International Relations

If traipsing through muddy English fields doesn’t quite appeal to you, why not go abroad for your festival fix?

Primavera Sound Festival
27-29 May
Barcelona, Spain

Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, Primavera has gained a reputation for showcasing new talent alongside more established acts, and hosting a wide range of music genres. With stages hosted by ATP, Vice Magazine and the music webzine Pitchfork to name a few, this year’s Primavera has an array of eclectic artists – the line-up sees the likes of Pixies, the Fall and Pet Shop Boys all taking to stage alongside more contemporary acts like the XX, Grizzly Bear and Yeasayer. Tickets will set you back by about £160, and then there’s the cost of getting there, but the temptation of a diverse line-up and a rain-free festival is hard to resist. Besides, your overdraft is there to be extended.

Distortion Festival
2-6 June
Copenhagen, Denmark

If you’re looking for a slightly different festival experience with some electro and house music thrown in for good measure, you should head to Distortion. It’s effectively huge five-day block party across the streets of Copenhagen, celebrating the city’s streetlife and nightlife by way of non-stop partying. Describing itself as “a little like London’s Notting Hill Carnival and Barcelona’s Sonar by Day – only without so many rastas or ‘A&R’ dudes”, Distortion boasts over 80 different events taking place in five different locations in Copenhagen – a different setting for each day. In the afternoons you can ride on the raver bus, attend a Japanese Garden Party, and take part in live graffiti workshops or giant pillow fights. As night falls you can gear up for Distortion: Club Clash. Featuring 88 different dancefloors across the five nights, it plays host to DJs such as Simian Mobile Disco and Booka Shade, along with artists like the UK’s own beatboxing hero Beardyman.With a five day pass coming in at a mere £46, you’ll have enough cash left to sort out cheap travel and accommodation.

Rock Werchter
1-4 July
Werchter, Belgium

Located near Brussels, this festival is often named alongside festival behemoths like Glastonbury and Oxegen, and boasts a bill that could easily compete with both of them. Faithless will headline the main stage on first day, their distinctive electronica following on from the alt-rock noise of Muse. Other main stage highlights throughout the festival include Pearl Jam and Vampire Weekend, whilst the Pyramid Marquee plays host to LCD Soundsystem, Crookers, Florence and the Machine and the Temper Trap. As can be expected a four-day pass gives the best value for money, costing about £163 whilst a day ticket will set you back £66. Helpfully though, each ordinary admission ticket includes a free outward and return train journey from any Belgian railway station to Leuven, which is the railway station closest to Werchter. It will also include free travel on the shuttle buses running between Leuven and Werchter.

Lollapalooza
6-8 August
Chicago, Illinois, USA

If you want to set your sights further than Europe, then this stateside festival is a worthy contender. Headliners include grunge rockers Soundgarden, Green Day, and everyone’s favourite debauched queen of pop, Lady Gaga. The rest of the line-up is impressive too – it hosts indie giants such as Arcade Fire, The Strokes, and Phoenix, hip hop veterans Cypress Hill, electro groove masters like MGMT and Hot Chip, and more talent by way of Chromeo, the Temper Trap, Minus the Bear, Hockey and Frank Turner. If the impressive line-up isn’t enough to whet your appetite, then perhaps the extra-festival activities will.

Check out Perry’s, the electronica tent that will feature DJ sets from Deadmau5, MSTRKRFT, Kid Cudi and more. You can also shop fairtrade on Green Street, or meet your favourite band in the autograph booths. A weekend ticket costs about £150, but you’ll need a lot more pennies to haul yourself over there.

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