Alternative European Festivals for Musically Minded Travelers


Alternative European Festivals for Musically Minded Travelers

Wanderlust and an appreciation of great music often go hand-in-hand; and there are certainly worse ways to spend a summer than bouncing from festival to festival following your favorite band. However, whilst the likes of Glastonbury and Roskilde will open their familiar farm-gates to hundreds of thousands of festival goers over the course of their respective weekends, some of us are happier walking the road less travelled in search of our musical fix.

In most cases, this also means a significant saving on the financial side of the summer – a bonus whichever way you look at it. So if you’re after a decent excuse to get around Europe, why not plan your travels to coincide with these cheaper and lesser known festivals.

Flow Festival, Helsinki, Finland

Urban and industrial, the Flow Festival in Helsinki does away with the need to pack wellies and waterproofs and replaces it with a much more cosy and comfortable festival experience. Beginning on 8th August and running for a full three days, Flow is as proud of its festival menu as it is of its music policy. Locally sourced vendors offer an array of world cuisine just a short walk from the city centre – giving visitors the chance to eat well and enjoy great music from the likes of Bonobo and the National.


La Roche Bluegrass Festival, Roche-sur-Foron

France Bluegrass fans rejoice; for the small town of La Roche in the French Alps offers an unparalleled, albeit unlikely, European home for the genre at the end of July. Family-friendly and completely free, the three-day event dominates the streets of the town hosting gigs from bands such as Blue Highway, Hickory Project and the Kentucky Cow Tippers. Yee-Haa.

Urban Art Forms Festival – Graz, Austria

Urban by name, idyllic in nature. The Urban Art Forms Festival is located on the beautiful Schwarzlsee in Austria and provides festival goers with the best in electronic music between 3-5 July. Trippy visuals and VJ shows help maintain an electric atmosphere as Oliver Koletski, Chris Liebing and Rusko churn out tune after tune. Just make sure you have the proper techno outfit planned so you can get down and dirty all weekend.

Førdefestivalen – Førde, Norway

Nestled cosily (or icily) between giant glaciers and wondrous waterfalls, Norway’s Førdefestivalen gives travelers a chance to experience some of the country’s spectacular wilderness. Traditional folk and world music dominates the bill here with more than 300 artists from 30 countries performing over the festival’s five days. 2014 will also see the Førdefestivalen celebrate its 25th birthday with a whole host of special events planned for the weekend.

An impressive line-up gives way only to the playful atmosphere of Positivus – perhaps it’s something in the name.

Positivus – Salacgriva, Latvia

Kraftwerk and Elbow are the big draws for this festival which is located within the idyllic Gulf of Riga, however, a local craft market, world cinema marquee and theatrical circus all help to enhance the positive vibes.

What’s more, a three day camping ticket costs just €63 meaning you have more cash to stock up on festival clothes and other fashion items for your travels.

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