> International Festivals Guide 2024 - SNACK: Music, film, arts and culture magazine for Scotland

International Festivals Guide 2024

We do love a festival here at SNACK. So much so that this is the third month in a row that we’re running a festivals guide in the mag. We’ve already covered our favourite Scottish festivals in the March and April issues. Now it’s the turn of the internationals – some of the biggies. Best thing is, there’s no need to suffer achy camping bones with these city festivals (though you might miss the wellies and campsite camaraderie) – grab yourself a nice hotel suite and a city metro pass instead with our favourite international (well, European at least) events.


Parc Del Fòrum, Barcelona 29th May till 2nd June

No other festival is quite like Primavera. If you’ve been you’ll know. If you haven’t been, but have been bored to tears by its many concrete-beaten but starry-eyed acolytes about their experience, you’ll probably also know. The festival setting is truly special, complete with its massive photovoltaic pergola (pictured), perfect seafacing amphitheatre, and at the main stages, the sea to one side and a Tetris building skyline to the other. If you’re going for the headliners, they’ve got Lana Del Rey, PJ Harvey, Beth Gibbons, Pulp, SZA, Vampire Weekend, Justice, Charli XCX, Romy, Amyl and the Sniffers, and Bikini Kill. Prima, if you absolutely must call it this, is far from being about the headliners, though – scratch the undercard and you’ll unearth gems aplenty.

We’re looking forward to Sofia Kourtesis, Arab Strap, Barry Can’t Swim, BADBADNOTGOOD, Mount Kimbie, Tropical Fuck Storm, Blonde Redhead, American Football, Royel Otis, and Dogstar. You can’t be there and not go see Keanu, can you?



Parque da Bela Vista, Lisbon 29th till 31st August

MEO Kalorama’s line-up for August in Lisbon’s Bela Vista Park (one of the capital’s largest urban parks) is enormously tempting. Massive Attack, LCD Soundsystem, The Smile, Gossip, Ezra Collective, Loyle Carner, The Kills, Soulwax, Yard Act, Peggy Gou, and Overmono over 3 days in late-summer Lisbon? Yes please! It’s a fairly shallow line-up compared with some of the more established events, but those headline names are eye-catching to say the least.



Villaverde District, Madrid 10th till 13th July

OK, so who just realised that the ‘Mad’ in Mad Cool referred to the city it’s set in? Definitely not this writer. This year’s Mad Cool continues in its relatively new home of Iberdrola Music, claimed as the largest sustainable space in Europe – all the electricity used is generated entirely with green energy.

Who they got? Well, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Pearl Jam, Motxila 21, Dua Lipa, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Breeders, Avril Lavigne, Keane, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Janelle Monáe, Bring Me the Horizon, Garbage, Jessie Ware, Soccer Mommy, The Killers, Måneskin, Nia Archives, Alec Benjamin, 2ManyDJs, Bar Italia, and loads more besides. It’s a line-up that seems to have a little bit of everything, and that’s the personality of the thing. That and largely being 90s af.


The Breeders pay Mad Cool. Photo Credit: James Ridling


Budapest 7th to 12th August

OK, they got Kylie. That means Sziget have already kinda won festival season, right? Every year over six mammoth days (and 50 stages!), Budapest’s Óbuda Island becomes ‘The Island of Freedom’ – aka Sziget (absolutely nothing like Pleasure Island in the 1940 Disney classic, Pinocchio). This year they have Kylie, Fred Again, Stormzy, Sam Smith, Four Tet, Fontaines DC, Big Thief, Nia Archives, Liam Gallagher, and Yard Act. There’s loads more, including a thick, thick wedge of EDM and a slather of top quality techno (Richie Hawtin, Sven Väth).



Novi Sad 10th till 14th July

Serbia’s Exit Festival takes place in a 17th century fortress, don’t ya know? It started life as a student protest against the government and has long been a must for raver bods (crusty and shiny), pop acolytes, and rock munchers (Gorons, it’s true). The 2024 edition will have more than 1,000 artists who will play at over 40 stages and festival zones. That’s some going. Tom Morello and Altin Gün (Turkish psychedelic rock) have recently been added to the line-up, joining Cavalera – the project from Sepultura brothers Max and Iggor Cavalera – as well as Helena Hauff, I Hate Models, Carl Cox, Black Eyed Peas, Gucci Mane, Kenya Grace, Bonobo (DJ), Sara Landry, and Barry Can’t Swim.


Barry Can’t Swim plays Exit


Utrecht 7th till 10th November

With the motto of ‘Listening is the Way Forward’, who are we to disagree?, Le Guess Who? is generally considered to be one of the most forward-thinking festivals around. Their reason to exist is to promote sounds that are often overlooked, and to platform fresh perspectives on what is possible in music. They’ll have over 150 artists performing in pop venues, theatres, churches, clubs, warehouses, and more – there’s also U?, a free daytime side-shooter. U? is participative and freely accessible while offshoot COSMOS amplifies local scenes from around the world through films, interviews, performances, and artist residencies. The 2024 lineup has yet to be announced.


Nyege Nyege Tapes present Hakuna Kulala Club Night at LGW21. Photo Credit: Juri Hiensch


Fira Montjuïc and Fira Gran Via L’Hospitalet, Barcelona 13th till 15th June

Air will play Moon Safari at this year’s Sonar, so that’s gonna be awesome.

Over three dates, Sónar by Day (Fira Montjuïc de Barcelona), Sónar by Night (Gran Via de L’Hospitalet), and different venues all over the city will offer hundreds of activities, including concerts, DJ sessions, screenings, debates, conferences, and an abundance of multimedia projects. It’s an eye-widening line-up, including: Charlotte de Witte presents ‘Overdrive’, Jessie Ware, Laurent Garnier, Floating Points, Loraine James, TAAHLIAH and tons more. They also have the first year of a three-year programme they’re calling AI & Music, centred on the links between machine learning and musical creation.


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