As temparatures begin to dip, the festival season in Europe is drawing to an end. If you haven’t made it to one of the many musical extravaganzas on the continent, all may not be lost. There are some great festivals coming up, so buy your wellies and start practicing putting up your tent now! Plus if you’re looking for something festival-shaped and little bit different, check our handpicked selection of unusual cultural events around Europe in September.
Rock en Seine – France
The only gallic music event to really rival big festivals such as Glastonbury, Sziget and EXIT. Rock en Seine is held just outside Paris and has been running since 2003. The first edition featured two stages and just ten bands, but this year the three day festival will see big name acts new and old wowing the crowds. Musical heavyweights will be there in the form of Oasis, Madness and The Prodigy and newcomers include Sliimy, The Noisettes and Ebony Bones. If you haven’t yet seen MGMT, Vampire Weekend or the Yeah Yeah Yeahs live on stage, this is your chance!
August 28th-30th. www.rockenseine.com
Electric Picnic – Ireland
Stradbally in County Laois (perhaps don’t try and pronounce that post-alcohol consumption…) is the unlikely location for Electric Picnic, a three day extravaganza featuring the likes of Orbital, Basement Jaxx and Roots Manuva. If you’re a fan of dance music this one should be right up your street as Simian Mobile Disco, Erol Alkan and 2 Many DJs are also set to appear. There’s more to the festival than just music though; the Greencrafts area offers the opportunity to take part in craft workshops and there also a 360-degree circus arena, a comedy tent and the Body & Soul Village too!
September 4th – 6th. www.electricpicnic.ie
Bestival – UK
The stunning natural beauty of the Isle of Wight provides the perfect backdrop for some fantastic acts at Bestival. The festival is a little bit more alternative and unusual than the bigger festivals and certainly doesn’t take itself too seriously. Bestival is well known for its fancy dress days, and this year the theme is “Space”, so get ready to hop about to the music next to assorted daleks, astronauts and Spock look-alikes! The massive lineup features a huge wealth of musical talent from DJ Yoda to Delphic and La Roux to Little Boots. Lucky Bestivalgoers will find the “Hidden Disco”, a secret tent which has seen some legendary bootyshaking over the years…
September 11th – 13th. www.bestival.net
If you fancy popping along to a festival featuring something a little bit different, what about:
MITO, the Milan-Turin International Music Festival (3rd-24th September) – featuring a packed programme of all sorts of events from classical concerts to world music gigs and an unmissable jazz marathon.
The Dimitria Festival in Greece (8th Sept-Nov 18th) – held in Thessaloniki, this annual festival offers a wealth of cultural events with opera, music and dance performances as well as art exhibitions and literary seminaries.
The International Roma Music Festival in Finland (8th-10th September) – a festival all about Roma music. This year’s theme is Hungarian traditional music and the festival will also feature exhibitions and a tango ball.
The Reykjavik International Film Festival (17th-27th September) – Milos Forman is this year’s guest of honour and the festival will also give movie buffs the opportunity to head to concerts, midnight movies and conferences.