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The 7 essential summer music festivals

Classic summer questions (“Where are you off to this summer?” “Which month are you taking holidays?” and so on) include the typical one of a friend wondering which music festival you'll go to this year. Every summer when the temperatures start rising and the good weather begins, your mind turns to that festival that you never miss year after year... Or perhaps your festival ego wants to experience something new and outside your comfort zone this year?

With too many summer 2018 festivals to choose from, we wanted to offer a selection of the most appealing, the most interesting, the ones that we wouldn't want to miss... Here they are!

  • Vida Festival (Barcelona)

Sea, nature, light, art… that is the definition of the Vida Festival on its own website. The festival venue is Masía d’en Cabanyes de Vilanova i la Geltrú – a pretty area just a few kilometres from the beach, where you will find stages in the middle of a forest and 100% nature areas. A purely Mediterranean option a few kilometres from Barcelona.

What will you find here?

The best rock bands right now, and up-and-coming Spanish pop bands.

  • Tomorrowland (Belgium)

One of the reference points for this summer is in Boom, Belgium. The Tomorrowland festival is the largest electronic music event in Central Europe. The biggest names on the international scene can be seen here every summer. The festival is also famous for its huge stages and its light and sound shows. A must on your festival calendar.

What will you find here?

The lineup for this festival in Belgium is simply amazing... the once peaceful town of Boom will be buzzing with artists performing across 14 stages.

  • Meadows in the Mountains (Bulgaria)

Bulgaria is home to the hippy Glastonbury – the really, really hippy one. A quiet Bulgarian landscape—specifically the Rhodope Mountains—is the venue for this unique festival of the environment and also of music – of course. Meadows in the Mountains is a relaxed, hassle-free event... that is becoming more and more famous every year. A little more than just a simple music festival.

What will you find here?

You are in the most bucolic setting in Bulgaria... just relax and enjoy the folk music and the bands making their debut at this festival.

  • Paredes de Coura (Portugal)

In the district of Viana do Castelo in the north of Portugal, the historic Paredes de Coura is held every summer: a festival that has grown into a big summer event for the Portuguese over the years. This summer it will include Arcade Fire, Fleet Foxes, Slowdive, Big Thief… Nothing much.

What will you find here?

Important indie bands in the Portuguese summer heat. Sounds great, doesn't it?

  • Worldwide Festival (Sète, France)

From the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. Do you know Sète? This little French coastal village is transformed in July thanks to Gilles Peterson, the famous DJ who has been bringing the Worldwide Festival— a never-ending electronic festival—to Sète every summer for years now. A different and unforgettable festival for anyone who has experienced it.

What will you find here?

The festival ends at La Corniche beach. It's an experience that you'll never forget!

  • InMusic Festival (Zagreb, Croatia)

Let's visit the most famous festival in Croatia. The InMusic Festival is the macro festival of the Balkans: a benchmark for the area with ever greater international fame. This year's line-up includes David Byrne, Nick Cave, Alice in Chains, Queens of the Stone Age and more. Another bracelet for your wrist?

What will you find here?

The nineties are making a comeback this year with Queens of the Stone Age and Alice in Chains, but you can also find more current bands, like St. Vincent and The Kills.

  • Umbria Jazz (Perugia, Italy)

Perugia is a little walled city in the centre of Italy and the main city in the Umbria region. That's where the famous festival gets its name from: Umbria Jazz. For one week, this classic, noble, Italian city is visited by jazz and other musicians who turn it into an unusual open-air stage.

What will you find here?

You'll find the greatest traditional jazz bands, but that's not all: this year, bands like Massive Attack and Os Mutantes are also coming to Umbria Jazz.

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