European Music Festivals 2020: guide to line-ups and best Summer festivals


Primavera revellers

If you fancy watching some bands in the sun this year, before Brexit makes it much harder, then Getintothis’ Steven Doherty has all the best festivals from around Europe.

Who would want to go to a rainy old festival in the UK, when there’s so much going on in this splendid continent of ours?

It’s easier than ever (and let’s face it, that ain’t gonna last that long) to combine your summer holiday and have a weekend full of entertainment just by hopping on a plane.

And Europe knows how to throw a festival.

Tickets, so much cheaper.
Weather, so much warmer.
Beer, so much colder and tastier.

Seriously, what are you waiting for?

It’s a cliché to say that there is something for everyone here, but in this case, it’s true.

Whether it’s just two day short weekends or week-long events, whichever big cities that you also want to visit whilst at the festival, it’s all here.

As ever with these festival guides that we lovingly curate, they will be updated at regular intervals once more and more festivals show their line-up hands and feel free to let us know if you’re going to one that we’ve not mentioned here so far.


Liam Gallagher

Snowbombing: Mayrhofen, Austria, April 13-18

Not quite the summer months, and we definitely wouldn’t be coming here for a tan, this is an unusual start to proceedings.

Slope-side partying is the order of the day here, with apres-ski entertainment coming in the shape of Liam Gallagher, The Streets, Foals, Loyle Carner, Ash, Pigeon Detectives and The Futureheads.

Raves in igloos, street parties and enchanted forests but no sunburn, ideal.

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Primavera Sound: Parc Del Forum, Barcelona, Spain, June 3-7

This is where the summer festival season kicks off.

Fast becoming a big lure to festival-goers from around Europe, especially the UK, this is one of the major go-to’s of the year.

There are 16 stages to choose from, each one with a glorious Mediterranean view, and plenty of big-name options, whatever you’re into.

There’s Pavement, Bikini Kill, Lana Del Rey, Iggy Pop, Beck, Shellac, Bauhaus and Massive Attack amongst a cast of thousands over the four days.

Johnny Marr

NorthSide: Aarhus, Denmark, June 4-6

Celebrating it’s ten years in existence, from starting out as a small one-day festival for Danish acts, it’s now one of the highlights of the Nordic festival calendar.

And this year’s line-up is worthy of the celebratory tone, attracting the biggest names that they’ve ever played host to before.

Green Day, White Lies, Johnny Marr, Weezer and Robyn head the cavalcade.

Richard Dawson

Nos Primavera Sound: Porto, Portugal, June 11-13

The Portuguese version of the Primavera franchise grows every year, with its mission being to get on par with the longer-standing Spanish leg.

It also has an advantage over its compatriots, due to the festival’s location as Porto is widely considered to be far cooler than Lisbon.

It prides itself on its diversity and in 2020 gives us Tyler The Creator, FKA Twigs, King Krule, Richard Dawson, Jehnny Beth, Dinosaur Jr and Kim Gordon.

Fontaines DC

Best Kept Secret: Hilvarenbeek, The Netherlands, June 12-14.

An early contender for line-up of the season, this Dutch beauty is ideal for those of us not keen on flying, just get the ferry over.

And what a treat will be waiting off the boat.

The Strokes, Black Lips, Jarv Is, black midi, Girl Band, Belle And Sebastian, Squid, Sorry, The Avalanches and the mighty Fontaines DC all await.

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Rock In Roma: Capanelle Racecourse, Rome, Italy, June 17-July 25

Nope, it’s not a typo, this one does go on for over a month.

A series of big gigs rather than an actual festival, this would be more suited to those already going on holiday to the Italian capital, what better way to spend one of your night’s away?

The omnipresent Foals, Lumineers, The Chemical Brothers, Kendrick Lamar and Cigarettes After Sex are all in place with many more to be announced.

Catfish and The Bottlemen

Rock For People: Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic, June 18-20.

For those fancying something different in the Czech Republic that isn’t those big city squares in Prague, this will be right up your avenue.

Cheap beer and a proper looking festival line-up will be the obvious attraction to many here, and the 3 day weekend tickets have sold out already with just day tickets remaining.

And no wonder with Fall Out Boy, The 1975, Catfish And The Bottlemen, The Amazons, Sum 41, Green Day and Weezer to look forward to.

Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes

Pinkpop: Landgraaf, Holland, June 19-21

One of the long standing behemoths of the European festival scene, Pinkpop is back this year and just pipping our very own Glastonbury, it’s celebrating 51 years in the biz.

Once again, it’s attracted some of the biggest names around that are not to be seen on many other festival stages this summer.

They have the (un)welcome (delete as applicable) return of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Marshmello, Crowded House, Zara Larsson, Supergrass, Frank Carter and a Sunday headline set for Guns ‘N’ Roses.


The National

Rock In Rio: Bela Vista Park, Lisbon, Portugal, June 20-21, 27-28.

Held over two consecutive weekends, the European version of the Brazillian carnival which is only held on this continent every two years is back.

Weekend one sees The Black Eyed Peas return alongside Camila Cabello, The National, Incubus and Foo Fighters.

The weekend after brings us the headlining Post Malone with many more yet to be announced.

Fatoumata Diawara

Roskilde: Roskilde, Denmark, June 27-July 4

Another monster of a festival, Roskilde is actually the largest in Northern Europe, and is another one that started in the early 1970’s.

They are 100% non-profit, with all monies going to charity whilst being able to call on 30,000 volunteers a year who do literally everything.

And well done to the volunteer that is in charge of booking the line-up as it’s a corker.

Taylor Swift, Faith No More, Thom Yorke, Angel Olsen, Fatoumata Diawara, Mura Masa, Whitney and TLC add a bit of everything to proceedings.

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The Chemical Brothers

Open’er: Gdynia, Poland, July 1-4

Yorke and Swift are both in attendance here also, would be lovely to think they’d shared a bus down to here together.

Set in the stunning surroundings of Gdynia, Open’er took the prestigious Best Major Festival at last year’s European Festival Awards, so they have a lot to live up to in 2020.

Their opening shots, line-up wise, are promising. As well as the above couple, there’s A$AP Rocky, Chemical Brothers, Twenty One Pilots, Banks, Big Thief, Yungblud, Seasick Steve, and most special of all, the 2020 European festival exclusive performance from The Cure.

The Murder Capital

Les Eurockeennes: Belfort, France, July 2-4

Just when it seemed there was an over-similarity to the line-ups, here comes Les Eurockeenes with a few curveballs in its locker.

It trusts its own contrariness by running Thursday to Saturday, letting you have a recovery day on the Sunday, and that follows the unusual Saturday night headliners, Simple Minds.

Ice T’s Body Count, The Murder Capital, Cage The Elephant, Foals and Massive Attack are also in attendance.


Rock Werchter: Werchter, Belgium, July 2-5

Belgium’s big one, it’s issue number 45 from them.

And variety is the spice of life for them, as the bill shows some thought has gone into the smaller acts as well as the big names.

The Big Moon, Bombay Bicycle Club, Haim, Jake Bugg, Jimmy Eat World, Inhaler, The Streets, The Strokes and the very welcome return of Placebo is the news here.

Kings Of Leon

Mad Cool: Madrid, Spain, July 8-11

This highlight of the Spanish capital’s cultural events may only be a baby compared to some others at only five years old, but they are starting to stamp their quality on the Euro festival scene.

Billie Eilish, The Killers, Faith No More, Kings Of Leon and Taylor Swift (she’s busy this summer) are the main attractions, but there’s also Deftones, Sports Team, Paul Weller, Hinds and Alt-J.

Plus, you’re almost certainly guaranteed the weather.

The only downside is the Mumford & Sons headline slot.

Pet Shop Boys

BBK Live: Bilbao, Spain, July 9-11

And staying in Spain, this time on the slopes of Mount Cobetas.

This year, it’s an event of welcome returns, in the form of Supergrass, Placebo, The Rapture, and the biggest of all, a festival guide first in the form of the grandfathers of electro pop, Pet Shop Boys.

You also get to spend some time in the splendid city of Bilbao, a stunning experience.

But mostly, it’s all about the Pet Shop Boys.


Exit: Novi Sad, Serbia, July 9-12

Long regarded as the festival of choice of those who want to go somewhere a bit different for their musical summertime experience, Exit never disappoints.

Starting out in 2000 as a student movement, it’s now widely considered to be one of those bucket list shouts.

This year’s line-up is in it’s early stages, but so far they will be welcoming David Guetta, James Arthur, Fatboy Slim, Metronomy and Sepultura, with many more to be announced in the coming weeks.

The Libertines

Benicassim: Castellon, Spain, July 16-19.

Another of the massive cornerstones of the year, this is another of the main fests that attract the hordes from these shores.

The obvious selling point is that the days are spent on the beach, whilst the music takes place through the night, which means it’s a ready-made holiday, albeit with very little sleep.

So far you can look forward to Kaiser Chiefs, The Hives, Two Door Cinema Club, Rita Ora, The Libertines, Vampire Weekend, Khalid and Crystal Fighters.


Sziget: Budapest, Hungary, August 5-11

The beautiful Obuda Island in the splendid city of Budapest plays host to a week long feast of shenanigans.

The core message of Sziget is freedom and strives to be a wholly positive, uplifting experience, and it has the acts to pull off that trick.

Dua Lipa, Calvin Harris, The Strokes, Sigrid, Stormzy, Lewis Capaldi, Mabel, Mark Ronson, Slowthai, Loyle Carner, it reads like a who’s who of who’s now now.

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Michael Kiwanuka

Oya: Toyen Park, Oslo, Norway, August 11-1

This is a five-dayer and in true Scandinavian style, they pride themselves on their sustainability and attempts to leave as small a carbon footprint.

This is at no detriment to the line-up as this is as lovely as the Toyen Park setting.

Bon Iver, Solange, Suede, Michael Kiwanuka with loads more yet to be announced.

Mac DeMarco

Flow Festival: Helsinki, Finland, August 14-16

Finland may not be the most obvious starting point if you’re planning to go overseas this summer, but Flow Festival are looking to change that.

It takes place within walking distance of the centre of Helsinki, at Suvilahti, the home of a disused power plant, of all things.

Bon Iver, The Strokes and Stormzy take up headliner duties once more with Mac DeMarco, Mabel, Bikini Kill and Chromatics ably assisting.

Parquet Courts

Lowlands: Biddinghuizen, Holland, August 21-23

What a life it must be, being a musician, spending all summer long visiting all of these lovely European festivals.

And some, very much more than others, there are some bands out there really plying their wares.

Lowlands features a fair few of those already mentioned Capaldi, Gallagher, Stormzy, Kiwanuka so let’s delve a bit deeper into the bill.

Georgia, Tom Walker, Soulwax, Shame, Sam Fender, Caribou and Half Moon Run also making undercard appearances.

Run The Jewels

Lollapalooza: Berlin, Germany, September 5-6

And so it’s September already.

But the sun hasn’t set just yet, there’s still time for a quick nip over to Berlin for the weekend now the kids have gone back to school.

Rage Against The Machine playing their only German show? Yes, please.

Being Lollapalooza, there’s also all the fun of the fair (literally, as there’s a funfair there) with all kinda sideshows, but musically prepare to be treated by Miley Cyrus, Die Antwoord, Beabadoobee, Run The Jewels and Walking On Cars.

Courtney Barnett

Iceland Airwaves: Reykjavik, Iceland, November 6-9

Okay, we admit it, we may be stretching it now, a summer guide that rolls on into the week that we are thinking about putting the tree up.

But they do things differently in Iceland, and who are we to argue?

Appease those withdrawal symptoms that will have kicked in by then and check out the likes of Squid, The Murder Capital, Courtney Barnett and Dry Cleaning (worth the trip over alone).