Europe's finest and biggest music festivals are also some of the heaviest hitters in the world. Glastonbury and Tomorrowland lead the way, with behemoths like Creamfields, Ultra Europe, Sziget, Primavera Sound and Rock am Ring heading up the chase.
Here's our run-down of 25 European bucket list festivals to hit up in 2020, in no particular order and covering all kinds of genres.
- Top 20 Music Festivals in the UK 2020
- TOP 50: The Best Music Festivals in the World
- TOP 10: Electronic Music Festivals in Europe
- Top 20 Rock Music Festivals in Europe
- TOP 10: Hip-Hop & Urban Festivals in Europe
Festival lineup (2020): Armin van Buuren, Pendulum – TRINITY, The Chainsmokers, Calvin Harris, deadmau5, Carl Cox, Nina Kraviz, CamelPhat
One of the two or three most prestigious dance festivals on the planet, Creamfields is always full to bursting with worldwide stars. Whatever flavour of electronic music you're into, you'll find more than you could ask for at Creamfields.
When & where: 27-30 August 2020; Daresbury, UK
Festival lineup (2020): The Strokes, The National, Lana Del Rey, Pavement, Massive Attack, Tyler, the Creator, Bad Bunny, Disclosure
Indie King and forceful supporter of new music, Primavera Sound prides itself on pushing the alternative scene forward. Creativity is paramount, with headliners often standing out from the festival crowd.
When & where: 4-6 June 2020; Barcelona, Spain
Rock am Ring & Rock im Park
Festival lineup (2020): System of a Down, Green Day, Volbeat, Deftones, Billy Talent, Korn, Weezer, Broilers
If rock and metal are your game, then Germany's Rock am Ring needs no introduction. Along with sister festival Rock im Park, it pulls unparalleled lineups year after year and can lay claim to being one of the best-attended weekends in the world.
When & where: 5-7 June 2020; Mendig and Nürnberg, Germany
Isle of Wight Festival
Festival lineup (2020): Lionel Richie, Lewis Capaldi, Snow Patrol, The Chemical Brothers, Duran Duran, Happy Mondays, Primal Scream, James Arthur
Isle of Wight Festival is renowned for exclusive, legendary headliners – Fleetwood Mac, The Stone Roses, Bruce Springsteen – and eclectic lineups that pay homage to its own incredible history. Now over 50 years on from the original edition, IOW is as strong as ever.
When & where: 11-14 June 2020; Isle of Wight, UK
Festival lineup (2020): David Guetta, Afrojack, Pendulum – TRINITY, Armin van Buuren, DJ Snake, Marshmello, Richie Hawtin, Steve Aoki
Transported across the Atlantic from Miami's glamourous city centre, Ultra Europe wasted no time in establishing itself as a worthy successor to the original UMF. The biggest DJs in the world bring Croatia's stunning Adriatic coast to its feet.
When & where: 10-12 July 2020; Split, Croatia
Defqon.1 Weekend Festival
Festival lineup (2019): Angerfist, Bass Modulators, Brennan Heart, Headhunterz, Coone, Radical Redemption, Destructive Tendencies, Wildstylez
Defqon.1 blazes the trail for hard dance music in a way that few other festivals do for any genre. The power of Q-dance keeps production and lineups at the very top of their game, and a sister edition in Sydney, Australia, has added an extra Defqon's reputation.
When & where: 26-28 June 2020; Biddinghuizen, Netherlands
Festival lineup (2020): Calvin Harris, Dua Lipa, The Strokes, Kings Of Leon, Major Lazer, A$AP Rocky, Stormzy
Sziget is one of those festivals that could never spend another cent on marketing and still sell out every single year. Its reputation precedes it by almost a decade, and Budapest makes an incredible host city.
When & where: 5-11 August 2020; Budapest, Hungary
Festival lineup (2020): A$AP Rocky, Lil Uzi Vert, D-Block Europe, Skepta, Meek Mill, AJ Tracey, Burna Boy, Young Thug
Rap and dance music form the perfect partnership at Wireless Festival, creating a distinctive weekend that embodies one of London's many subcultures with perfection.
When & where: 3-5 July 2020; London, UK
Festival lineup (2020): David Guetta, Tyga, James Arthur, Fatboy Slim, Kosheen, Boris Brejcha, Roni Size, Metronomy
Titans of dance are scattered with the occasional note of indie and pop – or even heavy metal, in the case of Motörhead in 2015 – at Serbia's EXIT Festival. Sister festival Sea Dance keeps the party going at the beautiful beach-side location of Budva, Montenegro.
When & where: 9-12 July 2020; Novi Sad, Serbia
Festival lineup (2020): Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, The Strokes, Thom Yorke, Tyler, the Creator, Deftones
Naked runs and wild campsite parties don't define many modern music festivals, but Roskilde's deep sense of history brings people back year upon year for much more than just the music.
When & where: 27 June - 4 July 2020; Roskilde, Denmark
Festival lineup (2020): Martin Garrix, David Guetta, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Marshmello, Amelie Lens, Adam Beyer, Eric Prydz, NERVO
Tomorrowland is, simply put, the biggest electronic music show on earth. Massive lineups cherry-picked from any artist they could want, allied to an intense attention to detail, create an unrivalled wonderland that keeps on mesmerising the world.
When & where: 17-26 July 2020; Boom, Belgium
Mad Cool Festival
Festival lineup (2020): The Killers, Taylor Swift, Kings of Leon, Faith No More, Twenty One Pilots, Billie Eilish, Mumford & Sons
Only a few years old, Mad Cool is already one of Europe's most glittering, glaringly popular festivals. True, it doesn't have the history and reputation for breaking ground that its Barcelona rival Primavera Sound commands, but in Mad Cool, Spain finally has another festival that stands a chance of challenging the Primavera might.
When & where: 9-11 July 2020; Madrid, Spain
Festival lineup (2020): KISS, Iron Maiden, System of a Down, Deftones, Korn, The Offspring, Disturbed, Gojira
The grandfather of rock and heavy metal festivals around the world, Download represents the high water mark of many bands' careers.
When & where: 12-14 June 2020; Derby, UK
Festival lineup (2020): Tyler, the Creator, Disclosure, Khalid, Anderson .Paak, Jorja Smith, Charli XCX, Hot Chip, FKA Twigs
Nestled in the heart of London, Lovebox champions creative programming and a positive sense of fun. Just like with Wireless Festival, it's no surprise that urban and electronic music has found such a good home in the UK capital.
When & where: 12-3 July 2019; London, UK
Festival lineup (2020): Carl Cox, Amelie Lens, Richie Hawtin, ANNA, Chris Liebing, Charlotte de Witte, Jeff Mills, Helena Hauff
Awakenings' iconic Gashouder venue in the heart of Amsterdam is left behind for the yearly festival, morphing the luscious Dutch countryside into an all-out natural dance floor.
When & where: 27-28 June 2020, Spaarnwoude, Netherlands
Festival lineup (2020): Sir Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, Diana Ross + many more TBA
Glastonbury sets the bar when it comes to worldwide music festivals. It hosts the biggest names in music on its famous Pyramid Stage, but it's the other side of Glastonbury that really sets it apart.
From the immersive world of shenanigans that is Shangri-La, to the flame throwing Arcadia spider and the hidden, underground Piano Bar, every corner of Glastonbury is full of surprises just waiting to be discovered.
When & where: 24-28 June 2020; Pilton, UK
Reading & Leeds Festivals
Festival lineup (2020): Rage Against The Machine, Liam Gallagher, Stormzy, Migos, Lewis Capaldi
Reading Festival rightly sits among the world's genuine rock elite. Along with Leeds Festival – its northern English little brother – Reading has diversified somewhat over the last decade, but still packs a heavy punch each August.
When & where: 27-30 August 2020; Reading and Leeds, UK
Super Bock Super Rock
Festival lineup (2020): A$AP Rocky, Foals, Kali Uchis, The Neighbourhood, GoldLink, Local Natives
Lisbon's kingpin festival boasts seriously impressive headliners every year, though its worldwide profile remains a little lower than it rightfully deserves. SBSR is also an unbelievable excuse to see one of Europe's most breathtaking cities.
When & where: 18-20 July 2020; Lisbon, Portugal
Hellfest Open Air
Festival lineup (2020): Deftones, Faith No More, System of a Down, Volbeat, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Incubus, Opeth
Every sub-genre of metal in existence carves out its own corner of Hellfest, adding up to the darkest and heaviest festival on the planet. Not for the faint-hearted, but steeped in overdriven beauty.
When & where: 19-21 June 2020; Clisson, France
Festival lineup (2020): Wu-Tang Clan, Underworld, The Libertines, Kelis, Kano, Orbital, Pendulum - TRINITY, De La Soul
Incredible music laying down a soundtrack for an entirely purpose-built themed city and ongoing mythology – BoomTown Fair takes the idea of a unique festival to a whole new level. Leave your civilian clothing at home and buckle up for a wild ride.
When & where: 12-16 August 2020; Winchester, UK
Rolling Loud Portugal
Festival lineup (2020): A$AP Rocky, Future, Wiz Khalifa, Tyga, Meek Mill, Young Thug, Gucci Mane, Playboi Carti
Rolling Loud's Florida flagship festival has seen the hip-hop and rap brand become North America's biggest urban music festival of the past few years. It's debut edition in Portugal looks to cement the title of Europe's too.
When & where: 8-10 July 2020; Portimão, Portugal
Time Warp DE
Festival lineup (2020): Richie Hawtin, Nina Kraviz, Adam Beyer, Sven Väth, Charlotte de Witte, Amelie Lens, Seth Troxler
A bastion of techno music's evolution for nearly three decades now, Time Warp DE is still the quintessential rave for any techno purist; ground-breaking audio-visual production, the scene's biggest names, and like-minded electronic music enthusiasts consistently keep Time Warp DE at techno's fore.
When & where: 4th April; Mannheim, Germany
Rock en Seine
Festival lineup (2020): Rage Against The Machine, Run The Jewels, + many more TBA
Fast approaching it's twenty year lifespan, Rock en Seine has welcomed premier artists from the rock, indie, and alternative realm in what is now widely considered as France's most impressive rock music festival. Who are we to argue?
When & where: 29th August - 1st September 2020; Saint-Cloud, France
Festival lineup (2020): Aya Nakamura, Wizkid, Beenie Man, French Montana, Chronixx
Afro Nation brings star-studded lineups ranging from dancehall, bashment, Afrobeats and R&B to occupy Praia da Rocha's blissful beach for a weekend of pure heat, both in temperature and vibe.
When & where: 17-19 July 2020; Portimão, Portugal
Rock in Rio Lisboa
Festival lineup (2020): Foo Fighters, Duran Duran, Anitta, Black Eyed Peas, Post Malone, The National, Camila Cabello
Rock in Rio Lisboa shares both it's name and it's legacy with the legendary Brazilian festival, annually alternating between Rio and Lisbon. One thing is certain, however; the calibre of artists, including iconic names from rock, pop, and more, remains at the same extremely high standard, year in, year out.
When & where: 20-21 June 2020 & 27-28 June 2020; Lisbon, Portugal