Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

The 12 best European music festivals, from Nos Alive to Ypsigrock

The festivals we've picked will likely tempt music fans to swap mud-trodden fields for a week in the sun.

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Sunday 26 May 2019 12:00 BST

It’s no secret that UK festivals are battling to attract music fans in 2019. An explosion of brand new events has increased the number of early artist bookings, which means artists end up headlining multiple festivals, or are else restricted by exclusivity clauses. Many events struggle to appear relevant by booking all-white and/or all-male headliners, and recycle acts who have headlined at least once before rather than take a risk with someone new.

Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis, daughter of founder Michael Eavis, recently aired her despair at its male-dominated booking culture and spoke of how she was viewed as “a hassle” for wanting to try and promote more female artists.

This year’s Glastonbury headliners are once again all male, even though Stormzy’s slot is a refreshingly bold and deserved choice, and The Cure are bound to be sensational.

Elsewhere, the UK’s other major festivals are looking rather bleak.

Look further afield, however, and you’ll find that other European events are trying that bit harder to offer their guests something more.

Whether it’s a stunning location, an incredible (and diverse) lineup or proper accessibility for less-abled guests, the festivals we've picked will likely tempt music fans to swap mud-trodden fields for a week in the sun.

From an industrial site in Helsinki to a medieval Sicilian castle: here are 12 of the best festivals in Europe.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in