The summer often brings a major predicament for lovers of music and holidays every year; ‘do I go on holiday or to a festival?’

With festivals in the UK being notorious for unpredictable weather – some of us may be dubious about getting tickets. But there are a huge number of festivals throughout the whole of Europe, offering everything you can get here, with the added bonus of sun, sea and sand.

Who wouldn’t want that at a festival?

So avoid the mud, rain and freezing winds this year, and take a look at five of our favourite European festivals for some inspiration.

Benicassim – Benicassim, Spain


This long standing Spanish festival has been gradually climbing the festival ladder for years, cementing itself as one of Europe’s finest.

Entertaining spectators for 20 years now, you can expect to see headliners from across the globe, with Amy Winehouse, Oasis, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Muse and Kings of Leon hitting the stage in recent years.

If you get too hot, the beach is located nearby and there’s also a water park for a fun day out – as the bands don’t start until later in the evening. The town centre is also a short distance away, and visitors will be staying at one of two camps – one closer to the festival, and the other closer to the beach. Both however are walkable in a short time. With the festival encompassing films, art and fashion, this is the ultimate in European festivals – the Spanish Glasto you could say?

The Garden Festival – Tisno, Croatia


Taking inspiration from the electronic music scene, the festival emits a laid back atmosphere in this sun drenched destination.

Prepare yourself for a loved up 8 days, as you head to a festival setting like no other – a natural amphitheatre that overlooks a cove filled with crystal clear waters. If the paradise style setting isn’t enough to get you excited, the festival is also a short walk from the town, where you can fill up on local seafood and explore the intricate architecture.

However, the festival gets into full swing at midday, with the beach stage, various other stages and a number of boat parties getting everyone excited in the sun, which all ends at the legendary open air nightclub; Barbarella’s.

Isle of Dreams – Istanbul, Turkey


Originating in Switzerland, this festival has now made its way to other destinations, including Turkey. Although Switzerland is a fabulous destination, if you want to catch the sun and bask on a nearby beach in your spare time, then Turkey is definitely your port of call.

Replicating the culture of Ibiza, this festival is one where you can dance all day and night. Featuring artists from various electronic genres, you can expect EDM superstars, underground artists and experimental and local DJs – previous line-ups have included Calvin Harris, David Guetta, Avicii, Afrojack, Paul Van Dyk and Paul Oakenfold.

Held over three days in August at the Life Park, this is a dance festival unlike any other.

Bilbao BBK Festival – Bilbao, Spain


Taking place in Bilbao, Spain, this rock and pop festival has been going strong since 2006, now attracting more than 100,000 visitors. With some of the world’s biggest musical acts playing in previous years, including The Prodigy, Blondie, The Cure, Radiohead and Mumford & Sons – this is a great way to experience live music in a unique Spanish setting.

With a stunning backdrop encompassing sprawling mountains, beaches and blue sea, you get Spain at its best. The area also features numerous bars and restaurants, should you need shelter on those hot days. It’s worth noting the festival site is only 10 minutes away from the city centre, which itself is about 6miles from the airport.

Plissken – Athens, Greece


Head to the Greek capital and experience this new, yet amazingly diverse music festival. Hosted in the city rather than at a resort, festival goers can make the most of what’s in the city, whilst waiting for acts to hit the stage. The event takes place at the Hellenic Cosmos Cultural Centre.

With a philosophy that aims to make this a ‘genre-defying’ festival, spectators can expect to see more than 80 international artists hit the stage, alongside select local artists; bringing diversity in abundance. Past acts have included Peaches, Dead Skeletons, King Khan and the Shrines and Death Grips.

Interestingly, 2014 is the first year to introduce a two day winter festival; taking place on December 4th and 5th.
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