The Best Secret Music Festivals – Part 1

When we talk of music festivals, most people refer to the big ones, such as Glastonbury. However, there are some really good festivals slightly under the radar that, for whatever reason, are not well known.

Sometimes it is a case that organizers are happy with what they have and do not want to expand anymore, and other times organizers deliberately want to keep it special in order to enjoy a niche festival with likeminded fans and keep it to themselves. In this blog we look at some of the best festivals in Europe that are highly successful in their own right but stay under the media radar.

Masked Ball

The Masked Ball in Cornwall is one long non-stop party, it joins a plethora of chic music festivals that have been popping up all over the UK in recent times. The new and rather elite festivals are all based on dance music in various forms.

Festivals such as Farr, Gottwood and Houghton are hardly household names, but are becoming increasingly popular for those in the know. Masked Ball has been operating since 2009 and is a three day, all-day and all-night party. In 2017 it secured a 24hr music and alcohol license, and so the party never ends.

The DJ lineup has been getting progressively stronger with the likes of Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard, Daniele Baldelli, Mr. Thing, Boca 45, and Horse Meat Disco. The festival is a bi-annual affair with spring and autumn events.


This great beach festival is as good as it gets and who would dream of this lineup in such a secluded place: the legendary Roy Ayers will be providing the main vibe, with Tom Misch, Todd Terje and The Black Madonna as credible additions to the stage. Eastern Europe has been dominated with Croatian festivals, so it looks like promoters have decided to let Albania step up to the plate. Kala, basking on the Adriatic coast, offers a seven-day festival of dancing on a simply stunning beach.

Artists and DJ’s have been carefully selected as the kind of acts that you would most desire to hear in such a laid-back location. Everything from Deep House, Reggae and the extra special summer vibes from Roy Ayers.


An Italian festival that has been going from strength to strength over the last five years, and it all takes place just outside Milan in the amazing Villa Arconati, that itself adds an extra special baroqueness to proceedings. Typically, classic Italian in setting, the music is definitely in the here and now, with a lineup featuring DJ Nkisi, Donato Dozzy and the marvelous Plaid & Felix’s Machines. The latter being an all over experience featuring surreal musical sculptures.

There is no doubt that the musical public are demanding more from their local music festivals, overpriced events with stages so far away that you cannot even see who is performing are, perhaps, waning.

The festivals we have highlighted bring a fresh verve to proceedings and are challenging the big boys to keep up. And there is no doubt that the artists love to play at these more intimate events. In part two we will be delighting in even more great festivals that are breaking the mold of what a typical music festival should be.