A festival plays a vital role to add fun to our life. We have handpicked a range of less-known summer festivals in Europe.
This list includes different types of celebrations in Europe, including religious, regional, European music, film festivals, carnivals, folk festivals, etc. Some of these festivals are celebrated for thousands of years.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 15 Festivals in Europe to Check Out This Summer
- 1.1 Bestival, UK
- 1.2 Way Out West, Sweden
- 1.3 Nos Alive, Portugal
- 1.4 Flow Festival, Finland
- 1.5 Meadows in the mountains, Bulgaria
- 1.6 Sonar, Iceland
- 1.7 Awakenings, the Netherlands
- 1.8 Outlook, Croatia
- 1.9 Positivus Festival, Latvia
- 1.10 Tomorrowland, Belgium
- 1.11 Lowlands, the Netherlands
- 1.12 Secret Solstice, Iceland
- 1.13 Primavera Sound, Portugal & Spain
- 1.14 Electric Castle, Romania
- 1.15 OFF Festival, Poland
- 2 Are you on Pinterest? Pin these for later read!
Top 15 Festivals in Europe to Check Out This Summer
Celebrated in the south of England, Bestival is one of the best music festivals in Europe, and it lasts four days. It has been held in late summer every year since 2004 at Robin Hill on the Isle of Wight. Later on, the festival is held at Lulworth Estate, Dorset, as of 2017.
The organizer of the event is Rob da Bank, who is a record producer and DJ, along with his spouse Josie and off-shoot of his club nights and his Sunday Best record.
Way Out West, Sweden
Way Out West is one of the best European music festivals, and it is held for three days in Gothenburg, Sweden, which hosts a lot of world-renowned music artists during August, especially from the electronic, rock, and hip-hop.
The main event is complemented with the Stay Out West club concept after gigs of hours at different venues in the city. The festival is widely regarded as being eco-friendly and the first to be certified by KRAV.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Gothenburg Sweden
Nos Alive, Portugal
Also known as Optimus Alive, NOS Alive is an art and music festival in Alges riverside, Oeiras, Portugal. In 2007, it was celebrated for the first time. Despite its creation recently, the festival has achieved a lot of popularity in Portugal.
It is ranked as one of the best music festivals in Europe in 2009, according to NME, a UK magazine. NOS and “Everything is New” sponsor it.
Flow Festival, Finland
Also known as Flow, the Flow Festival is an art and urban Europe music festival in Helsinki, Finland. It is one of those European music festivals having a lot of artists of different genres like soul and jazz to rock and from folk to contemporary, from both international and Finnish themes.
Along with music, Flow is the festival of visual arts, urban spaces, film screenings, design, talks, and drinks and food. It is one of the festivals in Europe which showcase well-established artists and giving a platform to new and growing artists. The celebration is held at the Suvilahti power plant along with its surroundings located in the immediate vicinity of downtown Helsinki.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Helsinki , Finland
Meadows in the mountains, Bulgaria
Meadows in the Mountains takes place at the altitude of 850 meters in Polkovnik, Serafimovo, Bulgaria. It is one of the unique summer festivals in Europe as it is held in the Rhodope Mountains. Meadows in the Mountains promotes self-expression and social harmony.
The cosmic environment of this event greets all the participants. The lineups of the celebration include creative musicians who come out of the mainstream. You can also discover a few of the latest acts in these types of summer events in Europe.
Sónar Reykjavik is one of the best winter festivals in Europe. It is an alternative music conference and festival. It belongs to the Sonar series lining up all of the best talents and lectures, innovative explorations, and roundtables on the ever-growing relationship between creativity and technology.
All of the European dance festivals have a balance between hip-shaking parties and stimulating discussions and nourishing both emotions and intelligence. The parties pop up in some of the random places rocked by some of the world’s best DJs at Harpa.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Reykjavik, Iceland
Read also: Top 10 Places to Visit in Iceland
Awakenings, the Netherlands
Unlike other events listed here, Awakenings is a group of events in Europe held across the Netherlands. It is one of the most popular electronic festivals in Europe and the best techno festivals in Europe. Awakenings welcome over 80,000 visitors per weekend, and it is the major highlight of the techno music calendar in Europe.
In Awakenings Festival 2018, techno experts like Adam Beyer, Carl Cox, Loco Dice, Jamie Jones, etc. play records along with debutantes like Peggy Gou, Honey Dijon, Silent Servant, etc. Over 100 techno DJ’s would be playing their best creations in this 2-day electronic festival Europe.
The outlook is a musical event started at Leeds as a subsidiary of SubDub event, hosting varieties of bass music out of Pula, Croatia. A lot of attendees come from the UK as a lot of teams are involved in the festival.
It is held on the beaches of Fort Punta Christo. It is a unique festival for its sound systems, setting, and stages erected in different tunnels and even the barren ruins.
This festival also hosts a lot of boat parties, featuring artists of different genres. In 2011, more than double the capacity of guests flocked here, and several new stages have been introduced.
Read also: Top 10 Places to Visit in Croatia
Positivus Festival, Latvia
Positivus Festival is a 3-day cultural and summer music festival held every year in Salacgrīva, Latvia. Positivus was held first in 2007 and combines a lot of genres like pop, indie, folk, and electronic. Positivus Music is the organizer of the event. It takes place from Thursday afternoon to Sunday morning of July’s third week.
It is the largest arts and music festival in the Baltic States. It becomes more and more popular as one of the top music festivals in Europe. It hosts rising underground talents and international chart-toppers set in the exotic holiday destination. It has been awarded the “Best European Festival” title.
Held annually in Boom, Belgium, Tomorrowland is an EDM music festival. Since 2005, Tomorrowland has become one of the most remarkable and largest electronic music festivals in Europe. It lasts over two weekends and tickets are sold out in minutes.
This year, Tomorrowland is celebrating its 11th edition. To celebrate the 10th anniversary and to meet huge ticket demands, the 2014 edition stretched to around two weekends.
Lowlands, the Netherlands
Also known as Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise, the Lowlands is a 3-day arts and music festival held every year in the Netherlands. It is organized 68km of Amsterdam at Spijk en Bremerberg, Biddinghuizen.
Usually, the event is focused on rock, dance, pop, alternative, and hip hop music and it also offers an outdoor and indoor cinema, cabaret, street art, and ballet, stand-up, comic, and literature strips.
The successor of the festival is “A Flight to Lowlands Paradise,” the first Dutch pop event, organized in 1967, by Bunk Bessel, a famous painter, and artist based in Utrecht. The festival was held at Jaarbeurs Utrecht. This event was stretched to 18 hours with dancing, experimental theatre, poetry, body painting, films, and massage.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Secret Solstice, Iceland
Secret Solstice is a music festival in Iceland. This year, it took place from 21st to 24th of June, celebrating its fifth year. It lines up both exciting upcoming talents and established artists for four days. The festival is themed on Norse mythology and religion and has been known as one of the unique events in Europe.
Since Iceland is located around the Arctic Circle, the country witnesses the full effect of seasonal changes. It receives long sunny days during the summer and dark nights in winter. The festival hosts a lot of events along with the mainstream act.
The festival usually takes place when there is sunlight for 24 hours to provide a different environment to host the celebration. The festival is focused on a diverse range of music, including both famous and upcoming talent, both local and international.
Primavera Sound, Portugal & Spain
This music festival takes place from the last week of May to the first week of June in Porto, Portugal and Barcelona, Spain. This festival was first hosted in 2001 in Espanyol and then moved to Parc del Forum in 2005, a larger site on the seafront.
The vast range of bands and the nature of the festival made this event a center of attraction for fans and artists, galore. The festival has always brought together start-up artists and independent music artists in its lineup, with all genres and styles like pop, rock, and EDM.
Electric Castle, Romania
Electric Castle is a music festival held annually on the exotic Banffy Castle in Romania. It brings a different experience every year with a unique blend of music, alternative arts, and technology. It hosts a lot of genres of music, including indie, rock, electronic, hip-hop, and reggae.
The festival was nominated for the Best Medium-Sized Festival category at the European Festival Awards four times, along with several leading European names.
From June 21 to 23, 2013, the Electric Castle festival was hosted the first time. More than 90 artists participated in four stages, and over 32000 fans flocked at the festival.
OFF Festival, Poland
OFF Festival is a series of alternative music held every year. The first edition was held in 2006. It was organized at Słupna Park in Poland for four days in August. Since 2010, it is held in Katowice, Stawow.
Artur Rojek is the creative director and organizer of the festival, who is also the former leader of Lenny Valentino and Myslovitz bands.
The OFF Festival also hosts a lot of cultural events and independent arts along with music, including workshops, exhibitions, and film screenings. It also promotes volunteer programs.