Which Is The Best European Festival For Your Squad?


European festival season is almost upon us, and with it the best excuses to assemble your tightest squad and raise hell across the continent. Pulling together your team is easy – treat it like you’re assembling a team for a Tolkienesque quest, where everyone has a different role and each is necessary if you’re going to destroy the ring of power, or really crush the party. You’ve got the organiser who works on tickets and logistics, the enforcer whose job it is to keep the partying standard high, the jester who is charged with ensuring that all squad members are in high spirits and properly hydrated, and so on.


Where backpacking is better done alone, or in a pair, travelling to festivals is perfect for the whole squad – and don’t worry about not mingling, your squad will merge with other squads to form a mega gang before you know it.


But which festival will you go to? We would say all of them, which is somewhat possible with Stoke Travel’s Passport (four festivals, 12 nights all-inclusive €550), but if that’s not the case here’s a little guide to the best festivals coming up, and how your squad can approach them.

Stoke Travel

San Vino aka the Wine Fight

It’s a literal fight with wine, what more can we say? This early summer treat takes place in La Rioja, the premier red-wine making region in northern Spain. The festival has medieval origins as a land dispute between two villages, but nowadays it’s nothing more than a free-for-all battle royale where visitors and locals, young and old, go at it with buckets, bottles and water pistols filled with the local vino tinto (don’t worry, it’s not the drinking wine, so nobody’s wasting precious grape juice). Can your squad pull together like a well organised fighting force? Will you take no prisoners in the battle of wine? Will you happily fight both together and with your mouths open? This could be the festival for you.

The Wine Fight

San Fermin aka the Running of the Bulls feat. Stoked in the Park

You’ve heard about this one, it’s the biggest and most famous party in all of Spain with a rather infamous spectacle. We want you to forget about the bull run just for now – if that’s what you want to do, that’s fine, it’s there every day and you can run, dodge, duck and weave all the horned animals you want. What we want you to focus on is the party, the Pamplona street party that goes from the opening ceremony until the closing fireworks, occupying almost every bit of public space and seemingly only stopping for siestas (it seems like the young locals use the morning, the bull run time, to go home and nap). This party is crazy! It’s dancing and sangria in the streets, meeting young people from all over the world, passing out in parks and then doing it all again. This is the festival for you if your squad is social and wants to mix it up with other crazy crews. Also this year Stoke Travel are throwing their Stoked in the Park festival,

featuring bands and DJs from around the world, friendly sporting matches, pool parties and a food and wine fair – the perfect place for the squad to wind down, or charge up.

Stoked in the Park

La Tomatina

This is the festival for the squad that likes to turn on itself. You may see yourselves marching into La Tom as a unified fighting force, but once those tomatoes are in your hands everybody is fair game. The actual fight just takes up one morning of madness, but we like to make a few days of it, soaking up the end of August down in Valencia, checking out that amazing city, sun worshipping on the Spanish Mediterranean beaches, eating paella, and so on. This is also a very good festival to pair with a little trip out to Ibiza, so you can prolong your late-summer time in the sun. This is the perfect festival for the squad that’s more relaxed, that can just roll with the Med vibe and turn on each other when the tomato fight starts.

La Tom

Oktoberfest or Springfest

OK, these are the perfect festivals for all squads. The pretence is beer, and with great amounts of beer comes great banter and shit talking, the centrepiece of any half-decent squad. All you have to do is get your nearest and dearest together, dress up in the traditional Bavarian beer-drinking lederhosen or dirndl and make your way to the boozing fields for copious amounts of beer, banter, beer drinking food, after-beer rides and all the other shenanigans that come from this adult’s Disneyland. You don’t need to decide whether you’re bringing your squad to Munich, just when, either in September-October for Oktoberfest, the world’s biggest beer party, or in April-May for Springfest, the smaller, but by no means less awesome cousin of party in Autumn.


Where will you take your squad? Wherever it is, book with Stoke Travel and Youth Discount will take care of your drinks, offering you free and unlimited beer and sangria bar in camp for each and every day you’re at a Stoke Travel festival. Assemble, and then conquer!