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Festivals worth hopping on a plane for this year


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Over the last decade, music festivals have opened up a whole new sector of the travel industry.

Music, travel, exploring a new culture and meeting likeminded people from all over the world - it's a no-brainer, really. And we're willing to shell out for the experience, too. Be that from our weekend beer tokens or our student loan that's definitely supposed to go on rent. 

To make your lives easier and give you a bit of background on the location and the music on offer, we've compiled a list of the best festis worth travelling for. Some have beautiful scenery, some are for real die-hard fans, and the others are just a really good excuse to party in a far-away land.

EXIT Festival, Serbia
July 4th-7th

Image courtesy of EXIT Festival

Imagine partying in a 17th-century fortress in Serbia, surrounded by beautiful summer sun and the sultry sounds of Carl Cox, Sofi Tukker, Skepta, Charlotte De Witte and Peggy Gou, among many others. At EXIT Festival, this is the reality. Originally opening its doors in 2000 as a student protest fighting for political change, EXIT has evolved into one of Europe's biggest music festivals. Spanning genres from death metal to hip-hop to techno, EXIT puts good music first, while still retaining an air of positive activism.

Secret Solstice, Iceland
June 21st-24th

Image Credit: Liam Simmons

Glacier raves, midnight sunshine and blockbuster acts is what makes Secret Solstice worth travelling for. This isn't a festival for a fan of dark nights as the sun doesn't set for the whole 96 hours during the festival - so best gear up for midnight pool parties and invest in a decent eye mask. This summer welcomes the sounds of The Sugarhill Gang, Pussy Riot, Patti Smith, Black Eyed Peas and Martin Garrix among many others to a fully carbon-neutral site. The organisers really make use of Iceland's natural landscape to keep one of the most jaw-dropping festivals getting better and better.

Outlook Festival, Croatia
September 4th-8th

Image courtesy of Outlook Festival

Croatia is a European oasis that's so simple and cost-effective to get to from most UK cities. Back for a final year at Fort Punta Christo, which has been the festival's home for the last ten years, is Outlook Festival. Boasting a mahoosive line-up including Shy FX, Andy C, Loyle Carner, Gentleman's Dub Club and London hotshot Flohio, alongside boat parties and DJ mix classes, this is set to be one big farewell bonanza. The festival organisers recommend flying to either Pula (only 20 mins from the festival site) or Venice Marco Polo which is usually home to the best deals and gives you the option of extending your time in Europe with a visit to Italy's crowning glory. 

Sea Dance Festival, Montenegro 
August 30th-September 1st

Image courtesy of Sea Dance Festival

Sea Dance is an extension of the EXIT family, this time bringing sun, sea and dance music to the Adriatic Coast in Montenegro. Bottling some of the magic from EXIT's dance stages, Sea Dance transports its punters to the gorgeous golden beach of Budva where relaxation and fun are guaranteed. Recently listed by Skyscanner as the number one cheap holiday destination, Montenegro is the ultimate summer getaway that won't break the bank and boasts beautiful landscapes for biking, hiking and watersports. By night, enjoy dancing under the moonlight to spins from David Guetta, Robin Schulz and many more DJs to be announced soon.

Spring Break, Amsterdam
April 7th-9th and 14th-16th

Image courtesy of Spring Break Amsterdam

Amsterdam: home of beautiful bicycles, beautiful cobbled streets and now only a short train ride away from London. Spring Break descends on the beautiful Dutch city for another year, spreading its wings across two weekends with a stellar line-up including Mason Maynard, Kideko, Jaguar and DJ Luck & MC Neat. Tickets are just under £100, giving you plenty of spare dosh to explore the Dam's student hotspots, from boat trips down the canal to museums, cafes and nightclubs. 

Electric Castle, Romania
July 17th-21st

Image courtesy of Full Fat PR

Set at the foot of Romania's Banffy Castle in the cultural city of Cluj, Electric Castle is like throwing Reading & Leeds slap bang in the middle of Versailles. Class and style, with a crafty edge and beautiful music from Florence & The Machine, Bring Me The Horizon and The Vaccines (among many other acts) the festival prides itself on its spectacular architectural concept and eclectic line-up. It's bound to be a hedonistic and immersive experience, and with flights from London starting from as little as £15 with Ryanair, why wouldn't you?!

Nova Batida, Lisbon
September 13th-15th

Image courtesy of Full Fat PR

Marketed as 3 days of music, art and culture in the heart of Lisbon, Nova Batida is exactly that. Set in the peaks and troughs of Lisbon's seven hills, Nova Batida blends together the freshest elements of a metropolitan festival with the vibe of a summer beach party; take part in rooftop yoga and surfing classes before heading down to one of the cities many cultural hubs for music. Akala, Four Tet, Friendly Fires, Talib Kweli and Ross From Friends are just a handful of the eclectic artists travelling to the city in September. We'll see you there for a pastel de nata or two.

OFF Festival, Poland
August 2nd-4th

Image courtesy of OFF Festival

Some of the hottest rising stars in music will be travelling to Poland this August to hit up OFF festival. The likes of wunderkind slowthai, the gorgeous Neneh Cherry and Black Midi will be mixing it up with live performance locals Foals, Suede and Stereo Lab. A unique, boutique festival that boasts experimentation and diversity above anything else, OFF takes place in the Valley of Three Ponds in Katowice - a stunning natural green hideaway in the industrial Silesia region. Sit back and relax in the stunning Polish countryside while soaking up the best in new jazz, rnb, hip-hop, rock and post-punk. 

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