THESE EUROPEAN FESTIVALS DESERVE A PLACE ON YOUR BUCKETLIST

When it comes to festival frivolity, nowhere does it quite like Europe. With killer line-ups, gastronomic delights taking centre stage, and increasingly unique and wonderful settings, festivals have moved on from the days of muddy fields and greasy burgers, and are now a legitimate holiday option.

We’ve rounded up our absolute favourite must-do-at-least-once-in-your-lifetime festivals for your reading pleasure. Do one, do them all, and enjoy…

WORLDWIDE

Set in a magnificent outdoor amphitheatre right on the oceans edge, Worldwide festival is the brain child of music legend Gilles Peterson. Boasting some prime Mediterranean real-estate, the festival takes place in the unpretentious but undeniably beautiful port town of Sète in the South of France. Days are spent hanging at the beach, then as the evening draws in the party moves to the spectacular Theatre de la Mer, where the likes of Four Tet, Floating Points, Motor City Drum Ensemble and the main man himself, Gilles, will keep you grooving until the early hours.

Go here for:

  • French food
  • Photogenic sunsets
  • Funk, soul, house, hip-hop, jazz, and everything in between

#10 #sete #theatre de la mer #clubbing

A photo posted by worldwidefest (@worldwidefest) on

FESTIVAL NUMBER 6

Oh so much more than a music festival, Festival Number 6 describes itself as a place that ‘inspires the artists as much as the audience’, and if you look at its picturesque setting in the Italiante village of Portmeirion, it’s not hard to see why. Nestled amongst the Welsh hills of Snowdonia, Festival Number 6 holds the arts, gastronomy and musical offerings in equal measure. Warm larger is swapped for pints of real ale and pulled pork sandwiches, which you can enjoy whilst watching the likes of Bastille, Hot Chip and Roots Manuva. If you prefer a few belly laughs the comedy tent has plenty to offer, or maybe you prefer to get your culture on with some nouveau theatre or a cabaret performance. A festival for those who are tired of festivals, Number 6 will re-instil your love of live performance in a beyond magical setting.

Go here for:

  • The settling – Italian coastline meets Welsh mountains
  • Gourmet dining
  • To fall in love with festivals all over again

Join us in Portmeirion this September… festivalnumber6.com

A photo posted by festivalnumber6 (@festivalnumber6) on

TOMORROWLAND

With 15 different stages to choose from and arguably some of the biggest names in the biz headlining, Tomorrowland is officially Planet Earth’s largest EDM festival. Let’s face it – Tomorrowland is alllll about the music, in all its electronic, techno and minimal glory. Entertainment is brought to you by the likes of Steve Angelo, Armin van Buuren, Tiësto, Jamie Jones, Eric Prydz and Deadmau5 (you getting butterflies just reading this?), and the setting never disappoints, surrounded by lush woodland, forests and lakes. Undeniably a festival for electronic pilgrims, Tomorrowland is a YOLO type experience. After 4 days of non-stop partying it may beat you to the ground, but you’ll sure as hell be glad that you went.

Go here for:

  • The crème de la crème of electronic music
  • To meet like-minded peeps
  • The experience of a lifetime

Down Memory Lane: 2012. The Castle in all it's glory.

A photo posted by Tomorrowland (@tomorrowland) on

SZIGET

If you’re dreaming of Budapest with a side helping of festival action, look no further than Sziget. Set on an island on the Danube River, Sziget has managed to find that perfect mix of city meets festival success. Spread over 7 days, you’ve got all the time in the world to explore Budapest’s famous ruin bars, thermal spas and cheap Michelin star meal options, then come mid-afternoon, hop, skip and jump your way over by tram or river ferry to the party island. The music is varied but wonderful with the likes of Rihanna, Bloc Party, Jake Bugg, Muse and UNKLE all leading the charge, and the arty offerings keep the hippie vibes on high.

Go here for:

  • A Budapest city break
  • Dips in the Danube
  • Music to please all tastes

Our favorite island in the world! 😉 #szigetfestival #sziget2016 #islandoffreedom #budapest

A photo posted by Sziget Fesztivál (@szigetofficial) on

WILDERNESS

Gentrification at its finest (but we don’t hear anyone complaining), Wilderness calls on the free spirited folk who want to spend a weekend in the Oxfordshire countryside swimming in lakes, soaking in natural spas, craft making, and of course watching some mighty fine music. Another festival where Michelin star meals, wellbeing and the arts take centre stage alongside A-list musicians, Wilderness is likely to see you open water swimming, jamming to folk music and playing cricket alongside comedians all in a weekend.

Go here for:

  • Michelin star style banquets
  • Music from The Flaming Lips, Glass Animals and Lianne La Havas
  • A countryside extravaganza

GLASTONBURY

Of course the biggest and the best deserves a rightful spot on this list – duh. Sure there are many awesome contenders for the UK’s best festival, but nothing will ever quite beat Glastonbury. A 24/7 sensory extravaganza, where else can you hang with hippies in the Stone Circle, get married at the chapel, jam to up-coming musicians on the John Peel Stage and lose your mind at Shangri-La, all in one go? The festival grounds are HUGH –seriously, you can never walk around the entire site and visit everything in just a weekend – and you’ll witness the biggest cross section of society you’ve ever seen. The young, the old, the in-between, the rockers, the hippies, the religious – Glastonbury is a festival for everyone. And that’s the biggest beauty of it all.

Go here for:

  • Every walk of society
  • More music than your brain can handle
  • Because your bucketlist demands it

#Glastonbury

A photo posted by Glastonbury Festival (@glastofest) on

SECRET SOLSTICE

Ever dreamed of dancing under the midnight sun? That’s exactly what you can expect at Secret Solstice, Iceland’s legendary mid-summer festival. Local folklore has it that mid-summer brings about partying elves, so why not join them? This being Iceland, you can expect the normal other-worldly landscapes surrounding you at every turn, plus a few surprises thrown in for good festival measure – think Viking hot tubs and the epic after-party, Horizon. And the best part? After it’s all done, you can ease away the festival blues in the dreamy Blue Lagoon. What’s not to love?

Go here for:

  • A line-up that includes Radiohead, Of Monsters And Men, Roisin Murphy
  • Sunlight 24 hours a day
  • Iceland’s spectacular scenery

We can't wait to be in Hel again! Only 9 days to go!

A photo posted by Secret Solstice (@secretsolstice) on

FLOW

Anything Scandinavian is normally a success, and Flow festival in Helsinki is no exception. Held in an industrial power planet Flow is all about colour, divine organic food and diverse music. Finnish hipsters make up the majority of the crowd alongside curious visitors, whilst Scandinavian bands share the limelight with the likes of Iggy Pop, Massive Attack and Jamie XX. And after the festival closes? Hop on over to the city saunas, the hub for after-party action. Detox as you retox – #winning.

Go here for:

  • Scandinavian vibes
  • A reimagined urban setting
  • Sauna parties

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