We’ve already covered the best festivals in South Africa, and now we are bringing you top tips for where to #GoBos with our roundup of the best festivals in Europe.
So whether you’re based in Europe or UK, or you’re heading over for a quick festival tour, grab that tent, crazy hat (and possibly a pair of wellingtons) – your European summer starts here!
(And, while doing your festival shopping, don’t forget to stock up on all the BOS Ice Tea you’ll need to keep things cool and hydrated till that very last festival day.)
1. For the Rockers: Rock am Ring / Rock im Park
If you’re ready to rock out hard, Rock am Ring / Rock im Park is one European summer music festival (or is it two?) you definitely don’t want to miss.
Usually regarded as one event, these two annual German rock festivals share the same line-up and take place at the same time, but in two different locations. Rock am Ring takes place at Germany’s world-famous Nürburgring race track, while Rock im Park is held at the Zeppelinfeld in the city of Nuremberg.
With over 150 000 revellers rocking up for this three-day festival, Rock am Ring / Rock im Park is not just one of Germany’s most popular music festivals, but also one of the world’s biggest. Rockers are treated to the likes of Green Day, Muse, Placebo, Billy Talent and more.
- Where: Rock am Ring: Nürburgring race track | Rock im Park: Zeppelinfeld, Nuremberg
- When: early June
- More info: www.rock-am-ring.com | www.rock-im-park.com
2. For the Purists: Primavera Sound Festival
Hosted annually in Parc del Fòrum in Barcelona, Spain, what truly sets Primavera Sound Festival apart from other festivals in Europe is the size and quality of its lineup. The combined lineup tends to reach over 400 artists, including the likes of Dua Lipa, The Strokes, Jamie XX, Gorillaz and Tame Impala.
In 2022, this bucket-list mega music festival will take place over two weekends in a stunning public park in the Barcelona waterfront. Although most of the festival will take place at the Parc Del Fòrum, there will also be live music performances held in venues around Barcelona, with some free to members of the public.
What’s more, 2022 will see four counterpart Primavera Sound Festivals hosted for the first time, with music lovers in Buenos Aires, São Paulo, Los Angeles and Santiago de Chile also getting in on some of that Primavera magic.
- Where: Barcelona, Spain
- When: early to mid June
- More info: www.primaverasound.com/en/
3. For the Traditionalists: Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts
First hosted in 1970 after Somerset farmer Michael Eavis saw Led Zeppelin perform at a nearby music festival, the world-famous Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts has since become one of British culture’s main events.
Glastonbury, as it is commonly referred to, is attended annually by around 200 000 hippies, ravers, new age sojourners, and everything in between. Apart from the biggest names in contemporary music, this music-fest-on-a-dairy-farm also serves up hefty doses of comedy, theatre, dance, cabaret (and much, much more).
Tickets to Glastonbury famously sell out in a flash and the genre-spanning lineup includes names such as Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney, Kendrick Lamar and Diana Ross. Grab your wellies and head for the green fields of Pilton, Somerset!
- Where: Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset, United Kingdom
- When: late June
- More info: www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk
4. For Everything Africa: KeNaKo Africa Festival
If you’re from Africa, curious about the African way of life, or just feel like celebrating this inspirational continent (which also happens to be the only place on our planet where rooibos tea is grown) KeNako Africa Festival in beautiful Berlin is where you want to be this summer.
Presented annually by Germany’s Africa Media Centre, KeNako welcomes around 5 000 daily visitors over 10 days, offering a diverse programme that includes a smorgasbord of music, dance, workshops, and its famous African intercultural bazaar with its plethora of crafts, clothes, souvenirs and more.
Visit this wonderfully vibrant, one-of-a-kind festival to immerse yourself in everything Africa and learn more about the continent’s many delicious cuisines, myriad musical styles and eclectic mix of cultures and creativity.
- Where: Alexanderplatz, Berlin
- When: early July
- More info: www.kenako-festival.de
5. For the Connoisseurs: Canna World Cup Expo
Calling all cannabis aficionados to Amsterdam’s vibrant Westerpark for a three-day celebration of colourful cannabis culture. At the expo, attendees can expect everything cannabis related, including leading global brands, products, technologies, workshops, fashion, food, music, networking and much, much more.
The culmination of all these cannabis-inspired festivities will be the prestigious Canna World Cup competition ceremony, to be judged by more than 70 of the cannabis industry’s leading personalities.
The Canna World Cup Expo will be hosted in beautiful historic Westergas, an arts-and-culture hub. Originally a gas factory built in 1880, Westergas has been transformed into a buzzing cultural centre where the principles of diversity, freedom and creativity are upheld and celebrated.
- Where: Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam, Netherlands
- When: early July (first one is planned for 2023 as the 2022 Cannabis World Cup has been postponed).
- More info: www.cannaworldcup.com/the-expo-cwc
Ps. If you are curious to learn more about the differences between CBD (the second-most prevalent chemical compound in cannabis) and THC (cannabis’ main psychoactive ingredient), check out this informative article from verywellmind on the topic.
6. For the Crazy-cool Cats: Mad Cool Festival
Famous for its legendary artist lineups, Mad Cool Festival takes place in sunny Madrid every summer. In 2022, in honour of its fifth anniversary, this wildly popular festival in Europe has expanded to offer revellers five entire days of music-packed fun in the sun.
At Mad Cool, 100 000-plus festival goers will be treated to a head-spinningly diverse line-up (Metallica, Pixies, The Killers, Queens Of The Stone Age, Placebo, Muse, Jack White and Kings of Leon, to name just a few), with rock legends headlining on the main stage while pop, indie and EDM favourites do their thing on the many smaller stages.
Referred to as “a cultural event where diverse artistic expressions come together in the same space in a sustainable and responsible way”, at Mad Cool the music is continuous, and day or night, the good vibes just keep rolling.
- Where: The Magic Box, IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
- When: early July 2022
- More info: madcoolfestival.es/en/index.php
7. For the Francophiles: Lollapalooza Paris
Starting out in 1991 in the USA, Lollapalooza has been presented in many formats before expanding globally to bring its famously super star-packed lineup to music-loving masses around the world.
After a two-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, 2022 sees the legendary festival heading for the lawns of the Hippodrome de Paris Longchamp for its French edition – a two-day pop-and-rock festival that forms part of the global festival brand.
The French incarnation promises to bring everything that this legendary festival is known to offer, and then some, with the 2022 lineup including rock legends Pearl Jam alongside Imagine Dragons, David Guetta, Jack Harlow, A$AP Rocky and Megan Thee Stallion.
- Where: Hippodrome de Longchamp, Paris, France
- When: mid July
- More info: www.lollaparis.com
8. For the Futurists: Tomorrowland Festival
Imagine hundreds of thousands of EDM lovers from over 200 countries in a setting of peace, love, harmony and acceptance, and you get an inkling of what this super-special summer festival in Europe is all about.
Prepare for an out-of-this-world experience packed with inspiring people, breathtaking fireworks and a lineup that’s sure to blow your beat-loving mind. Tomorrowland even has its own currency (pearls, in case you were wondering) which you can use to buy food, drinks and more.
Memorable past Tomorrowland stages include an underwater stage featuring a giant, golden seahorse!
- Where: Boom, Flanders, Belgium
- When: mid to end July 2022
- More info: www.tomorrowland.com/home
9. For the Urban Naturalists: Loveland Festival
A two-day house and techno raveathon set in a lush city park located on a peninsula that extends into a beautiful lake? Believe it, because this is precisely where Amsterdam’s legendary Loveland festival is hosted every year.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Loveland postponed its 25th birthday celebrations until August 2022, but with more than 75 top global dance acts confirmed for this year’s lineup (Richie Hawtin, Dixon and Loco Dice, anyone?) Loveland 2022 is set to be one for the books!
Dance music and the Netherlands have long been synonymous, and nowhere is this more evident than at much-celebrated Loveland, one of the most popular house and techno festivals in Europe. Incredible production, over-the-top staging, and interactive entertainment will keep the party kicking, as will those surprises waiting around every corner!
- Where: Sloterpark, Amsterdam, Netherlands
- When: mid August
- More info: loveland.nl/festival
10. For the Lovers of Light: Amsterdam Light Festival
Okay, this one is not technically in summer, but we couldn’t bring ourselves to leave it off the list. A truly unique occurrence, the Amsterdam Light Festival sees the city’s houses, parks, and canals lit up like a shimmering wonderland. It’s a truly unforgettable display of breathtaking light works, presented in a myriad magical manifestations.
One of the most beautiful festivals in Europe, this event further offers visitors a number of special events, including tickets that combine a sailing experience with entrance to some of Amsterdam’s world-famous museums. Other projects that run concurrently include an education project for primary school students, as well as collaborations with institutions that see young talent co-creating light works for this one-of-a-kind festival.
- Where: Amsterdam, Netherlands
- When: start of December to late January
- More info: amsterdamlightfestival.com/en
Stock Up on BOS Ice Tea for Summer Festivals in Europe!
Now you have all the information you need to pick the one (or two, or three) summer festivals in Europe that are just right for you. Just keep in mind that, fun as they may be, summer festivals are also where you should take extra care to ensure that your body gets all the hydration it needs.
Browse our online shop to find your perfect BOS Ice Tea match, then be sure to take it along on your next European summer festival odyssey!