It’s been an exciting and vibrant start festival season this year in the UK – despite the weather – and you may be feeling a little left out if you don’t have any festival plans yet. Of course, festivals are expensive and although they’re almost always well worth the initial expense excessive rain and mud can leave you wondering why you’ve paid any money at all!
While we can’t rely on there being another UK heatwave like last year, there are ways you can pretty much guarantee a sunny, warm and dry festival weekend: go abroad!
Europe hosts countless music festivals each year, with huge headliners which rival what we’re used to at music festivals in the UK. We’ve compiled a list of our favourite late summer music festivals below – which one would you travel for?
Where: Transylvania, Romania
When: 15-18 August
Awake Festival is set in rural Transylvania amidst the grounds of an 18th-century baroque castle beside the River Mures. You won’t be short of photo opportunities here, as the beautiful and vibrant festival is spread out over 16 acres of stunning estate gardens.
The line-up tends to span a range of musical genres, from drun’n’bass to hip-hop, soul and punk. This year, you’ll find Netsky, Pussy Riot and Enter Shikari on the bill, among many, many other brilliant acts. The festival also boasts a range of other immersive activities to keep you busy when you’re not partying, including outdoor artworks, interactive theatre, a cinema, a forest library and a ‘feed your mind’ programme.
Currency: Romanian Leu (RON)
Waking Life Festival
Where: Near Lisbon, Portugal
When: 14 – 19 August
Waking Life Festival can be found just 2.5hrs north-east of Lisbon near the medieval town of Crato. Only in its third year, Waking Life is quickly becoming the talk of the European festival scene thanks to its stunning lakeside location and 6 days of non-stop, round the clock performances, experiences and activities.
The festival is geared primarily towards electronic music, ranging from ambient to deep house, with something for every taste. This year has Four Tet, Seth Troxler and Move D on the list, with many others to be announced. This festival is about so much more than just the music however, with kung-fu, yoga, meditation, a cinema, large-scale artworks and talks from a range of speakers scheduled into the week.
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Rock en Seine
Where: Paris, France
When: 23 – 25 August
If you like the idea of going to a European music festival, but you don’t necessarily want to spend all of your time on the festival site, then Rock en Seine may be just the festival for you. Bringing the festival into the city of Paris, Rock en Seine allows you to drop in and out as you wish, as long as you have a valid ticket – you can get one which covers the full festival, or just pick and choose the days you want to attend.
This year the line-up includes The Cure, Aphex Twin, Foals, and Eels. This type of festival holiday is a good idea if you’re travelling with a group, particularly if not everyone is up for the full music festival experience.
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Where: Budapest, Hungary
When: 7-13 August
Sziget Festival is one of the most popular festivals in Europe, as it’s often compared with the US super-festival, Burning Man. Rather than being set in the middle of the Nevada desert, Sziget Festival is instead set on Óbuda Island in the heart of Budapest. You’ll find a diverse range of cultures represented at the festival, as well as world food, street art and even a beach.
This year, the line-up includes some amazing acts, with Foo Fighters, Ed Sheeran, Florence + The Machine, and Macklemore among the many headliners. There are also hundreds of other bands and performers scheduled to appear – many of which are worth the ticket price alone!
Currency: Hungarian Forint (HUF)
Where: Fort Punta Christo, Croatia
When: 28 August – 1 September
If you’re a fan of electronic music, then Dimensions Festival should definitely be on your list. This year is the last time this festival will be staged at Fort Punta Christo, an actual abandoned ‘island’ fort in the Adriatic. With plenty of extra special events happening as part of the festival itself – including boat parties and raves inside an underground tunnel network – it really is a complete escape from everyday life.
This year you can expect to see Gilles Peterson, Joy Orbison and Mr Scruff, as well as countless other acts. There’s still plenty of time to arrange your travel – but be quick as tickets are likely to sell fast.
Currency: Croatian Kuna (HRK)
Where: Helsinki, Finland
When: 9-11 August
Flow Festival is 16 years old this year and is one of the biggest and best music festivals in Scandinavia, with over 80,000 expected to attend. More than just music stages, Flow Festival provides a showcase for visual arts, talks, and film screenings and you’ll find plenty of incredible food and drink on-site to fuel your dancing.
Flow hosts a range of popular music acts - this year the line-up includes big names like The Cure, Tame Impala and Cardi B, with over 100 other performers tipped to make an appearance. This festival – much like the Rock en Seine – does not have a designated camping area and is instead incorporated into the city of Helsinki itself.
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Get a Great Deal on Foreign Currency
You should always take plenty of cash with you to a music festival, as mobile cashpoints could run out of money and the queues are often very long indeed. Of course, you’ll want to get as much foreign currency as you can for your money, so it’s important to shop around for a good deal.
Here at H&T Pawnbrokers we can help with all of your foreign currency needs and for the more popular currencies, you do not even need to place an order – simply drop in to any of our 180+ UK-wide branches, or use our online Travel Money tool today.