Far-flung and far out

Doy­ouwant atan to­gowith your tunes?Are tentsin the rain not re­ally your jam? Séa­mas O’Reilly picks out seven over­seas fes­ti­val­sto put the sum­mer in your sesh

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - COVER STORY -

With so many mu­sic fes­ti­vals com­pet­ing for your at­ten­tion, choos­ing a get­away can be a daunt­ing task. It’s nice to es­cape this fair is­land’s brac­ing sum­mer chill, but be­gin scan­ning the list­ings for sunny mu­si­cal get­aways and their fid­dly fields of text can re­sem­ble lit­tle more than eye charts made by op­ti­cians who re­ally like Jamie XX and Run The Jew­els.

We’ve nar­rowed the field down to just seven that, be­tween them, should of­fer a great sum­mer sou­journ to any mu­sic fan, whether hard­ened fes­ti­val ad­dict or dis­cern­ing debu­tant. Name: Field Day Date: Satur­day June 3rd Lo­ca­tion: Vic­to­ria Park, Lon­don

Mu­sic: A fairly stag­ger­ing col­lec­tion of heavy-hit­ters is de­scend­ing on East Lon­don for this year’s Field Day, chief among them Aphex Twin, Fly­ing Lo­tus and Run The Jew­els, as well as iconic rock­ers Slow­dive and Arab Strap. Th­ese names alone merit this one-dayer’s in­clu­sion along­side the week-long odysseys be­low.

Go if: You’re there about the mu­sic and don’t care about boat par­ties, jewellery craft­ing, or hav­ing a 10-hour ros­ter of soft­ware lec­tures to choose from in-be­tween cir­cus acts. Al­though there are other at­trac­tions be­ing laid on by the or­gan­is­ers, Field Day is among the most mu­sic-fo­cused events in Europe this year.

Avoid if: You’re in it for a sun tan. Al­though not quite as bad as Ir­ish weather, Lon­don in June might not be fac­tor-40 stuff. And, while we would never claim there’s no chance of good weather, do bear in mind that Vic­to­ria Park’s ver­dant en­vi­rons may be­come slightly less com­fort­able in the event of a mud slick. If queu­ing is not your bag, you may also want to put any thought of see­ing Aphex Twin out of your mind, as this will be a rare Lon­don gig for one

of the most ob­ses­sively fol­lowed live acts on Earth. Ticket price and avail­abil­ity: Last gen­eral-re­lease tick­ets are avail­able for £64.50 (¤76) Name: Sonár

Date: Thurs­day June 15th-Satur­day June 17th

Lo­ca­tion: Barcelona, Spain. Across mul­ti­ple venues.

Mu­sic: Head­lin­ers this year range from DJ Shadow and Jus­tice to An­der­son Paak, Vi­talic and Lit­tle Dragon, across eight stages and venues.

Go if: You like the va­ri­ety of a truly mul­ti­me­dia fes­ti­val. Sonár splits its time along its famed “By Day” and “By Night” of­fer­ings, while also in­cor­po­rat­ing non-con­cert of­fer­ings such as tech­nol­ogy sem­i­nars, ed­u­ca­tional events within the re­mit of its Sonar+D en­ter­prise. This year, Sonár’s ros­ter will also be in­cor­po­rat­ing the crit­i­cally ac­claimed V&A ex­hi­bi­tion David Bowie Is, which has been trans­planted to

Barcelona for the du­ra­tion of the event.

Avoid if: You re­ject the sun and all its empty prom­ises, and would pre­fer not to suf­fer the skin-puck­er­ing machi­na­tions of Cat­alo­nia in mid-June. Ticket price and avail­abil­ity: Full-pass tick­ets for all By Day and By Night events start at ¤180, with ad­di­tional ad­mis­sion to se­lect Sonar+D events in­cluded. Full ac­cred­i­ta­tion to Sonar+D will cost ¤250 for the full run, or ¤160 per day. Name: EXIT

Date: Wed­nes­day July 5thSun­day July 9th (in­clud­ing pre-fes­ti­val con­cert)

Lo­ca­tion: Novi Sad, Ser­bia, specif­i­cally in a fortress on Petrovaradin is­land on the Danube river.

Mu­sic: This year, the head­line slots see rock­ers The Killers and Liam Gal­lagher rub­bing their leather-clad shoul­ders with DJs such as Solo­mun, Dixon and Hard­well.

Go if: You don’t mind mix­ing your mu­sic fan­dom with a pas­sion for broad and non-spe­cific ac­tivism. Hav­ing grown from stu­dent protests in 2000, much of the po­lit­i­cal thrust of the fes­ti­val is now ves­ti­gial, but the event still proudly pro­motes and sup­ports many hu­man­i­tar­ian ef­forts and ed­u­ca­tional ini­tia­tives. This year has been de­noted Exit’s “Sum­mer of Love”, so why not stow away your cyn­i­cism, paint some flow­ers on your face and rock out to Rag’n’Bone Man or Years & Years?

Avoid if: You want a lit­tle more pop in your diet, as the line-up skews to­ward the rock/dance axis, with only a smat­ter­ing of pop­pier of­fer­ings down­sched­ule. Ticket price and avail­abil­ity: Four-day tick­ets start at the em­i­nently rea­son­able ¤115, al­though an ex­tra ¤30 will get you ac­cess to the pre-fes­ti­val Killers con­cert, which takes place the night be­fore things kick off proper. Name: NOS Alive

Date: Thurs­day July 6th-Sun­day July 9th

Lo­ca­tion: Lis­bon, Por­tu­gal Mu­sic: A fairly Catholic swipe through the rolodex of cur­rent pop and rock, with big hit­ters this year be­ing The Weeknd, Phoenix, Foo Fight­ers and Depeche Mode.

Go if: You want to check out some big names in what is fast be­com­ing Europe’s most de­sir­able small cap­i­tal. Nos also comes with nice lit­tle camp­ing huts on-site, as well as cheap-as-chips deals with ho­tels and hos­tels in the city it­self, all in 25-30 de­gree tem­per­a­tures, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Avoid if: You’re look­ing for ob­scure mu­sic on the bleed­ing edge. NOS Alive’s stock-in-trade leans to­ward the crowd­pleas­ing chart­busters, so if you’re hell­bent on hear­ing Gam­bian tone po­etry or dis­cov­er­ing your three new favourite Cam­bo­dian death metal MCs, look else­where. Ticket price and avail­abil­ity: Three-day tick­ets are all now sold out, but day tick­ets can be

picked up for a near ab­surdly cheap ¤59, per­fect for hop­ping in from a city break. Name: Sziget

Date: Wed­nes­day Au­gust 9thWed­nes­day Au­gust 16th

Lo­ca­tion: The Is­land of Free­dom in Bu­dapest, Hun­gary.

Mu­sic: A rol­lick­ing line-up of rock and pop favourites from Alt-J, Bad Re­li­gion and Mac DeMarco to EDM heavy­weights such as Steve Aoki and Like Mike.

Go if: You want a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing, and a whole load of time to ex­plore it. With a week on of­fer for the Sziget at­tendee, you’re free to hop-scotch from con­certs to more es­o­teric cir­cus and art events, or make use of the or­gan­is­ers’ be­spoke “ruin pubs”. Few fes­ti­vals of this size are also lo­cated smack-dab in the mid­dle of such a bustling, cos­mopoli­tan cap­i­tal, so its city-break at­trac­tions are a rare bonus. Avoid if: A fes­ti­val that at­tracts both Bad Re­li­gion and Steve Aoki fans seems too vague for your no-doubt highly be­spoke and orig­i­nal tastes. Ticket price and avail­abil­ity: Seven-day camp­ing tick­ets are avail­able for ¤299, with a host of ad­di­tional add-ons for glamp­ing and its own sig­na­ture fes­ti­val-ad­ja­cent boat par­ties. Name: Far­rago Date: Fri­day Au­gust 18thSatur­day Au­gust 19th

Lo­ca­tion: The ru­ins of Sch­wep­per­manns­burg Cas­tle, near Pfaf­fen­holen bei Kastl in Bavaria, south­ern Ger­many.

Mu­sic: With head­lin­ers in­clud­ing DJ Ten­nis, John Tal­abot and Op­timo, as well as Wick­low na­tives Mano le Tough and The Drifter, this is a des­ti­na­tion for elec­tronic mu­sic that siz­zles, slinks and soars.

Go if: You like your dance mu­sic in spec­tac­u­lar sur­round­ings. The en­tirety of the fes­ti­val takes place within or be­side Sch­wep­per­manns­burg, a 12 th-cen­tury Bavar­ian cas­tle that will be play­ing host to some of dance mu­sic’s classi­est names. In its first year, the fes­ti­val’s beau­teous lo­ca­tion will host just 700

peo­ple, giv­ing it an edge for those who pre­fer a smaller, more ex­clu­sive ex­pe­ri­ence, rather than the some­times mad­den­ing sprawl of larger fes­ti­vals.

Avoid if: You are al­ready get­ting pal­pi­ta­tions at the thought of hav­ing to say “Sch­wep­per­manns­burg in Pfaf­fen­hofen bei Kastl” out loud with­out bit­ing your tongue. Ticket price and avail­abil­ity: Early-bird tick­ets have now sold out but you can get a two-day week­end pass for ¤95, plus fee, and shut­tle buses avail­able to the site. Name: Di­men­sions Date: Wed­nes­day Au­gust 30th-Sun­day Septem­ber 3rd (in­clud­ing pre-fes­ti­val open­ing con­cert)

Lo­ca­tion: Forta Punta Christo, in the city of Pula, Croatia

Mu­sic: A di­verse group of head­lin­ers this year in­clude funk and disco acts Cy­mande and Shug­gie Otis along­side house and techno stal­warts Float­ing Points, Jeff Mills and Mar­cel Dettman

Go if: You like to take things nice and slow. Di­men­sions gives you the morn­ing and af­ter­noon off be­fore kick­ing off each evening, which gives you some time to en­joy the sunny sur­round­ings and take in the lovely port city of Pula, as well as the 2,000-year-old Ro­man am­phithe­atre that hosts its open­ing con­cert. This year ti fea­tures live per­for­mances by Grace Jones, Yussef Ka­maal and Moderat.

Avoid if: You get sea­sick, as you’ll miss out on the fes­ti­val’s now fa­mous boat par­ties. Each of th­ese is run by pro­mot­ers, record la­bels and venues, al­low­ing for a more in­ti­mate vibe with some of your favourite DJs and artists for a few hours of seaborne sounds on the glit­ter­ing Adri­atic. Ticket price and avail­abil­ity: Four-day tick­ets start at ¤188.50, but this doesn’t in­clude the cost of camp­ing or the am­phithe­atre con­cert. The lat­ter, which opens the fes­ti­val, is an ex­tra ¤42.50.

Pho­to­graphs: Getty

Clock­wise from far left: the main stage on day one of last year’s Sonar; Years & Years; the Lu­mi­nar­ium at Sziget in Bu­dapest; Bran­don Flow­ers of The Killers; Exit fes­ti­val in Ser­bia; Run the Jew­els; self­ies in Sziget; chill­ing at Sonar Planta in Barcelona.

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