11 Festivals To Take Your City Break To The Next Level

11 Festivals To Take Your City Break To The Next Level

Want to spice up your city break? We asked Resident Advisor to recommend the best one day festivals and day passes in cities from Amsterdam to Novisad. You’ll get all the fun of a traditional festival, without the camping and portaloos. And once you’ve finished partying, you’ll be right at the heart of the action in some of the world’s most exciting cities. Here’s where to get more bang for your buck…

Nuits Sonores

best one day festivals / nuit sonores lyon

Nuits Sonores turns Lyon into a giant playground. What really sets it apart from other city festivals is the way it sprawls across some of the city’s most striking locations: from the swimming pool on the Rhone river banks to the hanging gardens of Perrache. Join 80,000 festival goers and 250 artists for a magical weekend of exploration.

Where: Lyon, France
24-28 May
One-day tickets from £22

Where to stay: SLO Living Hostel, 5 rue Bonnefoi

Movement Detroit

best one day festivals / movement detroit

Detroit is the star of the show at Movement, despite the stellar line-up of artists. And how could it not be? Detroit has played such a pivotal role in the history of music and with no signs of an economic revival any time soon, it’s a city everybody loves to root for. As the home of techno, people from all over the world are making the pilgrimage to Detroit for this festival, and you should too.

Where: Detroit, USA
27-29 May
One-day tickets from £62

Where to stay: Hostel Detroit, 700 Vermont


AVA Festival

best one day music festivals / ava belfast

Held at T13 in the Titanic Quarter, where the RMS Titanic was famously built, AVA Festival focuses on showcasing and supporting Northern Irish talent alongside the pioneers of the scene. It’s one of Bicep’s favourite places to play and catching them on home turf is definitely one not to miss.

Where: Belfast, Northern Ireland
2-3 June
One-day tickets from £40

Where to stay: Vagabonds, University Road

Field Day

best one day music festivals / field day london

Field Day is London’s best-loved one day music festival, set in East London’s leafy Victoria Park. This year’s event will ‘The Barn’ – a shiny new hangar-like stage fitted out with a state of the art sound system and one of the most technologically advanced lighting rigs around. The stage will play host to huge headliners line Aphex Twin, Nina Kraviz and Jon Hopkins and should make for an unforgettable experience in the heart of the capital.

Where: London, UK
3 June
One-day tickets from £40

Where to stay: Kip Hotel, 2 Aspland Grove, Dalston

Primavera Sound

best one day music festivals / primavera barcelona

Barcelona captures the hearts of most that visit, and the gorgeous Parc del Forum is a stunning location for the world-class Primavera Sound. The festival is known for its huge array of artists that come to play: amongst the 200 acts confirmed you’ll see electric performances this year from Grace Jones, The xx, Frank Ocean and Solange. Top tip: don’t forget to explore the free programme of events taking place around the Raval neighbourhood across the weekend too.

Where: Barcelona, Spain
15-17 June
One-day tickets from £80

Where to stay: 360 Hostel Barcelona, Calle Bailen 7

MoMA PS1 Warm Up

best one day music festivals / Moma PS1 New York

Although not strictly a festival in its conventional sense, the warm up series curated by MoMA PS1 is an absolute staple if you’re in New York during summer. As one of America’s oldest and largest contemporary art institutions, they know a thing or two about creativity. The outdoor series is curated by a committee selected by the museum to introduce audiences to the best in experimental music, sound, and DJs — both local and international — across a range of genres and it simply brings the house down.

Where: New York, USA
Saturdays, 10 June – 26 August
One-day tickets from £15

Where to stay: The Local NYC, 12-02 44th Avenue, Queens

EXIT Festival

best one day festivals / exit festival novi sad

Now in its 50th year, EXIT will host more than 30 stages with over 1,000 artists in a huge celebration of multiple genres. This cross-genre approach means you can catch Rag’n’Bone Man’s dulcet tones over a sunset one evening and Faithless performing atmospheric anthems as the sun rises the next – in a truly stunning location at the Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad.

Where: Novi Sad, Serbia
6-9 July
One-day tickets from £30

Where to stay: Varad Inn Boutique Hostel And Café, Strosmajerova 16, Novi Sad

Dekmantel Festival

best one day music festivals / denkmantel festival amsterdam

Hailed as one of Europe’s finest festivals, Dekmantel lives up to its reputation. The five-day event hosted in the Amsterdam Forest (“Amsterdamse Bos”) by day and various city-centre locations in the evening, features some of the best music you’ll hear all year. With local heroes billed directly next to household names, it’s a very relaxed affair. The soundtrack to this festival is simply feel-good music, and this happy atmosphere is palpable in every crowd you find yourself amongst.

Where: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2-6 August
One-day tickets from £34

Where to stay: ClinkNOORD, Badhuiskade 3, 1031 KV Amsterdam

Sunfall Festival

best one day festivals / sunfall festival london

London can at times feel like it’s overflowing with festivals, but after an unforgettable debut for Sunfall last year, it’s firmly on our festival calendar in 2017. Brought to you by the teams behind XOYO, The Nest and Phonox as well as Croatian festivals Dimensions and Outlook, this festival is in a league of its own. Their combined expertise is evident in everything from the bookings (watch out for Beautiful Swimmers this year) to the simple yet inspired aesthetics.

Where: London, UK
12 August
One-day tickets from £50

Where to stay: Safestay Elephant & Castle, 144-152 Walworth Road

Flow Festival

best one day music festivals / flow festival helsinki

Flow Festival is the jewel in Helsinki’s crown. It strikes an alluring setting for a few days of blissed-out festival escapism — great bookings, cool festival site, lovely host city — as well a few less common attributes for an event of its size. Organizers stagger the time slots on the three big stages so that you never have to miss out on too much and the wealth of delicious dining options, from lobster hot dogs to rabbit-and-duck pastillas, will leave you pondering your food options far longer than who you’ll be seeing.

Where: Helsinki, Finland
11-13 August
One-day tickets from £84

Where to stay: The Yard Hostel, Kalevankatu 3, A 45


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About The Author

Emma Martell (Hostelworld)

Coffee-obsessed Berlin exile living in London.

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4 Responses to “11 Festivals To Take Your City Break To The Next Level”

  1. As a blogger who writes a lot about music festivals, you’ve picked out some really good ones! I actually just wrote a post that included a few of these as well. FLOW festival looks so cool, and I’m hoping to make it to EXIT this summer.

  2. Sad to see that there is no psychedelic music festival in this list. 🙁 I’m a “festival nomad” and travel around the world to attend music festivals and I was very excited to see the if there was any underground festival listed here.

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