Summer happens quick in Northern Europe, and the festies that revel up here take full advantage of the warm weather to celebrate a stacked roster of festivals across Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland. Even with the short nights, camping here can be cool and comfortable when compared to the rest of the world, and and the musical genres across the region are plentiful enough for any festie to feel at home.
Heartland Festival 2020
Heartland is a unique boutique festival set on the idyllic grounds of Egeskov Castle. More than just a music fest, Heartland serves up a varied mix of lectures, food, and art along with a beautiful campground setting. The multi-genre lineup entertains up to 6000 festies per day.
Oya Festival 2020
Øya Festival is the largest outdoor festival in Norway, taking place in on the east side Oslo at the beautiful Tøyenparken. 60,000 festies are drawn in every August for four days of a wonderfully curated international lineup that pulls in some heavy hitters as headliners. Øya Festival also prides itself on its sustainability and their groundbreaking green initiatives.
Photo Credit: Erik Moholdt and Øya Festival
Secret Solstice Festival 2020
Praise Odin! Celebrate the longest day of the year in a place where the sun never sets. Taking place outside the capital of Reyjavik, Secret Solstice takes full advantage of the stunning Icelandic settings with once-in-a-lifetime shows inside a glacier or a heated lagoon. The festival proper features huge headliners and should be on every festie’s bucket list.
Photo Credit: Ross Silcocks
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
Don’t let the title of “rainiest city in Europe” chase you away from Bergenfest. This boutique festival in a castle feels like having some of the largest acts on tour performing in your backyard. And in a city where the sun never truly sets, this is one of the most relaxing and lovely fests in the North.
Provinssi - the festival of the people - opens the Finnish festival season at the end of June. The traditionally rock fest has welcomed a wide variety of performers since its inception in 1979 including David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Nine Inch Nails, Tori Amos, Tool, The Cure, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Roskilde Festival 2020
There’s festivals. There’s mega-festivals. And then there’s Roskilde. Started in the early seventies by a pair of high students, today’s Roskilde is the largest festival in Northern Europe. Taking place over a staggering eight days and two weekends, the unstoppable juggurnaut has hosted upwards of 135,000 fans, more than 150 bands, and even boasts 32,000 volunteers. Roskilde proudly remains a non-profit donating millions Danish krona every year to various charities. Oh, and they also have a naked run so have fun in Denmark!
Photo Credit: Matias Altbach
Pstereo Festival 2020
With a lively student population, the third largest city in Norway is also home to the three-day Pstereo Festival. Up and coming acts mix with worldwide headliners and which take place on the idyllic Marinen – a beautiful outdoor greenspace next to the the river and adjacent to the 1,000-year-old Nidaros Cathedral. Along with the main festival, the nights are filled with club events and there’s even a free Saturday family concert.
Photo Credit: Tor Atle Kleven (kleven.net)
A former shipyard in the Scandinavian capitol of Denmark is transformed into a metalhead mecca for three days every June. Born in 2010, Copenhell has quickly grown into one of Northern Europe's premier metal events. The full-blown city festival is only a short 10-minute bike ride from Copenhagen's city center.
Way Out West 2020
Way Out West welcomes some of the largest bands in the world to Sweden every August in Goteborg. The lovely Slottsskogen Park is home to the eco-friendly fest and a super chill Swedish crowd of festies.
Lollapalooza Stockholm 2020
Lollapalooza adds another location this summer with a new edition in Stockholm. Recently expanded to three days, expect the Swedish version to feature the same great lineups that fans have come to expect from Lolla. Like Berlin and Paris, the debut Lollapalooza Stockholm takes place in a beautiful park close to the city center.
Featured Artists: Afrojack, Ellie Goulding, Galantis, IDLES, Jimmy Eat World, Kacey Musgraves, Kendrick Lamar, Krewella, Nina Kraviz, Of Monsters and Men, Pearl Jam, Post Malone, Rex Orange County, Rival Sons, The Killers, The Pretty Reckless, W&W
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
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
Few festivals can boast the alumni resume of Finland’s Ruisrock. Since the seventies, Ruisrock has hosted musical royalty like The Kinks, Lou Reed, Chuck Berry, Soundgarden, Aerosmith, Beastie Boys, Nirvana, Sting, and David Bowie. Taking place on the island of Ruissalo in Turku, this annual event continues to evolve bringing in not only rock, but metal, EDM, and Finnish artists.
Photo Credit: Maria Kokljuschkin
Copenhagen Distortion Festival 2020
When they Danish cut loose, they really cut loose as evidenced by Copenhagen Distortion. On Wednesday, thousands swarm the streets for nearly a dozen blocks of drinking, dancing, and stages. At night, the entire party is cleaned up and moved to the next neighborhood. It’s the ultimate street party culminating at the harbor for two stacked nights of electronic music.
NorthSide Festival Denmark 2020
A wide range of international and Danish artists descend upon the city of Aarhus for this innovative event. The three day fest boasts a wicked lineup which in the past has featured Wilco, Interpol, Alt-J, Arctic Monkeys, Arcade Monkeys, Phoenix , Arcade Fire, Band of Horses, Portishead, The Stone Roses, and The Flaming Lips.
Photo Credit: Peter Kirkegaard
Sweden Rock Festival 2020
Established in 1992, this rock and metal festival brings genre legends to Sweden for a wicked weekend. Previous alumni like Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, Guns N' Roses, Def Leppard, Judas Pries, and Whitesnake have all played this fest.
A newcomer to the Danish festival scene, the Hans Christian Andersen inspired Tinderbox stormed into Odense in 2015 and has established itself as one of the top fests in Denmark. Their Google translated motto is Where words fail, music speaks. Please do not pee in the tree. Life is like a beautiful melody, only the lyrics are messed up.
Weekend Festival Finland 2020
August 7-8, 2020
Started back in 2012, this one of the wildest electronic parties Northern Europe. 40000 festies shop up to dance to EDM, house, techno, and even some pop. This year, Weekend moves to its new home at at Suvilahti, a former energy production area in Helsinki.
Featured Artists: Steve Akoi
Photo Credit: Rannel Pensa
Summerburst Stockholm 2020
Summerburst, a festival so big that it takes place in Sweden's two largest cities, this capper to the end of the season is a blast of electronic dance music over two days in the final weekend of August. Can't wait that long? Then check in at Summerburst Gothenberg which launches festival season at the beginning of June.
Photo Credit: Summerburst