Summer is on its way, and that means the festival season is here. Hopping from music festival to music festival is one of our favourite things to do when the sun is shining, and Vienna offers a lot when it comes to festivals that are in, around or easily accessible from the city. With so many great festivals, it’s hard to know which ones not to miss, but don’t worry, we’ve put together a list of the ones you should definitely include in your summer festival fun bucket list.
Check out below the 19 awesome summer music festivals that shouldn’t be missed and that can be reached easily from Vienna:
C’est la Mü is a festival all about music, literature and craft, and will return for its fourth time this May. The festival is located lakeside in the idyllic green rolling hills of Burgenland in a former mill that’s been turned into a venue for art and culture. The festival organisers claim that C’est la Mü was created to bring joy, and we’re sure that they successfully manage to do so every year. Check out the detailed programme, here, and watch last year’s festival film, here:
To get there you’ll need to… hop on the C’est Le Bus shuttle service that will bring you directly to the festival. Buy a bus ticket, here. This festival is special because… it’s idyllic setting, it brings together the old, young and families, and is more than just a music festival.
Recommended if you like: something different, walks in the forest, damn good coffee, forest fairies, a chilled atmosphere with chilled people, Bambi, wearing clothes that don’t match, reading classic literature in an armchair under a lamp, being a bproud hipster with a capital H, small festival venues
When: THU–SUN, May 31 – June 3, 12am–10pm (Find the program highlights, here) Where: various locations around the Donaukanal Entry: free!
Donaukanaltreiben will be back at the end of May/beginning of June and it’s bringing with it all of the live music performances, markets, food trucks it always delivers. It seems to grow every year, and so does its popularity. You often hear people on the Donaukanaltreiben weekend asking – ‘have you been down to the canal? you can’t move! there’s so many people!’ This is one of the greatest free music festivals this city serves up. Pro tip: Bring your own drinks as the queues at most of the venues along the canal are enough to make you jump into the water! Check out their website, so you can start planning what acts you’ll camp by the stage for.
Your guide to the Donaukanaltreiben: We’ve put together a guide to help you get around the festival and not miss the best stuff happening at the Donaukanaltreiben 2018. Check it out, here.
Recommended if you like: drinking in the sun, free concerts, following the smell of weed, dangling your legs over the edge of the canal, being part of the crowd, festivals that keep you out for three days in a row, all kinds of music genres in one place, the idea of jumping into the Donaukanal because you’re a bit too drunk to realise how disgusting the water actually is
When: WED–SUN, June 13–17, 4pm–9am Where:Nagykovácsi in Hungary (near Budapest) Entry: 48€ festival pass + camping, 24€ day pass, buy your ticket here
Kolorado will take place for the third time this year This low-key and relaxed festival happens in a forest 30 minutes away from Budapest. The festival is made up of several stages, showcasing ‘special energies’ (their words not ours), Hungarian and international artists, bands, and DJs, and there’s a lot going on alongside the music at this festival. Check out the detailed programme, here. Just take a look at last year’s festival movie and you’ll get a glimpse of the special feeling happening at this one:
To get there you’ll need to… hitchhike your way to the festival (‘cause that’s the spirit of the festival), or just take the public transport, or a taxi from Budapest. This festival is special because… it literally is flamboyance in the forest
Recommended if you like: walks in the forest, forest fairies, a chilled atmosphere with chilled people, Bambi, wearing clothes that don’t match, being a bproud hipster with a capital H, doing something different, camping, glitter, pretending to be Hungarian for a day, bonfires, gazing at the sky
When: WED–WED, June 20–27, 4pm–12am Where:Dhërmi Beach in Albania Entry: from 321€ (festival pass incl. hotel), buy your ticket here
The Kala festival is Albania’s first international music festival which makes it damn special in our eyes. There, you’ll get to spend up to seven days at a intimate beachside location with an eclectic selection of music. As opposed to most other festivals, you won’t have to bring your own tent, as the festival pass gets you hotel accommodation and even transfers from Corfu, Greece, via boat. With only 2000 tickets available, you can rest assured that this festival truly is an intimate one. Check the detailed programme, here. And just take a look at the location video, here:
To get there you’ll need to… get to Corfu, Greece, and take the Kala boat to the festival. How awesome is that! This festival is special because… it is a mix between beach holiday and festival, located on the undiscovered coast of the Albanian Riviera
Recommended if you like: electronic club music, eating sausages on the beach with your toes sunk into the sand, the sound of the waves, parties full of half-naked people, when the dancefloor is on the beach, summer cocktail sipping by the water, music of the electro variety, partying under the open sky
When: THU–SUN, July 19–22 Where:Sonnegger See Entry: Sold out! But watch out for people who sell their ticket on Facebook
Acoustic Lakeside has been taking place for 13 years now. This Indie, Rock and Pop festival takes the ‘acoustic’ part in its name seriously with most artists trying to adapt their set to the acoustic spirit and perform without any electricity. You’ll get a true chilled ambience, and it couldn’t get more romantic when the sun’s going down and you’re leaning against bales of straw next to the water listening to some tunes. The line up to this festival is carefully curated, while there’s also a huge additional programme to go with it, like the FM4 sandbox soccer tournament, readings, parties and the traditional hangover brunch with the Gösselsdorfer Trio. Check out the detailed programme, here. Watch last year’s festival film, here:
To get there you’ll need to… carpool your way to the lakeside in Carinthia, or just take the public transport provided.
This festival is special because… where else would you get a living room atmosphere, with a hand-picked line-up and an awesome crowd while lying next to a lake?!
Recommended if you like: partying under the open sky, damn good coffee, a chilled atmosphere with chilled people, wearing clothes that don’t match, reading classic literature in an armchair under a lamp, small festival venues, not caring what others think of you
When: SAT, July 14 – TUE, August 14 Where:Altes Hallenbad Entry: 229€ festival pass, single ticket varies, buy your ticket here
It started as an artistic summer academy in 1994, but soon became a successful pop culture festival in the Western most corner of Austria. Poolbar makes use of the idyllic atmosphere of Feldkirch, and has a mix of both small and big names in the line-up. A special quality of the festival is the fact that they go through various categories and genres, so there’s something for everyone in the programme. In addition to music, you’ll find film screenings, poetry slams, cabarets, fashion performances among others there as well. Check out the detailed programme, here.
To get there you’ll need to… bring many many snacks on your 6-hour direct train from Vienna to Feldkirch. This festival is special because… it is a cross-border hotspot in an old indoor pool that lasts for a month and has a diverse programme
Recommended if you like: checking out local talent in the music scene, partying in unique locations, exploring Austria, gin and tonic, beer and cigarettes, electronic beats, clapping your hands to the right moments in songs, that moment when a breakdance circle forms and everybody’s too shy to take the floor, when dirty club-like love is in the air
When: THU–SUN, July 26–29 Where: Various locations around Karlsplatz Entry: free!
We always get excited when concerts and open-air happenings are taking place in the Resselpark of Karlsplatz! Nothing makes us more aware that we live in a hip urban city that has a long history of getting drunk and dancing wild to pop concerts with the view of beautiful Karlskirche in front of us. And our favourite three-day festival that has us doing exactly that which is described above is the poppety-Popfest! This festival is the number one to be at if you want to get deep and intimate with the local music scene, with big to up-and-coming local bands taking to the stage every year. Check the detailed programme for this year, here.
To get there you’ll need to… find your way to Karlsplatz. Easy cheesy! This festival is special because… there’s nothing like having the Karlskirche as the backdrop to the stage.
Recommended if you like: being at a festival in the middle of the city, getting drunk in front of a church, crazy summer fests in Vienna, Austrian pop music, lying on your back and enjoying the moment, meeting friendly faces, festivals that keep you out for three days in a row
When: FRI–SUN, June 22–24, 10am–11pm Where:Donauinsel Entry: free!
600 hours of musical performances will make up the biggest free music festival in Europe in June, with popular performers such as Portugal. The Man, Antilopen Gang and Konstantin Wecker taking to the stages, this one should be a good one. Prepare yourself for days of eating garlic Langos, drinking beer you illegally purchased from your dancing neighbour, and endlessly queuing up to pee. And you can bring your granny too, there’s plenty on the programme for both old and young. This festival – you either love it or hate it. Have a look of our list of the music acts not to miss here, and check the detailed programme, here.
To get there you’ll need to… hop on a CityBike and bike to the Donauinsel. This festival is special because… it’s Europe’s biggest free festival, and it’s in Vienna. Woot Woot!
Recommended if you like: free concerts, celebrating life with like-minded sweaty people, day drinking, day drugging, party party party, festivals that keep you out for three days in a row, all kinds of music genres in one place, free music festivals, having a break at a Döner stand and then heading to the next party, having the insides of your ear licked
With almost 20,000 yearly attendants, this summer event in Linz has become a must for locals and summer lovers, alike. If you haven’t been here yet, this is definitely the year to be part of all the fun offered by this festival which includes over 4 live music stages to fulfill every kind of music taste, helicopter shows, water-based sport competitions, LOTS of water activities for people of all ages AND a wakeboarding show that will prove to amaze visitors all around the harbour. Oh yeah, did we mention it’s free? ‘Cause free seems like a really good price. For more info. be sure to check their website.
To get there you’ll need… a strong pair of legs that can pedal you all the way to Linz, or alternatively, and if you don’t have a phobia of trains, take a train to Linz.
This festival is special because… although it is a pretty big party that will last for 2 days, it will also provide a special atmosphere for families to enjoy among the party seekers
Recommended if you like: water sports, pointing at helicopters while your ice cream falls on the head of your daughter, splashing around with your hands in the air like you just don’t care, the glorious and ancient art of wakeboarding, one day of stubble, when the dancefloor can be on the grass, heading to a party half-naked
Some time ago, someone said that Graz was boring. We guess the city took that very personally, as this 4-day event will prove to attract all music and art junkies from around central Europe. Offering a vast lineup of DJs combined with multiple exhibitions and galleries, this event will more than satisfy your cravings for culture while making your legs dance with pure inertia. Although popular belief might have you think that this is just another rave, the fact is that this event is more focused on the Art within the electronic arts. DJs will showcase new mixes and tracks.. Check out the full line-up, here.
To get there you’ll need… apart from the obvious train or bus ticket, you definitely need 3 sandwiches, 1 for yourself, 1 for the driver (in case you decide to try to hitchhike there) and 1 for the person who agrees to let you sleep on their couch for the duration of the festival.
This event is special because… it will perfectly combine the fun of socialising and partying with the sublime experience of listening to some very talented DJs at work
Recommended if you like: twisting your head to “get the bigger picture”, you have your mind on your glitter and your glitter on your mind, laying on gra(ss)z while enjoying a nice beat and a refreshing spritzer, getting home when the birds are chirping, having nothing to lose, one day of stubble
When: WED–SUN, Juli 4−9, 2pm–8am Where: Balaton in Hungary Entry: 225€ for a 5-day festival pass, 65€ for a day ticket, buy a ticket here
With a line-up, including the likes of The Chainsmokers, David Guetta, and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, it looks like the place to party is with our lovely neighbours the Hungarians this summer at the Balaton Sound Festival. And trust us when we tell you, they know how to party like no one else! With this 5-day festival, the Platensee aka. Lake Balaton will transform into the definition of what is known in America as spring break! Accommodation will be possible inside the festival, but with so many great artists and so many beach clubs joining the party, we think it will be rather hard not to be kicking, screaming and dancing with joy even when you think you’re too tired to go on! You think we are overhyping this event? Take a look at the full line-up here, and watch their aftermath video from 2017:
To get there you will need to… get to Budapest first, but after reaching Budapest, make sure to get to the airport and look for the Balaton Sound Transfer, aka. the shuttle service of the festival (you can buy your ticket here).
This festival is special because… it is an international party that will open itself to people with only one thing in common: the want to have a raving good time. It also takes place in a very small town, which we think is cool ’cause in 5 days the town’s population will double and even triple in size!
Recommended if you like: Camping among travelers, party 24/7, waking up wondering where all this glitter came from, being a grown man playing with water guns to impress women, throwing water balloons to men just because, having nothing to lose, taking your deep house electro seriously, catching big name DJ names, all kinds of music genres in one place, having the insides of your ear licked, electro music, dedicated your youth the the part-ay
When: THU–SUN, July 5−8, 2pm–12am Where:Letisko Trenčín in Slovakia Entry: 99€, buy your ticket here
The Pohoda festival is an event that for the last 22 years it has reached international acclaim. They successfully mashed up everything on your shuffle list into one festival, meaning that at last, Alternative, Indie, Electronica, World Music, Punk and Classical meet in one big festival of fun. If that isn’t enough for your super high standards, besides the music on offer, there will also be a place for literature, dance, visual arts, film and theatre. A huge line-up, including the likes of The Chemical Brothers, St Vincent, Rodriguez and literally hundreds more will be awaiting all. Check the full lineup, here.
To get there you will need to… get your tush on a bus in the direction of Bratislava, once you are there visit the castle and maybe take a picture, tell your mate that it’s amazing how different the prices are there, nod in approval and get your tush on a regional bus towards Trencin. Once there, the festival offers a shuttle service. For more info, check here.
This festival is special because… it truly combines different music styles and offers a nice contrast with its other cultural offerings. The festival is planned in a home party ‘kinda way in which every detail is planned so everyone attending will have a blast!
Recommended if you like: pressing shuffle on any device to see what shows up, understanding the social criticism of Shakespeare through the sounds of a deep electronic house mix, jumping up and down with a beer in your hand, someone sitting in your shoulders, dedicated your youth the the part-ay, clapping your hands to the right moments in songs, that moment when a breakdance circle forms and nobody is too shy to take the floor, moshpits
Staged in various locations in Linz, the urban festival, Stream Festival, is replacing the legendary Linzfest and will be bringing some life to Linz! With the unique theme of digitalization, the festival will be divided into 3 completely different events. On the Stream Stage, live bands will rock you off of your sit! In the Stream Club, you’ll be able to shake your booty like you’ve never done before to Electro etc. while Stream Talk, will offer different workshops. To check for specifics what will be happening, check out the programme, here!
To get there you will need… to finish all your veggies and brush your teeth. After that task has been completed, and only then, you can hop on a cosy train from Vienna to Linz.
This festival is special because… unlike most of the typical festivals, this one actually takes place in the centre of a city and you don’t have to camp anywhere! Apart from that, the approach of dividing the festival intro 3 different mini-festivals is as cool as having 3 different mini pizzas!
Recommended if you like: shouting at bands because you love them, celebrating that your favourite song is being played by shouting and taking a stranger to dance, hands-on workshops to nurture mind and spirit, doing some sightseeing while partying, festivals that keep you out for three days in a row
In a field in St. Pölten, this big ol’ favourite outdoor festival is one of summer’s highlights for many. Headliners this year include big names, such as Imagine Dragons, Gorillaz, Bastille and so many more bands and musicians that will make you go – woot! Woot! (if you’re into that kind of thing). Most people who live in Vienna have made the pilgrimage to this festival, so if you haven’Ät yet, you are more or less obliged.
To get there you’ll need to… jump on a train to Sankt Pölten… in all your festival gear, of course This festival is special because… it’s all about the line-up at Frequency festival – if you like who’s in it, then we’d suggest you get a ticket
Recommended if you like: partying in a field, camping at festivals, waking up in somebody else’s tent, not sleeping for three days straight, indie rock
Last year, this Czech festival offered up 350 different performances, workshops and other funky stuff! With 21 different stages spread out amongst a sprawling ex-metalworks factory this makes for a special kinda’ festival. While it is hardly one of the more familiar names on the European festival circuit, with the line up they have, it should be (eg. N.E.R.D is the headliner). Check out the detailed programme, here. Watch last year’s festival film, here:
To get there you’ll need to… take any form of transport! You can literally get there by plane, train or automobile. There is even the option to take a boat as the river runs through the festival (although you can’t disembark on the actual site sadly). This festival is special because… it’s in a friggin ex-metal works factory, which is sure to make some very Instagrammable moments
Recommended if you like: partying in weird and wonderful locations, mega cool line ups, getting out of Austria, the Czech Republic, kid friendly festivals, multi-genre festivals, festivals in actual places rather than the middle of friggin’ nowhere
When: THU–SUN, July 12–15 Where:Schlierbach Entry: 25€–55€ Check which one suits you best here!
Now entering its 5th year, Rock im Dorf is quickly becoming a mainstay in the festival calendar. Specialising in Rock and Austrian only bands, this is a unique opportunity to catch some of Austria’s finest. Being only two days long, this makes it an ideal festival for those uncomfortable with the idea of festival camping for too long. Ask any Festival reviewer and they will tell you the small festivals are the best and this one ticks that box. Check the detailed programme, here. Watch last year’s festival film, here:
To get there you’ll need to… the train seems to be the recommended method with a schuttle bus operating between the station and the festival, however they also give directions on the website if you want to travel with a bike. This festival is special because… it’s small, intimate and rocking. It is also not so far from Vienna so it’s easy to escape to
Recommended if you like: partying under the open sky, Austro-German bands, Rock, Alternative Rock, festivals in unique locations, getting to know the Austrian countryside
When: FRI–TUE, July 13–17 Where:Tisno Entry: Non available at present but keep your eyes peeled here!
Beach Party! If you are looking to chill on a beach and hitting up a festival, but don’t have the holidays to do both, then look no further. With this festival located in the private bay of an Independent Brewery, this one will offer up all the good stuff: sun, soul, and craft beer a plenty….oh, and music. Not only are they getting in a load of fantastic Funk, Soul and Disco acts, but they’ll also have a herd of independent breweries from across the continent showing up. It’s like a craft beer festival going on holiday! Check the detailed programme, here. Watch last year’s festival film, here:
To get there you’ll need to… fly to Zadar or Split! unless you fancy a road trip (we are jealous of how much spare time you have if you do) This festival is special because… its all about the craft beer and Soul, Funk and Disco Beats… and all set in a private bay of a quaint little fishing village
Recommended if you like: not smelling at a festival because you’ve been swimming all day in between dancing, being by the seaside, big old brass bands, the sea, independent craft breweries, boat parties, being on a boat, being bongo for beer-o
When: WED–WED, August 8–15 Where: Budapest Entry: 25€–310€ available here!
Probably one of the biggest festivals in Europe, Sziget is super special as you can live and breath the city (when in Buda be a Pest) while partying away into the early hours at a festival set on an island. With a huge line up this year (including the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Arctic Monkeys and Mumford and Sons) you can also pick and choose your days, or, if you have the stamina for it, just go all in on and stay the 7 days. YOLO. Check the detailed programme, here. Watch last year’s festival film, here:
To get there you’ll need to… catch a train or take a bus to Budapest. This festival is special because… look at the lineup! And this island festival is huge!
Recommended if you like: the island of Freedom, big line ups, city breaks, not having to camp at a festival because you can get an Airbnb, actually being clean at the festival, partying on an island, Kendrick Lamar, Mumford and Sons, Arctic Monkey, Gorillaz
This is one of those festivals you would probably only know about if you’re from the East, a diehard festival-goer, or have Eastern European mates who have dropped it into a conversation. However, this is one very funky and unique festival experience worth knowing about. We use the word ‘experience,’ because it’s not just about the music here, but the whole festival experience. Besides that it’s set in Dracula country, Romanians know how to party. Set against the backdrop of a Castle, this festival earns its praise with a brilliant lineup of DJs and live bands, alongwith a raft of food trucks and a unique festival setup. Check the detailed programme out, here. Check out last year’s festival film, here:
To get there you’ll need to… fly to Cluj! and get one of the organised festival shuttles. Cheap flights are now flying directly from Vienna to Cluj. This festival is special because… my Romanian mates always rave about it, It involves a f*** castle and the overall experience if like no other.
Recommended if you like: castles, being cliche AF and dressing as Dracula in a Translyvanian castle, mixing going somewhere new with your festival experiences, the unexpected, going to festivals that are more than just the music, partying until the sun rises
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