If you love music, like the idea of music festivals, but don’t fancy getting caked in mud and your tent invaded by a cow seeking shelter, maybe one of Southern Europe’s hottest music festivals would be more up your street. Here are our suggestions for the coolest Euro-chic music festivals of the summer season.
Sónar, Barcelona, Spain
Sónar is distinct from many of Europe’s larger summer festivals, as it takes place in a city. Barcelona plays host to this über-cool celebration of electronica, with parties taking place right in the vibrant city centre by day, and on the outskirts of the city by night.
Garden Festival, Croatia
Set against the backdrop of the beautiful ancient village of Petrcane on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, this festival takes place mainly on a wooded peninsula right by the water’s edge. A highlight of Croatia’s burgeoning festival scene, Garden keeps things mainly electronic, with DJ sets and live dance acts maintaining a party atmosphere across its various venues.
Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, Spain
Benicàssim is Spain’s mega-festival, rivalling Britain’s Glastonbury for pulling power when it comes to line-up. Close to Valencia, the area boasts several great beaches, so while the music might have a familiarly British feel to it, the setting certainly doesn’t. The legendary Bob Dylan continues his so-called “never-ending tour” by headlining in 2012.
Sudoeste Festival, Portugal
One of Portugal’s largest summer festivals, Sudoeste takes place in the small village of Zambujeira do Mar on Portugal’s south-west coast. The festival itself plays host to some of the biggest names from the alternative music scene, while the idyllic charm of the nearby village and it’s spectacular beach makes this a must-visit festival destination.
Optimus Alive, Lisbon, Portugal
A strong British-based line-up sees this Portuguese festival near Lisbon attract many Brits looking for fun and music in the sun (and not the mud). The festival is staged by the river Tagus, in a suburb just outside the city, so a trip into the city itself is a must for any visitor to this sunny home-away-from-home for British music lovers.
Rock Coast Festival, Tenerife
This new festival in the capital of Tenerife, Santa Cruz, promises to be an unmissable event and could well take it’s place amongst Europe’s regular roster of great summer music festivals. Top acts have been confirmed for the 2012 line-up, including The Smashing Pumpkins, Fatboy Slim and Orbital, ensuring that this party by the sea will definitely go with a bang.