While the festival markets of Europe's major countries may feel a little saturated, those in its deepest corners are just starting to stir. And as more and more fans venture off the beaten track in search of these undiscovered gems, they continue to grow and grow.
Romania is one of these. A country that bristles with charm, culture, and fortunately for music fans, a festival scene to match.
Here are ten picks sure to tempt any music taste, in no particular order.
Headliners (2019): Robbie Williams, Armin Van Buuren, Stormzy, Martin Garrix
Despite having only been founded in 2015, Untold has soared in popularity to sit top of people's lists around Europe when declaring their favourite music festival.
Showcasing its lineup of the biggest names in EDM, pop, hip hop, and big room house music in various spots across the city – including the impressive 30,000 seater Cluj Arena stadium and the nearby Polyvalent Hall – the award-winning Untold Festival routinely attracts masses of popular music fans from all corners of the world.
When & where: 30 July - 2 August 2020; Cluj-Napoca
Headliners (2019): Afrojack, Jessie J, DJ Snake, Steve Aoki, Sean Paul, Alesso
For a festival that is only three years old, the sheer quality of dance and pop artists Neversea has seen play on its coastal vistas is truly remarkable; Hardwell, Tiësto, Fat Boy Slim, Rita Ora, Jason Derulo, Sean Paul, Afrojack, are just a handful of A-star names.
Then again, Neversea is from the masterminds behind Untold, and as anyone who's familiar with Untold will know, that means no holding back.
Neversea's debut made it the largest music festival ever held on a beach in Romania, welcoming over 100 artists to perform on its sun-drenched shores, and it was onwards and upwards from then.
When & where: 2-5 July 2020; Constanța
Headliners (2019): UNKLE, Kosheen, Idiotape
Since its first edition in 2015, Revolution's vibrant mix of music (spanning electronic to metal) alongside interactive art areas has made it one of the country's most unique festival experiences.
When & where: Dates for 2020 TBA; Timisoara
Summer Well Festival
Headliners (2019): The 1975, The National, Jungle, Maribou State
Whilst attracting globally renowned alternative artists to its secluded, lakeside woodland, Summer Well manages to retain its boutique, intimate vibe despite its international lineup.
Add in art installations, quirky shops and illuminated paths through the woods, and you've got one heck of a weekend.
When & where: 7-9 August 2020; Buftea
Headliners (2019): Florence + the Machine, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Limp Bizkit, Nils Frahm, Bring Me The Horizon
Marrying a truly unique location with a varied, yet superstar lineup, Electric Castle lights up the grounds of a 15th century castle. Breathing life into this ancient structure, the festivals lays on immersive visual effects and surprising delights throughout.
When & where: 15-19 July 2020; Bontida
Headliners (2019): Dream Theater, Opeth, Architects, Madrugada
ARTmania is Romania's longest-running contemporary music festival, having gone from strength to strength since its debut back in 2006.
Centred around a roster of pioneering rock and metal artists, the festival has been shaking the foundations of Transylvanian city Sibiu for over a decade, and long may it continue.
When & where: Dates for 2020 TBA; Sibiu
Headliners (2019): Nick Warren, Fatima Hajii, Mahony, Nusha
Romania is laden with relics of their medieval past, and the well-preserved citadel of Sighisoara is just that. It's also the home to Dava Festival; merging a modern dance festival ethos amongst the historic backdrop, a unique and immersive festival environment is the outcome.
When & where: Dates for 2020 TBA; Sighisoara
Headliners (2019): Avalon, Captain Hook, Ajja, Sonic Species, Regan
A yoga and wellness festival held upon the crystalline vistas of Romania's Black Sea coast, brimming with music, dancing, workshops, lectures, and mindful relaxation across a five-day period; Dakini Festival is the ideal way to replenish your mind, body, and spirit.
When and where: Dates for 2020 TBA; Tuzla Beach, Constanța
Afterhills Music & Arts Festival
Headliners (2019): Rita Ora, Don Diablo, Quintano, R3HAB, Morcheeba, Maribou State
Based on the premise that all genres and disciplines of both music and art complement one another, Afterhills Music & Arts Festival assembles it's extensive and diverse lineup so it's accessible to a broad demographic, uniting pop with electronica, rock with reggae artists, and so on.
Taking place across two weekends, the festival has captivated more than 100,000 festival-goers since its debut in 2017, and it's getting bigger every year.
When and where: Dates for 2020 TBA; Iasi
Headliners (2019): Enter Shikari, Lady Leshurr, AJ Tracey, Pussy Riot, Netsky
If you think that Romanian festivals have a penchant for disturbing the general conventions of festival lineup curation, then Awake Festival does that to an expert degree.
With headliners spanning a wide array of genres, the festival's high-concept programme of music, arts, and entertainment within the traditional grounds of Teleki Castle ensures that with Awake Festival, you should expect the unexpected.
When and where: Dates for 2020 TBA; Teleki Castle, Gornesti
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