As central to summertime as a beach day, music festivals are an industry unto themselves in the warmer months. Spreading into every corner of the country, from the oceanside to the mountain tops, it never truly feels like the season has begun until you’ve spent three days matted with glitter, sleeping in a tent and dancing the night away under the stars (or, in England’s case, sometimes in the torrential rain).

Glastonbury may be the most famous, but within the country and nearby in Europe, we have access to some of the most incredible festivals in the world. Lineups read like a Grammy nominee list – you can find anything from techno-specific raves and top 40 pop extravaganzas to hidden dance parties under the trees in secret forests. Recent years have seen food take a central focus at festivals as attendees have gotten a little more discerning, and now it’s almost as common to see top chefs billed alongside international artists and long-table meals getting as much hype as a main stage headlining set.

Grab your tent, pack your portable charger and crack out the sequin garbs because festival season is back, and Escapism is here to guide you through the best festivals in the UK and the rest of Europe. 

Best music festivals in the UK


Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire

If you were to think about the crossover between food and festivals, it’s likely Wilderness would come to the forefront of your mind. The quintessential food-oriented music festival, Wilderness has become a firm favourite thanks to its sell-out long-table banquets, whimsical pond-side setting and overall laid-back atmosphere. Managing to curate music and food lineups that rival each other in both quality and notoriety, Wilderness is a festival that is as good for the taste buds as it is for the ears, attracting gourmands and musos alike.

Cross the Tracks

Brockwell Park, London

If there's any part of the UK that's become synonymous with jazz and soul it's London, as young artists from Brixton, Peckham, Hackney, Islington and more have picked up pianos, drum kits and saxophones, and in doing so created an absolutely thriving scene for the genres' modern incarnations and ushering in a contemporary London jazz and soul scene that's the envy of anywhere in the world. With that in mind, when Cross the Tracks announced its arrival a few years back, it immediately cemented itself in the festival calendar as one of the jewels in the crown of London's raft of day festivals. The lineup is always packed with contemporary neo-soul, jazz and funk, with a bit of disco, house and hip-hop, too, with previous performers including NxWorries, Masego and even R&B singer Kelis (presumably bringing all the boys to the, er, park).

Love Supreme

Glynde Place, East Sussex

Love Supreme is a three-day festival with an infectious, languid charm catering to jazz lovers and the jazz-adjacent since 2013. A ticket here guarantees you'll see artists on your bucket list, as previous years have seen the likes of Sister Sledge, Tom Misch, Gregory Porter, and Erykah Baddu perform. It's staged in the grounds of the beautiful Tudor manor Glynde Place, set in the rolling South Downs near Lewes in East Sussex, only a 20-minute drive from Brighton and just over an hour from central London by train or car. Beyond the music, there is a hive of wellness activities scheduled throughout the weekend, including yoga, secret swimming, and organised hill walks across the South Downs. Good grub is also on offer here, including Darby’s, a restaurant with a long feasting table headed up by much-loved chef Robin Gill, who has worked under Marco Pierre White and Raymond Blanc.

All Points East

Victoria Park, London

The ultimate metropolitan festival, All Points East lights up east London's Victoria Park every year with a series of individual day festivals, each with its own curated vibe and selection of similar acts. This year they're making it bigger and better, extending the festivities out over two weekends with five days of dancing and a lineup including some of the best acts in the world. With Stormzy, The Strokes, Haim and Aphex Twin performing, it's safe to say All Points East promises one of the most star-studded lineups in the country for summer '23. It remains one of the best reasons to stay in the capital for the long weekend (and getting the Central Line home is a hell of a lot more pleasant than heading back to a grotty tent).

Camp Bestival

Dorset and Shropshire

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Located on Dorset’s majestic Jurassic Coast in the grounds of Lulworth Castle, Camp Bestival is a truly joyous weekend. The perfect all-ages festival due to its family-friendly approach, there are as many extra-curricular activities as there are dance opportunities. For the food-inclined, the festival is chockablock with street food, independent chefs and special events, including an essential bottomless all-day brunch tent. Perhaps one of the biggest draw cards is its proximity to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches, meaning you can easily pop out for a morning swim or extend your trip to explore the coast.

The Big Feastival

Kingham, The Cotswolds

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The clue is in the name of The Big Feastival – this is an event where the chef lineup is given as much kudos and fanfare as the music lineup. Hosted on the farm of Alex James, former bassist of band Blur turned cheesemaker, it is almost an amalgamation of the James’ two primary interests and his unique career path. Initial lineups see beats coming by the way of Sigrid, The Vaccines and Eurovision legend Mae Muller to name a few and food courtesy of Asma Khan, Simon Stallard and Nathan Outlaw.


Newquay, Cornwall

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You would be hard-pressed to find a better setting for a festival than this: perched above the waves along the rolling white sands at Watergate Bay. Boardmasters is everything you want from a summer festival, and the lineup is seriously impressive, transcending genres and decades with acts like Lorde, Florence and the Machine, Ben Howard and Liam Gallagher. Given you’re also in one of the most food-oriented areas of the country, it should come as no surprise that the culinary offerings are almost as sweet – what other festivals have a dedicated pub for pints and pasties?

Lost Village


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The sort of intimate festival that sums up the true escapist nature of music festivals, Lost Village is a unique three-day experience set amongst the forest in Lincolnshire. As focused on daytime entertainment as it is on the after-dark experience, this festival has a whopping food setup that includes long-table banquets, The Eating House, which focuses on London eateries and a street food offering to rival most major markets. The lineup is equally as good, with Bonobo, Four Tet, Honey Dijon and Peggy Gou headlining.

We Out Here

Wimborne St Giles, Dorset

If pressed to name one musical mind in the UK that has quietly vibe-shifted music into more cerebral channels over the past three decades, we’d have to say it’s Gilles Peterson. The Brownswood Recordings boss, presenter and DJ’s jazz and electronic festival We Out Here hits just right every year, and, in 2023, is upping sticks to Dorset. The 10-14 August will see the sceniest of international jazz, house and techno scenes converge on Wimborne St Giles estate in Dorset for four days of tunes and revelry. The award-winning weekender consistently draws some of the coolest names in the business and has already confirmed over 100 acts for 2023, leaning heavily into diversity and cross-generational appeal.

The best music festivals in Europe

Love International

Tisno, Croatia

As a wise man once said, you'll sleep when you're dead. So while you're alive, head to Croatia for Love International, a week-long party filled with legendary DJs, boat parties and beachside debauchery on the Croatian coastline. It is yet another genius creation from Team Love, the group behind the Bristol-based festival Love Saves The Day, so expect a lineup of unmissable DJs from the Southwest and beyond. And, with various stages, legendary nightclub Barbarella's and Sunrise Sessions offering 24 hours of fun over a week, buckle up for a marathon of a festival. Previous lineups have seen Chaos in the CBD, Horsemeat Disco, Shanti Celeste, and Palms Trax take to the decks, so it's guaranteed to be a knockout.


Budapest, Hungary

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Not known as the Island of Freedom for no reason, Sziget festival is an absolute powerhouse of a festival, offering up six days of fun and frivolity on an island in the middle of Budapest. The lineup boasts some of the biggest names in music, including Billie Eilish, Florence and the Machine, David Guetta, Lorde, Sam Fender and Arlo Parks, and the location smack bam in the middle of the Danube makes it perfect for adding on a couple of days of Budapest sightseeing to your trip.

Primavera Sound

Barcelona, Spain

There is arguably no city better for a festival than Barcelona. Set on the waterfront in the city’s Parc del Fòrum, the location makes for some pretty jaw-dropping dance spots, as you witness the sun setting over the buildings of Barcelona in the background and seagulls flying overhead. Spread over two weekends with a series of venue-specific events littered throughout the city as well, Primavera Sound is a massive event. It should come as no surprise, then, that the lineup is suitably huge, with headliners including Kendrick Lamar, Fred Again, Rosalia, Blur, Central Cee and Calvin Harris.


Roskilde, Denmark

Denmark has a habit of doing things well, and Roskilde is no exception. The not-for-profit festival has been running in the eponymous town just outside of Copenhagen since 1971 and has been hailed as Denmark's answer to Glastonbury. The diversity of artists performing here is enormous, combining music legends with Nordic names into one hygge cocktail of merriment. With previous headliners including The Cure, Bob Dylan and the Gorillaz, it is no surprise this year's lineup is an absolute belter, with Kenrick Lamar, Blur, and Burna Boy set to perform. Beyond the music, a hive of creative activities is planned, including art exhibitions, talks, debates and poetry performances.

Nos Alive

Lisbon, Portugal

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Set on the outskirts of Lisbon, Nos Alive is a riverside festival that lets you build a city break into your itinerary. You can book an entire weekend ticket or just pick and choose days to allow you to explore Lisbon as you go. The lineup features some major heavy hitters, including Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys, Lizzo and Sam Smith.


Oslo, Norway

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While the Scandinavian cities might not be a place you immediately associate with major music festivals, Øya is an epic five-day event with a lineup that includes Lorde, Sigrid, Wizkid, Blur and Pusha T. The festival has a strong environmental focus – it has been run on renewable energy since 2009, all food and drink packaging is either compostable or reusable, and waste is hand sorted, which allows 60% of it to be reused – which extends to the food, too: in 2018 over 40% of the portions sold were vegetarian and 90% of it is organic.

La Prima Estate

Lido di Camaiore, Italy

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Tuscan and seaside are two words that should be music to any hardened traveller’s ears. Add in the terms ‘music festival’ and ‘Alt-J and Bon Iver on the lineup’ and you have, in our opinion, the perfect excuse to book a flight. Running for six days from 16 June, La Prima Estate is unique in the sense that it allows you to truly explore the surrounding area while making the most of the incredible lineup. With the music not kicking off until 6.30 pm every day, you have the chance to make the most of the daylight hours – vineyard tour, anyone?


Copenhagen, Denmark

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Visiting Copenhagen will always be a good idea, particularly during the first week of June when Distortion Festival ensues. It’s a collection of street parties and music events running throughout the Danish capital, culminating in a grand finale on the industrial island of Refshaleøen for Distortion Ø. This part of the festival is a definite highlight, featuring pulsing crowds, sky lasers and many stages hidden in forested nooks. The festival capitalises on the long Scandinavian summer days, so expect to catch some sublime sunrises as you shimmy the night away to the best techno sets. The food trucks at the festival are excellent, but we recommend booking a table at nearby restaurant Øenshave for some pre-festi natural wine, sourdough and seasonal small plates.