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EF’s European festival guide

Check out our top 10 European summer festivals for 2013.

Exit Festival

Good day to you, music fans and festival lovers! Did you miss out on getting Glastonbury tickets? Have you been to the V Festival one times too many and fancy something a bit different? It might be time for you to try out a completely new festival experience this summer? Get your peepers around this handy festival guide, which we have devised for your enjoyment! Have a read, see what you fancy, book your tickets, get your camping gear together, pack your glow sticks and baby wipes and away you go!

The thing that we like about European festivals are that: sunshine is more or less guaranteed (don’t blame us if it rains – you probably took the weather with you!), the line up is always really strong, you get to discover bands that may not have yet made it on your own turf and you also get to make some new friends from across the continent whilst doing so, which also doubles up as a nice holiday abroad, a whole lot of fun!

Here is our 2013 European Festival Guide round up.

Meadows In The Mountains Festival (Bulgaria)   

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Meadows In The Mountains Festival is set in the exceptionally beautiful surroundings of the Rhodope Mountains, situated very close to the Greek border. Why not incorporate a little trip to Greece whilst you take in the festival? The Rhodopes is the greenest and most picturesque Bulgarian mountain range and is also known as the homeland of the mythological singer Orpheus. Orpheus was a legendary musician, poet, and prophet in ancient Greek religion and myth. You didn’t know that before, did you? Well, you learn something new every day!

What you can expect from the festival is: three days of the freshest, most underground music, fun in the waterfalls and check out the Death Slide! New in this year is the downhill grass bobsleighing, are you keen to give it a go? Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Especially after a few ciders! To keep your energy levels topped up, you can enjoy some inexpensive and deliciously sourced local food, which is freshly cooked on site, yummy! There are also outdoor activities and excursions over the border to the Greek coast available, which all sounds like the perfect festival to us!

Key artists to keep your eyes are ears peeled for? Baby Prince, Moomin, Jane Fitz, Bruno Schmidt and The Priory.

When is the fun happening? Between June 7-9th, 2013.

Echo Festival (Croatia)  

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This is a festival for the clubbers, dance freaks and beats fans! Echo Festival is an intimate festival, which you will find is set on the beautiful Adriatic coast of Croatia. The festival promises to showcase some of the best names and emerging talents in electronic music and it is set near Kanegra, on it’s own private beach cove. We love festivals that are close to the beach, there’s just something beautiful about being able to head down to the beach after listening to some tracks and watching the world go by with your new found friends, talking about music and carrying on the party!

This is one of the festivals that we think offers exceptional value for money, which you only have to pay a small ticket price of just £65 for four days, which is a bargain, wouldn’t you say! Who knows what artists you would discover in such an intimate festival, where you can really absorb and throw yourself into the music. The festival has three main stages, which we think is the perfect amount for a small festival, which ensures that you won’t be missing out on too much, if any of the action as it happens.

Key artists to keep your eyes are ears peeled for? Seb Wildblood, Mandy Jordan, Christopher Rau, Onirik and Versa.

When is the fun happening? Between 6th – 10th June, 2013.

SunSplash Festival (Turkey)

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SunSplash is Turkey’s biggest little festival, which is set in the heart of the stunning Turkish Riviera. The festival boasts an amazing beach front venue and a fantastically friendly crowd of festival goers, which combined with the music which this festival is geared towards – being serious dance music, we think it’s pretty perfect and a very exciting festival to go to! Lots of the many talented DJ’s across the continent will be performing and if you’re into dance music, then you really don’t want to miss this festival! You’ve been to cream fields so many times, who not add this to your must-do summer dance festival?

Key artists to keep your eyes are ears peeled for?  Giles Petersen, Norman Jay MBE, Simbad, Tim Keenoy and Lefto.

When is the fun happening? Between June 2nd until June 9th, 2013.

Open’er Festival (Poland)

The Open’er Festival keeps on getting bigger and better every single year. It has grown from a very modest size when it first started out, to one of the most impressive festivals in Europe, which can now draw huge artists, many of whom never played in Poland before taking the main stage at this festival. This year is no exception and the line up alone should be enough to make you want to pack your bags and book those flights to get yourself involved!

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This year, Open’er features some of the biggest and most talented bands and artists around. There are so many incredible live bands playing this year, that it’s hard to believe that they’re all playing there over a few days of what will be glorious music. It’s enough to make us break into a sweat, just thinking about it. The chosen acts at this year’s festival are some of the best live acts that you’ll ever witness, put them all together on the same festival and we’re pretty sure that you’ll find yourself in music heaven.

You will also get the opportunity to check out some local bands and this festival gives Polish bands the platform that they need and it is an incredible opportunity for them to be performing here and also a great way to discover some unknown bands. The festival also features an impressive arts and fashion line up, which you should definitely check out. We’re pretty much sold on this one, are you?

Key artists to keep your eyes are ears peeled for? Skunk Anansie, Arctic Monkeys, Kings of Leon, Modest Mouse, Blur and Queens of the Stone Age.

When is the fun happening? Between 3rd -6th July 2013.

Garden Festival (Tisno)

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The Garden Festival has grown in stature and over the past few years, mainly down to those who have already been to it and its success and been mainly by word of mouth. Attendance figures have dramatically increased from a few hundred in 2006, to its now new capacity of 2000 people and due its popularity, the Garden Festival is now going to be held over two weekends! 

Live bands and DJs from all aspects of dance music culture have been to play and party, and there are not many festivals where revelers can swim in the glistening Adriatic, relax beneath the pines and dance under a canopy of stars, it sounds quite magical, doesn’t it? The three main areas are the terrace, hosting the main live stage, the Tiki Bar, which has its own dance floor terrace overlooking the sea and the fun continues way into the night at Barbarella’s Discotheque, which hosts the after-parties, pretty exciting, don’t you think? 

A highlight of this festival is the instantly legendary Argonaughty Boat Parties, which set sail twice a day to continue the festival vibe out into the open sea! Taking a look at last year’s photos, it looks like everyone was having an absolute ball. Everyone gets a chance to enjoy the breathtaking surroundings and without the usual hordes, it’s easy to find old friends and to also make new ones. Many people who made the trip decided to stay for a full week so they could settle in before the festival and relax afterwards and maybe take a trip to nearby waterfalls or visit the many beautiful islands just off the coast of Zadar.

Those who have previously attended call themselves ‘gardeners’, which offers a whole new meaning when you’re out there digging up some veggies from your back garden/urban garden! Will this be the year that you become a ‘gardener’?

Key artists to keep your eyes are ears peeled for? Joakim, Permanent Vacation, Peak and Swift, Mans Ericson, Cedric Maison, Eats Everything, Justin Martin and Bondax.

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When is the fun happening? Between 3rd -10th July 2013.


Hideout is one hip festival, so hip it hurts. Hideout is Croatia’s achingly cool dance festival. Such is the success and hype that now surrounds this festival, it has established itself as one of the most successful summer festivals around. If the line up, the people and the beaches weren’t enough to tempt you, you can also enjoy the festival by boat! This festival looks part hipster, part your average festivalgoer, so there is a mixture of people in attendance!
Boat Parties hosted by: 2020vision, Aus & Simple, Black Butter Records, Broadwalk Records, Desolat, Digital Soundboy, Drop The Mustard, Dub Boro Face, Hessle Audio, Jackathon, Metropolis, Mono_Cult and Numbers One Records.
We think that Rudimental will give an amazing performance and their new album has been released to rave reviews. The above is just to give you a taster, as there are a whole lot more that will be performing and you should check out the official website for further updates and the latest news .

Key artists to keep your eyes are ears peeled for? Rudimental, Shy Fx, Simon Baker, Skream, Artwork and B-Traits.

When is the fun happening? Between the 30th of June and the 5th of July, 2013.

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EXIT Festival

EXIT festival has enhanced its line up with the additions of some huge household names. The setting for this festival is the picturesque Petrovaradin Fortress and this years festival runs for five days, which gives you extraordinary value for money – but you might just want to take a lot more baby wipes if you are planning on staying/camping there for the long haul.

We have memories of 2008’s Glastonbury turning up, when we ran out of baby wipes and sunscreen – it wasn’t a pretty sight or smell on the last day, but it was  a whole lot of fun and everyone was in the same boat! Therefore, from a seasoned festivalgoer, please ensure that you prepare and take all necessities (even for those friends who tend to leave something behind) to ward off flies and the likes (we jest)!
Highlights and people that you will definitely not want to miss out on seeing include Cee Lo Green, who will be making his debut at this year’s festival. Cee Lo Green is a Grammy Award Winner, who was thrusted into the spotlight, as part of the Gnarls Barkley duo. He is sure to put on an impressive set, with those songs that he is so famous for. He has collaborated extensively with other artists over the years, so who knows, there could be a few surprises in store? Swedish DJ Eric Prydz is making his return to EXIT’s Dance Arena and you will definitely not want to miss the opportunity of seeing him live, he can warm up any party and keep that party going and going and going. We’re thrilled that he will be playing at EXIT.

Key artists to keep your eyes and ears peeled for: Snoop Dogg Aka Snoop Lion, Fatboy Slim, Bloc Party, DJ Fresh live, Dubfire, Pan-Pot, Eric Prydz and Cee Lo Green.

When is the fun happening? Between 10th -14th July 2013.

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Melt! Festival  

Germany holds quite a few summer festivals and the Melt! festival has a slightly alternative/rock and urban edge to it.  Atoms For Peace are this year’s headliners. The super talents of this five-piece band comprise of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Red Hot Chili Pepper’s bass player Flea and Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker and Mauro Refosco. The result of their collaboration is a full-length debut called Amok, which the band decided to release in Germany first. The German audience are known for embracing many different styles of music, from David Hasselhoff through to Rammstein! So perhaps this festival will have a few unexpected surprises in store for those attending? Tricky has just also just been announced as an act who will be appearing, which will add weight to the festival. He is the ‘godfather of trip hop’ and he will be keen to impress the crowd with his brand-new record, False Idols, released this month.
Intro Zelt is the pre-party to Melt! So, if you fancy on partying and getting your adventure started earlier, get yourselves down there on the 18th July to see some exclusive performances and gigs from undiscovered bands. This year’s Melt! is sure to be a cracker.

Key artists to keep your eyes and ears peeled for: Atoms For Peace, Azealia Banks, Tricky, Dan Deacon, Django Django, Fantastic Mr Fox, Alt-J, Flying Lotus, Catz ‘N Dogz, King Krule, Soulwax and Woodkid!

When is the fun happening? Between 19th _ 21st July, 2013.

Berlin Festival 

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Ahh, Berlin, one of our favourite cities and one of the coolest places to witness live music, in particularly dance music. The Berlin Festival is already set to become one of the must see events of the summer, with another incredible line up. We are so excited that Bjork will be playing the Berlin festival this year! Bjork always puts on a stunning, creative an unusual show and we can’t wait to see what she comes up with!

This festival really has something for everyone. What we like about this festival is that it is varied and the acts playing are all of an incredible standard. The festival kicks off at Tempelhof Airport and once the clock hits midnight, in Cinderella fashion, something else must take place. You won’t be turning into a pumpkin (here’s hoping), but you should then move on to Arena Berlin, where Club Xberg will host until the early hours and you can find yourself being entertained by the likes of Maxim (of the Prodigy, jaw-drop moment!), DJ Shadow and Röyksopp.
As part of their birthday celebrations the French electro label, Ed Banger will pop by Berlin on the 7thSeptember to join in the fun. Joining the party are Justice who will play a coveted DJ set. Busy P is also set to play a special live performance of Breakbot. This festival already sounds like its going to superb and we are betting that those that are lucky enough to get tickets will be leaving the festival on a happy and partied out vibe!

Key artists to keep your eyes and ears peeled for? Bjork, Pet Shop Boys, Blur, Maxim, Röyksopp, Klaxons, My Bloody Valentine and MIA.

When is the fun happening? Between 6th-7th September, 2013.

So here you have it our favourite European festivals for this summer. So what are you waiting for?

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