It’s common knowledge that the UK is home to some of the best and most sought-after festivals the world has to offer. Nevertheless, many of us still get the urge to flee and escape the British Isles, and the unpredictable climate, year after year, when festival season comes around.
There’s just something so special and magical about heading abroad to get a dose of festival fun, something that our beloved UK festivals can’t contest with. And it’s not all down to the typically great weather; foreign festivals host some of the most elaborate, well run and globally renowned shindigs on the planet, attracting many of the music world’s biggest names.
Europe in particular boasts a large portion of international festival choices - from Spanish soirees on the edge of the Mediterranean, at the likes of Festival Internacional de Benicàssim and Ibiza’s International Music Summit (IMS), to hardcore German rock carnivals, the likes of Rock AM Ring(Europe’s biggest open-air festival), and sunny Croatia, one of the world’s hottest clubbing destinations, for the annual Hideout Festival.
(We’ve rounded up some more of our favourites in our list of Best European Festivals, which you can find here).
So, whether you’re after a spellbinding rave experience or a head banging, horn throwing adventure - heading off abroad is absolutely one of the best ways to experience live music with like-minded, music loving souls from across the globe.
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Essential advice before heading abroad
Heading abroad is an activity littered with a handful of pitfalls, alongside the monumental highs, but avoiding (or at the least managing them) is easy enough with a bit of forward planning.
From the basics such as checking your passport is in date to making sure your visas allow you into the country you’re travelling to, and most importantly, especially in these times of COVID, making sure it’s ok to travel to the country in question - there’s plenty of ways to end up red faced abroad other than overexposure to the sun.
We’ve listed a few more examples and tips below, to assist in making your journey abroad as smooth and as uncomplicated, as humanly possible…
1. Make sure you get adequate travel insurance – heading to a festival in the snowy alps? Fancy a bit of skiing whilst your there? Then check that your insurance covers accidents caused whilst skiing or risk a hefty bill should the worst happen
2. Get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) – if you managed to get an EHIC card before 31st December 2020, your card will still be valid in the EU until its expiry date, meaning you’ll be accepted in any member state hospital if you need medical attention. If you didn’t get your hands on an EHIC, you’ll be able to acquire the new, post-Brexit equivalent – the GHIC card (Details on how to procure this card can be found on the Gov.uk website)
3. Check your passport has a minimum of six months validity on the return date - no one wants to have to seek consulate assistance to return home after a wild few days partying
4. Take a COVID test and check whether you need to quarantine before you travel – some countries and airline operators require you take a test and return a negative result before you travel. Many also require that you have this documentation with you at all times when travelling. There are also some who require you to quarantine for a set amount of time before you travel (Check with your airline operator for more details)
Read the remainder of our 10 top tips for festivals abroad, helping you to avoid going all Karl Pilkington when you head to foreign climes.
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Other festival guides
Here's some more festival info to help you plan your summer. Or why not skip directly to our Festival Finder?