Primavera Sound, Spain
In the 20 years since the first edition, Primavera Sound has elevated itself to become one of the world's best-known and best-loved music festivals. Taking place each summer in Barcelona, the festival showcases a peerless line-up that spans musical styles and showcases the finest alternative and underground talent from across the globe. This year, we’re most excited about Lana Del Rey, Tyler, The Creator, Kacey Musgaves and Beck. Look out for its Porto version the following weekend, which features much of the same line-up.
Line-up highlights: Massive Attack, The Strokes, The National
Barcelona, Spain; 3rd-7th June
Secret Solstice, Iceland
This scenic festival is held just outside Reykjavik. And while the line-up is a wonderful mix of 90s icons (Cypress Hill, TLC, Primal Scream) and up-and-coming Icelandic stars (Frid, Birnir), the real pull of Secret Solstice is the location. Away from the music, guests can swim in a geo-thermal pool, explore a lava tunnel and party within Langjökull, Europe’s second largest glacier.
Line-up highlights: TLC, Alma, Primal Scream
Reykjavík, Iceland; 26th-28th June
More than just a weekender, 50-year-old Roskilde is an eight-day extravaganza. With eight stages and 180 bands booked to play, there really is something for everyone – from Taylor Swift and Haim to Kendrick Lamar, The Strokes and FKA Twigs. Its arts and activism programme is impressive too, the line-up features more female acts than ever, and it prides itself on being a sustainable, waste-free festival and it’s also a not-for-profit endeavour – 100% of all money made goes to charity.
Line-up highlights: Kendrick Lamar, Charlie XCX, Taylor Swift
Roskilde, Denmark; 27th June-4th July
Nos Alive, Portugal
Nos Alive is a Portuguese rock, indie and alternative music festival, held on the Oeiras coast, close to Lisbon. One of Europe's most respected music festivals, its line-up has featured Arctic Monkeys, The Cure, Bon Iver, Pearl Jam and Queens of the Stone Age in recent years – this year it’s the turn of The Strokes, Billie Eilish and Taylor Swift. Its setting means festival-goers spend their days in the sun or in the water, before the main stage acts kick off for a full-night of music.
Line-up highlights: Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, The Strokes, Kendrick Lamar
Lisbon, Portugal; 8th-11th July
Exit Festival, Serbia
The most high-profile festival in Serbia, the award-winning Exit Festival focuses on the best of dance, electronic and hip hop. Located in the beautiful Petrovaradin fortress, the site is right next to the banks of the Danube, making it the ideal spot for relaxing and swimming during the daytime. When it comes to the line-up, you’ll find us at the front for David Guetta, Metronomy and Fat Boy Slim. The festival will be celebrating 20 years in 2020, so look out for plenty of celebrations across the weekend.
Line-up highlights: Fat Boy Slim, David Guetta, Tyga
Petrovaradin, Serbia; 9th-12th July
Bilbao BBK Live, Spain
This Spanish festival has one of the best line-ups of the year: think The Killers, Pet Shop Boys, Supergrass, Perfume Genius and Fontaines DC. Located right in the city, it’s the perfect excuse to spend some time exploring Bilbao, the Guggenheim, nearby beaches, vineyards and Game of Thrones locations in between the evening sets. Located on top of Kobetamendi mountain (don’t worry, there are buses) the views are pretty spectacular too.
Line-up highlights: Four Tet, Caribou, Blood Orange
Bilbao, Spain; 9th-11th July
Pohoda Festival, Slovakia
Now in its 24th year, Slovakia’s Pohoda is a music and arts festival where alternative, indie, electronica and punk meet world and classical music. You’ll also find an impressive array of literature, dance, film and theatre across the weekend that takes place at a former military airfield almost equidistance to Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava, and Vienna. A three-day ticket, including camping, costs £95.
Line-up highlights: Stormzy, Libertines, Thom York
Trenčín, Slovakia; 9th-11th July
Electric Castle, Romania
Set in an actual Transylvanian castle worthy of Dracula himself, Electric Castle is a relatively unknown gem in the festival calendar. Bringing together huge acts in a stunning (if a little spooky) setting, 2020’s event is set to be better than ever – and is one of Europe’s truly 24-hour festivals. Expect round-the-clock entertainment, artistic performances, immersive installations, stand-up comedy, a fashion and fair area and a variety of daytime activities.
Line-up highlights: Twenty One Pilots, Foals, Floating Points
Transylvania, Romania, 15th-19th July
Melt! Festival, Germany
Melt! Festival is one of the biggest open-air electronic music festivals in Germany. The festival takes place in Ferropolis open-air museum, near Gräfenhainichen. Formerly a coal pit, the location is atmospheric: with its five gigantic excavators, arena and the picturesque forest at Gremmin Lake, there’s a real blend of the natural and the industrial. When it comes to the line-up, we’re most looking forward to Blood Orange, Bicep and Little Simz.
Line-up highlights: Michael Kiwanuka, Charlie XCX, FKA Twigs
Gräfenhainichen, Germany; 17th-19th July
Positivus Festival is the largest music and arts festival in the Baltic states that has taken place in the middle of July every year since 2007. The two-day event, located on the coast, combines a variety of genres, including indie, pop, folk and electronic. Only a handful of acts have been announced so far, but based on the current line-up we’re excited. Look out for Londoners Black Midi.
Line-up highlights: A$AP Rocky, James Blake, Of Monsters And Men
Salacgrīva, Latvia; 17th-18th July
Calvin Harris, Dua Lipa, Stormzy, Foals, Lewis Capaldi… many of the top-billed bands at this year’s Sziget almost reads as a ‘Best of British’ listing. This Hungarian mainstay announced a ‘Love Revolution’ in 2018 which continues into 2020, whereby it encourages festival goers to “embrace diversity, respect human dignity and look out for each other.” Activities across the weekend include yoga, film screenings, ceramic making and comedy. Keep an eye out for the party cruises, which sail down the Danube.
Line-up highlights: Kings of Leon, Khalid, Diplo
Budapest, Hungary; 5th-12th August
Even if you skimmed the headliners off this festival billing, you’ve got yourself a terrific set of acts: Stormzy, Aurora and Bright Eyes are all headliners in their own right in our eyes. With ambitions of being one of the greenest festivals in the world, all food and drink at Øya is organic (and a lot of it is meat-free), guests are encouraged to arrive by bike and visitors can cash in on recycling.
Line-up highlights: Bon Iver, Solange, The Strokes
Oslo, Norway; 11th-15th August
Flow Festival, Finland
Taking place in downtown Helsinki, this urban festival is one of the coolest of the summer. Away from the music (which features the likes of FKA Twigs and Bikini Kill) food is very much a focus at Flow. This year will see 40 varied vendors pitch up – from healthy smoothies to Michelin-starred feasts – plus there’s no campsite, so festival-goers will have the chance to explore all that the Finnish capital has to offer. We’ve got our eye on the natural swimming pools and public saunas – what a perfect hangover cure.
Line-up highlights: The Strokes, Stormzy, Bon Iver
Helsinki, Finland; 14th-16th August