Infamously known as ‘take-off’ season, it’s time to give your desk-job a break and backpack to the wild side. Festival hopping is a growing trend that involves soundtracks and sightseeing, balmy evenings and a mixture of nationalities creating a cosmopolitan vibe. The explosion of music festivals all across Europe is not only about the energy, but the sensory overload, much-needed grooving and of course, the spacing out. We attempt to give you a bucket list of the festivals we believe would quench that wanderlust, so make sure you check the boxes!
Exit Festival, Serbia
When: Exit Festival 10-13 July; Sea Dance Festival 15-17 July 2014
Where: This award-winning European music festival in Serbia is held in the picturesque Petrovaradin fortress of Novi Sad. With over 600 artists in store, there are 20 stages all connected by ramparts, cobbled streets and even tunnels. This year, the after party to the EXIT festival is a three-day Sea Dance festival in Montenegro.
Line-Up: Damon Albarn, Gloria Gaynor, Jamiroquai, Pet Shop Boys, Skrillex.
When: 18-20 July and 25-27 July 2014
What can be described as the mother of all festivals, Tomorrowland celebrates its 10th year this summer. Taking place on two weekends, there’s a better chance of landing a ticket. For those who love EDM, you can rave in a setting that is almost plucked out of Alice in Wonderland.
Line-Up: Eric Prydz, AN21 & Max Vangeli, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, Armin Van Buuren.
The Secret Garden Party, England
When: 24-27 July 2014
Where: Set in a 220-acre landscaped garden in Cambridgeshire, The Secret Garden Party is where woodland fairytale meets zoned hippie town. There’s plenty of wide ranging music to be heard, and like most European festivals, SGP also invites you to explore the vicinity. Theatre, action camps, workshops and installations only add to the festival’s rep for debauchery.
Line-up: Foxes, Maya Jane Coles, Delaney, Blues Business, Wolf Alice.
Sziget Festival, Hungary
When: 11-18 August 2014
Where: Hungary’s top music festival is held in Budapest on the Obudai-sziget or Old Buda island.
What: The event lasts for over an eye-watering seven days with over a 1000 artists deemed to perform. It’s not just the music that you can explore, but head over to the island’s football pitch, try out some indoor rowing and you can always wind down in the famous Hungarian baths.
Line-Up: Korn, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Imagine Dragons, Calvin Harris, Deadmau5, Cee Lo Green.
Creamfields Festival, England
When: 22-24 August 2014
Where: Creamfields is undoubtedly the most impressive EDM festival that gives you a clubbing experience in the outdoors. Held at Daresbury, England, the fest provides world class line-ups, DJ’s on top of the game and an eclectic mix of genres. This one should be on your radar.
Line-up: Avicii, Deadmau5, Calvin Harris, Tiesto, Armin van Buurin.
Whether you’re a festival virgin or a pro at the gigs, remember to follow our festival etiquette guide. You can thank us later.
Do dress appropriately: The key word here is comfort. You cannot ape Kate Moss and trot around in miniscule clothing, unless you are chauffeured around and have access to a fancy hotel. Keep it real (and savvy) with funky accessories and sturdy boots.
Do hire a car: Skimp on public transport. The reason being, it’s easier to travel. You won’t be lugging a heavy back pack around and all your valuables can be tucked in safely.
Do take a crew: Make sure they share a similar amount of enthusiasm, if not more. That way someone has your back and at no point will you be stranded or dead.
Do carry backpack essentials: Avni Patel and Manjari Verma of Broken Compass have created a check-list of essentials that must make it to your arsenal, “A first-aid kit, energy drinks, granola bars and snacks, face wipes, sleeping bag and rain gear are must-haves. Also, don’t ever skimp on sunscreen.”
Do have a plan: No matter how much we dig spontaneity, it is always good to know set times and locations beforehand. That way you won’t miss any of the shows.
Don’t overdo the pictures and Selfies: The entire point of this experience is actually living the experience. Don’t spend the entire time checking in on Facebook or figuring the right filter on Instagram.
Don’t forget to charge your phone: For the simple reason, that you may be misplaced and your only hope of finding your crew is a charged phone. There are charging points at the arena too, but really now? Enjoy the show instead.
Don’t get carried away: You may end up hammered, or follow a hippie and not be found for a couple of days. Well, your friends will help you out but you will have ruined it for everyone. Hence, take it easy.