First the bad news – Glastonbury is sold out. If you happen to have tickets then bully for you, sour grapes notwithstanding. Yes, you’ll be taking in Adele and Muse and partying to Disclosure and folksying, yes that’s my word, folksying with The Lumineers, but don’t come crying to me if you find yourself stuck in a bog with no toilet paper after having lost your wellies. Yes there’s James Blake and Elle Goulding to get you through that but what happens when you someone steps on your feet while you jump to Fat Boy Slim. Then there’s the fact that Anoushka Shankar is part of the line up, she of the gorgeous sitar. Throw in some Philip Glass and you have the experience of a lifetime. Please, please, sell us your tickets!

But all is not lost. In fact, if you are a Rocker and happen to be in London next week, the festival for you is Download (10th -12th June Donnington Park, Derby). Headliners include, inhale slowly, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and the Deftones. You can exhale now. Even better, tickets are available for General Sale. Full price single day tickets start at GBP 87.50 from Ticketmaster.

Here’s what I’ve noticed about festivals. It’s as if artists decide -I am in fashion, why not play all of them or rather festival organizers feel there’s a certain musical zeitgeist. Florence and the Machine was last year’s festival darling, this year seems to belong to the likes of James Blake and Ellie Goulding. Which is why, even if you’ve missed out on Glastonbury, I honestly think you better off heading to Rock Wechter (30th June- 3rd July) instead, held in the village of Werchter, near Leuven in Belgium. Most of the Glastonbury line up will be lighting up the stages including Ellie Goulding, New Order, Disclosure and James Blake, but that happens to be only the butter cream icing. The red velvet is Red Hot Chili Peppers, Florence and the Machine and, wait for it, Skunk Anansie. They had me at no-shrinking-violet Skunk Anansie. What’s even better? Tickets are available starting at just under USD 200 for a four-day pass.

Haven’t gotten enough of Red Hot Chilli Peppers or Macklemore?  Then stalk them all the way to the Rosklide Festival in Denmark (25th June – 2nd July) and work that Schengen visa. The largest annual Greenfield festival in the world and one of the oldest of the Big Five, Rosklide attracts approximately 135,000 visitors and runs for eight days. I never tire of writing Bob Marley played here in 1978. One-day passes for Friday and Saturday are sold out but the other days are still available along with combination packages.


Check out our event pages for more details. If you found this post interesting then do check out part-II of our coverage of European music festivals including a deep dive into the world of Tommorowland.

(Image by Rachel Docherty)

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