The five best music festivals in Europe
Europe is home to some of the world's greatest music festivals and with the continent a short plane ride away there is no good reason not to consider an action packed weekend of music and fun.
The UK is spoilt for choice when it comes to music festivals but after opening your horizons to five of the best Europe has to offer, the mud and rain of Glastonbury in June might never sound so appealing again.
Roskilde is Denmark's largest festival and has been running in one form or another since 1971, which also makes it one of Europe's oldest music festivals. Originally a 'hippy haven', Roskilde's current guise is far more mainstream and it attracts visitors from across Scandinavia as well as Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.
Bruce Springsteen headlines this year's event, which runs from July 5th to July 8th. The more daring might like to take part in the annual 'nude run', which is exactly what it sounds like, but most will be happy to soak up the warm atmosphere served in the past by artists such as Prince, Friendly Fires and Bob Dylan.
Since the advent of affordable package trips, cheap holidays in Spain have been a favourite of sun seekers. Swap the Costa del Sol for partying in Catalonia and take a Barcelona holiday which offers all the culture of Spain's second largest city as well as the excitement of Sonar, the International Festival of Advanced Music.
Focusing largely on electronic music, Sonar is popular for its outstanding international lineups and its close proximity to Barcelona's centre. Take a stroll through Las Ramblas or visit Gaudi's Park Güel by day and then head to the festival at nightfall. Dizzee Rascal, The Human League and LCD Soundsystem play the festival this year, where the sun is likely to be scorching, from June 14th to June 16th.
One of Europe's fastest growing music festivals is Serbia's Exit Fest. Set in the beautiful Petrovaradin Fortress of Novi Sad, Exit Fest's increasingly stellar lineups are matched by its picturesque location on the bank of the Danube River.
Having won the 'Best European Festival' award in 2007, Exit has hosted groups like the Arctic Monkeys, Pulp and Lily Allen in the past. If the joys of great bands and woodland camping appeal to you then head to Exit Fest between July 12th and July 15th this summer.
Now in its fifth year, Bucharest's B'estfest is beginning to make a name for itself amongst European festivalgoers. Romania's biggest festival might be smaller than most but it manages to attract the likes of Kasabian, Kaiser Chiefs and Alice Cooper to its stages.
As well as music there are plenty of other activities to keep you entertained from art shows to educational workshops. And if you are on the lookout for 'green' festivals then B'estfest is the one for you with its new eco responsibility program in place for 2012.
Belgium isn't just famous for its excellent beer and exquisite chocolate; it is also home to one of Europe's biggest music festivals. Rock Werchter has been squeezing itself into the village of Werchter since 1974. With a mixture of famous international acts and local crowd-pleasing bands, Rock Werchter might just be the only place you'll find a small Belgian group playing on the same stage as the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Despite its size, Rock Werchter is a relaxed gathering that appeals to like-minded music lovers from all over Europe.
Choosing your music festival is all about personal choice, but when the subject comes up this year remember to consider visiting one of Europe's best.