Europe hosts a varied range of music festivals for you to experience, read on to find out more.
Get to the music fast with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle
Whether you're an avid rocker or an aficionado of popular music, Europe hosts a varied range of festivals for you to experience – and with the super-fast 35-minute journey Eurotunnel Le Shuttle provides to the continent, it has never been easier to attend these stunning displays of musical entertainment and culture.
Les Ardentes, Liège, Belgium
10th – 13th July 2014
Starting a mere stone's throw over the channel, Belgium holds claim to Les Ardentes – an annual festival containing a mixture of electronic and rock music, which takes place in Liège. Twinned with a winter party that hosts a large number of techno and electro acts, this is a modern music event not to miss. A younger version of the Ardentes Festival, Les Ardentes has grown to a capacity of 70,000 visitors in just a few years and is continuing to expand.
Is it for me?
Musically, Les Ardentes has attracted big-name acts such as Limp Bizkit, Wu-tang Clan, Snoop Dog, Kate Nash, The Gossip and Cypress Hill since its inception in 2006. With two stages to pick from over the three-day event, you're sure to be able to find something you enjoy listening to, or even find a takeaway gourmet experience from the vast number of food stalls situated between the stages.
If camping isn't your thing or you have trouble erecting a tent, then there are chalets available during this summertime event. With this luxury option, and the practical waste reduction system in place, Les Ardentes is a haven for those wanting the festival experience without the mess or fuss of more basic camping.
Placebo • Massive Attack • M.I.A. • T.I. • Wiz Khalifa • Caribou • The Horrors • Panda Bear • Mobb Deep • Au Revoir Simone • Booka Shade • Sleigh Bells • Vitalic • Method Man • Mark Lanegan • Fanfarlo • Nneka • Earl Sweatshirt • Stromae • Kid Ink • Selah Sue • Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip • Joan As Police Woman • Austra • Nathan Fake • IAM • Timber Timbre • Giorgio Moroder • ScHoolBoy Q • Son Lux • Banks • Agoria • Archie Bronson Outfit • Zeds Dead • Claude VonStroke • Ben L'Oncle Soul • Danny Brown • Naughty Boy • Shaka Ponk • Jimmy Edgar • La Pegatina •Dope D.O.D. • The Internet • Daughter • The Van Jets • Isaiah Rashad • Cascadeur • Factory Floor • Danton Eeprom • Todd Terje • Julia Holter • Madensuyu • Kate Boy • Cats on Trees • The Inspector Cluzo • My Little Cheap Dictaphone • The Sore Losers • Melanie De Biasio • Naâman • Benjamin Clementine • S-Crew • Circa Waves • Yellow Claw • The Bots • Leaf House • Coely • elliphant • Ulysse • Milky Chance • Kennedy's Bridge • Valerie June • Delv!s • Palma Violets • Are • Weekender • Denitia and Sene • F. Stokes
Tickets come in at €60 for a day pass and €120 for a four-day pass, plus €10 with camping.
After crossing the Channel to France with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, head down to Brussels and from there Liège is just 45 minutes away making this short trip just a three-hour drive from Calais, which is an easy distance for festivalgoers allowing for plenty of opportunity to sample some local cuisine.
Visit the official Les Ardentes Website
Benicàssim, Valencia, Spain
17th - 20th July 2014
Dubbed Spain's "International Festival on the Beach", Benicàssim is nothing short of spectacular. Situated in Valencia, Spain, in a prime location between the festival's own water park and the beach itself, it's the ideal location to relax during the day and celebrate the festival well into the night, and on to the early hours of the morning. Established in 1994, it has since amassed a large following, particularly from British and Irish travellers who take advantage of the convenient transport links from the UK.
Is it for me?
The festival features a diverse array of music from many different genres, but its main draw is the different types of entertainment available. Displays of theatre, dance, art, fashion and film are all provided as entertainment to festivalgoers. Previous acts that have appeared at Benicàssim have included Arctic Monkeys, The Stone Roses, and Tinie Tempah, who is returning this year, along with the likes of Kasabian and The Libertines
The campsite is pretty typical here, although the warm Spanish weather means that it’s a much more pleasant experience than back home. The fact the location itself is already a tourist hotspot meaning that it is also possible to stay at a hotel or hostel and visit the festival on foot if you decide not to camp.
Kasabian • The Libertines • Cat Power • Lily Allen • of Montreal • M.I.A. • Travis • Klaxons • Manic Street Preachers • Razorlight • Ellie Goulding • Paolo Nutini • Chase & Status • The Presidents of the United States of America • Albert Hammond, Jr. • Tinie Tempah • James • Example • Above & Beyond • Tame Impala • Paul Weller • The Charlatans • The Courteeners • Sub Focus • Katy B • Triángulo De Amor Bizarro • Tachenko • Kodaline • Sebastian Ingrosso • Hozier • Tom Odell • The 1975 • La Femme • Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains • Alesso • Chlöe Howl • Slow Magic • Automatics • Jero Romero • El Último Vecino • Kokoshca • Mucho • Telegram • Nina Nesbitt • Jake Bugg • The Parrots • Skizophonic • Drenge
Tickets can be bought for the full four days for €149, including camping, or on a daily basis for €59.
Driving to Benicàssim allows you to ensure you have everything you need with you to enjoy the festival. After crossing the Channel to France with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, the scenic 15-hour drive to Valencia will take you through France and the north of Spain. This bring the added benefit of allowing you to experience several different regions and get a great taste of what these two countries have to offer.
Visit the official Benicàssim Website
Heineken Open'er Festival, Gdynia, Poland
2nd – 5th July 2014
If you ever needed to find an excuse to visit Poland, this is it. The Heineken Open'er Festival in Gydnia, an ex-military airport, is a festival that allows parents to sample Glastonbury-esque creative delights in a safe, clean environment along with their children in KIDS ZONE. It's also ideal for those who want to combine a festival with tourist activities as the main arena doesn't open until after 4pm – on top of this the organisers supply a shuttle bus to move you and your family into the town centre to get your fix of cultural activities, where you’ll find plenty on offer!
Is it for me?
The current trend is that big acts from UK who wish to "break" Poland have been appearing on the main stage. Included among these bands are Coldplay, The Strokes, Prince, Kate Nash and Pulp. Alongside these top acts, you have popular Polish bands that will undoubtedly widen your musical horizons for the better.
A big appeal of this festival is the support it provides for families. Not only are there musical attractions, but fairground rides such as the Ferris wheel and pyrotechnic shows in the evenings. The festival promotes a "KIDS ZONE" where children can be bought to indulge in creative activities such as designing their own costumes and learning to play instruments. Once the evening draws in, they can also take part in shadow theatre and learn fun circus tricks.
Accommodation is standard camping fare, but each pitch is marked out on a grid and you must register on the camp to be assigned your grid. This ensures you don't end up tripping over other guy-ropes in the middle of the night. Of course, the central nature of the festival area, and the free shuttle buses into town mean, that many patrons choose to stay in one of the many hotels within the town and commute in when the stages open. This also means you'll have more varied food options, if sit down restaurants are more your thing to burger vans and take away.
Jack White • Pearl Jam • The Black Keys • Ben Howard • Lykke Li • Wild Beasts • Banks • Earl Sweatshirt • The Afghan Whigs • Tourist • Interpol • HAIM • Darkside • Warpaint • Daughter • Bastille • MGMT • Foals • Metronomy • Foster The People •Rudimental • Julio Bashmore • The Horrors • Daniel Spaleniak • Terrific Sunday • We Draw A • Kaseciarz • Bulbwires • Wild Bookss • Phoenix •Pusha T • Bokka • Chromeo • Royal Blood • Jagwar Ma • Artur Rojek • Kuroma • Kari • Rasmentalism & Marcinkowski Quintet • Mooryc • Pablopavo i Ludziki • Coldair • Eric Shoves Them In His Pockets • Hatti Vatti • Fair Weather Friends • The Dumplings • Misia FF • Król • Mel Koteluk
Ticket prices are very affordable, considering the standard of main acts performing. A four-day pass with camping will cost you €150, or €131 without the camping pitch; a two-day ticket is €83, and a single day ticket is €49.
After your speedy 35-minute crossing from Folkestone to Calais with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, it will take you just over 14 hours to drive to Gdynia. You'll pass through France, Belgium, and the Netherlands before crossing over the Polish border, which gives you the chance of a bit of a continental tour before the festival begins.
Visit the official Heineken Open'er Festival Website