The promise of spring now upon us and that means one thing – festival season is on its way. Glastonbury may be taking a break this year but there are still a multitude of music extravaganzas to look forward to. If you’re looking for an alternative to the likes of Coachella, then look no further because we’ve rounded up some of the best music festivals Europe has to offer. From an intimate gig inside an Icelandic lava tunnel to DJ sets high up in the Austrian mountains, we’ve got it all covered – read on for our top picks of 2018.
Way Out West – Gothenburg, Sweden (August 9-11)
Sweden’s second-largest city is pretty well-known for this festival – in previous years it’s brought the likes of ASAP Rocky, Lana Del Rey, Grimes and Frank Ocean to the west coast of the country. This year, the lineup includes Kendrick Lamar, Jorja Smith, Sigrid and the return of the Arctic Monkeys. All this is set in the lush surroundings of one of the city’s most beautiful parks, Slottsskogen, so you can be at one with nature whilst catching all your favorite acts.
Melt – Ferropolis, Germany (July 13-15)
Melt takes place in Ferropolis, a former coal mine which is now an open-air museum of gigantic, old industrial machinery. Every July, this barren landscape turns into one of the buzziest sites in Germany, where revellers can dance on the peninsula, surrounded by a lake, to some of the biggest music acts in the world. This year, the lineup includes Tyler, the Creator, The xx, Princess Nokia and Alma, amongst others.
Snowbombing – Mayrhofen, Austria (April 9-14)
When you think of festivals, you think of hot sunny, summer days, right? Well, that’s not the case with Snowbombing. Much like the name states, this music and sports production takes place in a snowy ski-town in Austria. Alongside catching acts as diverse as Liam Gallagher, Pendulum and Dizzee Rascal and DJs like Peggy Gou, Honey Dijon and Flava D, you can also partake in fun, mountain-themed activities like skiing, snowboarding and… chairlift speed dating. If that’s all too much for you, you can always wind down in some of Austria’s finest spas, which are ideally located nearby.
Lowlands – Biddinghuizen, Netherlands (August 18-20)
Where’s the best place to head if you want a few days jam-packed with the best music and culture? Well, a small Dutch town an hour’s train ride away from Amsterdam, apparently. Lowlands has a whopping 12 stages and over 250 acts from all over the world, which this year includes Dua Lipa, Kendrick Lamar and N.E.R.D. There’s also a cinema and theatre on-site, as well as plenty of stalls, a huge market and even a barber shop, so there’s no shortage of ways to spend your time.
Secret Solstice – Reykjavík, Iceland (June 21-24)
Secret Solstice made our list last year, but it’s back on here again for good reason. Alongside an array of emerging Scandinavian talent, the festival will be host to Gucci Mane, Stormzy, IAMDDB and Steve Aoki. In fact, it’s even where legendary metal band Slayer are choosing to play the farewell show of their final world tour. It wouldn’t be Secret Solstice without epic side events and they don’t disappoint – you can party in Langjökull, Europe’s second largest glacier and attend an intimate gig inside a literal lava tunnel. Wow! Music, adventure and jaw-dropping landscapes everywhere you turn, all under that magical 24-hour midnight sun that the region is famed for. What more could you ask for?