field good european festivals on the rise
21-25 JULY, SAN SEBASTIÁN, SPAIN
The beautiful Basque city of San Sebastián is renowned as Spain's culinary capital.
In addition to having one of the best tapas trails in the world, the last weekend of July hosts this wonderful, well-kept secret.
Many of the open-air gigs are free and this year's attractions include Elvis Costello and the Sugarcanes, Kriss Kristofferson, Ireland's own Divine Comedy and the authors of my favourite album of 2009, New York fuzz-pop specialists The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.
l Getting there: Aer Lingus fly direct to Bilbao (100km) and Ryanair run a service to Biarritz, just over the French border (50km).
JULY 31, VICTORIA PARK, LONDON
For those who think two or three days is far too much, Field Day crams in the the best single-day line-up in Europe onto six stages.
A relatively new festival, the inaugural event was only in 2007. The fourth event features Cariobou, Phoenix, The Fall, Memory Tapes and No Age strutting their stuff. Tickets are a reasonable £33.33 compared to the guts of €100 for a one-day pass to a festival here.
- Getting there: Relatively cheap and easy via any London airport.
GREEN MAN FESTIVAL
20-22 AUGUST, BRECON BEACONS, WALES
Joanna Newsom, Tindersticks, Laura Manning, Mumford & Sons and Fionn Regan are just some of the acts playing what has become known as the best festival in Wales since entertaining a mere 300 punters in 2003.
In recent years, it's garnered a slew of five-star reviews and accolades hailing it as the best festival site in the UK. Currently setting the standard for other so-called "boutique" events to follow.
- Getting there: Aer Lingus fly to Cardiff, approximately 90 minutes away by bus/car.
SALFORD MUSIC FESTIVAL
Salford spawned some of the true greats of modern music, namely Shaun Ryder and Mark E Smith and, lest we forget, the author of Dirty Old Town, Ewan MacColl, who penned the famous song about Salford, and not Dublin, contrary to popular belief.
A host of Salford legends will gather for this new one-day festival to celebrate the area's unsurpassed musical legacy.
- Getting there: Aer Lingus and Ryanair fly direct to Manchester. United are playing away to premiership rivals Everton that weekend, so flights should be cheap!