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5 Best Offbeat Fests

Primavera? So last year. Burning Man? Stopped being hip in the noughties. It’s the once seriously uncool, smaller and weirder niche affairs that are the fests to check out in 2017

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Into The Valley

Rummu, Estonia

The music fest that is ITV used to take place in a crater in Sweden, this year it’s happening in an abandoned Estonian prison in freaky limestone quarry – raving to the newest dance acts and DJs has never been as adventurous.

29 June – 1 July,

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Amsterdam, The Netherlands

You won’t have more fun in Amsterdam than at Milkshake, the city’s so-funky-it-hurts dance music carnival. It’s glitter, it’s gay, it’s drag queens, fetishism, sexy after parties and some of the grooviest acts ever to grace a stage.

29-30 July,

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Fête des Lumières

Lyon, France

The city of Lyon gets lit up for three nights of incredible illuminations across buildings, streets, squares and parks with the grand finale light show projected on the stunning Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. It’s truly spectacular, take it from me.

Dates tbc.

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Athens, Greece/Kassel/Germany

Documenta only happens once every five years, lasts 100 days and takes place at numerous venues across both Athens and Kassel. This 14th edition features more modern and contemporary works in different mediums than grains of sand on beach – well not quite – and themes include freedom and what it means to be ‘public’. Prepare to engage.

Athens 8 April – 16 July, Kassel 10 June – September 17,

Meadows in the Mountains


A village halfway up a mountain in Bulgaria. Only seriously dedicated festivalgoers will be making it to this one – which is why you should go too. Hippy trippy escapism, incredible sunrise DJ sets, indoor and outdoor pool parties… this one is special.

9-11 June,