European festivals offer the best of both worlds: international DJs and live acts, plus a holiday into the bargain. You just need to make the right choice for your summer rave-cation. From sizzling boat parties in Croatia to live music in historical cities and ancient coastal towns, the options are overwhelming. To help you out, we’ve shortlisted some of the best summer events taking place in Europe this summer. Get booking and you could soon find yourself a long way from the scorching summer heat of Qatar.
This sweet treat has been delighting festival-goers since 1985 with scores of alternative rock and pop acts and, of course, Belgian hops. Plus it’s a doddle to get to, with the closest station (Kiewit) within walking distance and your return fare from Brussels included in the price of your ticket.
Line-up includes Kendrick Lamar, Arcade Fire, The War on Drugs, Imagine Dragons, Dirty Projectors, Grizzly Bear, Róisín Murphy, Dua Lipa.
QR440 (one day), QR900 (all days). Aug 15-18. Hasselt, Belgium.
Soundwave has been a trailblazer in the Croatian coastal festival scene. They’ve been doing it there for a decade now, but organisers have decided to bid farewell. Head to Tisno for one last hurrah on the beaches, in the boats and all over the open-air stages.
Line-up includes Romare, Loyle Carner, Jordan Rakei, Submotion Orchestra, Horse Meat Disco, Mr Scruff, Josey Rebelle.
QR600. Jul 26-30. Tisno, Murter Island, Croatia.
Roskilde makes for a very worthy alternative to Glastonbury. This eight-day romp is totally not-for- profit and always bags major names in pop, rock, rap and dance to help them raise thousands of kroner every year for charity. There are also exhibitions, skate ramps, a swimming lake, a DIY area and a “food jam” where you can cobble together your own delicious concoction to eat.
Line-up includes Eminem, Nine Inch Nails, Bruno Mars, Gorillaz, Stormzy, David Byrne, Fleet Foxes, Slaves, First Aid Kit, Chelsea Wolfe, Massive Attack.
QR620 (per day), QR1,235 (weekend). Jun 30-Jul 7. Roskilde, Denmark.
This German giant of the festival calendar turns 20 this year. They’ll be celebrating by bridging the worlds of rock and dance in an old industrial museum, so as well as the acts, there’ll be huge steam-punk machinery towering above.
Line-up includes The xx, Florence and the Machine, Fever Ray, Tyler the Creator, The Black Madonna, Nina Kraviz, Apparat, Princess Nokia.
QR305 (per day), QR650 (weekend). Jul 13-15. Ferropolis, Gräfenhainichen, Germany.
The vast Petrovaradin fortress plays host to four nights of music on the banks on the vast river Danube. The line-up skews more towards electronic music than rock so far this year, although more acts are yet to be announced. With ten stages and big crowds, expect to party long, and to party hard. Plus, away from the music, the food scene here is great.
Line-up includes Migos, Fever Ray, Ziggy Marley, Adam Beyer, Maceo Plex, Nina Kraviz.
QR490 (QR165 supplement to camp). Jul 12-15. Novi Sad, Serbia.
A blokeish set of headliners lead the charge at this big beachside festival this year. Rock and hip-hop dominate but the Spaniards know how to party, so expect DJs till dawn too – you can always recover on the beach the next day.
Line-up includes The Killers, Liam Gallagher, Travis Scott, Bastille, The Vaccines.
QR1,150. Jul 19-22. Costa Azahar, Spain.
Way Out West
Taking place in an idyllic park in Sweden’s second city, Gothenburg, Way Out West has netted many of the best of the acts from rock, electronic ad hip-hop genres doing the summer festival rounds. It’s super-Scandinavian, and we’re not just talking about the long summer nights – the festival is proudly committed to sustainability and providing vegan food.
Line-up includes St Vincent, Kendrick Lamar, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Fever Ray, Lykke Li, Grizzly Bear, Brockhampton.
QR830. Aug 9-11. Gothenberg, Sweden.