Fjords, private islands and other things you wont get in the UK - festivals we are desperate to go to
Elliot Mitchell

16:33 28th May 2013

As festival season becomes painstakingly close, the panic of where to actually go this summer is slowly dawning on a lot of us.

Your lack of preparation meant you missed out on Glastonbury tickets back in October, the inevitable horror stories have put you off Reading and Leeds, and you cant convince your friends to come to Latitude no matter how many Kraftwerk videos you show them (don't even talk about the small fortune that is necessary to fund a weekend event in the UK as well).  

As UK festival tickets become comparable to the price of a holiday and the weather stays unpredictable, it might be time to start looking further afield to get your fix this summer. European festivals are becoming a viable alternative due to their less expensive ticket costs and outstanding lineups (plus, it can double as a holiday), with more and more dedicated fans making the trip abroad each summer.

In that vein, we've compiled a list of the most exciting European Festivals set to happen in the next few months, which will no doubt make you want to put off paying rent for another month in exchange for return flights to a country you'd never even considered visiting before.

  • Malta Festival Poland: Named after the lake in the centre of Poznan, Malta Festival has been running for over 20 years and has become known for its diverse range of music, theatre and dance, with a series of events running throughout June-July. This year's festival is without doubt their biggest so far, with Kraftwerk performing their spectacular 3D show in the open air for the first time, whilst Atoms for Peace will also be making a rare appearance after their critically acclaimed release earlier this year, with Cat Power in support.

  • Dour Festival, Belgium: Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2013, Belgium's Dour festival is predominantly a dance festival with an indie and hip hop edge. Headliners this year include Yeah Yeah Yeah's, The Vaccines, Wu Tang Clan and The Smashing Pumpkins, whilst the likes of Brodinski, Bonobo, Cyril Hahn and Flying Lotus look set to take the 150,000 revellers through the night on the three other stages. With Brussels just a two hour Eurostar journey from London and tickets priced at just over 100 quid, Belgium may be worth the journey this summer.

  • Open'er Festival, Poland: One of Europe's biggest festivals, Poland's Open'er never fails to attract huge artists year in year out, and 2013 is no different. Arctic Monkeys, Blur, Kings of Leon and Queens of the Stone Age will headline the four day event in the first week of July, whilst Kendrick Lemar, Disclosure, Alt J and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds will also be making appearances.

  • Benicassim, Spain: If there's one thing missing from British festivals it's guaranteed sun and a beach right next to the festival site (T4's yearly event in Weston Super Mare doesn't count). Like any Spanish holiday you'll find more British people at Benicassim than locals, but don't let that detract from the stellar lineup of indie greats past and present. This year will see Queens of the Stone Age, The Killers, Primal Scream and Arctic Monkeys respectively top the bill over four days, with Jake Bugg, Beady Eye, Bastille and a host of others providing some early evening musical accompaniment at the festival that essentially doubles as a holiday.

  • Unknown Festival, Croatia: Brand new for 2013, Unknown festival comes from the people behind Hideout, The Warehouse Project and Field Day (which perhaps explains why the line-up has the look of the Victoria Park bash reinvented along the Adriatic coastline). The alternative fans' answer to the countless Croatian dance festivals, Unknown brings the best of British music with acts such as The Horrors, Factory Floor, Django Django and Jessie Ware sitting comfortably alongside T.E.E.D, Jamie XX, Julio Bashmore and Four Tet.

  • Hideout Festival, Croatia: Located on the island of Pag (also in Croatia), Hideout brings the best mix of underground and mainstream dance artists from around the world together for a weekend in July split between beachside revelling and Boat/Pool parties. With Chase and Status headlining, and influential labels like DirtyBird, Hot Creations, Black Butter and Hessle Audio bringing their freshest talent, the diverse lineup will please any discerning dance fan, whilst the large variety of accommodation options makes it viable for all price ranges.

  • ATP, Iceland: Since 2000, All Tomorrow's Parties' have hosted some of the most anticipated nights of the year, which is what makes their inaugural trip to Iceland so exciting. Taking over a former NATO base (seriously) just outside of Rekjavik, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Chelsea Light Moving, The Fall, Deerhoof and a shed load of other bands look set to brave the cold for two nights at the end of June, whilst the mere 4000 capacity makes it one of the most intimate festivals of the year.

  • Les Eurockeenes, France: Hailed as 'the French Glastonbury' due to its sheer size and diverse lineup, Les Eurockeens is one of the most exciting continental festivals this summer. Priced at just 45 quid a day, the picturesque lakeside 'Belfort' will be hosting a broad mix of artists, including established acts like Jamiroquai, The Smashing Pumpkins, Blur and Phoenix alongside the likes of Kavinsky, Joey Bada$$, A$AP Rocky, Major Lazer and My Bloody Valentine. Needless to say, there's something for everyone.

  • Roskilde, Denmark: Without a doubt one of the largest and most diverse festivals in Europe, Roskilde prides itself on the variety of its lineup. Perhaps one of the most surprising set of headliners to grace the same stage this year, Kraftwerk, The National, Queens of the Stone Age, Rihanna, Sigur Ros, Slipknot and Volbeat will be topping the bill over the seven day event, with a mix of 180 breakthrough bands from Denmark and all over the world also appearing.

  • Hove Festival, Norway: Another festival in a picture perfect location, Hove takes place on a tranquil island outside Arendal city, slap bang between a sandy beach and winding forest. With an emphasis on being environmentally friendly, 'Hove' is praised as one of the most easygoing events in Europe, despite it being Norway's largest festival with a capacity of 75,000. A mix of smaller local acts and global megastars, this year's event looks set to be headlined by Kings of Leon, Calvin Harris, and Frank Ocean, with an emphasis also on hip hop with A$AP Rocky, 2Chainz and OFWGKTA all set to make appearances.

  • Hultsfred Festival, Sweden: Just 40 minutes from Stockholm, Hultsfred Festival plays up to a UK crowd with an all encompassing lineup of multiple genres, made up of mostly British and American acts. This year will see Arctic Monkeys, Portishead and Fatboy Slim headline the three day event in mid June. If you're too impatient waiting for Glasto why not hit Lake Hulingen a week before so you know what to expect at Worthy Farm this year?

  • Sonar, Spain: Another festival with a special birthday this year, Sonar will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2013 with its biggest line-up to date. Heralded as one of the most influential dance festivals in the world, the event has become synonymous for its forward thinking list of acts, as Barcelona becomes the most important place in electronic music for one weekend every year. This year will see Sonar move from their famous aircraft hangers to a more central location in the city, with Kraftwerk, Major Lazer, 2ManyDJ's and The Pet Shop Boys set to christen the new venues.

  • Exit Festival, Serbia: It would be fair to say Exit is a festival of two halves, with a line-up that would still be massive at two separate events. The Serbian weekender is equally split between a dance arena with the world's biggest DJ's including David Guetta, Fatboy Slim and Eric Prydz, and a main stage that features the likes of Snoop Dogg, Atoms for Peace and Bloc Party. If your friends are prone to arguments over who to see at a festival, Exit may just be the mediator you need this summer.