This summer’s must-see European Festivals


It’s almost festival season, which means we can start booking our summer excursions in order to catch our favourite musicians in the sunshine. Here’s the scoop on some places where you might want to spend the early part of your summer:

Along with the Berlin Festival, Melt! Festival just goes to show that the Germans know how to put on a darn fine shindig. The Knife, Alt-J, James Blake and 60 more artists are amongst the first wave of acts named to perform on the peninsula of Ferropolis close to Gräfenhainichen.

The festival, which takes place from 19 to 21 July, will also see a performance by Azealia Banks, SBTRKT (pictured top), Django Django and Disclosure, as well as Solomun and Flying Lotus. There are heaps more amazing acts too. Check the line-up here. Tickets cost EUR 119 plus booking fee and EUR 5 garbage disposal and are available from

No introduction needed. And what a line-up this year. The Pyramid Stage headliners will be Arctic Monkeys (Friday), The Rolling Stones (Saturday) and Mumford & Sons (Sunday). Also on the bill are the likes of The xx, Foals, Alt-J, Two Door Cinema Club, Public Image Ltd, Tame Impala, Alabama Shakes, Azealia Banks, Public Enemy, Seasick Steve, Major Lazer and Cat Power. As big-name line-ups go, this one is pretty much unparalleled. Full details here.

Earlier this week, we brought you the cracking line-up first announcement for The Great Escape Festival in Brighton. Well, now we offer you details of the convention which runs alongside the festival in May. Arts Council England Chief Executive, Alan Davey and co-Owner of Rough Trade Retail, Stephen Godfroy are keynote speakers and will tackle compelling topics from arts funding to the future of High Street retail. Davey will officially launch the first ever artist-centric music funding initiative – The Music Industry Talent Development Fund – and outline the Arts Council’s vision for music talent funding. Also speaking at this keynote session and divulging how this initiative will work in practice is Vanessa Reed, Executive Director of PRS for Music Foundation, which will manage and administer the new scheme.

In addition, Convention Programmer of The Great Escape, Chris Cooke, will delve behind the scenes into how artists, both grass roots and established, are learning to navigate the new music industry. He’ll chat to some of the most admired managers – including Brian Message (Radiohead and Nick Cave) and Garry Blackburn (Madness) – on the new kinds of approaches and deals that are already working for them in 2013.

Taking place in Brighton from 16-18 May, The Great Escape offers delegates an extensive programme of panels, conversations, parties and networking sessions, enabling them to better tackle the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities that exist in the modern music industry. Delegates also have priority access to The Great Escape festival, Europe’s leading festival for new music, presenting over 350 exciting new artists and bands in over 30 venues across Brighton. First confirmed artists include BΔSTILLE, TOM ODELL, CAITLIN PARK, ALUNAGEORGE and CHVRCHES. Full line-up and ticket details can be found at

Turkey’s ‘Biggest Little Festival’ SunSplash Antalya returns for its fifth sunsoaked outing 2nd-9th June, bringing back its infectiously friendly vibes to the heart of the dazzling Turkish Riviera for another blissful week of guaranteed Sun, Sea, and legendary music to it’s beautiful five star blue flag beachfront HQRenowned across Europe for its unrivalled beach side setting nestled on the stunning Turkish Riviera at the super chic five star Hillside Su Hotel, SunSplash seamlessly combines a music festival with style, travel and serious dance music in one, merging a heavyweight dance music line up with a luxury holiday destination which unfolds as an exclusive beach party by day and night.

The 2013 line up so far includes Norman Jay, Gilles Peterson and Phil Asher.

Accommodation inclusive packages start from £320 per person for 3 nights, and £500 per person for 7 nights accommodation – including breakfast and dinner each day, use of luxury spa, sauna, gym, Yoga lessons, and all SunSplash music seminars and workshops. Full list of onsite activities is below. For further information and tickets go to:

Not to be confused with the Sydney New Year’s Day affair, Field Day UK happens in London in May. This year’s line-up is epic! On 25th May at Victoria Park, you can see Animal Collective, Bat For Lashes, Django Django (clearly this year’s omnipresent festival band), Tim Burgess, How To Dress Well, Chvrches, Daughter, Francois & The Atlas Mountains, Wild Nothing and LOADS more. Find out more here.

A diverse and vibrant music festival held at Glynde Place, near Glyndebourne Opera House, Meadowlands is located within the beautiful setting of the South Downs, with easy links to London, Brighton, Lewes and the wider Sussex area. Featuring over 80 live acts across 4 stages and an all new club tent, with top class DJ’s playing all weekend, Meadowlands 2013 looks set to be the best yet! The fun takes place between 24-26th May and the line-up features Scarlet Mae and the ace Correspondents, who we featured recently on Something You Said. For news and ticket info, go here.

A little later in the summer, The Secret Garden party happens between Thursday 25th and Sunday 28th July and is an ace event which bursts with ideas and creativity. There is no sponsorship and the line-up is an eclectic mix of music of all genres and all manner of workshops and activities. The party’s Art & Expression Theme for 2013 is ‘SUPERSTITION’. Already announced to play this year are Soulwax, Django Django (we told you they were omnipresent – at least they’re BRILLIANT), Bastille, The Strypes, James Lavelle (special UNKLE DJ set), The Correspondents and Embrace, plus loads more. For more details about the festival including full first line-up announcement  check out the new Superstition themed website design. If you click the ‘Bewitch Switch’ switch on the bottom right of the homepage strange things happen!

Poland’s heavyweight Open’er Festival has just confirmed more outstanding artists including Alt-J and Modest Mouse. Plus, Editors and Skunk Anansie are also on the bill. Skunk Anansie? We used to love them in the 90s. Awesome. Already confirmed artists include Blur, Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, Queens of the Stone Age, Animal Collective, Disclosure and good ol’ Tame Impala + many more artists to be confirmed shortly. It all goes down in Gdynia, Poland between 3 – 6 July. Ridiculously, you can get a FOUR-DAY CAMPING TICKET FOR JUST £93! If that isn’t good value, we don’t know what is. Full info here.

Wow, that’s a lot of  festival news to take in. Hopefully we’ll see you at some of the above events, beer in hand, good music in ears. Keep up to date with all the latest festival news at our facebook page

bobby townsend


Words by Bobby Townsend. SBTRKT photo by Sophie Metcalfe