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Alternative Summer Festivals in Europe

Something different and unique is going to summer festivals in Europe.Unlike Brazil, big European festivals usually involve camping, which means spending the whole day having fun with new friends, lots of positive energy, side parties and a lot more.

So we decided to make a list of the festivals that most caught our attention on the old continent.There’s no mention of festivals dedicated exclusively to electronic music, because it’s not really our thing, so we’ve never researched or been to any of those.

The dates are not very fixed, but we’ve sorted them by month just to make it easier to get your bearings.

In this post, we first put the festivals that we attend and/or that called us a lot to Warning.At the end we made a list of the main alternative festivals in some countries.

Festivals in Europe in June

The beginning of summer is already here with several interesting festivals and parties.

Portugal

In Portugal, Catholic saints are celebrated throughout the month.The main parties are Santo Antônio, in Lisbon (night from 12 to 13/6, also known as “Santos”), and São João, in Porto (night from 23 to 24/6).

Both parties are the main ones in each city, and the whole city’s people take to the streets, with lots of music, sardines, drink and madness.Admission is free, of course, as parties take place all over the city.

In Lisbon, the main ones are in the Alfama and Graça districts.In Porto, the entire shore of the Rio d’Ouro is one big party.

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Porto – Portugal

Also in Portugal, at the end of June, there is the Musa Cascais Festival, at a campsite in Carcavelos.There are 2 nights of shows, and another night of partying at the camping.

In 2017, we paid 60 euros for the camping for 3 nights, including the concerts and the party.The line-up had names like Ponto de Equilíbrio and Skatalites and the festival was excellent.

Quotation (January/2022): 1 euro = R $6.43

Check out our YouTube video where we talk more about these parties and our trip across the country:

Holland

In the Netherlands, in the city of Ewijk, there is a festival called Down the Rabbit Hole Festival, which takes place there on 25/6.

We didn’t go, but it caught our attention.First because of the name, and then because the place is hidden inside a park, on a very beautiful river beach.Damien Rice and Iggy Pop have played there, for example.

There is camping and there are 3 days of shows, but it seems that other things happen on other days.It costs 130 euros with camping.

Poland

In Poland, in Gdynia, the Open’er Festival takes place, which seems to be big and fun.In 2017, for example, Foo Fighters and Radio Head will play.It is more affectionate, but there is camping.It runs at the end of June.

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Warsaw – Poland

Festivals in Europe in July

July is definitely the month of festivals.At the beginning of July, there are free stages throughout the city, but to access the main attractions you have to pay the entrance fee (240 euros for 7 days).

It also has camping.The atmosphere seems to be very cool and alternative.

The Summer Reggae Festival is also in France.It’s a lot smaller, but reggae festivals are always a lot of fun.This one takes place in Sélestat, which is a more alternative city, at the end of July.It costs 65 euros with camping.

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Paris – France

Spain

Benicasim is a festival that takes place on the Costa Azahar, in Spain.Big artists perform there, like Red Hot Chilli Pepers and Kasabian.The cool thing about this festival is that it lasts 4 days, but you have access to the camping for 7 days.Tickets cost 150 euros and are available on 7/10.

Still in Spain, now in Barcelona, ​​there’s the Crujilla Festival, which doesn’t have camping, but at least it’s in a very pleasant city to be.The line-up is big, with names like Prodigy and Pet Shop Boys.It costs about 120 euros for 3 days, and starts at the beginning of July.

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Madrid – Spain

Another in Spain is the Lagatavajunto Festival in Zaragoza.A smaller festival, with the advantage of being very cheap.30 euros with camping for the 3 days, there for the 21/7.Pure reggae!

Serbia

The EXIT Festival in Novi Sad, Serbia, has already won several awards for the best summer festival in Europe.With a normally large line-up like The Killers and Liam Gallagher, it draws a crowd of people.

It costs 120 euros for the 5 days of the festival, and the camping is paid separately.It starts at the beginning of July.

Festivals in Europe in August

It’s the end of the festival season now, but the best are definitely this month.

Serbia

In a very small town in the interior of Serbia, called Guča, the Guča Trumpet Festival takes place.In my opinion, the best festival in Europe.

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Guca Festival – Serbia

The city has 1,200 inhabitants and, during the festival, the population grows to almost 1 million!It’s a great 5-day carnival, with Balkan music bands passing through the city streets commanding the revelry.Without big sponsors (a brewery to supply the thirsty people, of course!) or famous names (known in Serbia, but unknown to us), this festival is a gem.

Totally free.Just find someone’s backyard and ask them to pitch your tent there.Incredible weather, people of all ages and total madness.It always happens at the beginning of August.

We have a post just about this Guca festival, click here to see it!

And don’t forget to watch our video on youtube:

Right after that, there’s the Nišville Jazz Festival, in the city of Niš, very close to the festival up there.This one is paid, but it’s big and a nice break from Guča’s fanfare, as it sometimes starts one right after the other.

Poland

Already in Kostrzyn nad Odrą, near the Polish-German border, hosts the Woodstock Festival.And that’s exactly what it is: an attempt to recreate that crazy American Woodstock atmosphere.

An immense space for camping in this small town, reaching more than half a million people, two stages, several volunteer tents, Hare Krishna food and so on.

Organized by a Polish charity organization, it’s totally free and, despite not having big sponsors (a brewery, of course), there are always big names on stage, such as Manu Chao, Anthrax, SOJA etc.Usually the first weekend in August.

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On the train to Woodstock in Poland

Hungary

The Sziget Festival is held in Budapest, Hungary, which is probably one of the biggest European festivals.An entire week on an island in the Danube River camping in what is said to be a giant art exhibition.

The festival is crazy, with many different artists from different countries, playing everything that is rhythm.It draws crowds, obviously.

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Budapest – Hungary

The downside is the price (325 euros for 7 days with the campsite), plus to drink and eat there is quite expensive.

Most of the audience is very young, in their early 20s.Anyway, it’s a crazy experience like you can only have in Europe.

Moldova

In Moldova, a country way to the east, almost in Ukraine , there is an extremely alternative festival that seems to have very positive waves.

It’s called the Art Labyrinth Festival, and the location changes every year.It takes place at the beginning of August, and costs about 8 euros for the whole week with camping.

This festival consists of musicians’ meetings, lectures by yoga instructors, massage, magic and cooking workshops and everything that involves quality of life and sustainability.

It’s usually in a forest by a river, and at the festival there’s no electricity or water supply.A week of living in the woods with a bunch of freaks, basically.Alcohol and drugs are prohibited at the festival.

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Orhei – Moldova

We were in Moldova and gathered a lot of information about the country, check:

More Festivals in Europe

We also made a list of festivals by country, the result of many Google searches, in case anyone wants to enjoy the summer in Europe and don’t know where to start.

Portugal

  • Musa Cascais, in Carcavelos, near Lisbon (reggae)
  • Santo Antônio (Lisbon) and São João (Porto) (popular festivals)
  • Boom Festival (electronic)

To decide where to stay in Lisbon we recommend reading this blog post Peciso Viajar, which is a real gold mine with good information: Where to Stay in Lisbon: Best Neighborhoods and Hotels Tested and Approved.

Spain

  • Azkena Rock Festival in Bizkaia (rock and commercial)
  • Download Festival, in Madrid (rock and commercial)
  • Cruilla, in Barcelona (commercial and electronic)
  • Benicassim, in Costa Azahar (commercial and rock)
  • Nowa Reggae, in Vilanova i la Geltrú (reggae)
  • Lagatavajunto Festival, in Zaragoza (reggae)

France

  • Solidays , in Paris (commercial and electronic)
  • Garorock, near Bordeaux (rock and punk)
  • Mainsquare, in Arras (rock and commercial)
  • Summer Reggae Fest, in Alsace (reggae)
  • Beauregarde, in Normandie (rock and commercial)
  • Worldwide Festival, near Montpellier (alternative and world music)
  • Les Deferlantes, in Sud de France (rock and commercial)
  • Les Voix du Gaou, in Côtes d’Azur (rock and commercial)

Are you traveling to Paris?Check it out on the blog Tips from Paris: What is the best time of year to visit Paris?Weather And Main Events By Month

Switzerland

  • OpenAir Frauenfeld in St.Gallen (commercial and electronic)
  • Weekend Au Borde de L’Eau, in Lac de Gèronde, Sierre (alternative and world music)
  • Reeds Festival, in Pfaffikersee (reggae)

Germany

  • Hurricane Festival, in Eichenring, Shessel (rock and commercial)
  • Southside Festival, in Neuhausen ob Eck (rock and commercial )
  • Splash Festival, in Ferropolis (commercial)
  • Reggajam, in Bersenbrück (reggae)
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Berlin – Germany

Netherlands

  • Jera On Air, in Ysselstein (metal)
  • Awakenings, in Spaarnwoude ( techno and electronic)
  • Down the Rabbit Hole, in Ewijk (commercial and alternative)

Belgium

  • Paradise City, at Steenokkerzeel (ecological and commercial music festival)
Brussels – Belgium

Poland

  • Open´er Festival, in Gdynia
  • Life Festival, in Oswecim (rock and commercial)
  • Rock Werchter, in Werchter (rock and commercial)
  • Reggaeland, in Plock (reggae)
  • Off Festival, in Katowice (commercial)
  • Woodstock, in Kostrzyn (rock, metal, reggae, alternative, world music and commercial)

United Kingdom

  • One Love Festival, Kent (reggae, ska and dub)
  • Noting Hill Carnival, London ( popular festival, in August)
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London – United Kingdom

Serbia

  • Exit Festival in Novi Saad (commercial and electronic)
  • Guca Trumpet Festival in Guca (Balkan music and fanfare)
  • Nisville Jazz Festival in Nis (jazz)

Slovenia

  • Overjam Reggae Festival, in Tolimin (reggae)

Slovakia

  • Pohoda Festival, inTrenčín Airport (electronic and alternative)
  • Viva Música, in Bratislava (classical music)

Hungary

  • Volt Festival, in Sopron (electronic)
  • Bull’s Blood, in Eger (wine festival with quiet music)
  • Bánkitó, in Bánk (alternative and commercial)
  • Sziget Festival, in Budapest (commercial, rock, electronic, reggae and alternative)

Czech Republic

  • Rock for People, at Hradec Králové Airport (commercial and rock)
  • Colours of Ostrava, in Ostrava (rock and commercial)

Croatia

  • Salsa Beach Splash, in Sibenik (commercial and electronic)

Bulgaria

  • Varna International Jazz, Varna (jazz)

Romania

  • SummerWell, in Buftea (rock and commercial)
  • Electric Castle, in Cluj Napoca (electronic and commercial)
  • Waha Festival, in Micfalau (electronic and commercial)
  • Jazz in the Park, in Cluj Napoca (jazz)
  • Airfield Festival, in Sibiu (reggae, alternative and commercial)
  • Jazz TM, in Timiosara (jazz)
  • Garana Jazz Festival, in Caras Severin (jazz)
  • Folk You, in Vama Veche (folk)
  • Padina Fest, in Dambovita (rock, commercial and alternative)
  • Spellground, in Capidava (rock and commercial)
Brasov – Romania

We spent more than a month traveling around Romania, check out:

Ukraine

  • Faine Misto, in Ternopil (rock and commercial)
  • Night in Lviv, in Lviv (museums, theaters and music concerts)
  • Woodstock, in Svirzh (rock and commercial)
  • Ancient Medzhybizh, in Medzhybizh ( medieval festival)
  • Jazz Koktebel Festival, in Zatoka (jazz)

Georgia

  • Kazantip, in Anaklia (electronic and withmercial)

Moldova

  • Art Labyrinth Festival, in a venue to be chosen each year (alternative)
  • Gustar Music Festival, in Parcul National Orhei (alternative)

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