DJ playing to crowd

A Guide to Some of the Best Festivals Abroad this Summer

04 Jun 2019 By Ellie Roddy
DJ playing to crowd

Festival season is already in full swing after kicking off with BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Middlesbrough and Annie Mac Presents: Lost and Found Festival in Malta last month.

Are you keen to attend one this year but still aren’t sure which one to go to? Why not avoid the rain and mud that are synonymous with the likes of Glastonbury and book yourself a plane ticket? Then you can swap your wellies and raincoat for shorts and sandals as you jet off across Europe to dance along to your favourite musicians against a beautiful backdrop, in glorious sunshine.

This guide will help you discover where the music will be pumping out across the continent this summer and looks at what you can expect from each festival. Use it to help choose the right destination for you…

JULY

Hideout

Location: Pag, Croatia

Date: 1st – 5th July

About Hideout: This electronic dance music festival boasts a beautiful beachfront location and takes place across five open-air venues: Papaya, Aquarius, Noa, Kalypso and Euphoria. There are also pool parties and boat parties throughout the festival. As well as soaking up the sun on the golden sand and enjoying the backdrop of the ocean as you dance into the early hours of the morning, the locations also offer plenty of water sports. Cling on as you fly through the waves on a banana boat or experience the thrill of driving a jet ski. Back on the beach, there is a bungee jump so you can see the festival from a whole new angle.

Line-up: 

 

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Fun Fact: In 2011, its first year, Hideout was named in The Guardian’s list of best European festivals.

Tickets:

Tier 2 – £159 (VIP – £219)
Tier 3 – £169 (VIP – £229)
VIP Upgrade – £65

What to expect from Pag: The mountainous island of Pag is situated in the Adriatic Sea and is the easiest one to reach from the mainland, so you can easily explore more of Croatia too. The festival takes place on Zcre Beach in Novalja. While the island itself is quite traditional, and there is a quiet side to it, Novalja has become one of the best spots in the country for nightlife. The beachfront clubs including Papaya, which is one of the most famous in the country, are open throughout the summer. So, the party doesn’t have to stop on the last day of the festival.

Weather: July is one of Pag’s warmest and driest months. Temperatures can reach highs of 29°C.  

Mad Cool

Location: Madrid, Spain

Date: 11 – 13th July

About Mad Cool: The fourth Mad Cool festival will be taking place in Espacio Mad Cool in Valdebebas – Ifema this year. Both Spanish and international artists from a number of musical genres will perform across six stages. Alongside the music there is the Art Fair and Mad Cool Gallery. This festival is suitable for all the family, including little ones. Make sure you get there a day early if you want to attend the welcome party.


Line-up:

 

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Fun Fact: In 2018 Mad Cool won the NME Festival Award for Best Line-up.

Tickets:

3-day ticket = 175€
1-day ticket = 79€
3-day VIP ticket = 400€
1-day VIP ticket = 150€

What to expect from Madrid: It’s worth taking some time to explore Spain’s capital city while you are here. The home of Fashion Week is the ideal destination for those that love retail therapy, offering the perfect mix of high street and designer stores. Football fans on the other hand can visit the homes of Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. While you are in Madrid you can also see The Royal Palace, which is the largest of its kind in Europe and the ‘Golden Triangle of Art’ – where you’ll find some of the most famous artwork in the world.

Weather: July is Madrid’s hottest month with temperatures reaching up to 33°C and on average, 11 hours of sunshine. Don’t forget your sun cream.

Bilbao BBK Live

Location: Bilbao, Spain  

Date: 11 – 13th July

About Bilbao BBK Live: This rock, pop and indie festival takes place within the greenery of Mount Cobetas overlooking Bilbao in the north of Spain. The festival starts later in the day than most but this gives you plenty of time to recover from the night before or the opportunity to explore this Spanish city first. Plus, the party continues into the early hours of the morning at the Basoa stage with house and techno.

Line-up:

 

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Tickets:

3-day ticket = 160€
1-day ticket = 62€

Need to know: There are various packages available when you purchase your ticket including hotels and camping.

What to expect from Bilbao: Situated on the banks of the tree-lined Nervión River, this Spanish city is the largest in the Basque Country. You’re in for a treat when it comes to food and you won’t want to leave without trying the Basque version of tapas, pintxos. While you are here you may like to visit the Guggenheim Museum, the unique building is formed of steel and is guarded by a giant topiary dog called Puppy alongside a 30-foot bronze spider called Maman. You are also ideally located to explore more of northern Spain and just 30 minutes from the coastline.

Weather: The average temperature will be 20°C but could reach up to highs of 25°C.

Benicassim Festival

Location: Benicassim, Spain

Date: 18th – 21st July

About Benicassim: This pop, rock and electronic music festival started in 1995 and is known as the best festival in Spain. More than 100 artists perform across four stages. The festival starts late afternoon but continues until the early hours of the morning, so there is plenty of time to relax on the beach during the day. There is much more to this festival than just the music, including theatre and art.

Line-up:

 

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Tickets:

4-day ticket = 155€
4-day VIP pass = 325€
3-day ticket = 130 – 135€
2-day ticket = 90 – 95€
Early bird day ticket = 45 – 50€
VIP day ticket = 110 – 135€

Need to know: Benicassim may only be on for four days but the campsite is open for nine, so you can stay in your tent and enjoy the surrounding area for longer.      

What to expect from Benicassim: The festival takes place in the town of the same name, on the east coast of Spain near Valencia. The area is perhaps best known for the festival but there is plenty to do here. This part of the coastline, the Orange Blossom Coast, boasts a number of blue flag golden sandy beaches. This is the perfect place for water sports including kayaking and windsurfing.  

Weather: The average temperature is 26°C but this could be as high as 30°C and won’t dip below 21°C.

AUGUST

Rock en Seine

Location: Domaine National de Saint-Cloud, Paris

Date: 23rd – 25th August

About Rock en Seine: About 120,000 people flock to Château de Saint-Cloud’s park on the edge of the capital city for one of the biggest festivals in the country. Rock en Seine started in 2003 and today more than 65 bands perform across five stages including world famous artists as well as emerging talent from both rock and pop.

Line-up:  

 

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Tickets:  

2-day ticket = 115€
3-day ticket = 159€

What to expect from Paris: France’s capital city, which is known as one of the most romantic destinations, is home to some of the most popular attractions in the world. If you have only ever seen them on a screen before, you may like to take advantage of being in Paris and see them with your own eyes. The Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Arc de Triomphe and the Notre-Dame are just a few of the city’s best sights. You also won’t want to miss the Champs-Élysées which has been described as ‘the world’s most beautiful avenue’ and is lined with shops and restaurants.

Weather: The average temperature in Paris during August is 20°C but it can reach highs of 25°C. You’ll enjoy about eight hours of sunshine a day.     

Dimensions

Location: Pula, Croatia

Date: 28th August – 1st September

About Dimensions: This underground electronic music festival takes place in one of the oldest Roman amphitheatres still in existence. The spectacular backdrop is among the most unique in the world. As well as in the fort’s moats, musicians across drum and bass, disco, house, funk and techno will perform on the beaches, boats and in underground tunnels.  

Line-up:

 

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Fun Fact: Dimensions (and Outlook) was nominated for the UK Festival Award for Best Overseas Festival.

Tickets:  

Weekend Festival Ticket – Tier 1: £148.50
Plan C – Weekend Festival Ticket – Payment Plan – £36.50
Weekend Festival Ticket Package: £193
Joint Festival Ticket (includes Outlook): £204

What to expect from Pula: You’ll find this city in Croatia at the end of the Istrian peninsula. The top attraction is the 2,000-year-old Roman amphitheatre, which is known as The Arena and is where the festival takes place. Pula is the largest city in the region but enjoys the best of both worlds, being situated on the Adriatic Sea, just a short distance from Brijuni National Park and Cape Kamenjak. Did you know that Istria used to be part of Italy? The food serves as a reminder of this with dishes such as pizza and pasta being particularly popular.

Weather: The average temperatures are 23°C in August with lows of 18°C and highs of up to 27°C. You’ll enjoy 12 blissful hours of sunshine but there is also a small chance of rain.

SEPTEMBER

Outlook

Location: Pula, Croatia

Date: 4 – 8th September

About Outlook: This bass music festival has been described as ‘Europe’s largest bass culture and dubstep festival’. It takes place in the same location as Dimensions – in fact they are so close together you may like to stay for both. Make sure you don’t miss the opening parties, which take place in the most magical setting.

Line-up:

 

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Tickets:

Weekend Tier 2 – £163.50
Plan C – Weekend Festival Ticket – Payment Plan – £36.50
Weekend Festival Ticket Package – £214
Joint Festival Ticket (Includes Dimensions): £204

Weather: The average temperature is 19°C, although it could be up to 23°C. The city enjoys 10 hours of sunshine during this month but there is a small chance of rain. 

Need to know: 2019 is the last year that Outlook (and Dimensions) will take place at Fort Punto Christo after 10 years here.

Nova Batida

Location: Lisbon, Portugal

Date: 13 – 15th September

About Nova Batida: Described as ‘three days of music, art and culture in the heart of Lisbon,’ this is Europe’s newest festival, only launching last year. The electronic music festival’s line up comes from the musicians you already love as well as the emerging talent that you soon will. But there is far more to it than the music. As well as dancing the day and night away, you can hear talks and debates from artists and experts. Plus, when you need to find a moment of calm you take part in a yoga, pilates or meditation class.

Line-up:

 

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Tickets:  

Tier 2: £109 (VIP £139)
Tier 3: £119 (VIP £149)
Tier 4: £129 (VIP £159)

What to expect from Lisbon: Portugal’s vibrant capital city is situated on the coast. If you enjoy a round of golf then you are in the right place, the country is one of the best spots for this in the world and two of the top five golf courses can be found a short distance from Lisbon. Meanwhile, those with a sweet tooth won’t want to leave without trying the pastel de nata (or pastéis de nata) – which is as egg tart pastry that was originally created by monks in Lisbon. Pastéis de Belém is the best place to try them.

Weather: Lisbon is one of the sunniest cities in Europe. The capital city is very warm in September with average temperatures of 26°C. It is unlikely to be lower than 17°C and could reach up to 32°C. There is a small chance of rain.

Now you know the best festivals you can find abroad this summer, you just need to choose which one you are going to go to and then you can start planning a holiday alongside it.

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