With music festival season and summer fast approaching, there’s no better way to combine your love of music and wanderlust than taking an once-in-a-lifetime journey to a music festival in a different country. There are just as many good vibes and fellow music lovers to be found at festivals faraway as there are back home. This can’t help but be true in Europe, the native land of many of the world’s most famous DJs as well as the biggest electronic music festivals in the world.
Music festivals in Europe are much more international than those in the U.S., so at any major European festival, you’re guaranteed to meet and party alongside gorgeous festival goers from France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, and all over the world. Not to mention it’s the best way to discover new artists and genres in electronic dance music that people are listening to in other parts of the world.
The exchange rate between the dollar and the euro is almost 1:1 at the moment which makes traveling to Europe affordable for the first time in many years. Therefore, this summer is a great time to travel to the sexier side of the Atlantic, considering all the amazing electronic dance music festivals that take place in beautiful locations across the continent every summer.
Here are the few we have chosen as the best electronic music festivals in Europe for summer 2015.
Sónar, Barcelona Spain, June 18-20, 2015
Die hard electronic music lovers and artists know that there is absolutely nothing like Sónar when it comes to celebrating and exploring the eclectic genre of electronic dance music.
Sónar is a world class international festival that takes place in the ever popular travel destination, Barcelona. What makes Sónar an exceptional event is that its mission isn’t centered around putting on a big party for the masses but instead focuses on bringing together artists from all backgrounds and disciplines with industry professionals, the public, and other creative minds. Sónar is a progressive and avant-garde exhibition of creativity and technology in the digital era that not only showcases electronic music but all forms of audiovisual production including large-scale installations and video.
Sónar is deeply committed to connecting artists with the audiovisual and technology industries and fostering professional communities. During the festival, aspiring artists of all disciplines can have the opportunity to interact with professionals in the Sónar+D branch of the festival through events such as conferences, networking and workshops.
The festival is split up into two performance phases for each day: Sónar by Day and Sónar by Night, with the main headliners performing at the night sessions. This year’s lineup is an eclectic mix of electronic artists from then and now across all subsets and styles, such as The Chemical Brothers, Skrillex, Duran Duran, Flying Lotus, Jaime xx, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Squarepusher and Seth Troxler.
Sónar Day sessions 54-60€ euros
Sónar Night sessions 72-80€ euros
Full festival pass ~200€ euros
An international airport and train station are available in Barcelona. Sónar takes place in the L'Hospitalet de Llobregat area of Barcelona which is accessible by taxi, car, metro, and bus systems throughout the city.
Sónar Festival website http://sonar.es/en/2015/
Ultra Europe, Split Croatia, July 10-12 and 14, 2015
Ever dreamed of a destination festival where they take you to a breathtaking island off the coast of Dalmatia? If you’re looking to experience utmost hedonism in an exotic European location, look no further than Ultra Europe which takes place on the Dalmatian coast in Split, Croatia.
This prime destination is no stranger to partying travelers as it offers open-air club parties, all-night island getaways and day parties on yachts galore. For three glorious days you can spend the day sunbathing, island hopping and partying by the beach while at night the whole town heads to Poljud Stadium where the main festival takes place. Ultra Beach happens a couple days later to close out the festival, for which attendees are taken to the gorgeous island of Hvar for a day party on the water. Accommodation packages organized by the festival for your stay in Split are available also with options ranging from apartments, hotels and the beach campsite.
As expected from an Ultra Music Festival event, all the usual megastars like Armin Van Buuren, Tiesto, David Guetta, Afrojack and Carl Cox will be there along with Zedd, Alesso, Axwell, Ingrosso, Knife Party and Martin Garrix—and that’s just the phase 1 lineup.
3 Day General Admission: 169€
VIP 3 Day: 299€
VIP 1 Day: 129€
Ultra Beach (early bird): 99€
Accommodation packages with GA tickets available here: https://travel2ultra.com/
Domestic European flights are available to Split Airport. There are trains that travel to Split railway station from Budapest, Dubrovnik and Zagreb. The festival arena is accessible from the main town by car, taxi, shuttle, or walking.
Ultra Europe website: http://www.ultraeurope.com/
Tomorrowland, Boom Belgium, July 24-26, 2015
Tomorrowland is the largest annual electronic music festival in the world and the one European festival that everybody has at least heard of. It’s the event that all ravers and electronic music lovers dream of making a pilgrimage to, if you’re lucky enough to cop a ticket at lightning speed the day they’re released.
This legendary festival is a supreme audiovisual production that will transport you to a dreamlike fantasy world. It is not only an incredible musical affair but also a visual one, with huge fairytale-themed stage installations and hardcore visual effects at a scenic festival site that features enchanted lakes, forests and hills. Belgium is known as one of the most picturesque and charming European Low Countries with classy metropolitan cities like Brussels and storybook landscapes in the countryside.
Tomorrowland’s 2015 lineup includes Armin Van Buuren, David Guetta and Axwell who have played there from the beginning, the cast of Dim Mak records, the cast of Paradise events, the biggest European house DJs hosted by Versuz and countless others representing the best of techno, hardstyle, deep house and underground.
Unfortunately tickets are sold out but one can place themselves on the waiting list on the festival website.
The nearest airports to Boom, Belgium are Brussels and Antwerp international airports. From Brussels or Antwerp, the festival location is accessible by car, train or bus.
Tomorrowland festival website: http://www.tomorrowland.com/en/home
Arenal Sound, Valencia Spain, July 28-August 2, 2015
Arenal Sound is the ideal summer music festival as it takes place right on the beach on the sunny shores of Valencia, Spain. Spaniards are truly the best in all of Europe at partying, especially in Valencia where there’s always sun, parties and gorgeous people at the lively beaches and nightclubs along the Mediterranean coast. There’s no doubt that turning up with this vivacious lot at Spain’s largest music festival will be an unforgettable time.
Arenal Sound consists largely of electronic dance music but also offers the most enjoyable of pop, rock and indie. Internationally renowned DJs and musicians are commonplace at the festival but you’ll also get a taste of Spain’s fantastic DJs and producers, who are no doubt part of what keeps young Spaniards at the clubs until 6 in the morning every weekend.
This year’s exciting lineup features Rudimental, Nervo, Zedd and Nero, with other fun musical delights such as La Roux, Mika, The Kooks and The Ting Tings. Awesome Spanish DJs to look out for are Mr. K!, Subshock and The Zombie Kids.
6 Day General Pass 52.50€
6 Day VIP Pass 88.50€
Domestic European flights are available to Valencia airport. From Valencia city center one can reach Burriana, the actual town in which the festival takes place, by car, train or bus.
Arenal Sound festival website: http://www.arenalsound.com/en/
Creamfields, Daresbury England, August 28-30, 2015
Creamfields is the equivalent of EDC in the U.K., where the biggest names in electronic dance music will be there along with fun, colorful installations, flashy audiovisual production and fireworks.
It’s a spectacular open air festival in the north of England between the notable cities of Liverpool and Manchester. Daresbury, Cheshire is the quintessential charming town in the English countryside. Mix that with the rowdy, go-hard British lot, and you’re in for an unforgettable, if not slightly grungy time. .
The majority of international heavyweights like Armin Van Buuren, Dmitri Vegas & Like Mike, Hardwell, W&W, Tiesto and Above & Beyond will be there. Treats include the Paradise stage that will feature Jaime Jones, Eats Everything and The Martinez Brothers who will indeed create a deep house dance floor heaven and a Tropical Party in the North Stage commanded by Kygo and Thomas Jack. .
1 Day Standard Tickets £85-90
2-3 Day Standard Camping £175-200
Manchester International Airport and Liverpool John Lennon Airport are the nearest airports to the event. From these cities the event is accessible by car, event shuttles and trai. Big Green Coach is a leading bus company in the U.K. that takes attendees from various major cities to and from the event.
Creamfields festival website http://www.creamfields.com/
Lollapalooza, Berlin Germany, September 12-13, 2015
Lollapalooza Berlin promises to be one of the most exciting and momentous festivals of the year as it will be the first of its name to take place in Europe. Lollapalooza, the large-scale music festival held annually in Chicago, has celebrated alternative arts and culture throughout its history and the organizers have chosen the thriving city of Berlin to hold its first European event.
Berlin is an excellent choice as a festival and travel destination as it is currently experiencing a moment of intense creativity and artistic counterculture. The city’s landscapes continuously undergo rebirth as its inhabitants feverishly cover up abandoned structures with graffiti and reclaim them for public recreational use. Lollapalooza’s festival location, Tempelhof Airport, is a perfect example of such reinvention as it is a former Nazi flight facility that was shut down then reopened as Berlin’s largest public park. It’s a one-of-a-kind space where people can ride bikes on former runways and hang out in what used to be the airport arrival hall that will no doubt serve as a super cool and spacious festival venue.
Like its counterpart in the U.S., Lollapalooza Berlin will feature huge Top 40 names as well as popular artists from multiple musical genres. On the electronic dance music front, Dada Life, Martin Garrix, Dog Blood, Chvrches, Kygo and Robin Schulz will make an appearance, with many others bound to come in the next phase of the lineup.
2 Day Regular Pass 119€
1 Day Pass 69€
Berlin has two international airports, Schönefeld and Tegel Airport. Tempelhof Airport is accessible from Berlin city center by car, taxi, metro or bus.
Lollapalooza Berlin festival website: http://www.lollapaloozade.com/en/