The Best European Summer Festivals

exit festival

The countdown to European summertime has begun, which means Festival season is so close you can pretty-much smell it. It’s the smell of unwashed awesomeness. However, because there are  gazillions of amazing events to choose from, the decision of which one to attend is often pretty bloody tricky. This year, we’re looking to Europe for our festival fix. With a startling array of new and unique alternatives for festival goers, many of which offer guaranteed sunshine in awe-inspiring festival locations, you need to start ticking off those boxes and figuring out what’s most important to you.


If you’re tired of seeing the same green fields and muddy grounds then perhaps it’s time to opt for a festival with real visual impact and a location that’s guaranteed to take your breath away. Why not try…

Exit Festival | 10-14 July 2013
Serbia |

Taking place in the Petrovaradin Fortress overlooking the river Danube, EXIT Festival bathes in the hot Balkan sunshine. Over 600 artists will perform on stages connected by cobbled streets, ramparts and tunnels. Started by 3 students in 2000 against the Milosevic regime, fighting for political change and freedom, today the festival is still a Non Governmental Organisation that promotes change and positive education, supporting many community and humanitarian missions, while throwing a damn good party. Announced acts include; Atoms For Peace, Snoop Dogg Aka Snoop Lion, CeeLo Green, Fatboy Slim, Seth Troxler, Jeff Mills, Mathew Jonson, Dubfire, SKisM and Scuba.

meltMelt! Festival | 19-21 July 2013
Germany |

Less than two hours from Europe’s epicentre for electronic music – Berlin – the Ferropolis City of Iron, home to Melt! Festival, is a sight to behold. Imposing industrial diggers are scattered across the landscape whilst the cool Gremmin lake glistens in the sun. This year’s acts include The Knife, Atoms For Peace, Azealia Banks, James Blake, Alt-J, Chvrches, Disclosure, iamamiwhoami, Local Natives, Miss Kittin (live), Scuba and many, many more.

FOR Festival | 21-23 June 2013
Croatia | website
Spanning three venues across the idyllic ancient island of Hvar, FOR is a non-traditional music festival for a discerning music lover. During the day, attendees can swim in the aqua Mediterranean waters, explore the island’s historical sites, partake in local activities such as rock climbing, sailing, or kayaking, and feast on local culinary delights. Starting from mid afternoon each day, the programming will take attendees from an outdoor beach party hosted by a different party crew daily, to Hvar’s premiere performance area for an eclectic live show, then to a late night party brought to you by some of the most interesting and innovative names in dance and electronic music. You can catch James Blake, Tame Impala and Solange, amongst many others.


Beats + Beaches = Winner. You don’t have to be a mathematician to realise that the combination of sea, sand, music, merriment and party people is a match made in heaven. If this sounds like your dream holiday then pack your shades and your swimmers and check out…

The Garden Festival | 3-10 July, 2013
Croatia |

Entering it’s 8th year in 2013, The Garden Festival is Croatia’s original event. Nestled along the azure Adriatic in Tisno, a truly beautiful site which annually plays host to music lovers seeking a week of fun and adventure, the festival is renowned for it’s unique warm and welcoming ethos. Expect performances from Soul Clap, Eats Everything, Theo Parrish, Bicep, Tim Sweeney, Luke Vibert and Maurice Fulton and more.

kazantipKazantip Republic | 31 July-14 August, 2013
Ukraine |

A non-existent state that can’t be found on a map, Kazantip belongs to a parallel reality…a world where for two weeks, the Republic becomes a magnet for musicians, DJs and tastemakers of the global electronic music scene. This year’s guests include Art Department, Jamie Jones, Loco Dice, Maceo Plex, Pachanga Boys, Ricardo Villalobos, Tale Of Us and The Martinez Brothers.


The danger with having a serious finger on the music pulse is that high expectations can often be crushed. What you need is a festival that can really deliver. One that offers cutting-edge lineups that won’t leave you feeling disappointed and where you and like-minded people can cast each other a knowing look or affirming nod as the music starts up and the revelry really begins. How about…

Off Festival | 2-4 August 2013
Poland |

OFF Festival is a way of life, one that flies in the face of current trends and stays true to itself, and the ethos of organiser Artur Rojek is firmly aimed at supporting art and music with the festival bringing many acts to Poland for the first time. This year promises the strongest line-up to date, in line with the festivals forward-thinking, eclectic music policy: My Bloody Valentine, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Laurel Halo, Skalpel, AlunaGeorge, Deerhunter, Goat and The Pop Group. Plus it all takes place in ‘Three Lake Valley’, Katowice – a beautiful green oasis in the heart of industrial Silesia.

Berlin Festival | 6-7 September 2013
Germany |

Björk, Blur, My Bloody Valentine, Pet Shop Boys, John Talabot, Justice, Pantha Du Price, Tale of Us, Get Well Soon, S O H N, Ellie Goulding, Left Boy, Charli XCX, Pool, Miss Kittin, Boys Noize, The Sounds, Booka Shade… Just a handful of acts that will perform at this years Berlin Festival. By day, the historic Tempelhof Airport and it’s former airplane hangars transform into a bustling metropolis of party people. Then, as midnight strikes, the action moves to Club Xberg at Arena Berlin. We went last year and IT WAS AWESOME.

Open’er Festival | 3 – 6 July 2013
Poland |

As line-ups go, Open’er Festival is what can only be described as Heavyweight. Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, Blur, Queens of the Stone Age, Kendrick Lamar, Nick Cave. Oh, and Rhianna too if she floats your boat. Steve Reich, one of the most outstanding contemporary composers and an active performer of his own works, has just been added to the bill, as have Crystal Castles. Not too shabby.


This one’s for the tastemakers out there. Those that relish an adventure beyond the music, fearlessly scouring the festival landscape for something new and unique that’s somewhere different. The people that are always there at the beginning, before the crowds and the mainstream catch on. These ones are for you…

B’estfest | 5-7 July 2013
Romania |

Taking place from 5th – 7th of July, in Tunari on the shores of Pasarea Lake, B’estfest includes 3 large stages covering rock, indie and electronic music with numerous smaller stages, art exhibitions, chillout zones and hand-made fashion-fairs. Tickets start at a ludicrous 33 Euros and beer is less that 2 Euros a pop, so even pseudo-bohemians like us can afford it. You can also take in some of Romania’s burgeoning underground nightlife if you fancy an extended stay, as well as an array of cultural gems such as Dracula’s Tomb, plus amazing weather to boot. First acts to be announced include Texas, Chase & Status Live and Friction.

terrraneoTerraneo Festival | 7-9 August 2013
Croatia |

Introducing Terraneo, a new festival in Croatia in the heart of the Dalmatian coastline, held in a disused military facility on the outskirts of the picturesque town of Sibenik. Taking place from 7 – 9 August the 3-day music programme will feature over 120 music acts on 3 open-air stages and 2 DJ stages. Acts announced for this year include My Bloody Valentine, Azealia Banks and The Bots with many more to come.


Who said festival season ends in September? Let the good times roll on into October!

Amsterdam Dance Event | 17-21 October 2013
The Netherlands |

A truly global event, which plays host to the worlds leading producers and DJs from all spheres of the electronic music world, the ADE festival lineup reads like the who’s who of electronic music today. For five whole days, electronic music is at the forefront of everyone’s mind and the city is alive with energy and anticipation, buzzing with over 200,000 festival visitors and 1700 international artists performing in many of Amsterdam’s legendary venues.

Quite a selection, don’t you think? Which ones tickle your fancy? Wherever you go, don’t forget your sunscreen. Nothing says ‘avoid that person, they are clearly a festival virgin’ more than a lobster red complexion.