Teeming with world-renowned festival giants – Glastonbury, Bestival, Sziget, Roskilde, Les Vieilles Charrues, T in the Park – and some more under-the-radar events – Main Square, Tinderbox, Melt! – Europe is full of festivals that suit every taste in music. If you look at your group of friends and see a mismatch of musical preferences, sweeping from the rock guru to the techno head, you may end up concluding that you could never go to a musical festival together. In reality, that couldn't be further from the truth.
Many of the continent's major festivals cover all genre bases – after all, there is a reason why they're so popular and well known. But even if you'd prefer to get away from the herd, smaller-scale options are easy to come by too.
Here's a look at 10 European festivals that are sure to appeal to every member of your friendship group.
Headliners (2015): Kasabian, Foals, Martin Garrix, Robbie Williams
Sziget's week-long island paradise welcomes musicians from rock to electronica into its world of surrealism. Alongside artists as varied as Kasabian and Martin Garrix, festival-goers can also enjoy the site's amusement park, unique art installations and quirky activities such as a bar in the sky.
When & where: TBA, Budapest, Hungary
Headliners (2015): Muse, Sam Smith, Pharrell Williams, Lenny Kravitz
Walking the streets of this quiet, charming town of Arras in Northern France, you wouldn't quite believe that once a year over 100,000 people turn out to enjoy an amped-up lineup. With no mud in sight, the beautiful Citadelle d'Arras has hosted Pharrell Williams, David Guetta and Iron Maiden in recent years, providing the perfect opportunity to experience a superstar-bloated festival within a historic and idyllic retreat.
When & where: 1 – 3 July 2016, Arras, France
Headliners (2015): Missy Elliot, Duran Duran, The Chemical Brothers, Tame Impala
Bestival has become a sanctuary for the creatives thanks to its no-holds-barred approach to fancy dress, giant disco balls, hot tubs, petting zoos, story-telling Wishing Trees… the list goes on. If it's wild enough, it's probably at Bestival. But away from all the surrealism, there's also a broad lineup that swings from rock and pop to electronic and R&B.
When & where: TBA, Isle of Wight, UK
Les Vieilles Charrues
Headliners (2015): Muse, David Guetta, The Prodigy, Lionel Richie
Les Vieilles Charrues is France's biggest music festival, and has been covering every genre since 1992. With great musical variety and even bigger attendance levels, it's no surprise that the festival has drawn comparisons with Glastonbury. Recent headliners have included the Arctic Monkeys, Bob Dylan and David Guetta, meaning Les Vieilles Charrues is for those who are after pure heavyweight lineups.
When & where: 14 – 17 July 2016, Carhaix, France
Headliners (2015): alt-J, Portishead, The Vaccines, DJ EZ
Residing in the magical forests of rural Suffolk, Latitude's sheer diversity and intimate, relaxed atmosphere have made it particularly popular with families and cultural natives. Most festivals are judged on their musical lineup, which in Latitude's case has recently seen performances by alt-J, Ed Sheeran and James Blake. But Latitude's vibrancy goes way beyond those headline names. For the ravers? DJ EZ kept the party going all night in 2015. The art lovers? Theatre productions, film screenings and art installations touch hearts and let your imagination run wild. And the kids? Craft-workshops and enormous play areas make sure they're never bored.
When & where: 14 – 17 July 2016, Southwold, UK
Headliners: The Who, Kanye West, deadmau5, Lionel Richie
I like to describe Glastonbury as a musical city. Just like every famous metropolis, there is literally something for everyone. But unlike at many other music festivals, it is very possible to go to Glastonbury and completely ignore the main lineup, or at least never watch a set on the renowned Pyramid stage. Glastonbury is a festival of performing arts, covering much more than just music; so the lineup includes a huge variety of theatre, comedy, circus acts and quirks way beyond your imagination. Of course music is still at its heart, and if there's one thing to know about Glastonbury, it is its consistent ability to pull in the biggest names from each and every genre.
When & where: 22 – 26th June 2016, Somerset, UK
Headliners (2015): Paul McCartney, Pharrell Williams, Lamb of God, Disclosure
While the UK was mourning the end of the original Isle of Wight Festival, the Danes had swiftly taken up the baton. 40 years later, they still hold it firmly, with Roskilde having evolving into a festival that welcomes artists from all corners of the world. Its unique and slightly unusual activities – the annual Naked Run, grand-scale water-fights and legendary campsite parties – have made Roskilde what it is today. One of the festival's most appealing characteristics is a loyal dedication to its audience, with all profits being passed on to charity and entertainment coming firmly before profit.
When & where: 25 June – 2 July 2016, Roskilde, Denmark
T In The Park
Headliners (2015): Kasabian, Avicii, Sam Smith, Annie Mac
Within Scotland, T in the Park has become a rite of passage for every music fan, and that's down to its consistently broad lineups of rock, pop, electronic and urban music. Topping the bill in 2015 were the couldn't-be-more-different duo of Avicii and Noel Gallagher, leading the latter to admit he had no idea who the former was. Such is the variety and size of its artists, T in the Park is almost as popular as tea is to Brits.
When & where: TBA, Perthshire, UK
Headliners (2015): Robbie Williams, Oliver Heldens, Royal Blood
After a roaring debut that had Emeli Sandé supporting Faithless and R3hab up against Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, it is no wonder Tinderbox caught the headlines. Cut from the same cloth that made fellow Dane Roskilde one of the most respected festivals in Europe, Tinderbox is on a trajectory to rival its great predecessor.
When & where: 23 – 25 June 2016, Odense SV, Denmark
Headliners (2015): alt-J, Kylie Minogue, London Grammar, Sven Väth
You may assume that when Kylie Minogue makes a festival appearance, it'd be at an all-pop affair. You couldn't be more wrong. Germany's Melt! festival welcomed the Aussie this year, but they also hosted techno pioneer Sven Väth who, along with others including Chris Liebing, kept the party going until 7am each morning. The unique landscape is also worth a mention, with Melt! sitting on the site of a recovered opencast coal mine, and its towering cranes and machinery still providing a mesmerising backdrop.
When & where: 15 – 18 July 2016, Gräfenhainichen , Germany