It’s still nippy outside and the days of carefree camping, fun in the sun and summer music festivals are still a long way off. To indulge those itchy feet, a number of spring music festivals located in city centres propose a solution.
Most of these spring music festivals offer good value weekend tickets that get you into a number of bars, clubs and venues taking part across town. Pick a central hostel within stumbling distance of the festival venues and you’ve got yourself a music festival and a cheap city break rolled in to one. We take a look at the SXSW in Austin, the Camden Crawl in London, Springfest in Graz and The Great Escape in Brighton…
The Camden Crawl, London
30 April-1 May 2011
A good value weekender, tickets are priced at £63.50 which will get you into all the venues. But there is a catch: the popular gigs fill up fast so make sure you get there early to avoid the queues. This year’s acts include British Sea Power, Django Django, Hadouken!, Young Empires and Villagers but you can also catch comedy, theatre and a variety of other cultural happenings. Colorful Camden is jam-packed with great pubs and gastronomy to tickle every taste bud. Shops sell everything from latex wrist warmers to retro grandad knits and you can enjoy some light entertainment people-watching in the afternoon as a multitude of fashion disasters walk right by you. But don’t forget aside from the events nightlife, London is at your fingertips so take the opportunity to explore further afield if you have time.
Pick a London hostel near Camden. One of our best London hostels includes St Christopher’s Inn – Camden close to both the underground and Camden Market. €12.20 per person, per night including breakfast.
2-4 June 2011
Clubbers unite! Austria’s biggest festival for electronic music and art takes place in the pretty and quirky city of Graz. Venues are either within walking distance or short ride away on a special shuttle bus. Find yourself in a cave, a fortress, a steel and glass river island or the ‘Alien Friendly’ Museum of Modern Art to catch an eclectic mix of electronic, indie, dance or drum ‘n’ bass. The list keeps getting bigger but the line-up so far includes Joe from Hot Chip, Mums of Death live, MK12 and Aeroplane. 3-day ticket €92 or €80 for students. 4-day pass €175 or €155 for students.
Youth & Family Guesthouse Graz is located in the center of Graz just a short walk from the main attractions and nightlife. They also offer guests a bar and linen and towels are provided. Dorms from €20pppn, private rooms from €28pppn including breakfast. Find another Graz hostel here.
The Great Escape, Brighton
12th-14th May 2011
Oh I do like to be beside the seaside! And, after a blustery stroll along the prom prom prom, Sufjan Stevens, Gang Gang Dance and Friendly Fires are the other attractions lighting up this British seaside town at The Great Escape 2011. You can be sure of catching other sound folk and indie acts. Spend the rest of your time exploring ‘the lanes’ which offer a number of boutique, vintage and unique shops and are all colorful tell-tale signs of the town’s swinging 60s past. Join the swarm of tourists flocking to the pier – there is nothing like a stick of radio-active pink candy floss followed by a nauseating spin on the waltzers. Early bird 3-day tickets from £45.
If you are looking for youth hostels Brighton offers a number of central budget accommodation options. For views of the Royal Pavillion try Kipps Hostel Brighton. Just a few minutes from the lanes, you are ideally situated to walk to all the main venues. Dorms from €15pppn or private rooms from €22pppn.
15-20 March 2011
This popular music festival attracts people from all over the world and the line-up goes on and on and on. The SXSW music festival is part of a series of events which include the SXSW film, interactive festivals and a number of conferences which begin on 11th March 2011. Confirmed acts include The Bees, Bob Geldof, Chromeo, DJ Yoda, Greco Roman and The Strokes. About half a dozen acts play at each venue between 8pm and 2am; that’s about 80 bands playing at any one time! You buy your badge and walk from club to club as you please. The tricky part of course is that you badge doesn’t guarantee entry, so get there early. Buy your SXSW ticket badge in advance and it costs $595. These have sold out for 2011 but walk-up rates remain at a whopping $750.
If you need to book an Austin hostel, do so well in advance. HI-Austin is about 10 minutes from the centre but overlooks the lovely Lady Bird Lake. There is no curfew and guests have access to locker in dorms. From €14pppn.