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Summer festivals: Why you should go abroad

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. Andrews chapter.

With the commencing of Coachella in California this week, the time is upon us again to begin our search for a summer festival. Whether you’re interning or backpacking this summer, there’s always room for a cheeky weekend away of good live music and the overconsumption of cider.

A personal favourite of mine, and on the more affordable end of the scale, is the little known Barn on the Farm in Gloucester featuring artists such as Hozier, Saint Raymond, Stu Larsen and Luke Sital-Singh. Heading to Somerset for Glastonbury is perhaps the more obvious choice however, with Arcade Fire headlining this year and the rare opportunity to see country music star Dolly Parton perform in the aptly titled legend slot. In the past I have ventured 30 minutes outside London to V festival, largely due to its convenient proximity and mainstream line up, with this years headlining acts confirmed to be Justin Timberlake and The Killers. Much like Reading and Leeds, however, these festivals are pretty much a write off past the age of 16, unless you’re keen to relive your weekend of post GCSE celebrations.


As something of a connoisseur in the foreign festival department I asked my elder sister for her thoughts on going abroad:


If the appeal of four days in a field of mud and rain is lost on you then you don’t need to look too much further afield to find festivals with guaranteed sun; granting you leisurely days by the sea whilst still getting to see your favourite bands and dj’s at night.


For big names and beaches Benicassim has become one of the leading foreign festivals, popular with Brits for having a seriously competitive line up (this years includes Kasabian, Paul Wellar, Chase & Status and Ellie Goulding) and for allowing for a week of complete hedonism set on the scorching Spanish coast.


If the Brits abroad scene isn’t your thing Portugal’s Optimus Alive has an equally strong line-up (Arctic Monkeys, MGMT, Foster the People for starters) without so many teenagers on pills, but still allowing opportunity for a killer tan.

Croatia monopolises the dance festivals, with multiple options to choose from, mostly set on the picturesque Dalmatian coast and with the added appeal of boat parties and a lifestyle of lying on lilo’s and drinking prosecco whilst chilled house music plays out from the shore. Outlook (above), Soundwave, Hideout and Unknown are just some of the many available for anyone who’s looking for beautiful scenery and unrivalled parties.


With these European alternatives you can have a holiday and a festival experience in one, but a word of warning – once you go to a festival where you can wear nothing but your bikini, lie on a beach all day, see amazing acts and come back with a tan; dodging pints of piss in a field full of hunter wellies, bedraggled and cold, will be an option you won’t ever want to consider again.

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Imogen Thom

St. Andrews

Hannah is a 4th year student of English Literature and Art History at the University of St Andrews.