Europe, in many ways, is the cultural powerhouse of the Western world. With its many languages, people, and a long and rich history, the continent is the dream place to be for globetrotters. Places such as Paris, Italy, Prague, and Vienna have long been centers of art, music, theatre, and dance. It is no real wonder that festivals in Europe are the world’s largest! Everything from folk art to metal music and modern art to natural beauty is the focus of celebrations in the various European music festivals. With a promise to be bigger and better in the coming year, these festivals are sure to blow your minds! Make sure to visit them all. Be it food, music, nature or something entirely different that is your calling, Europe has something for everyone.
Top 31 Festivals In Europe In 2021
It is a great idea to include these 31 famous festivals to your Euro trip itinerary. Here is a list of festivals in Europe 2021 that are literally the best kind of celebration you’ll ever encounter across the continent. You must attend these European festivals at least once in your life.
- The Carnival Of Venice – 6 Feb-16 Feb 2021
- St. Patrick’s Day – 17 Mar 2021
- Maslenitsa – 8-14 Mar 2021
- Carnava – 12-17 Feb 2021
- Cannes Film Festival – 11-22 May 2021
- Glastonbury Festival – Cancelled
- Edinburgh Festival Fringe – 6-30 Aug 2021
- San Fermin – 6-14 Jul 2021
- Oktoberfest – 18 Sep-3 Oct 2021
- Rock Im Park – Cencelled
- Water Jousting – September 2021
- Klapa Music Festival – 24-25 April 2021
- La Tomatina Festival – 25 Aug 2021
- The Carnival Of Ivrea – Cancelled
- Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival – 7-15 Aug 2021
- Lavender Mob – 15 Aug 2021
- Flamenco Fair – 18-24 April 2021
- Dead Good Fun – 2 Nov 2021
- Noble Grapes – 15 Sep 2021
- Mad For Folk – 7-8 July 2021
- Pizzafest – 12-13 Jun 2021
- La Tamborrada (Drum Festival) – 20 Jan 2021
- Creamfields – 26-29 Aug 2021
- Up Helly Aa – Cancelled
- Amsterdam Light Festival – Cancelled
- Dimensions Festival – 1-5 July 2021
- Reading & Leeds Festival – 27 – 29 Aug 2021
- Bratislava Music Festival – 8 April 2021
- Tomorrowland – 27Aug-5Sep 2021
- Sziget Festival – 4 Aug- 11 Aug 2021
- Colours Of Ostrava – 14th July to 17th July, 2021
- Soundwave Festival – 15th May 2021
1. The Carnival Of Venice- 6 Feb-16 Feb 2021
If you are looking for famous festivals in Europe featuring elaborate masks, the Carnival of Venice is one of the best festivals in Europe to be a part of. Although the festival has roots that are a millennium old, the modern version only began in 1979 as an effort to revive the culture of this great city. Today, almost 3 million people attend this 20-days long biggest festivals in Europe in March of endless parties and events across the city. There is a water parade, competitions inspired by old Venetian traditions, a grand ball, and a popularity contest for best mask design.
Carnival of Venice 2021 dates: 6 February – 16 February
Highlights: Traditional mask festival with a grand ball
2. St. Patrick’s Day – 17 Mar 2021
The Day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of the Catholic nation of Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day has old roots. It is celebrated on 17th March every year as it marks the arrival of Christianity into Ireland and is considered one of the best spring festivals in Europe. Over time, it has evolved into a celebration of Irish culture. Marked most distinctly by the color green of the shamrock, it includes parades and other revelries, particularly in Dublin where the Irish Volunteers march. One of the most popular, it is also often called the festival of alcohol as the Lentil prohibitions on alcohol end on this day.
St. Patrick’s day 2021 date: 17 March
Highlights: Marks the arrival of Christianity in Ireland
3. Maslenitsa – 8-14 Mar 2021
Maslenitsa is one of the best festivals in Europe and involves religious carnivals from the Slavic traditions of Eastern Europe. Celebrated eight weeks before Eastern Easter, it has been one of the oldest festivals in Europe in March. During the week of the festival, meat, cheese, and other dairy are permitted for Orthodox Christians, the traditions of the festival are centered so much around this relaxation of the ban that the festival is often called the Cheesefare week or the Crepe Week. One of the largest festivals in Europe, the preparation of crepes in this fest creates a buzz all around the town.
Maslenitsa 2021 dates: 8- 14 March
Highlights: Carnival reflecting the Slavic traditions
4. Carnava – 12-17 Feb 2021
Celebrated in the southern regions of Netherlands, this is one of the largest festivals in Europe, which is marked by its theme of role reversals. There is a grand feast in most homes from Saturday through Tuesday, and Bonte Avonden, meetings, balls, and parades are held everywhere in the cities. The Motley Storm, or the D’n Optocht, is the most visible face of one of the largest festivals in Europe in March, with these parades full of colorful floats. There is also a lot of traditional dance and music at various events of the festivals, with Carnaval being one of the foremost dance festivals of Europe. Any tourist caught in its hailstorm will not come out unamazed!
Carnaval Netherlands 2021 dates: 12- 17 Feb
Highlights: Traditional dance and music festival
5. Cannes Film Festival – 11-22 May 2021
Cannes is a small village in France and the site of one of the largest festivals here. A complete by-invitation-only event, Cannes is the world’s premier film festival and witnesses the screening of almost all genres of the most brilliant movies of the year for a select audience. Held at the beautiful Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, the festival has swayed the film world’s attention from the Venice Film Festival that had developed a fascist streak. Every year, the festival also honors the best film with the famous Palm d’Or, which is often regarded as a more prestigious recognition than the Oscars. Owing to its elegance, it is one of the best festivals in the continent of Europe.
Cannes Film Festival dates 2021: 11 – 22 May
Highlights: World renowned film festival
6. Glastonbury Festival
Of all the famous European music festivals, the Glastonbury Festival has a special place. Held in Somerset, England, since the 1970s, the festival is a major part of the British culture. Major pop act performers in contemporary music among others are invited to perform and headline. The festival sees as much as 175,000 people in attendance and is the world’s largest greenfield festival. Beyonce, Dave Grohl, U2, Coldplay and almost all other pop stars have performed at the festival, and it is truly one of the most popular music festivals in Europe 2021.
Glastonbury Festival 2021 dates: Cancelled
Highlights: Contemporary music and pop dancers
7. Edinburgh Festival Fringe – 6-30 Aug 2021
Simply called the Fringe, it is among the most important August festivals in Europe 2021. It is also the world’s largest art festival, and in 2017, it was held over 25 days and had 53,232 performances during 3398 shows spread over 300 venues across the Scottish city. Most of the events, which cover theatre, dance, cabaret, opera, music, and exhibitions, are not judged, so anyone can participate. The comedy shows during the festival have a higher profile due to the Edinburgh Comedy Awards that are given to the best shows. The Edinburgh festival is set to be the biggest festival in Europe in 2021.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2021 dates: 6- 30 August
Highlights: Art festival which features dance, cabaret and opera music
8. San Fermin – 6-14 Jul 2021
This is one of the more traditional festivals in Europe in July which also a grand festival in the city of Pamplona, Spain. Over the course of the week, almost a million people come to the city to participate in the various festivities such as the San Fermin procession, the struendo (when people gather to play drums, pots, pans), and the closing somber ceremony of Pobre De Mi. However, the festival is renowned for the running of the bulls, held at 8 AM from July 7th to 14th. The event is broadcast live on TV and the whole of Spain fixates on matadors for the week.
San Fermin Festival 2021 dates: 6 – 14 July
Highlights: Running of the bulls
9. Oktoberfest – 18 Sep-3 Oct 2021
One of the top festivals of Europe of beer, Oktoberfest Germany is Bavaria’s most important period of celebration and one of the top festivals in Europe in September. Mainly held in Munich, Germany, the festival is a folk celebration of Bavarian culture, first instituted in the year 1810. The city comes to a standstill for much of the festival, with food and beer stalls coming up everywhere. Parades in traditional costumes held by restaurateurs and riflemen are highlights of one of the biggest upcoming festivals in the European continent.
Oktoberfest 2021 dates: 18 September-3 October
Highlights: Beer stalls, food and people wearing traditional costumes
10. Rock Im Park
Set to be one of the most popular European rock festivals 2021, Rock Im Park takes place in Nuremberg and has been headlined by the most famous international rock acts since 1985. Held at Zeppelinfeld, the festival has seen such legends of rock like David Bowie, Eddie Van Halen, Guns n Roses, Metallica, Rage Against the Machine, and Foo Fighters perform here. In combination with the Rock Im Ring, the festival sees a footfall of 150,000 and is one of the upcoming festivals in Europe.
Rock Im Park 2021 dates: Cancelled
Highlights: Music festival which has hosted legends like Guns n Roses and David Bowie
11. Water Jousting – September 2021
This is one of the best summer festivals in Europe, celebrated since 1666, majorly at the port of Sete in the town named the Venice of Languedoc. Celebrating its patron saint in boisterous style, the town stages water jousting tournaments on its canals which can be seen throughout the summer. However, it is during the month of August, that the things go overdrive in the region. One of the world’s most popular youth-centric summer festivals, Water Jousting is celebrated on a grand scale with 70-plus events which includes street parades, pop-up bars, and concerts.
Water Jousting dates: 23-28 August
Highlights: Street parades, Concerts, Pop-up bars
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12. Klapa Music Festival – 24-25 April 2021
Having the incredible view of the canyon in the background and the Cetina River flowing beside makes a great setup for the Klapa Music Festival which is one of the traditional European music festivals. This festival brings out the best group of singers who expressively sings at the Capella. Whereas the towns of St. Mihovil and Stjepan Radic squares stages multi-part style of singing. As the singers sing in unison during the celebration, the love and longing sound hauntingly beautiful. It is touted as the most popular festivals in eastern Europe.
Klapa Music Festival dates: 24-25 April
Highlights: Music festival held by the riverside
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13. La Tomatina Festival – 25 Aug 2021
Held in the town of Buñol, La Tomatina is one of the biggest European food festivals. It is all about the food fight, especially involving tomatoes. Tons of over-ripe tomatoes are used in the streets of the town to be smashed at each other and you can surely witness the exciting tinge of red being painted throughout the place. What’s more, is that it isn’t just the locals, people from all over the world get to participate in this surprisingly messy yet enjoyable festival in Spain and only 20,000 lucky ones get a ticket to this one! This is one of the most popular European food festivals, and you can know more about it with this La Tomatina Festival tour guide.
La Tomatina dates: 25 August
Highlights: The famous tomato smash fight
14. The Carnival Of Ivrea
The Carnival Of Ivrea is held in the third week of February in Ivrea in Italy. The festival stems from the 19th century where rebellious commoners threw away food the feudal lord had given them. The game now represents a war between the thousands of commoners on the ground and the guards that throw oranges from carriages. It is counted among the weird festivals in Europe. This is one of the biggest European food festivals.
The Carnival Of Ivrea dates: Third week of February
Highlights: The orange fight amongst commoners
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15. Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival – 7-15 Aug 2021
The Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival was first celebrated twenty years ago. It is a nine-day celebration. Their main purpose is to raise money for the local school, the village hall, and the church. In Yorkshire Dale village, many straw-stuffed mannequins or scarecrows are put up all across town. Some of them resemble real-life people. Last year, the scarecrows of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were put up. It is one of the biggest among the most weird festivals in Europe.
Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival dates: 7 August – 15 August
Highlights: Straw built mannequins or scarecrows installed in the town
16. Lavender Mob – 15 Aug 2021
Lavender mob festival of France begins with a dazzling firework display over the river, followed by a 4-days lavender-themed festival. The festival includes parades, marching bands, boats covered with mauve flowers and a nightly ball at the main square of the city and is one of the most famous festivals in Europe. One of the most loved experiences here is the Digne’s lavender festival parade which has been running since the second world war. The festival is conducted in the month of August, after the harvesting starts. This is one of the most loved festivals of Europe that attract fun lovers from across the globe.
Lavender Mob Festival 2021 Dates: 15 August
Highlights: The beautiful lavender theme
17. Flamenco Fair – 18-24 April 2021
Flamenco fair of Spain is the feast of Saint Matthew that is widely celebrated across the place. It is one of the best festivals in Europe summer as it is the last big party of the prolonged summer. The festivals showcase electrifying dancing and drinking hours with a fair by night. Apart from shopping and grabbing local delicacies, you can also indulge in some traditional horse riding sessions here.
Flamenco Fair 2021 Dates: 18-24 April
Highlights: Famous summer festival with horse riding sessions
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18. Dead Good Fun – 2 Nov 2021
This festival makes you witness something entirely different from what you usually see in festivals. The festival is organized in rural Galicia and the devout Spaniards who survived a near-death experience in the past year are paraded in coffins through the streets and this is one of the traditional European festivals. It is believed to be a thanksgiving procedure of the locals to God and Santa Marta. The coffins are followed by relatives and friends, following the rules of Spanish funeral.
Dead Good Fun 2021 Dates: 2 Nov
Highlights: Unique and traditional festival which features coffins
19. Noble Grapes – 15 Sep 2021
The Noble Grapes festival is a 10-days festival of Saint Helena that is celebrated since 1787. This is one of the best wine festivals in Europe and on Saturdays, the wine-producing families from across the province gather in their historic costume to celebrate their auspicious grape harvest. You can witness the stunning carts here decorated with grapes, vines, palm fronds, ribbon, tinsel, and bells.
Noble Grapes 2021 Dates: 15 September
Highlights: Grape harvesting and historic costumes
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20. Mad For Folk – 7-8 July 2021
This one is amongst the most exclusive festivals here which are known for celebrating folk music from all over Italy. This festival is flooded with bands, buskers, dance troupes and their electrifying performances. This is a perfect place to celebrate the traditional music as you will find all types of native Italian musicians here in Mad for the folk festival.
Mad For Folk 2021 Dates: 7-8 July
Highlights: Italian musicians and dance troupes
21. Pizzafest – 12-13 Jun 2021
Join zillions of people on this fine night of September when the village of Naples gear up to make and consume more than 100,000 pizzas of every kind, ranging from 50-odd historic versions including classics Napoletana, Margherita, and Marinara! No wonder it’s among the best food festivals in the world for pizza lovers! It is, no doubt, one of the most famous cultural festivals in Europe for foodies.
Where: Naples, Italy
When: 12-13 June 2021
Highlights: Pizza of 50 different varieties
22. La Tamborrada (Drum Festival) – 20 Jan 2021
La Tamborrada is counted among the famous festivals in Spain and is certainly the noisiest one in the country and may even come across as one of the bizarre yet upcoming music festivals in Europe. But, if you’re a drum lover or have always wanted to try your hands on one, then this fiesta will turn out to be the best European festivals in 2021. Huge parades of men, women, and kids come out on the streets and bash drums throughout the night and day for 24 hours. While one side of this festival has organized processions, the other side has free-for-all drum bashing which you can easily join and become part of the fun.
Where: San Sebastián, Spain
When: 20th January 2021
Highlights: Drum bashing and Spanish traditions
23. Creamfields – 26-29 Aug 2021
Creamfields is one of a kind dance music festival series. It was founded and organized by British club promoter Cream. The festival which began as a one-day festival is now one of the biggest music festivals in Europe that lasts for four days and even gives camping options to visitors. One of the most prestigious dance festivals on the planet has everything you could ask for regardless of whatever flavor of electronic music you’re into.
When: 26-29 August 2021
Where: Daresbury, near Warrington and Liverpool, England
Highlights: Dance festival and camping accommodations
24. Up Helly Aa
Up Helly Aa is one of the best winter festivals in Europe. The most dazzling fire festival is held in Lerwick, Shetland’s island of Scotland to celebrate Shetland’s Viking Heritage and is believed to be one of the European cultural festivals. The festival involves a procession of 1000 costumed guizers and comes to an end with the burning of a Viking longship.
When: Last Tuesday of January every year
Highlights: Viking theme and fire festival
25. Amsterdam Light Festival
During the Amsterdam Light Festival, the city lights up and comes to life with national and international light artists showcasing their work throughout the city centre. Hundreds of submissions are done by designers and architects among which the selection committee chooses 30 artworks. To see the festival in its best lights, you can follow suggested routes for boats, bikes or walking or make your own way through the installations. The hip and youthful vibe are what makes this one of the most awaited European festivals in 2021.
When: Cancelled for 2021
Highlights: Light festivals which also features boats, bikes and walking through installations
26. Dimensions Festival – 1-5 July 2021
One of the most exciting festivals in Croatia and a grand celebration of music and dance in Croatia, Dimensions Festival is one of the most famous European festivals. The festival happens at the very beautiful Fort Punta Christo and the visitors are enticed as it offers an experience like no other. A one of its kind of festival, this one focuses on electronic music and purveys a blend of funk, soul, techno, drum and a lot more.
When: 1-5 July 2021
Highlights: Electronic music
27. Reading & Leeds Festival – 27 – 29 Aug 2021
One of the most popular European music festivals, the Reading & Leeds Festival is one of the most happening festivals happening in Leeds. Happening annually on the August Bank Holiday weekend this festival is all about fun and includes camping and a lot more. If you are planning for a summer trip to Leeds then make sure you attend this one!
When: 27 August 2021 – 29 August 2021
Highlights: Fun activities and camping
28. Bratislava Music Festival – 8 April 2021
Chances are that you might have heard about Slovakia, but have you heard about one of the most popular festivals in Europe? Now you might be wondering what we are talking about! Well, we are talking about the Bratislava Music Festival which is one of the Bratislava Festivals that is known worldwide because it is the sole representative from Slovakia in the European festivals Association since the year 1973 and has on play some of the top foreign and native groups, solo performers, music producers and a lot more.
When: 8 April 2021
Highlights: Music festival featuring solo performers, music producers, and many more
29. Tomorrowland – 27 August-5 September 2021
For the music lovers, Tomorrowland is definitely not a new name. This is one of the largest electronic music festivals which takes place in Belgium. The festival is hosted at the town of Boom, Belgium which is located 16 kilometres away from the South of Antwerp. First organized in 2005, this festival has become an annual tradition which is visited by people from far and wide.
Tomorrowland dates for 2021 – 27th August to 5th September
Highlights: Largest electronic music festival
29. Sziget Festival – 5-11 August
The Sziget Festival is one of the best cultural festivals in Europe which is also called the biggest multicultural event. This was started in 1993, and it’s going to be the 27th edition this year. A vast number of around 4,00,000 fans from around 70 countries. Hosted in a surreal island of Budapest, this festival gives an amazing holiday like experience. With all the non-stop party and amazing live concerts, this festival is an ideal event which cannot be missed.
Sziget Festival dates for 2021 – 4th-12th August
Highlights: Live concerts
30. Colours of Ostrava – 14th Jul to 178th Jul, 2021
Colours of Ostrava is a unique concept of bringing the contemporary and the classic performers together in one stage which makes it one of the best European festivals. Spread across an area of dozen unique outdoor and indoor stages, visiting this place will be an extravagant experience. There are around 350 events which ranges from various bands, DJ’s, films and workshops. Alongside that the visitors can also enjoy some easy accommodation options which includes camping at the event ground.
Colours of Ostrava dates for 2021 – 14th Jul to 17th July, 2021
Highlights: Workshops, DJ’s and bands
31. Soundwave Festival – 15th May
The Soundwave Festival is another famous European festival which takes place at the surreal Croatian coastline. This is a “unique European boutique festival” which is visited by many music enthusiasts every year. This festival makes a perfect reason to enjoy a long weekend amid all the vibrant festive vibes.
Soundwave festival dates for 2021 – 15th May
Highlights: Open air festival with featuring traditions of Croatia
This list of the upcoming holidays and festivals in Europe 2021 is not exhaustive and there are many other fiestas that you can be a part of. Each one of these festivals in Europe will be a unique experience for you and provide you with unlimited memories. Mark these dates in your calendar and plan a trip to Europe to witness its culture through these lively celebrations!
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Frequently Asked Questions About Festivals In Europe
Are there any beer festivals in Europe?
Apart from the Oktoberfest, there are other beer festivals like the Berlin International Beer Festival, Belgian Beer Weekend, Pilsner Fest, and Great British Beer Festival which are quite famous in Europe.
Which are the famous festivals in Europe in October?
Oktoberfest, Pitfork Music Festival, Amsterdam Music Festival are some of the vibrant and famous festivals in Europe in October.
Which is the biggest festival in Europe?
Tomorrowland and Creamfields are two of the biggest music events in Europe where music lovers from all over the world come to enjoy their shared interest for EDM. You can even find the world’s best DJs performing at these events.
Which holidays are celebrated in Europe?
St. Patricks’ Day, Bastille Day, San Gennaro Feast Day, and St John’s Day are some of the holidays celebrated in Europe.
Is Glastonbury the biggest festival in Europe?
In a way, yes. Glastonbury is known to be the biggest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the whole world.
Is Halloween celebrated in Europe?
Yes, it is celebrated in some parts in Europe, though not with as much enthusiasm as in the United States.
What countries in Europe celebrate Halloween?
Some of the best places to celebrate Halloween in Europe are: Corinaldo Amsterdam London Monsters Park Bratislava Dracula Castle Edinburgh
What is the biggest music festival in Europe?
Glastonbury Festival is the biggest greenfield music and performing arts festival in Europe and the world.
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