30 MUSIC FESTIVALS in EUROPE TO EXPERIENCE BEFORE YOU DIE

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Looking for a list of the best music festivals in Europe?  Look no further.  Europe is home to some of the biggest and craziest festivals in the world, and it will definitely take you some time (and money) to cross off all of these from your festival bucket list.

1.  Tomorrowland

  • When:  End of July
  • Where:  Boom, Belgium
  • Website:  http://www.tomorrowland.com/global-splash/
  • Why:  If you need a reason why you should experience Tomorrowland at least once before you die, you should probably stop reading this list.  Arguably one of the biggest and best festivals world-wide, Tomorrowland is a theme park for electronic music enthusiasts.  Everywhere you go you hear quality music, beautiful stages, and meet incredible people.  Put that together with an amazing Dreamville camping experience, and the biggest names in Electronic music; Tomorrowland lives up to it’s hype.

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2.  Glastonbury Music Festival  

  • When:  End of June
  • Where:  Glastonbury, England
  • Website:  http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/
  • Why:  Another festival that needs no introduction, Glastonbury provides one of the largest and biggest line-ups throughout Europe.  Tickets are hard to come by, but if you manage to get your hands on one, you’re in for a treat.

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3.  MELT Festival 

  • When:  Mid – July
  • Where:  Ferropolis, Germany
  • Website:  http://www.meltfestival.de/en/
  • Why:  One of Germany’s newer festivals, MELT is a 3-day camping experience that will have a little bit of something for everyone musically.  Each year they’ve had nothing but stellar line-ups and top-notch production.  It’s during the peak of festival season, but if you can make the trip to Germany, it’ll be well worth your time.

Melt 2013 - Samstag

4.  I Love Techno

  • When:  Beginning of November
  • Where:  Ghent, Belgium
  • Website:  http://www.ilovetechno.be/
  • Why:  One of the longest and most well-known festivals in Europe, I Love Techno is a must for electronic music fans.  Held just a bit outside the beautiful city of Ghent, it’s the perfect place to make a weekend trip to for this insane music festival.  Bringing in a wide variety of music, spread across 6 stages during one epic night, you’ll definitely love I Love Techno.

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5.  Mysteryland

  • When:  End of August
  • Where:  Haarlemmermer, The Netherlands
  • Website:  http://www.mysteryland.com/
  • Why:  Tomorrowland’s “sister” festival can not be overlooked when it comes to the best festivals in Europe.  The location is beautiful, there’s plenty of stages, and a wide selection of music to choose from.  Keep in commercial at the mainstage, or go hard at the Q-Dance stage for nothing but the best hardstyle.

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6.  Sziget Festival

  • When:  Mid August
  • Where:  Budapest, Hungary
  • Website:  http://www.szigetfestival.com/
  • Why:  8 Days of camping and listening to amazing music in Budapest; yeah that sounds perfect.  Not only is Budapest an amazing city to visit, Sziget is one of the largest and longest festivals in Europe.  You definitely need to tick this one off your festival bucket list.

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7.  Awakenings Festival

  • When:  End of June
  • Where:  Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Website:  http://www.awakeningsfestival.nl/
  • Why:  If you haven’t been to an Awakenings party, then that’s a damn shame.  They provide nothing but the best of underground music, and this 2-day festival will leave your feet aching in pain from non-stop dancing.

MainStage-01

8.  SONAR Festival

  • When:  Mid June
  • Where:  Barcelona, Spain
  • Website:  http://sonar.es/en/
  • Why:  Barcelona is easily one of the best cities in the world when it comes to electronic music, and SONAR is definitely the perfect evidence of this.  A combination of day and night events, mixed with a bunch of  “OFF SONAR” parties spread throughout the many clubs Barcelona has to offer, there is no better time to make a trip to Barcelona than during SONAR week.

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9.  Time Warp 

  • When:  Beginning of April
  • Where:  Mannheim, Germany
  • Website:  http://www.time-warp.de/
  • Why:  The “Mecca” of Techno.  If you want to hear nothing but the filthiest, heaviest, and most insane techno; head over to Mannheim for TimeWarp.  They have events in The Netherlands as well as Italy, but you got to make it to Germany to experience the real thing.  Germans love their techno, and this is guaranteed to be one of the craziest parties you’ve ever attended.

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10.  Sensation White

  • When:  Various Dates
  • Where:  Various Locations
  • Website:  http://www.sensation.com/world/en/
  • Why:  Sensation has become a world-wide phenomenon, with having events everywhere from Amsterdam, Bangkok, and South Africa.  A night where you dress in all white, and dance to groovy house music.  You’ll definitely get the chills when the lights go out, and you hear the words… “Welcome.  To.  Sensation!”

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11.  SONUS Festival

  • When:  Mid / End of August
  • Where:  Pag Island, Croatia
  • Website:  http://www.sonus-festival.com/
  • Why:  Sonus has only been around for a few years now, but it has easily made it mark as one of the best festivals in Europe.  The ticket earns you access to the 3 main clubs on Zrce Beach, with all the big names playing all day and all night.  These 5 days are very intense, but you’ll be rewarded with amazing music in a beautiful place.

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12.  EXIT Festival

  • When:  Mid July
  • Where:  Belgrade, Serbia
  • Websitehttp://www.exitfest.org/sr
  • Why:  With a line-up that has a little bit of something for everyone, EXIT festival is absolutely crazy.  With prices low in Serbia, an amazing line-up, you gotta make it out to Belgrade to experience EXIT for yourself.

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13.  Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE)

  • When:  Mid October
  • Where:  Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Website:  http://www.amsterdam-dance-event.nl/
  • Why:  This is more of an electronic music conference, but all the big names flock to Amsterdam.  The whole city gets painted up with yellow signs that say ADE, and every night there are endless options of which club to go to, and which DJ’s to see.  One recommendation, get yourself to an Awakenings event at Gashouder!

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14.  Dekmantel Festival

  • When:  End of July / Beginning of August
  • Where:  Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Website:  http://www.dekmantelfestival.com/
  • Why:  A 3 Day camping festival in the beautiful city of Amsterdam.  This festival can not, and should not be missed!

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15.  Monegros Festival

  • When:  Mid July
  • Where:  The Desert (2 Hours from Barcelona)
  • Website:  https://www.grooveparade.es/
  • Why:  This is a non-stop 20 hour rave in the middle of the Desert.  “When I came to Spain, and I saw people partying, I talked to myself, What the F%&^?”  This will definitely cross your mind, because people go HARD at Monegros.  A very large festival, with many stages and impressive line-up, you’ll definitely have a blast at this marathon desert rave.

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16.  Transmission Festival

  • When:  End of November
  • Where:  Prague, Czech Republic
  • Website:  http://transmission.cz/en/
  • Why:  Two words come to mind:  Trance + Lasers.  Transmission easily has one of the best laser shows in the entire world.  Mix that with thousands of trance music lovers, an amazing arena with perfect sound, and the biggest trance names– that’s the Transmission experience.  Oh, and it’s in Prague!  One of the most beautiful cities in Europe!

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17.  Bennacassim Festival

  • When:  Mid July
  • Where:  Costa Azahar, Spain
  • Website:  http://www.fiberfib.com/
  • Why:  Benaccasim is another festival with a diverse line-up, awesome camping experience, and amazing atmosphere.  Definitely plan a trip to Spain one summer and check it out for yourself.

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18.  Extrema Outdoor

  • When:  Mid / End of May
  • Where:  Kelchterhoefstraat, Belgium
  • Website:  http://xofestival.be/en/home
  • Why:  Located in the beautiful countryside of Belgium, this camping festival is 3 epic days of amazing music!  Every year they bring tons of amazing DJ’s and a terrific crowd.

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19.  Valhalla Music Festival

  • When: Mid December (Before Christmas)
  • Where:  Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Website:  http://www.valhallafestival.nl/en/
  • Why:  Half-Circus / Half Rave.  This one-day party is unique, beautifully decorated, and brings amazing talent!

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20.  Creamfields

  • When:  End of August
  • Where:  Cheshire, England
  • Website: http://www.creamfields.com/
  • Why:  One of England’s biggest and well-known music festivals, you definitely need to find yourself in Cheshire at least once to experience this 3 day camping festival.  Boasting massive stages, with an even more massive line-up, you’re in for a damn good time.

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21.  Defqon 1 Festival

  • When:  Mid June
  • Where:  Biddinghuizen, The Netherlands
  • Website:  http://www.defqon1.nl/
  • Why:  One of the world’s biggest Hardstyle festivals.  Warning:  do not attend if you do not like extremely fast BPM’s, or have a pre-existent heart condition.

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22.  Primavera Sound

  • When:  End of May
  • Where:  Barcelona, Spain
  • Website:  http://www.primaverasound.com/
  • Why:  Just at the beginning of festival season is this amazing 4 day festival in the great city of Barcelona, Spain.  Bringing in amazing live acts and DJ’s, you’ll love this experience.  There’s also one in June in Portugal if you can’t make it to Spain.

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23.  Secret Solstice Festival

  • When:  Mid June
  • Where:  Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Website:  http://secretsolstice.is/
  • Why:  Iceland is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in the entire world, and Secret Solstice provides the perfect reason for music festival addicts to plan a trip!  Known as the “midnight sun festival”, Secret Solstice always bring a top-notch line-up, fantastic production, and incredible atmosphere.  While it used to be one of the more difficult countries to visit, budget airlines like WOW Air have made this trek much more possible!  Do yourself a favor, and make sure you attend Secret Solstice at least once in your life!  Book tickets now!

24.  Hideout Festival

  • When:  End of June / Beginning of July
  • Where:  Pag Island, Croatia
  • Website:  http://www.hideoutfestival.com/
  • Why:  Another festival hosted at the beautiful located of Zrce Beach on Pag Island, Croatia.  Bringing in some of the biggest names at amazing venues, a trip to Croatia over the summer is a must.

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25.  Roskilde Festival

  • When:  End of June / Beginning of July
  • Where:  Roskilde, Denmark
  • Website:  http://www.roskilde-festival.dk/music/2015
  • Why:  8 days. 130,000 visitors. About 170 acts. Spectacular art + events. International audience. Delicious food. Non-profit since 1972 – all profits donated to charity.

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26.  Balaton Sound

  • When:  Mid July
  • Where:  Zamardi, Hungary
  • Website:  http://www.balatonsound.hu/
  • Why:  5 Days partying to a wide variety of commercial house and techno in Hungary.  Beautiful venue, amazing food, and one incredible atmosphere that is guaranteed to be a festival you’ll never forget.

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27.  ULTRA Europe

  • When:  Mid July
  • Where:  Split, Croatia
  • Websitehttp://www.ultraeurope.com/
  • Why:  It was only a few years ago when ULTRA announced they would start a European edition in Split, Croatia.  This massive 3-day festival brings in the best mainstream trance & house artists at the mainstage, and thumping underground house and techno music at the Carl Cox + Friends tent!

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28.  Dance Valley

  • When:  Beginning of August
  • Where:  Velsen Valley, The Netherlands
  • Website:  http://dancevalley.com/
  • Why:  If there’s one place that knows how to throw a proper music festival; it’s the Netherlands.  So many Dutch festivals have been listed already, but Dance Valley is a 1-day party that could not be left out.

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29.  Lollapalooza Berlin

  • When:  Mid September
  • Where:  Berlin, Germany
  • Website:  http://www.lollapaloozade.com/en/
  • Why:  Lollapalooza has already expanded with two different festivals in South America, and their next mission is brining it to Berlin.  With a festival as big as Lollapalooza, you’d be an idiot not to check out their European edition at least once!

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30.  T In The Park

  • When:  Mid July
  • Where:  Strathallan Castle, Perthshire, Scotland
  • Website:  http://www.tinthepark.com/
  • Why:  Amazing music festival in a beautiful country, T In The Park is held over 3 days and brings in some of the world’s biggest names in a wide variety of genres.  If you find yourself in Scotland over summer, it’s a party you’ll never forget.

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So there ya have it!  A list of the top 30 music festivals, parties, and raves Europe has to offer!  How many have you been to already?  Do you think I’m missing any important ones I need to add to this list?  Let me know in the comments section!  Also, if you haven’t already, check out my post on 25 Music Festivals in America To Experience Before You Die.

 

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Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 89, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30


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Hey what's up? I'm Dave -- but I'm more commonly known as my nickname / travel alias JONES. I'm originally from Southern-California, but have made long-term travel into a lifestyle. I've lived in 6 different countries, love learning new languages, and have a strange obsession with hummus. You'll most likely find me on a tropical beach, at a music festival, or anywhere I can get a cold beer. I'm also an aspiring travel photographer, so you'll rarely find me without my camera. I'm on a mission to explore the world, live abroad, and make every day count.
28 replies
    • Jones
      Jones says:

      It’s only a little bit embarassing! Lol. But there’s so many amazing ones to choose from! You should definitely go to one this summer. I’m dying to go back to Europe for the summer just to go to a few of them.

    • Jones
      Jones says:

      Haha yeah festivals can get pretty crazy. Always takes me some time to recover! You should definitely check it out though! Roskilde looks incredible!

    • Jones
      Jones says:

      There’s so many festivals in Europe I couldn’t include them all, but Sunwaves looks incredible! Might have to update this list to include it!

  1. Guy Gardener
    Guy Gardener says:

    Oh my, number 1 and 16 look to have insane lights. I would love to stop by those at least, for the light show should be amazing! Then there is number 23. Is that in the picture, or the location anyway? Because a giant waterfall light show at a music festival sounds like it would beat all the others here.

  2. Renan
    Renan says:

    AMAZING, just AMAZING! that’s exactly what I was looking for 🙂

    Don’t you suggest nothing great in Portugal? I’m moving to Lisbon 🙂

    • Jones
      Jones says:

      Thanks so much Renan! Glad ya like this list! For Portugal, check out Primavera Sound, and BOOM festival! Enjoy! Portugal sounds amazing!

  3. Ana
    Ana says:

    Cool article!! I love festivals and I’ve been in few of them, but the 17 is FIB (Festival Internacional de Benicassim), not Bennacassim!! haha that’s my hometown and I’ve worked there few years so I had to tell you.. 😛 Definetely Sónar is the best electronic music festival in Spain, can’t wait to go back there when I finish my year in Australia 😀

    • Jones
      Jones says:

      Yess SONAR is amazing! Been two years now and dying to get back to Barcelona (my favorite city in the world). I’m based in Oz right now, and the festivals just don’t compare!

  4. Ivana
    Ivana says:

    I like the article, but I notice one mistake. Exit festival is not in Belgrade it’s in Novi Sad (on Petrovaradin fortress). 🙂

  5. Mark Anthony
    Mark Anthony says:

    Great! Festivals will reflect festivity and share sense of joyfulness, so music festivals can be effective & exciting way to improve engagement in young people.

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