What better way to extend your festival escape than by planning a city break alongside it? Plenty of the world’s most sought-after festivals offer breath-taking nearby cities just waiting to be explored.
Explore the local area and indulge in culture and cuisine, visit landmarks and tourist attractions. The possibilities are endless, and can make your festival trip even more exciting.
Secret Solstice / Reykjavik
Set in the heart of Iceland’s capital city Reykjavík, Secret Solstice festival is surrounded by captivating scenery. Taking place during the summer solstice when the sun never sets, this unique festival offers an out of this world experience for attendees.
The festival is ideal for combining with a city break, with Reykjavíc offering breath-taking architecture nestled amongst the city’s incredible natural landscape. Reykjavíc is hailed for its incredible nightlife, with a vast array of inviting bars and clubs scattered across the city. Plenty of day trips are also available, including dolphin and whale watching boat trips, volcanic crater and glacier visits, and plenty more Icelandic adventures. The iconic Blue Lagoon is also within travelling distance, offering the ultimate geothermal spa experience. Truly bringing Iceland’s history and scenery to life, the festival even hosts a party inside Europe’s second biggest glacier, something that cannot be experienced anywhere else.
Secret Solstice takes place from 21-24 June 2018. More info available at secretsolstice.is
EXIT Festival / Belgrade
Just a short ride away from the Serbian capital Belgrade, EXIT takes place in the magical Petrovaradin Fortress set high on the banks of the river Danube in Novi Sad provides the perfect setting for the EXIT Festival. Started as a student protest in 2000 fighting for political change and freedom, EXIT continues to spread positive vibes, promoting change and positive education, supporting many community and humanitarian missions, while throwing a damn good party.
Belgrade has a reputation as an all-year party city, with a vibrant and diverse party scene with everything from jazz to Gypsy folk and techno, which has its roots in the 1990s where underground club culture provided a refuge from Milosevic’s regime. Local favourites include Underground Club and Drugstore and in the summer months, the parties move to the city’s waterways – the Danube and Sava rivers – where river boats provide the venues to dance the night away. As well as music the city also has a wealth of culture and mismatch of architecture. It still has many communist tower blocks but is also home to the world’s largest Eastern Orthodox church and the Wander Kalemegdan, which are ruins of a fortress built to defend the city from the Ottomans.
EXIT Festival takes place from 12-15 July. More info available at exitfest.org
Positivus Festival / Riga
Taking place in the picturesque coastal town of Salacgriva in Latvia, Positivus is the transporting chart-topping headliners, underground emerging talent and exciting art and dance stages to their unspoiled atmospheric coastal setting amid stunning woodland. Festival goers can dip their toes in the Baltic sea or take in the atmosphere in a hammock beneath the trees while enjoying a rich diversity of international chart toppers and underground emerging talent in this idyllic holiday location.
With flights into Riga, Positivus is perfect for combining a city break in Latvia’s capital city. Riga is a hotspot of hip, bursting with alluring architecture and compelling culture an has a well-nourished art scene attracts creatives to it’s numerous galleries with Agija Sūna being the best for Latvian contemporary art. The city is also home to many Art Nouveau buildings, many of which can be seen while taking a leisurely stroll down Alberta Street, where the Riga Art Nouveau Museum epitomises the style. There is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Riga with buildings dating back to the 1400s and the old town is full of quaint cobbled streets filled with beer gardens and street cafes.
Positivus Festival takes place from 20-22 July 2018. More info available at positivusfestival.com
Lowlands Festival / Amsterdam
Get ready for A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise, taking place next to the Walib Fairgrounds, Biddinghuizen with impressive installations plus unique covers for all stages so you can enjoy all the music rain or shine.
Just a one-hour car ride from cultural hotspot Amsterdam, Lowlands Festival is the perfect event to combine with a city break. Combining the spectacular festival performances with a trip to The Netherlands’ capital makes for the perfect extended trip. Absorb the city’s rich history in one of the many museums or soak up the location’s vibrant culture in the Van Gogh museum. Enjoy a serene canal boat ride or party the night away in one of Amsterdam’s diverse, intimate clubs.
Lowlands Festival takes place from 17-19 August. More info available at lowlands.nl
OFF Festival / Katowice
OFF is a festival for the discerning music fan and the place to discover the best alternative acts from around the world. A truly unique boutique music festival, OFF Festival takes place in ‘Three Lake Valley’, Katowice – a beautiful green oasis in the heart of industrial Silesia. From the greatest alternative music stars from around the world to the increasingly strong Polish scene, OFF festival has inspiring music in abundance and the organisers and crowd have one serious finger on the pulse when it comes to music.
Katowice, is the capital of the Silesian province of Poland, is famous for its industrial past and excellent art scene. It may not be the obvious tourist destination with no castles, ancient ruins or hip bohemian districts, but what you will find is a stack of Industrial Tourism that will take you underground and through the abandoned factory floors that were once the booming heart of Poland’s Industrial Revolution. The Nikiszowiec quarter offers you the best insight into this kind of architecture and history; it is listed on several heritage registers and there is a big chance it is going to join UNESCO’s World Heritage List in the future. There is a big street art movement in the city thanks to the Streets Art festival with dozens of large-scale murals, which have been created not only by local artists, but also by well-known street artists, such as American Axel Void, Australian Ian Strange (Kid Zoom), Spanish Escifa or SpY. A trip on the trail of Katowice murals is a great alternative way to see the city and its hidden treasure
OFF Festival takes place from 3-5 August. More info available at offsklep.pl