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The biggest and best European music festivals

Fancy a giant beach party or a week on an island? Or rocking en famille? There's a festival out there for you...

Published: Thursday, 7th July 2016 at 2:00 pm

Every year, more and more music fans are travelling abroad for their annual festival fix. You can see all your favourite bands for less money and with a smaller risk of trenchfoot. What's not to like?


With so many to choose from, we’ve compiled a list of the best European festivals that still have tickets available. (And yes, we know Britain is part of Europe, whether we like it or not, but we've already rounded up the the biggest and best British festivals – you can find them here.)

Don't forget to pack the suncream instead of wellies...

Electric Castle Festival


Where? Banffy Castle, Romania

When? July 14-17

Line up: Sigur Ross, Bring Me The Horizon, Bastille, Enter Shikari, Skrillex

How much? £65

Best for: Dracula fans

Electric Castle Festival is in grounds of 15th century Banffy Castle in scenic Transylvania in Romania. Launched in 2013, there are 170 acts playing eight stages over four days as well as guided tours of the castle, yoga workshops, a gaming area, fashion fair, cinema, library and an on-site barber (because why not?) There are several glamping options including yurts and Swedish lodges where you get the use of showers, toilets, charging points, lockers and a supermarket.

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Arenal Sound


Where? Castellon, Spain

When? August 2-7

Line up: Kaiser Chiefs, Two Door Cinema Club, The Hives

How much? 80 euros

Best for: Beach babes

Arenal Sound is giant beach party in Burriana, a town in eastern Spain near Valencia. It's only been going since 2010 but has quickly become famous for its non-stop party atmosphere. As well as four stages of live music, Beach Club Live has music and DJs 24-hours a day. If you get bored of dancing in the Mediterranean sun, you can also try jet-skiing, parasailing, catamarans and scuba-diving onsite. With everything from camping and glamping to hotels and apartments in town, there’s accommodation to suit everyone’s tastes.

Find out more:

Sziget Festival


Where? Budapest, Hungary

When? August 10-17

Line up: Muse, Rihanna, David Guetta, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Chemical Brothers, Jake Bugg

How much? Only day tickets are left at 59 euros each

Best for: Glastonbury veterans

Situated on Obudai-sziget, a leafy 266-acre island on the Danube river, this week-long festival started in 1993 as a student event. It attracts festival-goers from all over Europe who come for the chilled-out vibe as much as the eclectic line-up. One minute you might be watching Florence and the Machine; the next, you'll stumble upon a Hungarian folk band. There's also a museum quarter, sport zone, maze and Hungarian village where you can try local delicacies like testicles. Your ticket comes with a city pass that includes free or discounted entry to Budapest's famous baths. If you'd rather not camp or glamp, you can easily find a hotel, apartment or hostel in the city.

Find out more:

 Read more: 20 of the best British music festivals



Where? Biddinghuizen, Netherlands

When? August 19-21

Line up: Muse, Disclosure, Biffy Clyro, Jake Bugg, LCD Soundsystem, The Last Shadow Puppets

How much? 175 euros

Best for: Eco-friendly festival-goers

A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise – its full name – is a three-day music and performing arts festival in Biddinghuizen, a village in the middle of the Netherlands outside of the city of Harderwijk. Attracting 55,000 visitors, it boasts 10 stages and over 200 acts. As well as all the music, there’s an indoor and outdoor cinema, theatre, cabaret, stand-up and ballet. Many of the stages are inside tents because Dutch summers can be as damp as British ones. There are several "gllamcamp" options: yurts, "festicabins", lodges and army tents. You can even order a deluxe breakfast. It also tries to be as sustainable as possible.

Find out more:

Rock en Seine


Where? Paris

When? August 26-28

Line up: Iggy Pop, Foals, Sum 41, Editors, Massive Attack, The Last Shadow Puppets, Two Door Cinema Club

How much? 119 euros

Best for: Parent rockers

Since its launch in 2003, Rock en Seine has grown to be one of the biggest festivals in France with 120,000 revellers. It's a three-day festival held in the grounds of Chateau de Saint-Cloud, a couple of miles outside of Paris. You have to buy a separate camping pass and this year's are already sold out. Mini-Rock En Seine is a free event for children between the ages of 6 and 10. They put on workshops and activities to keep children entertained and away from the crowds, while their parents enjoy the festival.

Find out more:



Where? Hasselt, Belgium

When? August 17-20

Line up: The Last Shadow Puppets, The Chemical Brothers, Jess Glynne, Rihanna, LCD Soundsystem

How much? 199 euros

Best for: Nervous fliers

Founded in 1985, Pukkelpop is held in fields and woodlands outside of the city of Hasselt and draws 180,000 people. This year there are over 200 acts performing on the eight stages over four days. You can upgrade to a "dreamotel", yurt, tipi, "sahara tent", group tent or "indi lodge", which come with individual showers and toilets, lockers and lounge area. There are coaches directly to the festival from Manchester, Birmingham, London or Dover, which cost 99 euros return.

Live Festival

Where? Krakow, Poland

When? August 19-20

Line up: Massive Attack, Sia, Cage The Elephant, The Chemical Brothers, Young Fathers

How much? £110

Best for: Purists

Held at Lotnisko airfield outside of Krakov, this two-day festival has been running since 2006. Featuring a mix of top international acts and Polish artists, there are three stages, all inside tents. When the festival started, it focused more on hip-hop, R&B and pop, but now it caters more for rock and electronica fans. You can camp but not glamp.

Find out more:

Gibraltar Music Festival


Where? Victoria Stadium, Gibraltar

When? September 3-4

Line up: Stereophonics, Ne-Yo, Bryan Ferry, Travis, Jess Glynn, All Saints

Best for: Fish and chips

Yes, we know Gibraltar is technically Britain, but a sunny Britain! Held in a football stadium overlooking the iconic Rock of Gibraltar, this annual festival is organised by the local government as part of the celebrations running up to their national day. There will also be a dance and comedy stage this year. There is no camping but there are plenty of hotels, self-catering apartments and hostels in Gibraltar itself, or coaches from 11 cities and towns in Spain.


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