The soundtrack of this summer is in hands of a handful of headliners that stumble from festival to festival. What parties are these anyway? Below, you’ll find a musical road trip that hits all the coolest music event in Europe.
We criss cross through the musical landscape to spot the best live-acts and most promising up-and-coming local heroes. Join us on an exploratory expedition from Finland to Portugal by Hungary and Greece, to end up in plenty more beautiful countries with each unique and distinctive music festivals.
Make sure to read the festival guide before you leave, and the follow the Chordify tour guide to jump on the bandwagon for an unforgettable festival trip. Let’s go!
1 Roskilde – Denmark
June 30–July 7, 2018
Roskilde has been around since 1971 and is one of the oldest festival in Europe.
Headliners: Nine Inch Nails, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Gorillaz, Eminem
Local Hero: Nephew – Danish rock band that sings in both their mother tongue Danish, as in English.
2 Ruisrock – Finland
July 6–8, 2018
Ruisrock is special because of its beautiful location on the island of Ruissalo, Turku. Aside from that, this festival has been around since 1970!
Headliners: Dua Lipa, N.E.R.D., The Chainsmokers, Clean Bandit
Local hero: Cheek – Finnish hip-hop with catchy melodies
3 Rockwave Festival – Greece
July 6 & July 19–20, 2018
Extraordinary because this festival was the Arctic Monkeys’ first appearance in Greece.
Headliners: Iron Maiden, Arctic Monkeys, Judas Priest, Alt-J
Local Hero: CORETHEBAND – Well-polished pop-rock from Crete
4 NOS Alive! – Portugal
July 12–14, 2018
This festival started out as Oeiras Alive!, shortly after it became Optimus Alive! Until in 2014 it was renamed to NOS Alive!
Headliners: Nine Inch Nails, Khalid, Pearl Jam, Queens of the Stone Age
Local hero: Jorge Palma – Gorgeous songs by 68-year old Portuguese
5 Exit Festival – Serbia
July 12–15, 2018
Exit Festival sees a very diverse line-up with acts from Mexico, Turkey, Bosnia. Aside form this, the location–a fortress–is very cool and original.
Headliners: David Guetta, Fever Ray, Grace Jones, Martin Garrix
Local hero: Bad Copy – Hip-hop group with wit, self-deprecation, and sharp (Serbian) lyrics
6 Lollapalooza – France
July 21– 22, 2018
Lollapalooza is a world-wide festival with editions in Brazil, Chicago (US), and Argentina, and others.
Headliners: Depeche Mode, Gorillaz, The Killers, Travis Scott
Local Hero: Nekfeu – successful rapper with an acting career on the side
7 Reading – UK
August 24–26, 2018
New Order was the headliner of this festival’s first iteration in 1989.
Headliners: Fall Out Boy, Kings of Leon, Kendrick Lamar, Panic! at the Disco
Local Hero: Dua Lipa – Award-winning artist with global hits
8 Lowlands – The Netherlands
August 17–19, 2018
With the exception of the 2015 edition, this festival has been sold out for the last 13 years.
Headliners: N.E.R.D., Gorillaz, Dua Lipa, James Bay
Local hero: De Staat – Well-oiled and super tight rock shows, with famed circle pits during their hit Witch Doctor
9 Sziget – Hungary
August 8–15, 2018
Sziget is special because of it’s gorgeous location on an island (Sziget) in the river Danube. Additionally, the festival lasts for a whopping 8 days! Together with Roskilde, it’s one of the longest festivals in Europe.
Headliners: Arctic Monkeys, Lana Del Rey, Mumford & Sons, Fever Ray.
Local Hero: Pannonia Allstars Ska Orchestra – Hungarian ska with happiness dialed to 11, complete with trumpet, trombone, and sax!
10 Pukkelpop – Belgium
August 15–18, 2018
With 180.000 visitors (yes, you read that right) this is one of the most-visited festivals in Europe, partially because of the large amount of daytickets made available.
Headliners: Arcade Fire, The War on Drugs. Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons
Local Hero: Bazart – Indie group that sells out Belgium’s largest venues
11 Paleo Festival – Switzerland
July 17–22, 2018
In their own words, Paleo is an extraordinary marriage between concert and carnival. Organized without public financing.
Headliners: Depeche Mode, Lenny Kravitz, The Killers, MGMT
Local Hero: Vendredi sur mer – French poetic synthpop of the highest caliber
12 Todays Festival – Italy
August 24–26, 2018
Todays Festival has only been around for a couple of years and is based on the power of ‘now’: “Because the only moment in which the future can be decided is this instant. The present… TODAY.”
Headliners: The War on Drugs, Editors, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, My Bloody Valentine
Local hero: Cosmo – In this Italian electro-pop, you’ll hear all influences of nowadays’ clubculture.