Best European Music Festivals: 2019 Guide
With most line-ups now announced at least in part, it’s time to start planning which festival you’re heading to in the summer. But with UK festival prices rising yet again, and the headliners for Glastonbury and Reading/Leeds a little underwhelming this year, we say it’s time you started looking at alternatives in mainland Europe. The same artists headline, they’re exponentially cheaper, and you can always combine it with a spot of travelling. So with that in mind, here’s our Guide to European Music Festivals in 2019.
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Dates: 7th – 13th August 2019
Line-up: Ed Sheeran, Florence + The Machine, Foo Fighters, The 1975, Post Malone, James Blake
Price: From £65
If you’re looking for the continent’s answer to Glastonbury, look no further than Sziget in Hungary. The fifth biggest music festival in the world, Sizget brings together over 450,000 people together for seven days of music, art and performance. Having grown from relatively low-profile student beginnings in 1993, the festival now attracts some of the biggest artists on the planets to Budapest’s Óbudai-sziget, a leafy 266-acre island on the Danube. This year’s headliners include Ed Sheeran, Florence + The Machine, Foo Fighters, The 1975, and Post Malone, so we really are talking epic.
Primavera Sound 2019
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Dates: 30th May – 1st June 2019
Line-up: Janelle Monáe, Tame Impala, Cardi B, James Blake, Solange, Nas
Price: From £170
More of us Brits head to Primavera Sound than any other festival in Europe and it’s not hard to see why. Around 200 artists will perform at the nineteenth edition of Primavera this year, and the Barcelona festival is ideal if you like your home comforts. It takes over the whole city, meaning you can grab a hotel or an Airbnb rather than having to dig out your sleeping bag. Just like Sziget, the line-up is always stellar and this year it takes on an urban feel with headliners including Cardi B, Solange and Nas, to name a few.
Location: Biddinghuizen, Netherlands
Dates: 16th – 18th August 2019
Line-up: Tame Impala, The Prodigy, A$AP ROCKY, New Order, The National, The Streets
Price: From £174
The Netherlands’ biggest festival offering in 2019 is once again Lowlands, which will be celebrating its 27th birthday. The Dutch extravaganza’s music is as stellar as its relaxed soft-drugs policy, with this year’s acts including Tame Impala, The Street and The Prodigy. The festival brings in just 55,000 people for three days, which means it’s perfect if you’re fed up of not getting a decent view at a festival. Though it’s much smaller in size, like Glastonbury, the festival is also a micro-city in itself, and even comes with its own radio station, newspaper and currency.
Electric Castle 2019
Location: Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Dates: 17th – 21st July 2019
Line-up: Florence + The Machine, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Bring Me The Horizon, The Vaccines
Price: From £89
For something a little different, Romania’s Electric Castle is as unique an experience as festivals on the continent get. Part-music, part-tech and part-art, this visually stunning festival features 3D projections, secret party areas, and 135,000 people partying within the walls of 15th Century Bánffy Castle. Electric Castle also bills itself as one of Europe’s ‘few truly 24-hour festivals’, so don’t expect much sleep!
Location: Boom, Belgium
Dates: 19th – 21st and 26th – 28th July 2019
Line-up: David Guetta, Armin van Buuren, Carl Cox, Alesso, A$AP ROCKY
Price: From £91
If you’re into your electronic music – or just massive parties for that matter – Tomorrowland simply won’t be beaten. The festival takes place in the small town of Boom in Belgium and has quickly become one of the most notable music festivals on the globe since its inception in 2005. It now attracts the biggest names in dance with 2019’s line-up including legends like David Guetta, Armin van Buuren and Carl Cox. But really, everything pales into comparison when you first set eyes on Tomorrowland’s mainstage, which really does need to be seen to be believed.
Way Out West 2019
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Dates: 8th – 10th August 2019
Line-up: Cardi B, The Cure, Stormzy, James Blake, Jon Hopkins, Earl Sweatshirt, Jungle
Price: From £164
If you fancy a trip to Scandinavia this summer, Gothenburg and Way Out West festival is the place to be. Sweden’s biggest festival welcomes over 100,000 visitors for three days of music, festivities and culture. Way Out West bills itself as much more than purely a music festival, showcasing over 100 artists alongside film premieres, engaging and forward-thinking discussions, award-winning vegetarian food, and a stellar nightlife programme. But if you’re in it for the music, you won’t be disappointed with Cardi B, The Cure, Stormzy, James Blake, and Jon Hopkins all playing – making it probably the most eclectic line-up on our list.
Colours of Ostrava 2019
Location: Ostrava, Czech Republic
Dates: 17th – 20st July 2019
Line-up: The Cure, Florence + The Machine, Rag’n’Bone Man, Mogwai
Price: From £99
Colours of Ostrava (often just referred to as ‘Colours’) has a different feel to almost any other festival on the continent. Swapping green fields for the old metalwork and mine of Dolní Vítkovice, Colours has 21 stages – some open, some covered – hosting everything from music concerts, discussions and theatre performances, to films, workshops and artists. This year, the line-up includes The Cure, Florence + The Machine, and Rag’n’Bone Man, making the 4 day festival probably the best value ticket around at £99.
So, there we have it! What’s your favourite European Music Festival? Let us know in the comments below or join the discussion over on Twitter!