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European music festivals 2022: The best events from Primavera Sound to Sziget

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ith international travel being a fairly tricky prospect for the last two summers, those sunny music festivals over in continental Europe have never felt further away.

But with things looking as if they’ll open up again in 2022 (fingers and toes crossed, as ever), it’s time to start dreaming of an overseas excursion. With some spectacular line-ups, decent value tickets and, crucially, far less chance of a torrential downpour than over here, it’d be rude not to.

Here, we’ve rounded up the European festivals you need to know about. Bon voyage.

Hospitality on the Beach

What is it? A drum’n’bass extravaganza run by the legendary London label, Hospital Records, bringing together some of the scene’s biggest names. It leaves its Croatian home and relocates on the Albanian Riviera for 2022.

Who’s playing? Andy C, Camo and Crooked, Flava D, Shy FX, LTJ Bukem and more

When is it? June 1-7

Where is it? Dhërmi, Albania

Tickets: from £189, hospitalityonthebeach.com

Primavera Sound

Tame Impala

/ Getty Images

What is it? Undoubtedly one of the finest festivals Europe has to offer, with incredible depth of quality on its line-up, this year spread out across two main weekends. Rap? Hyperpop? Thrash metal? You can probably find it here.

Who’s playing? Tame Impala, Megan Thee Stallion, The Strokes, Gorillaz, Jorja Smith and more

When is it? June 2-12

Where is it? Barcelona, Spain

Tickets: Sold out, join the waiting list, primaverasound.com

Rock am Ring/Rock im Park

What is it? Feeling like something of a Reading and Leeds throwback — before they broadened their horizons beyond simply rock bands — this huge German festival is spread across two separate sites on one weekend.

Who’s playing? Green Day, Muse, Volbeat, Weezer, Deftones, Bullet For My Valentine and more

When is it? June 3-5

Where is it? Nürburgring/Nürnberg, Germany /

Tickets: €209 (approx £175), rock-am-ring.com / rock-im-park.com

NOS Primavera

What is it? Across the border in Portugal, this is basically Primavera Sound’s little sibling, sharing many of the same acts.

Who’s playing? Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Tame Impala, Pavement, Beck, Gorillaz and more

When is it? June 9-11

Where is it? Porto, Portugal

Tickets: €​140 (approx £116), primaverasound.com/en/porto

Melt

What is it? An open-air spectacular with a line-up rooted mostly in electronic music but with a few intriguing deviations.

Who’s playing? Little Simz, Peggy Gou, PinkPantheress, Honey Dijon, Jamie xx and more

When is it? June 9-12

Where is it? Gräfenhainichen, Germany

Tickets: from €145 (approx £120)

Sonar

What is it? Said by some to exist in Primavera’s admittedly huge shadow, Sonar in fact carves itself a niche by focusing on bass-heavy sounds, from UK rap to techno.

Who’s playing? AJ Tracey, Arca, The Blessed Madonna, The Blaze, The Chemical Brothers and more

When is it? June 16-18

Where is it? Barcelona, Spain

Tickets: €185 (approx £154), sonar.es

Roskilde

What is it? Reliably the best festival in Denmark, year after year, pulling in headliners to rival festivals anywhere else in Europe.

Who’s playing? Dua Lipa, Tyler, The Creator, Haim, St Vincent, Fontaines D.C. and more

When is it? June 25-July 2

Where is it? Roskilde, Denmark

Tickets: 2250 DKK (approx £252), weekend passes sold out, join the waiting list, roskilde-festival.dk

Open’er

What is it? Poland’s biggest festival, with a line-up that covers heavy-hitters from the worlds of pop, rap, rock, dance and beyond.

Who’s playing? Doja Cat, Dua Lipa, Imagine Dragons, Twenty One Pilots, Måneskin and more

When is it? June 29-July 2

Where is it? Gdynia, Poland

Tickets: 699zł (approx £128), opener.pl

Rock Werchter

Haim

/ Getty Images

What is it? As the name suggests, this one specialises in bands making loud music, but there are some pop and rap acts snuck in there too.

Who’s playing? Pearl Jam, The War on Drugs, Pixies, Rag‘N’Bone Man, Haim and more

When is it? June 30-July 3

Where is it? Werchter, Belgium

Tickets: sold out, join the waiting list, rockwerchter.be

Mad Cool

What is it? Another Spanish behemoth which draws the biggest names from all the major genres of pop, rock and dance.

Who’s playing? Metallica, Imagine Dragons, Stormzy, Muse, Florence + The Machine and more

When is it? July 6-10

Where is it? Madrid, Spain

Tickets: weekend tickets sold out, day tickets from €65 (approx £54), madcoolfestival.es

Exit

What is it? Another intriguingly eclectic festival, this time in Serbia, promising everything from tech house to ska to hardcore punk in recent years.

Who’s playing? Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Boris Brejcha and more to be announced

When is it? July 7-10

Where is it? Novi Sad, Serbia

Tickets: €109 (approx £91), exitfest.org

Pohoda

What is it? A veteran festival with more than two decades’ experience, offering a hugely friendly atmosphere and some pretty massive acts from the worlds of pop, rock and beyond.

Who’s playing? Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Flume, The Libertines, Sigrid, Richie Hawtin and more

When is it? July 7-9

Where is it? Airport Trencin, Slovakia

Tickets: €109 (approx £91), pohodafestival.sk

Bilbao BBK Live

What is it? A festival that feels almost like a mini version of Primavera Sound, with the same variety and quality, just not on the same massive scale.

Who’s playing? LCD Soundsystem, The Killers, J Balvin, Pet Shop Boys, Placebo and more

When is it? July 7-9

Where is it? Bilbao, Spain

Tickets: from €154 (approx £129), bilbaobbklive.com

Ultra Europe

What is it? The European edition of the hugely popular American festival, specialising in EDM.

Who’s playing? Armin Van Buuren, Nina Kraviz, Tiesto, Adam Beyer, Oliver Heldens and more.

When is it? July 8-10

Where is it? Split, Croatia

Tickets: from €149 (approx £124), ultraeurope.com

Love International

What is it? A sun-drenched dance music festival on the Croatian coast, with plenty of boat parties and sunrise DJ sets.

Who’s playing? Ross From Friends, HAAi, Ben UFO, Hunee, Shy One and more

When is it? July 13-19

Where is it? Tisno, Croatia

Tickets: from €166 (approx £138), loveinternationalfestival.com

Festival Internacional Benicassim

Steve Aoki

/ Getty Images

What is it? A festival popular with both Spaniards and Brits, which has a focus on Latin artists as well as the more widely known international stars.

Who’s playing? Kasabian, Justice, Two Door Cinema Club, Steve Aoki, The Kooks and more

When is it? July 14-17

Where is it? Benicassim, Spain

Tickets: from €60 (approx £50), fiberfib.com

Super Bock Super Rock

What is it? Moving from the urban surroundings of Lisbon and onto a beach further south in Portugal, expect a spread of rap, rock and pop at this festival.

Who’s playing? A$AP Rocky, Foals, Hot Chip, GoldLink, Boy Pablo and more.

When is it? July 14-16

Where is it? Sesimbra, Portugal

Tickets: from €115 (approx £96), superbocksuperrock.pt

Tomorrowland

What is it? Something of a Mecca for European fans of EDM, this festival promises the biggest names and some bombastic stage production across three weekends.

Who’s playing? Eric Prydz, Alesso, Joel Corry, Steve Aoki, Charlotte De Witte and more.

When is it? July 15-17, 22-24, 29-31

Where is it? Boom, Belgium

Tickets: €TBA, tomorrowland.com

Awakenings

What is it? Techno heads should make this their number one priority for the summer: it’s the largest outdoor festival dedicated to the genre in the world.

Who’s playing? Charlotte De Witte, Adam Beyer, Call Super, Nina Kraviz, Amelie Lens and more

When is it? July 29-31

Where is it? Amsterdam, Netherlands

Tickets: £TBC, awakenings.com

Off

What is it? The antidote to Open’er’s pop, this Polish festival focuses on the more obscure, experimental side of things.

Who’s playing? Iggy Pop, Rina Sawayama, Metronomy, Bikini Kill, Molchat Doma and more

When is it? August 5-7

Where is it? Katowice, Poland

Tickets: 399zł (approx £74), off-festival.pl

Øya

What is it? A Norwegian festival which proves just how strong its native music scene is, with plenty of homegrown acts headlining alongside international favourites.

Who’s playing? Gorillaz, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Florence + The Machine, Aurora, Emilie Nicolas and more

When is it? August 9-13

Where is it? Oslo, Norway

Tickets: sold out, join the waiting list, oyafestivalen.no

Sziget​

What is it? A Budapest blowout that seems to book bigger names each year. Expect internationally famous acts across the broad spectrum of rock and beyond.

Who’s playing? Arctic Monkeys, Dua Lipa, Kings of Leon, Lewis Capaldi, Bastille and more

When is it? August 10-15

Where is it? Budapest, Hungary

Tickets: €290 (approx £242), szigetfestival.com

Flow

Petri Anttila / Flow Festival

What is it? A varied festival, booking everyone from legacy rockers to cult favourites, held within the industrial surroundings of a disused power station.

Who’s playing? Gorillaz, Florence + The Machine, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Michael Kiwanuka, Holly Humberstone and more.

When is it? August 12-14

Where is it? Helsinki, Finland

Tickets: €205 (approx £171), flowfestival.com

Rock en Seine

What is it? Paris’ biggest festival, delivering a crowd-pleasing blend of rock and pop music that draws an increasingly international crowd each year.

Who’s playing? Arctic Monkeys, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Tame Impala, Stromae, Kraftwerk and more.

When is it? August 25-28

Where is it? Paris, France

Tickets: €199 (approx £166), rockenseine.com

Dimensions

What is it? A collection of cutting-edge DJs and musicians, ranging from techno to jazz, which has now moved away from its home in a 19th century fort and into the ever-popular Tisno.

Who’s playing? Bradley Zero, Helena Hauff, DJ Stingray, Move D, Zakia and more.

When is it? September 1-5

Where is it? Tisno, Croatia

Tickets: £140, dimensionsfestival.com

ION

What is it? A brand new festival from the people behind London house and techno favourite Junction 2, taking place on the Albanian Riviera, after first making plans to launch in 2020.

Who’s playing? Nina Kraviz, Pearson Sound, HAAi, Maribou State, Madam X and more.

When is it? September 7-14

Where is it? Dhërmi, Albania

Tickets: from £169pp for ticket and accomodation, ionalbania.com

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