16 top European summer festivals in September

When it comes to partying, Europe is where it’s at. From music fests and carnivals to medieval fairs, we help you find your favourite European summer festival this September.

Experience European culture at its best and party your way through the numerous gastronomic feasts, music fests and cultural events for every age and taste.

Want to know which European events and festivals you should be at this September? We have found all the best ones: the one with the major headliners, the quirky one, the cultural one, even one with cows. What’s more, we are hooking you up to the best ways to score tickets.

What are you waiting for? Keep reading!

Top 8 music festivals in Europe in September


Image source: Bestival

1. Bestival | 8-11 September 2016

This four-day open air festival serves up more than music on the Isle of Wight. This fan favourite has festival goers worldwide dressing up according to the yearly theme, watching wrestling, jumping on bouncy castles and more.

While some activities are permanent fixtures, Bestival keeps it fresh with new features every year. If you are looking for a music festival with equally tempting side activities, Bestival is your best bet.

Buy Bestival tickets


Image source: Pacha Festival

2. Pacha | 3 September 2016

Party it up to dance and electronic music with the stunning Amsterdam skyline as your backdrop when you head to the Pacha Festival.

The 2016 lineup sees pioneers and rising talent such as Martin Solveig, ANOTR and Benny Rodrigues playing live sets in the Ibiza-like atmosphere. The stages are elaborate and be sure to check out the popular hippie market for unique fashion and accessories.

The new location for 2016 promises more food, a bigger market and bigger chill-out areas.

Buy tickets to Pacha


Image source: Lollapalooza

3. Lollapalooza | 10-11 September 2016

It’s been 25 years and Lollapalooza shows no sign of slowing down when it comes to delivering world-class lineups of the best in rock, pop, indie and electronic music.

The 2016 edition in Berlin boasts eight stages and over 170 bands, which include Radiohead, Kings of Leon and Major Lazer. There is also a dedicated art market, kids’ zone and some of the best local eats around.

Lollapalooza is all about spreading the good vibes so the festival connects you with charities and organisations that improve and save lives.

Buy tickets to Lollapalooza


Image source: Outlook Festival

4. Outlook Festival | 31 August - 5 September 2016

Every year, a former navy fort in Croatia transforms into an open-air arena with festival stages and outdoor dance floors with laser-projected graffiti art. Dubbed as one of Croatia’s biggest summer parties of its kind, revellers soak up their favourite electronic, techno, house, rap and dubstep tunes with artists from the UK, Jamaica and beyond.

For something a little different, book a ticket on the boat parties and take the partying out to open waters. It’s the perfect way to get up-close and personal with your favourite artists while soaking up the beautiful Croatian sights.

Buy tickets to Outlook Festival


Image source: Into the Woods

5. Into the Woods Festival | 9-10 September 2016

If you are looking to escape the bustle of daily life and lose yourself to a weekend of electronic and techno music, get yourself to Into the Woods. It’s an electronic music festival held in the Dutch woodlands.

With the concept of “anything goes”, you will fall in love with this energetic two-day weekend in a unique setting.

Browse flights to Amsterdam


Image source: Electric Picnic

6. Electric Picnic | 2-4 September 2016

Tickets to Electric Picnic sell out every year as people can’t get enough of this eclectic arts and music festival. Set in the rolling Ireland lawns, this festival delivers big names (Lana Del Rey, LCD Soundsystem and The Chemical Brothers for 2016), a dedicated space for funky art installations, live storytelling and the best in Irish comedy.

Electric Picnic is a treat for all the senses, be it through music, art or the narrative. Go for your favourites but don’t be surprised if you just discover something new.

Buy tickets to Electric Picnic


Image source: Ibiza Rocks

7. Ibiza Rocks | 2-16 September 2016

Ibiza Rocks is the ultimate pool party set in the biggest party island on the Mediterranean. The infamous poolside stage will have you dancing to big names like Kaiser Chiefs, Skrillex and Major Lazer as well as new and upcoming talents.

The intimate gig setup promises you a summer party like no other whether you’re up front, dancing poolside or floating on pink flamingoes.

Book your accommodation at the where you can enjoy VIP access right on your balcony.

Buy tickets to Ibiza Rocks


Image source: Festival No. 6

8. Festival No. 6 | 1-4 September

If you are tired of commercialised and mainstream festivals and have a taste for something quirky, consider Festival No. 6. This boutique festival embraces the world of music, art, theatre, food and more. It’s a little quirky, a little whimsical and all-out experimental. You can expect enthusiastic musicians on the pop-up stages, art installations and the strong love for storytelling but also the unexpected, with activities like the torchlight parade.

The festival is relatively new, drawing in less than 10,000 people last year. But with its building reputation as one of the UK’s most popular boutique festivals, you should go before the crowds settle in.

Buy tickets to Festival No. 6

Top 8 arts and culture festivals in Europe in September


Image source: Oktoberfest

1. Oktoberfest | 17 September - 3 October 2016

The famous beer fest in Munich needs no introduction. Held annually, this 16-day folk festival will have amusement park rides, dancing, live concerts, traditional foods and of course, beer. Get yourself a beer glass and dive into the many beer tents for a time of drinking, eating and partying to live brass bands. 2015 saw 5.9 million guests and over 7.7 million litres of beer.

Some not-to-be-missed highlights include beer barrel tapping – where the first barrel of beer is opened and the traditional costume and riflemen's parade.

Book an Oktoberfest tour


Image source: Braemar Gathering

2. Braemar Gathering / The Scottish Highland Games | 3 September 2016

The first official games were held in 1832 at The Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park in Braemar. It is traditionally attended by the British royal family. Game day typically starts in the morning and ends by 5pm. There are many family-friendly events, including a children’s sack race.

2016 marks the 200-year anniversary of the gathering and attendees can buy a limited edition commemorative 25-year-old whisky.

Book a tour of Braemar / The Scottish Highland Games


Image source: Regata Storica

3. Regata Storica | 4 September 2016

The first historical boat race was recorded in the mid-13th century and is now Venice’s most important boating event. It wouldn’t be complete without the gondolini regatta, which is where two costumed gondoliers race against their competitors. Cheer on your favourites along the Grand Canal or merely bask in the atmosphere.

The opening event of gondoliers in full period costume and concerts along the Grand Canal should not be missed.

Browse flights to Venice

4. Festes de la Merce | 18-24 September 2016

La Merce is the highlight of Barcelona’s festival calendar. This non-stop four day street party includes free concerts, spectacular processions and unique activities unlike any other. Some highlights include a fire run, a fire-breathing dragon, human towers and the Giants Parade, where papier-mâché characters of kings, queens and nobles march the streets.

So bring your camera, be prepared to not sleep (much) and be part of a festival that is a reflection of both tradition and modern art and culture.

Browse flights to Barcelona

5. Galway International Oyster Festival | 23-25 September 2016

It’s more than just eating oysters and having one too many beers at the oldest oyster festival in the world (though that does happen). This three-day event celebrates the mollusk and other bounties of the sea but also features culinary demonstrations, cook-offs and most importantly, the famed oyster shucking championships.

Bring your appetite – the Galway Oyster Festival isn’t for the faint-hearted.

Book Galway food tours

6. London Design Festival | 17-25 September 2016

The London Design Festival is made up of over 400 events spanning dozens of locations, from small local museums to tourist hotspots. This annual celebration of craft and design brings together the country's greatest thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators.

Attend talks, workshops and navigate the many design areas and districts using the Festival app. The London Design Festival installations are a feast for the senses. While some art is static, there are audio displays, some of which you can try your hand at making.

Browse flights to London

7. Branchage Short Film Festival | 24-28 September

This annual film festival celebrates the best of film, music, visual art, theatre and poetry from all over the world. This event is adventurous and creative, taking advantage of the scenic backdrops of the Channel Island of Jersey for exclusive performances and collaborations.

Festival goers can expect screenings, live performances, parties and live soundtrack events. This also includes foreign films, language, live events, comedy and spoken word events. The Branchage is a festival for all sorts of unique and unexpected fun.

Browse flights to Jersey


Image source: Cows Ball

8. Cows’ Ball | 18 September 2016

This 50 year old Slovenian festival celebrates the homecoming of cattle to the alpine area after a summer in green pastures.

Cows are decorated with colourful wreaths and shown off in a parade accompanied by herdsmen, milkmaids and joyful music. Yup, this festival makes for great family fun. Have a go folk dancing or shop for local crafts at the market. Try local specialties and cheeses as you take in the unique culture and beautiful backdrop of farming villages.

Browse flights to Ljubljana

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Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is a journalist, avid traveller and all-round bargain hunter. If there's an online coupon code, deal or cheap flight available, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too.

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