For a music lover, there is nothing like a few summer days packed with one’s favorite tunes performed live. Whatever the genre, every music festival holds the promise of being the highlight of the season. That is, unless the ‘fun’ starts before you even get there. Last summer, only a quarter of European airlines managed to maintain an above 85% rate of 15-minute arrival punctuality. Of course, none of us want to arrive at the venue when all of the best tent spots are already taken. That’s why we assembled this travel guide to the top 5 European festivals.
Based on data from the music festival travel platform Festicket, 2017 saw a 48% increase in the number international travelers heading to European fests. But while many 18-to-34 year-olds set out to hear some sweet tunes, the air lanes are loaded with even more Europeans simply going to summer holiday destinations.
That’s why 2017 topped the records with 10.6 million air passengers passing through European airports. It was the fastest passenger traffic growth seen in 13 years. It peaked on the 30th of June –a mere day before British Airways’ cabin crews launched a two-month protest. So if you don’t fancy missing your long-awaited music act because of the ever-frequent airline strikes or flight delays, here are several insights you may want to know.
- Roskilde festival, Roskilde, Denmark
Held from 30th of June to 7th of July, Roskilde hosts such names as Massive Attack, Fever Ray and Gorillaz. Once you arrive in country via Copenhagen airport (CPH), get on the train to Copenhagen Central – it runs every 10 minutes. At Central, take the direct train to Roskilde Station.
However, bear in mind that last July, 30% of Aeroflot, EasyJet, Delta Air Lines and Lufthansa flights arriving at CPH were late.
- Open’er, Gdynia, Poland
Open’er festival is the midsummer music event that makes over 100 thousand people head to the small seaside city of Gdynia. Any festival goers should fly to Gdansk airport (GDN) where they can get on the direct train to Gdynia. Trains are so frequent that you don’t even need to check the time. OAG ranks GDN as the 10th most punctual small airport in Europe – its punctuality score is above 85%. That means your flight is nearly guaranteed to be on time!
- Sziget, Budapest, Hungary
Sziget has become one of the main European cultural events of the whole summer – and it runs for an entire week! Best way to get there is to land at the Liszt Ferenn Airport (BUD). A shuttle bus can then take you straight to the Island of Freedom. However, last year, over 30% of all flights at BUD arrived late, which resulted in OAG giving it only a 2 out of 5 stars rating. In case your flight’s delayed, cancelled or overbooked, make sure to remember your air passenger rights. A stranded passenger might be entitled to a flight compensation of up to €600.
- Øya, Oslo, Norway
Øya, Norway’s biggest festival, started out in 1999 and has since grown into an event that has something to offer to any music fan. This year, Øya’s lineup ranges from rock and neo-punk heroes Arctic Monkeys to soulful R&B singer Jorja Smith. Luckily for those who hate camping, Øya takes place right in downtown Oslo, with all the wonderful housing opportunities the location implies. What’s less cool is the fact that 80% of all arrivals at Oslo in 2017 were late, so you might want to come a little earlier.
- Tomorrowland, Boom, Belgium
Tomorrowland might be the last on the list, but definitely not the least. This legendary Belgian festival attracts nearly 200 thousand festival goers each year. The savvy traveler might want to consider choosing the smaller Brussels South Charleroi (CRL) airport instead of Brussels International (BRU). The former ended up 6th in the OAG punctuality raking of small European airports; 86% of flights arriving at CRL do it on time. Even though the airport is far away from Brussels, a well-established service of intercity and shuttle busses will take you to your destination quite quickly. Final advice: skip the queues and buy the 24-hour travel ticket online.
“We are stepping into the most challenging season in aviation – a point to remember when planning any type of flight. Statistics come in handy when choosing between airlines and airports, yet flight disruptions can happen anywhere,” said Marius Stonkus, the CEO of flight compensation company Skycop.
Based on EU air passenger rights regulation EC 261, each passenger that has been subject to a delay of no less than 3 hours, or a flight cancellation without at least 14 days’ notice (or due overbooking) is entitled a flight compensation of up to €600, depending on flight’s distance.