12 Festivals You Need To Go To In 2016

Festivals are a safe haven for wasters and degenerates like us, so why wouldn't we love them? At a festival, no one knows how badly you did in your leaving cert, or how scooby-dooed drunk you got at your sister's 21st. That's why this year you need to get away from the real world, say goodbye to the haters, and immerse yourself in a pool of groove. Here are 11 festivals you need to go to this year. (In no particular order, but they do start small, and get bigger and bigger.)


1. Forbidden Fruit


When: TBA (Last Year was 29 - 31 May 2015)


Where: The Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin City Centre.



About: This is a multi-stage music and arts festival. The festival combines music, art, fashion and simple good vibes. Anybody who went to this festival last year, said that it topped the charts. I'm sorry, but am I the only one who didn't know this was going on last year? Forbidden Fruits 2016, I'm coming atcha.


Last Years Acts: They had Fatboy Slim, Groove Armada, Wu Tang Clan, Jamie XX, Bakermat, Disciples and Booka Shade to name but a few.


Last Years Price:

  • 3 Days - €119
  • Day tickets are priced from €49.50 for Friday. €59.50 for Saturday or Sunday.

2. Body and Soul

When: 17 - 19 June 2016



Where: Ballinlough Castle, Westmeath.


About: A place to truly lose yourself. Honestly. You won't even know who you are after this one. If you like alternative, indie, acoustic, reggae and house music (as well as good vibes, yoga, massage and moments of blissful zen) then this festival is for you. Described as a 'nocturnal playground for the starry eyed.' You'll feel like you're in the 60's. Children over 12 are permitted if accompanied by an adult, it's a family friendly festival so nothing but good vibes and good music. It has a 'no trace policy.' So unlike most music festivals, the ground is not a complete waste site when you leave. It includes quirky little music-filled cafes; secret parties in hidden sitting rooms; late-night party corners; comedy, theatre, cinema, craft and interactive entertainment; a child-friendly arena Soul Kids, and bubbling hot tubs for mates and dates under a canopy of stars.


Last Years Acts: Flight Facilities, Lamb, SOHN, King Kong Company, Meltybrains?, Rhye, and Savages.



Price: Weekend Camping Ticket - Averaging around €155

3. Sea Sessions


When: 24 -26 June 2016



Where: Bundoran, Donegal.


About: Camping and surfing dude. Right on a beach in Bundoran, the capital of Irish Surfing, it is the only event in the country bringing together the unique lifestyle aspects of surfing, music, skating, BMX, beach sports and more. A really cool place to be if you like music and surfing/hot surfers.


Last Years Acts: Sea Sessions 2015 included Klingande, The Riptide Movement, Cyril Hahn, Maverick Sabre, Sigma, Example and Seasick Steve.



Price: Day ticket prices are around €50, get them before they sell out!

4. Longitude


When: 15 - 17 July 2016



Where: Marlay Park, Dublin


About: Longitude is a no brainer if you're looking for an Irish festival to go to. It was the winner of 'Best New Festival' and 'Best Medium Festival' at the Irish Festival Awards 2014. Although it isn't a camping festival, you still get that festival feeling. (Without sleeping in a cold tent all night, and coming home tired, muddy and lifeless. We think that this is a plus.)


Lineup: The 2016 lineup includes Kendrick Lamar, Major Lazer, The National, Jamie XX, Chvrches, Tyler The Creator, Pleasure Beach, and Rejjie Snow.




  • 3 Day Ticket - €159.50
  • 1 Day Ticket - €64.50



If you're not from Dublin, here are a few hostels in town that you can stay in, and easily get a bus to Marlay Park from.

  • Generator Hostel Dublin
  • The Times Hostel, College Street
  • Dublin International Hostel
  • Independent Holiday Hostels of Ireland

5. Castlepalooza


When: TBA (Last Year was 31 July - 2 August 2015)


Where: Charleville Castle, Tullamore.



About: Taking place in a wooded wonderland, this is known as one of the best small music festivals in Ireland, where they promise great music, merriment, magic, madness and mind-blowing memories. A little heavy on the alliteration, but we still love it. With a 50% Irish line-up, it's a truly great festival to be a part of. This is for you if you like the "less fuss" kind of fun. The festival is one of the "Little Two" music festivals in Ireland, the other being Indiependence which is usually held on the same weekend in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork and shares many of the same acts.


Last Years Acts: Castlepalooza 2015 included Cave Ghosts, Alex Metric, April Towers, Benny Smiles, I Have A Tribe and Paddy Hanna.


Last Years Ticket Price:

  • 3 Day Including Camping €94
  • 3 Day No Camping €75
  • Sunday Only - No Camping €50

6. Electric Picnic

When: 2 - 4 September 2016



Where: Stradbally, Co. Laois.


About: Although it is the most typical music festival in Ireland, it will not disappoint. Last year it was better than ever. As the sun shone down on Picnickers over the course of the weekend, revellers of all ages got to enjoy everything that Ireland’s most popular festival has to offer; art, theatre, comedy, food and of course music. 2016 will be even bigger. This is a definite no brainer, go for it! Tickets went on sale days after last years festival, and will be on sale again soon. Keep your eye on the website.  You'll come back a new (tired, sick, hungover, are-you-even-a-person?) person.


Lineup: Acts last year included Blur, Florence and the Machine, George Ezra, Jurassic 5, MK, Hot Chip,  FKA Twigs and Chvrches.



Price: Back on sale soon at €229.50.



7. Amsterdam Music Festival


When: 22 - 23 October 2016


Where: Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam.


About: This is one for the dance music lovers and absolute ravers. In October 2016, people from all around the globe will travel to this beautiful city to experience music, art, technology and the party scene Amsterdam is known for. It's on for 2 nights and the second night goes on from 6pm to 6am. You get to go to Amsterdam, (which is always an incentive to do anything.) It's super intense, but if that's your jam then do it sista. It is absolutely unmissable. Sure, you'll come home broken, but it's worth it.



Last Years Acts: The 2015 acts were phenomenal. They included Hardwell, David Guetta, Martin Garrix, Oliver Heldons, DJ Snake, Tiesto, Robin Schulz and Armin Van Buuren.Stradbally, Co. Laois.


Last Years Ticket Price: 2 Day Ticket: €110


Flights: Return to Amsterdam for those dates: Around €85


8. Glastonbury

When: 22 - 26 June 2016


Where: Somerset, England.



About: Glastonbury Festival is a five-day festival of contemporary performing arts. In addition to contemporary music, the festival hosts dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret, and other arts. It's basically a milestone in any festival-goers life. Some people say that if you combined a Disney World made for adults, a carnival, a music festival, a spiritual centre and a worldwide cook-off together, you would still not wind up with the creative, mind-blowing concoction that is Glastonbury. Ripped out of a page in the most wild story book ever, this festival reigns as one of the most sought after experiences in the world.


Last Years Acts: Kanye West, The Who, Alt J, Lionel Richie, James Bay (bae), Mary J Blige and Paloma Faith.


Last Years Ticket Price: €305. Note: Before buying a ticket, you must first register on their website.



Flights: Return to Bristol for those dates - Around €80

9. Sziget Festival

When: 10 - 17 August 2016



Where: Budapest, Hungary


About: This is the perfect festival to go to in a big group. It's a week long. That may seem long but with the amount of stuff going on, time will fly. Described as "an electronically amplified, warped amusement park that has nothing to do with reality”. Now, we're a massive fan of: loud things, fun things, and weird things, so this sounds like our kind of party. Unlike most festivals there is proper tarmac roads circling the main area. In fact the whole site is much better set up for coping with mud than many festivals (yes Glastonbury, I’m looking at you), with wellies a very rare sight.


Lineup 2016: Include Bastille, Kodaline, Chvrches, John Newman, Naughty Boy and Nicky Romero. But expect a lot more to come.



Ticket Price:

  • 7 Day ticket - €249
  • 5 Day Ticket - €215
  • 1 Day Ticket - €59


Flights: Return to Budapest on those dates - Around €180


10. Tomorrowland

When: 22 – 24 July 2016


Where: Boom, Belgium



About: This is the big one. People of Tomorrow, prepare for a fascinating new tale. Described as trippy Technicolor fantasies, stages undergo seamless transformations with a well-executed attention to detail. It is known for it's incredible different themes every year. The Kingdom of Melodia served as 2015's theme, with a super detailed fairytale castle, known as the Castle of Melodia, that formed the main stage. Held in Belgium, Tomorrowland is the enigmatic mecca of holy rave magic. Any raver worth his or her glowstick must make it there at least once, get muddy and praise the DJs.


Last Years Acts: Steve Aoki, Avicii, Alesso, Otto Knows, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, Afrojack and Hardwell.


Last Years Ticket Price:

  • Full Madness Tomorrowland Pass (3 Days) - €237
  • Day Ticket - €88
  • Note: Before buying a ticket, you must first register on their website.
  • Note: You can only buy tickets for up to four people.


Flights: Return to Brussels on those dates - Around €60

11. Primavera Sound

When: 1 - 4 June 2016



Where: Parc del Fòrum, Barcelona


About: The first thing you need to know about Primavera is that you’ll have to change your conception of time. When most festivals are gearing up for their big finale, this Barcelona bash is wiping its bleary eyes and thinking about opening up for the day. Some of the biggest bookings might roll up around midnight, but there will be plenty more artists on the bill after that, and if you’re not walking home in broad daylight you should consider it a personal failure.


Lineup: Includes Alice Glass, FKA Twigs, Sufjan Stevens, Jamie XX, Radiohead, Deftones and Black Sabbath.



Ticket Price: The full festival ticket for Primavera Sound 2016 is on sale at the price of 175 euro, but only until Wednesday 3rd February. From Thursday 4th and until the 4th May the price will be 185 euro.


Flights: Return to Barcelona on those dates - Around €180

12. Melt!


When: 15 - 17 July 2016


Where: Ferropolis, Germany.


About: Melt! Festival is the ultimate “Electronic Meets Rock” festival. Held in the giant industrial museum Ferropolis, the event spreads over six floors, and has a line-up of over 80 live acts over the weekend. Alongside standard camping, the site includes the infamous sleepless floor, as well as a vast lake that almost the entire festival can swim in. There's also a vintage train for Melters who decided to splash out on a carriage. Don't miss this chance to melt your brain.



Lineup: This year the lineup includes Disclosure, Jamie XX, Two Door Cinema Club, M83, Chvrches, Ben Klock and Mura Masa. More to come.


Ticket Prices:

  • 3 Day Ticket - €136


  • Camping Plus - €49 (Includes camping next to your car, separate sanitary facilities, guest list check-in, a shuttle to the festival site and separate festival entrance.)
  • Pre - Party Ticket - €11 (Valid for the pre-party on Thursday, July 14 at the festival site.)


Flights: Return to Leipzig Airport - Around €200

Áine O'Donnell

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