No summer is complete without a trip to a music festival; this absolutely rings true for a summer overseas. Europe is home to some of the biggest music festivals out there (Glastonbury, Tomorrowland), and I want to attend all of them, but this blog is called Beat, Broke, and Backpacking for a reason. Attending any one of these festivals will be amazing…it’s just a matter of which one(s) I choose.
Sziget – August 10-17 – Budapest, Hungary
Maybe I’m late to hop on the Robbie Williams train (or am I, Americans?) After seeing his name on the top of many Europeans lineups this summer, I became a combination of confused and curious. I found his performance at Knebworth on YouTube, and within three minutes of watching, I feverishly went back to Google to find out which festivals I could catch him at. Sziget is one of these festivals, on the Island of Freedom (you sold me there), and Robbie Williams shares the bill with Florence + the Machine, Tyler the Creator, and Gramatik. Check, check, check and check off my bucket list.
Longitude – July 17-19 – Dublin, Ireland
If I could travel back in time to last spring, I would reassure myself that yes, I would have the chance to see this skinny man-bunned Irish Hozier guy I saw on YouTube in concert. He’s everywhere, for good and obvious reasons. Included in ‘everywhere’ is Longitude Festival in Marlay Park, which isn’t too far from the center of Dublin. (This makes the idea of finding accommodations a lot less stressful.) James Blake was added to this lineup recently, and there are more artists to be announced. At this rate, the lineup will cover most of my Spotify listening history, so it’s definitely on my radar.
NOS Alive – July 9-11 – Lisbon, Portugal
It’s very hard to turn down an opportunity to see Muse, Stromae, or James Blake, especially now, as James Blake’s album may be released very soon. I’ve already talked to a few people in Lisbon who say that a ton of Couchsurfers head to this festival every year (the festival used to be Optimus Alive) in a big group, and there are also groups of festivalgoers who travel to the beach throughout the week for surfing lessons. Surfing and music in one day sounds pretty solid to me.
T in the Park – July 10-12 – Pertshire, Scotland
I’ve watched many T in the Park sets from my bedroom via YouTube (thank you Arctic Monkeys), so this was one of the first festivals I researched when I started planning this trip. It’s moving this year to Strathallan Castle, and if a trip involves a castle, I’m most likely down (yes, I know, I’ll see a few in Europe). This year’s lineup is solid, with at least one London artist on my bucket list for each day of the festival.
North Sea Jazz Festival – July 10-12 – Port of Rotterdam, Netherlands
I feel the need to satisfy Grade School Megan and check seeing Lady Gaga (with Tony Bennett, no less) and Paolo Nutini off my list. I’m also all for expanding my horizons and listening to more jazz. Maybe I’ll go to the Manchester Jazz Festival too. Let’s make it a summer of jazz festivals, shall we?
Somersault Festival – July 23-27 – Castle Hill, North Devon
The music lineup for Somersault is great (Bombay Bicycle Club, Angus & Julia Stone, and up-and-coming adorable South African folk artist Jeremy Loops get me pretty hype) but I’m just as intrigued by all the other cool things to do: yoga and circus workshops, feasts, and falconry? Falconry sounds fun. I can feel the good vibes coming from this festival five months in advance.
Open’er Festival – July 1-4 – Gdansk, Poland
I had no interest in checking out Poland, mainly because the only thing I know about Poland is the excellence of pierogies, but then I saw that D’Angelo, St. Vincent, Father John Misty, and Chet Faker would all be at the Open’er Festival. Then I saw how beautiful the nearby city of Gdansk looks. Then I remembered that pierogies are REALLY good, and that I might as well add a city I know nothing about to my list.
I discovered Open’er this week, and I’m sure I’m missing out on a ton of festivals that will be going on during my trip. Feel free to share your knowledge, your opinions, and anything else in the comments below!