Sun, Sand, Surf & Music: 10 Brilliant Beach Festivals You Can’t Afford To Miss

Which one will you be going to?

In a world where there are thousands of festivals competing for your attention, the lineup just doesn’t cut it as a decision-maker anymore. And if you’re spending that much money to be sweaty in a tent, you may as well be near a beach – think of the money you’ll save on face wipes!

So here we’ve compiled a list of the most promising-looking festivals in Europe for 2015 that are either on the beach or extremely close to the sea. Just don’t forget the suncream.

1. Primavera Sound

Photo: Santiago Periel

Where? Barcelona, Spain

When? 28-30 May 2015

Who? The Black Keys, Ride, The Strokes, Interpol, Sleater-Kinney, Caribou, Death from Above 1979, Ariel Pink

Why? Primavera is quite simply the festival for the discerning music snobs among you. What other summer event would let post-hardore outfit Shellac play EVERY SINGLE YEAR? It could probably be renamed ‘Pitchfork does Catalonia’ and no one would bat an eyelid. Indie heaven in a concrete park beside the ocean… with the beach never far away. Bliss.

How much? Three day festival ticket, around £130. No camping available

More info about Primavera Sound 2015

2. Copenhell

Where? Copenhagen, Denmark

When? 18-20 June 2015

Who? Slipknot, Primus, Rise Against, Ghost, A Day to Remember, Black Stone Cherry, Suicidal Tendencies, Cannibal Corpse

Why? It may be one of the few metal fests we could find on a shore, but Copenhell is by no means filler on this list. It takes place on a dock in the Danish capital, and boasts a fantastic lineup including the newly reinvigorated Slipknot. Also, northern Europeans are great at metal so it’s guaranteed to be awesome.

How much? Three day festival ticket and camping fee, around £160

More info about Copenhell 2015

3. Fresh Island

Where? Pag, Croatia

When? 15-17 July 2015

Who? Joey Bada$$, Danny Brown, Migos, Skepta, Tropkillaz, Tinashe

Why? Outdoor celebrations of hip hop, R’n’B and grime are somewhat lacking in Europe, so that’s why we love the sound of Fresh Island in Croatia. With more beach and boat parties than you can shake a pimp stick at, plus an appearance from Kanye West’s fave Skepta, you can’t go wrong with a week in Pag.

How much? Standard accommodation for 5 nights and 3 day festival ticket, £229

More info about Fresh Island 2015

4. Sea Dance

Where? Montenegro

When? 15-18 July 2015

Who? The Prodigy, Rudimental (DJ set), Sigma, Bondax, Soul Cap, Pillowtalk, FKJ Live

Why? Little sister of Exit festival, Sea Dance is an award-winning, medium-sized affair in Montenegro (the place you think about once a year, when you watch Eurovision). It’s beside/on a gorgeous beach and has a lineup that’s perfect for those of you wanting to take a diverse group of friends to a tropical seaside for a good time.

How much? Three day festival ticket plus campsite fee, £74

More info about Sea Dance 2015

5. Benicàssim

Where? Costa del Azahar, Spain

When? 16-19 July 2015

Who? Blur, The Prodigy, Portishead, Florence + The Machine, Bastille, Jamie T, FFS, Kaiser Chiefs

Why? It’s one of the best-known music festivals, and for good reason. Benicàssim offers some big hitters in terms of line-up; an incredible climate in the east of Spain; and an atmosphere the envy of other more ‘mainstream’ European festivals. It may be worth it to see Blur alone. And if things get too hot, a dip in the ocean is never more than a few hundred metres away.

How much? Four day festival ticket plus campsite fee, £160

More info about Benicàssim 2015

6. ATP Iceland

Photo: ATP

Where? Ásbrú, Iceland

When? 2-4 July 2015

Who? Iggy Pop, Belle & Sebastian, Public Enemy, Swans, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Run The Jewels

Why? Music nerds unite! It’s time for ATP Iceland: held in a former NATO base minutes from the coast, and only a fifteen minute drive from the country’s beautiful blue lagoon spa. You’ll see punk legend Iggy Pop looking sufficiently skeletal, and almost certainly make friends with a vegan.

How much? Three day festival ticket plus campsite fee, £107

More info about ATP Iceland 2015

7. Boardmasters

Where? Cornwall

When? 5-9 August 2015

Who? Faithless, Rudimental, Bastille, Clean Bandit, The Darkness, De La Soul, Duke Dumont, Seasick Steve

Why? Do we even need to tell you guys about Boardmasters? You know what it’s about. A stonkin’ lineup is headed for the Cornwall coast, ready to ensure you’ve got the world’s most bad-ass soundtrack while you watch pro surf, skate and BMX competitions.

How much? Three day festival and four days of camping, £129

More info about Boardmasters 2015

8. Open’er

Where? Gdynia, Poland

When? 1-4 July 2015

Who? Die Antwoord, A$AP Rocky, Modest Mouse, Eagles of Death Metal, Faithless, Major Lazer, Refused, Kendrick Lemar, Mumford and Sons, Swans, Disclosure, Hozier, Kasabian, St Vincent

Why? Because Open’er is kind of a miracle. It’s got the most random lineup we’ve ever seen – from chart indie kings Kasabian, to high priestess of the avant garde St Vincent, to hardcore punk Scandi heroes Refused, to South African hip hop ensemble Die Antwoord. And it’s insanely cheap. And it’s moments from the coast. In fact, we had to call a few people to make sure we weren’t being had. Time to book flights to Poland!

How much? Four day festival ticket with five nights camping, around £110

More info about Open’er 2015

9. Dimensions

Photo: Marc Sethi/Dimensions

Where? Fort Punto Christo, Croatia

When? 27-30 August 2015

Who? Four Tet, Little Dragon, Floating Points, George Clinton/Parliament/Funkadelic, Mount Kimbie (DJ Set), Bicep

Why? Any discerning fan of electronica has to head to Dimensions, with one of the best band-less lineups available in Europe this year in one of Croatia’s most scenic spots – an abandoned military fort beside the beach. We recommend dancing to Bicep until the early hours, ideally with sand underfoot.

How much? Four day festival ticket with five nights camping, around £175

More info about Dimensions 2015

Sea Sessions Surf & Music

Where? Donegal, Ireland

When? 19-21 June 2015

Who? Seasick Steve, Example & DJ Wire, Maverick Sabre, Sigma, Le Galaxie, Lee Scratch Perry, Jape

Why? Because it’s slightly mental and there’s some brilliant surf available. Bundoran is famed as Ireland’s top surf spot, and this fact can only be improved by the presence of apparently randomly chosen bands and camping on a Gaelic football pitch. We love you, Donegal.

How much? Three day festival ticket with camping fee, around £80

More info about Sea Sessions 2015


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