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The best music festivals to visit this summer

Summer is almost here and once the stress fuelled rush of exams and end of semester essays are over, you might be wondering what music festivals are on offer to ensure this summer is a memorable one. Although Glastonbury is taking a break this year, there are plenty of other world class festivals scattered across Europe. Located in some of the most beautiful, diverse cities and only a short plane journey away, these festivals could be the perfect getaway for you and your friends this summer.

Primavera Sound, Barcelona, Spain

This is, without a doubt, one of the coolest festivals around. Going strong for more than sixteen years, Primavera Sound begins in Barcelona on 30 May and runs until 3 June. Primavera is hosted in the waterfront open-air music venue Parc del Forum, an architectural wonder and only a twenty minute taxi journey from the city’s historic centre. This year the festival takes place on two consecutive weekends, with a smaller version being held in Porto from 7 till 9 June, with acts including Lorde and Arctic Monkeys.

Sziget, Budapest, Hungary

On an island in the Danube, the Sziget festival is truly one of the most inspiring, must see music events, and you can become part of the global family of Sziget citizens from 8 to 25 August. Dua Lipa, Gorillaz and Mumford and Sons are confirmed to attend. The Sziget festival is described as the ‘Island of Freedom’ where the ‘dream nation’ of the Sziget community was formed 25 years ago with the aim of creating an environment that celebrates cultures from around the world.

As well as its star studded lineup, this festival offers much more than just music. Collaborating with the ‘Art for Love’ initiative, the festival venue will be scattered with installations, sculptures and other diverse and inspiring visuals, acting as a showcase for the talent of young creative minds. Installations include ‘The Fairy Town’, a village of small wooden houses, with rooftops that double as seats for Sziget citizens. Combined with fluorescent paint, the glittering village will give a magical view to passersby.

Just a forty minute taxi journey from the airport, the Sziget festival is close to many of Budapest’s major historic tourist attractions such as City Park where the Szechenyi Baths, the city’s largest and warmest thermal spa, is located.

Flow Festival, Helsinki, Finland

Held at an abandoned power station, a short walk from the city centre of Helsinki, the Flow Festival takes place from 10 till 12 August. Using state of the art lighting and technology as well as striking architecture, Flow Festival offers a truly unique experience. The venue includes ‘Balloon 360°’,a stage that was brought to life six years ago as the result of an architecture competition and has since become an icon of the festival. The stage is a pulsating neon globe, suspended in the air. In 2017, the ‘Balloon 360°’ moved to a whole new area with a new seating capacity of over 1,600 people.

A visit to the Flow Festival would not be complete without entering the Voimala. The venue is a thousand square meters and is the festival’s official home for electronic beats. The laser zapped and industrially decorated space creates the ideal conditions for the staple genre of the festival, contemporary electronic rhythms. A twenty minute taxi journey from the airport, the Flow Festival is also near Helsinki’s city centre, with attractions such as the landmark Helsinki Cathedral and Senate Square

TRNSMT, Glasgow, Scotland

If you’re looking to save money on travel costs and want something a bit closer to home, try experiencing the Scottish festival scene and head to Glasgow Green for TRNSMT, a more than adequate alternative to T in the Park. Running over two consecutive weekends from 29 June till 8 July, the TRNSMT Festival will be hosting the likes of Scottish singer Nina Nesbitt, as well as Stereophonics, The Script, and Queen and Adam Lambert.

Image: Maël Racapé via flickr


By Jack Ferguson

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