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The Best Summer Festivals in Europe

Gonçalo Ribeirinho

Every summer, after classes are over, the sun shines brighter, the beaches get packed, and we start packing for a trip with friends to some kickass music festivals! It’s the time when our savings suffer the most, and when we turn into bears going for a summer hunt to endure the winter months that are ahead. Roam to one — or more — of the best summer festivals in Europe:

NOS Alive, Lisbon, Portugal — July 6, 7, 8

Check out this year’s lineup — The Weeknd, Foo Fighters, Depeche Mode

Summer and Lisbon go hand in hand like bread and butter. Plus, NOS Alive is the leading music festival in Portugal, and has caught the rest of the world’s attention due to a single combination of an eclectic lineup, warm weather and the unique coastal location — once it was even referenced as “Glastonbury with guaranteed sun and a pool”.

For the past eight years, this festival has grown and brought some amazing bands to Lisbon, such as the Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, The Libertines, Depeche Mode, Radiohead, The Cure, Pearl Jam, Beastie Boys, Smashing Pumpkins, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Blondie and many, many more.

This Festival has two different stages: the Main stage with the big guns; and the Heineken stage, with the upcoming bands and the more alternative sounds.

Festiwal Tauron Nowa Muzyka, Katowice, Poland – July 6-9

Check out this year’s lineup — Róisín Murphy, The Cinematic Orchestra, SOHN

Katowice… yes, Ka-to-wi-ce, remember this name. Poland has a lot to offer. This festival is more than just watching some awesome artists; it’s a whole new experience! Nowa Muzyka was the first and only outdoor festival to be staged in the post industrial surroundings of a shutdown coal mine, with its entire infrastructure pretty much intact and available for all visitors.

The combination of contemporary music with the architectural heritage of the location, as well as the entire Upper Silesian Region proved to be a huge success. In 2010, the festival received the European Festivals Award for Best Small European Festival!

Benicàssim, Valencia, Spain – July 13-16

Check out this year’s lineup — Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Weeknd, Kasabian

Imagine the following scenario: partying all night long to some of the world’s most talented artists and getting to recover on the beach, before you party all night long again and again for 4 days. This is Benicàssim. Valencia is well known for its local party animals; Spanish folk do know how to party.

Rock en Seine, Paris, France – August 25-27

Check out this year’s lineup — Flume, PJ Harvey, The Kills, The XX

There will be no baguettes, but you might have the chance to try champagne! Born in 2003, Rock en Seine is one of the biggest festivals in France, and among the most important musical events in Europe. You will have the chance to witness big pop and rock stars, and meet some fresh new talents too. I guess it’s fair to say we’ll always have Paris, right?

Mandrea Music Festival, Garda, Italy – August 16-20

Check out this year’s lineup — Toots and the Maytals, General Levy, Vaudou Game

Garda is in the North of Italy, by the Garda Lake. This festival is surrounded by mountains and an amazing natural landscape! If you’re into dub and reggae, or the so called “ethnical music”, this one is for you. Time to bond with nature and have a good time with your friends.

Extrema Outdoor Netherlands, Eindhoven – July 7-9

Check out this year’s lineup — Boris Werner, Alle Farben, Bart Skils

Did someone say electronic music? Extrema Outdoor goes way back to 1992 and it’s one of the first dance music promoters. It used to be a one-day festival, but extended to three days and lots of different stages.

It’s an outdoors festival with some amazing artists, granting an amazing time to all electronic music lovers. This year, it’s on the beautiful foresty grounds of De Bergen in Wanroij. Time to travel to the Netherlands for a week or so and enjoy.

Melt!, Dessau, Germany – July 14-16

Check out this year’s lineup — Bonobo, Die Antwoord, Fatboy Slim

This summer in Dessau, you will dance until you Melt! Aimed at rave and techno lovers since 1997, Melt! festival has grown into one of the major musical events in the international festival circuit. Get ready to dance and rave for 3 straight nights.

V Festival, Staffordshire, England — August 19-20

Check out this year’s lineup — P!nk, Jay Z, Jason Derulo, Anne-Marie

All routes lead to Weston Park and Hylands Park in Staffordshire this summer. This festival is put together by Richard Branson’s Virgin media group and televised by MTV. It’s the go-to festival if you’re always dancing to the Billboard charts!

Ready, set, go! Time to book a flight and get the party started. Rock on, summer is almost here!


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What other summer festivals in Europe do you think are worth the trip? Let us know in the comments. And remember: if you’re looking for student accommodation, you’ll find the student home you’re looking for on Uniplaces.

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