Festival goers travel from more than 61 countries to attend Sziget, a top music festival in Budapest. // © Balogh Zoltan Kepei; Sandor Csudai (top)
Summer music festival season has kicked off. These events are widely attended by locals and tourists alike, and many sell out months in advance. Judging from these four major summer music festivals, more hotels, venues and tourist attractions are trying to get in on the action, resulting in the perfect summer getaway. Here are some of the perks of traveling to your favorite bands at a major summer festival.
Lollapalooza in Luxury
The 22-year-old festival, which was brought to Chicago’s Grant Park in 2005, is the biggest summer party in the Midwestern U.S. Attracting tourists from all over the country and the world, this year’s Lollapalooza lineup features a wide array of genres including indie rock, hip-hop, electronica, reggae and country. The festival lasts from Aug. 2 to Aug. 4.
Unlike many popular U.S. music festivals, Lollapalooza does not offer a camping option, so nearby hotels lure Lollapaloozers with their travel package deals. Packages by The James Chicago, JW Marriott Chicago, InterContinental Chicago and Hotel Palomar Chicago quickly sold out. For next year, consider booking through a hotel first —properties typically include Lollapalooza tickets, posters and t-shirts with a three-night stay. However, those willing to splurge on a suite for the festival weekend can afford to wait until the last minute.
For $9,299, The James Chicago Platinum Suite Travel Package includes three nights in one of the hotel’s suites, two platinum tickets to Lollapalooza, two Lollapalooza 2013 posters and two Lollapalooza 2013 t-shirts. The JW Marriott Platinum Travel Package includes the same add-ons for the slightly lower price of $9,099.
JW Marriott Chicago
The James Chicago
See the Sights at Sziget
To encourage tourism in Budapest, the festival created the Sziget-Budapest Citypass in 2012. The pass includes free public transportation, free or discounted spa and beach entrance, free shuttle busses from Liszt Ferenc airport, free Sziget boat service and discounted prices on Budapest museum tickets, City Taxi fares, Budapest Zoo entrance and the Amusement Park of Budapest. These passes can be purchased for either $37 for a nine-day period or about $12 for a two-day period.
Not only does the Citypass give you access to tourist attractions all over the city, but Sziget is also bringing a monumental attraction to the festival itself. The Sziget Eye, a 213-foot high Ferris wheel with 42 closed air-conditioned cabins, will be moved from Budapest’s Erzsebet Square to the heart of Sziget Festival by Aug. 5 and will remain there until the festival’s end.
Stay Way Out West
Held in Gothenburg, Sweden’s Slottskogen Park from Aug. 8 - 10, Way Out West Festival features some of this summer’s hottest headliners — Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Alicia Keys, Cat Power, Kendrick Lamar and Azealia Banks to name a few. Because camping is prohibited in the park, Gothenburg’s hotels, hostels, restaurants and clubs naturally overflow with festival goers.
To further incorporate the city of Gothenburg, which has a thriving music scene of its own, Way Out West has created an additional club concept, cleverly named Stay Out West. As part of the Stay Out West program anyone with a three-day festival pass is able to attend numerous additional concerts held at the city’s rock clubs, nightclubs, churches, theaters and cultural centers. None of the musicians playing in the city venues, both breakthrough artists and well-established acts, appear onstage at the festival site.
In an effort to “break the boundaries between genres and expressions,” Way Out West also places a huge emphasis on integrating other forms of creative expression into the festival. As a result, there will be a film line-up just as noteworthy as the musical one. A festival pass grants access to all screening venues.
Way Out West
Start Making Sense in Croatia
Contrary to what its name suggests, Tisno, Croatia’s Stop Making Sense Festival (Aug. 1-4) makes perfect sense. It is held on a private beach on the Adriatic Coast, features breakthrough DJs across the dance music spectrum (from techno and dubstep to Latin and jazz) and gives guests the option of sitting at a tiki bar or lounging on a boat as the music plays. This self-proclaimed “anarchy by the sea” has even been said to rival the party scene of Ibiza’s Sunset Strip.
In case the onshore acts aren’t enough, patrons have the option of attending one of the festival’s eight boat parties. For about $23, sail out to sea with a line-up of two to four DJs spinning their tunes onboard. Looking for something to do onshore after festival hours? Take the festival-provided Magic Bus to Barbarella’s Club. This beach-side, open-air nightclub has DJ sets of its own and doesn’t close until 6 a.m.
Stop Making Sense