The best universities for European music festivals

Every summer, Europe is taken over by music festivals and it’s almost mandatory to attend one as a student. Our guide will help you to work out the closest event to you based on your university

May 23 2018
The best universities for European music festivals

Music festivals are a core part of university life, particularly in Europe, and they have almost become a student rite of passage. Music festivals are a great way to let off steam during the summer break, see some of your favourite artists and spend time with your friends. 

And it’s even better if there happens to be a great music festival taking place close to your university. Some events even offer discounted tickets to students and residents of the city. 

Whatever your taste in music, there is a festival out there for you, so check out our guide to help you plan your festival circuit this summer. This is by no means a definitive list, and if you know of any more European music festivals, tweet us at @THEUniAdvice and we will add them to this list.

If you attend the University of Reading or the University of Leeds…head to Reading or Leeds Festival

Reading and Leeds are two annual rock events that have become permanent fixtures in the UK festival timetable. This year, the festivals will be held from 24 to 26 August in the two cities. While traditionally seen as more rock events, this year has taken a slight left turn in headliner choice, welcoming hip-hop artists Kendrick Lamar and Travis Scott to the stage, alongside rock heavyweights Fall Out Boy and Kings of Leon.

One or two-day tickets are for sale and while local resident tickets are now no longer available, various perks are on offer if you apply to volunteer. 

If you are a student at Roskilde University…then you could try Roskilde Festival 

From 30 June to 7 July 2018, Roskilde Festival will take over the beautiful Danish town of Roskilde. Taking place over eight days, the extensive line-up is comprised of artists who cater to all tastes including Eminem, Dua Lipa, Gorillaz, Interpol, Khalid, First Aid Kit, and many more.

The festival is approximately 1 hour away from the university, so students can head down for the week-long event without having to travel too far.

Unfortunately, there are no discounts for student tickets, however, there are other options to cut costs such as volunteering.  

If you attend the University of Barcelona…then why not try Primavera Sound

A music festival in the culture capital of Barcelona, Primavera Sound is one of the key dates in the European festival circuit. Huge names such as Björk, The National, Arctic Monkeys, and Lorde are hitting the stage this year at the end of May. The main event takes place in Barcelona, while a smaller festival occurs a week later in Lisbon, Portugal. 

Primavera takes place in the Parc del Fòrum on the Spanish coast and is only half an hour from some of the University of Barcelona’s buildings. 

If you are studying at Université Libre de Bruxelles…then head to Tomorrowland

Given the small size of Belgium, if you attend any of the universities in the city, you are still only a pretty short distance away from the Tomorrowland festival.

Tomorrowland is an electronic dance music festival and since the first event in 2004 it has expanded to become one of the biggest music events in the world. Some of the globe’s most popular DJs are set to frequent the stage this year including Fatboy Slim, Above & Beyond, and Tiesto.

The festival takes place from 20 to 22 July.


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If you attend the University of Split...then head to Ultra Europe

Ultra Europe is an electronic dance festival taking place in the city of Split in Croatia. It is a multi-venue outdoors festival, with one of the main venues located less than 5km from the University of Split

Although still a fairly young festival – it debuted in 2013 – it draws some of the biggest names in dance and electronic music, with this year’s line-up including David Guetta, Alesso, and Galantis. Set aside 6 to 8 July if this festival takes your fancy. 

If you go to Semmelweis University…then head to Sziget Festival

Located on Hajógyári Island in northern Budapest, Sziget Festival is a must for any students studying at a Hungarian university.

With performances from Stormzy, Kendrick Lamar (he’s really making his way around the European festival circuit!) and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, the Hungarian music festival provides a varied line-up for all festival-goers, and is located just moments from some of the top-ranked universities in the country. It kicks off on 8 August and runs until 15th. 

If you are a student at the University of Amsterdam…then head to the Awakenings Festival

Amsterdam is known for tulips and canals among other things, but it also happens to be home to the Awakenings Festival, which takes place between 30 June and 1 July. 

Due to the relatively small size of the Netherlands, most universities are within fairly close proximity to the festival but the University of Amsterdam and Vrije University of Amsterdam are the closest. 

If you are studying at the University of Oslo...then head to Oyafestival

Oyafestival is probably one of Norway’s coolest festivals and is, conveniently for students, located close to the University of Oslo campus. 

A real mix of headliners are taking the stage this August including the Arctic Monkeys, Lykke Li, and Kendrick Lamar (again!), so everyone in your friendship group will be able to enjoy it. The festival also prides itself on serving only organic food from its food trucks along with organic coffee, beer and wine. 

Do you know of any other European music festivals? Tweet us at @THEUniAdvice and we will add them to this list

Read more: five tips to make the most of your university experience

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