5 Lesser Known Festivals (Without a Fyre Festival-Style Saga)

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Netflix’s FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened provided viewers with countless OMG moments, and left us cringing at both organisers and intended revellers alike. However, while we’re unlikely to be forking out thousands (and thousands) of pounds on festival tickets, we did empathise with the desire to party in unspoiled surrounds. Here, we’ve rounded up some lesser-known festivals with proven track records that should mean that you won’t face tomato and cheese sandwich-gate yourself.

Kala Festival, Albania

Whispers about the Albanian Riviera began to appear within the travel sector a few years ago. With endless golden beaches and all the good looks of nearby Corfu but none of the crowds, was this going to be the new Croatia? We’ve started to see it mentioned more and more, but in 2018, the first international music festival was added into the mix. Kala Festival, set to take place between 12th and 19th June, boasts a prime location beside blonde sands and forested hillsides in the seaside town of Dhërmi. The Guardian has claimed that Kala Festival “could cement Albania’s reputation as an exciting new beach and party destination”, and it’s not hard to see why. The festival follows the same formula as Croatia’s beloved Outlook Festival. 2018’s line-up saw chilled but dancey acts like Tom Misch and Todd Terje take to the stage. This year, Jordan Rakei and Inner City will be getting the crowd moving in idyllic surrounds – what could be dreamier?


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Snowboxx, France

Snowboxx is decidedly well established, drawing in big crowds and even bigger-name acts each year. However, it deserves a mention due to its quirky activities and location far beyond the greenfield sites of British festivals. Located in the French mountain resort of Avioraz, this is a festival that takes the notion of après-ski to whole new heights. This year’s event takes place from the 23rd – 30th March and features an eclectic line up. You’ll be able to see Craig David, Mike Skinner and many, many more in snowy surrounds. When you’re not hitting the slopes, or the bar, there’s hip hop karaoke to partake in and vast night-time snowball fights to compete in.


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Secret Solstice, Iceland

At this time of year, us Brits have a real hankering for sunshine – Instagram is awash with #throwback posts from last summer. This love for summer, we reckon, is in large part due to the almost endless days that make you feel as though evenings are adventures that needn’t ever end. This all crescendos during the summer solstice, which this year takes place on the 21st of June. Where better place to celebrate than a place where the sun doesn’t go down on this particular day, like Reykjavik? Stars from across the globe will be performing at the Secret Solstice festival which is running from the 21st until the 23rd, in time for 96 hours of continuous sunshine. You could see Pussy Riot, Rita Ora or Martin Garrix perform. This festival comes into its own with its VIP packages where guests are whizzed off for parties inside glaciers and on helicopter rides across Iceland’s mesmerising landscapes.


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Meadows in the Mountains, Bulgaria

High up in the Rhodope Mountains, a group of like-minded festivalgoers gather each year for a festival where the focus is on the surrounds and not necessarily the music. Situated a three-hour drive away from Plovdiv Airport, the festival ground for Meadows in the Mountains is hidden amidst the Polkovnik Serafimovo village and feels a little like a secret. During the day, there are musicians playing on the main stage, chill out pods in the forest which provide shaded bliss on sunny days, and yoga lessons to get involved in. Night-time brings with it trance music and techno, with revellers dancing freely into the early hours. However, sunrise is where this festival really comes into its own as everyone gathers to watch the sun rise above the clouds in the verdant hillside setting.


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Oasis Festival, Morocco

The word festival conjures images of rainy scenes, mud-laden wellies and frankly, anything distinctly un-glam. That’s not the case however, at the Oasis Festival. Set just a short drive away from Marrakech in an eight-room boutique hotel, replete with a chic swimming pool and herb-filled gardens, you couldn’t ask for a more decadent setting. While there is morning yoga available, this is certainly not a festival with wellness at its core. The line-up sees acts such as Four Tet and Horse Meat Disco play, ensuring that the crowd will be on its feet until the early hours. This year’s festival takes place between the 13th and the 15th September, meaning that your festival season can stretch on that much longer.


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