Visiting a festival abroad can be a great reason to travel and a way to experience different cultures. These days there is such a wide range of choice that it’s possible to spend the whole of the summer watching live music in exciting locations. It can often be cheaper to go to a different country and, of course, it’s a chance to meet people from across the world.
Melt! Festival, Ferropolis, Germany
This unique festival takes place on the site of an open air museum for industrial machinery. It’s also surrounded by a lake which can be used for swimming when it’s hot. This year’s line-up has over 120 different bands, including Bloc Party, Lana Del Rey and Rufus Wainwright. Around 90% of festival goers are German providing a perfect opportunity to practise speaking the language.
Exit Festival, Serbia
Located on the banks of the Danube in an old fortress, the festival began as a protest against the government. These days it’s less political but still has a strong social conscience. This year’s festival will host The Gossip, Duran Duran and Guns n’ Roses amongst many. There are stages devoted to electronic, world, dance, and hard-rock music providing something for everyone to enjoy.
Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Scotland
Set on a remote Scottish estate near Inverness, this year Belladrum will welcome artists such as Travis, Frightened Rabbit and the Wombats. There’s a decidedly Celtic flavour to the festival with lots of smaller folk stages. The highlight of the weekend is the massive Ceilidh (traditional Scottish dance and party) which is always a lively event. It doesn’t even matter if you’re a beginner because the band teaches you each dance, and of course is a great way to meet people.
Open’er Festival, Poland
Held in an airfield near the northern city of Gdansk, each year Open’er has a seriously good selection of bands. This year is no exception, with Bjork, Bon Iver, Gogol Bordello, Mumford & Sons, and The XX set to play. Not only are there amazing artists, but both Poland and the festival itself still provide very excellent value for money.
Lake of Stars Festival, Malawi
If you’re feeling adventurous, try this festival on the shores of Lake Malawi. This year the festival isn’t running because the organisation is focusing on development projects in the local region, so there’s a year to save up for the experience of a lifetime. Each festival has featured some of the best artists from Africa and Europe. Previous bands have included Foals, Beverly Knight, The Very Best and The Black Missionaries. Best of all is its size – around 4,000 people attend each year keeping it friendly and informal.