Festival season is almost upon us and with so many top class events happening, it can be hard to choose which European music festival(s) to go to.
We want to help you out, so here’s our round-up of the best music festivals happening around Europe this summer.
This Barcelona-based music festival has always delivered the finest acts in a beautiful location and this year they return with another line-up packed full of quality.
“A festival is not only its line-up, but a line-up says a lot about a festival,” Primavera Sound say, and their 2018 line-up is stellar, comprehensive, contemporary, with girl power in spades - one most definitely conceived for us, the fans.
Where: Barcelona, Spain
When: May 28 – June 3 2018
Who: Arctic Monkeys; The National; Björk; A$AP Rocky; HAIM; Belle & Sebastian
Tickets: €215 available here.
If you’re looking for a music festival to melt your face and bust your gut, then look no further than Hellfest in Clisson.
With a line-up featuring some of the biggest names in metal you’re guaranteed a rocking good time.
Where: Clisson, France (Fly to Nantes)
When: June 22 – June 24 2018
Who: Judas Priest; Avenged Sevenfold; Iron Maiden; Limp Bizkit; Marilyn Manson
Tickets: 1 day €95 available here.
Garorock is one of the most enjoyable summer music festival experiences, thanks to its varied line-up and gorgeous rural setting of Marmande.
Since its beginnings in 1997, Garorock has grown into one of France’s biggest festivals.
Where: Marmande, France (Fly to Bordeaux)
When: June 28 – July 1 2018
Who: Macklemore; Marilyn Manson; Nina Kraviz; DJ Snake
Tickets: 4 day €160, 3 Day €130, 2 Day €95, 1 Day €55 available here.
Over 100 artists will perform across eight different areas for two jam-packed days of techno – bringing underground music from both ends of the spectrum.
Awakenings is a treat for veggie lovers, with 95% of the food at the festival being vegetarian.
It is just over an hour from Amsterdam airport using public transport or you can drive there in around 30 minutes.
Where: Amsterdam, Netherlands
When: June 30 – July 1 2018
Who: Carl Cox; Adam Beyer; Nina Kraviz; Sven Vath
Tickets: Combi €104.50, 1 Day €52.50-68 available here.
Roskilde Festival is Northern Europe’s largest festival, comparable to Glastonbury in atmosphere and legend. It has attracted people from all over the world since it began in 1971.
Roskilde operates as a 100% non-profit, with all money made being donated to social and cultural charities, so you can enjoy yourself without the guilty conscience.
Known as the “mother of all festivals” in Scandinavia, Roskilde Festival is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Where: Roskilde, Denmark (Fly to Copenhagen)
When: June 30 – July 7 2018
Who: Eminem; Bruno Mars; Cardi B; Khalid; Gorillaz; Stormzy
Tickets: Full DKK 2,100 (€282 approx), 1 Day DKK 1,050 (€141 approx) available here.
One of the best organised festivals who consistently put on an amazing event with some of the biggest names in music.
When you arrive you’re assigned a spot to pitch your tent – a welcome change from most festivals where you plonk your tent the first place you can find.
A diverse line-up staged on a huge former military airfield – Open’er is a festival you have to experience.
Where: Gdynia, Poland (Fly to Gdansk)
When: July 4 – July 7 2018
Who: Arctic Monkeys; Bruno Mars; Depeche Mode; Gorillaz
Tickets: 4 Day Camping 659 Zloty (€158 approx), 1 Day 259 Zloty (€62 approx) available here.
For four days of incredible music, food and messy festival antics head to Belgium's Rock Werchter.
Playing host to some of the biggest and best acts in the world, this is one for the bucket list!
When: July 5 – July 8 2018
Who: Queens Of The Stone Age; Gorillaz; Snow Patrol; Pearl Jam; Jack White; Stereophonics; Arctic Monkeys
Tickets: €238 without camping (€27.50 to add camping) available here.
Hidden away in the French countryside, Les Eurockeenes has one of the most beautiful festival settings in Europe. Add to that incredible headliners and you've got your summer all sewn up.
Where: Belfort, France (Fly to Basel)
When: July 5 – July 8 2018
Who: Queens Of The Stone Age; Macklemore; Liam Gallagher; At The Drive In; Rick Ross
Tickets: 4 Day €154, 3 Day €122, 2 Day €89, 1 Day €49 available here.
One of the most anticipated events of the international festival calendar, Ultra Europe returns with a fantastic line-up for their 6th annual edition.
It returns to the Poljud Stadium in Split with some of electronic music’s biggest names.
Their famous week-long Destination Ultra will be running seven days of music across five different venues. You’re in for an electric atmosphere.
Where: Split, Croatia (Fly to Zadar)
When: July 6 – July 8 and July 5 – July 11 2018
Who: Afrojack; Alesso; Armin van Buuren; The Chainsmokers; DJ Snake; David Guetta
Tickets: 3 Day €149 available here.
Arguably Europe’s friendliest festival – from security guards to bar staff to fellow festival goers this is one of the most pleasant festival experiences you can have. Great tunes too.
Where: Dour, Belgium (Fly to Brussels)
When: July 11 – July 15 2018
Who: The Chemical Brothers; Action Bronson; alt-J; Diplo; Joey Bada$$; Modeselektor
Tickets: 5 Day €160, 1 Day €70 available here.
NOS Alive is Lisbon’s biggest and best music festival and it’s the perfect blend of live music with raging after-parties.
If you’re not all worn out from a day of rocking out, Lisbon’s bustling nightlife and the beach bars of Estoril’s coast are close by. A thrilling weekend.
Where: Lisbon, Portugal
When: July 12 – July 14 2018
Who: Arctic Monkeys; Nine Inch Nails; Snow Patrol; The National; Queens Of The Stone Age
Tickets: 3 Day €149, 2 Day €124, 1 Day €65, Lisboa Camping from €19 available here.
Colours of Ostrava boasts a multitude of genres on over a dozen stages with an expertly curated line-up.
It’s a family friendly festival with activities for children and a babysitting service so you can go and enjoy yourself knowing your children are in safe hands.
Where: Ostrava, Czech Republic: Flights to Ostrava available from London Stansted and Milan Bergamo
When: July 18 – July 21 2018
Who: Jessie J; London Grammar; Joss Stone; George Ezra
Tickets: 4 Day €105.71 available here.
Benicassim takes place on a beach resort in sunny Spain and is one of the most popular festivals in Europe.
This festival is tough to beat if you’re looking for sun, sand, sea and a stellar line-up with the world’s biggest acts.
When: July 19 – July 22 2018
Who: The Killers; Liam Gallagher; Travis Scott; Two Door Cinema Club
Tickets: 4 Day Camping €155 available here.
This year’s Tomorrowland sold out in under an hour and here’s why:
Incredible DJs, perfect weather and a buzzing atmosphere – it’s the best electronic music festival in Europe.
Where: Boom, Belgium (Fly to Brussels)
When: July 20 – July 22 and July 27 – July 29 2018
Who: Alesso; Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike; Alison Wonderland; Jamie Jones
Tickets: Sold out in under an hour. Viagogo have a few for resale but expect to pay a lot more than the €281 face value.
Soundwave returns to the idyllic Dalmatian coastline for the 10th and final time.
This is your last chance to experience one of Europe’s finest boutique events as they celebrate a decade of festivals in its spiritual home of Tisno featuring some of the world’s best live artists and DJs.
Where: Tislo, Croatia (Fly to Zadar)
When: July 26 – July 30 2018
Who: Loyle Carner; Mr Scruff; Romare; Jordan Rakei; Calibre & DRS
Tickets: Limited 5 Days for price of 4 £95.20 (€108 approx) or 5 Days £119 (€135 approx) available here.
OFF Festival is a refreshing change from the usual festivals which bring the latest chart toppers or “in” bands.
Walking through this festival you’ll be treated to a host of new music and experiences. If you’re sick of the regular festival experience, check OFF Festival out.
Where: Katowice, Poland
When: August 3 – August 5 2018
Who: Grizzly Bear; John Maus; Marlon Williams; Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Tickets: 3 Day €62approx + €17approx for campsite access available here.
Indiependence has grown into one of Ireland’s biggest and most loved festivals since its humble beginnings in 2006.
It’s an intimate and friendly event hosted in the scenic foothills of the Galtee Mountains in County Cork.
Over the years the festival has seen established international acts playing alongside the best talent Ireland has to offer.
Where: Cork, Ireland
When: August 3 – August 5 2018
Who: Primal Scream; Walking On Cars; Jake Bugg; Everything Everything; Delorentos
Tickets: €139 available here.
In a lush setting steeped in beauty, drama and history this is set to be the first chapter of a brand new festival.
All Together Now will offer a weekend of freedom and escapism through music, spoken word, comedy, theatre, debate, art and workshops.
When: August 3 – August 5 2018
Who: Fleet Foxes; Underworld; Róisín Murphy; Chaka Khan
Tickets: Early bird €149.50 available here.
Brilliantly laid out in a serene and tranquil park in Oslo, you will be perfectly relaxed while bopping along to headliners Kendrick Lamar and Arctic Monkeys at Oya festival.
Where: Oslo, Norway
When: August 7 – August 11 2018
Who: Kendrick Lamar; Arctic Monkeys; Lykke Li; Arcade Fire; Patti Smith; St Vincent
Tickets: Full weekend 2,804 NOK (€288 approx) available here.
Originally founded in 1991 by Jane’s Addiction singer Perry Farrell, Lollapalooza has grown into a truly global festival.
When: August 8 – August 9 and July 21 – 22 2018
Who: Depeche Mode; The Killers; Gorillaz; Travis Scott; Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds; Kasabian
Over 100 different countries are represented by those attending Sziget (they call themselves “Szitizens”) – and they help make Sziget one of the most enjoyable festivals in Europe.
You can’t bring your own alcohol with you, but plastic cups of beer or wine cost around €3 in there, and it saves you from having to carry your drink with the rest of your gear.
Where: Budapest, Hungary
When: August 8 – August 15 2018
Who: Arctic Monkeys; Kendrick Lamar; Kygo; Mumford & Sons; Liam Gallagher; The Kooks
Tickets: 7 Day €299, 5 Day €275, 3 Day €189, 1 Day €70 available here.
For three days in August, a township with thousands of inhabitants arises in the middle of the Netherlands, just an hour away from Amsterdam.
Lowlands features heavyweight headlines as well as top notch facilities for visitors including a wellness village, saunas, hot tubs, sports facilities and dozens of restaurants from all over the world.
Where: Biddinghuizen, The Netherlands (Fly to Amsterdam)
When: August 17 – August 19 2018
Who: Gorillaz; Kendrick Lamar; The War On Drugs; Dua Lipa; Gavin James
Tickets: €195 available here.
Creamfields has become the world’s leading electronic music festival and 2018 sees them celebrate their 21st year.
Last year, 70,000 fans flocked to the Cheshire countryside in a sell-out event and they’re back again this year for another marathon four days with a line-up featuring the biggest names in electronic music, jaw-dropping stages and mind-blowing production.
Festivals don’t get much better than this!
Where: Daresbury, England (Fly to Liverpool)
When: August 23 – August 26 2018
Who: The Chainsmokers; Fatboy Slim; Chase and Status; Carl Cox; Annie Mac
Tickets: 4 Day from £220 (€250 approx), 3 Day from £200 (€225approx), 2 Day from £180 (€203 approx) available here.
The Picnic has been described as “Ireland’s answer to Glastonbury” and it’s easy to see why.
With a multitude of events and activities on offer, delicious food and line-ups stacked full of international stars and local talent – Electric Picnic is Ireland’s must-see festival.
Where: Stradbally, County Laois, Ireland (Fly to Dublin)
When: August 31 – September 2 2018
Who: Kendrick Lamar, Massive Attack, N*E*R*D, Dua Lipa, The Kooks
Tickets: €250 available here.
Born as a response to the “stagnation of the dance music festival and clubbing circuit in the UK” and created by a group of rave enthusiasts, Forbidden Forest is a 12 hour party in the heart of the Derbyshire woods.
Where: Donington Park, UK (Fly to East Midlands)
When: May 6 2018
Who: Solardo; Darius Sytossian; Hannah Wants; Wilkinson
Tickets: From £47.50 (€54 approx) available here.
Manchester’s leading music festival Parklife will celebrate its eighth edition in 2018.
Parklife truly embodies the impassioned spirit of Manchester, each edition has sold out year-on-year and boasts an impressive total of 16 arenas spread across two days of music.
Where: Manchester, UK
When: June 9 – June 10 2018
Who: The XX; Liam Gallagher; Skepta; N*E*R*D; Lorde; A$AP Rocky
Tickets: Weekend from £109.50 (€125 approx) available here.
The 5-day non-stop beach themed music festival situated on the stunning Lake Balaton. Sister of Sziget festival in Hungary, Balaton Sound is set to be the beach party destination for dance music lovers from across Europe and beyond.
Where: Zamárdi, Lake Balaton, Hungary (Fly to Budapest)
When: July 4 – July 8 2018
Who: David Guetta; Martin Garrix; The Chainsmokers; Ty Dolla $ign; DJ Snake; Alesso
Tickets: 5 Day pass from €190 available here.
The UK’s only action sports and music festival. Showcasing a diverse selection of acts across 7 stages, as well as international skate & BMX competitions.
20,000 music and action sports fans will gather together for one jam-packed weekend which is set to be unmissable.
Where: Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, UK (Fly to Bristol)
When: July 5 – July 8 2018
Who: Dizzee Rascal; RUN DMC; Damian “Jr Gong” Marley; De La Soul
Tickets: Weekend camping from £133 (€150 approx) available here.
2018 sees Drum & Bass powerhouse, Hospitality, debut their acclaimed festival brand overseas at the picturesque location of The Garden Resort, Tisno in Croatia.
Where: Tisno, Croatia (Fly to Zadar)
When: July 12 – July 16 2018
Who: Andy C; Calibre; dBridge; DJ Marky; High Contrast
Tickets: From £159 (€180 approx) available here.
One of the most diverse and friendliest festivals in the European calendar, SuncéBeat Festival will return to the beautiful setting of The Garden, Tisno in Croatia for a week long gathering of house, disco, techno, soul, R&B and funk.
Where: Tisno, Croatia (Fly to Zadar)
When: July 18 – July 25 2018
Who: Kerri Chandler, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Jeremy Underground
Tickets: Full week pass from £165 (€187 approx) available here.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018, Mysteryland is Amsterdam’s biggest music festival and is renowned for its creativity and jaw dropping production
Mysteryland promises a 3 day spectacle of music, revelry and mystery rooted between the beautiful fields, forests and lakes of the Floriade Terrain in Haarlemmermeer!
Where: Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands (Fly to Amsterdam)
When: August 24 – August 26 2018
Who: Alesso; Fatboy Slim; Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike; Hardwell Headhunterz
Tickets: On sale February 27 available here.
The IKARUS Festival is a vibrate electro festival at a unique and spectacular location: directly at Memmingen Airport.
In the midst of mystic old military shelter and the dark of the forest, 40.000 young people are drawn to celebrate music on 6 stages with 80 national and internationally known electro artists.
Where: Memmingen, Germany (Fly to Memmingen)
When: June 07 – June 09 2018
Who: Nina Kraviz, Moonbootica, Tales of us, Lexy and K-Paul, Oliver Koletzki and many more
Tickets: Full Weekend Ticket from €91,90 available here.
Now you’re in the know and your summer can’t get any better with this ultimate guide to the best European Music Festivals 2018.
- Seán Walsh