Thought Australia’s Summer calendar was getting heavy on the festivals? Trust us, there are hundreds more you’re yet to discover happening all across Europe each year. From boutique music events by the sea, to long-running parties that are huge locally. There are some festivals that have simply flown under the international radar. So, here are five European festivals you’ve never heard of, but really should add to your overseas itinerary. Make like a local and get your festival kicks at one of these ripper events.
Now with seven years under its belt, Croatia’s Dimensions festival lures more and more electro fans with each iteration, though it’s flown largely under the radar with us Aussies. This one scores top marks for its location. The first night’s festivities are traditionally held within 2,000-year-old Roman amphitheatre, Pula Arena. The daytime revelry takes the form of a a series of three-hour boat parties, helmed by some of the lineup’s top DJ’s and producers. Dimensions 2018 has pulled the likes of unconventional German musician Nils Frahm, electronic heavyweights Kraftwerk and Russian DJ Nina Kravitz.
Secret Solstice, Iceland
Heading into its fifth year this June, Secret Solstice Festival is Iceland’s hottest Summer event. As the name suggests, it’s held on the one weekend of the year that promises non-stop daylight. Combine that with some majestic Icelandic scenery and you’ve got a seriously enchanting backdrop for your 96-hour musical celebration. Here, regular stage set-ups are swapped for the likes of glacier caves and volcano-heated lagoons, playing host to the full gamut of musical goodness. This year’s itinerary features buzzworthy acts like electro house maestro Steve Aoki, Canadian rockers Death From Above, British grime and hip hop act Stormzy, and the legendary Bonnie Tyler.
We Love Green, France
If you like the idea of a music festival with a conscience, then get acquainted with French favourite We Love Green. You’ll be partying across four stages in the Parisian woods, powered entirely by wind and solar. Due to both to its diverse musical lineup and a selection of other, forward-thinking offerings, the locals are loving the new June festival. Documentary screenings, a start-up incubator and an ideas lab dubbed The Think Tank, is all part of the occasion. This year’s outing has pulled a seriously covetable collection of artists, including Icelandic songstress Björk, US rapper Tyler The Creator and indie pop icon Jamie xx.
Transforming the Danish capital of Copenhagen into a party paradise for one week each Summer, Distortion is a festival of pretty hefty proportions. Each day features an array of street parties in various suburbs, thumping with live tunes and massive crowds. The main event, Distortion Ø, takes place over a huge harbour-side festival hub. Featuring open air dance floors, they’re playing host to a wild celebration of electro music. For its 20th anniversary edition this year, the festival’s pulled big name acts. World-renowned DJ Solomun, Belgian act Charlotte De Witte and hip hop trio Injury Reserve are just scratching the surface of artists.
This July, Polifonic festival celebrates its second outing with a brand new location, descending on the coastal Italian town of Monopoli for three big days of house and techno worship. You’ll be boogying on a sun-drenched rooftop venue with a decadent program of musicians. On the lineup for 2018, you’ll spy scene favourites from across the globe. These include pioneering Detroit producer Carl Craig, world-renowned electronic act Mano Le Tough, and Amsterdam DJ darling Job Jobse.
Image source: Secret Solstice