Music festivals are a great way to meet people from all over the world, listen to your favourite music, discover new artists, and – most importantly – have fun. With summer just around the corner in the northern hemisphere, Europe is getting ready for a slew of music festivals taking place from June to August this year.
Whether it’s an internationally renowned dance music rave, to a small-capacity concert with local artists, there truly is something for everyone among the hundreds of big and small festivals happening throughout Europe during the summer months. Fans of all music genres will be catered for with the wide selection on offer.
From the biggest to the most intimate, we discover 13 of the best music festivals in Europe this summer.
Heartland - Kværndrup, Denmark
2nd - 4th June
Heartland is an art, culture and music festival held on the grounds of Egeskov - a beautifully preserved Renaissance castle on the Danish island of Funen. The music is an eclectic mix; this year’s artists include Grimes, Cat Power, and The Pet Shop Boys. Along with music, there are lectures, art exhibits, and plenty of options to sample the contemporary Danish food scene. Attendees of the three-day festival are promised a truly unique cultural experience with idyllic surroundings.
Rockfest - Hyvinkää, Finland
2nd - 4th June
Finnish people are known to be lovers of rock music, so it’s no wonder that one of the country’s biggest music festivals is centred around this genre. Running from the 2nd to the 4th of June 2022, Rockfest takes place in the southern Finnish city of Hyvinkää and promises a lineup of major rock talent. Iron Maiden, Biffy Clyro, Bring Me the Horizon and many more bands will take to the stage during the weekend.
Primavera Sound - Barcelona, Spain
2nd - 12th June
Credit: Christian Bertrand / Alamy Stock Photo
Primavera Sound is one of the largest and most prestigious music festivals in Europe, taking place every year in Barcelona, Spain. It is held in the Parc del Forum, a venue purpose-built for large events - and the perfect location for the big summer party that is Primavera Sound. From household names like Lorde, The Strokes, and Beck, to smaller independent musicians, there is a hugely diverse and exciting lineup for the 2022 festival.
Melt Festival - Gräfenhainichen, Germany
9th - 12th June
Melt Festival is one of Germany’s largest electronic music festivals. The venue is one of a kind: Ferropolis, a peninsula and open-air museum, otherwise known as the ‘City of Iron’ for its collection of huge mid-20th-century industrial machines. Over 200 artists will perform throughout this year’s three-day festival, and diehard music lovers can dance literally all weekend long at the festival’s non-stop party, the Sleepless Floor.
Sea Sessions - Bundoran, Ireland
17th - 19th June
Sea Sessions is an indie surf and music festival taking place by the sea in Bundoran, Ireland from the 17th to the 19th of June. It features a wide range of music, with artists like Kodaline, Basement Jaxx, and Tinie headlining throughout the weekend. Along with the impressive performances, there are many activities on offer, such as surfing, BMX-ing, beach sports, and yoga, all with a view of the picturesque Irish coast.
Solidays - Paris, France
24th - 26th June
Credit: Loock françois / Alamy Stock Photo
Solidays is a three-day festival held at the Longchamp racecourse in Paris every June. The festival has a strong activist message; its purpose is to promote equality and youth engagement, and all the proceeds are donated to charities fighting AIDS. Along with its multi-genre music lineup, the festival offers talks, exhibitions, and plenty of ways for attendees to have fun while getting involved in activism.
Secret Solstice - Reykjavik, Iceland
Secret Solstice is held just outside the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik. It is truly a unique festival experience, in part because of its stunning location. Secret Solstice is a huge celebration of all things Icelandic culture, but it welcomes visitors from all over the world. The festival even features performances in a 5,000-year-old lava tunnel and the world’s only rave in a glacier cave. The dates and lineup for the 2022 festival have yet to be confirmed, but whatever they are, it is sure to be an experience to remember.
Afro Nation - Portimao, Portugal
1st - 3rd July
Afro Nation is Europe’s largest Afrobeats festival, taking place in the beautiful Algarve region of Portugal. Along with the wide array of music – Afrobeat, hip-hop, R&B, dancehall, amapiano, and more – attendees can enjoy boat and beach parties on the Praia de Rocha, all while soaking up the Portuguese sun. This year, the festival takes place from 1st to 3rd July and includes artists such as Megan Thee Stallion and Chris Brown.
Mighty Sounds - Tábor, Czech Republic
8th - 10 July
Mighty Sounds is a three-day festival taking place near the Czech city of Tábor. Its venue is unique as it is trendy; taking place in an abandoned airport transformed into a perfect music festival venue, Mighty Sounds is spread across five live stages, two DJ stages, and a theatre tent. The music focus is largely on rock, indie, reggae, and ska. Most performers are smaller independent artists and bands, showcasing a huge wealth of Czech and international talent.
Tomorrowland - Boom, Belgium
15th July - 1st August
Tomorrowland has to be on every electronic dance music lover’s bucket list. It is one of the largest music festivals in the world, where hundreds of thousands of visitors come to enjoy not only the incredible performances but also the out-of-this-world stage production. Taking place in Boom, Belgium from the 15th of July to the 1st of August, this year’s festival promises three weekends of excitement, culture, and music. The 2022 lineup includes some of the world’s biggest EDM artists, such as Alesso, Diplo, Above & Beyond, Marshmello, and many many more.
Ypsigrock Festival - Sicily, Italy
4th - 7th August
Located on Sicily’s stunning north coast, with the backdrop of the Castle of Castelbuono, Ypsigrock Festival is Italy’s leading indie festival. With only about 3,000 attendees per day, Ypsigrock is a charming and intimate event in a gorgeous location. This year, it is celebrating its 25th anniversary, so is sure to be an event bigger and better experience, with a fantastic line-up of both well-known and up-and-coming artists.
Sziget Festival - Budapest, Hungary
10th - 15th August
Credit: Zoltán Csipke / Alamy Stock Photo
The Sziget Festival is one of the largest music and cultural festivals in Europe, taking place annually on a beautiful island in the middle of the Danube river in Budapest, Hungary. If the unique and beautiful setting is not enough of a draw, the diverse list of music genres, gorgeous weather, and exciting atmosphere attract thousands of visitors from all over the world. This year’s festival is from the 10th to the 15th of August, with headliners including Justin Bieber, The Arctic Monkeys, Dua Lipa, and many more.
Reading and Leeds Festivals - Reading and Leeds, England
26th - 28th August
The Reading and Leads Festivals are a pair of festivals which take place simultaneously in England every August. Generally, the same acts will play both festivals – for example, acts playing the Saturday at Leeds might play the Sunday at Reading. The festivals are big draws for British and international fans of rock, alternative and indie music, as most of the acts fall within these genres. 2022 offers a great lineup which includes The Arctic Monkeys, Halsey, and Rage Against the Machine.
Cover Credit: Aranxa Esteve/Unsplash
Written by Tríona Marshall
Tríona is a writer from Dublin, Ireland, who specializes in travel, languages, arts, and culture. When not writing, Tríona can be found reading, trying out new local restaurants, or booking her next trip. @trionawrites