Feeling a bit Glastonbury-d out this year? Jaded festival fiends should go off the radar this year and discover some lesser-known gems of the summer circuit. From raves in coal mines to concerts among cranes, here are seven of our favourite European festivals:
Festival Tauron Nowa Muzyka, Katowice, Poland
A coal mine is a unique (if claustrophobic) setting for a rave, and Katowice’s cutting edge Festival Tauron Nowa Muzyka has made the most of its dystopian setting. See the likes of Detroit techno star Jeff Mills, Portico, London neo-soul performer Fatima, and U.S. rapper Tyler the Creator at this three-day festival in August, set among the abandoned warehouses and mine shafts of the disused industrial facility.
Primavera Sound Festival – Barcelona, Spain
Primavera has been going for more than ten years, but it has still managed to remain relatively unknown. The line-up has something to please everyone, blending rock, pop, house and dance. It’s scheduled to take place this year from May 28th to 30th, with confirmed acts including Alt J, Belle & Sebastian, DJ Nancy Whang, and Patti Smith.
Mandrea Music Festival, Italy
This is the most laid-back festival of the summer. With a setting on a cliff overlooking Lake Garda, Mandrea (a.k.a. Mandstock) was already onto a winner. Throw in reggae-themed stalls, stone-baked pizza, and really good coffee, and you have an good-humoured get-together with great music. Expect plenty of techno, with Mad Professor and Max Romeo headliners for this year’s event, from July 30th to August 2nd. Kids are welcome during the day, with circus tumbling among the activities, and a stunning beach just a half-hour’s drive away.
Les Eurockéenes Belfort France
So chic it hurts, the French Glastonbury takes place from the 3trdto the 5th of July in a stunning setting in Belfort, France. The Eurockéenes line-up is certainly eclectic, with everyone from The Chemical Brothers and Eagles of Death Metal to Sting and Alabama Shakes among the list of acts performing. Not convinced? There’s a stage on a beach…
Bestival Isle of Wight
Bid farewell to the summer with this blast on the Isle of Wight. Bestival takes place from September 10th to 13th, seeing the season out with a bang with marathon dance sessions, the world’s biggest disco ball, and films in the forest. Acts include Underworld, Duran Duran, and Tame Impala. This year’s theme is “Summer of Love,” so bring your bell bottoms!
Meadows in the Mountains, Bulgaria
There is a Babes in the Woods feel to Meadows in the Mountains, a pastoral affair set high in the mountains among fields of wild flowers, a three-hour drive from Plovdiv. This little festival has an enchanting feel, with morning mists settling on the landscape and a line-up that will really appeal to anyone looking for the musical magic that is happening under the radar. Hispanic-influenced DJ/producer Quantic is probably the best-known performer, but the line-up also includes songwriter Chaz Thorogood, Jane Fitz, and Al Dobson Jr.
Melt Festival, Ferropolis, Germany
Melt is another European festival that has been around for a while, but it is still only starting to register on the radar. Given the quality of the line-up, this is something of a mystery. Alt J, Darwin Deez, Kylie Minogue, and the Trevor Horn Band are among the 120+ acts confirmed for the festival, which takes place from July 17th to 19th in a truly impressive industrial setting, surrounded by massive cranes.