Older generations would say that today’s festivals are just a pale copy of Woodstock, a hopeless battle to be the most beautiful “flower child” in all the glitter and mud. However, whatever your age or the kind of music you like, summer always has a concert for you. With all their rituals and styles, modern music festivals are an immensely important part of a musical coming of age. For me- and I’m someone who loves music almost as much as my favorite people- a festival is the best way to start the summer. And since summer has already started, we present to you five festivals and concert you can visit close by. The best one may be a couple hundred kilometers away, or just a few steps from you!

Festivals are, essentially, holidays , and music is a celebration in which a single song can get you to pour your heart out in the middle of an open field. If this seems like exactly what you need to get in touch with yourself, you might want to mark up these dates in your calendar.

INmusic festival, June 19th – June 21st / Zagreb

If you remember years by the concerts, my 2016 was forever marked by three performances I saw at the INmusic festival- PJ Harvey, Florence and The Machine, and The Kooks. Even the artists whose names were scribbled in tiny letters on the promotional posters were a complete revelation. As usually, there were a few “anti-festival” performances by artist whose music enables them to turn an open field into a classy concert hall- and still deliver a strong impression.

The moment it was all over I started saving up for next year. I regret having to miss Arcade fire, one of my favorite bands- their nostalgic anthems and performances that resemble an open heart surgery being performed on each and every one of their listeners.

Must-see: Arcade Fire, Alt-J, Kasabian, Michael Kiwanuka, Darko Rundek, Kings of Leon

Photo by Jelena Radovanović

EXIT festival, July 5th – July 9th / Petrovaradin fortress, Novi Sad

Although EXIT is very often dubbed one of the biggest festivals in Europe, it’s somehow never at the top of my wishlist. The last ten years brought a lineup that did not quite resonate with a more alternative crowd, but gave a few pleasant surprises such as Afghan Wings, Pet Shop Boys, Suede, and one of the last performances of Vlada Divljan. Alternative rock fans have a bit more to look forward to this year.

Must-see: The Killers, Jesus and Mary Chain, Liam Gallagher, Jake Bugg, Róisín Murphy, Darko Rundek

Photo by Tina Marić

SZIGET festival, 09. August – 16. August / Budapest

A canvas bracelet sounds like a retro accessory from the 70’s, but the first one I ever wore was when I visited Sziget some eight years ago. Sziget often ends up being just a casual destination, but actually offers one of the most complete festival experiences- arts and entertainment, a diverse audience and lots of excellent musical discoveries. There’s something special about enjoying a concert you haven’t actually planned on going to.

Must-See: Kasabian, PJ Harvey, Alt-J, Interpol, The Kills, Glass Animals, The Vaccines, Mac DeMarco, Allah-Las, Jagwar Ma

WARPAINT, July 12th / Tvornica kulture, Zagreb

Some concert experiences are difficult to explain, and it’s almost impossible to predict what the next one holds. One we dreamed about for a long time is finally near. The endlessly charming dream-pop/indie rock quartet from California will be coming to Zagreb, just in time to bring us some summertime sadness, their new album, and a magical performance.

The next day, the same venue will be occupied by Rain Adams, and later on, on August 19th, by the Kills!

INTERPOL, August 13th/ Kalemegdan fortres, Belgrade

My absolute favorite thing is participating in the pre-concert elation and emotional flare up that comes up when your favorite artist is coming. I never knew so many of my friends love Interpol! Looking at the setlist, all the key songs are there. See you at Kalemegdan!

A lot of fantastic artists and bands can be seen at one of these festivals. Keep your eyes and ears open and, this summer, give yourself at least one concert to remember. I’m still hoping my special moment will be singing, at the top of my lungs: “Can we just work it out? If we scream and shout ’till we work it out?”

Photo by Jelena Radovanović