Every summer has its story, and nothing quite says summer like a music festival. Dayna shares 4 eclectic music festivals happening this season across Europe
Words by Dayna Clarke
You’ve been waiting all year. Your fairy outfit and neon fluorescent gear are at the ready. Your ticket money is stashed away, and you’ve finally got around to cleaning out last year’s tent and entirely erased the memory of l’eau du portaloos.
Festival season is finally here – you just have to figure out how many you can cram in and round up your friends for before winter draws in.
It goes without saying, the best time to enjoy a music festival is undoubtedly the summer, and Europe each year offers thousands of eclectic music festivals. Each of the following four underrated music festivals offers something unique, from concerts in abandoned warehouses, to wine and bourbon-tasting bars, to raising funds for charitable causes. Ideally, they are all conveniently located across the continent.
Pete the Monkey Festival
Created to help raise money for the largest monkey reserve in Bolivia (hence the name), Pete the Monkey is a family-friendly festival in the seaside village of Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer in Seine-Maritime, Upper Normandy. The official line up is yet to be released, but you can expect a summery blend of indie pop, disco and electronic – past acts include Acid Arab, Blue Hawaii, We Were Evergreen, Songhoy Blues and Nicola Cruz.
The festival site is 150 metres from the beach, and the organisers aim to present emerging artists from both sides of the English channel. The festival started as a 350-person party. By the third edition in 2014, the festival had grown into a boutique size 1000 capacity themed festival and has subsequently won many awards for the best independent festival within Europe.
When 11th-13th July
Where: Normandy, France
A boiling pot of vibrancy, theatre, fantasy, escapism and camaraderie, Boomtown Fair is a hub of diverse and non-commercialised musical movements whose roots stretch far and wide. Each yearly edition of the festival is referred to as a “Chapter”; this reflects that each instalment continues the storyline from the previous year, with the series having begun in 2009.
The festival site is divided into several districts, and the storyline narrative is reflected in the design of the districts, streets and venues, which are populated by hundreds of actors to play the role of inhabitants. Each area has a different emphasis; you may be chilling to some folk one minute, and then travelling at 180 BPM to some drum and bass the next.
Line-up: The Streets, Ms Lauryn Hill, Prophets of Rage, Chase & Status, Chronixx, Groove Armada, Slaves, UB40
When 7th-11th August
Where: Winchester, UK
The annual event, which takes place in Ferropolis, Germany – a museum of large mid-20th-century industrial machinery – returns this year in July. Also known as ‘the city of iron’, the unusual location hosts rock, electronic and pop acts across the weekend with Jorja Smith, A$AP Rocky, Skepta and Bon Iver confirmed for this summer, as well as the Sleepless Floor which keeps the party going from Thursday through to Monday.
The 3-day festival attracts the crowd through the exciting audio-visual experience to many different stages, and for the electronic lovers, a rave at the beach will for sure bring you dancing all night long. Positively, Melt is also very environmentally conscious by offering regional, eco-friendly and vegetarian cuisine.
Line-up: Jorja Smith, A$AP Rocky, Skepta, Bon Iver, Four Tet, Slow Thai, Maribou State
When: 19-21st July
Where: Gräfenhainichen, Germany
Celebrating its 20th year, the five-day festival kicks off in August at Toyen Park in Oslo, Norway. This dreamy festival is held in the Medieval Park, a beautiful location surrounded by white sandy beaches, the Oslo Fjord to the south, the green Ekeberg Hill to the east, and Oslo skyline to the west. On the grounds, you can also find the ruins of the Maria Church, the seat of the Bishop of Oslo, dating back to the 11th century. The Medieval Park is also the place where the capital of Norway was founded a thousand years ago
After launching in 1999 as a modest music festival, it has since evolved into one of Norway’s most significant cultural events. The likes of Florence + the Machine, Bjork, Pulp, Blur and Arctic Monkeys have since topped the bill.
Line-up: The Cure, Robyn, Karpe, Sigrid, Mitski, girl in red, IDLES, Motorpsycho med venner, Jonathan Wilson
When: 6-10th August
Where: Toyen Park, Oslo, Norway