Undeniably one of the UK’s most popular festival which is getting bigger and bigger each year, Boomtown boasts a massive line up which caters to everyone’s taste. Whether you’re into drum and bass, ska or indie bands, this festival is sure to always impress. It provides a fully immersive 4-day experience and a welcome break from reality, making sure the worries of the real world never penetrate the walls of the city. And what a city Boomtown is! With plenty of districts and numerous stages laid out on Hampshire’s sunny hills, there’s always something to explore and engage with. Whether it’s actors dressed up playing the role of Boomtown’s citizens or different entertainment and activities you can take part in if you want to get away from the frenzy of the stages for a bit, there’s something for everyone here. The festival is built around a story which develops all the time, explaining why Boomtown simply can’t stop growing in popularity. No wonder it is one of our favourites, which is why we even gave away tickets for it to two lucky competition winners last year.
Located in Croatia’s sunny city of Pula, this gem of a European festival is a must for every festival goer with a love for underground music. Booming with British revellers which travel all the way there to enjoy the music, the sun, the views and the vibes, Outlook simply screams summer. The Roman Amphitheatre in which the biggest stage is based is an excellent setting for a festival, with banging sound systems and cheerful crowds enjoying every second of this idyllic and surreal setting. Roots reggae, old school dubstep and grime all scattered on the shores of Croatia, so if you’re all about the weighty sounds, lots of bass, big speakers, friendly faces and fantastic surroundings, then this is the festival for you!
A bit closer to home, Parklife successfully brings together gritty bass and happy ravers in a magnificent celebration of Manchester’s renowned music scene. A joyful mixture of sounds unites people from all over the country over the weekend and offers beats for everyone. The funky stages, all with different themes and decors, are sure to not leave anyone left out, the engaging crowds and atmosphere is fit even for the pickiest of ravers. It can be said that Parklife is the epitome of the British festival, almost constantly accompanied by rain, mud and cloudy skies, but nevertheless unable to dim down the happiness and energy of the crowds, guaranteeing a memorable weekend.
Labelled the most colourful show on Earth, despite Bestival moving from the Isle of Wight, its original location, to Dorset, one thing that remains unchanged for sure is the energy and pure delight that it represents. Started as Rob da Bank’s love child, Bestival is now one of the most influential and sought-after festivals in the UK. Always innovative and never afraid to be creative, as perfectly exemplified by Happy Kanye in 2017, an enormous bouncy castle style rainbow with the face of Kanye West, Bestival dares to provoke and step out of the boundaries of festival clichés. And to top things off, no matter what your musical taste is, Bestival is sure to have you covered.
5) TIME WARP
Another heavy international one, Time Warp is held in Manheim, Germany, and is an original flagship multi-floor techno festival which brings ravers, techno’s pioneers and bright lights together into a techno wonderland. It has more of an underground feel because it is held indoors and is the perfect image of the growth of the techno scene, being the perfect blend between a rave and a festival.
6) JUNCTION 2
A day festival that is more on the smaller scale, Junction 2 is nevertheless one that deserves a well-earned place on this list. Held under the M4 motorway in London, this stunner is stacked with big techno names and big powerful sound systems. Despite its smaller size, each stage manages to create a world of its own, and Junction 2 is especially memorable because, unlike bigger festivals, it manages to blend the crowd together perfectly, as there are no VIP tickets or any special facilities reserved for a selected few. Here, everyone is the same, with only one purpose, to have a good time, and people seem to be loving it.
7) LOST & FOUND
Annie Mac’s exceptional Lost & Found festival held in Malta is again one that is a clear representation of summer festivals. The sun, sea and sounds offer the perfect combination of elements needed for a successful recipe. And if this has not convinced you yet, Lost & Founds is great because, given its location, you can rave at a swimming pool, at a castle and on a boat, all in the same weekend!
Dutch heavyweights Awakenings never fail to deliver a techno heaven to the joyful ravers that make their way just outside Amsterdam for this event. The planning and organisation that goes into it is something to admire, as you are always guaranteed to find hidden gems wherever you go, whether it is a stage you weren’t aware of or a set that simply blew your mind. One thing is for sure, Awakenings has been called a weekend techno masterclass, and rightly so.
Located in Serbia, Exit festival takes place inside a castle’s stone walls, making the rave all the more spectacular and worth attending. Boasting 19 stages, Exit has developed as an ever-expanding international festival, and showcases a multitude of genres, from reggae to techno. The energy of Exit and impressive venue are something that must be seen to be completely understood.
Last but not least, Outlook’s sister festival, Dimensions takes place shortly before Outlook in the same location and has contributed to the transformation of the Croatian coast into a must-attend place, making it similar to Ibiza on the party-rave-festival front. Benefiting from the same scenic views as Outlook, Dimensions is dreamy, exciting and adventurous at the same time, making it the ideal summer festival.
Author - Andra Parvu