6 European music festivals you CAN NOT miss this summer

When it comes to festivals in the UK there is one word that springs to mind more than others – mud.

Yes, Glastonbury has its history and iconic Pyramid Stage and some of the best bands in the world (this year will be headlined by Adele, Muse and Coldplay) and Leeds and Reading Festival is a rite of passage for most teenagers, but you cannot escape the rain. The recent Download festival was dubbed ‘Drownload’ by rock and metal fans as they embraced a deluge of rain while watching bands such as Rammstein, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath.

How about you swap the mud and the rain but not without losing the music this summer? Then hop over the English Channel and enjoy a European music festival. You’ll find any type of music you like and you’ll have a much better chance of missing the rain.

Here are some of the best European festivals this summer.

Bilbao BBK – Bilbao, Spain (July 7th-9th)


Situated in the north of Spain, Bilbao BBK has become a staple of the European music festival scene. Nominated for Best Foreign Festival at the UK Festival Awards on numerous occasions it has grown in popularity since launching in 2006. Sat in the shadow of Mount Cobetas, it provides a stunning backdrop to this festival of rock, indie and electronic music.

This year sees Arcade Fire, Pixies and Foals headline each evening while there is an eclectic mix throughout the weekend with the likes of Tame Impala, New Order, Underworld, Editors, Hot Chip and Years & Years among the bands performing.

Price: €120 (£95) weekend ticket. €58 day ticket.

NOS Alive – Passeio Marítimo de Algés, Portugal (July 7th-9th)

Nos Alive

Held over the same weekend as Bilbao BBK, is Portugal’s NOS Alive in the beautiful Algés riverside, a short drive from the capital Lisbon. Despite only being launched in 2007, it has gained considerable popularity and it’s easy to see why.

Held on the banks of the Tagus River in a hugely picturesque surrounding, NOS Alive celebrates its 10th anniversary this year with The Chemical Brothers, Radiohead and Arcade Fire confirmed as headliners. The party goes long into the night with the NOS Clubbing stage alive until the sun comes up.

Price: €119 weekend ticket. €56 day ticket.   

Benicàssim – Valencia, Spain (July 14th-17th)


Benicàssim is one of the heavyweights of the festival calendar. Launched in 1995, the Spanish festival provides sunshine and some of the biggest names in the business. Situated in the town of Benicàssim, in the Valencian Community, it is a huge favourite among pop, rock and electronica music fans.

Away from the main arena there are bands playing on beaches as well as a host of swimming pools – you can’t do that at Glastonbury! This year’s headliners include Major Lazer, The Chemical Brothers, Muse and Kendrick Lamar.

Price: €147.50 (4 day ticket), €130 (3 day ticket), €100 (2 day ticket) and day tickets range from €35 to €60.

Soundwave Croatia – Tisno, Croatia (August 4th-8th)


What could be better than a festival on the beach? That’s what you get at Soundwave Croatia. Self-professed as “one of Europe’s most friendly and intimate festivals” it is set in the hidden paradise of Garden Tisno on the country’s Croatian coastline. It is a coming together of all lovers of acid jazz, hip-hop, soul, funk and drum ‘n’ bass.

You won’t find a more a seductive setting for a festival than Tisno and the best part is you can combine the festival with a longer holiday. And there are even boat parties to book! This year sees Gentleman’s Dub Club, Craig Charles, LTJ Bukem and Jazzanova among the acts already announced for the festival.

Price: £100-£125 (excluding booking fee) for a standard ticket which can be secured with £50 (excluding booking fee) deposit.

Creamfields Malta – Uno Village, Malta (August 15th)

Creamfields, maior festival de dance music do mundo, nasceu há 14 anos no clube Cream, em Liverpool. Sua primeira edição foi em Winchester, em 1998. 3º edição do Creamfields Brasil. Music Park. Jurerê Internacional. Florianópolis. SC. Brasil. 26/01/2013

Photo credit: Gerardo Lazzari via Flickr.

Creamfields is a giant of the dance music scene. The British festival, originated in Cheshire, has been spreading its wings beyond the UK’s shores in recent years. Malta’s edition is a day-long party with some of the best acts in the business supplying the music.

Hosted in the huge open air nightclub Uno Village it is set to be the hottest ticket in town. Oliver Heldens, Robin Schulz, Chris Liebing, Guy Gerber and Feder are all featuring on the bill at this year’s event.

Price: £25.20-£46.20 (excluding booking fee)

Rock en Seine – Paris, France (August 26th-28th)


On the banks of the River Seine in Paris is a festival to rival Reading and Leeds in the UK, for a fraction of the cost. Held over the same bank holiday weekend at the end of August, Rock en Seine boasts a similar calibre of bands to its British counterparts but within the confines of the romantic French capital. A short Metro ride from the centre of the city to the quiet suburbs of Saint-Cloud you will find this wonderfully diverse festival.

It blends big names with upcoming French bands as well as carnival acts. This year is headlined by The Last Shadow Puppets, Massive Attack, Foals and Iggy Pop while Bring Me The Horizon, Sigur Ros, Eagles of Death Metal and Cassius among the bands also appearing over the weekend. Another bonus is that the food is delicious.

Price: €119 weekend ticket. €49 day ticket.

Why not plan a holiday around these festivals? Search www.sunmaster.co.uk for a great deal on your next break.