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Thought festivals were only about music? Discover Europe’s decidedly different festival scene…

La Tomatina Topeck pic

The word festival typically makes us think of the many firmly tried and tested UK music festivals such as Reading, V festival and of course the legendary Glastonbury. If you’re a serial festival goer and think you’ve seen it all have you thought of venturing into the more unusual European festival scene?

If you thought festivals were always about music you’d be wrong! Have you ever heard of Amsterdam’s Kings Day? Take to the streets to join the thousands of revellers celebrating Kings Day, or Koninginnedag its known, dress in orange to blend in with the Dutch crowds, and party with the locals until the early hours. Now, how many UK festivals have you experienced a cheese and clogg demonstration? If not head to Amsterdam, Netherlands, for this fun festival on 27th April 2015.

Enjoy a glass of Rjoja? Haro Wine Battle occurs in the small town of Haro in the Rjoja wine region of Spain in June. We think the highlight of this annual festival is definitely the Battalla del Vino where everyone has a blast dousing each other with red wine! Then after a good shower everyone gathers in the Plaza de la Paz Square and chills out for the rest of the day in the glorious Spanish sunshine. Haro Wine Battle is held on 29th June 2015.

Food fight! Travel to Bunol, Spain, for the world’s biggest food fight- La Tomatina! Tens of thousands of revellers make their way to this small Spanish village geared up for a day to remember! The atmosphere building up to the ‘fight’ is like one big street party, with the occasional water fight added in just for fun. At approximately 11am the onslaught starts when huge trucks of tomatoes roll through the street dropping their loads in the middle of the packed crowds where the fight lasts for an hour. We say that’s a great way to guarantee one of your five a day! La Tomatina is held on 26th August 2015.

Fancy partying on the beach in Hungary? Try Sziget! Sziget festival is full of beaches, theatre, street food, folk dancing, sports and amusements. It’s all there on the festival’s very own self-styled island of Freedom where the acts have to row across the water to the stage! Named as 2014’s Best Majoy European Festival, this year Sziget features Florence + The Machine, alt-J, the The Ting Tings to name but a few amazing performers. Head to Sziget for 10th-17th August 2015.

There is a lot more to do at Oktoberfest, Germany, than just drink beer but admittedly a lot of beer drinking is done! Order yourself a colossal one-litre glass of beer, known in the local language as Maß, and get ready to sing along with the obligatory ‘oompah band’. Enjoy what is likely to be one of the most memorable days of your life! Oktoberfest is held between 19th September to 4th October 2015.


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