People who believe in music are the happiest people I’ve ever seen
So clap your hands and stomp your feet and shake those tambourines
Lift your voices to the sky tell me what you see.
I believe in music
I believe in love
[‘I Believe in Music’ – Mac Davis]
Music festivals top the bucket list of every millennial and global traveller. There is nothing like the pulsating energy of popular bands and the throbbing vibrancy of open-air gigs to energise your summer evenings. Some of the best music festivals happen in Europe when the weather is cool adding pizzazz to all-night music festivals. Whether you are a music festival first-timer or looking for a memorable way to capture a destination, unlock your fun in some of these happening summer music festivals in Europe.
We have selected for you some of the finest and legendary music festivals guaranteed to rock your musical senses!
1. Isle of Wight Festival, U.K.
Where: Isle of Wight
When: 8 – 11 June (2017)
Interest level: rock, classic rock, rock n roll, pop, EDM, big names from music industry
The Isle of Wight Festival is the European equivalent of the American Woodstock, and a leading hotspot of musical entertainment in summer. It boasts of a roll call of legends like Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, and Coldplay. But this year’s line-up is sure to blow you away with names like David Guetta, Rod Stewart, Arcade Fire, Jon Stevens, Jonas Blue and scores more to get your adrenalin going. So book your tickets fast. Opt for camping, glamping or off-site accommodation. Take your pick of themed stages – hard rock, electro or Jack Daniel styled rock n roll. Rock your fun quotient with musical evenings, star-struck nights and summer glitz.
2. Roskilde Festival, Denmark
Where: Roskilde city
When: 24 June – 1 July (2017)
Interest level: rock, heavy metal, urban music, straight-up pop, campsite
With international artists like Bob Marley, Bruce Springsteen, Kanye West, Prince, Rihanna and U2, Roskilde has emerged as the most popular and largest music festival in Europe. Major draws are the nine stages and hundreds of performances, not to forget the huge campsite ground. The slant is altruistic with special arrangements for the disabled and free tickets for volunteers, the entire proceeds going for the support of music and culture.
This not-to-miss 8-day musical extravaganza is a big hit with the millennials, drawing crowds of more than 100,000.
3. Primavera Sound Festival, Spain
When: 31 May – 4 June (2017)
Interest level: multi-genre, high profile performers / bands, urban venue
Barcelona turns a haven for music lovers every summer. The immense popularity of the Primavera Sound and the terrific line-up of bands make this a popular summer-nights attraction. The seaside site is a beach promenade with concrete floors and best views of the bands. Is it any wonder that Primavera is a huge draw for music lovers who want urban stays and mud-free venues?
4. The Danube Island Festival, Austria
Where: Danube River Island, Vienna
When: 23 – 25 June (2017)
Interest level: free music festival, widest of music genres, family events, island festival
Europe’s largest open-air free music festival is the Danube Island Festival held on a 6.5 km stretch of the Danube Island in the middle of the river. It features the best of Austrian music and international acts. Genres are the widest here, ranging from rock, pop, alternative, indie, punk, hip hop, oldies, electro, German pop, folk music, to cabaret and readings! The 200 live acts, 16 themed islands and 11 stages vie with gourmet zones, children programs and fun events for an unforgettable 3-day musical summer entertainment.
5. Bukta Open-Air Rock Festival, Norway
Where: Tromse, Tromsoya Island
When: 20 – 22 July (2017)
Interest level: rock music, Aurora Borealis zone, most beautiful music festival site, beer and seafood
Source: Bukta Open Air Rock FestivalThe Bukta Music Festival gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “party all day”, for in summers the sun doesn’t set here. So you can actually party all day long and through the night. Imagine swaying non-stop to rock music through 24 hours of daylight!
The venue is a popular camping and swimming site on the beach, in the backdrop of the mountains of Tromsoya Island. Access is equally beautiful, over cantilever bridges and through the undersea Tromsoysund Tunnel. This is a unique festival for more reasons. It is organised with the participation of volunteers including the Kafé X community. In addition to the main event, the Festival hosts a free concert without age limits and sans alcohol. A huge attraction is the summer Midnight Sun, best observed from Tromse. Just make sure to check out the weather, for Bukta is full of surprises. You may end up swimming by the beach in the Midnight Sun or pile on layers of woollens and polar gloves!
6. North Sea Jazz Festival, Netherlands
When: 7 – 9 July (2017)
Interest level: American jazz to avant-garde European jazz, Europe’s largest seaport and world’s most digitised + sustainable port of Rotterdam
Known as the biggest indoor jazz festival in the world, this three-day event showcases many styles of jazz from all eras. From traditional New Orleans jazz to fusion, blues, gospel, soul music and drum n bass, the Festival is a treat for every jazz enthusiast. With more than 13 stages and 1000s of musicians on show, this is an incredible musical event with early ticket sell-outs.
7. Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland
When: 30 Jun – 15 Jul 2017
Interest level: jazz, rock, spanning age groups, widest range of multi-interest jazz events, spectacular beauty of venue on the Lake Geneva shoreline
The largest jazz festival in Europe, Montreux is a festival for every jazz aficionado. It is a unique mix of paid and free events, with spectacular themed venues. Two main stages host the big names like David Bowie and James Brown, while the Montreux Jazz Lab offers a heady mix of newcomers and artist comebacks. The benchmark of the Festival is the Montreux Jazz Club, a musical convergence across generations of jazz lovers and purists.
Make the most of the free events, stages, clubs and workshops. Get up-close with everything jazz-y at the Montreu Jazz cafe and relive the musical odyssey in the breathtaking backdrop of snow-covered Alps.
8. Savonlinna Opera Festival, Finland
Where: Savonlinna Group of Islands, Lake Saimaa
When: 6 July – 6 August (2017)
Interest levels: high standards, choice of opera artistes and productions, unique castle auditorium, idyllic setting of Savonlinna
Although opera lovers will chase a classic opera show across the world, they do like to combine opera festivals with beautiful venues. Savonlinna is just the dream destination for opera goers with a penchant for the backwoods venues. St. Olaf’s Castle or the Olavinlinna medieval castle makes the perfect venue for the finest of opera tradition. The shows take place in the castle courtyard covered for best acoustics.
This year marks a century of proud opera held to the world’s finest audience. With a month-long schedule of centenary celebrations, this season includes the Bolshoi Theatre and the Teatro Real. The region’s picturesque beauty, loads of activities and gourmet food, all in the glow of the summer Nordic light makes for a perfect summer operatic holiday!
9. Festival d’Aix en Provence, France
Where: Aix-en-Provence, South France
When: 3 – 22 July (2017)
Interest levels: all style of Opera, classic opera, connoisseur interest, concerts, open-air opera experience
The Festival d’Aix is on the radar of every opera connoisseur. It is an opera experience literally under the stars. The historic venue remains the Theatre de l’Archeveche, the former courtyard of the archbishop’s palace. The outstanding quality of operatic programmes with Mozart and Baroque works as the backbone, have made this festival an opera pilgrimage. The Festival has featured some great opera productions from Europe and Russia, in classic, modern, chamber orchestra and full stage opera concerts. Artistic excellence, innovation and new talent discovery from all over the world is what you can expect.
10. Tomorrowland, Belgium
When: 21 July – 31 July
Interest level: Electronic Dance Music (EDM), music and dance, spectacular scenic beauty
What are music festivals without the EDM?
The Tomorrowland festival is the place to be this summer for every diehard EDM fan. It is known as much for the spectacular stage settings as for the big names like David Guetta and Afrojack. Out-of-the-world stage decorations, almost 20 stages lined up, campsite attractions, disabled friendly arrangemtns, and a event pulsating with intense energy; Tomorrowland is a one-of-a-kind music experience like no other.