We’re lucky enough to have a wealth of festivals in Europe, some of which are of the highest standard and the most renowned in the world.
Festivals allow you to let go, relax, enjoy the outdoors, spend time with your friends and most importantly discover a variety of talent and entertainment, from music and artistic performances, to comedy and dance.
If you’re in need of stag or hen weekend ideas that haven’t been worn out many times before, then a festival should certainly be on the cards. You’ll have everything you need, including entertainment, an amazing atmosphere and memorable experiences.
When it comes to choosing which festival to go to we’ve put together 5 of our favourites in Europe, mixing it up with the traditional, the party, the musical and the arty, so there’s bound to be one on our list that takes your fancy!
La Tomatina – Valencia, Spain
Held in a little town called Bunol, just outside of Valencia and 30km inland from the Mediterranean Sea, La Tomatina is one of the most well-known and eccentric festivals in Spain.
Dating back to 1945, the festival came about after a group of young people who were watching a traditional parade of “gigantes y cabezudos” (big headed carnival figures) pushed to the front of the parade. In the process they knocked one of the participants down and a fight began with tomatoes from a nearby vegetable stall. The following year the battle was repeated and the group found themselves arrested, however it’s occurred every year since and in 1957 became an official festival.
Today, the festival involves around 40,000 people throwing and splattering an estimated 150,000 tomatoes, which are specially grown for the purpose of throwing and are pre-crushed so they don’t cause injury. If you and the lads don’t mind getting messy then this is a great opportunity to get involved in a local tradition!
Highlight: It’s a totally unique experience and the largest food fight in the world; how often do you get to throw tomatoes at other people without getting into trouble?
The Garden Festival – Tisno, Croatia
Taking place from the 4th – 11th July, this summer dance festival is situated in the stunning village of Tisno in Croatia, and showcases famous DJs from around the world.
Held along the coastline and only a ten minute walk away from the pretty town of Tisno with boutique hotels, cafes and restaurants, the festival is situated on gentle hilly landscape which overlooks a beautiful private bay and sandy beach. With a specially made village built providing apartments, along with luxury camping options like Indian Shikar tents with lighting, proper beds and mosquito nets, this is an ideal festival for hen groups who aren’t so keen on roughing it!
International world-class DJs, a huge outdoor club, a beautiful town, and in close proximity to secluded islands, beaches and national parks, this really is festival heaven.
Highlight: Due to the location you get to combine a fantastic festival together with a beach holiday; perfect for any hen weekend.
Edinburgh Fringe Festival – Edinburgh, Scotland
Held every year over the whole month of August since 1947, this is the world’s largest arts festival showcasing a variety of acts from comedy to theatre, dance, music and other performance arts along with events and exhibitions across the city of Edinburgh.
With so many different acts the festival is a melting pot of entertainment, and although a lot of the shows are ticketed, there are still over 600 free shows along with a street fair held on Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile.
Highlight: With an average of 2,500 international shows, 60 countries participating and 258 different venues, this is an unbeatable festival when it comes to variety.
Oktoberfest – Munich, Germany
This is the most renowned beer festival in Germany and the biggest fair in the world. Fourteen large tents and twenty smaller tents spread over a huge meadow near the centre of Munich, serving beer and traditional German food to a record of 6 million visitors from all over the world.
Today, Oktoberfest is a 16 day long festival spanning both September and October, yet it all began from a celebration of the marriage between Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Hildburghausen in 1810. However, it didn’t develop until later in 1896 when breweries saw an opportunity to make the festival an even bigger event by providing beer tents.
A vitally important event in Bavarian culture, only beers which have been brewed within the city of Munich are permitted to be sold and the beer is sold in litre steins (large traditional glasses). As well as the drinking tents, there’s live music and fairground rides making this a fantastic choice for those wanting a Munich stag do that won’t be forgotten in a hurry.
Highlight; Munich is beautiful so you can enjoy a few days either side of Oktoberfest (before is probably best as you will be fresh and hangover free!) exploring the Bavarian castles, looking around the historic city centre and seeing the famous Allianz Arena for any football fans among you.
Exit Festival – Novi Dad, Serbia
With one of the most picturesque settings in Europe for a festival, Exit takes places at the impressive 18th century Petrovaradin Fortress in Serbia. Located on the River Danube with woodland camping and a view from the fortress of Novi Dad, the second largest city in Serbia, this is a party location like no others.
As well as location, this festival gets some of the biggest and best artists in the music industry with past years playing host to the Chemical Brothers, Wu-Tang Clan, Massive Attack, Arcade Fire and Portishead.
Highlight: Within the fortress walls one of the biggest outdoor dance stages has a capacity of 25,000 with music playing from evening to sunrise.
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