Lifestyle & Culture

New for 2018: Dispatches’ list of Europe’s best spring break and summer party destinations

Street’s like a jungle / So call the police / Following the herd / Down to Greece / On holiday!Blur, “Girls & Boys,” 1994.

It’s cold in Europe right now; even Sunny Beach, Bulgaria and Saint-Tropez, France are too cool for resort wear at around 60 degrees Farenheit (16 degrees Celsius).

Soon, however, the heat will return, and so will the holiday fun on the beaches of the Mediterranean and beyond. March through June is spring break in Europe, and we’re here to help you get the most out of this magical, drunken, sexy period with our latest list, devoted to all things spring break.

Our list will be updated as more events come up on the horizon, so keep this one bookmarked so you don’t end up sleeping on your spring break. And if you know of a big party or event perfect for spring breakers, you can either email yours truly at cameron@dispatcheseurope.com or our editor, Terry, at terry@dispatcheseurope.com; or hit up our Facebook page.

• MARCH

Avoriaz, France – SNOWBOXX: Snowboxx, 17 thru 24 March, is yet another party-in-the-Alps festival, this one amid France’s largest ski area, just across the border from Geneva.

If anything differentiates Snowboxx from the rest it’s that is has more big-name acts including Fatboy Slim for 2018, along with Ibiza acts such as Chase+Status (“End Credits”). Oh, and igloo parties and human bowling.

And ski lessons for newbies, which we think is a great idea. So, yeah, this festival has it together.

Snowboxx is really a huge marketing machine. There’s even an installment scheme, with fans putting down a few pounds, then paying off their balances as the date grows closer.

The experience starts at 255 pounds including a place to stay.

You can get passes here.

Barcelona – Abroadfest: University students in Spain and around Europe, you’ll definitely want to consider heading over to Barcelona for the sixth edition of Abroadfest 1 through 3 March. The lineup for this edition includes: Young Bombs; Wrexter; BOXINBOX & LIONSIZE; Shaun Frank; and Cheat Codes.

Founded by Prime Social co-founder Zach Ruben as a way to host big shows outside of Barcelona’s summer season, Abroadfest has grown from a single night of headliners to three nights of wubs and dropped basses on the Catalonian calendar. The festival draws thousands of university students studying abroad (thus, the festival’s name) in Spain, Czechia, Italy, France and other European nations, as well as students from the United States who are choosing to spend their spring break in Europe.

Tickets to the 2018 edition of Abroadfest are $139 (€117) for general admission, $209 (€175) for the VIP package. Don’t wait too long, as this one is 85 percent sold-out; otherwise, bookmark this one on your 2019 calendar.

France/Switzerland border: Rock the Pistes: Let’s say you don’t like EDM/trance all that much. At the same time – 18 thru 24 March – and close to the same place as Snowboxx, there’s the rock-oriented Rock the Pistes nearby, one of the largest music festivals in the Alps.

Thirty-thousand people. Skiing. Multiple stages of performances. And many of the performances are by – get this – actual live musicians. Though we wonder how you play a guitar in zero-degree weather.

This year, it’s Rag’n’Bone Man (“I’m Only Human”), Julian Perreta (“Miracle”) and others.

And the craziest thing … they throw the music in for free if you buy the lift tickets/ski passes.

Or, you can pay extra for VIP passes here that can include private skiing and helicopter tours … and anything else you can dream up.

Obertauren, Austria, The Ski Week: This is another event that’s already sold out for 2018. (You can get on the waiting list here.) The Ski Week runs from 10 March thru 24 March in one of Austria’s many ski resorts.

This is one of the increasingly popular one-price events, with accommodations, lift tickets, events and even a guide, for one low, low price. Well, not all that low starting at about 1,050 euros, which is a pretty good deal all in all.

This is one of several ski weeks around the world including in Canada, Japan and the United States.

Put it on your calendars for 2019.

• APRIL

Amsterdam – Spring Break Amsterdam Festival: If you ever wanted to explore Amsterdam the way a spring breaker would, the Spring Break Amsterdam Festival might be for you.

Every night from 8 through 10 April, check out your favorite music acts at five separate venues in Amsterdam, then spend each day seeing the sights of the city with tour guides. Scheduled performers for this year’s metro-festival include: Chase and Status; Shy FX; Chris Lorenzo; Holy Goof; and Patrick Nazemi.

A ticket to the Spring Break Amsterdam Festival starts at £89 (€101) with a £50 (€57) deposit, then bumps up with whatever you decide to add to the ticket.

Playa d’en Bossa – The IBZ Boat Party: Off the east coast of Spain is an island famous for its party scene: Ibiza (Eivissa en catala). While there are quiet villages, yoga retreats, and serene beaches on the island, most who make the trek are there to party the days and nights away with EDM and (occasionally) foam in the air.

The first big party of the 2018 Ibiza party calendar takes place away from the island, though. The IBZ Boat Party sets sail from Playa d’en Bossa 20 April for four hours of music, food, jet skis and flying bananas. After the boat returns to port at 17:00, the party continues at Ibiza’s many clubs, thanks to the free and discounted admissions you’ll receive by booking your place on the boat.

Want to start your spring break in Ibiza off right? A super early-bird ticket will cost you €49. And don’t worry if you miss the boat: the IBZ Boat Party will return in late May for a summer of near-daily sailings.

• MAY

Copenhagen – Distortion 2018: Starting 30 May and running through 3 June, the 20th anniversary of Distortion will turn most of Copenhagen into party heaven. Distortion includes massive daytime street parties, underground nightclub events, and the grand two-day finale, Distortion Ø at Refshaleøen and the Copenhagen harbour.

Distortion claims to include more than 110 dance floors across the Danish capital where people party as late as 9 a.m. at “morning bars.”

If you want to party with the likes of Maceo Plex, Grandtheft and Noah Carter, a week pass will set you back DKK 450 (about 60 euros); other options are available including camping.

You can get tickets here.

Malta – Annie Mac Presents: Lost & Found Festival: Around 1,200 kilometres to the southeast of Ibiza is the island nation of Malta, one of the smallest nations in the world, boasting the smallest capital city in the European Union by area, Valetta.

Coming to this tiny nation 3 through 6 May is the fourth annual Annie Mac Presents: Lost & Found Festival. Hosted by its namesake, BBC Radio 1 host and DJ Annie Mac, Lost & Found brings some of the best EDM DJs to rock the house, the boat, and the castle. That’s right: in addition to the festival arena, there are boat parties and a rave in a Maltese castle.

And who is Annie Mac bringing to the party this year? Diplo, The Black Madonna, Shy FX, TS7, and Annie Mac herself, among the dozens of DJs already ready to rock the house at Lost & Found.

General release tickets to the festival are £119 to £129 (€135 – €146) for general admission, £149 to £159 (€167 – €180) for the VIP treatment. Tickets can also be paid in monthly installments.

Novalija – Croatia Spring Break: For three weeks in late May through mid-June, Novalija and Zrće Beach on Croatia’s Island of Pag leads the transition from spring break to summer holiday with its annual Croatia Spring Break.

What’s it going to be like when you get to Novalija? Think about every time MTV hosted their annual spring break affair in places like Daytona Beach and Miami Beach, Florida and Cancun, Mexico (especially from 1986 through the late 1990s): wild, sexy, raw, uninhibited, total non-stop madness on the beach. Drop some 24-hour EDM ecstasy from famed DJs against the backdrop of crystal blue waters of the Adriatic Sea and golden sunset beaches, and you have the ingredients for the next Ibiza, right here on the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe.

From €149 per person, you can check out all of the EDM and afterbeach parties you want, plus obtain access to all clubs, and move around the area on a bus that runs 24 hours a day. All you need to decide is how many days and nights (from 31 May – 3 June, 7 – 10 June, and 14 – 17 June) you want to spend losing and/or finding yourself on Zrće Beach.

Zrce, Croatia – Spring Break Europe: As you can tell, the Croatian coast is the place to be when the weather starts to get warm. There are so many parties, it’s hard to keep track of all of them.

Spring Break Europe combines two competing parties – Spring Break Europe and Zrce Spring Break – into what’s touted as a non-stop mega-party. And indeed, there are daytime pool-and-beach parties and nighttime club parties … 72 hours straight of stuff going on.

About 10,000 people are expected for the event, scheduled for 31 May thru 3 June, and it will be interesting to see where they put them all.

Tickets start at 99 euros and you can get them via the SBE Facebook page here. Also, there isn’t much posted yet about the music acts, but they promise the FB page will be updated regularly … and we ARE still four months out.

 

•JUNE

Novalija – Spring Break Island: At the same time and same place as Croatia Spring Break, Novalija’s Spring Break Island is a separate affair held at Noa Beach Club, Rocks Beach Club, and Cocomo Club 31 May through 3 June and 14 through 17 June.

What can you expect on Spring Break Island? Foam parties, boat parties, after beach pool parties, lots of EDM, adventures on Adriatic and Zrće Beach, sexy 24-hour party people, the usual spring break madness. And speaking of EDM, there will be DJs announced soon.

In the meantime, you can book your Spring Break Island adventure for as little as €59 for a three-day general admission pass, €89 for the VIP treatment. Don’t sleep on this, though, as these prices are good until 31 January.

• Anytime

Here’s a quick list of the best destinations to pull together your own pop-up parties:

Croatia:

• On the Southern Dalmatian Coast, Orebic and Korcula between Dubrovnik and Hvar.

• On the Middle Dalmatian Coast: Drvenik and Tucepi have beautiful beaches; Zaostrog is cheap and great for campers.

• On the North Dalmatian Coast: Primosten is literally breathtaking, with a quiet sandy beach on one side and a wild, stone beach with surfing possibilities on the other side.

Cypress:

Ayia Napa is famous for two things: beautiful beaches and a wild party scene. On the Greek side of Cypress, this is a huge destination for Brits … and incredibly affordable.

Greece:

Kos has a reputation as a party island especially popular with Germans. We’ve been there. It’s true.

Mykonos often gets compared to Ibiza.

 

Balearic Islands:

Everyone knows Ibiza is THE party destination in Europe. But did you know Ibiza has Privilege, which claims to be the world’s largest nightclub, with a capacity of 10,000 people?

Bigger than Ibizia and (slightly) more sedate, Mallorca still knows how party hardy.

 

 

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