The Music Radar UK’s International Festival Ranker

Feeling the need to travel? Or just craving more music in the idyllic summer background of Europe? Here’s an extensive list of information, highlights and commentary of the biggest festivals around Europe.

Benicassim

Key Information

Quick Summary: Stalwart in the European festival scene, Benicassim is definitely a beach by day, music by night event which attracts the world’s biggest names from a plethora of genres. A favourite amongst the UK crowd, the festival always provides stunning weather and an incredible atmosphere.

Date: 13th-16th July

Location: Benicassim, Spain

Price: €149

Line Up Highlights: Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Foals, Kasabian, Biffy Clyro, The Weeknd, Stormzy, Liam Gallagher, Deadmau5, Bonobo, Blossoms, Crystal Fighters, Slaves, Courteeners, Peter Doherty, Mura Masa, Years & Years, KAYTRANDA, Dua Lipa, Declan McKenna, Honne, Sunflower Bean, The Sherlocks, Theme Park

Review: Benicassim is one of those festivals that you can always trust to bring out some of the biggest and best artists and this year is no different. Red Hot Chilli Peppers will deliver a hit filled set whilst British rockers Biffy Clyro, Foals and Kasabian will ignite the Spanish crowd. It’ll be one of the first chances to see what Liam Gallagher has in store for us for his solo career whilst The Weeknd will bring his polished Starboy World Tour to the Main Stage. Look out for KAYTRANDA as well whose album 99.9% was one of last year’s best records. Rising stars Mura Masa, Declan McKenna, The Sherlocks and Sunflower Bean will all provide brilliant sets as well and for only €149 plus the atmosphere and weather that is Valencia, this year’s edition looks set to be special.

Final Verdict: A

 


Bilbao BBK

Key Information

Quick Summary: Primarily a rock and pop festival, Bilbao BBK is another Spanish gem which provides brilliant sets amongst the idyllic town of Bilbao in northern Spain.

Date: 6th-8th July

Location: Bilbao, Spain

Price: €125 without camping

Line Up Highlights: The Killers, Depeche Mode, The 1975, Justice, Pheonix, Fleet Foxes, Royal Blood, Two Door Cinema Club, Primal Scream, Two Door Cinema Club, Brian Wilson, Cage The Elephant, Spoon, The Avalanches, Circa Waves, The Orwells, Sundara Karma, The Amazons, Joe Goddard, Idles, Cabbage, The Lemon Twigs

Review: With the booking of The Killers as their Friday night headliner, Bilbao BBK has rocketed high up in our list of festivals to see. Their set will be a sensational chance to hear all the hits as well as the possibility of new material. Depeche Mode will bring their synth rock to Spain whilst Justice will show all just why they are one of the best electronic artists in the world. Matt Healy’s The 1975 will ignite crowds on the first day whilst Royal Blood and Two Door Cinema Club will show just how good British indie and rock is becoming. Brian Wilson’s performance of Pet Sounds will be an iconic chance to hear one of the greatest albums of all time whilst the return of Fleet Foxes will be emotional for all. The only fault in an almost perfect line up is Die Antwoord as headliners on the final night. Whilst enigmatic on stage, putting them alongside The Killers and Depeche Mode makes no sense whatsoever. It’s a shame really as the rest of the line up is rather brilliant but still for €129, it’s one to really think about.

Final Verdict: A-

 


Bonnaroo

Key Information

Quick Summary: A celebration of music and arts, Bonnaroo is one of America’s largest festivals, mixing a variety of genres and massive artists alongside graffiti master-classes, silent discos and comedy sessions.

Date: 8th-11th June

Location: Manchester, Tenessee, USA

Price: $349.50 including camping

Line Up Highlights: U2, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Weeknd, Chance The Rapper, Major Lazer, Flume, Lorde, The xx, Royal Blood, Cage The Elephant, Glass Animals, Skepta, Tove Lo, Portugal. The Man, Milky Chance, Cold War Kids, Michael Kiwanuka, Dua Lipa, Warpaint, The Orwells, Hippo Campus, Blossoms

Review: A heavyweight amongst American festivals, Bonnaroo is the place to be for big acts. Rock legends U2 and Red Hot Chilli Peppers are highlights on any line up but to have them together over four days is a stunning booking. The Weeknd’s beautiful R&B will be a sight to see whilst Chance The Rapper makes his way to headliner status for the first time and deservedly so with last album Colouring Book proving to be one of the best albums in 2016. Major Lazer and Flume will start the party for the crowd whilst Royal Blood’s set has the chance to win over thousands of new fans. Lorde and The xx look to be auditioning as potential future headliners whilst Glass Animals’ rise around the world will continue with a hugely anticipated set in Tennessee.

Final Verdict: A*

 


Bottlerock

Key Information

Quick Summary: Napa Valley’s first large-scale music festival features the best in live music, wine, food and drink.

Date: 26th-28th May

Location: Napa Valley, California, USA

Price: Sold Out

Line Up Highlights: Foo Fighters, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Maroon 5, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Band of Horses, House of Pain, Catfish and the Bottlemen, AlunaGeorge, Lewis Del Mar, gnash, Hippo Campus, Barns Courtney, SWMRS, Day Wave

Review: One of America’s newest festivals, Bottlerock immediately propelled its status with the announcement of Foo Fighters as their headliners. Dave Grohl and Co. will provide one of the best sets of the year whilst the legendary Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers will also be a must see, such is their status as one of the best songwriting acts of all time. Maroon 5 will provide huge pop tracks for the Californian crowd whilst Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are sure to ignite crowds with their unique hip hop blend. Talking of hip hop House of Pain’s set is a great chance to see one of the genres most iconic artists. It’ll be a great chance for Catfish & The Bottlemen to continue their surge for US dominance whilst Hippo Campus, Barns Courtney, SWMRS and Day Wave are all rising artists worth checking out. In honest opinion, whilst there are some great names on the bill this year, there is a lack of other modern names, with the festival opting to bring back past heroes.

Final Verdict: B-

 


INMusic

Key Information

Quick Summary: Croatia’s biggest open-air festival invites a selection of international rock and indie artists whilst providing a unique background setting with the capital’s historic architecture and tranquility.

Date: 19th-21st June

Location: Zagreb, Croatia

Price: €101 including camping

Line Up Highlights: Kings of Leon, Arcade Fire, Kasabian, alt-J, Michael Kiwanuka, Slaves

Review: When you look at the line up highlights you may think to yourself why is INMusic festival on our list but just have a look at the price for a ticket. Considering that the majority of that ticket cost is for camping, to have the quality of US giants Kings of Leon on the line up alongside Arcade Fire, who are undoubtedly one of the most important bands of this generation plus the anthemic rock gods that are Kasabian is purely sensational. Three bands that have all headlined Glastonbury for a tiny price. alt-J will also bring their expansive third album to Zagreb, an album which is set to propel them to even greater heights. Michael Kiwanuka’s last album was nominated for the Mercury Prize given its strength in depth and Slaves are one of the liveliest bands on the planet. Together with the ideal setting of Croatia, the festival is one of the surprise highlights for 2017.

Final Verdict: A

 


Fuji Rock

Key Information

Quick Summary: Asia’s biggest pop and rock festival, Fuji Rock attracts thousands of fans from across the globe due to its stellar line ups. Backed up by some of Japan’s most stunning countryside, the festival is a must visit for anyone traveling to Asia.

Date: 28th-30th May

Location: Naeba Ski Resort, Niigata Prefecture, Japan

Price: £300

Line Up Highlights: Gorillaz, Queens of the Stone Age, Aphex Twin, Bjork, LCD Soundsystem, Lorde, The xx, Major Lazer, Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Avalanches, Asgeir, The Strypes, Bonobo, The Amazons, Day Wave, Father John Misty, Lukas Graham, Maggie Rogers, The Lemon Twigs, Sampha, Rag’n’Bone Man, Train

Review: Given its distance away from the UK, Fuji Rock is a festival that hardly gets covered by the majority of festival reports but with a line up of this quality, it needs to be. Gorillaz’ headline set marks a rare appearance at a festival that isn’t their own and given the strength of their last album, it’s a set that needs to be seen. The return of Queens of the Stone Age and LCD Soundsystem will be two of the biggest sets of the festival, both likely to produce new music for the crowd in Japan and both with reputations for being sensational live. Bjork and Lorde will bring their iconic music to the festival, with Bjork’s set one in a very few for 2017. The xx continue their summer promoting their latest album whilst the cult hero Father John Misty is one of music’s most important songwriters. Up and coming stars Maggie Rogers, The Lemon Twigs, Day Wave and The Amazons will also be highlights and the set from Train will be a fun filled moment for pop fans. The only issue with the line up is the £300 ticket. Whilst holding some of the world’s biggest artists, there isn’t enough strength in depth to justify such an extortionate ticket price.

Final Verdict: A-

 


Governor’s Ball

Key Information

Quick Summary: Rising festival in the heart of New York City, Governor’s Ball attracts a stellar list of artists and in the setting that is the Big Apple, it’s a unique chance to experience music as well as one of the world’s best cities.

Date: 2nd-4th June

Location: Randall’s Island Park, New York City, USA

Price: $305, no camping avaliable

Line Up Highlights: Chance The Rapper, Phoenix, Lorde, Childish Gambino, Flume, Royal Blood, Cage The Elephant, Wiz Khalifa, Logic, Wu-Tang Clan, The Avalanches, Skepta, Mac DeMarco, Franz Ferdinand, Warpaint, Banks, Tove Lo, Charli XCX, Michael Kiwanuka, Blossoms, Stormzy, Zane Lowe, The Orwells, Dua Lipa, Barns Courtney, VANT

Review: One of the most impressive urban festivals, The Governer’s Ball 2017 is packed with talent and big names. Chance The Rapper’s headline set will be a highlight of the weekend, whilst it’ll also be a chance to hear more of Lorde’s highly anticipated second album. Phoenix’s live show has looked impressive recently, rivalling the likes of The 1975’s sophisticated light setup. Childish Gambino is one of the most diverse rappers in the world alongside Logic, whose recent album is possibly the best rap release of the year. Hip Hop fans can continue to rejoice even more with the legends that are Wu-Tang Clan, whilst Grime will take over New York City with Skepta and Stormzy continuing to promote the over expanding genre. Elsewhere, Franz Ferdinand’s set will be full of foot stomping rock whilst Cage The Elephant and Royal Blood are known for igniting crowds. The Orwells and VANT will spark mosh pits alike whilst Mac DeMarco’s indie slacker set will be a more relaxing moment over the festival. For $305, it is expensive for a festival not offering camping but set in one of the greatest cities in the world, it will certainly be a fantastic experience.

Final Verdict: B+

 


Lollapalooza Chicago

Key Information

Quick Summary: The original and the biggest of the Lollapalooza group, the four day festival has one of the longest lists of performers in the world, performing in the characteristic setting of Chicago.

Date: 3rd-6th August

Location: Grant Park, Chicago, USA

Price: Sold Out

Line Up Highlights: Muse, Arcade Fire, The Killers, Chance The Rapper, blink-182, Lorde, The xx, Cage The Elephant, Wiz Khalifa, Justice, alt-j, DJ Snake, Run The Jewels, Foster The People, Liam Gallagher, Migos, Spoon, Glass Animals, Milky Chance, Mac DeMarco, Royal Blood, Vance Joy, Banks, George Ezra, KAYTRANDA, London Grammar, Rag’n’Bone Man, Charli XCX, Warpaint, Zara Larsson, The Pretty Reckless, Mura Masa, Sampha, The Districts, Maggie Rogers, Barns Courtney, VANT, Blaenavon, Blossoms, The Japanese House, Declan McKenna

Review: A heavyweight amongst the festival calendar each year, Lollapalooza Chicago has pulled out one of its strongest line ups in years. Muse are known as one of the greatest live bands ever and their set will set the stage alight. Arcade Fire’s set will be special given their tendency to surprise and with new music on the way, their set could be a great chance to hear what’s to come. The Killers make a rare festival appearance and one that will be full of hits and glamour whilst Chance The Rapper confirms himself as one of the biggest names in music. Rock legends blink-182 will bring huge energy whilst The xx and Lorde will retain a sense of intimacy on the Chicago stage. It’ll be a good chance to hear new material from Liam Gallagher, Royal Blood, George Ezra, Foster The People and many more artists whilst The Japanese House, Declan McKenna, Barns Courtney, VANT, Blaenavon and Maggie Rogers lead the list of must see rising stars.

Final Verdict: A*

 


Lollapalooza Paris

Key Information

Quick Summary: The newest addition to the Lollapalooza chain, the Paris edition might only be in its first year but its owners have the capabilities of attracting the biggest names in music. In the idealistic location of Paris, the event will be a great celebration of culture.

Date: 22nd-23rd July

Location: Hippodrome de Longchamp, Paris, France

Price: €149

Line Up Highlights: Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Weeknd, Lana Del Rey, Imagine Dragons, alt-J, Pixies, London Grammar, DJ Snake, Liam Gallagher, The Hives, Skepta, Glass Animals, Milky Chance, Crystal Fighters, Tom Odell, Bear’s Den, Tiggs Da Author

Review: As the festivals first year in existence, we can only applaud the quality and depth of this line up. Red Hot Chilli Peppers will play a hit filed set and The Weeknd will ooze class during his headline slot. Imagine Dragons are well known for their stunning live shows whilst The Hives perhaps have the most enigmatic frontman in the world. Lana Del Rey’s set will of course be a highlight and together with London Grammar, the two artists will show just how special their music is to the large Parisian crowd. alt-j will bring their quirky brand of alternative music to the stage whilst rock legends Pixies are a must see for music lovers. It’ll be a great chance to see what Liam Gallagher’s solo career will look like whilst Skepta represents grime in the French capital. Be sure to catch Tom Odell’s return alongside rising star Tiggs Da Author.

Final Verdict: A

 


Mad Cool

Key Information

Quick Summary: Another recently new edition to the festival calendar, the environmentally focused Mad Cool provides Madrid with a great large-scale festival. It’s a popular choice for all city-goers and music fans.

Date: 6th-8th July

Location: Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain

Price: Sold Out

Line Up Highlights: Foo Fighters, Green Day, Kings of Leon, Foals, Foster The People, M.I.A, alt-j, Belle and Sebastian, Manic Street Preachers, The Lumineers, George Ezra, Kurt Vile & The Violators, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Savages, Kodaline, Warpaint, Cage The Elephant, SBTRKT, Spoon, Deep Vally

Review: Possibly the best emerging festival in Europe, Mad Cool returns for its second year in 2017 with a line up to rival the very best. Rock titans Foo Fighters and Green Day are amongst America’s finest ever exports whilst Kings of Leon’s set will be a masterclass in Southern US rock. Foals’ set will be packed with energy whilst alt-j and Foster The People will be looking to promote their new material to the Madrid crowd. There’s a rare performance from M.I.A which will be a must see for all given her constant flirtations with retiring from music. George Ezra and Kurt Vile & The Violators will provide a more serene atmosphere whilst Catfish and the Bottlemen and Cage The Elephant take their famous brands of indie rock to the crowds. Electronic fans have a huge moment to enjoy when SBTRKT takes to the stage to possibly debut new music. Alongside others, Mad Cool is slowly making Spain the centre of the European festival calendar.

Final Verdict: A

 


NOS Alive

Key Information

Quick Summary: With beautiful weather, huge names and the idealistic location of Portugal’s capital, NOS Alive is always an idealistic event for people around the world.

Date: 6th-8th July

Location: Alges, Lisbon, Portugal

Price: Sold Out

Line Up Highlights: Foo Fighters, Depeche Mode, The Weeknd, The xx, Imagine Dragons, Fleet Foxes, Phoenix, Royal Blood, Cage The Elephant, alt-j, Bonobo, Glass Animals, Blossoms, The Kills, Kodaline, Spoon, The Avalanches, Savages, Courteeners, Warpaint, Wild Beasts

Review: Last year’s line up of the summer, NOS Alive returns again in 2017 with a stellar list of artists. Foo Fighters continue their chaotic summer of festival headline slots with a performance that will show everyone just why they are one of rock’s most important names. The legendary Depeche Mode will close the festival with a career spanning set of hits whilst The Weeknd also headlines. The xx and alt-J continue their lengthy European festival list with big sets expected whilst Imagine Dragons and The Kills will both ignite the main stage. The return of Fleet Foxes will be a stunning moment for the festival whilst Royal Blood’s hard hitting rock will tear the stage away. Perhaps, the only issue with this years line up is the stage breakdown. Royal Blood, Bonobo, Ryan Adams, Glass Animals, Rhye and Blossoms all play on the second stage meaning that fans are torn between them and The Weeknd, The xx, Phoenix and alt-j. Meanwhile on the final day Fleet Foxes, Cage The Elephant, Spoon and The Avalanches all play the second stage. It raises questions as to why such prestigious artists are put in a tent when there are much smaller artists on the main stage. However, the festival looks like a treat in 2017 and I’m sure fans will be torn as to who they will see.

Final Verdict: A-

 


NOS Primavera Sound

Key Information

Quick Summary: More intimate than it’s older sibling, the Portuguese edition of the famous indie festival manages to attract some of the biggest stripped back indie artists whilst also putting on rising indie, pop and electronic artists.

Date: 8th-10th June

Location: Porto, Portugal

Price: €110

Line Up Highlights: Bon Iver, Apex Twin, Justice, Run The Jewels, Skepta, Miguel, Metronomy, Angel Olsen, Sampha, Whitney, Cigarettes After Sex

NOS Primavera Sound Stage

Review: NOS Primavera Sound manages to pull in some surprising line up combinations and this year is no different. Bon Iver’s headline set will be mesmerising given the diversity of their albums. Aphex Twin is a must see for all electronic fans whilst French duo Justice will close the festival in style. Run The Jewels will bring their combination of political rap to Porto whilst Skepta looks set to be the most anticipated set. Metronomy’s show will be a spectacle with possibilities that they will play new music whilst Cigarettes After Sex are one of the best upcoming bands in the world. Whilst there are highlights, there is a significant lack in depth on the line up which is a real shame but with tickets at €110, it’s not the end of the world.

Final Verdict: C

 


Nova Rock

Key Information

Quick Summary: A celebrated rock festival beneath the famous wind turbines in Austria, Nova Rock gathers icons of hard rock, punk and metal alongside many more genres and artists from around the globe.

Date: 14th-17th July

Location: Pannonia Fields, Austria

Price: €169.90

Line Up Highlights: Green Day, Linkin Park, blink-182, Prophets of Rage, Pendulum, Fatboy Slim, Knife Party, Rag’n’Bone Man, Mallory Knox

Review: Whilst primarily a celebration of hard rock and metal, Nova Rock has some surprises for all music fans. Green Day’s set will be a highlight of the weekend whilst Linkin Park’s latest album will be on display during their headline set, which undoubtedly will be full of hits spanning their career. blink-182 will bring their energy to the main stage whilst Pendulum’s live return will be one of the biggest moments in the European festival calendar. Fatboy Slim is sure to treat everyone to a celebration of dance music whilst Knife Party’s EDM set will be crazy. For the more soulful fans, Rag’n’Bone Man will give you one of the most memorising sets of the weekend. Obviously there is some lack in depth for most people but for metal fans, the choices on offer are incredible.

Final Verdict: B-

 


Open’er

Key Information

Quick Summary: Always one of the most impressive European Festivals, Open’er takes place in Northern Poland, attracting some of the world’s most established artists alongside rising stars. With its cost savvy approach as well, the festival is always a treat for travellers.

Date: 28th June- 1st July

Location: Gdynia, Poland

Price: £128.80 including camping

Line Up Highlights: Radiohead, Foo Fighters, The Weeknd, The xx, James Blake, Moderat, Prophets of Rage, Royal Blood,The Kills, Charli XCX, Dua Lipa, George Ezra, Michael Kiwanuka, Solange, Warpaint

Review: A staple amongst the European festival calendar, Open’er 2017 has a wonderful line up with the legendary Radiohead taking to the main stage with a set likely to be full of surprises and spanning the band’s incredible career. Foo Fighters continue their surge across Europe whilst The xx and The Weeknd also continue their lengthly list of big festival appearances. James Blake’s wonderful blend of electronic music will be a highlight alongside supergroup Prophets of Rage whilst Brighton duo Royal Blood continue to build momentum on the road in support of their upcoming album. George Ezra’s return will be a must see whilst Solange’s appearance is one in a very short list of summer dates. With big names from other genres also on the line up this year’s festival will be a great one for music fans looking for a bargain and somewhere different to travel to.

Final Verdict: B+

 


Primavera Sound

Key Information

Quick Summary: The lengthy Barcelona festival is highly influential on the indie and alternative scene, such is its ability to provide large platforms for emerging artists. Spanning five days, there are opportunities to see both famous and unknown artists in the ideal city of Barcelona. Attracting a varied crowd, Primavera Sound kicks of the European festival calendar in style.

Date: 31st May – 4th June

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Price: €80 day tickets, full festival tickets sold out

Line Up Highlights: Arcade Fire, Aphex Twin, The xx, Frank Ocean, Skepta, Run The Jewels, Bon Iver, Miguel, Mac DeMarco, Solange, Sampha, Glass Animals, Metronomy, Angel Olsen, Julia Jacklin, Formation, Cigarettes After Sex, Let’s Eat Grandma

Review: There are stars across this year’s edition of Primavera Sound with Arcade Fire leading the way. Their blend of beautiful indie rock is always a sight to behold and with electronic maestro Aphex Twin and The xx, there are plenty of chances to see some of the world’s most unique artists. Frank Ocean’s appearance is a must see, given his status as one of R&B’s most talented artists. Bon Iver’s set will be stunning alongside Solange and Miguel, whose R&B embedded tracks have gained them huge success. Rising stars are always highly represented at the festival and this year sees big opportunities for Julia Jacklin, Formation, Cigarettes After Sex and Let’s Eat Grandma.

Final Verdict: B+

 


Rock am Ring

Key Information

Quick Summary: Huge rock festival set at the historic Nurburgring, Rock am Ring twins with Rock im Ring to be the largest festivals in Germany. Attracting the biggest legends of rock music, the festival also has a proud tradition of offering a platform to lesser known rising German bands.

Date: 2nd-4th June

Location: Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany

Price: €212.50 including camping

Line Up Highlights: Bastille, Liam Gallagher, Prophets of Rage, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Rag’n’Bone Man, Jake Bugg, Crystal Fighters, Sum 41, Slaves, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Mallory Knox

Review: With a lineup to rival Download festival, Rock am Ring is a mecca for heavy metal fans. However there are some wonderful surprises on the bill for the more mainstream music fans. Bastille will offer the crowd their addictive blend of pop whilst Macklmore & Ryan Lewis continue to show why they are one of hip hops biggest acts. Prophets of Rage will mix rap and rock for a performance set to ignite the stage whilst Jake Bugg’s iconic vocals will soar throughout the Nurburgring. It’ll be a big moment for rising bands Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Slaves and Mallory Knox who will all want to impress the European crowd whilst the festival also provides one of the first opportunities to hear Liam Gallagher perform solo material. Whilst based as a hard rock festival, there are some wonderful glimpses for everyone.

Final Verdict: B

 


Rock Werchter

Key Information

Quick Summary: One of the largest festivals in the world, Rock Werchter is one of the most influential events in the festival calendar having won the award for best festival in the world on numerous occasions. Mixing artists from a huge variety of genres, it’s one of the best opportunities to see some of the most loved artists in the world.

Date: 29th June – 2nd July

Location: Werchter, Belgium

Price: Sold Out

Line Up Highlights: Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, Arcade Fire, Linkin Park, blink-182, The Chainsmokers, Lorde, alt-j, Imagine Dragons, Royal Blood, James Blake, Bonobo, The Lumineers, Prophets of Rage, Cage The Elephant, Nothing But Thieves, The Kills, The Avalanches, Savages, Warpaint, Rag’n’Bone Man, Crystal Fighters, Glass Animals, Passenger, Birdy, Kodaline, SOHN, Charli XCX, Milky Chance, Dua Lipa, Maggie Rogers, Mura Masa, Agnes Obel, Beth Ditto, Cigarettes After Sex, Declan McKenna

Review: Quite simply one of the greatest line ups we have ever seen, Rock Werchter 2017 really has it all. The first night sees both Kings of Leon and Arcade Fire perform on the Main Stage, a feat that very few festivals can manage to pull off. Radiohead will show their class when they top the main stage whilst Foo Fighters once again headline another European festival. Rock and metal fans can rejoice with the legendary Linkin Park, System of a Down and blink-182 all performing on the main stage on the same day! The Chainsmokers will bring their world conquering EDM to Belgium whilst Lorde, alt-J and Imagine Dragons will be incredibly popular. James Blake, Bonobo and SOHN are artists renowned for their minimalistic beauty so be sure to catch some of their sets. Be sure to catch Beth Ditto’s set given that her solo material is full of feistiness. There are so many joys on an absolutely perfect lineup.

Final Verdict: A*

 


Pukkelpop

Key Information

Quick Summary: Priding itself on its ability to veer away from the mainstream, Pukkelpop is one of Belgium’s most loved festivals, offering line ups of trendsetters rather than chart toppers. Taking place across large fields and woods, Pukkelpop is a classic rural, outdoor festival that almost rivals the likes of Glastonbury in terms of location.

Date: 16th-19th August

Location: Kiewit, Belgium

Price: €199 including camping

Line Up Highlights: Mumford & Sons, Cypress Hill, PJ Harvey, The xx, Enter Shikari, Elbow, Interpol, Bastille, London Grammar, Halsey, Mac DeMarco, Flume, Jake Bugg, Stormzy, Clean Bandit, First Aid Kit, George Ezra, Bear’s Den, Band of Horses, The Pretty Reckless, Oh Wonder, A Blaze Of Feather, Sigma, Mura Masa, Perfume Genius, Sampha, Tove Lo, Ray BLK, The Amazons, Julia Jacklin, Palace

Review: One of the most intriguing of line ups, this years edition of Pukkelpop has such variation to it. Mumford & Sons’ closing set will be energetic and uplifting whilst it’ll be an incredible moment to see one of hip hops biggest legends with Cypress Hill taking to the stage. PJ Harvey’s set is a must see for all alternative fans whilst Enter Shikari will ignite mosh pits across the whole site. It’s a great chance to see Elbow perform at a major festival in Europe given the quality of their last album whilst The xx and London Grammar will provide gorgeously intimate sets. One of the biggest highlights of the festival will be seeing Interpol perform the iconic album Turn On The Bright Lights in full. With Ben Howard’s side project A Blaze Of Feather plus rising stars Ray BLK, The Amazons, Julia Jacklin and Palace, the festival will be an amazing experience for all attending.

Final Verdict: A

 


Roskilde

Key Information

Quick Summary: The oldest and largest music festival in Denmark, Roskilde attracts names from across the genres. As one of Europe’s festival giants, the lineups always spark creativity and with eight days of camping, some of the wildest campsite parties in the world have been known to occur. With infamous side activities such as the Naked Run thrown into the mix, it’s an experience for anyone to enjoy.

Date: 24th June – 1st July

Location: Roskilde, Denmark

Price: £230.16 including camping

Line Up Highlights: Foo Fighters, Arcade Fire, The Weeknd, The xx, A Tribe Called Quest, Lorde, Justice, Solange, blink-182, Bonobo, Father John Misty, Nas, Halsey, Icona Pop, The Avalanches, Royal Blood, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Lumineers, Rag’n’Bone Man, Angel Olsen, Julia Jacklin, Kano, Warpaint

Review: Once again Foo Fighters, Arcade Fire, The Weeknd and The xx continue their surge across Europe, with Roskilde 2017 another addition to their schedules. Whilst they all provide sensational entertainment for everyone, there are some more unexpected surprises on the line up. A Tribe Called Quest are a legendary hip hop group that all hip hop fans need to see and whilst they have a selection of legendary tracks, their latest release last year was one of the best hip hop albums in 2016. Hip hop royalty continues with the announcement of Nas who will surely be playing hits from across his career to the delight of many. Father John Misty is a must see given his status as one of the most important songwriters in the world right now and Haley will provide her take on alternative pop which has gained her so much praise. Like many European festivals Lorde, Royal Blood and Rag’n’Bone Man will have hugely important sets whilst grime star Kano is someone to try and catch. It’s an accomplished line up from Scandinavia’s best festival.

Final Verdict: A-

 


Super Bock Super Rock

Key Information

Quick Summary: Slowly growing in the heartland of Portugal’s capital, Super Bock Super Rock has managed to do what most festivals can’t do and that’s secure some of pop music’s biggest names alongside the world’s biggest rock acts. A diverse lineup mixes with the cultural background of Lisbon which ends up a treat for everyone.

Date: 13th-15th July

Location: Lisbon, Portugal

Price: €109

Line Up Highlights: Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Future, Foster The People, London Grammar, The Orwells

Review: Super Bock Super Rock has been able to attract some of the biggest names in music over the last few years and this year sees the mighty Red Hot Chilli Peppers coming to the Portuguese capital to play a set full of hits from across their career, Rapper Future will be an interesting set to watch given his rare number of festival appearances in the past. Foster The People have always known how to ignite a crowd and given the strength of their latest releases, their set is a must see whilst London Grammar’s beautiful blend of minimalism and vocals has seen them become one of the most loved British bands. A must see for all will be The Orwells, who are making a name for themselves as one of the rowdiest yet incredible live bands on the planet. Whilst these are the highlights of the festival, that pretty much is it in terms of great acts. There’s an unbelievably large hole in the line up that needs to be filled with more quality artists and it’s a real shame that organisers haven’t attracted more big artists given the names of past acts that have played the festival.

Final Verdict: D

 


Sziget

Key Information

Quick Summary: Possibly Europe’s most iconic festival, Sziget is set on an island in Budapest, lighting up the city for a whole week. By far the festival offers the most expansive line up in terms of genre with the world’s biggest names in pop, rock, dance, hip hop, EDM and more all coming to party in Hungary’s capital. With a huge list of other activities to get involved with, the festival provides a surreal experience for everyone that goes.

Date: 9th-16th July

Location: Budapest, Hungary

Price: €299

Line Up Highlights: Kasabian, Major Lazer, P!nk, Biffy Clyro, The Chainsmokers, Wiz Khalifa, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, alt-J, PJ Harvey, Flume, Interpol, Two Door Cinema Club, The Vaccines, Steve Aoki, Rita Ora, Rudimental, Metronomy, Birdy, Clean Bandit, George Ezra, The Kills, Tom Odell, The Pretty Reckless, Crystal Fighters, Oh Wonder, Mac DeMarco

Review: As always the seven day party that is Sziget is alight with talent ranging from a variety of genres. Kasabian and Biffy Clyro will provide high octane rock, proving why they are two of the best bands in the world whilst superstar DJ’s Major Lazor, The Chainsmokers, Flume and Steve Aoki will send the crowds into raptures. Pop fans can marvel at P!nk’s headline show whilst Rita Ora, Rudimental, Clean Bandit and Oh Wonder also will prove popular. Interpol’s set will see them perform Turn On The Bright Lights in full so we strongly recommend catching that whilst The Vaccines and Two Door Cinema Club add to the glorious music on display. There is no doubt that the hedonism that is Sziget will be incredible and with so many attractions and artists on offer, it’ll be a party to end all parties.

Final Verdict: A•

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