Festival Focus: Europe

Part Two of our festival guide looks at the best music events across the water...

Joe Walker

1 year ago

By Joe Walker

RWD Festival Focus

Last month we gave you a comprehensive rundown of all the decent music festivals we are fortunate enough to have here in the UK – click here if you missed it – but there will be some of you that want to venture a little further out for your summer adventures, so we’ve got that covered too. This overseas edition of Festival Focus looks at some of the pick of the big events across Europe in the next few months.

We know of some amazing festivals in the Americas & beyond too, but we’re conscious of budget and the lack of notice (see, always thinking of you) so we’ll keep it on the home continent. We must give a shout out, however, to Red Bull TV broadcasting live from eight of the world’s biggest festivals this summer, including Lollapalooza (Chicago), Bonnaroo (Tennessee) and the Gorillaz’s Demon Days festival. Some of the chosen events are in our European guide below, and keep an eye out for more festival related content from Red Bull on the RWD site this summer.

If you see any festival you’re interested in, don’t waste any time in shouting your people and getting it arranged. You’re competing with the rest of Europe for tickets!


When: 31 May – 4 June
Where: Copenhagen, Denmark
Notable Live Acts (A-Z): Lady Leshurr, Little Simz, Madlib, Mike Skinner & Murkage, Mura Masa, Riff Raff
Tickets & More Infocphdistortion.dk

First up on our roundup is one of two Danish festivals in June. In the case of Distortion, this is for those who are less enthused by a camping experience and would like to see some more of the Danish capital while visiting. Distortion is held in numerous venues across Copenhagen, so there’s the ability to take in some local culture in between seeing a interesting variety of live acts and sleeping in a comfy hotel bed. There’s little notice for this one but if you fancy a spontaneous trip to Scandinavia then look no further.

When: 31 May – 4 June
Where: Barcelona, Spain
Notable Live Acts (A-Z):  BADBADNOTGOOD, Death Grips, Flying Lotus, Frank Ocean, Joey Purp, Kate Tempest, King Krule, Miguel, Run The Jewels, Sampha, Skepta, Solange, The xx
Tickets & More Infoprimaverasound.es

If you prefer your city trips to have slightly more sun, then Barcelona might be the ting instead. Taking place at Parc del Fòrum on Barcelona’s coastline, Primavera Sound is an enticing festival coming up celebrating pop, rock and electronic music. Who wouldn’t fancy seeing Skepta perform with an ocean view? Better still, Primavera Sound is one of eight festivals this summer to be livestreamed on Red Bull TV, so you can still check for it from the comfort of your own home. Julie Adenuga is among the hosts of the live broadcast, which takes place at 6pm each night 1-3 June.

When: 24 June – 1 July
Where: Roskilde, Denmark
Notable Live Acts (A-Z): 67, Bryson Tiller, Clams Casino, Digable Planets, Freddie Gibbs, G-Eazy, Gucci Mane, Ice Cube, Lil Uzi Vert, Kano, Krept & Konan, Nas, Noname, Popcaan, Princess Nokia, Rag N Bone Man, Solange, The Weeknd, The xx, Tinashe, Wiki, Yasiin Bey, Young M.A.
Tickets & More Inforoskilde-festival.dk

The other big Danish festival in June that we’re loving the look of is Roskilde, 30km from Copenhagen and North Europe’s largest music festival. As well as huge rock headliners in Foo Fighters, Blink-182 and Arcade Fire, there is a very sick hip-hop lineup including a few UK rappers too. It’s difficult enough to catch 67 live in the UK so here’s your chance! The campsite opens four days before the festival, with the campsite opening becoming known as an event in its own right. Red Bull TV will be livestreaming some of the madness from 6.30pm each night from 28 June.


: 30 June – 2 July
Where: Brussels, Belgium
Notable Live Acts (A-Z): Damian Marley, Flatbush Zombies, JMSN, Lil Dicky, Loyle Carner, Princess Nokia, Sango, The Roots
Tickets & More Infocouleurcafe.be

This Belgian festival takes place over three days, but the majority of those acts that will be of greatest interest to regular RWD readers are performing on Sunday. Sango is the closing act on Friday night’s blue stage, while The Roots close the blue stage late Saturday evening.

When: 11 July
Where: Ibiza Rocks Hotel, Ibiza
Notable Live Acts (A-Z): Dave, J Hus, Jaykae, Kenny Allstar, Mist, MoStack, Ray BLK, Stormzy
Tickets & More Infoibizarocks.com/hotel/events/merky

Ibiza Rocks Hotel has grown from strength to strength over the last decade, hosting music alternative to what your typical Ibiza-goer is expected to check for. There are big concerts every week but this pick of the bunch is a Stormzy curated day festival at the hotel venue with an all-star lineup of the best ‘urba’ acts to emerge from the UK in the last couple of years. Incorporate this into a longer Ibiza holiday. Go on, we dare you.

When: 11-13 July
Where: Pag, Croatia
Notable Live Acts (A-Z): French Montana, Giggs, Jazzy Jeff, Krept & Konan, Lady Leshurr, Mike Skinner & Murkage, Rae Sremmurd, Sean Paul, Tim Westwood, Young Thug
Tickets & More Infofresh-island.org

On the Croatian island of Pag is Fresh Island, a hip-hop & rnb festival that has got better and better with each year since launching a few years ago. There are some excellent boat parties across the festival, as well as pool parties from GRM Daily (with a live Giggs PA), Westwood and a Noisey UK rap & grime karaoke night hosted by #FilthyFellas own Poet.


When: 12 August
Where: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Notable Live Acts (A-Z): 67, Amy Becker, Crazy Cousinz, Dave, J Hus, Jesse James Solomon, Kenny Allstar. Lil Wayne, ROM, Siobhan Bell, Young M.A.
Tickets & More Infoappelsap.net

It’s not like we need a reason to visit Amsterdam, but this Saturday in August looks like a perfect excuse to go. The ‘fresh music festival’ has none other than Lil Wayne headlining, with an opportunity to see 67 and J Hus in the same afternoon for those unable to see them here in the UK. There will also be Noisey and Boiler Room stages among the fun.

When: 16-19 August
Where: Kiewit, Belgium
Notable Live Acts (A-Z): ABRA, BADBADNOTGOOD, Benji B, Cypress Hill, Death Grips, Denzel Curry, Hannah Faith, Migos, Mura Masa, Ray BLK, Raye, Russ, Sampha, Stormzy, Vince Staples, The xx
Tickets & More Infopukkelpop.be

Pukkelpop takes place between Hasselt and Genk in the east of Belgium, with combi ticket options for camping and the festival still available for the time being. There’s plenty here across the four days, count us interested.


When: 7-10 September
Where: Fort Punta Christo, Croatia
Notable Live Acts (A-Z): AJ Tracey, Akala, Amy Becker, Big Zuu, Bugzy Malone, Capo Lee, Champion, Chimpo, Coco, Conducta, Elijah & Skilliam, Flirta D, Flowdan, Freeza Chin, Ghostface Killah, Giggs, Grandmixxer, Hi5ghost & Boofy, Jammz, Jorja Smith, Jossy Mitsu, Kahn & Neek, Kenny Allstar, Killa P, Kojo Funds, Lady Chann, LEVELZ, Logan Sama, Loyle Carner, Madam X, Murlo, Newham Generals, Nines, Not3s, #oscar Worldpeace, P Money, Pharaoahe Monch, Princess Nokia, Riko Dan, Rude Kid, Shy FX, Sir Spyro, Spooky, Swindle, Tom Misch, TQD, Wookie, Wiley
Tickets & More Infooutlookfestival.com

The greatest. You cannot chat to Outlook. The biggest celebration of soundsystem culture is back again and quite frankly we cannot wait. Hip-hop, grime, UK rap, reggae, drum & bass and dubstep are all here in abundance, so this will be right up everyone’s street. The popular boat parties will be hosted by TQD, Butterz, Swing Ting, MTP, Radar Radio, Just Jam, Keepinitgrimy and many, many more sick labels and event brands.