Go through a check-list of any European backpacker and chances are you?ll stumble across a few names of famous music festivals. In fact, for every hip new genre that boasts a legion of fans who feel the incessant need to scream across the coolness and exclusivity of their favourite bands, you can be sure that someone thought there should be a music festival for it. In the land of music festivals that is Europe, finding a music festival worth your hard-earned money can be a tricky proposition. However, there will always be the few iconic festivals that have set the standard for other festivals to follow. This article is dedicated to those few epic fests that any self-respecting music fan touring Europe should do their utmost best to attend.
Roskilde Festival @ Roskilde, Denmark
Image Source: wikimedia.org
Arguably one of Europe?s largest music festivals, Roskilde is almost a household name among live music lovers the world around. Stared in 1971 by two high-school students and a music promoter, the festival was taken over by the Roskilde foundation in the following year and is Denmark?s first mainstream music-oriented festival. Although its fan following from early years was made up mostly of Scandinavian youth, the sudden surge in popularity has seen it garner a more international audience.
Pinkpop Festival, @ Landgraaf, Netherlands
Image Source: rnw.nl
Pinkpop has the privilege of being the world?s oldest and longest-running music festival dedicated to mainstream pop and rock music. The festival?s widespread popularity led to it increasing the number of days from two to three. Held during the Pentecost weekend (?Pinkster? is Dutch for ?Pentecost?), Pinkpop has attracted some of the biggest names across the world, with the latest one in 2014 featuring epic bands such as Rolling Stones, Arctic Monkeys and Metallica.
Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, Germany
Image Source: groovetraveler.com
Rock am Ring and Rock im Park Made up of two separate music fests held at the Nürburgring racetrack in Nürburg (Rock am Ring) and at the Zeppelinfeld in Nuremberg (Rock im Park), this three-day festival represents the largest gathering of music fans in the world, with an estimated attendance of nearly 150,000 people in 2007. The lineup for both festivals is more-or-less identical, with all acts performing one day at Nürburg and another day at Nuremberg. The festival?s sheer volume of attendance has seen it attract a number of big names, some recent prominent ones being Linkin Park, Metallica, Iron Maiden, and Kings Of Leon.
The Isle of Wight Festival @ Isle of Wight, England
Image Source: wightabout.co.uk
The Isle of Wight Music Festival originated as a counterculture music event in 1968 and featured a famous lineup 1970 which included music legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Jethro Tull, Chicago, The Doors, Lighthouse, The Who, and Leonard Cohen to mention a few, The attendance was so large and unexpected, with some reports claiming over 600,000 people were present, the Parliament resorted to passing the ?Isle of Wight Act? which prevented gatherings of over 5,000 people with a special license. Fortunately, the festival was revived in 2002 but is now held at Seaclose Park near Newport and features musical acts that have a sound following in Britain, the recent ones being Boy George, Calvin Harris, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Kings of Leon.