In recent years more and more Brits are heading out to European Festivals. Sometimes it's for the experience of visiting different country, often for the (usually) better weather and line-ups, but surely the major reason is most European festivals are much better value, with tickets often half the cost of their UK counterparts.
Hurricane/Southside festivals are twin three day music festivals and takes part from Friday 21-23rd June. Hurricane is a long established fixture on the European Festival calendar and his has been held near the picturesque town of Scheeßel in Northern Germany since 1997. It's slightly smaller sister festival Southside, located in Neuhausen ob Eck in the very south of Germany, has been held since 2000. Reading and Leeds festivals would be the obvious UK comparison, with the line up being shared between the two twin festivals, their size, the variety of bands playing and the fact they're all about the music.
Hurricane is a cheap festival to get to from the UK. Although located in a rural area, Hurricane is located near the cities of Hamburg, Bremen and Hannover which makes getting to the festival relatively easy thanks to Germany's super efficient train system, and also means you can extend your trip with a visit to one of the cities before/after the festival.
Whereas many European Festivals don't get going until the evening and run right through the night, Hurricane/Southside's timings are more similar to the British festivals and start at midday, running throughout the day, with the head liners (This year The Arctic Monkeys, Sigur Ros and QOTSA) playing from 10pm until midnight.
The line up is quite possibly the best in Europe this summer and features many UK and international bands, as well as local German bands and includes:
Arctic Monkeys/ Queens of The Stone Age/ Sigur Ros/ Smashing Pumpkins,/The National/ Kasabian/ Bloc Party, Alt J/ Portishead/ NOFX/ Rammstein/ The Gaslight Anthem/ The Vaccines/ Editors/ Tame Impala/ Peace/ I am Kloot/ The Hives/ Modest Mouse/ Frightened Rabbit/ Frank Turner/ Chase and Status/ Darwin Deez/ Of Monsters and Men/ Gogol Bordello/ The Maccabees/ British Sea Power/ Miles Kane/ Ska-P and Steven Wilson..
The full 4 stage clashfinder for it's 4 stages has been published at http://www.hurricane.de/de/line-up/#!programmation=timeline$ to allow you to plan your weekend already, though with so many great bands playing, clashes are inevitable.
Hurricane being situated in Northern Germany, has suffered from the odd downpour in previous years so wellies, and waterproofs are recommended, just like with UK festivals. Southside being situated near the Swiss border, usually has slightly warmer, drier weather.
Friends who have frequently attended Hurricane in previous years report minimal queues for the bars, toilets etc and the whole festival run with German efficiency! It's not a gourmet boutique festival but the usual festival grub of noodles, burgers, falafel etc is available.
Both Hamburg and Bremen are relatively close to Hurricane Festival with Easy Jet and Ryanair having cheap flights to Hamburg and Bremen from many UK cities. (My Manchester to Bremen return flight has cost less than £50 !). It's slightly more expensive to fly to Hannover but is well served by Flybe and German Wings. Train-wise advance group tickets are available (Länder-Ticket) for transport on all transport systems for up to 5 people anywhere in the region for a day for a bargain 22 to 38 euros)
Hurricane Festival's tickets were priced at a great value 137 euro (around £117). Reading and Leeds's weekend tickets by comparison are £202 this year. Both Hurricane and Southside's tickets have sold out already, which is testament to their fantastic line up and reputation.