Festivals all over Europe to fit any type of music taste
To get the full European experience, attending an open-air music festival is absolutely essential. Here are five of the best and most unique festivals in eastern Europe.
The Sziget Festival is a seven-day-long festival in Budapest, Hungary. The event boasts dozens of musical acts, performing artists, interactive activities and speeches. Some of the prominent artists at the festival in 2017 included P!NK, The Chainsmokers, Breaking Benjamin, Wiz Khalifa, Interpol, as well as hundreds of other musicians and performers from around the globe.
WACKEN OPEN AIR
Thousands of people (mostly sweaty long-haired dudes) dressed in black shirts and denim vests attend Wacken Open Air (W:O:A) in the small village of Wacken in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. W:O:A began in 1990 as a place for local German heavy metal bands to play and soon grew to become the largest open-air heavy metal music festival in Europe. Lasting four days in the beginning of August, the fest hosts dozens of heavy metal bands from around the world, including classic groups like Motorhead and Judas Priest to more extreme acts like At the Gates and Immortal.
UMBRIA JAZZ FESTIVAL
If the loud and boisterous music and crowds don’t sound fun, check out the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy, which is one of the largest jazz festivals in the world. Since 1973, the festival has featured hundreds of renowned musicians including B.B. King, Miles Davis, Dizzie Gillespie and even mainstream artists like Lady Gaga and Phil Collins. If you like jazz like you like your beer (cold and hoppy), go to the Umbria Winter Jazz festival, which starts in late December and ends in early January.
Looking for music with fewer instruments (and arguably talent)? Check out Ultra Europe, a multi-venue outdoor electronic music festival in Split, Croatia. Starting in July 2013, the fest is now part of the seven-day-long event Ultra Destination, which includes an opening party, the original three-day festival, yacht regatta, Ultra Beach and a closing party, so the audience can experience the feeling of wandering around an unfamiliar place with bright flashing lights while on narcotics for seven straight days (hey, I’m not judging). The 2017 lineup included pop and electronic artists such as Adam Beyer, Afrojack, Dubfre, David Guetta and Tiesto.
In the imposing Petrovaradin Fortress located in Novi Sad, Serbia, lies the Exit festival. When students from surrounding countries (that formerly made up Yugoslavia) decided they didn’t like the Serbian government before 2000, they decided to protest by throwing a gigantic concert and party. The event saw all of these students from their newly-established states come together to countdown the final 100 days of the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and share their passion for community, flm, debate, and music. Since then, the event has gone on to become one of the best festivals in Europe and has garnered awards from a wide variety of organizations. Musical acts perform on a number of different stages including a main stage, a dance arena, an “explosive” stage (for hard rock and metal music), as well as many others. Artists of vastly different musical genres have performed, from hard rock bands like Guns n’ Roses to dubstep artists like Skrillex and everything in between. While the main draw of the festival is the music, social awareness is still an important part of the event.