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The Best Music Festivals in Europe

In anticipation of the long-awaited return of our beloved festival season, we've rounded up fifteen of the best looking music festivals Europe has to offer in 2021, taking in the UK, Croatia, Spain, Germany and more...

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 2nd Mar 2021

When it comes to putting on festivals, no other continent does it quite like Europe.

Enormous, star-studded line-ups, breath taking locations and state-of-the-art, world class production, from the iconic and insurmountable Glastonbury Festival to the mammoth, sixteen-stage dance mecca of Tomorrowland, rocker's paradise Rock Am Ring in Germany to Bilbao BBK in the mountains of Basque country, Spain... there's almost too much to go at.

Here to assist you through the difficult decision making process of choosing the right overseas festival adventure this year, we've hand picked fifteen of our favourite's set to take place throughout the festival season of 2021, covering a wide spectrum of genres - from pop to hip-hop, indie, rock and electronica.

Whatever it is you're searching for - Europe's got it.

Click on the festival names and images below for tickets and more...

 

Primavera Sound

Primaver-sound-Yosigo

Image credit: Primavera Sound / Yosigo

2021 Headliners: Tame Impala, Massive Attack, The Strokes, Gorillaz, Jorja Smith, Charli XCX, Doja Cat, Caribou, Beck, Tyler, The Creator

Where: Parc Del Forum, Barcelona, Spain

When: Wednesday 2nd - Sunday 6th June 2021

Nearest Airport: Barcelona Airport–El Prat (BCN)

(Use our hotel finder to book your stay in Barcelona)

Forward-thinking, talent-championing lineups, a beautiful urban setting, impressive visuals and an inclusive, warm and welcoming atmosphere are all factors which make Primavera one of Europe's finest festivals.

Now in it's twentieth year, yet celebrating its 19th edition in 2021 due to last years unavoidable cancellation (nice one, Covid), the sought-after alternative festival, widely renowned as the best overseas alternative to Glastonbury, has welcomed many esteemed acts throughout its illustrious past.

Some of the many names to have graced the Prima stage include the likes of Arcade Fire, Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys, Kendrick Lamar, Sonic Youth and Portishead.

In 2019, the festival was also the first to deliver a line-up with a 50/50 gender split, with appearances from Miley Cyrus (replacing previously booked Cardi B), Solange, Janelle Monae, Peggy Gou, FKA Twigs and Christine and the Queens, alongside the likes of Tame Impala, FUTURE and Interpol.

Situated on the coast, just a stone's throw from the centre of Barcelona, this festival is perfect for those looking to soak up more than just the sun, sea, music and booze.

 

Sónar Festival

Sonar-Festival

Image credit: Sonar Festival

2021 Headliners: The lineup for this event is yet to be announced

Where: Various venues across Barcelona, Spain

When: Thursday 17th - Saturday 19th June 2021

Nearest Airport: Barcelona Airport–El Prat (BCN)

(Use our hotel finder to book your stay in Barcelona)

Sonar Barcelona, and co-existing 'unofficial' week-long fringe event, OFFSonar, are at the forefront of global electronic music events, bringing a heap of cutting-edge electronic acts and DJs to the city year-after-year.

Sonar - which attracts 100,000 people over three days and nights each year - has existed since 1994, and in its time has attracted the likes of Björk, Kraftwerk, The Chemical Brothers, Pet Shop Boys and DJs including Laurent Garnier, Sven Väth and Nicholas Jaar. If big names (Stormzy played last year), festival stages and larger crowds are your bag, Sonar is the one for you.

But if you're after more intimate sets inside more unique venues (including a monastery), the week-long OFFSonar programme might be more your bag, with the chance to catch the big main festival acts in smaller venues right across the city.

 

Hideout Festival

2021 Headliners: CamelPhat, Fisher, Andy C, Patrick Topping, Hybrid Minds, Sonny Fodera, Solardo, Jamie Jones, MK, Gorgon City

Where: Zrce Beach in Isle Of Pag, Croatia

When: 20th - 24th June 2021

Nearest Airport: Zadar Airport (ZAD)

(Use our hotel finder to book your stay on the Isle of Pag, Croatia)

Located on the scenic shores of the Dalmatian coast in Croatia, Hideout Festival is one of Europe's leading electronic music festivals. Featuring standout line-ups across five open-air, beachside venues, plus boat/beach parties with an abundance of sand, sea and water sports, it's not hard to see why this one is so popular. 

Hideout organisers have recently announced the first wave of artists set to appear at this year's instalment, including the likes of Holy Goof, Eats Everything, Mall Grab, Skream, Hannah Wants and many more, in addition to the aforementioned headline acts.

 

Sziget Festival

Svziget-Fest-La-szlo-Mudra

Image credit: Sziget Festival / La?szlo? Mudra

2021 Headliners: The lineup for this event is yet to be announced

Where: Óbudai-sziget, Budapest, Hungary

When: The date for this event is yet to be announced

Nearest Airport: Budapest Airport (BUD)

(Use our hotel finder to book your stay in Budapest, Hungary)

Situated on the banks of the river Danube in the Hungarian capital, on the man-made 'Island of Freedom' - Óbuda island, is one of Europe's biggest musical and cultural festival events.

Unable to commemorate its 27th anniversary due to the ongoing pandemic back in 2020, the festivals organisers are planning an extravagant celebration for its 28th year in 2021, promising a party to beat all others.

Recent years have seen performances from Ed Sheeran, Gorillaz, Lana Del Rey and Musewith the likes of Taylor Swift, The Weekend and Tame Impala all rumoured to appear at last year's abandoned event. 

Expect to see many of the world's biggest music stars joining the lineup as head through the first quarter of the year. 

 

Glastonbury Festival

2021 Headliners: The lineup for this event is yet to be announced

Where: Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset, England

When: Wednesday 23rd - Sunday 27th June

Nearest Airport: Bristol International Airport (BRS)

(Use our hotel finder to find and book a room close to the Glastonbury Festival site, if you're not camping that is)

Unquestionably the world's most renowned music festival, the legendary Glastonbury will return this year to celebrate a very special belated birthday in June.

Occupying 900 acres of the Somerset countryside (almost) every year, the epic festival of music and art, which is now in its fifty-first year, featured more than two thousand live performances over 79 stages in 2019.

To mark its half centenary, the festival organiser's had planned a birthday bash to end all birthday bashes, bringing together three megastars of music: Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Diana Ross. The likes of Guns 'n' Roses, Madonna, The 1975, Arctic Monkeys, Ariana Grande and Abba were all also reported to be lined up for big event. Who doesn't know the words to Dancing Queen? In the immortal words of Liam Gallagher, 'Come on you know!'

As per each Glastonbury year, the rumour mill is in full operation. Whispers and predictions of artists that could perform at this years comeback edition have been circulating and popping up on various websites since 2020's cancellation, back in March last year. Thankfully, it looks as though many of the big guns due to entertain us in 2020 will appear on stage this year, although this hasn't been formally stated. 

 

Rock am Ring

Rock-am-ring-1

Image credit: Rock am Ring

2021 Headliners: A Day To Remember, Billy Talent, Code Orange, Boston manor, Baroness, Deftones, Fall Out Boy, Green Day, Weezer, Yungblud

Where: Nürburgring, Nürburg, Germany

When: Friday 11th - Sunday 13th June 2021

Nearest Airport: Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN) / Düsseldorf International Airport (DUS)

(Don't fancy camping? Use our hotel finder to book a room close to the Rock AM Ring Festival site)

For those who like music on the heavy side, look no further. Germany's Rock am Ring festival, held at the famous Nürburgring race track, is one of Europe's (if not one of the world's) biggest rock festivals. 

Now in its 36th year, the event, which has welcomed many rock greats throughout its illustrious history, including David Bowie, Aerosmith, Bob Dylan and Metallica, will be headlined by American punk rock royalty Green Day, alongside the likes Volbeat, Korn, System of a Down, The Offspring, Mastodon and blues legend Seasick Steve, to name a few. 

 

Snowbombing

Snowbombing

Image credit: Snowbombing

2021 Headliners: The lineup for this event is yet to be announced

Where: Mayrhofen Ski Resort, Mayrhofen, Austria 

When: Monday 5th - Saturday 10th April 2021

Nearest Airport: Innsbruck Airport (INN) / Salzburg Airport (SZG) / Munich International Airport (MUC)

(Use our hotel finder to book your stay at this years Snowbombing Festival)

Combining a love of winter sports and live music, Snowbombing offers a truly unique experience.

The original ski resort festival, held in the Austrian town of Mayrhofen, surrounded by miles upon miles of Alpine mountain range, is a popular destination for music lovers and adrenaline junkies alike. Attendees can ski and snowboard throughout the day on some of the gnarliest trails in Europe, and party with like minded ravers in frozen forests and igloos by night.

Amongst the many names confirmed to appear at last years called-off festival, were the likes of Oasis legend Liam Gallagher, The Streets, Loyle Carner, Chase & Status, Rudimental, Alan Fitzpatrick and Maribou State.

Lineup updates for Snowbombing 2021 are imminent. Keep your eyes peeled!

 

Tomorrowland 

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2021 Headliners: The lineup for this event is yet to be announced

Where: De Schorre, Boom, Belgium

When: Friday 16th - Sunday 18th July 2021

Nearest Airport: Antwerp International Airport (ANR)

(Not camping? Use our hotel finder to book a room close to the Tomorrowland Festival site)

Widely regarded as one of the most elaborately produced festivals in the world, this mega Belgian dance gathering, which runs over two weekends in July, is comprised of sixteen mammoth stages, each with its own theme completed by trippy, mind-bending visuals, unbelievable light shows and an always impressive roster of DJs. 

Featuring pretty much every big producer and mixmaster virtuoso you could ever hope to see, year on year, the likes of Carl Cox, Amelie Lens, Maceo Plex, Armin Van Buuren, Charlotte De Witte, Solomun, Adam Beyer, David Guetta, Tiesto, Camelphat, Eric Prydz and so many more, were all scheduled to bring the noise at both of 2020's unavoidably postponed dates.

One of the hottest festival tickets for a dance event in Europe, and with good reason, Tomorrowland is notoriously hard to gain entry to. Within five minutes of tickets for last years cancelled event going live, between 350,000 and 400,000 tickets were sold.  .

Tickets are, as you would expect, extremely hard to come by, with Tomorrowland's popularity being likened to that of Glastonbury. Within five minutes of tickets for last years events going live online, between 350,000 and 400,000 tickets were bought, selling out the both dates in record time. So, be sure to act fast if you're thinking of making the trip over to Belgium this summer - and get registered sharpish!

 

Roskilde

Flemming

Image credit: Roskilde / Flemming Bo Jensen

2021 Headliners: Kendrick LamarTyler, the Creator, Thom Yorke, The Strokes, FKA Twigs, Girl In Red, Kelly Lee OwensHaim, Anderson .Paak, Fontaines D.C.

Where: Roskilde, Denmark

When: Saturday 26th June - Saturday 3rd July 2021

Nearest Airport: Copenhagen (CPH)

(Camping not your thing? Use our hotel finder to book a room close to the Roskilde Festival site)

One of Europe's largest and longest running music and arts festivals, Roskilde celebrates its delayed fiftieth anniversary (yes, 5-0) event this coming June with an especially remarkable line-up to mark the important milestone. 

The non-profit event, which donates one hundred percent of all its profits to charities in countries across the globe, has previously welcomed the likes of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, New Order, Pharrell Williams, Paul McCartney, Arctic Monkeys, The Rolling Stones, Florence and the Machine and more to perform over it's eight stages.

The festivals organisers have recently announced the first wave of acts set to perform at the milestone event, with appearnaces coming from the likes of American rapper, designer, actor and record producer, Tyler, the CreatorRadiohead frontman Thom Yorke performing tracks from his 'Tomorrow's Modern Boxes' solo project , Deftones, IDLES, Megan Thee Stallion and eminent electronic duo Bicep to name a few, with many artists still yet to be announced.

 

Ultra Europe 

Ultra-Europe

Image credit: Ultra Europe

2021 Headliners: The lineup for this event is yet to be announced

Where: Mladen Park, Split, Croatia

When: Friday 9th - Sunday 11th July 2021

Nearest Airport: Split Airport (SPU)

(Camping not your thing? Use our hotel finder to book a room close to the Roskilde Festival site)

Another giant event taking place on the stunning shores of the Adriatic Sea, Ultra Europe is a festival that most hardcore ravers have marked down on their calendars.

The three-day event - which brings together some of the world's most respected and popular DJs, covering a variety of genres including EDM, house and techno - occupies Croatia's second largest city, Split, throwing huge shows and lavish parties at numerous destinations along the Dalmatian coast. 

Dates for this years edition, following the cancellation of 2020's event, have now been announced. Details of the lineup are due to follow shortly. Watch this space. 

 

Creamfields

Creamfields

Image credit: Creamfields

2021 Headliners: Adam Beyer, Ben Nicky, Darren Styles, Deadmau5, Eric Prydz, Peggy Gou, Example, Scooter, Andy C, Jamie Jones

Where: Daresbury, Cheshire

When: Thursday 26th - Sunday 29th August

Nearest Airport: Manchester Airport (MAN)

(Use our hotel finder to book a room close to the Creamfields Festival site)

If you're down to party from dusk until dawn, you need look no further. This massive, multi award-winning, world-renowned, open-air electronic music festival is an absolute must for all the hedonistic ravers out there.

Hosting a multitude of the world's most coveted and credible electronic artists, representing a variety of sub-genres within the dance music scene, Creamfields is an event that not only draws an enormous number of attendees, but an equally huge roster of names year on year.

Already confirmed to perform across the festivals numerous state-of-the-art stages and dance arenas, in 2021, punters can expect to witness sets from the likes of Alan Fitzpatrick, Carl Cox, Bicep, Chase & Status and MK, in addition to many other crowd favourites.

 

Bilbao BBK Live

2021 Headliners: Pet Shop BoysFKA TwigsBicepCaribouSupergrass

Where: Bilbao, Spain

When: Thursday 8th - Saturday 10th July 2021

Nearest Airport: Bilbao international airport (BIO)

(Use our hotel finder to book your stay at Bilbao BBK Live this year)

Rising out of northern Spain's stunning Basque country, Bilbao BBK Live is one of the worlds most elevated and appealing outdoor music events, renowned amongst international festival-goers for its idyllic setting and always impressive programme of artists.

Offering a lofty escape from the constraints of everyday modern life, the festival, which is set on the side of Mount Cobetas, provides breathtaking panoramic views over the city of Bilbao below. In between performances from some of the worlds biggest musical stars, punters can relax, taking in the rejuvenating and enchanting hillside location whilst being bathed by the temperate mediterranean sun. Lush.

Boasting appearances from the likes of indie heroes The Killers, chart-topping '80s legends the Pet Shop Boys, plus Bad Bunny, Moses Sumney, Slowthai, The Murder Capital, Bomba Estéreo, Tinariwen and many more, this year's line-up is set to have many of us jostling for those last few tickets come the summer.

 

FIB: Festival Internacional de Benicàssim

Nerea-Coll-Benicassim

Image credit: Nerea Coll / Benicassim

2021 Headliners: The lineup for this event is yet to be announced

Where: Benicassim, Castello, Spain

When: The date for this event is yet to be announced

Nearest Airport: Direct flights to Valencia Airport (VLC) – 90km from Benicàssim, indirect flights to Castellon de la Plana Airport (CDT) – 14km from Benicàssim

(Camping not for you? Use our hotel finder to book your stay close to the Benicassim Festival site)

If you're looking to change up your usual festival experience and swap the squelching, sodden fields of the English countryside for golden white sands, blue skies and basking temperatures, you'd do a lot worse than Spain's most popular festival, Benicassim or Festival Internacional de Benicàssim.

This four-day event, located on a paradisal beach resort on the east coast, has welcomed a plethora of coveted names over the years including the likes of Kings of Leon, Lana Del Rey, The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, Stormzy and Travis Scott.

2020's sadly cancelled edition was set to foster some further greats, including the likes of The Libertines, Vampire Weekend, Foals, Khalid and many more, with an eclectic variety of artists supporting from early afternoon, into the early hours of the morning.

The festivals organisers have promised to return with a vengeance this year, and although a date has yet to be announced (we're expecting details imminently) you can bet your bottom dollar the lineup is going to be one thats seriously hard to beat.

 

Annie Mac Presents - Lost & Found Festival

Lost-and-Found-Luke-Dyson

Image credit: AMP Lost & Found / Luke Dyson

2021 Headliners: The lineup for this event is yet to be announced

Where:  St Paul's Bay, Malta

When: Wednesday 1st - Saturday 4th September 2021

Nearest Airport: Malta International Airport (MLA)

(Use our hotel finder to book your stay at this years Annie Mac Presents - Lost & Found Festival)

One of Britain's most influential tastemakers, BBC Radio One host Annie Mac will once again return to the sun-kissed shores of Malta this summer, accompanied by a horde of established and upcoming artists for the sixth, rescheduled edition of Annie Mac presents - Lost & Found Festival.

Taking place across a range of unique and stunning venues, including a four stage arena and at least one boat, the extended weekend event, which was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, has previously welcomed many of the dance music's most current and celebrated names.

2019 saw an excess of world class performances from the likes of Patrick Topping, Skream, Peggy Gou, Artwork, The Black Madonna (now referred to as The Blessed Madonna), Denis Sulta, Chase & Status and many more. You can be sure to find the same quality of high calibre acts present on the bill of this years long-awaited, comeback event (Artist announcements are imminent).

If you like wall to wall sunshine, spectacular beaches, outrageous pool and boat parties, and stunning vistas, some of the best the world has to offer no less, then Annie Mac's Lost and Found Festival might be the perfect overseas festival choice for you this summer. 

 

Lovebox Festival

Lovebox

Image credit: Joshua Atkins / Lovebox Festival 

2021 Headliners: The lineup for this event is yet to be announced

Where: Gunnersbury Park, London

When: Friday 12th - Sunday 14th June

Nearest Airport: London Heathrow (LHR)

(Use our hotel finder to book your stay close to the site of this years Lovebox Festival)

What first began as a club night on Tottenham Court Road in the UK's capital (co-founded by electronic dance music duo - Groove Armada), has evolved into one of the UK's most revered live music events - London's annual Lovebox Festival.

Taking place on the grounds of Gunnersbury Park, this weekend-long musical gathering attracts an impressive roster of established and emerging talents from across the globe year after year, covering a wide spectrum genres from electronic music to pop, R&B, reggae, rap and more.

Multi-faceted wordsmith Tyler, The CreatorAnderson .Paak and the Free Nationals, superstar house DJ Peggy Gou, Charli XCX, Hot Chip and UK rap star Little Simzwere amongst some of the numerous names confirmed to perform at 2020's ill-fated event.

The lineup for this years returning Lovebox Festival has yet to be announced. Watch this space for updates.

 

 

If we've put you in the mood to be making summer plans, and we hope we have, make sure to check out Skiddle's full Festival Guide

 

Header image credit: Creamfields, Jack Kimber

Festivals 2021