The 5 Biggest European Music Festivals This Summer [Videos]
Can you feel the buzz in the air? Festival season is coming! European music festivals are legendary. If you’re in Europe this summer, do yourself a favor and add one of these big-name festivals to your travel line-up. To make it easy for you, we’ll even tell you how to get there with your rail pass.
European music festivals
1. EXIT festival: Novi Sad, Serbia (July 7 – 10)
EXIT easily wins the coolest venue award – it’s held in the 18th century Petrovaradin Fortress, by the Danube river. The festival began in the year 2000 as a student movement, and these days it tops many “best festival” lists. With big acts, cheap beer, no curfew, and the chance to discover new music, it’s no wonder thousands of people flock to EXIT festival every year.
2016 line up: The Prodigy, Bastille, David Guetta, Ellie Goulding, The Vaccines, Wiz Khalifa.
How to get there: Novi Sad train station is about 1.5 hours from the country’s capital, Belgrade, and 6.5 hours from Budapest in Hungary. Once there, take a bus to Petrovaradin Fortress (10 minutes).
More information: exitfest.org/en
2. Roskilde: Roskilde, Denmark (June 25 – July 2)
A Scandinavian rock festival that began in the 70s. This combination of words should be enough to convince you to go to Roskilde. Past acts include Nirvana, Radiohead, and David Bowie. Now featuring a range of musical styles, art installations, theater acts, and a nudie run (!), Roskilde embodies the European festival spirit.
2016 line up: LCD Soundsystem, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tame Impala.
How to get there: Roskilde Station is 25 minutes by train from Copenhagen. When you get there, a direct shuttle will take you to the festival.
More information: roskilde-festival.dk
3. Donauinselfest: Vienna, Austria (June 24 – 26)
Donauinselfest is an open-air festival held on an island in Vienna. It’s one of the biggest festivals in Europe, where nearly 3 million people come together to enjoy live music, cultural activities, sports, and the waters of the Danube river. And the best thing – it’s completely free!
2016 line up: Seiler & Speer, Russkaja, Frittenbude, DJ Flip Capella, Andy Borg.
How to get there: Vienna is well-connected to several cities by train. Once there take the U-bahn metro to Donauinsel, which will bring you to the island and the festival entrance.
More information: 2016.en.donauinselfest.at
4. Tomorrowland: Boom, Belgium (July 22 – 24)
You can’t talk about European music festivals without mentioning Tomorrowland. It’s one of the world’s biggest electronic music festivals, and each year the aftermovie inspires thousands more to attend the next one. Tickets have already sold out for this year’s festival, but don’t let that stop you from adding Tomorrowland to your bucket list!
2016 line up: Armin van Buuren, Deadmau5, Tiësto, David Guetta.
How to get there: The Belgian rail company SNCB/NMBS will provide extra trains between Antwerpen-Centraal and Boom stations. When you get to Boom, there are free bus shuttles to the festival.
More information: tomorrowland.com/en
5. Sziget: Budapest, Hungary (August 10 – 17)
Sziget is more than just a music festival – it’s a crazy adventure that will surprise even the most seasoned festival-goer. There are multiple stages and activities packed onto one island, so you’ll get a chance to experience it all. Be prepared for cheap drinks, amazing food, and 441,000 of your new best friends.
2016 line up: Muse, Rihanna, Die Antwoord, Sigur Rós, Sia.
How to get there: Budapest has 3 international train stations, which are easy to get to from bordering countries. To get to Óbudai-sziget island, take the metro to Filatorigát and follow the crowd to the festival entrance.
More information: en.szigetfestival.com
Sure, there are hundreds of European music festivals to choose from, and a Eurail Pass is your golden ticket to getting to a lot of these epic events. But attending one of these big 5 will earn you instant cred with your friends back home. Are you ready to experience the music festival of a lifetime?