With no Glastonbury, Oxegen, or Big Chill this year, tight economic circumstances and the recent announcement that Sonisphere 2012 has been cancelled after selling only an eighth of its 80,000 tickets, you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s not going to be a great year for festival-goers. On the other hand, if you don’t want to be stuck watching synchronised swimming with your gran all summer, take our advice on where to head for the best value, best music and best parties across Europe.
Whilst the big British names suffer in the festival market, the smaller European adventures cash in and none more so than Hideout, located on the Island of Pag off the coast of Croatia. Not only has a great price given Hideout a great advantage (at £99 + BF for the weekend), it has hit the nail right on the head by combining sun, sea and shit loads of great music. SBTRKT, Chase & Status, Jamie Jones, Andy C, Skream and Benga and Sub Focus are all among those appearing this year in a line-up supplemented by boat parties all week long. Legendary organisers Wax:On, The Warehouse Project and Metropolis have used their expertise to create a successful festival, with a reputation for hedonism and all-night parties, and Hideout is sure to be spectacular this year having sold out for the second year in a row.
If cheap flights and a cheap ticket sound like a good idea to you than Heineken Open’er is another great option with rare appearances from Bat for Lashes, Bjork and Bon Iver. Based in Gdynia, Poland and set to attract a huge 185,000 people this year, Heineken also offers a great beach location and eclectic line-up which also includes The xx, Wiz Khalifa and Justice. At £74 for a four day ticket and camping, what more do you want?
Then again you could always stay back in Blighty and get the best of both worlds; Olympic summer and festival weekenders! Parklife Weekender in Manchester continues into its 3rd year with its biggest ever line-up including Crystal Castles, Chic ft. Nile Rodgers, Azealia Banks, Labrinth, Kelis, Fresh (Live), Justice, Nero and The Flaming Lips. The festival has managed to finally bring the summer to Manchester and is a major annual event for locals and the large student population alike. Talking of students, 20,000 students will be heading to South Wales for Beach Break Live where Labrinth, Wretch 32, Delilah, Maverick Sabre and Ben Howard will be playing at the event which signals the end of exams and start of summer for students across the UK.
Finally, if you really are craving that holiday but can’t afford the flights, this year the mountain will come to you in the form of the first ever Zoo Project Festival at Port Lymph Wild Animal Park. The infamous Ibiza parties will be showcased in a fittingly wild location and will show off the best in house and techno over three days. Stages from Channel Zoo, Cocoon and secretsundaze will provide the entertainment valued at a mere £90. If you want an innovative, atmospheric and unique festival this year, Zoo Project Festival is the place to head.