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Music festivals that you can’t miss this summer
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Written by Natalie Barresi

Branded Content Creator

17 Most popular summer music festivals in Southern Europe

After two years of not being able to socialize and enjoy music festivals, people are ready to create new experiences and celebrate the joy of the ‘new normal’ that our society is living in. Music festivals are going all in and are preparing to give attendees powerful lineups and incredible memories.

But where are some of the best festivals in Europe? 

Apart from the culture, sunny weather, beaches and incredible cities; Portugal, Greece and Spain host some of the biggest festivals in Europe with top international artists and plenty of additional festival activities.

A quick glance at the most popular festivals:

Read on for more information about each festival.

Keep in mind that Spain, Portugal, and Greece all have amazing summer music festivals but these countries have so much more to offer. If you want the chance to go abroad and live new experiences, check out our job offers right now! A new opportunity is just a click away.

What are Spain’s biggest music festivals?

Primavera Sound  (2 weekends: Thursday June 2-Sunday June 12) 

Location: Barcelona 

Main artists: Dua Lipa, Tame Impala, Charli XCX, Kacey Musgraves, Kehlani, Cigarettes After Sex, Girl in Red, The Strokes, Jamie XX, Pabllo Vittar,  Gorillaz, Jorja Smith, Tyler the Creator, Disclosure, Cazzu, Lorde, Massive Attack, Burna Boy, Megan Thee Stallion, Phoenix.

Primavera Sound is one of the biggest music festivals in Spain, this festival first began in 2001 and has become a worldwide event with editions now being held in Los Angeles, Porto, São Paulo, Santiago and Buenos Aires. 

This event offers music of many different genres. It started out as a festival for more indie and rock artists but has evolved into having a diverse lineup with pop, rap, rock, indie, electronica, country, R&B and much more. 

There are also plenty of food options even until late at night and they offer food for vegetarians and vegans as well. There are games and booths to buy clothes or get personalized shirts for free.

Sónar (Thursday June 16-Saturday June 18)

Location: Barcelona  

Main artists: C. Tangana, Nathy Pelsuo, Arca, Princess Nokia, Niño de Elche, The Chemical Brothers, Ms Nina, Richie Hawtin, Recycled J, AJ Tracey.

Sónar is where music, art and creativity all merge together. This festival offers DJ sets, indie rock, experimental music, hip hop and visual arts. The lineup includes a mix of already established artists and some of the best aspriring performers.

 Along with the music, Sónar has unique art showcases and different creativity and innovation events.  There are also plenty of spots to buy merch or food and drinks. They offer food and beer without gluten and there are food options for vegans and vegetarians.

Cruïlla (Wednesday July 6-Saturday July 9)

Location: Barcelona  

Main artists: Jack White, Duran Duran, Rels B, Rigoberta Dandini, Stay Homas, Sofi Tukker, Rozalén, Juan Luis Guerra.

Cruïlla festival is held at the famous Parc del Fòrum in Barcelona. 40 concerts in 3 days with spots to relax, DJ spaces and markets with artisanal products. There are plenty of activities apart from the concerts. Cruïlla has a wide range of music styles like spanish pop, rock, hip hop, indie, and more with artists coming from all over to perform at this festival.

Benicàssim Festival (Thursday July 14-Sunday July 17)

Location: Valencian Community

Main artists: Two Door Cinema Club, Steve Aoki, Nathy Peluso, The Kooks, Tyga, Lost Frequencies, Becky Hill, Tom Grennan.

Benicàssim Festival focuses on electronic, pop and rock music. It also offers art, fashion shows and short films. With three stages, this festival receives over 150,000 visitors over the 4 days of concerts.  Located north of Valencia, in Benicàssim, the festival is right next to the beach so you can enjoy the sun and the great music all at once.

Arenal Sound (Monday August 2-Sunday August 7)

Location: Valencian Community

Main artists: Myke Towers, Duki, Bizarrap, C. Tangana, Afrojack, Jaime Lorente, Lola Indigo, Rels B, Bad Gyal, Hektor Mass, Zzoilo

Arenal Sound, like Benicàssim fest, is located right on the beach. Arenal Sound has glamping zones, stands with food and drinks, and spots to chill in the shade. Its first edition was in 2010 and it quickly became one of the most popular festivals in Spain. 

This festival has all kinds of artists, from electronic to rap to indie. Their lineup includes top artists and independent local ones as well.

Bilbao BBK Live (Thursday July 7-Saturday July 9)

Location: Bilbao

Main artists: The Killers, Stromae, J Balvin, Pet Shop Boys, Nathy Peluso, M.I.A., Phoebe Bridgers, The Blessed Madonna

Bilbao BBK Live is located on Kobetamendi which is a mountain and a natural park, leaving the festival venue surrounded by a small forest and green spaces. These views from the spot are incredible, showing you a stunning panoramic view of Bilbao.  

Plenty of international artists will be performing a BBK Live as well as popular national artists. This festival has grown quickly in recent years, now offering 12 stages to present rock, pop, electronic and indie concerts.

Mad Cool (Wednesday July 6-Sunday July 10)

Location: Madrid

Main artists: Florence + The Machine, Phoebe Bridgers, Metallica, Stormzy, Carly Rae Jepsen, HAIM, Muse, Tinashe, Tove Lo, Yungblud, CHVRCHES, MØ, Flume, Twenty One Pilots, Nathy Peluso, Aleesha, Tones and I, Kings of Leon, Two Door Cinema Club,  Zara Larsson

Mad Cool Festival is based in Madrid and this year will celebrate their 5th anniversary. This festival has grown in terms of artists, attendance and production becoming an elite event in not only the country but also the continent. Top national artists and international superstars will be performing at the event in the capital of Spain.  

In 2018, they had over 240,000 visitors over the 5 days of the festival. Mad Cool’s lineup has more than a hundred artists performing indie, electronica, alternative, pop, R&B, and rock.

There’s even a space called The Loop, for electronic and dance music.  This summer in Madrid, hundreds of thousands of fans will have the opportunity to dance in the sun while watching their favorite music artists perform.

Biggest music festivals in Portugal

NOS Primavera Sound (Thursday June 9-Sunday 12)

Location: Porto

Main artists: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Tame Impala, Sky Ferreira, Jhay Cortez, Cigarettes After Sex, Mura Masa, Beck, Rina Sawayama, Gorillaz, Interpol, Earl Sweatshirt, Paloma Mami, King Krule, Pavement

NOS Primavera Sound, the Portugues edition of Primavera Sound presents hip hop icons, artists of tomorrow, contemporary sounds and the presence of local artists. Come to Porto to experience the party under the shining lights and Mediterranean climate.

This festival offers a wide range of music genres including techno, psychedelic pop and reggaeton. Not only is it an amazing music experience but it’s also the chance to see the stunning city, enjoy the festival activities, pop-up shops, and food trucks.

NOS Alive (Wednesday July 6-Saturday July 9)

Location: Oeiras

Main artists: Phoebe Bridgers, The Strokes, HAIM, The War On Drugs, Stromae, Jungle, Clairo, Metallica, Florence + The Machine, Jorja Smith, ALT-J, Stormzy, Royal Blood, M.I.A., ST. Vincent, Imagine Dragons, Two Doors Cinema Club

NOS Alive, hosted in Oeiras, a seaside city in the Lisbon Metropolitan area, has a lineup full of international stars. From indie to pop and electronica to metal, you’ll find a bit of everything at NOS Alive.  This festival also offers a camping area with pools, tennis courts and mini golf.

At the main event venue, there are quiosques and a food hall with a wide variety of food, including veggie options. There’s even a huge terrace where you can relax, enjoy your food, and regain energy for the rest of the concerts.  One of the best parts of NOS Alive? It’s right next to the beach and only 8 minutes away from downtown Lisbon.

Secret Project Festival (Friday June 17-Sunday June 19) 

Location: Portimão

Main artists: Adam Beyer, Cirez D, DJ Rush, Ida Engberg, Ilario Alicante, Joel Mull, Layton Giordani, Tiger Stripes, Ben Sterling, Joey Daniel, BRU-C, Chase & Status

Secret Project Festival was born in Los Angeles where it became an acclaimed event and eventually expanded to Europe. This year’s festival makes its debut in gorgeous Portimão, in the heart of Southern Portugal.  

Three days and three nights of raves on the beach with house, techno, drum & bass taking center stage at this celebration of club culture. This festival presents over 80 of the best DJs in the world across three stages right on the beach.

Rolling Loud Portugal (Wednesday July 6-Friday July 8) 

Location: Portimão

Main artists: J. Cole, A$AP Rocky, Future, AJ Tracey, Aleesha, BIA, Jack Harlow, Flo Milli, Lil Uzi Vert, Roddy Ricch, Lil Yachty, Rae Sremmurd, Rico Nasty, Skepta, Trippoe Redd, Lil Tecca

Rolling Loud Portugal is one of the largest hip hop festivals in the world, with editions in Miami, Portugal, Netherlands and Toronto. This event in Portimão, a town where you can find several of the best beaches in Europe, will bring some of the biggest names in hip hop to Portugal.  

There is no other festival like this in Europe. Not only can you soak up the sun and swim in the glistening water but you can experience incredible performances from the best international artists.

MEO Sudoeste (Monday August 2-Saturday August 6)

Location: Odemira

Main artists: Major Lazer, Lewis Capaldi, Steve Aoki, Morat, Timmy Trumpet, Masego, Shouse, Morad

MEO Sudoeste is based on the beautiful coast of Zambujeira do Mar in Odemira. 5 days of hip hop, pop, reggae, electronica, rock, pop, alternative, and EDM, all right by the beach.  This festival’s lineup has top international names, music for all tastes and incredible activities at the event such as fair rides and shopping booths.

Super Bock Super Rock (Thursday July 14-Saturday July 16)

Location: Sesimbra

Main artists: A$AP Rocky, Leon Bridges, Flume, Metronomy, C. Tangana, Goldlink, Nathy Peluso, Foals, Jamie XX, Declan McKenna, Boy Pablo

Super Bock Super Rock festival has been around for more than 25 years, offering a lineup full of huge international performers and promising up-and-coming artists. Rock is in the name but this festival isn’t limited to just that. It has concerts for hip hop, indie, pop, electronica and more on the 4 Super Bock Super Rock stages.

What music festivals are this summer in Greece?

Release Athens (Wednesday June 8-Saturday July 23)

Location: Athens

Main artists: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, London Grammar, Pet Shop Boys, Iggy Pop, Liam Gallagher, Judas Priest, Slipknot, Manowar, Fontaines DC

Release Athens is a 12 day music festival in Athens that launched in 2016 and has become one of the top music festivals in Greece. This festival has over 40 international acts and 100 hours of live music and it’s in a seaside venue, 7 minutes from downtown Athens.  

Release Athens looks to satisfy as many genres as possible and offers heavy metal, hip hop, pop, rock, indie, alternative and more. Enjoy modern music in one of the oldest cities in Europe and experience high quality concerts and a great festival experience.

Rockwave (July 21-Saturday July 23)

Location: Malakasa

Main artists: Social Distortion, Amenra, Placebo, Les Negresses Vertes

Rockwave is an authentic rock music festival in Malakasa surrounded by trees and nature. This festival was created in 1996 with the goal of creating an annual live music event for rock artists and bands. From punk to alternative to metal, Rockwave is the festival for real headbanging music fans.  

Only a 30 minute car ride from downtown Athens, the venue at the open-air Terra Vibe Park offers camping, shops, bars, games and merch booths. Make memories and share emotions at this event which has become a main attraction for visitors across Europe.

Plisskën (Sunday June 12-Monday June 13)

Location: Athens

Main artists: Caribou, Princess Nokia, Beach Bunny, Mala Rodriguez, Jay Electronica, Boy Pablo, DJ Python, Yves & Its Band  

Plisskën festival is a genre-defying festival that has become known for its energy, creativity and iconic lineups. It has existed for more than 9 years, becoming more and more environmentally conscious and one of the most innovative festivals in the country.  Held at the historic Technopolis, this is a festival where no one wants to leave.

Ejekt (Wednesday June 29)

Location: Kallithea

Main artists: Muse, Yungblud, Nothing But Thieves, Danai Nielsen

Ejekt festival has had a cultural impact in Greece since it began in 2005, gaining huge success and bringing international attendees. Even though this festival only lasts one day, it has still hosted some of the biggest names in rock. This year’s edition is nothing short of exciting and festival is all along the Athens waterfront.  

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