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Festival Guide 2018: the best European festivals


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European festivals offer the best of international acts, plus a holiday being included in the cost.

From high octane boat parties in Malta to the massive crowds of Germany, the options are excitingly overwhelming. To help you out, here’s a shortlist of 15 of the best summer festivals Europe has to offer.

Annie Mac Presents Lost & Found

Annie Mac Presents Lost & Found

3rd - 6th May

Where? Malta

Who? Annie Mac, Diplo, Jamie XX, Four Tet, J Hus, Bicep (DJ), The Black Madonna, Hot Since 82

With its timely fall during the bank holiday weekend, AMP Lost & Found is the perfect excuse for a getaway. Kicking things off as an early major festival of the season, the Mediterranean island of Malta hosts 4 unique days of partying across an outdoor festival site, as well as pools, boats, and castles.



12th - 16th June

Where? Norway

Who? Queens of the Stone Age, James Bay, Sigrid, Father John Misty, George Ezra, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Bergenhus Fortress, situated in the UNESCO Word Heritage site of Bryggen, sets the stunning, historical backdrop for Bergenfest. The festival brings James Bay, Queens of the Stone Age and Norwegian native Sigrid to the country's second largest city, playing across five different stages. Away from the music, there are also four museums closest to the site hosting a variety of traditional and modern art, and the homes of composers Edvarg Grieg and Ole Bull. The perfect mix of music, history and culture!



Primavera Sound: Hugo Lima

Primavera Sound

30th May - 3rd June

Where? Barcelona, Spain

Who? Belle & Sebastian, The National, Bjork, Arctic Monkeys, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Migos, Lorde, HAIM

Barcelona’s well respected Primavera Sound has a killer line-up, coming somewhat early to the festival season. The huge line-up boasts musical performances across various genres, with exciting new acts sitting amongst some of music’s greatest legends. Primavera 2018 once again comes with much to anticipate, making it one of the world’s biggest influencers in the indie/alternative music sphere.


Rock am Ring

1st - 3rd June

Where? Nürburg, Germany

Who? Foo Fighters, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Gorillaz, Muse, Marilyn Manson, Avenged Sevenfold, Jimmy Eat World, Chase and Status, Enter Shikari

One of the biggest rock festivals in the world, twinned simultaneously with Rock im Park. The annual festival sees classic rock, heavy metal and punk music fuel the continuing success of hosting undisputed legends amongst lesser known German bands.



25th - 29th June

Where? Novalja, Croatia

Who? Bugzy Malone, Chase & Status (DJ set), Gorgon City, Hannah Wants, Wilkinson (Live), Jax Jones

Hideout is an electronic music festival in the perfect setting of Zrće beach in Croatia. As the perfect summer getaway for dance lovers, Hideout hosts five days of partying inside clubs, on boats, and beaches to produce a unique experience as one of Europe’s number one beach festivals.


Roskilde: Flemming Bo Jensen


30th June - 7th July

Where? Roskilde, Denmark

Who? Eminem, Bruno Mars, Gorillaz, Nine Inch Nails, Cardi B, David Byrne, Khalid, Nephew

Seven days. Thousands of visitors. Hundreds of music acts. As the oldest and biggest music festival in Denmark, rock, urban, and pop are given a distinguished stage to perform, with hundreds of thousands attending annually. Additionally, every year since 1999, a naked run around the campsite has taken place, making infamous side-activities pull crowds for reasons other than music.



Balaton Sound

Balaton Sound

4th - 8th July

Where? Lake Balaton, Hungary

Who?  The Chainsmokers, David Guetta, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Martin Garrix, DJ Snake, Craig David Presents TS5, Alesso, Rita Ora

Balaton Sound is one of the biggest open-air electronic music festivals in the world, ultimately ensuring a killer line-up. Already into its second decade, 2018 sees The Chainsmokers, David Guetta and many more taking to the nine stages, accompanied by sunbathing and water spots at the ultimate beach party music festival.


Electric Love

5th - 7th July

Where? Plainfeld, Austria

Who? Armin Van Buuren, Axwell /\ Ingrosso, Steve Aoki, Rudimental (DJ), Camelphat, Adrenalize, Code Black

Surrounded by Austria’s lake district and stunning nature, Electric Love Festival returns for its sixth year in 2018, celebrating the best in Electro, Dubstep, and House. According to Techoton Magazin, 2014 saw the festival attract over 100,000 attendees - you’re almost guaranteed an extraordinary atmosphere.


Airbeat One


11th - 15th July

Where? Neustadt-Glewe, Germany

Who? Afrojack, Armin Van Buuren, DJ Snake, Hardwell, Marshmello, Steve Aoki, Tiesto, Zedd

Airbeat-One is a high-octane EDM festival of Northern Germany. With its world-renowned main stage, incredible light shows and exhilarating atmosphere, the annual festival steadily combines global headliners with thousands of attendees uniting at one of Europe’s most recognised electronic events.


Bilbao BBK: Javier Rosa

Bilbao BBK Live

12th - 14th July

Where? Bilbao, Spain

Who? Florence + The Machine, The XX, Gorillaz, Alt-J, Childish Gambino, The Chemical Brothers, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

Just moments from the cultural centre of Bilbao, Spain, Bilbao BBK Live boasts a line-up of huge international acts as well as live art installations and cultural happenings. See Florence + The Machine, The XX and Gorillaz take to the stage as headliners whilst soaking up the sun and enjoying the old town.


Festival Internacional de Benicàssim

19th - 22nd July

Where? Castellón, Spain

Who? The Killers, Liam Gallagher, Travis Scott, Pet Shop Boys, Justice, Two Door Cinema Club, Bastille, Madness

Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (FIB Benicàssim) is one of the continent’s most famous and loved music festivals, repeatedly featuring huge headliners amongst the best of indie/alternative. Benicàssim makes for the perfect combination between a festival and a holiday, with opportunities to relax in the sun along the coastline of the Mediterranean.



20th - 29th July

Where? Boom, Belgium

Who? Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Armin van Buuren, Carl Cox, Hardwell, Martin Garrix, Axwell /\ Ingrosso, Alesso, Charlotte de Witte

Tomorrowland needs little introduction as the biggest electronic music festival in the world, renowned for its mind-blowing stage design and extraordinary firework and light displays. The Belgian festival features the most popular DJ’s, spanning over 15 stages.


Soundwave Festival

26th - 30th July

Where? Croatia

Who? Loyle Carner, Mr Scruff, Romare, Jordan Rakei, Calibre, Submotion Orchestra, Horse Meat Disco, DJ Marky

Soundwave 2018 sees the tenth and final ever edition in the idyllic Dalmatian coastline of Croatia, ensuring it as one of the biggest to date! The festival is renowned for its sounds of genres from hip-hop, to reggae, to drum and bass, to house; all held within one site of live performances and DJ sets. This is the last chance to experience another of Europe’s celebrated festivals.


Sziget: Rockstar Photographers


8th - 15th August

Where? Budapest, Hungary

Who? Arctic Monkeys, Kendrick Lamar, Lana Del Rey, Mumford & Sons, Gorillaz, Shawn Mendes, Dua Lipa, Kygo

Being sibling festival to Balaton Sound, Sziget differentiates genres to bring a massive music and cultural festival to Budapest. This year’s line up sees indie bands (Arctic Monkeys, Wolf Alice), hip-hop artists (Kendrick Lamar, Stormzy) and pop acts (Dua Lipa and Shawn Mendes) all share the spotlight for one unmissable week.




24th - 26th August

Where? Haarlemmermeer, near Amsterdam

Who? Alesso, Axwell /\ Ingrosso, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Fatboy Slim, Hardwell, Cheat Codes, Dillon Francis, Galantis

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018, the OG dance music festival returns to firmly entrench itself as a mainstay for festival lovers. With 17 stages, Mysteryland transforms land 20 kilometres from Amsterdam to an ecstatic and creative location for all electronic fans.


Nova Batida

14 - 16 September

Where? Lisbon, Portugal

Who? Little Dragon, Mount Kimbie, Maribou State (Live), Seun Kuti + Egypt 80, Max Cooper, Gilles Petterson, George Fitzgerald

Nova Batida is a brand new European city festival taking place at two exciting locations near the old Lisbon docks – LX Factory and Village Underground. Together the event blends music, art, culture, and lifestyle to bring an exciting new happening to the festival calendar.


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