The European Continent is positively sizzling with a fantastic selection of summer festivals. Whether you’re a rock, pop, dance, metal or beer fan, a festival is the perfect way to inject a bit of travel into your summer, before you head to university, or after you graduate.
Sonar, or the Barcelona International Festival of Advanced Music and Multimedia Arts, is progressive, trendy and very cool. Back in 2012 for its nineteenth year, Sonar is a three day mash up of music, film and videom with art installations, audiovisual displays, DJ sets and electro tunes. A ticket to Sonar gives you two festivals for the price of one. Visitors can experience Sonar By Day in the heart and heat of Barcelona, and Sonar By Night in the outer-city Sonar Park.
Where: Barcelona, Spain
When: June 15 – 17
As well as offering a cheery international line-up, Norway’s Hove festival serves up a little slice of Scandinavian paradise. Set on an island outside of Arendal City, where the summer sun sets for only two hours a night, the idyllic beach location makes Hove truly enchanting. Quirky art scenes and movie tents are the cherry on top. The organisers have a strong ecoethos; festival-goers must agree to leave not a single footprint behind.
Where: The Island of Tromøy near Arendal, Norway
When: June 26 – 29
Price: 2250 NOK (around £248)
EXIT began twelve years ago on the banks of the Danube River among a small group of students. It has since gained international renown not just for its picturesque location alongside the eighteenth century Petrovaradin Fortress, but also for its exciting and eclectic line-ups and multiple stages. The handsome town of Novi Sad also has many attractions – explore the little cobbled streets and you will find cafes, bars, galleries and trinket shops.
Where: Novi Sad, Serbia
When: July 12 – 15
Festival Internacional de Benicàssim is Spain’s biggest festival and an ever-growing favourite among us Brits. Set on the Mediterranean shores of Costa del Azahar, the event is perfect for those who want sun, sea, music and much more. This is the ultimate festival/holiday experience.
Where: Benicàssim, Spain
When: July 12 – 15
Germany: Wacken Open Air
Wacken Open Air is the king of all metal festivals. Every year, tickets sell out well in advance to loyal metal fans from across the globe, all ready to throw their horns in the air for the black metal, death metal, power metal, thrash metal, gothic metal and folk metal on offer.
Where: Wacken, Germany
When: August 2 – 4
What started out in 1993 as a student-led event has grown up over the past decade to become one of the definitive European rock festivals. At this eight day extravaganza you can do everything from bungee jump to belly dancing or learning Hungarian. Take a dip in the swimming pool to cool off from the hot weather or head to the capital city Budapest to soak up the sights.
Where: Budapest, Hungary
When: August 6 – 13
Pukkelpop is one of the most talked about festivals on the continent. Since its beginnings way back in 1985, Pukkelpop has over the years earned its reputation for snazzy international line-ups which represent a wide spectrum of musical genres.
Where: Kiewit Hasselt, Belgium
When: August 16 – 18
Slovenia: Maribor Festival
As the European Capital of Culture for 2012, Maribor’s official festival meets all expectations, offering ten days of classical music and orchestra. Maribor is the second largest city in Slovenia, and will be the setting for many more cultural events throughout the year.
Where: Maribor, Slovenia
When: September 2012
Price: €220 season ticket
This traditional three-week Bavarian festival is all about beer, beer and more beer. This hearty knees-up consists of packed beer tents crammed full of people wearing traditional dress. Think men in Lederhosen and women in ruched white blouses and corsets. Huge amounts of wholesome grub are eaten, such as wurstl and weisswurt (sausages), pretzels, potato and bread dumplings, and red cabbage.
Where: Munich, Germany
When: September and October