I love a good music festival, but summer is too long to wait! What are the best spring music festivals coming up this year?
Maggie, Leith, Edinburgh
You’re right! You don’t have to wait until summer to get your hair shirt and ‘free love’ moment, there are music festivals galore between now and the start of the summer. I’ve included a good range of destinations here – all of which would make a great pre-post-festival trip if you want to turn it into a proper holiday.
Austria – Snowbombing
My first suggestion is not one that may spring to mind at the mention of spring, and you’ll need more than a hair shirt to keep you warm, but Snowbombing in Mayrhofen, Austria is just two weeks away and is becoming a firm favourite on the festival circuit.
You won’t be camping, in fact the ticket price, from £279, includes accommodation. It’s on April 4-9, and at the time of writing there were just 100 beds left – so get in soon. The website also includes details on booking ski and board lessons and equipment hire, but first let’s get to the music…
The headline acts are The Prodigy, Pendulum and Tinie Tempah, but also on the bill are Fat Boy Slim, Andy C and The Cuban Brothers. As you can tell, it’s got a distinct dance vibe – all the better to keep you warm on the dance floor.
There’s also an igloo rave, secret off-piste party, comedy festival, fancy dress party, Royal Wedding-themed street party and arctic disco. If you can fit in a bit of time on the slopes between that lot, all the better…
Australia – Creamfields
Creamfields Australia is another dance music festival, and probably a few bpms further up the scale. It’s a British export that began life in the infamous Winchester bowl, a perfect topographical festival site in Hampshire, in 1998, and has now gone global. It’s across various Australian locations – Adelaide on April 22, Perth on April 23, Melbourne on April 25, Sydney on April 30 and Brisbane on May 1.
The festivals are headlined by progressive house maestro, Joel Thomas Zimmerman, otherwise known as deadmau5, pronounced ‘dead mouse’. Other acts include Martin Solveig and Simon Patterson across the one-day festivals. Expect Australian autumn sunshine, huge outdoor stages and beach-side recovery for your $58 ticket.
Spain – San Miquel Primavera Sound
If that’s a little too far to travel for your dose of spring festival action, may I suggest the San Miguel Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona on May 26-28. It’s got a good mix of indie and dance acts, courtesy of an All Tomorrow’s Parties stage. Confirmed acts include The Flaming Lips, James Blake, Pulp, PJ Harvey and Jamie xx. Tickets cost from £153 for three days, and don’t include camping – in fact, you can leave the tent at home… festival-goers stay at hotels or apartment blocks near the site and walk or bus to the festival. It may take the magic out for some, but when you think of hot showers, a comfortable bed and a lockable room, you drop the romantic notions of nights under canvas pretty quick.
USA – Bonnaroo
One of the most exciting line-ups for the spring festivals is Bonnaroo in Manchester – but not that one – Manchester, Tennessee. This year’s line-up includes Eminen, Arcade Fire and The Strokes, which is sure to attract music lovers the world over.
The site too is pretty special – a 700-acre farm in blues country. You get four days of music for your £154 ticket, which includes camping and parking, and there are tents, including bedding, available on site. Also on the bill is comedy, cinema, a market and even yoga classes. And even better, at that time of year you can get temperatures in the high 20 degree Cs – just take a brollie in case of spring showers.
Netherlands – Pink Pop
Pink Pop may sound twee, but the line up this year is pretty rockin’. The open-air festival is in Landgraaf and this year runs June 11-13. The bands headlining this year include Coldplay, Kings of Leon, Kaiser Chiefs and White Lies, and tickets cost £135 including camping. There are multiple stages and up to 60,000 festival goers a day, so while it’s not boutique, it isn’t as overwhelming as something like Glastonbury.
Answer by Ginny Light – TimesOnline travel editor
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