If you’re not going to this year’s Glastonbury festival don’t despair, as there are a wealth of top-notch alternatives on the European festival scene.
Swap British weather and muddy fields for sunny beach festival or combine your festival holiday with a city break to one of Europe’s cultural hotspots. Here are some of the best alternatives for the ultimate festival getaway!
The global festival scene is thriving, with a diverse array of unique festival escapes in exciting new destinations. There’s wallet friendly Eastern European hotspots on the River Danube, being at one with nature with festivals set in beautiful woodland and amazing city festivals to combine with long weekends of culture, gastronomic delights and sightseeing. There’s something for every festival adventurer.
Need some inspiration? Here’s some unforgettable festival escapes for 2017…
Exit Festival – Party in a fortress overlooking the River Danube in Serbia
6-9 July 2017
Just a short ride away from the Serbian capital Belgrade, the magical Petrovaradin Fortress set high on the banks of the river Danube in Novi Sad provides the perfect setting for the EXIT Festival. Started as a student protest in 2000 fighting for political change and freedom, EXIT continues to spread positive vibes, promoting change and positive education, supporting many community and humanitarian missions, while throwing a damn good party.
The award winning festival has something for music lovers of all genres, with a diverse mix of artists performing on numerous stages connected by cobbled streets, ramparts and tunnels. Also renowned for it’s amazing atmosphere the Dance Arena champions the who’s who in the electronic music world. It’s that special moment when the sun’s rays shine over the fortress walls and your favorite tune is belting through the sound system and into your soul!
EXIT continues to deliver the most adventurous and value for money festival experiences in Europe so keep your eyes peeled for the first acts to be announced soon. EXIT. Where hedonism meets activism.
Line Up: The Killers, Liam Gallagher, Years & Years, Hardwell, Rag’n’Bone Man, Jake Bugg, Paul Kalkbrenner, Solomun b2b Dixon, Alan Walker, Black Coffee, Duke Dumont, Faithless Dj Set, Hot Since 82, Jamie Jones, Lost Frequencies, Noisia “OUTER EDGES”, Recondite, Robin Schulz, RÜFÜS, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Antigone B2B Francois X, Charlotte de Witte, Dax J, Function, Princess Nokia, Voiski, Foreign Beggars, Kungs, The Damned, Behzad & Amarou, Ben Vedren, Forest People b2b kLaus, Leo pol, Pierre, Sweely, Arkona, Destruction, Discharge, Samael, Angelic Upstarts, The Black Dahlia Murder + many more.
Positivus Festival – enjoy the picturesque woodland setting in Lativia
14-16 July 2017
Taking place in the picturesque coastal town of Salacgriva in Latvia, Positivus is the largest music and arts festival in the Baltic States, transporting chart-topping headliners, underground emerging talent and exciting art and dance stages to their unspoilt atmospheric coastal setting amid stunning woodland. Festival goers can dip their toes in the Baltic sea or take in the atmosphere in a hammock beneath the trees while enjoying a rich diversity of international chart toppers and underground emerging talent in this idyllic holiday location.
Positivus also offers art and dance stages giving festival-goers a variety of activities and stalls selling locally made designer clothing and accessories, giving festival goers plenty to see and do during the 3 day event. Positivus was also recognised in the 2013, 2015 and 2016 European Festival Awards being a finalist in the ‘Best Medium Sized Festival’ category and also for ‘Best Festival Line Up’ in 2013.
Line up: Maximo Park, The Lumineers, The Pixies, Ellie Goulding, Alt-J, Rae Sremmurd, Kamasi Washington, L.A. Salami, José González, Mew, Austra, JP Cooper, Cigarettes After Sex, Dagamba, Dzelzs Vilks, Pienvedēja Piedzīvojumi. Ray Blk, Eska, Nothing but Thieves, Julia Jacklin, Margaret Glaspy, Bandmaster + many more.
Sea Dance – party on the beach at this award winning festival in Montenegro
13-15 July 2017
Recently listed by Skyscanner as the number one cheapest holiday destination for 2017, Montenegro is well worth checking out. With towering mountains perfect for hiking and mountain biking as well as some of the world’s best unspoiled beaches on the Adriatic Sea, Montenegro also featured in the James Bond Film Casino Royale and, if it’s good enough for Bond, it’s good enough for us!
Award winning Sea Dance festival gathers each year fans from over 50 countries from all over the world, and impressive line up of more than 100 hottest international music stars. This year, the fourth edition of the festival, will be held in Budva, Montenegro. Voted best European medium-sized festival, Sea Dance has proven much within just three short years. Stunning location, world-renowned artists and outstanding productions make this festival a must see. Save the date and experience Sea Dance festival on Europe’s hottest summer destination.
Line Up: Sean Paul, Fatboy Slim, John Newman, Amelie Lewis, Denis Horvat, South London Ordnance, Space Dimension Controller, Bad Copy, Filip Xavi, Insolate, Tkno, Who See and many more
OFF festival – discover the best alternative music in Katowice
4-6 August 2017
OFF is a festival for the discerning music fan and the place to discover the best alternative acts from around the world. A truly unique boutique music festival, OFF Festival takes place in ‘Three Lake Valley’, Katowice – a beautiful green oasis in the heart of industrial Silesia.
OFF is a way of life, one that flies in the face of current trends and stays true to itself, and the ethos of organiser Artur Rojek is firmly aimed at supporting art and music with the festival bringing many acts to Poland for the first time.
OFF Festival’s reputation is growing year on year driven by the festivals forward–thinking, eclectic music policy and it’s bold and eclectic lineups. From the greatest alternative music stars from around the world to the increasingly strong Polish scene, OFF festival has inspiring music in abundance and the organisers and crowd have one serious finger on the pulse when it comes to music.
Line Up: Anna Meredith, Anna Von Hausswolff, Arab Strap, Batushka, BEAK>, Boris Graja “Pink”, Carla Bozulich, Circuit des Yeux, Conor Oberst with Band, Daniel Johnston, Duzy Jack, Feist, Group A, Helando Negro, Jessy Lanza, Kikagaku Moyo, Kwadrofonik I Artur Rojek, Lvl Up, Made in Poland “Martwy Kabaret”, Michael Gira, Moor Mother, PJ Harvey, Preoccupations, PRO8L3M, Royal Trux, Shame, Sheer Mag, Shellac, SIKSA, Silver Apples, Spoiwo, Swans, Taleb Kweli Live, The Black Madonna, The Oh Sees, Ulrika Spacek, Wolves in the Throne Room, Wrekmeister Harmonies and many more.
Sziget festival – a week long festival holiday on the island of freedom in Budapest
9-16 August 2017
Proud winner of the ‘Best Major European Festival’ award in 2015 and 2011, and ‘Best Festival Line Up’ in 2016, Sziget Festival is one of the biggest multicultural events of Europe. Taking place on the picturesque Óbuda Island in Budapest, Sziget welcomes over 490,000 visitors from over 100 countries to express themselves on their self-proclaimed Island of Freedom.
Sziget is not just about music, with more than 50 program venues offering festival goers the chance to experience many different things including; circus, theatre and dance, art and installations, yoga and sports and a huge variety of food. There is also has a beach area where fans can truly enjoy the summer and the Danube. With so much on offer in the heart of Budapest, Sziget provides a complete festival-holiday experience with a week long party, great live concerts and all the attractions the city has to offer such as beautiful historic buildings, thermal spas and special ’ruin pubs’.
Line up: Alex Clare, Allah-Las, Alt-J, Andy C, Anne-Marie, Bad Religion, Bakermat, Bassjackers, Bear’s Den, Biffy Clyro, Billy Talent, Birdy, Breaking Benjamin, Cashmere Cat, Charli XCX, Chef’Special, Clean Bandit, Crystal Fighters, Danny Brown, De Staat, Dimenson, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, DJ Shadow, Don Diablo, Dubioza Kollektiv, Flume, Fritz Kalkbrenner, George Ezra, GTA, GusGus, HVOB, Interpol, Jagwar Ma, Jamie Cullum, Kasabian, Kensington, Leningrad, Leon, Mac Demarco, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Major Lazer, Mando Diao, Materia, Maurice West, Metronomy, Nervo, Nothing but Thieves, OH Wonder, Oliver Heldens, PiNK, Paul Van Dyk, PJ Harvey, Rita Ora, Rone, Rudimental live, Steve Aoki, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, The Courteeners, The Kills, The Naked and Famous, The Pretty Reckless, The Strypes, The Vaccines, Tom Odell, Two Door Cinema Club, Tycho, Valentino Khan, Vince Staples, W&W, Watsky, Weval, White Lies, Wiz Khalifa + many more.
Lowlands – join the 25th anniversary edition of Holland’s biggest festival
18 – 20 August 2017
Get ready for A Camping flight to Lowlands Paradise 2017, as the festival prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Taking place next to the Walib Fairgrounds, Biddinghuizen Lowlands is the Dutch answer to Reading and Leeds, but with impressive installations including the renowned red and white chimney stacks, plus unique covers for all stages so you can enjoy all the music rain or shine. Just over an hours drive from Amsterdam you can easily mix your festival trip with a few days city break in Amsterdam.
Tickets are available from ticketmaster.co.uk and include festival entry, camping and shuttle bus from / to railway station or Dronten Lelystad. More acts will be announced soon with over 250 acts in total performing at this year’s event.
Line Up: Mumford & Sons, The xx, Editors, alt-J, Bastille, Cypress Hill, Elbow, Flume, Iggy Pop, Kovacs, London Grammar, Michael Kiwanuka, Migos, Moderat, Skepta, Architects, At The Drive-In, Ben Klock, Billy Talent, Black Sun Empire, Carl Craig Presents Synthesizer Ensemble, Cashmere Cat, CLARK – Death Peak Live, Death Grips, Dixon, First Aid Kit, Future Islands, Glass Animals, Job Jobse, Jonna Fraser, Konstantin, LÉON, Mac DeMarco, MHD, Midland, Mura Masa, Nina Kraviz, Noord Nederlands Orkest, Nothing But Thieves, PVRIS, Robert Hood (DJ-set), Sampha, Talaboman, The Pretty Reckless, Ty Segall, Tove Lo, Abra, Aurora Halal, Bonzai, Colin Benders, Cubicolor Live, Baloji, Canshaker Pi, Denzel Curry, DJ Deeon, DJ Firmeza, Giegling Showcase (Ateq Live, Dustin, Edward.Live, Map.Ache) Haus, Jeangu Macrooy, John Moreland, Marie Davidson Live, Palace, Parcels, Romare Full Live Band, Shame, Shovels and Rope, SMIB and many more.