European festivals: key to summer on a budget

Tomorrowland, Belgium

Despite the fact that Britain’s attempts are often pitiful, summer is undoubtedly the best season of the year and there is absolutely no reason your summer should have to suffer just because you’re on a shoestring student budget.

One of the many downfalls of being a skint student is that it can be difficult to get excited about summer when you can’t afford to fill it with back-to-back festivals and a package holiday. You’ve reached the point where you can’t afford a “cheeky Nandos” let alone a “cheeky trip to Maga with the gals * insert kiss and palm tree emoji here *.

Summer on a budget can be a heartbreaker, which is why European festivals are the way forward. Festivals such as Benicassim in Spain and Unknown in Croatia are party paradise and full of like-minded people who want to enjoy themselves in the sun. You get all the benefits of a festival and a holiday combined into one unforgettable experience.

European festivals are offering some of the hottest line-ups around with acts such as Outkast, Bondax, Arctic Monkeys and The Prodigy doing the rounds and that’s not even the best part. You don’t even need your wellies. With the weather being so beautiful abroad the Hunters can stay in the shed- making more room in your suitcase for swimwear, shorts and sunglasses. They’ll be no mud on the Mediterranean coast that’s for sure.

Sziget, Hungary

The scorching temperatures mean acts are often not starting til 8pm in the evening and continuing right through to 8am the next morning, leaving you with all day to relax by the sea with your friends so that you’re rested and ready for an epic night of partying. More and more European festivals keep popping up each year, whether your into deep house or death metal – there’s something for everyone.

If you’re still a little unsure about whether or not you’re willing to give up Bestival for Benicassim or Salou for Sziget, then take a look at the pros and cons.


  • All in one: You get the party holiday atmosphere and a music festival combined. Win win. No shelling out for both.
  • No printed t-shirts: If you like sunny weather and partying but aren’t into the “drinking culture” that resort holidays offer, then European festivals are a great alternative. Not a lad or lass “on tour” t-shirt in sight.
  • More music for your money and more bass for your buck:Festival tickets on the continent are often cheaper than British equivalents. Benicassim for example costs around £130 for a week of camping and four days of music- whereas Reading/Leeds and Glastonbury are three days of music for around £200.
  • Sun, glorious sun:Less mud bath, more Mediterranean sea. I cannot stress to you enough how incredible it is not packing for every possible weather eventuality.
  • Costs outside the festival: A round of drinks might cost you an entire days budget in the main festival arena but if you venture out to town, local supermarkets and shop vendors put on great deals and discounts on food and drink all over the festival period. (And yes, drink includes alcohol. It’s crazy cheap.)
  • Festival folk: Nearly everyone you speak to is great and there are no signs of drunken brawls or people looking for trouble. Just expect inebriated Scotsmen dressed up as women and you’re good to go.


  • Heat: Camping in temperatures around 30 degree upwards is hell on Earth. It’s definitely hot enough to be.
  • Hassle: British festivals are straightforward to book and travel agents often do most the hard work when it comes to booking a holiday. European festivals are a bit more awkward as you have to book your own flights and transfers etc. (Just suck up to the most organised one in your group.)
  • Sunburn: So easy to do when you’re out and about all day and the sea breeze makes you oblivious until it’s too late. Unless you’re lucky enough to be a Greek adonis, burning is more than likely inevitable. #lobsterlife
  • Costs in the festival: The drinks prices are astronomical in the bars by the stages. €7.50 for a vodka redbull? Ughhh. Not quite the Malia prices you might be used to

Overall, despite having to sleep in a tent comparable to an oven and having to spend about €7 for a “questionable” burger, European festivals really are amazing and a brilliant way to spend a week (or two) in summer! If you’re still unsure, take a look at as they have loads of information. See you on the beaches!

Photo Credit: Tamara Susa via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Aldo via Compfight cc

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Leeds Met PR student with encyclopaedic knowledge of The OC. Fanatical about festivals and free stuff. Guilty pleasures include bad puns and property television. Check out my blog

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