15 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 music festivals in Europe in September


Image source: Bestival

1. Bestival | 7-10 September 2017

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: Lollapalooza

2. Lollapalooza | 9-10 September 2017

It’s been 26 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 welcomed over 70,000 punters daily and the 2017 edition is shaping up to be even better. It's moving address to Rennbahn Hoppegarten in Berlin and has already secured Foo Fighters, Mumford and Sons, the XX and Hardwell to its lineup.

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.

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Image source: Outlook Festival

3. Outlook Festival | 7-10 September 2017

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 artists like Dizzee Rascal, DJ Shadow and Wiley while soaking up the beautiful Croatian sights.

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Image source: Into the Woods

4. Into the Woods Festival | 8-9 September 2017

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.

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Image source: Electric Picnic

5. Electric Picnic | 1-3 September 2017

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. Artists for this year will be released on 20 March), 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.

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Image source: Ibiza Rocks

5. Ibiza Rocks (Closing Pool Party) | 24 September 2017

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 Ibiza Rocks Hotel where you can enjoy VIP access right on your balcony.

Browse Ibiza party tours


Image source: Festival No. 6

7. Festival No. 6 | 7-10 September 2017

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, but with its building reputation as well as rave reviews from artist Beck of last year's event Festival No. 6 is fast becoming one of the UK’s most popular boutique festivals. Go before the crowds settle in.

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8. Electric Fields Festival | 1-2 September 2017

If you are looking to escape the city and relax in open spaces, head to Electric Fields. Set on the stunning grounds of the majestic Drumlanrig Castle in Scotland, the festival promises a weekend of good music, new experiences and good fun for the whole family.

The 2017 main stage will see the likes of Primal Scream and The Charlatans. But beyond enjoying rock, indie, house and electro sounds, make sure to explore the various culinary delights, ale sampling, fairground activities and a dedicated lineup of activities for the little ones.

Browse flights to Glasgow

Top arts and culture festivals in Europe in September


Image source: Oktoberfest

1. Oktoberfest | 16 September to 3 October 2017

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. 2016 saw 7.2 million guests and over 6.9 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 | 2 September 2017

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 at 9:30am and ends by 5pm. There are many family-friendly events, including a children’s sack race.

Book a tour of Braemar / The Scottish Highland Games


Image source: Regata Storica

3. Regata Storica | 3 September 2017

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.

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4. Festes de la Merce | TBA

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.

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5. Galway International Oyster Festival | 22-24 September 2017

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 | 16-24 September 2017

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


Image source: Cows Ball

7. Cows’ Ball | 17 September

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.

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Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at finder.com.au. On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal on hotels or a sale on flights, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too. Though probably not before she buys her own ticket.

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