The best European music festivals you've never heard of
- David Pollock
- 17 May 2013
Featuring Electric Elephant, Unsound, Oya and Sunsplash
You’ve heard of Primavera, Exit and Roskilde but are these lesser-known European music festivals on your radar?
All Tomorrow’s Parties Iceland
Sadly coming to an end in the UK, hipster holiday camp hideaway ATP is once more branching out overseas, starting with this weekender on an ex-NATO air base starring Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Fall, Deerhoof and more.
Keflavik, Iceland, Fri 28 & Sat 29 Jun, atpfestival.com
Set on the Croatian coast in a bay with its own private beach, Electric Elephant promises sun, sea and boat parties with an eclectic line-up including Carl Craig, Frankie Knuckles, Mr Scruff, Optimo, Horse Meat Disco, Ivan Smagghe, Prosumer and more.
Tisno, Croatia, Thu 11–Mon 15 Jul, electricelephant.co.uk
An experimental electronic event which deserves the term ‘legendary’, Unsound is a week of clubs, art events, happenings, screenings and concerts throughout Krakow. This year’s line-up is so far unannounced – but you can expect it to be excellent.
Krakow, Poland, Sun 13–Sun 20 Oct, unsound.pl
On an old industrial site with a huge crane in the centre, Melt’s guests can perhaps best be described as lying at the starry end of the alternative spectrum. With an emphasis on the electronic, this edition welcomes Atoms for Peace, The Knife, Django Django and Chvrches.
Ferropolis, Germany, Fri 19–Sun 21 Jul, meltfestival.de
Best Kept Secret
Making its debut this year, this new event boasts a nearby forest, a beach and a bungalow park for those who like home comforts. With Bloc Party, Sigur Ros, Portishead, Savages, Tyler the Creator and a similarly eclectic mix throughout.
Fri 21–Sun 23 Jun, bestkeptsecret.nl
Yet another of the many great events pitching up in Tisno’s Garden (see also Electric Elephant), Soundwave’s line-up sets it apart: Doom, Bonobo, Quantic, DJ Shadow, DJ Yoda, Com Truise, Capitol 1212 and many more.
Tisno, Croatia, Thu 18–Mon 22 Jul, soundwavecroatia.com
As boutique as they come and with an oddly British flavour, SunSplash offers a whole week in plush beachfront resort the Su hotel with musical accompaniment from the likes of Jamie Lidell, Gilles Peterson, Norman Jay MBE, Mad Professor and Koreless.
Antalya, Turkey, Sun 2–Sun 9 Jun, sunsplash-festival.com
Pitching itself as ‘the largest bass music and soundsystem culture festival in Europe’, Outlook’s, er, outlook is actually extremely broad-ranging. Entrenched in an old fort on the Adriatic coast, this year features a ludicrous range of guests across dance and hip hop.
Fort Punto Christa, Pula, Croatia, Thu 29 Aug–Mon 2 Sep, outlookfestival.com
Celebrating its 25th year, Dour pitches itself as being at the crossroads of Europe on the Belgian border. This year’s roster certainly splits in several directions, with Wu-Tang Clan, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Smashing Pumpkins, Jurassic 5 and The Vaccines presiding over a dance-heavy affair.
Dour, Belgium, Thu 18–Sun 21 Jul, dourfestival.be
Held in Oslo’s beautiful Medieval Park, with a glistening fjord on one side, Oya Festival 2013 boasts Cat Power, Kraftwerk, Azealia Banks and Blur on an enticing line-up. Expect an intimate affair in the Norwegian capital among green surroundings just a stroll from the city centre.
Oslo, Norway, Wed 6–Sun 10 Aug, oyafestivalen.com