Creative festivals can give you extraordinary experiences and help you get to know more about art and culture.  Northern Europe has proven to be a stronghold of fine arts, cultural heritage, humanism, science and aesthetics. These festivals are about meeting new people, trying new things, and, above all, freeing your creative spirit.  Here’s our guide to the best creative festivals in Northern Europe that will provide the best arts and culture experiences.

Creative Festivals

Edinburgh Festival Fringe – a creative festival for everyone

You have never seen Scotland’s capital so alive before! For three fully packed weeks in August the Edinburgh Festival Fringe invites all creative souls to an explosion of creative energy from around the globe. This is the single biggest celebration of arts and culture on the planet.

With 53,232 performances of 3,398 shows in 300 venues in 2017 there are quite literally thousands of reasons to visit the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.


One of those creative festivals that everyone will love

At the Fringe festival no names are too small or too big. From big names in the world of entertainment to unknown artists looking to build their careers, the festival caters for everyone and includes theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, circus, cabaret, children’s shows, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events. From burlesque to fancy dress, politics to freaky tricks, laughs to an upside down full grown purple calf. What do all of these mean combined? We talk about Fringe, of course! What do you want to see at the Fringe Festival? has made an in-depth festival guide for you.

Why is Edinburgh Festival Fringe one of the best creative festivals to visit?

For the entire month of August the city is transformed into a festival dedicated to the arts ; music drama dance comedy poetry music etc. It’s an amazing event that draws thousands to the city. With a huge diverse programme and locations, it is worth having a plan of what you want to see prior to going. There is a mixture of paid and free events, pop up bars and services and events suitable for all ages and interests. Many events need tickets and popular shows sell out fast however there are often day tickets that can be bought at the ticket offices, however this can involve long queues.

Source: Sarah D,
What is this creative festival about? We’ve brought together some well known faces from the world of music, stage and screen, to explain what the Fringe means to them!

Get Creative Festival, London

Get Creative Festival shines a light on all the great cultural activity that takes place right across the UK on a regular basis and encourages people to try their hand at something new and creative. This huge national celebration of creativity aims to give everyone the chance to get actively involved in a creative event in their local area. Get Creative Festival is brought to you by arts and creative organisations and individuals across the UK.

Source: GetCreativeUK

Why is Get Creative one of those creative festivals worth visiting?

We held our Get Creative event on Saturday 24th of March and everyone had a great time. We would like to thank Get Creative, The BBC and Renfrewshire Council allowing us to be involved in this.

Source: Reem Infoatreem,

What is this festival about? The Voluntary Arts ‘Get Creative Festival’ culminated with a Createathon at Ulster Museum Belfast. Guests were able to see craftspeople  at work and join in with the arts and crafts on show!

Get Creative Festival is a national celebration of everything creative, it shines a light on all the great cultural activity that takes place right across the UK on a regular basis and encourages people to try their hand at something new and creative.

Celtic Fringe Festival

The Celtic Fringe Festival features artists from the coastal and celtic regions of Spain, England, Holland & Scotland whose traditions are linked by the voyage of the Spanish Armada, three of whose ships foundered on Streedagh Beach near Grange, Co. Sligo over 400 years ago. The first festival featured artists from Galicia and the 2012 festival will feature English, Irish & Spanish artists.

Source: Irishpost

What is this video about? From J Waters’ Pub in Grange, as part of the Celtic Fringe Festival, performing two tunes, ‘The Haunted House’ and ‘The Rolling Wave’.

Tallinn Music Week

Tallinn Music Week is a weeklong celebration of diversity, curiosity, talent, freedom and equality. This creative festival presents brave new sounds from all over Europe and beyond in Tallinn’s best concert venues. Around 250 artists – from cult to pop, from bass to metal, from folk to classical music – meet an audience of around 30,000 people. It is not only about music, as the festival also includes arts, design, food, city space and even an impact conference. One of the most acclaimed city festivals and economy conferences, the TMW Creative Impact Conference was the first international conference in Estonia to reach a gender balance among speakers.


Why is TMW one of those creative festivals worth to visit?

The festival boasts one of the most diverse, inclusive, and eclectic lineups of any event in Europe, but music is simply one part of what they do. As a hub for progressive thinking, the Day Conference includes panels on “Competing With Machines”, “Public Space and Democracy”, and “Design To Change Behaviour”, with delegates ranging from Harvard Professors to CEOs and entrepreneurs. New ideas and initiatives are shared and dissected, the air fizzing with energy.


What is this video about? The popular city festival Tallinn Music Week is held every spring in Tallinn. This year, the event was held for the 10th time and featured over 250 artists from all over the world.

Stockholm Fringe Festival

Stockholm Fringe Festival is Sweden’s edition of the global Fringe phenomenon. This creative festival is a multidisciplinary arts festival presenting innovative work ranging from performance to installation art and anything in between. Its core goal is to elevate, empower and promote emerging artists but also to give space to established professionals who produce innovative work across all arts genres. On this multidisciplinary platform theatre, visual and performance art mixes with music, dance and the “other”. Expect the unexpected. Audiences and professionals vote for Fringe Awards, with trophies created by a different artist every year.

What time of the year is Stockholm Fringe Festival? Normally in autumn, in September.

How to get there? Daily flights to Stockholm, Sweden from most international airports


What is this video about? Jane Badler performs in Stockholm at Fringe festival

Upfest – The Urban Paint Festival

Europe’s largest, free, street art & graffiti festival, attracting over 400 artists painting over 40 venues throughout Bedminster & Southville, Bristol will take place late in the summer. Talented artists travel from 50 countries and across the UK to paint live on 60,000 square feet of surfaces in front of 50,000 visitors. The affordable art sale, music stages, and art workshops round off a visually spectacular weekend!

Upfest is a multi-venue urban festival with the 1.3km stretch of North Street in Bedminster at its centre, connecting venues and painting locations. The multi-venue urban setting has given the festival its transient feel, with visitors encouraged to explore and find whats around the next corner.


Why is Upfest worth a visit?

First visit to this annual event. Absolutely loads of street art to see, spoilt for choice. Friendly atmosphere. Lots of food stalls at the tobacco factory, plus all the cafes open along North Street, Bedminster. I guess the later you leave it over the weekend the more art work is there is to see.

What is this video about? Extremely many talented artists in one location for Upfest!

Reykjavik Fringe Festival

A new tradition has started. The first Fringe Festival was held on Iceland this year in July. Visitors could expect a schedule fully packed with magic, virtual reality and more. The festival, which is part of the Nordic Fringe Network, will take place at venues including Reykjavik, including Tjarnarbíó, Gaukurinn and Hlemmur Square.


Helsinki Festival

Helsinki Festival is the largest arts festival in Finland, organised annually in August or September. The festival’s aim is to make art accessible for everybody. The programme line-up features classical and world music, theatre, dance, circus and visual arts as well as a range of urban events.


Why is Helsinki Festival worth to visit?

Falling into a free, open minded street festival….. Loved it!!!!!! Total suprise. Had a lovely evening. Lot of music, food and good weather. That makes Helsinki Festival a must do if you’re around!

Source: Tripadvisor

Dublin Fringe Festival

Dublin Fringe Festival is home to bold ideas, brave performing arts and adventurous audiences. 16 days and nights, 80 shows, 26 venues. Dublin Fringe Festival is a curated, multi-disciplinary festival and year-round organisation focusing on new and innovative approaches to the arts.

Dublin Fringe Festival supports the development and presentation of new work by Irish and International artists of vision, nurturing artistic ambition and excellence across a range of art forms.

When is Dublin Fringe Festival? September.


What is this video about? We asked artists making shows in Dublin Fringe Festival what it’s all about. See their work and much more in 34 venues across Dublin.

Did you enjoy reading our Top List of Creative Festivals?

Let us know what you think. Did you enjoy reading our Top List of Creative Festivals. Have you already joined any of these festivals? Or are you planning to join them in the future? Please share this article with your friends if you found it helpful. Can’t get enough of festivals? Check out these 11 Viking festivals in Northern Europe and get into the real Viking spirit