6 of the best European summer music festivals

Whether you want to bop to pop or be serenaded by orchestral symphonies, we’ve found the best music festivals across Europe this summer.

1. Uncover this Dutch secret…

Despite the name, Best Kept Secret is well known among Dutch indie fans as the place to see the best artists. Making things even more interesting, this festival is in safari park Beekse Bergen.

Acts to catch: Arctic Monkeys, LCD Soundsystem, The National, Chvrches, Father John Misty and Future Islands.

Getting there: Düsseldorf, Amsterdam, and Brussels airports are all just a 90-minute drive away.

Dates: 8-9 June.

Extend your stay: Spend 48 hours in Amsterdam and see the idyllic canal city at its best.

2. Historic setting for breathtaking music

Chorégies d’Orange is a celebration of operatic music. The main venue is France’s astounding National Roman Theatre – one of the best preserved Roman structures of its kind in Europe.

Chorégies d’Orange | Photo by Philippe Gromelle
Chorégies d’Orange | Photo by Philippe Gromelle

Acts to catch: Mefistofele Boito, Maurice Béjart, Siviglia Rossini, and Fantasia performed with a live orchestra.

Getting there: Sandwiched between Marseille and Montpellier, Orange is an easy drive from either airport.

Dates: 20 June – 04 August.

Extend your stay: Sightsee with a difference – view vibrant Marseille aboard your own jet ski.

3. Catch red-hot acts lakeside

Against the backdrop of Germany’s Lake Gremmin, you can see a great mix of big-name acts and up-and-coming producers at Melt Festival. Need to cool off? Take a dip in the lake’s refreshing waters.

Melt Festival acts 2018
Melt Festival acts 2018

Acts to catch: The XX, Florence + The Machine, Fever Ray, Little Dragon, Mount Kimbie and Tyler, The Creator.

Getting there: Berlin’s Tegel Airport is the best option for Melt, which is easily accessible via public transport from the city centre.

Dates: 13-15 July.

Extend your stay: Treat yourself to a stay in The Mandala before the festival. Soak in panoramic views from the rooftop spa area.

4. Living legends take the stage

Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie. All of these greats have graced the stage at Italian festival Umbria Jazz. This ever-evolving event now includes boundary-pushing artists of all stripes.

Acts to catch: Quincy Jones, Massive Attack, David Byrne, Gilberto Gil and Margareth Menezes.

Getting there: Three airports are really handy for Umbria Jazz festival goers. Fly to Rome or Pisa.

Dates: 13-22 July.

Extend your stay: Enjoy a trip to Rome and for some bonus culture and mouth-watering meals.

5. Central London’s sweet symphonies

The Proms has been wowing London audiences for over 120 years. The BBC event series hosts the best British and international performers in the iconic Royal Albert Hall.

Royal Albert Hall, London
Royal Albert Hall, London

Acts to catch: The hotly-anticipated line up is going to be announced on 19 April.

Getting there: There are lots of daily flights to London Gatwick and London Heathrow – choose the one that suits you.

Dates: 13 July – 08 September.

Extend your stay: When the weather’s good in London, make the most of it by dining al fresco.

6. Fortress dance party

Ever thought you’d get to party in a Croatian fortress? Well, tick that one off the list when you head over to Dimensions Festival. See spectacular electronic music gigs inside Fort Punta Christo, on the surrounding beaches and even in the moat.

Acts to catch: Kraftwerk, Nils Frahm, Moodymann, John Talabot, Bonobo and DMX Krew.

Getting there: Dimensions is less than half an hour’s drive from Pula Airport.

Dates: 29 August – 02 September.

Extend your stay: Wave goodbye to the summer with a few extra days in Pula. Soak up the rays in pristine beaches and marvel at amazingly preserved ancient Roman architecture.