Thursday, 18 April 2013

The HMM Guide To European Festivals 2013

Leaving the country this summer in search of some serious tunes? Here's your guide to European festivals this year all the way from May through to September.

Rock AM Ring (7-9 June)

The weekend long German rock festival has played host to greats in the past such as Metallica, Marilyn Manson and Rage Against The Machine. Despite its focus on the heavier side of rock music, Rock AM also includes a softer touch with the likes of Coldplay and Muse headlining in recent times. This year see's another blend as pop punk legends Green Day headline alongside The Killers, The Prodigy, Korn and Limp Bizkit.

Tickets: e179.50 for the weekend is quite a decent price considering some of the names involved here.

Line-Up: Full line-up available here.

Download Festival (14-16 June)

England's annual metal fest returns in 2013 with a host of heavy acts to fill your hard rock quota in June alongside Rock AM Ring. Headliners include Slipknot, Iron Maiden, Alice In Chains and Queens Of The Stone Age to name a few. If I were a metalhead in Ireland given the choice, I think I'd rather go across the water this summer than travel to Germany. A little more expensive at £195, but a superiour line-up for my money anyway.

Tickets: £195 for three days camping. There's also an offer of £205 for five days for those beasts that can last that long.

Line-Up: Check out the A-Z line-up with details on the acts at the festival website.

Tomorrowland (26-28 June)

The fastest growing festival in Europe sold out within 35 minutes of going on sale this year, confirming its status as one of the major music events worldwide in 2013. Since 2005 the Belgian born fest has been raidly growing in stature and size, gaining a major reputation for its theatrical style and impressive venue features. This year headliners include Steve Aoki, Avicii and Dave Clarke. Europe's essential dance festival is sure to be a banger one again this year if you can get your hands on a ticket.

Tickets: Chances are the only ticket you'll be able to get your hands on will come at a steep price due to it's sold out status.

Line-Up: Full line-up includes more dance favourite such as Armin Van Buren, Knife Party and more.

Glastonbury (26-30 June)

After taking a year off in 2012, Glastonbury returns and it has certainly come back with a bang. The headliners may look shaky (Rolling Stones are still crawling around the stage while Mumford & Sons are a bizarre inclusion among the main acts), but beneath there is much greatness to behold- The xx, Crystal Castles, Phoenix and Vampire Weekend are all superb live acts while nostalgic greats such as Smashing Pumpkins, Portishead, Public Enemy and Public Image will wind back the clock in style.

Tickets: Sold out in under 2 hour, but if you can get your hands on one, they retail from £205.

Line-Up: Speaks for itself.

Rock Werchter (4-7 July)

The Belgian festival is one of five major European weekends that usually play host to similiar line-ups, alongside Exit (Serbia), Sziget (Hungary), Rokslide (Denmark) and Britain's Glastonbury. This year highlights include Sigur Ros, Bloc Party, Blur and a host of excellent hip-hop performers in Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, Earl Sweatshirt, Azaelia Banks and the entirety of Odd Future. Tickets aren't cheap at e200 but it's a tempting event for those in mainland Europe.

Tickets: e200 for the weekend, e80 for a day or e18 if you just want to camp and not see the music, although you'd have to explain to me why that's not a complete waste of time.

Line-Up: Check the full thing out here.

T In The Park (12-14 July)

Usually the T In The Park festival coincides with our own Oxegen however this year with the Irish festival going ahead in August, the Scottish event will be taking place three weekends before. We might be able to get an idea of what to expect at Oxegen through T In The Park, and if so, expectations are quite low with Rihanna, The Killers, and Mumford & Sons heading the bill. Lower down the list there are some quality acts to be seen (My Bloody Valentine are billed outrageously low) but for the most part, this looks like a pretty unremarkable weekend.

Tickets: Weekend camping is £194 and you can get a day ticket from £75.

Line-Up: Check it.

Benicassim (18-21 July)

Festival Internacional de Benicàssim is renowned for its sun setting on the beaches of Spain and usually packs a great pop/rock line-up to accompany the beautiful summer atomsphere. Definitely one on my to do list, this years festival is headlined by Queens Of The Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys and Dizzee Rascal. It looks a fairly tame cast at the moment but half of the experience is the soaring heat and sunny enviroment, plus  hopefully there'll be plenty more added before July.

Tickets: Excellently priced at e163 for a weekend camping ticket, but you'll also have to be thinking about travel costs.

Line-Up: Can be found at the website.

Melt! (18-22 July)

Melt! is a German festival in operation since 1997 that has been self-described as ''electronic meets rock'', though it must be said it tends to focus on the electronic mainly. All types of electro lovers will be up for this one, as James Blake, The Knife and Modeselektor take to the stage among others, while Alt-J are one of the acts offering an alternative genre. The fact that it clashes with Benicassim won't be a problem for most due to their vastly differing styles.

Tickets: Tickets are a bargain at e119 considering that the organisers tend to pull in a range of quality electronic acts and this year is no different.

Line-Up: The A-Z of acts is available here.

Pukkelpop (15-18 August)

Belgium certainly seems to be the place to be this year with Tomorrowland and Rock Werchter among the list of weekend events, but in my opinion Pukkelpop will be the best party of them all. A stunning line-up (at least to my tastes) includes Eminem, The xx, Nine Inch Nails, Deftones, The Prodigy, Neil Young and many more quality lower keys acts.

Tickets: e165 for the weekend.

Line-Up: Looking quite fine at the festival website.

Leeds & Reading (23-25 August)

The annual pairing of Leeds and Reading returns to the UK on the August bank holiday, headlined this time by Green Day, Biffy Clyro and Eminem. There are a number of different tickets available, however weekend camping seems pretty steep for the acts involved.

Tickets: Day tickets are £90, weekend long going for £202.50.

Line-Up: Not completed yet but here's a taste.

Well that's the finest Europe has to offer you this summer for my money. Personally I'd love to be found at Pukkelpop, Rock Werchter or Glastonbury, but  sadly my limited funds as a student mean I won't be making my way to any of them. If you're heading across the water yourself, enjoy what is sure to be an excellent musical experience.

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