“It’s indie rock and roll for me,” sing the world’s least indie rock band, but we understand the sentiment coming from The Killers when it comes to this genre. Europe may be the world’s mecca for electronic music, but there’s a thriving indie rock festival scene here full of local talent, legacy acts, and DIY fests.
Primavera Sound 2020
This Barcelona institution is a beacon for the entire spectrum of indie rock along with a smattering of entries from just about every other genre of music. Hundreds of bands fill the Parc El Forum along with one-of-a-kind intimate performances throughout the city. Add this music festival mecca to your bucket list immediately.
Featured Artists: Beck, Bicep, Big Freedia, black midi, BROCKHAMPTON, Caribou, Cigarettes After Sex, Dinosaur Jr., Disclosure, Honey Dijon, Iggy Pop, Kacey Musgraves, Kurt Vile, Lana Del Rey, Massive Attack, Nina Kraviz, Shame, The National, The Strokes, Tyler the Creator, Young Thug
Vito Valentinetti/Primavera Sound
NOS Primavera Sound 2020
The little sibling to Barcelona's mega-festival Primavera Sound, this Portuguese edition takes place the following weekend in the charming city of Porto. The recipe remains the same, with a staggering roster of indie rock talent. The grassy hillsides of Parque Central means that every seat is a prime location to watching the show.
OFF Festival 2020
Still unspoiled by hordes of backpackers, Poland is a treat for travelers. And nothing makes that treat sweeter than the similarly unspoiled OFF Festival in Katowice which after ten years still keeps its lineup fresh and surprising.
Photo Credit: Adam Jedrysik
Best Kept Secret Festival 2020
One of the highlights of the Dutch festival season, the Best Kept Secret Festival brings a world-class lineup to the south of the Netherlands. The beautiful location boasts an incredible lake, plenty of camping options, and multiple stages to complete the weekend.
Photo Credit: Samuel Swanson
Sideways Festival 2020
Dive into the center of Helsinki in June to experience Sideways. Nearly 80 acts are presented featuring a lineup of the best national and international acts. This is a cozy boutique festival that should be on every indie rock aficionado's wishlist.
Photo Credit: Minna Hatinen
Siren’s Call 2020
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Siren's Call is a one-day music festival that takes place sin the heart of Luxembourg City. Besides the indie rock lineup, there's also readings, an organic wine bar, dance performances, a design expo, and a kid's program.
Check In Party 2020
This DIY indie rock fest may be new to the scene, but its lineup is one of the more buzzworthy additions to the season. Taking place over three days in central France, Check In Party is an ideal way to close out the summer.
Truck Festival 2020
Formed in 1998 after finding mainstream festivals too commercial, the anti-major Truck Festival finds itself expanding to four days, adding a Thursday schedule to the lineup. The tranquil Hill Farm venue in the pretty Oxfordshire countryside hosts some of the biggest and best emerging artists in the UK across six wonderfully curated stages.
Photo Credit: Sarah Koury
Flow Festival 2020
The effortlessly hip Flow Festival is Helsinki's premier music festival of the summer. The tastefully curated lineup features everything from indie rock and folk to soul and jazz. The festival area is a truly unique place, containing 11 different venues including massive outdoor stages and cozy indoor spots.
Photo Credit: Janita Autio
La Route Du Rock 2020
St Malo, France
This very hip, very cool, indie rock festival is one of the few in France that can boast a 25+ year history. The biannual event has featured Portishead, Disclosure, The XX, Blur, Pulp, Air, and Sonic Youth and has even spun off a winter edition.
Ypsigrock Festival 2020
Situated in the absolutely breathtaking mountains of central Sicily, Ypsigrock is a hidden gem of a music a festival. The Castle of Castelbuono is the backdrop to a full weekend of indie rock. Show up early to claim a camping spot and partake in the welcome party.
Pitchfork Paris 2020
After a summertime bash in Chicago, the very cool and very hip Pitchfork Festival makes its way to Paris a weekend of eclectic music at the Grande Halle de La Villette. The Pitchfork Paris Festival is a mecca for indie music fans of all genres with surprisings twists and a lineup worthy of the brand.
Tickets: Buy tickets here
Photo Credit: Vito Valentinetti
Melt! Festival 2020
The Melt! Festival, surrounded by the calm waters of Lake Gremmin and the steely silence of the iron city, is filled with the musical noise of one of Germany's standout lineups. Camping is a must at this German festival, and the open-air museum of an abandoned coal factory marks this as a one-of-kin venue.
Leeds Festival 2020
It's double the love when the dual weekend Reading and Leeds Festival arrive in late August. The mega-fests feature the same lineup in the same weekend in two different UK locations. The roster is always packed with one of the strongest rock and alternative schedules of the summer.
Featured Artists: Liam Gallagher
Tickets: Buy tickets here
Beaches Brew Festival 2020
Beaches Brew is a super cool, super free, indie rock festival that takes place at the Ravenna Marina. Take the week off work and chill out by the sea while enjoying this wonderfully curated lineup along with a few local brews.
Photo Credit: Francesca Sara Cauli
Standon Calling 2020
Each summer, Standon Calling tells a new story, bringing their garden party to life with a themed world that has included monsters, the circus, and legends of the lost sees. Across four fun-filled days you’ll hear music from the acts you love and the very best in emerging talent. Savor incredible food, dance until the early hours, enjoy an abundance of family activities, lounge by the pool, luxuriate in a hot tub, or relax with a massage.
Standon Calling/Vito Valentinetti
Iceland Airwaves 2020
The winter heats up in Reykjavik where festies spend the days taking in the wonders of the island and spending nights at the top clubs in the country. From hipster indie acts to geysers to after-parties, Iceland Airwaves remains a solid bet for a cold weather festival.
Photo Credit: Daniel Starrason