Roskilde Festival 2018, Denmark – Main Stage crowd
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Billy Curtis

20 European Glastonbury Alternatives for 2020

Miss out in the Glastonbury ticket sale?

Fortunately, there are hundreds more major festivals across Europe, where you can ditch the wellies, slap on the factor 50 and enjoy a festival soaked in sun rather than sludge.

Here are 20 of the best…

Primavera Sound

Barcelona, Spain

4 – 6 June 2020

Constantly pushing the boundaries with innovative music and arts programmes, Barcelona’s achingly cool Primavera Sound leads the way both sonically and aesthetically.

Since its inception in 2001, the festival has been showcasing the most influential artists in the business, with last year’s line-up featuring Tame Impala, Robyn, Nas and Solange.

While the Parc del Fòrum hosts the main events, visitors are encouraged to explore Barcelona, as you’ll find all manner of workshops, conferences, talks and film screenings to enrich your festival experience.

Only one band–Pavement–has been announced for next year, but to give you an idea of what to expect, here’s 2019’s line-up:

Primavera Sound Festival 2019 Line-up | Barcelona, Spain | NextFest

 

Roskilde Festival

Roskilde, Denmark

27 June – 4 July 2020

The legendary Danish festival has long drawn comparisons to Glastonbury due to its history and ethos. The non-profit event was launched in 1971, one year after Glasto’s original Pilton Party, and has followed a similar trajectory to becoming the colossal event it is today.

In June 2020–on the same week as Glasto–the festival will welcome more than 130,000 visitors to Roskilde for 8 days of incredible live music, with artists including Taylor Swift, Thom Yorke and Mura Masa.

Line-up so far: Taylor Swift, Thom Yorke, Mura Masa, Pusha T, The Whitest Boy Alive, Chai, Death By Unga Bunga, Hugorm, Land of Kush, The No Ones, Old Man Gloom, Tropical Fuck Storm

 

Sziget Festival

Budapest, Hungary

5 – 11 August 2020

Budapest’s Love Revolution brings together the world’s very biggest artists for a week-long party in the Hungarian capital.

Last year’s edition was attended by more than half a million visitors, with headliners including Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters, Florence + The Machine, The 1975 and Martin Garrix.

 

2020 Line-up: TBA

 

Rock Werchter

Werchter, Belgium

2 – 5 July 2020

Taking place annually at Belgium’s Festivalpark, the Rock Werchter organisers consistently manage to curate Europe’s most diverse festival line-ups, featuring everything from metal and punk through to pop, rock and hard-hitting techno.

Check out last year’s line-up, below, for an idea of what kind of artists to expect in 2020.

Rock Werchter 2019 Line-up:

Rock Werchter 2019 Line-up Poster | Tool, Pink, The Cure, Muse | NextFest

 

NOS Alive

Passeio Marítimo de Algés, Portugal

9 – 11 July 2020

Festival settings don’t come any better than Portugal’s NOS Alive. Situated right by the ocean at the Passeio Marítimo de Algés, the music stages are just 10 minutes from Lisbon city centre.

With a daily capacity of around 50,000, the festival takes place within a compact site, meaning you don’t need to walk miles to watch your favourite acts.

2020 headliners include Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and Portuguese hip-hop pioneers, Da Weasel.

 

FIB Benicássim

Benicássim, Castellón, Spain

Dates TBA

FIB Benicássim celebrated a quarter-century of festivals last July, pulling out all the stops for its special 25th-anniversary celebration. Fatboy Slim, Lana Del Rey and Kings of Leon were among the headliners, and its safe to assume we’ll be getting more huge names next summer.

To make it even better, Spain’s sun-drenched answer to Glasto is just minutes from the beach, with shuttle buses running from the festival site throughout each day.

FIB Benicassim Line-up 2019 Poster

 

Mad Cool Festival

Valdebebas – Ifema, Madrid, Spain

9 – 11 July 2020

Madrid’s Mad Cool Festival is back for its fifth edition in July 2020, promising another huge weekend of music with indie rock at the forefront.

Following 2016’s inaugural event – headlined by The Who, The Prodigy and Neil Young – it hasn’t taken long for Mad Cool to become recognised as one of Europe’s leading open-air music events.

Your three days will almost certainly be accompanied by Spanish sunshine, so ditch the wellies and pack the factor 50.

2020 line-up TBA. 2019 Line-up:

Mad Cool Festival Line-up 2019 | Madrid | Bon Iver, The National, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure.jpg

 

Colours of Ostrava

Ostrava, Czech Republic

15 – 18 July 2020

Taking place at the old mining and ironworks site of Dolní Vítkovice, Colours of Ostrava boasts a truly unique festival location.

The festival’s extensive programme stretches way beyond the music, with attractions including the Science & Technology Centre, The Gong Auditorium (inside a former gasometer), and CEZ Family park & Kids Stage.

The festival was featured in The Guardian’s Top 10 Festivals in Europe back in 2016, and has twice been shortlisted for Best Major Festival at the European Festival Awards.

2020 Line-up TBA. 2019 Line-up:

Colours of Ostrava Line-up 2019 | The Cure, Florence + The Machine | Rag n Bone Man | NextFest.jpg

 

Exit Festival

Novi Sad, Serbia

Date TBA

Almost 200,000 festival-goers are set to invade Novi Sad’s Petrovaradin Fortress this summer, as Exit Festival returns for its 20th year.

Whilst regularly hosting a variety of big-name headliners, the festival is most famous for its Dance Arena, which showcases the very best artists from the electronic music scene alongside mind-blowing visuals.

2020 Line-up TBA

 

Rock am Ring/ Rock im Park

Nürburg, Germany

5 – 7 June 2020

Friday 5 – Sunday 7 July sees Germany’s Rock am Ring & Rock im Park run simultaneously, welcoming 150,000 ticket-holders between the two.

Featuring a collection of rock and metal’s biggest names, Rock am Ring is the ultimate event for those who like their music with a heavier edge. System Of A Down, Green Day and Volbeat are among this year’s headliners.

 

Pukkelpop

Hasselt, Belgium

20 – 23 August 2020

Proudly presenting alternative and emerging artists alongside international superstars, Pukkelpop’s expertly curated music programme caters for every musical taste.

The 2019 line-up was as impressive as ever, with The National, Royal Blood and Tame Impala topping a bill which also featured the likes of Stormzy, Billie Eilish and The Streets.

2020 Line-up TBA.

Pukkelpop Line-up Poster 2019 | Post Malone, The National, Tame Impala, Royal Blood, Twenty One Pilots, Prophets of Rage | NextFest

 

Super Bock Super Rock

Meco Beach (nr Lisbon), Portugal

16 – 18 July 2020

Despite its roots being in rock and indie music, Portugal’s Super Bock Super Rock has branched out in recent years to cover a much a broader musical spectrum.

The festival hit the 25 year mark last summer, with the organisers going all out with their line-up by inviting The 1975, Lana Del Ray and Migos along to headline.

Next summer’s event is sure to involve many more big names, so keep your eyes peeled on NextFest for news as soon as it arrives.

 

Flow Festival

Helsinki, Finland

14 – 16 August 2020

Set in the spectacular former industrial area of Suvilahti, the Finnish capital’s flagship festival is shaping up to be one of the stand-out events of the summer, featuring plenty of big name and local artists.

The festival’s attractions stretch way beyond the music, too, with a variety of talks and workshops on offer, along with more than 40 restaurants and bars.

2020 Line-up TBA

2019 Line-up:

 

Lollapalooza

Paris 18 -19 July 2020 | Berlin 5 – 6 September 2020 | Stockholm date TBA

The global festival behemoth, Lollapalooza, heads to seven different cities this summer, including Stockholm, Paris and Berlin.

With each event boasting its own superstar headliners, the hardest part will be choosing which one to visit…

We Love Green Festival

Along with a huge music roster–which last year featured Tame Impala, Christine and the Queens, and Future–France’s most progressive and forward-thinking music festival also features an extensive programme of workshops and conferences, with a large focus on environmental sustainability.

2020 Line-up TBA

We Love Green Festival Line-up 2019, Paris, France | NextFest

 

Bilbao BBK Live

Bilbao, Spain

9 – 11 July 2020

Bilbao BBK is a music lover’s paradise, showcasing some of the most influential artists from the indie rock and underground electronic music scenes, with The Strokes, Thom Yorke and Hot Chip among its recent headliners.

The setting is pretty spectacular too, taking place upon Mount Cobetas overlooking the city of Bilbao.

2020 Line-up TBA

Bilbao BBK Live Festival 2019 Poster

 

Hurricane Festival

Scheessel, Germany

19 – 21 June 2020

From 19 – 21 June 2020, Hurricane Festival is set to welcome 70,000 ticket-holders to its annual feast of rock and indie music.

Along with headlining slots from the world’s biggest bands, the festival also features a great variety of new music, with recent performers including Sam Fender, The Sherlocks and Black Honey.

2020 Line-up TBA

Hurricane Music Festival 2019 Line-up Poster

 

Pinkpop

Landgraaf, Netherlands

19 – 21 June 2020

The Netherlands’ Pinkpop Festival, which has now been running for almost half a century, takes place annually across the Pentecost weekend, welcoming 60,000 visitors per day.

Fleetwood Mac, a band Michael Eavis has long been after to headline Glastonbury, performed at last year’s Pinkpop Festival, along with Mumford & Sons and George Ezra.

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