Music festivals speak a universal language. There will be few places in the developed world where there aren’t gatherings for people to enjoy music. In this blog, we’re going to look at some of the most-loved events in the music calendar around Europe.
Glastonbury – England
Held at Worthy Farm, Somerset, the festival was the brainchild of Michael Eavis after seeing Led Zeppelin at the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Rock in 1970. He wanted to hold an open-air event and held his first event at the farm in 1970. The festival was held sporadically until 1981 when it became a regular event. Though held most years the festival takes a “fallow year” every few years and the next festival is scheduled for 2019. Inspired by the hippie movement and the counterculture movement the event is considered one of the most important cultural festivals in the UK, comprising music, dance, performance art and a lot more. It partners with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament – a nod to its hippy roots.
Roskilde – Denmark
Starting as a hippy festival in 1971, Roskilde has grown into one of the largest music events in Europe. Today it attracts over 125000 festival-goers from all around the world. It has hosted a diverse range of acts including Nirvana, Ray Charles, Iron Maiden, Talking Heads, Pearl Jam, Brian Wilson, Paul McCartney and Wu-Tang Clan. The festival is famous for its naked run, held every year – a tribute to the festival’s hippy roots.
Primavera Sound – Barcelona, Spain and Oporto, Portugal
The hipster favourite is held in Barcelona and Oporto every summer and mixes rock and pop acts with electronic and dance music. It started small, attracting 8000 people to the first festival and has now grown to accommodate crowds of 190000. It has seen performances from Orbital, Julian Cope, Iggy and the Stooges, Kendrick Lamar and Nine Inch Nails and Dave Clarke amongst hundreds of others.
Tomorrowland – Belgium
The dance music festival is an institution that started in 2005. Today 400000 people descend on the site every year to watch the world’s top EDM acts. The tickets sell out in minutes and it is attended by people from all over Europe and the world. It has seen sets from Armin van Buuren, David Guetta, Avicii, Tiesto and Faithless. Each year the festival has a different theme and the 2018 event will be entitled “The Story of Planaxis.”
Rock am Ring – Germany
The Rock am Ring festival is one of rock and metal’s top events on the calendar. Starting in 1985 as a celebration of a new version of the famous Nürburgring racetrack in Nürburg. It was attended by 75000 rock fans and became an annual event with the exception of a couple of years out in the late 1980s. The festival has seen performances from metal royalty Iron Maiden, Metallica, Gun’s n Roses and a diverse mix of other acts including REM, The Prodigy, Skrillex, Elton John and Chris Rea.