Ditch the wellies: festival tickets to events occurring on the warmer side of the channel can be up to £100 cheaper than those on British shores. You’ll save a fair bit of your hard-earned cash by choosing to rock away on the sunkist Valencian shores, in a Belgian forest, or at an ocean-side festival in France with the stage literally on the water. It really is a no-brainer.
Here are 10 European festivals that combine basking hot sun, incredible music and a much more affordable experience.
1. Benicassim – Costa Azahar, Spain
With a headline that reads ‘Sea – Sun – Sound’, make sure to pack your swimwear for Benicassim (also known as FIB), nestled on the Valencian shores in Costa Azahar. An absolute steal at 149€/£120.63 for four days of breezy, loud fun, You can run from a swim in the Mediterranean straight to the arena to see Tinie Tempah, Ellie Goulding, Katy B and Paolo Nutini.
Save the date: 17th July – 20th July
2. Les Eurockéennes – Belfort, France
First and foremost: the stage. Situated in a natural peninsula in eastern France near Belfort, one of the stages at Eurockéennes actually stands on water. This year the line-up includes Pixies, the Black Keys, local ingénue Stromae and Skrillex. A regular three-day ticket costs 105€/£84.99, which is a bargain in itself – but if you’re a student, three days will cost you only 85€/£68.81.
Save the dates: 4th July – 6th July
3. ROCK-A-FIELD – Roeser, Luxembourg
For a country with a population of just over 530,000, Luxembourg has much more to offer than scenic little streets, abundant castles and EU officials. Rock-A-Field is a real surprise on the festival scene, attracting the likes of Thirty Seconds to Mars, Bombay Bicycle Club, Kings of Leon and CHVRCHES - and all that for a mere 125€/£101.20. It also makes an excellent springboard for a euro road trip to make the most of those high festival spirits.
Save the date: 27th June – 29th June
4. Melt! Festival – Ferropolis, Germany
Taking place in ‘the city of iron’, an open museum of massive old industrial machines, Melt! definitely wins when it comes to most original festival location. This year’s offerings include Clean Bandit, Haim, Portishead and Scandi electro-pop dream team, Röyksopp & Robyn – expect mind-blowing light shows, smoke and wild raves. Plus, the three-day experience costs only 135.90€/£110.00.
Save the date: 18th July – 20th July
5. Sónar – Barcelona, Spain
If you’re an electronic and progressive music fan, Sónar is the place to be and be seen. It’s all about making music into a spectacle – next to an intense line-up, the festival boasts amazing tech and stunning visuals. And it takes place in Barcelona, home to stunning beaches and copious amounts of tapas and sangria. This year you can dance the night away to Massive Attack, Rudimental and Richie Hawtin among others. For one of the best festival and party experiences available in Europe, the three-day ticket for 195€/£157.87 is an absolute bargain.
Save the date: 12th June – 14th June
6. Dour Festival – Dour, Belgium
Dour is a veteran of the European festival scene, celebrating its 26th anniversary in 2014. This year you can dance away to Baauer or the Klaxons, for a four-day+camping offer of just 130€/£105.25. Located in Belgium and just 217 miles from London and 43 miles from Lille in France, it's easy to get to by bus or fun and cheap ride sharing services such as BlaBlaCar.
Save the date: 17th July – 20th July
7. Main Square Festival – Arras, France
Taking place in Arras in northern France, this flagship French festival will take you on a whirlwind of sound: with Iron Maiden and Alice in Chains, Anna Calvi, DJ David Guetta and London Grammar. A trip from London to Arras can cost as little as £22 when using BlaBlaCar. With festival tickets going at 145€/£117.40 for four days and 115€/£93.11, you should stop the wait, mobilise your friends and get booking pronto.
Save the date: 3rd June – 6th June
8. PINKPOP – Landgraaf, Netherlands
All generations and subgenres of rock, unite for PINKPOP. This Dutch festival boasts a stunning line-up, with artists like the Rolling Stones, Arctic Monkeys, Metallica and Arcade Fire all sharing the stage. British music seems to be the common theme, as Bastille, Jake Bugg, Ed Sheeran and Biffy Clyro all set to perform. This festival is just around the corner, so you’d better grab your three-day ticket for 175€/£141.65 now and start your summer with a bang.
Save the date: 7th June – 9th June
9. Berlin Festival – Berlin, Germany
Hip city Berlin has its own achingly cool event called Berlin festival. This year’s line-up includes Jessie Ware, Warpaint, Nina Kravix and the Editors. So, if you want to extend your summer into the early days of September, buy a ticket for 79€/£63.95. A wonderful way to spice up a city break!
Save the date: 5th September – 7th September
10. Nuits de Fourvière – Lyon, France
Nuits de Fourvière is different a slow-paced and artistic kind of event, and would be a great centrepiece within a longer European trip. It combines music, circus, dance and theatre, setting out to offer an unforgettable experience across a number of summer nights in the breath-taking ruins of Lyon’s amphitheatre This summer you have a chance to see Babyshambles, Miles Kane, Goldfrapp, Vanessa Paradis and Mogwai. Tickets starts at €28/£22.60.
Save the dates: events running 3 June – 2 August
Whichever festival you end up choosing for your dream summer in Europe, make the most of the festival journey, save money and meet new people by ride sharing there with BlaBlaCar. The ride-sharing app and website is available in 12 European countries, so you can travel far for a fraction of the cost of rail or plane fares. For those that like to travel with music pumping from the speakers, you can connect to the people you’ll be travelling with on Facebook before you set off, letting you match your musical preferences and get into the swing of things with the perfect soundtrack before you even arrive. If you’re a talker, you can indicate your level of in-car chattiness: ‘BlaBlaBla’ if you like to talk about life, the universe and everything or just ‘Bla’ if you prefer to sleep or watch the scenery go by.