Following the festival route is a creative way to tour Europe and gives travelers a bit of sightseeing, some awesome one-of-a-kind souvenirs, a lot of swaying and more cultural-insight than you could ever ask for. Summer is the ideal time to do this because the best festivals occur during Europe’s warmer months. If you plan it right you can spend a few days soaking up the music, art and crafts at the Tollwood Festival in Munich before heading over to Holland for the North Sea Jazz extravaganza.
If you’re as pumped as we are, here are 10 European festivals to add to your itinerary.
1. Tree of Life Festival; 2. Tollwood Festival; 3. North Sea Jazz Festival; 4. Fringe Festival; 5. Camp Bestival; 6. La Tomatina Festival; 7. Fresh Food Festival; 8. Bliss Beat; 9. Nos Primavera Sound Festival; 10. EXIT Festival
is a freelance journalist for Paste and The New Heroes & Pioneers. She’s the author of The Tuesday Series & co-author of The Pink Boots. She can usually be found covered in paint stains.
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Tree of Life Festival, Turkey: Set in Karagöl, the Black Sea region of Turkey, the Tree of Life Festival has been described by regulars as the ultimate "hippy galore gathering." The festival celebrates psychedelic art and trance music and is all about the PLUR–Peace, Love, Unity and Respect. This year's lineup includes Dschagganaut, Djane Skarma and Astral Projection and as per usual, Tree-of-Lifers will have the opportunity to join alternative healing workshops. The festival runs from July 23-28 and tickets start at $125.
Amir Weiss Cover
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Tollwood, Germany: The Theresienwiese is a popular festival ground that has become home to the infamous Oktoberfest, as well as the summer and winter editions of the Tollwood Festival. The Tollwood Festival has established itself as a platform for environmental consciousness and transforms the Theresienwiese into a enchanted park full of cultural events, environmental activities, a stocked market and concerts. This years' live music acts will include Jackson Browne and Konstantin Wecker. Most of the events and workshops are free of charge. The Tollwood runs from June 24-July 19.
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North Sea Jazz Festival, Holland: The North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam is the most important date on the Dutch calendar--next to King's Day, of course. Every year, thousands of musicians come together to perform for jazz, soul and R&B fanatics from all over the world. From July 10-12 visitors are invited to groove to surprising duos such as Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock and Laura Mvula and Metropole Orkest. Ticket prices are $90 for one day, $212 for the full festival.
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Fringe Festival, Scotland: What do comedy, dance, circus, children's shows, musicals, spoken word and art exhibitions have in common? They all occur at Scotland's massive Fringe Festival. The Edinburgh performance fest is the biggest art festival in the world. The 2014 edition saw 49,497 performances in 299 different venues. This years' Fringe Festival runs from August 7-31 and includes some Blueflint tunes, Afterhours Comedy and the poetically enthralling effect of The Alphabet Girl.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society
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Camp Bestival, England: The annual family-focused fest is set on the grounds of the Lulworth Castle on Dorset's Jurassic coastline. Adults and teens are invited to dance to the tunes of the 2015 lineup which includes Kaiser Chiefs and Professor Green, while the children run wild with theatrical group Marvellous Imaginary Menagerie or learn how to break-dance at Rob Da Bank's Music Club. There are four different sites on the festival grounds, as well as Yurt and Tipi rentals. Bestivalers can set up camp from July 30-August 2.
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La Tomatina, Spain: A spontaneous food fight in the town of Buñol in the 1940s inspired La Tomatina Festival. Each year on the last Wednesday of August, thousands of people visit Buñol for a fun slip and slide in a puree of an estimated 150,000 tomatoes. Tomatina is held during Buñol's feria week (local fair) and offers authentic Spanish flair, tapas and as much cerveza as there are tomatoes.
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Fresh Food Festival, Denmark: The Fresh Food Festival was founded in 2009 and is dedicated to all things raw and healthy. Located just 30 minutes from Copenhagen, the Osted Fri Og Efterskole (Boarding School) in Lejre offers the perfect setting for the "healthiest festival in Denmark." From July 16-19, health-freaks can learn everything there is to know about veganism and a variety of sports activities whilst socializing with like-minded people over a fresh and crunchy homemade lunch.
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Bliss Beat Festival, Italy: This festival combines yoga, martial arts, music and spirituality from July 9-12 in Sezzadio, Italy. Visitors have the chance to flow with renowned yoga teachers like Sylvia Broussard and participate in a variety of workshops soundtrack-ed by Kirtan and meditation music from artists like Nadeshwari, Cropcircle and The Bhaktas. The festival is open to all levels and its location offers plenty to explore post-stretch.
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Nos Primavera Sounds, Portugal: This music fest in Porto takes place in the Parque da Cidade do Porto–a park full of lush green grass, lakes and majestic trees. The 2015 lineup promises a generous mix of national and international artists including an acoustic spoken-word performance by Patti Smith on June 4, followed by Patti Smith & Band celebrating the 40th anniversary of their legendary album "Horses" on the fifth. The festival ends on June 6 with Death Cab for Cutie, The New Pornographers and Underworld.
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EXIT, Serbia: What started out as a student protest against the Milosevic regime 15 years back was voted the "Best Major European Festival" in 2014. Once a year, the medieval Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad comes alive with the EXIT Festival. With more than 20 stages and bands like The Prodigy and Motörhead pumping up the volume, EXIT promises four days of dancing madness from July 9-12.