for the music, go for the enjoyable that comes with it!
England is the birthplace of steel and the legend of craziness continues each time I’ve the prospect to see a present or a pageant there!

Replace: In a 2018 interview, Stuart Galbraith, CEO of Kilimanjaro Stay, confirmed that there are not any plans to revive the pageant, indicating that Sonisphere is now discontinued and gone ceaselessly.

Marcela, who wrote these strains, and Felipe personal Fotostrasse.

12. Increase Pageant

by Mochila Nomada

Increase Pageant is a biannual trance music pageant that’s held just a few km away from Idanha-a-Nova, a Portuguese city by an superior lake that quickly turns into one of many festival-goers’ favourite locations to hang around.

Greater than 30 thousand individuals collect to attend this ‘aware’ and ‘sustainable’ pageant. A lot in order that it was awarded the ‘Excellent Greener Pageant Award’ in 2008, 2010, and 2012.

And music is simply solely a small a part of what’s going on there. Conferences, workshops, exhibitions, video games, chillout areas, and an enormous tenting zone from the lake to some shut mountains’ peaks.

A should.

The 2023 version of the pageant will happen from the twentieth to the twenty seventh of July at Idanha-a-Nova Lake in Portugal.

Jairo runs Mochila Nomada and wrote concerning the pageant right here: mochilanomada.com/boom-festival. Comply with him on Fb.

13. Colors of Ostrava

by My Wanderlust

Of all of the festivals I’ve ever attended Colors of Ostrava should be essentially the most distinctive one. It takes place in mid-July within the third greatest Czech metropolis – Ostrava – not too removed from the Polish border.

What makes it so particular is the placement. The occasion is held within the industrial environment of the previous iron and metal mill in Dolni Oblast Vitkovice – that itself provides as much as the superb vibe of the pageant.
There are seven levels however you don’t need to stroll an excessive amount of between the live shows – the manufacturing unit buildings completely insulate the sound!

The largest stars of this yr’s, 14th version, can be Bjork or Kasabian however artists come from everywhere in the world and symbolize varied music kinds, from jazz to steel.

However Colors of Ostrava is greater than only a music pageant – there are additionally workshops, theater performs, poetry, motion pictures, or dialogue panels – certainly everybody will discover one thing for themselves.

No marvel this Czech occasion is taken into account among the finest main European festivals, it certainly is my favourite too!

Colours of Ostrava returns from Wednesday, July 19, 2023, to Saturday, July 22, 2023.

Kami blogs at My Wanderlust. 

14. MITO Pageant, Italy

by The Crowded Planet

MITO Festival by The Crowded Planet - The Coolest Festivals in Europe - A World to Travel

Usually, once you consider summer season festivals, you think about muddy fields and dancing all night time lengthy. Now, I’m not saying that’s not good! However MITO, considered one of my favourite summer season festivals, going down yearly in September, may be very totally different. MITO stands for Milano and Torino, the 2 cities the place the pageant occurs.

It’s very arduous to place the pageant into a selected class as considered one of its traits is that there are live shows for all preferences, from classical to jazz, rock, and digital. The venues are additionally particular; live shows happen not solely in theatres and halls but additionally on trains, at trans stations, parks, and reconverted factories. MITO is among the the reason why September is my favourite month in Milan!

Should you’re intrigued by the concept of exploring distinctive festivals like MITO whereas additionally maintaining a tally of your price range, I extremely suggest trying out our complete information to the greatest Italian locations to go to in case you are touring on a price range.

This information is filled with insider ideas, money-saving hacks, and sensible recommendation that can assist you take advantage of your Italian journey with out burning a gap in your pocket. So whether or not you’re planning to attend MITO or uncover different hidden gems in Italy, it is going to be your go-to useful resource for creating an inexpensive and unforgettable expertise.

Photograph caption: Nema Problema, a Balkan music band, acting at Stazione Centrale, Milan.

MITO 2023 can be held in Milan from September seventh to September twentieth, and in Torino from September eighth to September twenty second.

Margherita runs The Crowded Planet together with her husband Nick, a photographer.

15. Time in Jazz, Italy

by My Adventures Throughout The World

Time in Jazz by Claudia Tavani - The Coolest Music Festivals in Europe - A World to Travel

Time in Jazz takes place each August in Berchidda, within the North of Sardinia (Italy), and it’s a should for any jazz, music, and even nature lovers. It consists of an entire week or extra of jazz live shows, held throughout quite a lot of villages corresponding to Berchidda and the environment, with open-air live shows (that are free to attend).

The pageant is organized by Paolo Fresu, a Sardinian-born world-famous trumpet participant. Annually he gathers essentially the most acclaimed jazz musicians for some unimaginable live shows.

It’s an total nice occasion not just for the unimaginable high quality of the music, but additionally for the settings: think about listening to some nice jazz in the course of the forest, or within the fairly sq. of a beautiful village. And a few of the world’s greatest seashores are close by too. Guests can keep in one of many varied tenting websites or in some mattress and breakfast lodging, and prime off their go to with some fabulous native meals and wine.

Should you’re , right here’s a 10-day street journey itinerary to Sardinia, together with stops in lovely coastal cities and picturesque landscapes. Get pleasure from your journey!

The thirty sixth version of the Time in Jazz Pageant, considered one of Sardinia’s most important stay music occasions, will happen from August eighth to August sixteenth, 2023. The pageant can be held in Berchidda, close to Olbia, in addition to in varied cities within the northern a part of the island.

Claudia Tavani, a former human rights lawyer and tutorial, writes at My Adventures Throughout The World. Comply with her on Fb.

16. Tremendous Bock Tremendous Rock, Portugal

by Maruxaina

We uncover this one final yr. Tremendous Bock Tremendous Rock Pageant is held in Aldeia do Meco, on the outskirts of Lisbon, and Eddie Vedder, Huge Atack, and Kasabian performed there already. We may see a really younger viewers, a simply fantastic tenting zone, an impressive VIP space (not tough, in any case, it’s VIP!), and a fantastic location by the seaside.

This yr it can participate in July, at Nations Park, Lisbon, and it is going to be the twenty first version of considered one of Portugal’s primary festivals. A 3-day cross is round $100 – a day ticket is half value – and Sting, Blur, Florence and the Machine, and plenty of others are already confirmed.

SBSR surprises the crowds yearly with fairly numerous lineups. Metallica, Rage In opposition to The Machine, Ben Harper, Arcade Hearth, Incubus… a unending record that pleases very totally different crowds yearly.

Tremendous Bock Tremendous Rock, considered one of Portugal’s hottest festivals, takes place in Meco, Sesimbra, south of Lisbon. With a fame that has grown steadily over the previous 25 years, the pageant originated in rock music however now incorporates pop, hip-hop, and digital music genres. In 2023, it is going to be held from July thirteenth to July fifteenth.

Take a look at Maruxaina’s weblog right here.

17. Donauinselfest, Austria

by Woman vs Globe

Image via

Picture through 2013.donauinselfest.at

Donauinselfest – or Danube Island Pageant in English – is among the greatest festivals in Europe and undoubtedly one which delivers one of the best bang on your buck. Why? Entry to this open-air free music pageant is totally free!

It takes place yearly within the lovely Austrian capital of Vienna and welcomes music acts from everywhere in the world. As a result of I grew up in Vienna, I attended just a few occasions and received to see performances starting from Dawn Avenue to The Prodigy… Not dangerous for an occasion with free entry!

There are many nice meals stalls and leisure on-site, for anybody from younger get together animals to prolonged households – the truth is, my grandparents most likely just like the pageant much more than I do for all these lederhosen-clad conventional Austrian bands.

Oh, and have I discussed that Danube Island is an precise island within the middle of Vienna?

It won’t be as unique as being within the Caribbean, but it surely’s actually not dangerous for central Europe! So take pack your passport and ask your 15-year-old cousin and your 80-year-old grandma to return alongside as a result of they’ll each discover one thing to like at Donauinselfest!

This yr’s dates are Jun 23, 2023 – Jun 25, 2023.

18. Marés Vivas

by Una Concept Un Viaje

Da weasel Live

Marés Vivas has turn out to be probably the most widespread music festivals within the north of Portugal, a fantastic reference for these summer season pageant lovers.

Marés Vivas, which suggests ‘Alive Tides’ if we translate it into English is strictly what its title brings to your thoughts: a blow of recent air over all of the stereotypical festivals, out of any common pageant classification, a pageant that comes and goes with kinds as pop, rock, digital, jazz, trip-hop…And you continue to marvel why I maintain attending? 

Wonderful ticket costs, tenting space, nice vibe, low cost locations to relax round, and one of the best spot ever for a stage. Should you haven’t been there but, don’t miss it this summer season, buddy. You gained’t remorse it!

MEO Marés Vivas 2023 will happen on July 14th, fifteenth and sixteenth.

Eva Abal is the founding father of Una Concept Un Viaje, a journey weblog targeted on nature, artwork, images, and ecotourism. Sharing her loopy and enjoyable adventures with none censorship, she’s enrolled now in a solo round-the-world journey. 

19. La Route Du Rock

by My Journey Affairs

La Route Du Rock is among the “best-kept secrets and techniques” of the European pageant circuit. Held each summer season within the awfully picturesque city of St. Malo in Brittany, France.

French and British festival-goers love the occasion primarily as a result of the lineup is all the time top-notch, no two bands ever overlap so there isn’t a want to decide on what you wish to see extra and the group is all the time spotless! The pageant all the time hosts prime worldwide performers corresponding to Huge Assault or Portishead, this summer season Bjork is introduced to play!!!

However they’re actually nice at recognizing new bands and singers early too! Good Mac Demarco or Excellent Pussy had carried out on La Route du Rock early on of their profession. 

Route du Rock’s subsequent dates are Wed, Aug 16, 2023 – Sat, Aug 19, 2023.

by My Journey Affairs

Electrical Citadel Pageant is among the largest music festivals in Romania, held yearly in Banffy Citadel in Cluj. Over 4 days contributors can bask in an in depth number of live shows going down over 6 levels, quite a few workshops, city actions, and excessive sports activities! It’s loopy, it’s enjoyable and it’s not to be missed! 

This yr’s dates are Wed, Jul 19, 2023 – Solar, Jul 23, 2023.

Marysia Maciocha runs My Journey Affairs. Comply with her on My Journey Affairs.

From the pulsating beats of digital music to the soulful melodies of jazz and the whole lot in between, Europe provides a wealthy tapestry of musical experiences. And whether or not you’re searching for iconic headliners, hidden gems in charming areas, or a fusion of genres that may ignite your ardour for music, there’s something for everybody.

So pack your luggage, seize your pageant necessities, and prepare to bop the night time away at these unimaginable music festivals throughout Europe. Maintain exploring, maintain grooving, and let the rhythm of Europe captivate your soul.

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