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By Sam Hall on 7.7.2023

Europe; the answer to festival fever

The summer sun is high in the sky, and it may not be the only one, as your toasted entity of a body deliberates what’s next on the festival agenda. There’s a million blogs, tweets and facebook updates about the Glasto that’s just gone, (and you can find ours here) perking everyone up into festival fortitude as we gear up for Leeds and Reading that are just around the corner, but hold on to your tent pegs. There are festivals out there for half the taxation on your summer strung-out wallet, with double the exotic surroundings and tuned delightfully with the presence of innumerable nationalities and still present with heavy-hitting headliners. Where? Europe, that’s where. A place that, in this golden age of budget airlines, is on our relative doorstep.

Forget that British Isles A-Z, and let me guide you through the 5 places I’d like to be on the continent this summer in chronological and concise fashion.

Kicking things off on 9th July, Exit festival, Serbia, a snip at 72 quid, Exit has got the names without the price tag. Acts include Kraftwerk, Patti Smith, Arctic Monkeys and Moby. If a Petrovaradin fortress and festival friendly pop is your tent’s turn-on then Exit is for you.

A week later and we find ourselves at Dour, Belgium for a budget price £85 for 4 nights. I missed this festival in 2007 after being struck bankrupt because of travelling and have wanted to make up for it since, not least this year with dnb legend, Andy C alongside Noisia, Roots Manuva and Fat Freddy’s Drop headlining. Boasting as an alternative festival Dour fills its stages with the best in Dance, Hip-Hop and Reggae. It now hosts a ‘festivallage’, a complex of huts with comfy beds, for luxury-loving festival-goers.

Edge along south-easterly, and you’ll be at Sonica, Italy on 31st July. Call this a wild-card entry from me and at £50, why not? Set upon a mountainous range, Sonica prides itself on the more psychedelic realm. Trance acts are galore, but not as you’ve ever heard before, with electronic textures adding to the thump. I recommend DJs, Younger Brother and OTT for Dub heavy and eastern sampled music. Mind-blowing.

Back to Eastern Europe on 12th August and we hit boho struck Budapest for Sziget, one of the largest on the map with a price to match at £150 but note this is a marathon 7 day fest. Acclaimed as the ‘Eurowoodstock’ Sziget comes with the festival feeling. Acts include The Prodigy, Fatboy Slim and The Klaxons.

Lastly, and closer to home, is Electric Picnic, Ireland. A bit steeper at 200 pounds, perhaps it’s to pay the utilities bill with electronica definitely being the main ingredient in the hamper. Old meets new with The Flaming Lips and Basement Jaxx the big hitters, and listen out for ambient landscapists, Explosions in the Sky.
Watch out for the MindField too, with intellectual backdrops going on around the festival; poetry, science and philosophy are discussions showcased here.

So there you go, now all I have to do is wait for your kind donations to fund this dream of a Euro-trip! If you’re interested in any of these festivals then please view the links below, and if you’re lucky enough to attend, get in touch and we’ll proudly publish your review and in the meantime watch this space for Vickie Campbell’s piece on Lounge on the Farm, right here in Kent.

Happy festivalling!

Electric Picnic


  • Man, the Dour Festival sounds amazing…Tokya Ska Paradise Orchestra and Sepultura under one roof!!Wish Id found out about this earlier!…Might have to find a way to rob Peter to pay Paul…cheers for the lowdown Sam-Im def gonna check it out!!

    By Charlotte Dunne on 9.7.2023

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