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The Godfather of the festival scene, Glastonbury has been bringing music lovers to the Somerset countryside since 1970. It’s a festival which everyone should go to at least once in their lives. The line-up is guaranteed to be good, and even if the headliners don’t float your boat, with around 80 stages and venues you’re sure to find something that matches your music taste. Make sure you pack your wellies, by the Sunday the fields will likely have tuned into a mud bath
Europe’s answer to Glasto, Sziget regularly attracts more than 350,000 festival goers to its island location in the heart of Budapest. Our top tip? Pace yourself. The festival is held across 7 days, and with 200 daily performances ranging from live bands to circus acts it’s definitely a marathon not a sprint! If you need a break from festival life, catch one of the shuttle services into Budapest to see the city’s cultural gems.
Primavera in Barcelona kicks off the European festival scene. If trekking through muddy fields isn’t your thing, then the port side location of this urban festival might be the perfect alternative. Having started in 2001, Primavera has established itself as a go-to festival, so you can count on some great musical acts.This year it became the first major festival to achieve a 50/50 gender balance in their line-up. Yet another reason to add it to your list.
For one weekend each August, the fields of the Matterley Bowl estate near Winchester are transformed into a pop-up town for Boomtown. The theme each year is a new chapter in a crazy made-up history which mirrors the current global economic climate, making Boomtown feel more like an alternate reality than a music festival. There’s even a specially built mono-track, called the Magic Carpet ride, that’s designed to get revellers round the site - walking miles in uncomfortable welly boots are a thing of the past.
A festival which everyone has heard of, but one which is nearly impossible to describe. Held in the Nevada desert, Burning Man is an off-the-grid, Mad Max style festival which promotes radical inclusion, decommodification, and self-expression. People get around on light-up bikes and there’s no line-up, instead DJs are last minute surprises. Whatever you do don’t let die-hard Burners hear you calling it a festival - Burning Man is a community, a temporary city and a global cultural movement, obviously!