With Brisbane just getting over its first cold snap, we can’t help but be excited about the upcoming European summer. Sweeping coastlines and scorching afternoons come at us!
The start of the European summer also means the start of their festival season – and we’re not sure which one is more epic. Boats transform into stages, beaches into dance floors and afternoons dancing in the sun into life-long memories.
When it comes to all things to do with international festivals, Entourage Tours co-founders Dane Dunne and Adrian Mezzina are pros. So, we asked them to share with us their three favourite European summer music festivals (as well as their top tips to make it through the season).
Here is their ultimate guide to 2018 European Festivals:
DUNNE AND MEZZINA’S TOP THREE:
We’ve been in the festival touring game for over eight years now, so we know a thing or two when it comes to awesome music, amazing festivals and partying in the European summer.
Personally, Europe is one of our favourite destinations to festival… so we knew exactly what to recommend to other like-minded Aussie’s looking to dive into the continent’s festival scene:
5 days. 5 nights. 150 artists. Boat parties. Beach parties. THIS is Hideout festival – and it’s all on the Croatian coastline.
It’s even more amazing than it sounds.
Hideout festival is one of Europe’s leading electronic festivals and has sold out the last seven years in a row. It’s hosted on Zrce beach and boasts five open-air venues (along with a secret beach party). Hideout promises to claim some of the best festival memories of your life… and we can confirm from personal experience that it delivers on this promise.
Headlining acts this year include:
- Aj Tracey
- Andy C
- Bugzy Malone
- Chase & Status
- Jack Master
Hideout makes finding accommodation super convenient for their music lovers by organising exclusive hotels, right in the heart of the action, for ticket holders. This means you can stay with people from all over the world who love electronic music just as much as you do. They have a whole tab on their website dedicated to finding the best places to stay.
With this, the best accommodation goes fast – so it’s first in, best dressed. Get organised early or come to us for recommendations. Hideout festival is one of our biggest offerings, so we can sort you out.
Sziget festival is one of Europe’s largest music AND cultural festivals – held in northern Budapest… on one of Hungary’s secluded islands.
It is a seven-day nirvana for avid festival goers and there’s a reason people call it the ‘island of freedom’.
This festival is all about immersing yourself in the festival life. When you enter the gates, they give you a ‘Sziget’ passport detailing a whole range of activities you can be involved in (and acts you can see). The more things you do, the more stamps you get in your passport - which makes for an awesome memento to take home.
This year’s headliners include:
- Dua Lipa
- Kendrick Lamar
- Arctic Monkeys
- Lana Del Rey
- Shawn Mendes
- Mumford & Sons
Plus, you can do other quirky things like make ceramics, take hip-hop classes, chill out with Tibetan meditation and engage in self-love workshops. It’s safe to say this festival is a one-of-a-kind experience!
As Sziget takes over the whole island for the week, they offer seven-day camping passes to stay on location. This is the best option if you want to have the deepest festival experience. It’s fairly cost effective as well.
If you want a little more comfort and better bathroom facilities, you can stay in Budapest. Travelling to and from the festival is easy enough. Budapest also has amazing nightlife and history, so this is an epic way to see more of the city if you feel like multitasking.
Our biggest tip is to make sure you book somewhere to stay for the whole seven days… yes, it’s worth it!
Hellooo Portugal, and hello the BPM festival – this is one of our personal favourites.
Happening in September, BPM is bringing together 180 of the world’s best DJs and 30 of the world’s best party music acts for four days. It started as the ultimate industry networking event – but now is a steaming pot of goodness for electronic music lovers, DJs, producers and partygoers.
This is the second year it will be hosted in Portugal, and the first year it won’t take place in Playa De Carma, Mexico. Meaning you only have one shot to experience it!
- Marco Carola
- Nicole Moudaber
- Seth Troxler
- Carl Craig
Portugal is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities – and has a wide range of amazing accommodation for you to bunk down in. From luxury hotels to more cost-effective hostels; it’s almost impossible to go wrong when choosing somewhere to sleep.
We recommend choosing somewhere close to the festival grounds, within the Portimao and Lagoa areas. It’s just the most convenient option.
HOW TO SURVIVE THE EUROPEAN SUMMER FESTIVALS – OUR TOP TIPS:
1. HYDRATE, HYDRATE & HYDRATE
We know this tip is basic, but it’s honestly so important. So many people underestimate just how hot the European summer can get, and how important it is to keep drinking water. Australian’s think they’re tough when it comes to heat and often get caught out.
You’ll most likely be jetlagged and over-excited, so it’s important to keep this front of mind. Water = hydration = stamina!
Trust us, you don’t want to be ‘that friend’ who has to leave the festival early because you have a killer case of heat stroke. Not only will it ruin your experience, but you will never live it down.
And no… vodka Red Bull does not count as hydration.
2. HAVE A MEETING SPOT:
It is enviable that you will lose at least one of your friends during a festival. If it is a multi-day festival this chance is quadrupled. They might get distracted on their way back from the toilet, get lost in the mosh, or go on a drunken solo adventure – and you need to be prepared for this. Especially since you’re in a place where English isn’t necessarily the language most spoken.
Before you start drinking and dancing, make sure everyone in the group 100% knows which spot your group has designated. If people get separated during the festival, it’s hard to slip away mid-act to meet them – so it’s best just to specify that the group will wait at this spot at the end of the day before leaving. That way, no one gets left behind!
Remember, very rarely are you able to get cell reception during a festival and your chance is even smaller on an international carrier.
3. GET TO THE STAGES EARLY:
Picture this: you’ve spent the last 3-6 months fantasising over what it will be like to see your favourite European DJ. You have tried to guess their exact set and have agonised over what to wear for this life-changing experience.
Fast forward to the day… You’re so far away from the stage not even the display screens are visible, ‘Bob from London’ in front of you keeps singing the words to every song wrong, and the sound is so distorted you don’t know if you’re listening to a world class act or radio static. THIS is the harsh reality of festival goers who don’t get to stages early enough.
This scenario is a festival nightmare. Our advice? For your favourite acts get to the stage one act early. That way, you have a whole 45-minute set to shuffle your way closer to the front for a more comfortable spot. Some people are so invested in an act they’ll get to a stage at the start of the day (and wait up there for up to eight hours) – if that’s you, we take our hats off. Your lack of toilet breaks, leg cramping and dehydration is admirable. Rock on.
4. SETTLE ACT CLASHING DILEMMAS WITH THIS…
‘If in doubt – international act over a home-grown legend… unless you are a DIE-HARD fan!’
This is the festival motto we ride or die with.
There is nothing more soul destroying or heart wrenching than realising two of your favourite acts are on at the EXACT same time. There’s also nothing more polarising within a festival crew than a disagreement over which act you should ultimately go see. Some people try and do the half and half strategy (where you see half of one act and half of the other). Go back to point three to see how we feel about this.
Our tip is ALWAYS go for the international act over the Aussie because chances are you will get to see the home-grown legend again… at home. The best thing about the Australian music scene is the artists really love to give back – often doing a wide range of tour offerings down under. Besides, European festivals open up a world of new music for you to explore (so don’t miss out!).
And if both the clashing acts are international? Well, you’re on your own with that one… you’re either in for some big weeks of soul searching or a highly stressful game of ‘scissors, paper, rock.
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