Cultural Experience | Europe

Overlooked EDM Festivals in Europe

Before the secret gets out, discover some of the best summer music festivals on the continent.

With festival travel becoming more and more popular, it is important to do some research before deciding which ones to attend. Whether you’re really into the music or just looking to have a good time, you can never go wrong with dancing all day and night to some of the most up-and-coming and best artists in the world. Well-known music festivals like Tomorrowland in Belgium and Ultra Europe in Croatia come to mind for North Americans wishing to discover the European festival culture while doing some traveling. However, with daunting prices, tickets selling out quickly, and long lines, it is vital to plan ahead in order to get the best deals. Take advantage of early bird tickets and the cheapest accommodation options available if you’re on a tight budget.

For the more adventurous or experienced European travelers, festivals outside of the conventional travel route seem to be the way to go. Get out of Western Europe during the tourist-heavy summer, and discover underrated parts of the continent without breaking the bank from high season prices. This list revolves primarily around electronic dance music, but other genres are represented as well. Although there are many other great festivals to enjoy during the summer in Europe, large and small, here are six medium-sized, relatively new ones that showcase world-renowned artists.

Bråvalla Festival // Norrköping, Sweden

2015 Lineup: A$AP Rocky, Calvin Harris, deadmau5, Major Lazer, Modest Mouse, Muse, etc.

With over 50,000 attendees in June 2013, Bråvalla Festival became the largest music festival in Sweden during its inaugural year. Showcasing alternative, electronic, and rock artists over the span of three days, the event offers something for everyone. It is an hour-long train ride away from Stockholm.

MEO Sudoeste // Zambujeira do Mar, Portugal

2015 Lineup: Calvin Harris, Clean Bandit, Emeli Sandé, Hardwell, Lil Jon, Steve Aoki, W&W, etc.

Located in a coastal national park, MEO Sudoeste attracts more than 30,000 visitors each August. Camping is included in the 5-day pass, as well as free shuttles to Zambujeira do Mar for shopping, eating, and beach activities. The festival is linked to Lisbon, Porto, and Braga by direct bus services.

Summer Sound Festival // Helsinki, Finland

2015 Lineup: Alesso, BT, Kryder, Mat Zo, Oliver Heldens, Showtek, Tujamo, Ummet Ozcan, etc.

Once considered the largest electronic dance music festival in Northern Europe, Summer Sound Festival takes place for three days in late July right in downtown Helsinki. With internationally acclaimed DJ’s spinning for an audience of around 30,000, this should not be missed on a summer visit to Finland.

Sunrise Festival // Kołobrzeg, Poland

2015 Lineup: Fedde Le Grand, NERVO, Oliver Heldens, R3hab, Sander van Doorn, Steve Aoki, etc.

Set along the Baltic Sea coastline in late July, Sunrise Festival is a three-day event that highlights some of the best DJ’s in the world. The big name lineup brings in around 50,000 attendees each year to dance day and night to the hottest electronic tracks. The town is connected to other cities in Poland by train.

Untold Festival // Cluj-Napoca, Romania

2015 Lineup: Armin van Buuren, Avicii, David Guetta, John Newman, Tinie Tempah, Wu-Tang Clan, etc.

Considering that Cluj-Napoca is the unofficial capital of Transylvania, Untold Festival evokes a fairytale theme. Lasting for four days beginning in July and ending in August, 2015 will be the festival’s inaugural year. With an incredibly renowned and diverse lineup, it is expected to bring in close to 35,000 people.

Weekend Festival Baltic // Pärnu, Estonia

2015 Lineup: Armin van Buuren, David Guetta, Hardwell, Headhunterz, Martin Garrix, Tiësto, etc.

In its first year, Weekend Festival Baltic is expected to have approximately 40,000 guests this August. With electronic heavyweights taking over the Estonian beach for three days, this will change the music dynamic in the region. Shuttles to the festival from Tallinn and various Latvian cities will be available.

Check out Bens Instagram @Benrissler 

Ben Rissler

American University | 8 stories

Ben is a senior at American University in Washington, D.C. majoring in International Studies. He loves trying new foods, going to electronic music festivals, and looking up where to go next. In spring 2015, Ben studied abroad at the Freie Universität Berlin in Germany. He loves to share his passion for the world with others and hear about other people’s experiences overseas. Throughout his travels, Ben has been to 20 countries spanning Africa, Europe, and North America. Follow @benrissler on Instagram for more travel inspiration.

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