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The world has finally started to open again, and international travel is looking a bit easier as some countries move beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s undeniably great to see live music returning in full force, and of course, that means the triumphant return of numerous summer festivals, too.
We already compiled our full guide on the best summer festivals in the UK that still have tickets remaining – numerous festivals rolled over their tickets from previous years when the events were paused due to Covid, so securing passes for some is much harder than others.
But if you’re struggling to secure tickets here in Britain, or you fancy wrapping your holiday and festival plans into a big sun-soaked (and mud-free) adventure, then we’ve pulled together some of the best options for European festivals and music.
Although Glastonbury festival is sold and out, and is the undisputed granddaddy of the UK festival scene, there’s plenty to be excited about further afield, so this list focuses on festivals outside Great Britain.
Related: Best UK music festivals 2022
For starters, there’s the double-weekender, Primavera Sound in Barcelona which features its own fringe festival with extra gigs popping up across the city, then there are extra dates in Porto, and even versions across the world in LA, Buenos Aires, Santiago De Chile, and Sao Paulo.
Other highlights include Exit Festival, which takes place across the Petrovaradin Fortress in Serbia’s Novi Sad, and Sziget in Budapest, which Michael Eavis himself recommended as a Glasto alternative for one of their fallow years.
Then for dance music heads, there’s Tomorrowland, Belgium’s premiere EDMonster with ginormous stages that mix theme park-level production with acrobatics and more lasers than a Star Wars movie.
And if you like to mix your party with a dash of glamour, then Ibiza undisputedly has some of the best nightclubs and DJs to dip into alongside a more traditional holiday.
European festivals often start later in the evening and continue into the early hours, as they often benefit from nicer weather, some don’t offer camping or encourage you to seek hostels and Airbnbs nearby, so planning ahead is essential.
So enjoy our pick of the best line-up posters, along with where you can buy tickets, and go get yourself some sun.
Primavera Sound launched back in 2011 and has long been lauded as one of the coolest festivals in Europe, if not the world. The Barcelona leg has around 220,000 fans, no camping, and is split across two weekends, just like Coachella. But it also features a swath of fringe performances from local Spanish bands, and big established acts alike. The festival has also evolved into several other editions in Porto, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, and Santiago De Chile. See the full lineups here.
when? Weekend 1, Jun 2-4. Weekend 2 Jun 8-11. Primavera A La Ciutat – June 1-8.
Tickets: Primavera Sound Barcelona is currently sold out, but you can currently join the waiting list for refunded tickets via their website, and Dice. You can also buy tickets for the other editions.
Roskilde Festival was first launched in 1972 and takes place in the south of the festival’s namesake, Roskilde in Denmark. The event is spread across eight days with 130.00 people in attendance from across Scandinavian countries and Germany. There is camping at this one, and you can pre-book certain areas, as well as camping areas for those interested in helping out.
when? June 25 – July 2
Tickets are currently sold out.
One of the sunniest festivals on the list, Hideout, in Croatia’s Zrće Beach is almost definitely guaranteed sun, as well as a huge party. This year will mark the festival’s 11th event, with five open-air stages hosting electronic acts, as well as extended boat, beach, and club parties, plus water sports. There’s also the opportunity to explore the Plitvice Lakes National Park, and Croatia is ideal for a spot of island hopping before, or after, your trip.
when? July 3-7, 2022.
Buy Hideout tickets
The Exit Festival started back in the year 2000 with students fighting for democracy in Serbia. Taking place on the Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad overlooking the Danube river it’s most definitely an incredible spectacle to behold. The event draws in 180,000 visitors and has bagged itself lots of awards for ‘Best Major Festival’ and ‘Best European Festival.’ There is camping at this one, but it does get VERY hot, so there are also options to book into hostels, too.
when? July 7-10, 2022
Buy Exit festival tickets
Taking place in Budapest in Hungary, Sziget was once praised as the festival to attend when Glastonbury has a fallow year by the mighty Michael Eavis himself. The festival was attended by a whopping 565,000 people across 2019 on a 266-acre island, hence the strapline “the island of freedom”. This is officially the biggest festival in Europe, and definitely nails a lot of the after-hours fun you get from festivals like Glasto, with comedy, theatre, acrobatics, dancing, art and much more helping land it multiple accolades for ‘Best European Festival ‘. And yes, given the size there is camping at this one.
when? July 10-15
Buy Sziget 2022 tickets
Tomorrowland festival is Belgium’s dance music monster, spread across three weekends, with 14 stages, and a total of 600,000 people attending. Held in Boom (very apt), Flanders, the festival boasts huge light shows, circus performers, and pyrotechnics that would even make Michael Bay dizzy. Each year has a theme, this year being “the reflection of love” and everything from the boxes tickets are dispatched in, to the opening show on the main stage ties into it. This one sells out fast, just like Glastonbury, albeit with a more organized purchasing system. There’s camping available (aka Dreamville), as well as partner hotels, and even hot tubs and swimming pools for VIP ticket holders.
when? July 15-31
The festival is sold out, but you can join the waiting list for new tickets to be released, and buy Global Journey Travel Packages.
Pukkelpop isn’t just very fun to say, the music giant in Hasselt Belgium hosts around 200,000 people for a solid line-up of new and classic artists across rock, pop, dance, and metal. There is also camping available at this one, it’s free for the basic camping with paid upgrades for VIP and areas opposite the arena.
when? 18 – 21 August 2022
Buy Pukkelpop tickets
And if you fancy all the partying without the camping, or slogging between stages then you might want to consider a trip to the White Isle for a weekend (or week) at some of the best clubs in the world.
If the likes of White Lines and Kevin and Perry Go Large taught us anything, it’s that the party never stops there. In fact, there’s so much happening in Ibiza that we couldn’t possibly squeeze it all in here are some highlights:
- Calvin Harris at Ushuaïa Ibiza, Fridays, June 3 – September 2
- David Guetta at Hï Ibiza, Fridays, 3 June – 6 September
- O Beach, Kissory, Tuesdays
- Craig David’s TS5 Pool Party, Ibiza Rocks – June 21, June 28
- Steve Aoki, Amnesia, Ibiza – Tuesdays in July and August
- 20 years of Kevin and Perry Go LargeAmnesia, Ibiza – June 6, September 27
- Tucked Up Supper Club with drag queens – Every Tuesday from 17 May
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