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Three of the Best European Music Festivals 2013

Main Square Festival Arras

The summer is coming and with it news of some fantastic European music festivals.

Going to a great music festival in France or Belgium was never easier and with some really great line-ups coming together – now is the time to book tickets for some of the hottest music festivals in mainland Europe this summer.

Arras Main Square Festival: 5-7 July

Just an hour’s drive from Calais or by train from Calais train station the Arras Main Square Festival is definitely one for the diary, with a world-class line-up strutting their stuff in a unique Unesco world heritage site. This year’s acts include Sting, Mike and the Mechanics, Stereophonics, 30 Seconds to Mars, Green Day and many more. The concerts take place over three days and three nights in the Citadel of Arras, a world heritage site located in the heart of a 40 hectare park. Day tickets cost €49 and a three day pass is €115. Camping pitches can be booked via the festival website.  Aside from the music festival there is plenty to see and do in this vibrant town – great bars and restaurants and architecturally and culturally rich. (Tickets and details from the Main Square Festival website).

Elvis Costello

Ghent Jazz Festival: 11-21 July

The biggest jazz festival in Belgium, the Ghent Jazz Festival showcases a superb selection of top calibre musicians. Roughly an hour and a half’s drive from Calais, the concerts take place in the De Bijloke music centre, located in the heart of Ghent, within walking distance of the city’s historic centre. In the mix this year, to name but a few, will be Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Bobby Womack, Jamie Cullum, DeeDee Bridgewater, Ramsey Lewis, Diana Krall and Kurt Elling. The main concert hall was once a medieval hospital and is wonderfully atmospheric. Tickets start from €37 or an 8 day festival pass is €240.

Eurockeennes Festival Belfort: 4-7 July

A little further afield in the Franche Comté region but with the acts lined up and in such a fabulous location this is one not to miss! Now in its 25th year, the Eurockeennes Festival describes itself as the French Glastonbury. Located on the scenic Malsaucy peninsula, 10km from Belfort in Eastern France, this festival aims to offer something for everyone. Confirmed acts for this year include Blur, Jamiroquai and the Smashing Pumpkins. There’s also a great selection of new talent to experience. Day tickets cost €45 and a 4 day pass just €129, both of which include free campsite access and a free shuttle bus to the concert venue. There’s plenty of free parking near the campsite and teepees are also available to hire at an additional cost – see details on the Eurockeennes website.

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