When and where: Mayrhofen, Austria, April 1-6. The line-up: There’s an eclectic mix of acts booked for 2013, including Kasabian, Example, Disclosure, The Cuban Brothers and Ms Dynamite, with DJ Carl Cox completing a strong bunch of acts that should appeal to a wide range of ticket-holders. The crowd: The site is part of a resort that also includes 625km of snowy Alpine ski slopes, so expect to see gnarly, goggle-clad revellers heading straight from piste to party. The rest: Raffles, pie fights, fancy-dress parties, igloo raves – there’s all sorts going down. Tickets: From Dhs2,552, including your wristband and bed-and-breakfast accommodation for the duration of the festival. Air Berlin flies to Salzburg from Dhs3,900. www.snowbombing.com.
When and where: Hässleholm, Sweden, May 30-June 1. The line-up: The highlights taking to the stage range from Swedish favourites such as indie pop artist Håkan Hellström, electro house duo Dada Life and six-piece rock band Kvelertak, to Berlin-based DJ Boys Noize. The crowd: With room for more than 10,000 fans, chances are the core group of Swedish, Norwegian and Danish revellers will be diluted with a handful each from other nearby European nations. Tickets: A thoroughly reasonable Dhs647 gets you a three-day pass, with an extra Dhs85 earning access to the campsite. Qatar Airways flies to Stockholm from Dhs3,290. www.siestafestivalen.se.
When and where: Crans-sur-Nyon, Switzerland, June 5-9. The line-up: 2012 saw the likes of Lou Reed and Kasabian making the journey to the Swiss lakeside festival. 2013’s line-up so far includes US pop act Fun, who made their name with single ‘We Are Young’, and UK rock act Archive. The crowd: Located on the banks of Lake Geneva it attracts a more mature crowd, but the inclusion of Fun may draw in younger fans. There’s also the option to volunteer at the festival. Tickets: A four-day pass costs Dhs889, a three-day pass Dhs670, and day passes from Dhs273. KLM flies to Geneva from around Dhs3,950. www.caribana-festival.ch.
When and where: Copenhagen, Denmark, June 14-15. The line-up: Despite only being in its fourth year, the festival has attracted some genuine legends of metal music, with Slayer, Marilyn Manson and Anthrax the picks of an incredibly hairy bill. Among the 2013 acts are Every Time I Die, In Flames, Parkway Drive and Amon Amarth. The crowd: The Scandinavians take their metal very seriously indeed, so if you’re intimidated by leather, tattoos, long hair, upside-down crosses and rock horns, best steer clear. Tickets: A weekend pass costs Dhs511 and can be bought through ticket website billetnet.dk. Lufthansa flies to Copenhagen from around Dhs2,800. www.copenhell.dk.
When and where: Eichenring, Germany, June 21-23. The line-up: This one’s a bit of a strange mix, with Queens of the Stone Age and Arctic Monkeys sitting alongside Sigur Rós, Portishead and The Smashing Pumpkins. Other acts on the bill are Bloc Party, Belle & Sebastian, The Hives and Editors, while Berlin industrial metal act Rammstein is the headliner. The crowd: With so much variety on the line-up, we’d anticipate a mixed bag, with straw-hatted Mumford & Sons fans jostling for position at the bar with bare-chested punk purists. The rest: It’s a relatively small site, meaning chances of extra-curricular activities are slim. There is also the option to rent caravans, but these usually sell out fast. Tickets: Dhs715, available from the festival’s website. Lufthansa flies to Bremen from around Dhs3,430. www.hurricane.de/en.
When and where: Belfort, France, July 4-7. The line-up: It’s known as ‘the French Glastonbury’, a title justified by a 2013 bill that includes The Smashing Pumpkins, Skunk Anansie and Blur. The crowd: Given its aforementioned nickname, this is the most likely option for Glasto die-hards not wishing to be taken too far out of their comfort zones. The rest: This being France, food stalls will go beyond the usual to include cuisines from across the globe, while craft stalls provide fashion and trinkets to lust over between sets. Tickets: A three-day pass costs Dhs489 and includes camping, with single day entry tickets costing from Dhs216. Lufthansa flies to Lyon from Dhs3,500. www.eurockeennes.fr.
When and where: Gdynia, Poland, July 3-6. The line-up: This genre-hopping schedule includes a lot of the big acts already touring Europe this summer, including Blur, Queens of the Stone Age, Kings of Leon, Skunk Anansie and Arctic Monkeys, while Rihanna has announced she will also play in Poland on the day after the concert ends. The crowd: With a fashion stage and an art section, the feel is bound to be more on the artistic and creative side than some of the other concert options this summer. The rest: This festival also features a heavy ‘green’ aspect – in 2010 the event won the international Green ’n’ Clean Award for its environmental credentials. Tickets: A four-day pass costs from Dhs544 without camping, and Dhs637 with. One- and two-day tickets are also available through the festival’s website. Qatar Airways flies to Warsaw from around Dhs2,650. www.opener.pl.
When and where: Benicàssim, Spain, July 18-21. The line-up: Another big line-up and another opportunity to catch some of the summer festival stalwarts such as The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, Queens of the Stone Age, Dizzee Rascal and Kaiser Chiefs. The crowd: It’s Spain’s biggest music festival and about as mainstream as they come. You know the deal; Ray-Bans, flip-flops, straw hats and hot pants will be everywhere – often attached to mud-fearing Brits. The rest: Given the festival’s size, sideshows tend to be commercially orientated – think sponsored bars, markets and silent disco tents. Tickets: Four-day passes with camping cost around Dhs835. Air France flies to Valencia from around Dhs4,120. www.fiberfib.com.
When and where: Tromsø, Norway, July 18-20. The line-up: No superstars here, but a fine roster of up-and-coming acts and comeback efforts, with The Hives, Kaizers Orchestra and Witchcraft among the programme. The crowd: The organisers’ dedication to promoting home-grown talent means tourists are likely to be outnumbered by locals. Pack a phrasebook. The rest: Given the natural beauty of the site’s surrounding areas, there’s a strong environmental focus; drop empty drinks cups into designated recycling stations to earn money for local charities. Tickets: A three-day pass costs about Dhs901 and can be bought via the festival’s website. SAS flies from Dubai to Tromsø from around Dhs3,866. www.bukta.no.
Notodden Blues Festival
When and where: Notodden, Norway, August 1-4. The line-up: One of the largest blues music festivals in Europe and the largest in Scandinavia, acts announced so far include John Mayall, Royal Southern Brotherhood and Mike Anderson. The crowd: A good portion of the audience will probably look like they’re in ZZ Top tribute bands – some of them because they are. The rest: A fully-loaded market square, structured discussions about the blues genre and late-night parties mean there’s plenty to do once the acts step off stage. Tickets: A weekend pass costs around Dhs1,320. Qatar Airways flies to Oslo from around Dhs2,910. www.bluesfest.no.
Rock en Seine
When and where: Paris, France, August 23-25. The line-up: Emo-styled indie band Placebo and veteran punk stalwarts Green Day have played in previous years, while the acts so far announced this year include Phoenix, System of a Down and Paul Kalkbrenner, with more to follow soon. The crowd: With no specific musical niche being catered for at this event, you should encounter a fairly mainstream bunch, with ageing, pasty emo devotees likely to stand out against a backdrop of Converse-clad indie kids. The rest: Expect the usual stuff you find at commercial fests – silent discos, video games stands, vintage markets and so on. Tickets: From Dhs523 for individual day passes. Camping passes to be released soon. Etihad Airways flies to Paris from around Dhs4,500. www.rockenseine.com.
When and where: Stradbally, Ireland, August 30-September 1. The line-up: This the tenth birthday of the festival and no acts had been announced at the time of going to press, but previous headliners have included the likes of The Killers, The Cure, Elbow, Sigur Rós and Orbital, to name but a few. The crowd: It’s usually a young congregation, and this year’s line-up and the special celebration will attract plenty of punters wearing wellington boots with skinny jeans. The rest: There are tents for comedy and the spoken word, theatre and circus performances, plus loads, loads more. Tickets: A weekend camping ticket costs around Dhs1,105, while a single ticket is from Dhs478. Etihad Airways flies to Dublin from around Dhs3,950. www.electricpicnic.ie.