Trippin' with tunes
All over Europe
It is an obvious choice to go camping in France or lay on the beach in Spain. But when you love travelling and music, combining the two might be the pinnacle of travel joy for you. This way, you don’t only visit beautiful countries, but also amazing festivals. And what choice you have! Where will your musical journey take you?
Welcoming around 500.000 visitors last year, Sziget is one of the largest festivals in Europe. ‘Sziget’ is the Hungarian word for ‘Island’. So it’s no surprise the festival takes place on an island in Budapest. At Sziget, you will find an enormous array of culture. There’s theatre, dance, music, sports, circus, and so on and so forth. The festival lasts for seven days and has more than 40 stages where you are entertained 24 hours a day. For people who want some peace and quiet, there is the so-called ‘Chill Garden’, a peaceful place with a beach on the Donau. Here, there is calming music 24 hours every day, and you can sunbathe here with a cheap Hungarian pint, or take a power nap in the shade. Every day at 19.00, there is a theme party at the Main Stage, for example “flags” or “beach balls”. These will be thrown into the crowd and are thrown in the air collectively. Sziget only wants love and happiness. So, as the motto goes: Join the love revolution!
Like the name suggests: this festival takes place at Lake Balaton. Lake Balaton is a lake in the West of Hungary, and the largest lake of Middle-Europe with a size of about 600 square metres. And this brings great advantages, because what’s more perfect than a combination between beach, cocktails and festival? Balaton Sound takes place in Zamárdi, a little village in Hungary. Throughout the year, it’s very quiet and easy going, but at the start of July, everything is different for five days. It is a colourful festival, offering mainly EDM-music. Armin van Buuren, The Chainsmokers, DJ Snake and many more world-famous DJs will visit Balaton Sound this year.
B my Lake
B my lake is a festival for lovers of true electronic music. Especially House and Techno are a big chapter of this festival. This year, for example, Adam Beyer and Amelie Lens come to play a set. This festival also takes place at Lake Balaton. Every stage has cool light shows that get you in a trance. B my Lake is, in short, a three-day rave. Do you love raving and do you love pumping to techno? Then this is your festival! The festival is a week after Sziget, and since it takes place around the end of the festival season, many see it as a good last stop. At B my Lake is three days of berserking, mind-emptying and flat-out raving. To repeat DJ Fatboy Slim’s wise words: Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat!
Volt Festival is a festival by the same organisation as Sziget. It’s a festival with an extensive offer of different musical genres, from rock to house. It takes place in Sopron, almost at the border with Austria. Like Sziget, this festival has a large selection of dance, theatre and music. There’s a lot of effort in the festival’s decoration: many colours, special hammocks and bizarre light shows. Volt Festival started out as “Sziget’s little sister”, but is a lot bigger than that now. Like at Sziget, at this festival there’s a lot of activities besides partying. Going in the big wheel, for example, or spray graffiti, do a dance workshop, and the real daredevils can go bungee jumping. Never a dull moment at Volt Festival.
Lollapalooza, a festival in the centre of Berlin, has an unprecedentedly cool location: the Olympia Stadion, home to the football club Hertha BSC throughout the year, but for these two days it’s transformed into a colourful festival. Graffiti, festive dance parades and swaying to the beats of Martin Garrix, at Lollapalooza Berlin, you get it all! This festival is popular worldwide and is also found in Chicago and Argentina. Lucky us, for having a neighbouring country that has its very own real edition! Sun, beer, art and complete Lollapaloo-sing? There’s no better place to be.
Germans may be known to be rather tense, with a lack of humour, but once they party, they are true party animals, and these festivals reaffirm that to the fullest.
“Non-stop” is Melt Festival’s core business. Real die-hards can party on at the Sleepless Floor, where there’s music 24 hours a day. The festival takes place in an open-air museum of industrial constructions. This makes for the typical German underground atmosphere. With world-renowned artists and different music genres, it’s a truly diverse festival. Do you like pop music, hip hop, or are you a true techno tiger? Melt Festival offers you the place to be for all genres alike!
Novi Sad, Servia
Serbia has it all; mountains, beach, woods, beautiful cities and because it is sparsely populated, the country has a lot of space. Still, you don’t read much about people spending their holidays here. Undeserved. Serbia is a country that is definitely worth a visit.
EXIT Festival takes place at a very unique location: in the Petrovaradin Fortress. In this medieval fortress, you move from stage to stage over partly worn fortress walls, bridges and tunnels, and every corner offers a new surprise. The festival came to be in a very remarkable way. In the year 2000, students protested the then president for hundred days. From this, the festival came about, where social-activism still plays an active role. The festival lasts for four days and has world’s biggest artist in its line-up, among which the best house and techno DJ’s like Carl Cox and Paul Kalkbrenner. The surroundings are beautiful, the atmosphere is great and it’s very easy to get there. And all that for a very competitive price: for just €120, you get a 4-day pass.
Those who like festivals like Lowlands, Pukkelpop and Pinkpop, will also love this festival. It takes place in the north of Flanders, in a small town called Werchter. Because it’s in Belgium, travel costs will be low. This festival mainly offers pop and rock music. For three days, a lot of great names will be performing, like Pink, Mumford & Sons, Muse, Bastille and The Cure. Rock Werchter has a line-up that will turn your frown upside down right away.
Italy is familiar territory for many. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Colosseum in Rome, her spirited inhabitants, the delicious Italian kitchen, not to mention the characteristic canals and gondolas of Venice. And as luck would have it, there is a super fun festival there this year! Two birds, one stone, what are you waiting for?
For 9 years, this festival was known as “Home Festival” and was held in the city of Trevisto. But this year, it’s time for something new: The festival is bringing a new edition to Venice. Venice is a charming, immense, authentic city in the north of Italy. It has grand plazas with a lot of history. And this year is the first year a festival is being organised in the city! In addition to the four stages, there is street theatre, art and workshops. And the best part is that this city borders on water, so if it becomes a bit too much, you can go to the beach. Be swept away by Home Venice and make Venice your home!
Romania has a very exceptional region named Transylvania. This region used to belong to the kingdom of Hungary. Transylvania is very mountainous, the name literally means “Land on the other side of the woods”. “The woods” refer to the Apusine Mountains. This mountain range lies between Hungary and Romania. Dracula supposedly lived here.
Can you believe this festival looks out over this Transylvanian landscape? Electric Castle is a fairly new festival, with its first edition in 2013. It is a unique festival in and around the characteristic Bánffy Castle, between the green mountains. The festival is rather large, with ten stages. During the day, you can enjoy the music and the headliners in different genres like electronic music, hard rock, alternative, hip hop and indie. This festival is known for its beautiful decoration and great atmosphere. Because it’s so far from the civilized world, and helped by the nightly light shows, the festival truly gives you a dreamy feeling.
Colours of Ostrava
Pohoda is Slovak for ‘peaceful’. This festival is all about making you be completely at ease. And they make sure of that. Everyone is welcome, and you see festival-goers of all ages here. Next to music, you will find art, dance performances and circus acts. You can also go indoor skydiving or participate in a creative workshop, yoga and other sporty activities. The average temperature in summer is between 23 and 28 degrees, perfect festival weather! At Pohoda Festival you will feel at home, guaranteed. Pohoda festival takes place in the town of Trencin. This is a medieval town in Slovakia. It is definitely worth checking the town out as well, since you’re there anyway!
On a music trip?
Fancy a musical journey this summer? Check out Festival.travel, a travel agency specialized in festival travel.
Discover Europe with Interrail
Going from place to place, from festival to festival, throughout Europa is extra fun by train. With Interrail you can act the legit hobo and travel by train almost everywhere. You can choose from over 40,000 destinations in 31 countries, designing a true pan-European adventure which can last between 3 days and 3 months. No matter how old you are! But, if you are under 27, you’ll get a sweet 25% discount. The only restriction: you have to be European or a non-European with an official legal residency of a European country. And did we mention that traveling by train is super sustainable?