Croatia Rocks

There's no need to pack up and go home once the music has stopped, says Christopher Beanland

Festival fans in the know have long been turning their musical breaks into full-blown holidays by tagging on a few days' R&R after the amps have been unplugged. Whether you're sunning yourself on the beaches of Croatia or living it up in New York, there are plenty of opportunities to make the most of a festival.

Culture clash

Primavera Sound (; 28–30 May; €195) has evolved into one of Europe's top music festivals, thanks to its always stellar line-up – this year's edition features Caribou, Brand New, Interpol, Cheatahs and more – but also due to its location, in Barcelona.

Combine your festival weekend with a few days' cultural city break. Two recent additions to the city are the design museum, Museu Del Disseny (00 34 932 566 800;; €5) which opened late last year, and the Museu De Cultures Del Mon (00 34 932 562 300;; €3.50), which launched in February. Housed in two grand townhouses, the museum's collection includes more than 30,000 objects from around the world.

Jet2 Holidays (0800 408 0778; has a week in Barcelona, including flights from Glasgow on 28 May and room-only at the boutique H10 Metropolitan hotel, from £777pp.

Beaches and beats

Croatia is bursting with summer festivals, from the acclaimed Stop Making Sense (; 16-19 July; £80) to the last ever Garden (; 1–8 July; £120). Newcomer Croatia Rocks (; 19–23 July), on the island of Pag, features sets from Jungle, The Vaccines and Zane Lowe.

Croatia's coastline and islands are jaw-droppingly beautiful, studded with beautiful, historic cities such as Split and Rovinj – both much closer to the festival action than Dubrovnik. Ride out your hangover by the pool at the design-centric Hotel Lone (, just outside Rovinj. Doubles start at €272 a night in July, and it's within striking distance of several lovely beaches. Ryanair (0871 246 0000; flies from Stansted to Pula (Rovinj's closest airport) from £136 return in July, and it also has a new route from Manchester to Zadar, just down the coast, from £124 return.

Go with the Flow

Already established in Helsinki as Finland's premier music event, Flow Festival (; 14-16 August; €169) is bringing a cracking line-up, bolstered by sharp design and visual art, to Slovenia's capital for the first time. Both incarnations are headlined by the Pet Shop Boys.

After a weekend at Flow Ljlubljana (; 26–28 June; €95), explore the historic city before striking out to Lake Bled, which is perhaps one of Europe's most beautiful bodies of water. Return flights from Stansted to Ljubljana with easyJet (0330 365 5000; start at £254 around the time of the festival. The boutique Hotel Nox (00 386 1 200 95 00; has doubles from €120, B&B.

Have a ball

If you're over European festivals, the Governor's Ball (; 5–7 June; $300/£200) on Randall's Island in New York is building a reputation as the East Coast's answer to Coachella; Future Islands and The War On Drugs are highlights this year.

Plus, you get to spend your downtime in America's most cultured city. The new Whitney Museum of American Art (001 212 570 3600;; $22/£15) opened on 1 May in the Meatpacking District, and is handy for the recently unveiled, final portion of the High Line (, a disused railway line-turned-park.

Virgin Atlantic (0344 209 7777; flights from Heathrow are £538 in June, while a double room at the Hotel Indigo Brooklyn (0344 209 7777; costs from $266 (£177) a night, on a room only basis.

Camp Bestival (Alamy)

A family affair

This year's Camp Bestival (; 30 July–2 August; adults £195, children from £20) in Dorset features all kinds of family-friendly entertainment, such as the West End Kids Musical Theatre Workshop, and Scummy Mummies podcast hosts Ellie Gibson and Helen Thorn. Music includes Underworld and Level 42.

If the festival's al fresco aesthetic gives you a taste for the outdoor life, why not continue camping at nearby Durdle Door Holiday Village (01929 40020; A pitch for four nights from 3 August is £132, or you can step up to a two-bedroom caravan suitable for two adults and two children for £480. As well as beaches full of fossils, youngsters will love the steam railway (; adults £12.50, children £7.50) that trundles between Swanage and Corfe Castle, a village topped with brooding ruins (; adults £7.72, children £3.86).