Nordic & Scandinavian Music Festivals Guide 2018
We take a look at some of the best music festivals taking place across northern Europe this year, from Iceland Airwaves to Scandinavian heavyweights Øya and Way Out West
Tallinn Music Week
Tallinn, Estonia, 2-8 Apr
TMW is a weeklong city festival, contemporary music showcase and music industry conference held every spring in the capital of Estonia. The tenth edition features a food festival and design market alongside the conference and music, which will see around 250 bands from all over the world play everything from metal, drone and hip-hop to folk, electronica and jungle.
Individual shows from £7; festival pass from £30. Fly: London Stansted to Tallinn via Ryanair. Visit: Estonian Open-Air Museum
It Takes a Village
Cork, Ireland, 13-15 Apr
It Takes a Village is a brand new festival for 2018 set in the idyllic and pastoral surroundings of Trabolgan, East Cork which offers three nights accommodation in self-catering houses, apartments and campervan sites in the weekend ticket price. And the line-up for their inaugural year is exceptional featuring Young Fathers, Andrew Weatherall, Oh Pep!, Bitch Falcon and Shit Robot.
Weekend tickets from £163 including accommodation; Sunday ticket £44. Fly: Edinburgh to Cork via Aer Lingus. Visit: English Market
Reykjavík, Iceland, 21-24 Jun
Experience 72 hours of daylight at Secret Solstice; at this time of year, there’s no such thing as night in Reykjavík! The line-up for 2018 is an eclectic mix of dance (Charlotte de Witte, Steve Aoki), grime (Stormzy, J Hus), and, um, ‘other’ (Slayer, Bonnie Tyler). Oh, and there’s some live music inside a frickin’ glacier!
Weekend tickets from £133. Fly: Edinburgh via easyJet or Glasgow International via Icelandair to Reykjavík Keflavik. Visit: Hallgrímskirkja and The Blue Lagoon.
Roskilde, Denmark, 30 Jun-7 Jul
A mainstay on the festival calendar since 1971, Roskilde has long since outgrown its hippy origins. This year sees Eminem headline, with St Vincent, David Byrne and Mogwai all also lined-up – there’s always a good reason to visit Denmark, but this might well be one of the best.
Day tickets from £124, festival passes from £248. Fly: Edinburgh to Copenhagen via Ryanair or easyJet. Visit: Ragnarock Museum
Tøyenparken, Oslo, Norway, 7-11 Aug
Since its inception in 1999, Øya festival has grown rapidly and is now one of Norway’s biggest festivals. It currently resides in the Tøyenparken, near the Edvard Munch Museum, which will make for a nice visit while you’re in town. That aside, 2018’s line-up includes Arcade Fire, Lykke Li, Phoebe Bridgers and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard.
Day tickets £90; weekend tickets £255. Fly: Edinburgh to Oslo Gardermoen via Norwegian Air. Visit: Oslo Opera House
Way Out West
Gothenburg, Sweden, 9-11 Aug
Way Out West is an LGBT certified festival which takes place in Slottsskogen (Castle Forest) in central Gothenburg. The festival focuses mainly on rock, pop and hip-hop and runs a complimentary after-hours club program called Stay Out West at various venues in the city. 2018 includes Kendrick Lamar, Patti Smith, Arcade Fire, Fever Ray, St. Vincent, Iggy Pop and Jorja Smith.
Tickets from £148. Fly: Edinburgh to Gothenburg Landvetter via Ryanair. Visit: Universeum
Copenhagen, Denmark, 10-11 Aug
Bryce and Aaron Dessner of The National’s festival is back for 2018 in Refshaleøen, Copenhagen, with the Dessners collaborating with The Royal Danish Orchestra this year. 2018's line-up ranges from Kraftwerk to Kamasi Washington; you can also expect a distinct pushing of the boundaries between art and music. Sounds good to us.
Weekend tickets £165. Fly: Edinburgh to Copenhagen via easyJet or Norwegian Air. Visit: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Helsinki, Finland, 10-12 Aug
Flow’s home is, of all places, a defunct power station in downtown Helsinki. Patti Smith, Kendrick Lamar and Arctic Monkeys are head-turning headliners, but lower down the bill you’ll find the likes of Sigrid and Grizzly Bear, plus plenty of local talent. Our advice? Load up on Lonkero and Salmiakki and bliss out.
Day tickets £87; weekend tickets £171. Fly: Edinburgh to Helsinki Vantaa via Finnair or British Airways. Visit: Linnanmäki
Reykjavík, Iceland, 7-10 Nov
We’ve already told you to go to Reykjavík, but winter and summer in Iceland are two very different things. Iceland Airwaves offers off-venue performances by day in launderettes, hostels and cinemas, while the evening opens up the city’s bigger venues. There’ll be a varied, international music selection on offer, plus you’ll have a decent chance to see the Northern Lights!
Weekend tickets from £106. Fly: Edinburgh via easyJet or Glasgow International via Icelandair to Reykjavík Keflavik. Visit: Golden Circle with Secret Lagoon