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Top 14 European summer festivals in September 2018

When it comes to partying, Europe is where it's at. From music fests and carnivals to medieval fairs, find your (next) favourite European summer festival here.

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. You know, the one with the major headliners, the quirky one, the cultural one, even one with cows. Yes, COWS.

What's more, we are hooking you up to the best ways to score tickets. Read on for all the fine details.

Top music festivals in Europe in September


Lollapalooza.Viagogo

Image source: Lollapalooza

1. Lollapalooza | 8-9 September 2018

  • Where: Berlin, Germany
  • Music genre: Rock, pop, indie and electronic.
  • Top tour: Busabout's Lollapalooza festival tour including accommodation, a two-day pass and transfers to the festival and back from Berlin CBD.

It's been 27 years and Lollapalooza shows no sign of slowing down when it comes to delivering world-class lineups.

The 2018 edition is destination to welcome over 70,000 punters daily. It's moving address to Olympiastadion and Olympiapark in Berlin and will feature The Weeknd, David Guetta, Imagine Dragons and The National 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.

Find flights to Berlin


OutlookFestival.Viagogo

Image source: Outlook Festival

2. Outlook Festival | 5-10 September 2018

  • Where: Pula, Croatia
  • Music genre: EDM (electronic dance music)
  • Tickets: Outlook Festival

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 J Hus, Andy C and Stefflon Don while soaking up the beautiful Croatian sights.

Find flights to Pula, Croatia


IntotheWoodsFestival

Image source: Into the Woods

3. Into the Woods Festival | 14-15 September 2018

  • Where: Amersfoort, Netherlands
  • Music genre: Dance
  • Tickets: Into the Woods

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.

Find flights to Amsterdam


ElectricPicnic.Viagogo

Image source: Electric Picnic

4. Electric Picnic | 31 August - 2 September 2018

  • Where: County Laois, Ireland
  • Music genre: Various, including rock, pop, hip hop and rap.
  • Tickets: Electric Picnic

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 like Kendrick Lamar, NERD, Dua Lipa and Massive Attack, 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.

Find flights to Dublin


IbizaRocks.Viagogo

Image source: Ibiza Rocks

5. Ibiza Rocks (Closing Pool Party) | 25 September 2018

  • Where: Ibiza, Spain
  • Music genre: Various, including dance and pop
  • Tickets: Ibiza Rocks
  • Top tour: You don't have to attend Ibiza Rocks to party hard on the party island with tours as stacks of ocean and party boat tours abound throughout the summer season. Check out Viator to pick from the mix.

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 Craig David and Stormzy 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


FestivalNo6.Viagogo

Image source: Festival No. 6

6. Festival No. 6 | 6-9 September 2018

  • Where: Portmeirion, Wales
  • Music genre: Various, including rock, pop, dance and kids.
  • Tickets: Festival No. 6

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 in previous years. For anyone headed there this year, it'll be your last chance before the festival goes on hiatus for an indefinite period.

Browse flights to Wales


7. Electric Fields Festival | 30 August - 1 September 2018

  • Where: Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
  • Music genre: Rock, indie, house and electro sounds
  • Tickets: Electric Fields Festival

Escape the city and relax in open spaces by taking your festival feet to Electric Fields. Set on the stunning grounds of Drumlanrig Castle in Scotland, the festival is all about good music, new experiences and good fun for the whole family over a fun-filled weekend straddling August and September.

The 2018 stage will be graced by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Leftfield and in between sets you can indulge in various culinary delights, ale sampling, fairground activities and kids' activities, if you're bringing the family along.

Find flights to Glasgow



Top arts and culture festivals in Europe in September

Oktoberfest_3

Image source: Oktoberfest

1. Oktoberfest | 22 September - 7 October 2018

  • Where: Munich, Germany
  • Festival type: Cultural, food
  • Best tour: For the ultimate Oktoberfest experience book Topdeck's Oktoberfest Prostmeister. It starts in London and includes three days in Munich to "prost" with your beers.

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. Each year over six million guests arrive on its doorstep and around seven million litres of beer is poured.

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.

Find flights to Munich


BraemarGathering.Viator

Image source: Braemar Gathering

2. Braemar Gathering / The Scottish Highland Games | 1 September 2018

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.

Find your flight to Edinburgh


RegataStorica

Image source: Regata Storica

3. Regata Storica | 3 September 2018

  • Where: Venice, Italy
  • Festival type: Cultural
  • Best tour: Viator, complete with dressed up gondolier.

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.

Find flights to Venice


4. Festes de la Merce | 21-24 September 2018

  • Where: Barcelona, Spain
  • Festival type: Cultural, street
  • More information: Festes de la Merce

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.

Find flights to Barcelona


5. Galway International Oyster Festival | 28-30 September 2018

  • Where: Galway, Republic of Ireland
  • Festival type: Food
  • Best tour: Go all out with this ultimate Seven-day Oyster and Guinness Tour which features three nights in Galway to partake in the festival as well as visits to Ireland's top tourists spots such as Blarney Castle, Cliffs of Moher and the Guinness Storehouse.

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.

Find flights to Dublin


6. London Design Festival | 15-23 September 2018

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.

Find flights to London


CowsBall

Image source: Cows Ball

7. Cow's Ball | 16 September 2018

  • Where: Bohinj, Slovenia
  • Festival type: Cultural
  • More information: Cow's Ball

This 61 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.

Find flights to Ljubljana


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Stephanie Yip

Stef is the Travel Editor at finder.com.au and has been writing about travel for over a decade. She's visited over 50 countries and has had some incredible experiences, including hot air ballooning over Cappadocia, hitchhiking across Romania and seeing the Northern Lights (twice!). And while she’d never say no to a luxury escape, she's far more likely to stretch her travel dollars as far as they can go by keeping her ear to the ground for unbeatable travel bargains. And she'll tell you all about them, too! Stef has had articles featured on Travel Weekly, Escape and Hostelworld.

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