The ultimate guide to the coolest summer festivals in 2019 for people living in Vienna

The ultimate guide to the coolest summer festivals in 2019 for people living in Vienna

June 2, 2019

The ultimate guide to
the coolest summer festivals
in 2019 for people living in Vienna

June 2, 2019

Vienna Würstelstand's says

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, or nearby and 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 15 awesome summer music festivals that shouldn’t be missed and that can be reached easily from Vienna:

© Header photo courtesy of Balaton Sound

A crazy splish-splash of an event in Linz!

Linz AG Bubble Days

When: FRI–SAT, June 7−9
Where: Linzer Handelshafen
Entry: Free!

With an almost 20,000-strong crowd showing up every year, 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 wild fun offered up by this festival.

It includes over 4 live music stages to satisfy all kinds of music tastes, helicopter shows, water sport competitions, LOTS of water activities for people of all ages AND a wakeboarding show. Oh yeah, did we mention it’s free? ‘Cause free seems like a really good price. For more info. be sure to check out 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’s a pretty big party that will last for 2 days, it’s also family-friendly during the day

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

Beats on the beach in Albania

Kala 2019

When: WED–WED, June 12–19
Where: Dhërmi Beach in Albania
Entry: from 321€ (festival pass incl. hotel), buy a ticket

The Kala festival is Albania’s first international music festival, which makes it damn special if you ask us (which you didn’t, but anyway…). At this festival, you’ll get to spend up to seven days at an intimate beachside location with an eclectic selection of music delighting your ear drums.

As opposed to most other festivals, you won’t be bringing your own tent, as the festival pass also includes hotel accommodation and even transfers from Corfu, Greece, via boat. With only 2,000 tickets available, you can rest assured that this festival truly is an intimate one. Check the detailed programme. And just take a look at the location video:

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’s a mix between beach holiday and festival, located on the undiscovered coast of the Albanian Riviera

Recommended if you like: Electronic music, eating sausages on the beach with your toes sinking into the sand, the sound of the waves, parties full of half-naked people, when the dance floor is on the beach, summer cocktail sipping by the water, music of the Electro variety, partying under the open sky

Become one with nature and a blazing bonfire in a Hungarian forest

Kolorado 2019

When: WED–SUN, June 19–23
Where: Nagykovácsi in Hungary (near Budapest)
Entry: 30€ day pass, 61€ festival pass (without camping), buy a ticket

Kolorado will take place for the fourth 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, plus there’s a lot going on alongside the music at this festival. Check out the detailed programme. Just take a look at the festival movie from 2018 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

Attend the wedding of Electronic Art and Music in Graz

Springfestival Graz 2019

When: WED–SUN, June 19−23
Where: various locations in Graz
Entry: from 10€, buy a ticket

Some time ago, someone said that Graz was boring. We guess the city took that very personally, as this 4-day event proves such rubbish statements wrong as it attracts 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.

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

Europe’s largest free festival on the island

Eat a garlic langos and join the crowds dancing @ Donauinstelfest 2019

When: FRI–SUN, June 21–23, 10am–11pm
Where: Donauinsel
Entry: free!

600 hours of musical performances will make up the biggest free music festival in Europe in June, and they’ve secured some big name performers this year, such as Tocotronic, Yung Hurn, Mando Diao and Revolverheld – 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 – either way, it’s happening this weekend. Check the detailed programme.

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

5 days in a party heaven!

Balaton Sound 2019

When: WED–SUN, July 3−7
Where: Balaton in Hungary
Entry: 245€ for a 5-day festival pass, 72€ for a day ticket, buy a ticket

With a line-up including the likes of The Chainsmokers, DJ Snake, Sean Paul, and Tiesto, 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 in on 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 keep going! Think we are overhyping this event? Take a look at the full line-up, and watch their aftermath video from 2018:

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.

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

Austria’s finest all getting together and partying in a village

Rock im Dorf Festival

When: FRI–SAT, July 5–6
Where: Schlierbach
Entry: 22€–85€ Check which one suits you best here!

Now entering its 7th year, Rock im Dorf is quickly becoming a mainstay in the festival calendar. Specialising in Rock and Austrian bands, this is a unique opportunity to catch some of Austria’s finest. As it’s 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. Watch last year’s festival film, here:

To get there you’ll need to… the train seems to be the recommended method with a shuttle 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

A festival inside an old indoor pool that goes on for weeks

Poolbar Festival 2019

When: FRI, July 5 – SUN, August 11
Where: Altes Hallenbad
Entry: 239€ festival pass, 169€ early bird (buy here), single tickets available, buy tickets here

It started out 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 the town, Feldkirch, and has a mix of both small and big names in its line-up. A special quality of the festival is the fact that they go through various categories and genres of music, so there’s something for everyone in the programme. In addition to music, you’ll experience film screenings, poetry slams, comedy shows (Austrian-style), fashion performances and lots more. Check out the detailed programme of the festival.

To get there you’ll need to… bring many, many snacks for your 6-hour direct train trip 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

A music festival with the feeling of a house party

Pohoda Festival 2019

When: THU–SUN, July 11−14
Where: Letisko Trenčín in Slovakia
Entry: 99€, buy a ticket

The Pohoda festival is an event that over the last 24 years 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 is also a place carved out for literature, dance, visual arts, film and theatre. A huge line-up, including the likes of Liam Gallagher, Lykke Li, The Roots and literally hundreds more will be awaiting all those who turn up. Check out the full line-up, 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 cheaper 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. Check out more info, 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

Party in a Czech metalworks factory!

Colours of Ostrava

When: THU–SAT, July 17–20
Where: Ostrava, Czech Rep.
Entry: 81–114€, check which one suits you best here!

Last year, this Czech festival offered up 350 different performances, workshops and other funky stuff! With 21 different stages spread out within 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, we think it should be (eg. Florence + The Machine, The Cure, MØ). Check out the detailed programme. 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 festival 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

The Romanian Castle goes electric with a stellar festival

Electic Castle

When: WED–MON, July 17–22
Where: Banffy Castle, Romania
Entry: from 125€, buy a ticket

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 line-up of DJs and live bands, alongwith a raft of food trucks and a unique festival setup. Check out the detailed programmed and  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… our Romanian mates always rave about it, It involves a f*** castle and the overall experience is 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

Vienna’s beloved free pop festival, with a great view!

Popfest 2019

When: THU–SUN, July 25–28
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 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 out the detailed programme for this year.

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

Photo © simon brugner theyshootmusic.com

A week-long city break and a festival in Hungary

Sziget

When: WED–WED, August 7–14
Where: Budapest
Entry: 75€–339€, buy a ticket

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 Ed Sheeran, Foo Figthers, Franz Ferdinand and Chvrches) you can also pick and choose your days, or, if you have the stamina for it, just go all in and stay the 7 days. YOLO. Check the detailed programme. 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 line-up! And this island festival is huge!

Recommended if you like: the idea of being on 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

Austria’s biggest festival in a field

FM4 Frequency Festival 2019

When: THU–SUN, August 15–18
Where: Frequency Festival grounds in Sankt Pölten
Entry: SOLD OUT, but there’s a ticket lottery, check here

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 Twenty One Pilots, Macklemore, Swedish House Mafia 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’t 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

Party on 12 floating dance floors in Berlin

Berlin, Boats & Boats

When: SAT, July 6
Where: boats set sail from Hansabrücke Berlin
Entry: 49 €

This has become one of the biggest days on the Berlin river known as the Spree for party people. On the 6 July, a fleet of 12 boats set sail from a bridge and 50 DJs let loose on the decks as the party floats up the Spree. Oh, and there’s an after party. Plus, Berlin’s the party capital of Europe, right? A party on boats in the capital of partying is not to be missed. Oh, and there’s a massive afterparty to go with it. Check out more details, here. 

To get there you’ll need to… there are cheap flights heading to Berlin daily. Or catch the train to stay true to your more eco-friendly lifestyle.

This festival is special because… it’s Berlin, it’s on 12 boats floating up the river of the city

Recommended if you like: any excuse to wear your captains hat, the idea of partying on a boat, Electronic music