Festival season is in full swing right across Europe.
Here’s our top pick of small-scale festivals that prove bigger isn’t always better. Many of these intimate events showcase the same top-tier line-ups as their larger siblings, but in some truly unique settings.
18 – 25 July, Tisno, Croatia
With world class DJ’s, this week-long, intimate music festival of electronic, house, soul and R&B brings it all to Tisno on the beautiful Dalmation coast.Half on the mainland and half on the island of Murter, the hilly area of Tisno overlooks the bay and it’s handy for Zadar and Split airports.
No age restrictions and a family vibe, expect chic partygoers and a diverse range of music lovers. You may feel like you’re at a private party with Roger Sanchez (yes he’s on the line up this year).
26 – 29 July, Vasto, Italy
A line-up of indie and alternative music acts perform in 15th century courtyards, a walled garden or at the beach for late night sets. The charming, coastal town of Vastro is truly transformed into a musical hotspot.
With the main stage nestled into the hillside and spectacular views of the Adriatic Sea as the backdrop, this intimate show really is a unique festival experience.
Combine this with film screenings, amazing local cuisine, historic architecture and you have one of the most enchanting festivals that Italy has to offer.
26 – 29 July, Lulworth Castle, England
Set in the magical surroundings of Lulworth Castle, Dorset, electronic and indie Camp Bestival has won ‘Best Family Event’ so many times, it’s a must for children and adults of all ages.
Simple Minds, Rick Astley, Clean Bandit and comedy from Sean Lock are just some of the line up for 2018.
With everything from music to medieval jousting, comedy, poets and silliness, it has the same explosion of fun and nonsense as big sister, Bestival, that follows on 2 – 5 August.
River Cottage are rustling up their culinary magic too and the entire carnival cuisine will not disappoint.
26 – 29 July, Hertfordshire, England
One of the UK’s favourite boutique music festivals thanks to a blend of indie, electronic, rock and pop, with a dash of wackiness.
Music from Paloma Faith, George Ezra, Bryan Ferry and a Jarvis Cocker DJ set. Plus top notch food from London’s best street food and drink traders.
The annual dog show (yes you can bring your pooch), a carnival running alongside the music stages, comedy and craft are just some of the eclectic, cool activities to check out, all within the grounds of a 16th century manor house.
Expect a family friendly vibe and to be totally entertained.
A SUMMER’S TALE
1 – 4 August, Luhmühlen, Germany
With an eclectic mix of electronic, pop and folk music, this feel good factor festival takes you to the beautiful countryside of Luhmühlen Germany.
Madness, Belle & Sebastian and KT Tunstall are just some of the star-studded line-up this year, set over 11 stages in an idyllic, natural setting. Great for foodies with culinary highlights of regional specialities and there’s art, theatre, workshops, crafts, and reading too.
Grab a hammock and relax. Lederhosen optional.
2 – 5 August, Kent, England
Set in the grounds of a beautiful forest, this boutique, indie and electronic festival, not only has a diverse music line up but also comedy, art, theatre and just a few quirks thrown in.
This year’s live acts include Bastille, Clean Bandit and Sub Focus but the list goes on.
Escape to one of three magical realms; Skull Ridge for casinos, cabaret clubs and private parties. The Neverwoods, with giant fortress and lake for local food and drink, craft workshops and exciting new music. Mermaids Lagoon for the hedonistic set with Miami Beach setting and 100 tonnes of sand.
No, you’re not dreaming.
GROOVE LOCH NESS
18 August, Inverness, Scotland
Grab a chance to see headliners Idris Elba and MK (Marc Kinchen) at Scotland’s most iconic music festival on the banks of legendary Loch Ness.
Billed as a ‘one night, one stage’ festival with back-to-back electronic, house and techno sessions packed full of energy. Expect an intimate party vibe and breathtaking views in this stunning highlands setting.
Join Scotland’s biggest party under the stars.
28 Aug – 2 Sept, Pula, Croatia
With a beautiful private beach, after parties in abandoned tunnels and music from the worlds of house, techno, urban and many more, there’s no wonder Dimensions is one of Croatia’s most popular festivals.
The opening party kicks off in a 2,000 year old stunning Roman amphitheatre with the rest of the stages on the Beach, the Moat, the Stables and other equally amazing locations. This year’s line up includes Kraftwerk 3D, Nina Kravitz and an endless list of others.
The legendary Boat party tickets sell out quick but they’re perfect for the hedonistic set with 3 hours of glorious sun soaked sailing.
For those with the stamina, Dimension’s bigger sister, Outlook, takes places just a week later (5 – 9 September) in the same location.
Can you go the whole distance?
Festival No. 6
6 – 9 September, Portmerion, Wales
Expect everything from indie to rock or pop at multi-award winning, Festival No. 6. An eclectic blend of music, arts and culture, all set in the beautiful, coastal Welsh town of Portmerion, surrounded by mountains and woodland.
With a Mediterranean-inspired, fantasy village as the main stage, the line up includes Franz Ferdinand, The Charlatans and many more. Madness lead man, Suggs, performs his new one-man show and Edith Bowman soundtracks with Trainspotting Novelist, Irvine Welsh.
There’s wood-fired hot tubs, yoga, paddle boarding, and it’s very own Carnival No. 6, bringing a gigantic burst of colourful costumes and music to Saturday night.
Expect a family friendly weekend of indulgence.
14 – 15 Sept, Lisbon, Portugal
There’s a brand new city festival coming to the Portuguese capital of Lisbon at the end of Summer. Soundcrash, the organisers and promoters of some of the finest London events, have gone out to create something special, bringing together music, art, culture and lifestyle.
Expect an exciting line-up of DJs and performers, from electronic to hip hop and soul, with Gilles Petersen and Maribou State already confirmed. Set over two exciting locations; a converted factory and a disused tram terminus.
Being only 15 minutes from some of the best surf beaches in the world, it’s no surprise there’s Surf classes, beach parties and yoga sessions on the line up too.
Lisbon’s popularity has truly exploded. Be first in the know.
You just have to figure out how many you can fit in before Winter comes.