From Manchester to: Europe's Best Music Festivals 2019

There's more to festivals than Neighbourhood, Glastonbury and Parklife, especially if you're willing to get on a plane first.

By Ben Brown | 9 April 2019

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Taking a trip further afield for your festival experience not only ensures that you get to see more of the world, you’re also pretty much guaranteed better weather and most importantly – cheaper tickets and prices.

Here’s our pick of the best this year…

Love International
Tisno, Croatia

Wednesday 3rd – Wednesday 10th July

Line-up: Andrew Weatherall, Crazy P Soundsystem, Horse Meat Disco, Beautiful Swimmers, Craig Richards B2B Nicola Lutz, DJ Harvey, Midland, Peggy Gou, Young Marco, HAAi, Joy Orbison, Optimo + more.

Set on the quite frankly stunning Dalmatian coastline, few festivals anywhere else in the world can live up to Love International – a heady mix of sun, sea, sand and serious bangers.

The festival itself takes place in ‘The Garden’, which started life as a holiday camp for the Croatian military but now hosts a range of festivals through the year. It sits directly opposite the small town of Tisno, with a bay in between the two acting as the perfect spot for plenty of riotous boat parties.

As well as the stellar line-up you should also take a bit of time to explore the surrounding towns and islands – there are plenty of water taxis knocking about that will take you pretty much anywhere.

Buy Tickets

Flights to Split from Manchester Airport for Love International start at £188 return with Jet2


Dekmantel Festival
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Wednesday 31st July – Sunday 4th August

Line-up: Jeff Mills, Marcel Dettmann, Danny Krivit, Ben UFO & Blawan, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Dr. Rubinstein, Jon Hopkins (DJ), Róisín Murphy, Galaxian (live) + more

A cutting edge electronic music festival in Amsterdam, Dekmantel has built a reputation over the past 7 years of encouraging acts to take risks and think outside the box. It’s become one of the most musically-respected festivals in Europe and is considered to be Electronic music’s creative home.

Taking place in the Amsterdamse Bos, a park located just to the south-east of the city, it’s 3x the size of Central Park – so try not to lose all of your mates because it’s going to be hard to find them again.

Alongside the festival there is (of course) lots and lots of things to occupy your time in Amsterdam. You can piss about with a bicycle down the canals, go and see Ann Frank’s house or just get slammed in a weed cafe and stumble into a manky brothel in the red-light district.

Buy Tickets

Flights to Amsterdam from Manchester Airport for Dekmantel start at £53 return with Flybe


Primavera Sound
Barcelona, España

Thursday 30th May – Saturday 1st June

Line-up: Miley Cyrus, Solange, J Balvin, INterpol, Janelle Monae, Rosalía, Future, Tame Impala, Erykah Badu, Mac DeMarco, Charli XCX, Nina Kraviz, SIgrid, Suede, James Blake, Jarvis Cocker (introducing JARV IS…), Lizzo + loads more

Pretty much taking over vast swathes of the city, Primavera Sound is now one of the biggest events in the Barcelona calendar and certainly one of the best festivals in the world.

With the main event taking place down on the water front in Parc del Forum, you also shouldn’t miss the myriad of special events, exhibitions, art and hidden performances that take place around the city at the same time as Primavera – the city truly does come alive with something for everyone.

Alongside Primavera there’s a multitude of things to do elsewhere in Barcelona, as it benefits from being one of only a handful of cities in the world where you’ve got a bustling metropolis and a beach all together in the same small package.

Chill at the beach, head to some tapas bars or simply head on over to Razzmatazz every night and dance until the early hours – Barcelona has everything.

Buy Tickets

Flights to Barcelona from Manchester Airport for Primavera start at £134 return with Vueling


Sziget Festival
Budapest, Hungary

Wednesday 7th – Tuesday 13th August

Line-up: Foo Fighters, Ed Sheeran, Florence & The Machine, Post Malone, The 1975, Richard Ashcroft, Franz Ferdinand, James Blake, Johnny Marr, Tom Odell, Idles, IAMDDB + loads more

This festival in Budapest is a bit more ‘mainstream’ than some of the others on this list – offering up what could be constituted as a sort of super V Fest line-up of all your favourite pop and indie acts.

They’ve even managed to bag themselves ginger-haired pedal pusher Ed Sheeran – so expect lots of screaming fans and annoying crowd singing of his songs.

The festival itself takes place on Obuda Island, and welcomes over 550,000 people each year to take in the vast range of music acts, artistic performances and everything else you can think of.

With so many people heading to the city over the course of a few days, Budapest becomes a huge booming city filled with more events, attractions and parties than any one person could ever attend or even know about. It basically becomes a hedonistic destination of epic proportions – the perfect way to let off some steam and get messy.

Buy Tickets

Flights to Budapest from Manchester Airport for Sziget start at £202 return with Ryanair


Boom, Belgium

Friday 19th – Sunday 28th July

Line-up: The Chainsmokers, Armin van Buuren, Carl Cox, Martin Garrix, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Charlotte de Witte, DJ Snake, Solomun, A$AP Rocky, Alesso, David Guetta, Vini Vici + more

The world’s biggest dance festival, you can expect a big long list of full-on A list DJs from across the world, with a whole host of dancing idiots in tow with them.

2019’s theme is ‘The Book of Wisdom The Return’ and sees them celebrating the 15th year since their inception. Alongside the massive line-up of acts, you should also expect some seriously impressive stage design and production – the kind of level of detail that will be sure to take your breath away.

A true must-visit destination for any fan of dance music, Tomorrowland should certainly be considered this year. On top of the festival, Boom is a quaint little town to the south of Antwerp. Take a bit of time to visit Antwerp and you’ll have one of the best holidays of your life. I promise.

Buy Tickets

Flights to Brussels from Manchester Airport for Tomorrowland start at £36 return with Ryanair