Brainchild Festival (UK)
Veering away from stock standard DJ lineups, Brainchild Festival is an award-winning indie festival with a focus on live music, poetry, art installations, ideas and workshops. Taking place from July 7-9 in East Sussex, the festival features Andrew Ashtong, Sophie Duker and Compton White among its highlights.
Iceland Airwaves (Iceland)
Calling all hipster jet setters – this date for your diary invites you to take in all the raw natural beauty of Iceland combined with a premium music festival. Iceland Airwaves has been taking place since 1999, in an old airport hanger, and showcases new music from both Iceland and from round the world. This year’s edition takes places from November 1-5.
Pahoda Festival (Slovakia)
Taking place in Trenčín from July 6-8, Pahoda is the biggest annual musical event in Slovakia. Its enormous programme combines art, music and other activities for a three-day sensory explosion, and the organisers pride themselves on providing the same hospitality you would receive when visiting someone’s home. Highlights for this year include the XX, Tame Impala, Björk and Flying Lotus.
What better setting for a summer festival holiday than along the magnificent Croatian coastline? Look no further than the boutique festival of Soundwave, not to mention the boat parties and after-parties that orbit the main event. Taking place from July 27-31 in Tisno, the festival is a huge draw, so make sure you book early as tickets sell out every year.
Another award-winning shindig, Exit takes places in the idyllic Petrovaradin Fortress on Novi Sad, Serbia. This festival began as a student movement that arose out of the demand for peaceful democracy in Serbia and the Balkans, and continues along the same strong youth and social-focused values today. Taking place from July 5-9, headliners include The Killers, Róisín Murphy and mega DJS Dixon and Solomun playing back-to-back.
7 Layers Festival (Netherlands)
This gorgeous little festival in Amsterdam is all about creating a platform to appreciate and celebrate live, acoustic music. Their philosophy is rooted in vulnerable story telling, stripping away layers and getting to the core of the human experience. It could be the perfect holiday escape – the festival runs this year from September 30 – October 1.
Earth Garden (Malta)
Earth Garden takes place at the beginning of June on the gorgeous island of Malta. As the name might indicate, this festival takes into consideration the environmental responsibility of the festival, championing green awareness, healing and creativity. With four musical stages, the lineup is eclectic, with over 70 live acts and DJs.
Sziget Festival (Hungary)
Sziget offers free-spirited travellers one of the biggest multicultural events on the continent. With over 20 years of experience, refinement and reputation behind its name, the festival attracts nearly 400,000 people to come and take part in the magic. The location is unbeatable – set on a beautiful island in the middle of Budapest, the event offers a complete festival-holiday experience. This year’s edition runs from August 9-16, and features big names including Kasabian, Major Lazer, Wiz Khalifa and Macklemore.
Rock In Roma (Italy)
This one is for the rockers, and features a month-long programme solely dedicated to rock and roll culture that runs this year from June 23 – August 2. The festival is in its 9th edition, attracting nearly one and a half million people to shake their bodies throughout its schedule. Music lovers can combine the festival with a stay in Rome and as it takes place over a month, they have flexibility in choosing when and where to go on their Italian escapade.
Bestival is the baby of BBC Radio 1’s quirky DJ Rob da Bank. The boutique and visionary festival has taken charge of independent festival culture, with a fearless approach to crafting magical experiences, curating an awesome lineup, spreading love and beautiful left-field performances and art installations that really give this festival its unique and special character. Bestival takes place this year from September 7-10.
For all the tech heads out there, Insomnia festival is a showcase of innovative electronic music, celebrating the best of techno culture and the diversity within the electronic genre. Taking place in Tromsø, those in need of a techno holiday in autumn can pack their bags and head north for this year’s edition from October 26-28.