The 26 best music festivals in Europe for summer 2012
WHEN May 16-20
OR Graz, Austria
THE ATMOSPHERE Taking place in different cities, these events showcase art, design and a host of alternative electronic music, including IDM, post-garage, avante garde, drone and drum ‘n’ bass.
LINE UP The Shoes, Scratch Perverts, Skream, Modeselektor.
WHEN May 26–28
OR Landgraaf, Netherlands
THE ATMOSPHERE It may be Europe’s oldest pop festival, but there’s still life in the old dog. Expect three stages and 38 international acts to blow your mind.
LINE UP Bruce Springsteen, Bombay Bicycle Club, Chase And Status, James Morrison.
Rock Am ring
WHEN June 1–3
OR Nürburgring Racecourse, Germany
THE ATMOSPHERE With its sister festival, Rock Im Park, it echoes Reading/Leeds with its shared act. It also features some of the heaviest guitar-based music around.
LINE UP Linkin Park, Soundgarden, Gossip, Metallica, Offspring, Motorhead, Marilyn Manson and Die Toten Hosen.
WHEN June 14–16
OR Barcelona, Spain
THE ATMOSPHERE Mixing pop, urban and art, this cool urban festival, taking place in two different locations, will be the right place whatever your musical preference.
LINE UP New Order, MIA, Magnetic Man, Lana Del Rey, Fatboy Slim, James Murphy.
WHEN June 26–30
OR Zagreb, Lake Jarun, Croatia
THE ATMOSPHERE Held on beautiful Lake Jarun in Zagreb, with huge acts and a reputedly friendly crowd, InMusic is sure to impress.
LINE UP Gogo Bordello, The Cranberries, Franz Ferdinand, Mando Diao, Plan B.
WHEN June 29–July 1
OR Zrce beach, Island of Pag, Croatia
THE ATMOSPHERE Hop on a boat and party all day or swim to the backdrop of hard-hitting bass music.
LINE UP Annie Mac, Skream & Benga, Lomo Dice, Andy C.
WHEN July 4–7
OR Gdynia, Poland
THE ATMOSPHERE Boasting modern art, film festivals, loads of gypsy-punk, reggae, indie and drum ‘n’ bass, this mind-blowing festival has something for the pickiest of tastes.
LINE UP Franz Ferdinand, Jamie Woon, Public Enemy.
WHEN July 4-11
OR The Garden, Tisno, Croatia
THE ATMOSPHERE Organized by the sea, this event benefits from a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Lots of electronic music, sunshine and swimsuits.
LINE UP 2020 Soundsystem, Free School, Steve Cobby (Fila Brazilia), Adam Regan.
TICKETS £90 to £150; boat party £15 per trip
WHEN July 5-8
OR Roskilde, Denmark
THE ATMOSPHERE It has existed since 1971 and is the biggest festival of Northern European culture. Expect 100,000 revelers, performers and entertainers at this crazy, colorful and open-minded celebration.
LINE UP Friendly Fires, The Roots, Bruce Springsteen, The Refused, The Cure, Cerebral Ballzy.
WHEN July 6–8
OR Ferropolis, Germany
THE ATMOSPHERE Chill out at this hip-hop and reggae festival on Germany’s Ferropolis archipelago. With quality European and global urban tunes, live graffiti and good German beer to boot.
LINE UP De la Soul, Major Lazer, Nas, Skream.
WHEN July 12–15
OR Castellon, Spain
THE ATMOSPHERE A huge festival popular with Britons, this year promises no respite from the massive celebration. Expect sun, sea and madness with this absolute gem of a party, complete with a roster of headliners.
LINE UP Stone Roses, New Order, Crystal Castles, Flying Birds by Noel Gallagher
WHEN July 12-16
OR The Garden, Tisno, Croatia
THE ATMOSPHERE Dance your socks off to electronic beats while soaking up the rays.
LINE UP Michael Mayer, Andrew Weatherall, A Love From Space, Justin Robertson.
To go out
WHEN July 12–15
OR Novi Sad, Serbia
THE ATMOSPHERE You won’t want to go home after cutting a few shapes from big-name artists during this lively four-day event.
LINE UP Guns and Roses, Duran Duran, Feliz Da Housecat, New Order, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs.
WHEN July 13–15
OR Ferropolis, Grafenhainichen, Germany
THE ATMOSPHERE This year promises acts you won’t find anywhere else on the festival circuit, alongside Two Door Cinema Club and Gossip.
LINE UP Lana Del Rey, Nero, Squarepusher, Flux Pavillion.
WHEN July 19-23
OR Garden, Croatia
THE ATMOSPHERE In Europe’s new festival capital, Croatia, this boutique event features top performers and a beautiful setting.
LINE UP Ghostpoet, DJ Yoda, De La Soul, Submotion Orchestra, Belleruche, Craig Charles, Teebs, Anchorsong
TICKETS Four-day ticket at £105
WHEN July 25–30
OR Boom, Belgium
THE ATMOSPHERE A fairy tale style festival, filled with different genres of underground electronic music, from hardhouse to psy-trance, electro to gabba.
LINE UP Pendulum, David Guetta, Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox.
Stop making sense
WHEN August 2–6
OR Petrcane, Croatia
THE ATMOSPHERE Croatia continues to prove its worth with another beautifully located festival right by the sea. Have fun, frolic and fry in the sun, with beach sports, music and a top-notch atmosphere.
LINE UP Lil’ Louis, Jimmy Edgar, Tortured Soul, Chris Coco.
WHEN August 3–5
OR Katowice, Dolina Trzech Stawow, Poland
THE ATMOSPHERE Located in a huge park, this festival hosts independent artistic and cultural events, as well as exhibitions, screenings and music.
LINE UP Henry Rollins, Atari Teenage Riot, Death in Vegas, Spectrum. Metronomy, Iggy and the Stooges, Battles.
WHEN August 6–13
OR Obudai Island, Budapest, Hungary
THE ATMOSPHERE It may stand on a small island, but Sziget has a wonderful location. This rock festival attracts hundreds of thousands of punters to see some of the biggest bands in the world.
LINE UP Stone Roses, Two Door Cinema Club, Korn, Subways.
WHEN August 8–12
OR Former Suvilahti Power Station, Helsinki, Finland
THE ATMOSPHERE A party at a power plant? Judge for yourself, but you can guarantee that what this festival lacks in foliage, it makes up for in energy and effort. With big names and an expanded venue this year, Flow will deliver.
LINE UP Flying Lotus, Four Tet and Caribou, Bjork, Bobby Womack, Frank Ocean.
WHEN August 9-11
OR Gothenburg, Sweden
THE ATMOSPHERE You will be carried away by an eclectic line-up of the best electro, pop and rock artists during this major international festival.
LINE UP Blurred, refused and black keys.
TICKETS £177 weekend
WHEN August 16–18
OR Kempische Steenweg, Kiewit, Belgium.
THE ATMOSPHERE Celebrating over 25 years of festival fun with around 200 acts, on eight stages and some of the biggest bands you’ll find anywhere on the planet.
LINE UP Bjork, The Stone Roses, Foo Fighters, Black Keys.
TICKETS To confirm
WHEN August 30–September 3
OR Fort Punta Christo, Pula, Croatia
THE ATMOSPHERE It is not for nothing that it is called the first bass music festival in Europe. Expect four days of non-stop partying in beautiful surroundings, friendly crowds and a big party in a castle.
LINE UP Drops from Fat Freddy, Skream, Andy C, DJ Zinc.
WHEN September 6–9
OR Fort Punta Christo, Pula Croatia
THE ATMOSPHERE This electronic music festival includes boat parties, concerts on the beach and concerts at the castle. Held in a stunning setting, with great music and a cheering crowd, you can’t go wrong.
LINE UP Little Dragon, Moodymann, Golden Panda, Ben Klock, Joy Orbison.
WHEN September 5–12
OR Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
THE ATMOSPHERE Held in a luxurious five-star resort, with free drinks and a relentless seven-day festival in the sun, it all looks rather inviting. Other events include nightly raves in a Roman amphitheater and boat parties.
LINE UP Kenny Dope, Jamie Jones, Dennis Ferrer.
WHEN September 7–8
OR Tempelhof, Berlin, Germany
THE ATMOSPHERE Continuing the frenetic pace that made this event famous, expect cutting-edge music and world-class artists.
LINE UP SBTRKT, Franz Ferdinand, Digitalism, Bonaparte, Orbital, The Killers, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Friendly Fires, Metronomy.