EUROPE’S BEST SUMMER FESTIVALS
In my hunt for the ultimate party experience, my travels have taken me as far as South America to avoid the generic clubbing scenes of the Spanish & Greek Islands. Exotic Locations such as the Dominican Republic do have many positives, but flight costs and travel time makes it difficult to hop on the plane for a quick 4 day getaway with a few friends. However, in recent years another scene has emerged to rival any other, and is right here in Europe.
Gone are the days of wild weekends in Eastern Europe being exclusive to stags looking for cheap thrills. Promoters have recognised that people are tired of the artificial surroundings of Ibiza and realised that countries such as Croatia, Romania, and Poland offer golden beaches, scorching temperatures, and a welcoming atmosphere, all in an unaffected environment. The BSF team have had the unpleasant task of sampling every beach, party, and cocktail in Eastern Europe to bring you the ultimate Alternative Summer Festival Guide:
THE GARDEN FESTIVAL- Petrcane, Croatia
Beginning in 2005, set in the historic, cultural city of Zadar on the Dalmatian coast, it may not be the most obvious place to host a music festival- but is one of the fastest growing week long festivals in Europe and has had to relocate to a new venue at The Garden Tisno to accommodate the ever expanding crowd.
The garden is set on a hill overlooking the festival’s very own beach and has 80 on-site apartments, 30 Indian Shikar tents, and space for 120 tent pitches. It is a relatively small festival but the 2012 line-up is anything but, with highlights including:
-Sir Norman Jay will bring the Notting Hill Carnival vibe to the HMS Goodtimes for the Argonaughty boat party
-Cafe Del Mar legend Jose Padilla will be playing in venues throughout the week
-Live acts include Kenny Dope, Tiger & Woods, Eglo feat Fatima & Olivier Day Soul, & 2020 Soundsystem
Also, if one week is just not long enough, The Garden Festival transforms into the Electric Elephant festival from 12th-16th July for another 5 days of boat parties & live acts.
Info: The Garden Festival- A New Beginning. 4th-11th July 2012 @ The Garden Tisno, Petrica Glava 34, 22240, Tisno, Croatia. Nearest Airports: Zadar. Full week tickets: £90 / Double Whammy pass for The Garden Festival & Electric Elephant: £150.
EXIT FESTIVAL- Novi Sad, Serbia
One of the most well known European Festivals, Exit is not for those who enjoy quiet nights. Held within the grounds of an old fortress, with 600 artists performing on 20 stages and this year’s line-up includes Guns N’ Roses, Erykah Badu, Plan B, Duran Duran and many more!
Everything centres around the Exit Village on the beautiful Oficirac beach besides the river Danube, where the party never stops with 24 hour music, pool, and sporting events, and is only a short distance from the fortress. There is really something for all musical tastes with stages dedicated to genres such as Reggae, Dance, and Latin- and with so many like minded music fans in attendance; the atmosphere can only be described as vivacious.
Info: Exit Festival, 12th-15th July 2012 @ Petrovaradin Fortress, Novi Sad, Serbia. Nearest Airport: Belgrade.
Early Bird Tickets: £85 plus booking fee – SOLD OUT
Loyalty Club Tickets: £89 plus booking fee
Standard Tickets: £95 plus booking fee
Camping Tickets: £25 plus booking fee
VIP Tickets: £220 plus booking fee
Buy tickets from EXIT direct via etickets and See Tickets, HMV, Resident Advisor and Skiddle.
OFF Festival- Katowice, Poland
Although smaller than other festivals, the Off festival is a boutique musical celebration set up in the Three Lake Valley, a picturesque region in the heart of Katowice. The event’s aim is to support art and music, both local and international, and this year’s headliners include Iggy & the Stooges, Death in Vegas, and Iceage. Looking at the line-up, it’s clear that the focus is on alternative rock and would be ideal for those who want to escape the traditional summer dance festivals.
Info: Off Festival: 3rd-5th August 2012 @ Dolina Trzech Stawow, Katowice, Poland. Nearest airport: Katowice. Tickets for all three days: 50€ / 60€.
BERLIN FESTIVAL- Berlin, Germany
Not strictly an unspoilt holiday location but the Berlin Festival has to be included in this guide just for being one of the greatest 48 hour events on earth. Set in the former hangars of Tempelhof Airport, Live acts including Franz Ferdinand, The Killers, Kate Nash and Sigur Ros will be rocking crowds over the 2 days. Once the clock strikes midnight, the party continues throughout Berlin, including Club Xberg, where the biggest electro and indie DJs will come together until the early hours. If live acts are not your thing, then how does the world’s biggest Silent Disco take your fancy?
Berlin is such an exciting city that there is something for everyone. The only downside of a city festival is that there is no village accommodation or sandy beach to kick back on after a hard night’s partying.
Info: Berlin Festival: 7th & 8th September @ Tempelhof Airport, Berlin, Germany. Nearest Airport: Schonefeld. Tickets: starting from 49€