Festivals abroad


There are lots of great music festivals in the UK but with many amazing and unique festivals all over the world, why not try something a little different? If you travel smart, going abroad for a festival isn’t as pricey as you might think and there are so many to choose from!

Coachella – California, USA

Coachella is a music and arts festival which showcases popular and established musical artists, as well as emerging artists and reunited groups. It hosts live music continuously across several stages and is one of the largest and most famous festivals in the United States.

Pukklepop – Hasselt, Belgium

A quirky music festival held in a large enclosure of fields and woodland which boasts a variety of alternative music, such as rock, pop, electronic, dance, hip-hop, punk and heavy metal. It has been running since the mid-80s and the event organisers aim for the festival to be a “progressive and contemporary” musical event.

Sziget – Budapest, Hungary

One of the largest music and cultural festivals in Europe, this week long festival takes place each year and has more than 1,000 performances. Starting as a fairly small event in 1993, it reached a massive 441,000 attendees in 2015 and even has a dedicated “party train” service that transports festival goers from all over Europe, complete with resident DJs!

Sónar – Barcelona

A three-day electronic and advanced music festival which is held in different locations across Barcelona each year. It is split into two parts: ‘Sónar by day’ and ‘Sónar by night’. Here you can see performances from cutting-edge artists as well as amazing video art projections and installations from modern artists.

The Pros and Cons

It might end up costing a little extra, but there are some great advantages to going abroad for a music festival. The weather in England can be unpredictable at best and rainy days really don’t mix well with muddy fields! Festivals in certain countries will almost guarantee sunshine and warm weather which can make a huge difference to your experience. Going to a different country also means you’ll have a whole new culture to explore. You could even tag on a few days before or after the festival to get the most of where you visit.

The main downside to travelling abroad for festivals is the extra cost, but if you book your tickets well in advance you can get some great deals on flights (they can be cheaper than a UK train journey!). If you need a ride to the airport, why not try our Cab Guru app which allows you to compare hundreds of cab companies and choose the best fixed price fare for your airport transfer.

A few top tips

  • Travel light and always check the luggage restrictions so you don’t get held up at the airport. Festival gear can be heavier than you might think!
  • Learn a little of the language before you go if you do want to explore, it’ll make things a lot easier. The best phrases to start with are “Where is. . . .”, “How much” and of course “please” and “thank you”.
  • Wear sunscreen! It may seem like an obvious one, but the British summer we’re used to isn’t a patch on some of the countries you might visit – pack the Factor 50!
  • If you don’t fancy camping in the heat, try and find a cheap local apartment. If you split the cost with a few friends, it can work out to little more than what camping would cost.
  • If you’re not so great with learning the local language or don’t want to venture out, be sure to take the little essentials that will be more difficult to get hold of such as a water bottle (a collapsible one will save some space) and some painkillers in case of a hangover!

Whichever festival you choose, be sure to soak up the sun (with your SPF on) and have as much fun as possible. Try to make the most of being around different bands and artists and experience the culture where you can. And most importantly – enjoy!

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