Seven Small Festivals in Europe You've Never Heard Of

Seven Small Festivals in Europe You've Never Heard Of

Music festivals have become a huge part of summer; festival fashion and designer wellies have become big business as hoards of music fans flock to the likes of Glastonbury, Creamfields and EXIT festival every year. But more and more festival-goers are ditching the crowds in favour of boutique events to discover exciting new music in a whole new scene.

Performers at Festival Number 6 (Source: Festival Number 6)

To help out, has put together a list of seven undiscovered upcoming festivals from across Europe - perfect for those looking for the next big thing on the festival circuit.

1. Iceland Airwaves - Reykjavik, Iceland

Múm performing at Iceland Airwaves '13 (Source: Iceland Airwaves | Credit: Alexander Matukhno)

When: 5 - 9 November 2014

Attendance: 8,000

If Reykjavik needed anything to cement its status as one of the coolest capitals in Europe, Iceland Airwaves is it. The festival prides itself on promoting new music from across Iceland, Europe and Northern America and has previously played host to artists such as Hot Chip, Florence and the Machine, Bloc Party, Sigur Rós and Björk - to name a few. If that wasn't enough to tempt you, Rolling Stone magazine described the festival as "the hippest long weekend on the annual music festival calendar."

2. Overjam Festival - Tolmin, Slovenia

Rastafari flag at Overjam Festival (Source: Overjam Festival)

When: 13 - 16 August 2014

Attendance: 12,000

The idyllic countryside in Slovenia probably isn't the first place that comes to mind when you think about reggae, but the intimate Overjam festival has been held here for the last three years. Located in a forest overlooking a clear turquoise river, Overjam has grown in popularity and will this year welcome 12,000 visitors to see headline acts Luciano, Chronixx and worldwide star Shaggy. What better place to chill out and take it easy?

3. Festival Number 6 - Portmeirion, Wales

Portmeirion (Source: Festival Number 6)

When: 5 - 7 September 2014

Attendance: 10,000

'A festival unlike any other, in a place like no other' - a bold claim, but something Festival Number 6 lives up to easily. Having won numerous awards, including Best Small Festival, this music, art and culture bonanza is back for a third year in the beautiful setting of Portmeirion - an Italian village washed up on the Welsh coast. A great music line up lead by Pet Shop Boys, Beck and London Grammar, as well as a selection of bespoke performances from inspirational poets, authors and filmmakers make Festival Number 6 an unforgettable weekend.

4. Dimensions Festival - Pula, Croatia

Opening night of Dimensions Festival in Pula Arena (Source: Dimensions Festival | Credit: Dan Medhurst)

When: 27 - 31 August 2014

Attendance: 7,000

Since hitting the scene in 2012, Dimensions has made a name for itself as one of the premier destinations for underground electro music, regularly putting together some of the most exciting line-ups around. But it is the setting which gives this festival its extra dimension; the action opens in Pula's famous Roman amphitheatre, which dates back to 27 AD. The remaining nights are held in the remains of Fort Punta Christo on the Istrian coast, while the days are filled with boat parties or chilled beach sessions. Not to be missed.

5. Tauron Nowa Muzyka - Katowice, Poland

Industrial heritage in Katowice (Source: Tauron Nowa Muzyka)

When: 21 - 24 August 2014

Attendance: 12,500

Voted the Best Small European Festival in 2012, Tauron Nowa Muzyka has established itself as one of the most exciting festivals in the world of jazz, nu-jazz, electro and dance. Held in a former coal mine in the centre of Katowice, the festival gives new life to the region, embracing the area's industrial heritage and encompassing old production halls, warehouses and pressure tower in its staging. Visitors can even take a guided tour around the site. Performers this year include Kelis, Ben UFO and Neneh Cherry.

6. Denovali Swingfest - Essen, Germany

Performer at Denovali Swingfest (Source: Denovali Swingfest | Credit: Simon Bierwald)

When: 2 - 5 October 2014

Attendance: 1,500

Completely one-of-a-kind, Denovali Swingfest is an experimental music festival which encompasses an eclectic mix of music, experimental cinema, art installations and lectures. Doing away with the concept of a headline act, Denovali attracts a variety of non-label artists from around the world, all of whom receive equal billing and play for the same amount of time. 2015 sees the festival head to London and Berlin.

7. Salt - Sandhornøya, Norway

Fiskehjelle fish rack venue at Salt (Source: Salt Festival | Credit: Britt Kramvig)

Opening weekend: 30 - 31 August 14

Less like a traditional music festival and more like an homage to Arctic culture, Salt is an ambitious concept, which aims to promote the region's art, architecture, food and music amongst the beautiful Arctic landscape. Held on a remote mountainous island off the coast of Norway, the project will eventually rotate between locations in Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Ireland, Scotland, Spitsbergen, Alaska and Russia. Biosphere will headline the opening weekend, which will also feature Nordic, Sami and folk music.

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