From Benicàssim to Rock en Seine: The best festivals this summer for a European break

Head to the Valencian coast for Benicàssim.
Head to the Valencian coast for Benicàssim. Copyright Sergio Ruiz via Unsplash
Copyright Sergio Ruiz via Unsplash
By Angela Symons
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Escape the UK’s muddy and expensive festivals for these cheaper alternatives in Europe.


Despite the unseasonably chilly weather, festival season is almost upon us.

But with UK ticket prices soaring this year, some British revellers are having to choose between seeing their favourite artists in a muddy field and their usual European summer break.

How about if you could combine the two without doubling your spend - or getting rained on?

European festival tickets can be more than 50 per cent cheaper than their UK counterparts, according to experts at online travel agent Loveholidays.

That means, for the price of a Glastonbury ticket, you could be picnicking on a Spanish beach before dancing to Black Eyed Peas and The Libertines at Benicàssim.

Here are the best European festivals this summer that won’t break the bank.

The best festivals in Spain this summer

Benicàssim is known for combining art with pop, electronic and rock music across four stages on the Valencian coast.

With tickets for the three-day festival starting at €46.50 (£40) and flights and accommodation - based on two adults sharing - from €312 (£269), the total cost comes in at €358.50 (£309). That’s less than the €412 (£355) you’d pay to attend Glasto in the UK.

Head to the Catalan capital for another pocket friendly festival: Primavera Sound. With a diverse lineup performing on Barcelona’s waterfront, this Mediterranean mainstay is more expensive to enter at €295 (£254) but still a saving on many UK alternatives.

Primavera Sound takes place on Barcelona’s waterfront.
Primavera Sound takes place on Barcelona’s waterfront.Nate Holland via Unsplash

The best festivals in France this summer

Brittany in northwest France has one of the best value festival experiences in Europe. Bout du Monde in Crozon will wow you with its family-friendly, carnivalesque atmosphere.

For €70 (£60) a ticket, spend a long weekend among brass bands, circus performers, folk and world music. And with flight and accommodation costs estimated at €156.50 (£135) per person by Loveholidays, the total spend comes in at just €226.50 (£195.50).

Further south, in Lyon, Nuit Sonores festival promises similar savings - and five whole days of electronic music, art and partying. With day tickets from just €32 (£28) and holiday costs from €261 (£225), this makes for a budget-friendly break in France’s third largest city.

To combine your festival with a trip to Paris, head to Rock en Seine. Four-day passes start at €219 (£189) for - you guessed it - a rock-heavy lineup in Parc de Saint-Cloud.

The best festivals in Portugal this summer

Porto is the place to be for affordable summer festivals this year. Choose Paredes de Coura (tickets from €110) for a friendly atmosphere, camping near Praia do Taboão’s beautiful river beach, and an alternative music lineup.

If you’d prefer to be close to the coast, head south to NOS Primavera Sound (from €175) for a more relaxed alternative to its sister festival in Barcelona but an equally impressive lineup including the likes of Lana Del Ray and SZA.

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