WORDS

10 Essential European Festivals 2018

Photo courtesy of Let It Roll

We’ve seen what the UK has to offer this summer, but what about the rest of Europe?

From the irresistible lure of partying on a boat whilst sailing across the Adriatic Ocean with a sunset backdrop, to raving high above the clouds on an isolated mountain, not to mention more reliable and consistent warm weather, Europe presents a plethora of unrivalled festival opportunities that more than make up for the dreaded rigmarole of passport queues and airport security.

There are heaps of amazing events happening across the continent. Here are 10 of the best for all bass connoisseurs…

 

Meadows In The Mountains

Where: Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria

When: June 7-10

Cost: Starting at €150

Meadows In The Mountains offers a festival experience unlike any other. Situated high in the Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria, the setting is a magical one reminiscent of a wild camping adventure in which you feel like part of an exclusive club the rest of the world is unaware of. Whether it’s the intimate bonfires, small stages and bunting strung throughout the trees, or the unrestricted music policy allowing the party to carry on for 24 hours straight – all the while being blessed with incredible views of the surrounding landscape and breathtaking sunrises above the looming mountain mist. Meadows In The Mountains offers a truly memorable trip. The artists on the line up usually herald deep from within the underground of their respective genres, but this leads to an even more authentic festival adventure. This year’s bill features names including Commix, RAMZi, Idjut Boys and Nick The Record.

 

Innovation In The Sun

Where: Lloret De Mar, Spain

When: June 19-26

Cost: Starting at £149 for seven days

Welcome to Innovation In The Sun – an event consistently hosting some of the filthiest line ups you’ll come across each summer. It’s the longest running drum and bass clubbing holiday and is highly regarded as one of the best. Taking place just outside of Barcelona, Innovation represents the complete jump up holiday package – sun, sea and endless screw-face basslines. This year the seven night clubbing holiday will be celebrating its 15th anniversary, with fourteen different events spread across the week. From a waterpark rave hosted by Eksman and friends, to three all inclusive d’n’b yacht parties – Innovation never fails to entertain. This years line up features Friction, Wilkinson, Hazard, Guv, Original Sin and many more.

 

We Are Electric

Where: Velder Woods, Netherlands

When: July 7-8

Cost: Starting at €89

Since launching in 2013 We Are Electric has rapidly grown into one of the most exciting small festivals in Europe. The weekender returns this year with a new location in the forest of Velder Woods, along with an improved music policy allowing the party to carry on until 3am. For such a reasonable price, you wouldn’t have thought you’d be able to see acts including Justice, The Prodigy, Martin Garrix, Mura Masa, Netsky and Dirtyphonics, but this is why We Are Electric has become such a special festival. On the Friday there will also be a stage curated by Rampage featuring Andy C, Noisia and Black Sun Empire b2b State of Mind. For that much needed relaxation, the festival also offers a variety of camping options including mini caravans and individually designed colourful tipis.

 

Hospitality on The Beach

Where: Tisno, Croatia

When: July 12-16

Cost: Starting at £181.26

In the park, in the dock and now on the beach – Hospitality have once again stepped up their game and pushed the boundaries of their ever-expanding events arm. Set in the renowned festival hotspot of Tisno Beach in Croatia, Hospital’s decision to host a drum and bass holiday is one that many have dreamt about for years. The five night holiday will not only provide people with the opportunity to party well into the usual dreaded Monday of the following week, but it will also run throughout each day and night, meaning that the raving opportunities are endless.

From a range of three hour sets courtesy of Andy C, Calibre b2b DBridge and Randall, to Flava D swapping the bassline for d’n’b and Nu:Tone performing a lost dub plates set – the Hospitality on The Beach schedule is filled with eye-catching gems. Just when you thought Hospital couldn’t possibly do any better, they announced a variety of boat parties taking place throughout the festival, some of which are hosted by RUN X Get Hype, Med School, The Blast and High Tea.

Who knows what will come next…Hospitality on a Plane?

 

Liquicity

Where: Geestmerambacht, Netherlands

When: July 21-22

Cost: Starting at €93.99 for weekend

Situated only 40 minutes away from Amsterdam in the stunning Geestmerambacht recreational area – a site boasting one of the most scenic and colourful festival landscapes with a glistening lake – Liquicity represents a truly magical getaway. The festival has grown significantly over the last few years, from a single day event into a full weekend with camping – where you can stay in recyclable cardboard tents, or the more luxurious Pampus option with wooden beds.

Along with the ear-watering line up boasting Fabio & Grooverider, Camo & Krooked, Calibre, Noisia and Benny Page, the general atmosphere is what makes Liquicity such a special occasion. It’s probably one of the friendliest festivals you will experience, with people from across the world joining to celebrate their love of drum and bass. Whether it’s people with Liquicity flags tied around their body, or people with Liquicity branded football shirts – there’s something really unique about the appreciation everyone shares for the brand.

 

Let It Roll

Where: Milovice, Czech Republic

When: August 2-4

Cost: Starting at £82

Another festival that needs no introduction… Let It Roll has been the go-to summer drum and bass event for several years – firmly cementing the Czech Republic as a beloved bass music powerhouse. Set on a disused airfield, Let It Roll comes armed with a unique festival experience including bus parties, early morning hangar raves and mammoth stage setups with their own designs and themes.

The best thing about Let It Roll is the unbeatable vibe. Whether it’s travelling on a train packed with chanting Let It Rollers into the middle of the desolate Czech countryside, or simply walking through the festival site at 10am and seeing people skanking to drum and bass at the bars and food stalls. Everyone here is passionate about their D&B and loves to share this passion with others. This was typified at last years festival when an after party took place outside of the festival entrance – something only possible due to someone driving his decks over from Italy. It went on until 10am and saw people who were waiting for their bus transfer join in for one final skank. Expect more of the same this year, along with a line-up featuring Andy C, Pendulum, A.M.C, Camo & Krooked and Break.

 

Sziget

Where: Budapest, Hungary

When: August 8-15

Cost: Starting at €310 for a week pass

Sziget has quite rightly earned a reputation for putting on one of the most acclaimed parties in Europe. Winner of Line-up of The Year in the 2017 European Festival Awards, Sziget consistently attracts people from over 100 countries with a diverse line-up covering the entire musical spectrum – from pop and indie to trance and drum and bass. This year will see headline performances from Arctic Monkeys, Gorillaz and Kendrick Lamar, alongside acts such as Above & Beyond, Delta Heavy and Borgore spread across ten stages of music. If that’s not enough, then there will also be boat parties throughout the week, which will allow people to experience Budapest in a completely different way.

It’s not just the music that makes Sziget such an attractive festival proposition. Alongside food and drink being very cheap, the festival also provides an enticing variety of programming including theatrical performances, circus acts and traditional Hungarian craft workshops.

 

Pukkelpop

Where: Kiewit, Belgium

When: August 15-18

Cost: Starting at €205 for the weekend

Running since 1985, Pukkelpop is highly regarded as one of the old guard of Belgium’s flourishing festival scene, and has become one of the biggest festivals in Europe with a daily attendance of over 60,000. Pukkelpop’s catchphrase of ‘Welcome Home’ resembles the infectious grip this festival has on those who experience it. With almost 200 musical acts, including current big-hitters, living legends and rising talents, it’s no surprise why so many choose to return each year. Alongside the music, Pukkelpop has many treasures to uncover – from little-known shacks and quirky barbershops, to foam parties and hidden club-style spaces purveying the best of Belgian’s upcoming musical talent.

Pukkelpop prides itself on welcoming artists from all corners of music, including high-octane rock, low-fi singer-songwriters and hefty bass music. This year will see performances from the likes of A.M.C & Turno, Bonobo, Imagine Dragons, Denis Sulta and Friction.

 

Outlook

Where: Pula, Croatia

When: September 5-9

Cost: Starting at £151

Nowadays, there is an endless list of dance music festivals taking over Croatia throughout the summer period, but Outlook in particular is renowned as one of the longest running and the best (see here for its full story) Famed and loved for its consistent championing of soundsystem culture, Outlook takes place around the historic 19th century Fort Punta Christo and offers an experience dripping in culture and history. From partying in a moat and an abandoned fort, to an opening concert in Pula’s awe-inspiring 2000-year-old amphitheatre. Set across ten different stages, including various beach parties, is a diverse line-up featuring Calibre & DRS, J Hus, AJ Tracey, Goldie, Shy FX and MJ Cole. There will also be a range of boat parties across the week – including one curated by Drum&BassArena with Total Science, Randall, Storm and Visionobi.

Sun and Bass


Where: Sardinia, Italy

When: September 8-15

Cost: On sale later this month

Returning for a mammoth 15th edition, Sardinian festival Sun and Bass is one of the original purveyors of the drum and bass holiday. The event began life as a small beach party with friends, and despite growing significantly over the years, it has managed to hold onto that intimacy – consistently attracting attracting its loyal fanbase to its stunning location in San Teodoro.

With events dotted across the town from its pristine white shores of La Cinta to its intimate clubs such as Ambra, and a line-up that reflects the most innovative, exciting and soulful sides of the scene, Sun And Bass is a significant date in the calendar for all card carrying drum & bass fans and insiders with many of the DJs making a holiday of their gig themselves.  Dedicated and the line up for this year’s festival won’t be released until late summer, but without doubt Sun and Bass will be an unforgettable experience no matter who graces the Sardinian shores.