Sunday 20 October 2019

Missed out on an EP ticket? Here are 6 European music festival alternatives to consider

Meadows in the Mountains
Meadows in the Mountains
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Electric Picnic has sold out and Glastonbury is on a break so perhaps it's time to look further afield - to a European field perhaps - for the perfect summer music festival?

Chances are you won't have to bring your wellies or poncho, and you may even get to sleep out under the stars, or soak up a bit of local culture, or party in a glacier...

Here are our top 6 European festivals taking place this summer:


Secret Solstice, Reykjavik, 21-24 June

secret solstice.jpg
Secret Solstice

It's daylight all night at this festival, which offers some impressive once-in-a-lifetime extras you'd only find in Iceland, from a concert inside a lava tunnel to parties in a glacier.

The main festival is more central to Reykjavik and is the perfect option for those who want to see a bit of the capital and surrounding landscape or have been before and want to explore more.  They've teamed up with a company offering day trips to all the sights you would want to see from the Blue Lagoon spa to whale watching.

And the line-up ain't half bad either.

Tickets from €175. Direct flights from Dublin - Reykjavik from €193.  There's a special offer of a festival pass for two people with hotel accommodation for three nights at Hotel Reykjavík Natura for around €1057.

Line-up: Slayer, Gucci Mane, Stormzy, Bonnie Tyler, Death From Above, Steve Aoki, Jet Black Joe,6lack, Goldlink, J Hus, IAMDDB, Charlotte de Witte, Skream, Masego, A-Trak, Högni and more.


Exit Festival, Novi Sad, Serbia 12-15 July

exit festival.JPG
Exit Fetival. PIC: Exit photo team

It consistently wins awards and is often cited one of the best in the world.  The stunning site is at the Petrovaradin Fortress on the bank of the river Danube in Novi Sad.  It's a Jack of all trades offering electronic music, rock, metal, pop and more.

Line-up: Migos, David Guetta, Fever Ray, LP, Ziggy Marley, Adam Beyer b2b Ida Engberg, Alice Merton, Maceo Plex, Nina Kraviz, Richie Hawtin, Solomun, Tale of Us, Slaves and more

Tickets from €112. Packages including ticket, camping and airport transfers from €139.  Direct flights London Luton - Belgrade from €314


Meadows in the Mountains, Bulgaria, June 7 - 10

Meadows in the Mountains

Located in the stunning Rhodopes Mountains in Bulgaria, the festival is as much about the people, location and atmosphere as the yet TBC line-up.  You can stay in the village of Polkovnik Serafimovo at the foot of the mountain and if this description doesn't have you booking those flights, nothing will:

"Shrug off the binding chains of the 9-5 and indulge in a debauched weekend of mind-expanding experience, community and free spirit to skip through the fields and forests with untamed abandon and to lay with the fireflies and nighttime skies in the long grass."

There are extras including a pool party (€65), massages, workshops, wine tasting and more.  If you're willing to give up 24 hours to work as a volunteer you'll get a refund on your festival ticket and a free meal.  You can also reserve accommodation in a house in the village or camp for free.

Line-up: TBC

Tickets: Limited final tier tickets are still available for €140 plus booking fee.  Flights to Sofia airport (4 and a half hours from the festival) cost around €250 with one stop via Frankfurt/Munich.  You can book airport transfers for less than €50 return via the website HERE


Lowlands, Amsterdam, 17 - 18 August

Another one which appeals to a wide range of tastes is Lowlands, which offers the whole spectrum of entertainment from music of various genres to comedy, film, visual arts, literature and street theatre.  There are 12 stages in three areas, one of which has a cinema and theatre, and about 250 acts and performances take place across the weekend.

There's also a market with clothes and music to a barber's shop, massage, saunas, and seven luxury campsites with showers and toilets.  It's basically The Netherlands' Electric Picnic.

Line-up: Gorillaz, Kendrick Lamar, The War On Drugs, Dua Lipa, Bonobo, Dropkick Murphys, Fatima Yamaha, Gavin James, Grizzly Bear, Rag‘n’Bone Man, Spinvis, Stormzy, Bicep (live)

Tickets from €195. Direct flights Dublin - Amsterdam from €88


Bilbao BBIKI live, 12 - 14 July

The festival site is located in a park with a small forest and the beach just a short drive away.  You're also near the city and the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum and a half hour away from Game of Throne's Dragonstone where you can climb the 241 steps of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe just as Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister, Lord Davos, Missandei and company did.  This is a festival for people who want to experience more than just the festival.  You'll need a week!

Line-up: Florence + The Machine, Alt-J, Childish Gambino, The XX< The Chemical Brothers, My Bloody Valentine, Gorillaz, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, David Byrne and more.

Tickets: Three day tickets cost €155 with an extra €10 for camping. 


Pohoda, Slovakia, 5 - 7 July

Pohoda Festival PHOTO: Martina Mlčúchová

It's an eco and purse-friendly option located at an old airfield at Trencin which is 120km north of Bratslava and 190km north-east of Vienna.  You'll get a bit of alternative, indie, electronica, world music alongside literature, dance, visual art, film and theatre. 

Line-up: The Chemical Brothers, St Vincent, Glass Animals, Little Dragon, Jamie Cullum, Ziggy Marley, Jessie Ware, GusGus

Tickets: €99 for three day ticket including camping.  You can get direct return flights to Bratislava for around €250 with special festival trains costing less than €10 to Trencin.

Online Editors

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top