The Best Music Festivals in Europe Year Round
The world is canceled due to COVID-19 and with it the 2020 festival season. With this year's tickets rolling over and waiting lists getting longer, the 2021 festival season is on the bucket list of all music lovers.
Yes, Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Burning Man are a must. But what better way to celebrate surviving this year than by combining both your love for music and travel and visiting the coolest festivals in Europe.
With fingers crossed for 2021, let’s look at top festivals in Europe:
The Great Escape
Where: Brighton, UK
When: 13th -15th May, 2021
Music genre: Rock, Indie, Electronic, Hip Hop, and Grime
The Cannes of the music world, as BBC Radio 6 Music calls it, gathers music lovers, interested in discovering upcoming artists in the music industry, in 30+ venues across Brighton. Alongside incredible performances, the festival runs a conference featuring debates, panels, speeches, and networking opportunities with A&R scouts looking for the next industry sensation. Secret performances and unexpected collaborations make this a must for all music lovers interested in exploring the underground music scene.
Meadows in the Mountains
Where: Polkovnik Serafimovo, Bulgaria
When: 3rd - 6th June, 2021
Music genre: Alternative, Electronic
Meadows in the Mountains is the most unique music festival in the world. Taking place on Bulgaria's Rhodope Mountains, the festival showcases free-spirited artists who share principles of spirituality, regenerative culture, and conscious education.
Located in a small Bulgarian village full of tradition and history, attendees can stay in locally owned stone houses and directly engage with the village community. Apart from being completely plastic-free, Meadows in the Mountains raises funds to offset carbon emissions produced by the festival, thus making it a perfect choice for all eco-conscious festival-goers.
Where: Novi Sad, Serbia
When: 8th - 11th July, 2021
Music genre: EDM, Electronic, Hip Hop, and Rock
Taking place in the 18th century Petrovaradin Fortress, with more than 40 stages and music zones, EXIT Festival is celebrating its 20th edition next year. Originally started as a student social movement fighting for democracy and freedom, EXIT has developed into an annual festival welcoming approx. 200,000 attendees from around the world. Despite outgrowing its original form, the festival's mission has remained the same - achieving social change in Serbia and the Balkans through music.
Located in one of the European Capitals of Culture, this three-time award-winning festival is perfect for festival-goers who want to explore Eastern Europe and see A-list musicians perform.
Where: Budapest, Hungary
Music genre: Electronic
Spread throughout the city, Budafest is a metro-festival that takes place in several different venues throughout Hungary’s capital. The most popular element of this festival is the thermal spa parties. The famous Szechenyi Spa, transformed into party heaven with lasers, lights, and visuals, is the most visually striking festival venue in the world. With numerous events and settings the festival allows you to personalize your experience, making it the perfect choice for people who want to get the most out of their trip to Europe.
Fresh Mountain Festival
Where: Orcières, France
Music genre: Afrobeats, Grime, Hip Hop, Trap, Urban
From the team behind Fresh Island Festival in Croatia comes Europe’s first urban festival on snow - The Fresh Mountain Festival. Held in one of the most stunning settings in Europe, this festival combines a full week of parties with skiing, snowboarding, and relaxing in the jacuzzis and spas of the Alpine resort. The festival, usually held in March, combines the love of snow and music in a spectacle that is hard to forget.
The festival scene has exploded in the past few years. Festivals are growing rapidly and operating similarly - large, gated grounds with multiple stages and multiple headline acts. If you want to be a part of a unique experience, use the above list as an inspiration for the endless possibilities the European festival scene has to offer.
What unique festivals in Europe did we miss? Perhaps you have been to one? Share your experience with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Born and raised in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Selma is currently studying Business Administration and Global Studies at Hood College. While she was always passionate about traveling, she caught the travel bug through Semester at Sea, a study abroad program. So far, she has visited four continents and 30 countries, mostly in Europe and Asia.