With diverse musical lineups, immersive experiences, and a shared ethos, these ethical festivals create a vibrant atmosphere where attendees can dance, connect, and contribute to a greater cause. Join these celebrations of music and ethical values, where partying becomes a catalyst for positive change.
In contrast to the sky-high ticket prices, corporate branding, and focus on big-name acts that have become synonymous with music festivals, a shift is taking place. As a recent UK study highlights the impact of the cost of living crisis on people’s attendance at live music events, it’s clear that commercial festivals may have lost some of their appeal.
However, amidst this backdrop, there is good news. Europe is home to a range of eclectic and affordable festivals that prioritize a different approach. These festivals consciously place profit in the backseat, embracing a more diverse and inclusive experience for attendees.
By fostering a vibrant atmosphere and curating unique lineups, these festivals provide an alternative space for music lovers to gather and celebrate without breaking the bank. It’s a refreshing departure from the commercial norm, offering a glimpse into a more accessible and authentic music festival experience.
Nestled in the beautiful Seine-Maritime region of northern France, Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer hosts a captivating three-day festival known as Pete the Monkey, situated just a stone’s throw away from the beach.
Referred to as a “secret little paradise” by Le Monde newspaper, this festival is a lively fusion of French and English culture, with sustainability taking center stage. Embracing an eco-conscious approach, Pete the Monkey ensures that food trucks exclusively offer locally sourced produce, effectively supporting the region’s agriculture. With a commitment to minimizing environmental impact, the festival proudly eliminates the use of plastic on-site, offering a more sustainable experience. Notably, even the DJ stage operates on solar panels, showcasing the integration of renewable energy sources.
Pete the Monkey festival stands as a shining example of harmonizing music, culture, and environmental responsibility, providing attendees with a vibrant and socially conscious experience amidst the breathtaking surroundings of Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer.
Pete the Monkey festival has a history of impressive lineups, featuring artists like Loyle Carner and Folamour. In 2023, the stage will showcase the talents of Orchestra Baobab, Flavien Berger, Acid Arab, and more. What sets this festival apart is its mission to support the Jacj Cuisi monkey sanctuary in Bolivia. The funds raised contribute to saving animals affected by deforestation and illegal trafficking. Inspired by a viral video capturing monkeys being used as pets and forced to wash dishes, festival founder Louis Dumas and his brother Rob decided to establish a fundraising event for the sanctuary. From its humble beginnings in 2012 as a 350-person party, Pete the Monkey has grown into one of France’s most esteemed green festivals.
Mark your calendars for July 13-15, and secure your three-day ticket priced at €177.50. Join the celebration of music, conservation, and community at petethemonkeyfestival.
The Sun (Solar United Natives) festival takes place in Csobankapuszta, a “Garden of Eden” in northern Hungary.
At Sun, the core essence revolves around fostering profound human connections. Attendees gather to rebuild, release their burdens, seek forgiveness, and embrace letting go. The festival’s grounds feature cows and sheep, offering a natural and harmonious ambiance. Engaging in tree-planting sessions and participating in healing groups further enhance the transformative atmosphere.
Born a decade ago from the vibrant Hungarian Goa scene, known for its psychedelic trance parties, Sun festival continues to embody that vibrant spirit. This year’s lineup includes Sabretooth, Gagarin Project, Triceradrops, and more, ensuring a mesmerizing auditory journey.
To attend Sun, a unique approach awaits as traditional ticketing is eschewed. Instead, becoming a “member” of the community is required. The entire event is organized by the NGO Deep Smile Foundation, without any corporate backing or investors. The festival’s profits are reinvested into developing a sustainable community within the region, underscoring its commitment to long-term positive impact.
Save the dates for July 10-17, and secure your spot with an annual membership priced at €115 or a lifetime membership at €200. Join the Sun festival, where connection, transformation, and sustainability intertwine in a truly extraordinary experience.
Known as the Woodstock of Poland, Pol’and’Rock is among the top free music festivals in the world “driven by ideals rather than money”.
Set in Czaplinek, northwest Poland, the Poland Rock Festival draws an immense crowd, with 750,000 attendees in 2019. While rooted in heavy metal, the festival’s lineup features a diverse range of genres, including indie, hip-hop, rock, and reggae. This year, headliners such as Apollo 440 and Bullet for My Valentine (BFMV) will take the stage, accompanied by a plethora of creative workshops and enlightening lectures.
Organized by the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, the festival serves as a gesture of gratitude to its volunteers. Each year, the funds raised are dedicated to a different branch of medicine in Poland. Previously, the festival supported pediatric and elderly care, as well as raised funds for specific conditions like sepsis. Inclusive by design, the festival welcomes patients alongside other attendees, ensuring safe spaces are created to accommodate their needs.
Mark your calendars for August 3-5, and immerse yourself in this remarkable event. Best of all, entry is free, inviting music enthusiasts from near and far to partake in the celebration. Join the Poland Rock Festival, where music, gratitude, and philanthropy converge in a truly unforgettable experience.
Situated on the enchanting north coast of Sicily, between the majestic Madonie Mountains and the sparkling sea, lies the medieval town of Castelbuono. Surprisingly, this charming town plays host to Italy’s premier indie-rock festival, defying expectations with its vibrant music scene.
Ypsigrock, a renowned music festival, has witnessed captivating performances by acclaimed acts like alt-J and Primal Scream. This year’s lineup boasts the melodic allure of “emotional rock” artist Ekkstacy, the unique blend of jazz and electronica from the Comet is Coming, and the captivating sounds of Mercury prize-winning group Young Fathers.
Celebrating its 26th year, the festival was established by the nonprofit organization Associazione Culturale Glenn Gould. Dedicated to promoting cultural initiatives that enhance and enrich the region, the association also collaborates with Fondazione Con il Sud to facilitate social inclusion programs. One of their primary goals is to make events in southern Italy more accessible, ensuring active participation for individuals with disabilities.
From August 10-13, immerse yourself in the Ypsigrock experience with a three-day pass priced at €125.89. Join this remarkable festival, where music and social impact converge, in the picturesque setting of ypsigrock.
The founding idea was a relationship between good wines, charming atmosphere and good music, as the owners of a popular local winery, the masterminds being Szabolcs Homola and Orsolya Valde. They thought up, and still do, a quality event near Lake Balaton offering an alternative to mass festivals. Besides the best Hungarian and international performers, it is an important aspect to provide quality gastronomy, offer local products, and pay attention to sustainability. No more than a stone’s throw from Balaton on the wine hill of Paloznak, guests can expect to find a real picnic festivity.
The small village of 500, becomes the Balaton capital of jazz, funk and soul for those three days: the big concerts are held at the main stage next to the village with guest resting on blankets during the day and dancing on the grass under the stars at night. The smaller stages are among the authentic century old village houses, and they give place to exciting jazz performances.
Our selection of music entertains wide age group of people, from little ones to elderly music lovers. In one of the most beautiful corners of the Balaton Highlands, we strive to make this festival environmentally friendly to the greatest possible extent. We avoid using plastic as much as we can, and only offer compostable cups and plates made of plant fibers. We introduced awareness raising children programs to draw our future adults attention to the environment.
Every October, electronic music enthusiasts gather in Holland for the renowned Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE). While the festival comes with a higher price tag of €525, it is a must-attend for hardcore fans who value the immersive experience it offers.
Spanning five days, ADE hosts an astonishing array of approximately 1,000 events across 200 locations throughout the city. From intimate basement-club nights and marathon 12-hour parties to grand stadium shows, enlightening lectures, and engaging workshops, this festival serves as a hub where industry enthusiasts and EDM aficionados come together.
In the previous year, the opening night featured a captivating live performance by Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein, the composers of the acclaimed Stranger Things soundtrack. This year’s lineup includes a mesmerizing solo show by DJ Martin Garrix and exhilarating sets by techno-house experts such as Bárbara Lago and Fatima Hajji, among many others.
ADE is organized by the Amsterdam Dance Event Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to nurturing electronic music, its culture, and the industry on a global scale. Their mission is to establish a solid foundation for future generations by supporting emerging talent and fostering the growth of electronic music.
Nestled in the captivating city of Cluj-Napoca, located in north-western Romania, Untold stands proudly as the country’s largest electronic music festival. Boasting a remarkable lineup that spans across six stages, both indoor and outdoor, this event gathers some of the most talented artists in contemporary techno.
Untold is renowned for its diverse musical offerings, catering to a wide range of tastes. From trap, progressive house, and psy, to euphoric hardstyle, afro house, and ambient, there’s something for everyone. In the upcoming 2023 edition, prepare to be enthralled by performances from acclaimed artists like Imagine Dragons, Alesso, and Bedouin, among many others.
A fascinating fun fact from the festival’s history: In 2018, Armin van Buuren delivered an extraordinary seven-hour set on the main stage, leaving a lasting impression on attendees.
The inception of Untold can be attributed to Share Federation Cluj-Napoca, a nonprofit government organization, which took shape after the city of Cluj-Napoca was designated as the European Youth Capital in 2015. The federation’s core mission revolves around supporting youth organizations through inclusive urban development projects, while promoting the sharing of culture and common European values.
Mark your calendars for August 3-6 and grab your day tickets starting from €89. Immerse yourself in the magic of Untold, where electrifying music, vibrant energy, and a celebration of European youth culture come together to create an unforgettable experience.