The 50 Best Music Festivals in the World

A music festival can be a magical experience, especially when the lineup is good. The best music festivals in the world aren’t just characterized by their massive scale, perfect locations, and party-hard atmospheres but also for their quality of content and intention.

A major music festival is the ultimate live-music event. It’s where music lovers get together for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But after all, what are the best music festivals in the world?

50. EXIT Festival

Novi Sad, Serbia

When: July (four days)

EXIT Festival is a music festival that takes place in Novi Sad, Serbia’s second-largest city. Featuring acts ranging from rock to drum and bass, EXIT is visited by approximately 200,000 music enthusiasts each year. It started in 2000, as a student movement fighting for democracy.

Former visitors praised EXIT for its good vibe and techno arena, which features brilliant acoustics. With a truly international crowd (attendees come from over 60 different countries), EXIT also makes for the perfect opportunity to meet exciting new people.

49. Estéreo Picnic

Bogotá, Colombia

When: April (three days)

When the Estéreo Picnic Festival started, it was meant to be a one-day showcase promoting mainly local Colombian acts. But in the meantime, it became a three-day international phenomenon featuring major acts from all over the world and an average attendance of over 60,000 people.

Considered to be one of the most renowned alternative music festivals in South America, the Estéreo Picnic Festival takes place annually in Bogotá, the capital of Colombia. Featured acts range from chart-topping American musicians to acclaimed Spanish-speaking rock bands.

48. Montreux Jazz Festival

Montreux, Switzerland

When: July (16 days)

Don’t get fooled by its name: the Montreux Jazz Festival is an eclectic live-music event that features not only jazz’s greatest but also lots of famous rock, blues, and world music acts. It lasts 16 days and is visited by up to 220,000 people annually.

The festival takes place in Switzerland’s Montreux Convention Centre and has been one of the country’s top tourist attractions since 1967. Numerous live records released by popular artists were recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival, and approximately half of its booked concerts can be watched for free.

47. Vive Latino

Mexico City, Mexico

When: March and April (two or three days)

While your favorite American rock band may have already played at Vive Latino, the lineup of this alternative-music festival features mostly Spanish-speaking acts from Mexico, South America, and Spain. Held annually at the massive Mexicans sports venue Foro Sol, the Vive Latino lasts either two or three days and attracts a crowd of approximately 100,000 music fans.

Loud, vibrant, and energetic, the Vive Latino is nonetheless suited for families and attended by people of all ages.

46. Pitchfork Music Festival

Chicago, USA

When: July (three days)

Fans of alternative music have certainly heard of Pitchfork Media, the trendy online music publication that dominates much of the debate around what’s the world’s hottest new indie act. Pitchfork’s team decided in 2006 to go from words to action and create the Pitchfork Music Festival.

As expected, this Chicago live event features many alternative acts that are also featured on Pitchfork’s website. The festival proved to be so popular that additional editions were organized in Paris and Berlin. With a very strong lineup every year, the event is also an opportunity to see some of the world’s future top bands before they break into the mainstream.

45. Benicàssim

Benicàssim, Spain

When: July (four days)

The Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (FIB) showcases top alternative rock, pop, and electronic acts. But there’s more to FIB than just good music. Taking place in the dreamy Spanish municipality of Benicàssim, this one-of-a-kind music festival allows its visitors to listen to their favorite bands while also enjoying the sunny local beaches.

While FIB is sometimes criticized for not supporting local culture, its international appeal is part of what convinces up to 150,000 people to visit it annually. In addition to good music, FIB also offers short films, art shows, and even fashion events.

44. Splendour in the Grass

Byron Bay, Australia

When: July (three days)

The beautifully-named Australian music festival Splendour in the Grass makes for yet another good reason to visit the land down under. Featuring major English-speaking headliners (usually from the U.S. and U.K.), Splendour in the Grass is the complete music-festival experience, featuring a young, international crowd and a huge camping area.

The event was held in multiple Australian locations, including Byron Bay, Woodford, and Yelgun. Considered to be the largest music festival in the country, Splendour in the Grass allows local up-and-coming musicians to promote their acts by performing alongside established international musicians.

43. Electric Picnic

Co. Laois, Ireland

When: August and September (three days)

Created to be the Irish version of the iconic Glastonbury, the Electric Picnic quickly proved to have a soul of its own. The ultimate experience for music fans who love alternative music, arts-and-crafts, and eco-friendly initiatives, the Electric Picnic is perfect for people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures.

Praised for its relaxed vibe in publications such as Rolling Stone, the Electric Picnic puts a lot of focus on its services, a feature often neglected by major music festivals. When you visit Electric Picnic, you can expect high-quality conditions for eating, sleeping, and sanitizing.

42. Dekmantel

Amsterdam, Netherlands

When: August (three days)

Electronic music festivals can get a bad reputation, however, Dekmantel is not one of them. Due to electronic music festivals’ substance abuse, Dekmantel has a zero-tolerance policy. In addition, the best time to attend Dekmantel is during the day.

This unique mentality prioritizes the experience of the visitors over festival profitability, and that may help to explain why Dekmantel is consensually beloved by anyone who goes there. It’s a festival for people who love electronic music without all of the nonsense and features a few gorgeous stages, including a stage inside a greenhouse!

41. Rampage

Antwerp, Belgium

When: March (two days)

If you love fast-paced electronic dance music, Antwerp, Belgium’s Rampage will make you feel at home. Widely regarded as the largest dubstep and drum and bass music festival in the world, Rampage is the perfect live-music event for people who like to dance at over 140 beats per minute.

A two-day, all-night-long experience, Rampage features everything you expect from an extreme EDM music festival: there’s a gigantic crowd, major international niche acts, and a light show that’s an attraction in itself. Camping is available for visitors looking for a more immersive party experience.

40. Lovebox

London, UK

When: June (three days)

The Lovebox Festival takes place in Gunnersbury Park, London, and was created by the electronic music duo Groove Armada.

What started as a resident club night at a local venue developed into a major outdoor dance festival attended by up to 50,000 people. With Groove Armada at the wheel, Lovebox features an eclectic selection of alternative acts, ranging from grime to RnB.

The Lovebox Festival boasts as many as 12 stages, and they’re known for being elaborately decorated. Additional circus and cabaret acts contribute to Lovebox’s unique thematic vibe.

39. Way Out West

Gothenburg, Sweden

When: June (three days)

Way Out West has been one of the biggest music festivals in Scandinavia since it first started in 2007. The three-day event welcomes some of the world’s biggest pop-rock acts to Slottskogen, a beautiful park in central Gothenburg, Sweden.

An event for nature and city lovers alike, the Way Out West extends into the night via the Stay Out West—a parallel festival that takes place in the bars and nightclubs of Gothenburg.

Way Out West is also known for its focus on sustainability, and it’s the first design to be sustainable on three different levels: environmental, social, and economic.

38. Les Eurockéennes

Belfort, France

When: June and July (four days)

Do you want to know what feels like to listen to good music in a natural reserve in France? Then you should book a ticket to Les Eurockéennes, one of the country’s largest and oldest rock music festivals. Reuniting music lovers since 1989, Les Eurockéennes takes place at the gorgeous Lac de Malsaucy, a preserved lake next to the city of Belfort.

Les Eurockéennes has grown exponentially since its first edition, going from an initial 10,000 attendees to an audience of 135,000. The festival also features an initiative known as Les Tremplins, designed to allow youth groups to get to know each other.

37. Green Man

Brecon Beacons, Wales

When: August (four days)

The Green Man Festival is one of Europe’s most soulful live-music events, featuring as many as 10 areas that showcase works of literature, film, or comedy. With a capacity of 25,000 visitors, the Green Man isn’t the largest festival to make it to the list—but it may be the most charming.

The celebration takes four days but makes for a week-long event, as attendees are invited to get to know the Welsh town of Crickhowell during the entire week. The list of featured acts is impressive, with the focus going to alternative modern-day bands from the U.S. and U.K.

36. The Labyrinth

Niigata Prefecture, Japan

When: September (three days)

Described as an experimental electronic/dance music festival, The Labyrinth is a one-of-a-kind live-music/clubbing event that takes place in Niigata, Japan. The organizers of The Labyrinth are known for having a quasi-artistic approach to the way they conduct the festival; at one point, they even decided to keep the entire lineup secret up until the start of the event!

With a clear focus on techno, The Labyrinth prides itself on being an intimate and intense event: once the festival starts, the music never stops.

35. Latitude

Suffolk, UK

When: July (four days)

There are many high-quality summer music festivals in the United Kingdom, but Suffolk’s Latitude Festival is still a standout. More exclusive than other big, mean, stadium-like live-music events, Latitude is visited by approximately 35,000 music enthusiasts annually.

Latitude Festival has counted with some impressive lineups in the past, featuring top alternative music acts from all over the planet. There’s a little bit of everything, from Britpop to shoegaze. It also features elements of art, dance, comedy, and even politics.

34. Afro Nation 

Portimão, Portugal 

When: July (three days)

The Afro Nation is described as the world’s biggest afrobeat festival, featuring a lineup made up mostly of Black musicians and ranging from hip-hop and RnB to world music. But the Afro Nation isn’t worth a visit merely for the music: it’s also known for its party atmosphere, good vibe, and stunning stages.

Afro Nation is a festival that takes place at Praia da Rocha, a beach in Portimão, Portugal. The most exciting thing about Afro Nation is that visitors get to have fun on top of the sand, right next to the ocean. The opportunity to explore Algarve during the summer is another big plus.

33. Mawazine

Rabat, Morocco

When: June (up to 10 days)

Mawazine is one of the world’s largest music festivals and takes place in Rabat, Morocco during the summer. Even though the event is organized by Mohammed VI, the King of Morocco, it makes for a party of the people and is visited annually by as many as 2.5 million music fans.

The lineup is very mainstream, featuring well-known acts from the U.S. and U.K. But the vibe is unique: visiting Mawazine is the perfect opportunity of getting to know the beautiful country of Morocco while meeting exciting new people from all over the world.

32. Lake of Stars

Mangochi, Malawi

When: September (three days)

Why is a festival that receives not more than 4,000 people one of the best in the world? Well, the Lake of Stars festival is not massive, but it’s massively special. It takes place on the shores of Lake Malawi and is run by a team of international volunteers. With a lineup made up mostly of pro-bono music acts, Lake of Stars helps the local Malawian economy with up to $1 million annually.

With a focus on charity, Lake of Stars combines live music with TED talks, martial arts, and even visits to local orphanages! Time Out magazine once named it “the most beautiful festival location in the world.”

31. Governors Ball

New York, USA

When: September (three days)

The Governors Ball Music Festival happens during September but has the vibe of a major June-July summer festival. Visited by up to 150,000 partygoers annually, the Gov Ball features very strong lineups each year, enlisting the talents of the world’s most popular rock, pop, and hip hop performers.

The Gov Ball is also a great place to get to know the local culture of New York City, as stated by Rolling Stone. And since it takes place in the Big Apple, there are plenty of delicious food trucks for attendees to enjoy.

30. Bahidorá

Cuautla, Mexico

When: February (three days)

The lineups of Bahidorá are impressive enough to be worth a visit, but there’s much more to this late February event, described as Mexico’s first sustainable music festival. Bahidorá is all about the experience, featuring several additional activities that include a gorgeous riverside art circuit, filled with stunning pieces of contemporary art.

Visitors can also work on improving their health by attending the Isla B yoga, meditation, and sound healing programs and the Spahidorá, a relaxing healing experience with massages and temazcal sweat lodge sessions.

29. Summerfest

Wisconsin, USA

When: June and July (11 days)

Wisconsin’s iconic Summerfest is THE music festival for everybody who loves gigantic events, traditional American music, and delicious local gastronomy. More than just a massive live-music event, Summerfest makes for a cultural phenomenon and has been around since 1968.

For many years, Summerfest was the largest music festival in the world. Today, it still counts approximately 800,000 visitors annually. Celebrated for over 10 days, Summerfest’s sheer scale is worth noting: it features 12 different stages and an average of 1,000 performances per edition.

28. Pentaport Rock Festival

Incheon,  South Korea

When: July (three days)

As South Korea’s largest music festival, Pentaport Rock Festival makes for a three-day summer event filled with the best local and international rock acts.

The festival’s vibe is also worth noting. While Pentaport Rock Festival may look like yet another massive summer live-music event, it’s actually environmentally friendly and focused on themes such as friendship and DIY.

27. Golden Plains

Victoria, Australia

When: May (three days)

Another great festival from the land down under, Australia’s Golden Plains Festival is a must for music fans who love the countryside. Taking place on a family-owned farm in rural Victoria, Golden Plains is resembling of 1969’s Woodstock Festival, but with a more family-oriented and less frantic vibe.

Set in early May during Labour Day weekend, Golden Plains combines strong lineups with an atmosphere that’s hard to find anywhere else. What makes it such an experience is the fact that the nearest big city sits hours away; partygoers are surrounded by nothing but nature and a few rural towns.

26. Field Day

London, UK

When: June (two days)

With its carefully-selected lineup and perfectly scaled 25,000-people capacity, Field Day is one of London’s best music festivals. The vibe is pretty familiar: music fans get to dance and sit on the grass while listening to modern-day alternative acts, and there are a few alternative stages and attractions to enjoy.

One of Field Day’s most special initiatives is Village Mentality, a fun annual event inspired by the traditional Britain fêtes. During Village Mentality, partygoers get to play traditional games such as tug of war and sack race.

25. Fuji Rock

Niigata Prefecture, Japan

When: July (three days)

Despite the name, the Fuji Rock Festival is held at Niigata’s Naeba Ski Resort, in Japan. However, the iconic Mount Fuji remains part of the festival’s DNA—the first editions took place at the mountain’s base. Fuji is also the perfect symbol of the largest outdoor music event in Japan, attended by approximately 100,000 music fans annually.

Fuji Rock is so popular that accommodation near the Naeba Ski Resort tends to be sold out very quickly. Luckily, there’s a camping option not too far away from the venue. The lineup is an interesting mix of alternative Japanese acts and international mainstream headliners.

24. Burning Man

Nevada, USA

When: August and September (nine days)

More than a music festival, Burning Man is a magical moment in time in which up to 78,000 adventurers gather in the Black Rock Desert, in Nevada, to live as freely and expressively as possible. Strangely enough, this once-fringe paradise for bohemian outsiders has since turned into one of the world’s most exclusive events.

Visitors of Burning Man tend to include supermodels, influencers, celebrities, and even billionaires! Nonetheless, its main principles are decommodification, self-reliance, civic responsibility, and cooperation. Don’t expect to see a traditional lineup, though: Burning Man is a collection of happenings including all types of art.

23. Bilbao BBK Live

Bilbao, Spain

When: July (three days)

If you’re not into music festivals that are just too large to be fully enjoyed, you should give Bilbao BBK Live a try. This Spanish rock and pop festival was named the best medium-sized European festival three years in a row and makes for a perfectly-scaled event that takes place in a venue with room for 15,000 music enthusiasts.

Bilbao BBK Live may be a medium-sized live show, but the lineup is world-class. While it features many local alternative acts, it also counts with showstopping headliners from all over the world.

22. Leeds Festival

Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK

When: August (three days)

The Leeds Festival is the latest transformation of one of the oldest large-scale live-music events in the United Kingdom, the Beaulieu Jazz Festival. Despite its many versions, this celebration’s been taking place since the mid-’50s.

The Leeds Festival and the nearby Reading Festival share their lineups, with musicians traveling from one venue to the other one day after performing.

In fact, Leeds Festival was preceded by Reading Festival, and the two events are now commonly known as the Reading and Leeds Festivals. Met enthusiastically by up to 105,000 music fans, the Reading and Leeds Festivals can make for a life-changing experience, but be ready to deal with some typical British rain from time to time!

21. Outside Lands Music Festival

San Francisco, California, USA

When: August (three days)

After 13 editions, the Outside Lands Music Festival can be fairly considered one of the world’s most successful music festivals. It’s the largest independently owned major festival in the United States, welcomes up to 200,000 partygoers annually, and grosses close to $30 million per year.

With a carefully-selected lineup featuring over 20 major acts daily, the Outside Lands Music Festival is known for its party atmosphere and characteristic windmill entrance. Additionally, it takes place in the inviting Golden Gate Park, in the sunny state of California. Alternative attractions focus on food, wine, and art.

20. Donauinselfest

Vienna, Austria

When: June (three days)

With a record attendance of three million, Austria’s Donauinselfest is the largest music festival in the world. Held at Vienna’s Donauinsel island, this state-sponsored event was first created in 1983 to stimulate the city’s cultural and touristic activity. Needless to say, it worked like a charm!

Now a European phenomenon that attracts visitors from all over the world, the Donauinselfest features numerous stages, performances from consolidated and up-and-coming acts, and a wide selection of fine cuisine. At the center of Donauinselfest’s success is the fact it’s a 100% free major open-air music festival.

19. Primavera Music Festival

Barcelona, Spain

When: May and June (up to 10 days)

Also known as Primavera Sound, the Primavera Music Festival is the place to be if you enjoy listening to the world’s trendiest alternative bands. With up to 220,000 visitors annually, Primavera is a landmark of the vibrant Spanish city of Barcelona, but it was also hosted in Porto, Los Angeles, Santiago, Buenos Aires, and São Paulo.

While a finely-curated lineup is at the center of Primavera Sound’s success, the festival offers many additional attractions, including a buzzing bar area, a section with interior tents, a bathing area, and even an exclusive VIP lounge.

18. Woodstock

Bethel, New York, USA

When: August (three days)

Few people know that the Woodstock Festival is still a thing, but even the most casual of music fans heard about its classic 1969 edition. Considered to be the ultimate symbol of the counterculture movement of the ’60s, Woodstock is the most emblematic celebration of music, art, and—most importantly—peace.

Michael Lang, one of the men responsible for creating the original Woodstock, is still involved in the festival’s production. If you ever wanted to experience a little bit of what it was like to be a hopeful youngster at the center of the psychedelic boom of the ’60s, Woodstock is the place to go.

17. Dreamville Music Festival

North Carolina, USA

When: April (two days)

It makes sense that many successful musicians attempt to create their own music festivals, but few have worked out so well as J. Cole’s Dreamville Music Festival. As a Lafayette, North Carolina native, the American rapper decided to give back to his hometown by setting up one of the state’s most anticipated yearly cultural events.

The two-day celebration features a lineup that should make every J. Cole fan happy. It’s a real who’s who of American hip-hop and RnB, possibly curated by J. Cole himself.

16. Boomtown

Winchester, Hampshire, UK

When: August (five days)

Boomtown is a music festival unlike any other. When you step onto Boomtown’s venue, you’re immediately engulfed in an alternative universe where each edition and stage follows a storyline. Boomtown even employs hundreds of actors to portray the inhabitants of this alternative universe, helping to make the festival’s narrative a whole lot more real.

Each year, visitors of Boomtown are introduced to a new chapter of the story. And as if the narrative wasn’t interesting enough, this British landmark event also features a finely selected lineup made up mostly of renowned electronic dance music artists.

15. Bestival

Dorset, England, UK

When: September (four days)

The name Bestival may sound presumptuous, but it’s quite fitting. Held annually at the Isle of Wight, Bestival is a dance/alternative music festival organized by the English producer Rob da Bank. The receiver of multiple festival awards, this four-day live-music event is all about one thing: having fun!

Bestival is known for its quirky and progressive initiatives, which include setting the Guinness World Record for most people in fancy dresses. Additional initiatives like a church where partygoers could get married and a yurt designed for breastfeeding help to explain why Bestival makes for such an easygoing, fan-favorite music festival.

14. Austin City Limits Music Festival

Austin, TX, USA

When: October (two three-day weekends)

Produced by the guys who created the iconic Lollapalooza, the Austin City Limits Music Festival makes for one of the best family-friendly major music events in the world. Set over two consecutive weekends in early October (for a total of six days), Austin City Limits attracts as many as 450,000 people annually.

The festival is inspired by the same-named TV series “Austin City Limits,” which was a show about Texan country-music performers. However, the festival’s lineup isn’t limited to local country performers, featuring major international acts from a wide range of genres.

13. Reading Festival

Reading, England, UK

When: August (three days)

The precursor of the aforementioned Leeds Festival, the Reading Festival is the pride of Berkshire, England. Even though the Reading Festival and the Leeds Festival often share the same lineup, Reading is generally perceived to be a more peaceful event. The historic roots of this iconic British celebration go back to 1955.

While people of all ages are welcome, the Reading Festival is still pretty much an over-18 event. There’s a camping site available close to the venue, so international partygoers are more than welcome to join the local crowd.

12. Mysteryland Music Festival

Haarlemmermeer, The Netherlands

When: August (three days)

From 1993 onwards, residents of the generally quiet Haarlemmermeer municipality have had the pleasure to host one of Europe’s best electronic dance music festivals. The Mysteryland Music Festival is all about music that makes people dance and features acts of all EDM genres—from hardstyle and hardcore to house and hip hop.

The lineup of Mysteryland is as carefully selected as its eclectic crowd. Every year, the electronic-music event is visited by approximately 100,000 people from about 100 different nationalities. Camping is available days after the festival’s end so the party can continue.

11. Rock in Rio

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

When: September (10 days)

Like the city of Rio de Janeiro itself, the Rock in Rio music festival has long become a symbol of Brazilian culture rather than a mere live-music event. Nowadays, it makes for a 10-day celebration featuring the world’s most popular musicians and crowds of up to 1.5 million people.

With its chart-topping headliners, massive stages, and multiple sponsorships, the Rock in Rio is the archetype of a major international music festival. However, it started as a tribute to freedom, as its first edition was organized immediately after the end of João Goulart’s dictatorship.

10. Firefly Music Festival

Dover, Delaware, USA

When: July (three days)

Held at Dover Motor Speedway, the Firefly Music Festival makes for a three-day summer event that’s been getting a lot of hype ever since it was first hosted in 2012. With a focus on alternative rock music, the Firefly Music Festival is described as a fun, non-stop event featuring approximately 100 concerts per edition.

There are plenty of additional activities to enjoy too, including hot air balloon rides, a video-game area, and of course, beer. The accommodation options are quite exciting, and partygoers have the chance to camp in private, air-conditioned tents with bathrooms—an experience the organizers called “glamping” (a mix of the words ‘glamorous’ and ‘camping’).

9. Creamfields

Daresbury, Cheshire, UK

When: August (four days)

Described as United Kingdom’s most prestigious electronic music festival, Creamfields is held annually at Daresbury, Cheshire for four days. Since its first edition, Creamfields went from being a niche ’90s festival for 25,000 people to becoming a massive international EDM phenomenon with up to 280,000 attendees.

The lineup features all the best-selling DJs that make it to the top of the DJ rankings, but live-music hip hop and rock bands are also occasionally featured. Former visitors also found Creamfields’s camping village to be an exciting place to meet new people and get lots of quality food.

8. Bonnaroo Music Festival

Tennessee, USA

When: June (four days)

Named Festival of the Decade by Consequence of Sound magazine, the Bonnaroo Music Festival is arguably the most acclaimed alternative music festival in the United States

Rolling Stone magazine described it as the “ultimate over-the-top summer festival.” Despite its popularity, Bonnaroo’s lineups tend to ignore chart-topping artists in favor of more prestigious, consolidated cult acts.

With musicians from all genres and visitors from all over the world reuniting in humble Manchester, Tennessee, Bonnaroo impacts the local economy with an influx of up to $51 million. It’s an environmentally-friendly event for music fans who put music first.

7. Rolling Loud Music Festival

Miami, USA

When: July (three days)

What started as a new, underground music style made almost exclusively by youngsters coming from the Bronx developed into the most profitable and widespread music genre of the hour. Yes, hip hop is the new rock and roll, and the Rolling Loud Music Festival may well be our generation’s Woodstock.

The goal of Rolling Loud is quite simple: reuniting the top hip hop artists of the hour in one single lineup. With a total focus on hip hop, this three-day summer event makes for the wide-scale celebration hip hop fans had been dreaming of for decades.

6. SXSW: South by Southwest Music Festival

Austin, Texas, USA

When: March (nine days)

The renowned Texas music festival South by Southwest (SXSW) has been a landmark of the city of Austin since the late ’80s and is the world’s ultimate festival for music professionals. While SXSW isn’t just for people who work in the music business, its focus on conferences and networking makes it a must-visit for musicians trying to make it in the industry.

However, there’s nothing closed or secretive about SXSW. Over the years, it transformed into a pop-culture celebration that also explores film, comedy, and many other art forms. It’s a melting pot of culture, welcoming artists and art fans from all around the world.

5. Lollapalooza Music Festival

Chicago, Illinois, USA

When: July (four days)

The Lollapalooza Music Festival appeared at the right time, fueled by the popularity boom of alternative rock in the early ’90s. Over the years, it continued to make for a landmark music festival, and it was arguably the first British-style major festival of the United States.

Fast forward to the future, and Lollapalooza is now a music institution visited by up to 400,000 people every year.

The festival’s uncanny atmosphere was praised by the likes of Dave Grohl, who described it as “the beginning of it all.” From its foundation in Chicago, additional editions of Lollapalooza were later held in Santiago, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Brandenburg (Germany), Paris, and Stockholm.

4. Ultra Music Festival (UMF)

Miami, USA

When: March (three days)

What started as a one-day beach live-music event developed into an international electronic dance music festival attended by up to 330,000 partygoers. A Miami landmark, the Ultra Music Festival (UMF) is the place where every DJ dreams of performing, and its lineup features the world’s highest-regard EDM artists.

With its massive scale, perfect location, and party-hard atmosphere, UMF transformed into a global phenomenon. The Ultra Worldwide initiative helped to take UMF to cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Seoul, and Ibiza. A rave-friendly event, UMF requires some stamina, as attendees are invited to dance non-stop for up to 12 hours.

3. Tomorrowland Music Festival

Boom, Belgium

When: July (three three-day weekends)

There’s a reason why “going to Tomorrowland” is on every dance music fan’s bucket list. More than just a massive EDM festival, Tomorrowland is an unforgettable cultural event that’s worth a visit even if you’re not into techno, house, or drum and bass.

Tomorrowland’s iconic atmosphere is what makes it special: the festival takes partygoers from all corners of the world to the Belgian town of Boom, where little over 16,000 people live.

The Mecca of electronic dance music, Tomorrowland’s venue is ideally crafted to meet up to 400,000 visitors, and its psychedelic decorations are a big part of the festival’s appeal.

2. Glastonbury Music Festival

Pilton, Somerset, UK

When: June (five days)

Affectionately known as Glasto, the Glastonbury Music Festival is the festival every rockstar dreams of headlining. It started as a blues and folk festival in the ’70s and developed into a major live-music event visited by up to 300,000 people. With strong lineups each year, Glastonbury Festival is mainly run by volunteers who help to raise money for charity.

Glasto is so influential that it inspired songs by major artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Robbie Williams, and Amy McDonald. While the festival’s vibe changed a lot over the years, its ethos is still mainly based on the principles of the hippie counterculture movement of the ’60s.

California, USA

1. Coachella

When: April (two three-day weekends)

What makes Coachella arguably the best music festival in the world is the fact it’s massively profitable without selling out. Even though it makes over $100 million per edition, the two-weekend event continues to focus on sustainability, promoting up-and-coming acts, booking new talents, and working with charitable organizations.

The Coachella combines all the pros of a massive-scale live-music event with the charm and moral righteousness of a smaller event. That’s probably why it’s attended by approximately 250,000 music fans annually. In addition to music, Coachella also showcases works of sculpture, visual art, and installation art.

Conclusion

Music festivals are a great way to enjoy your favorite type of music while also experiencing new and exciting artists. While all music festivals have their unique atmosphere, some stand out among the rest. Festivals like Coachella, Tomorrowland, and Glastonbury are known for their amazing lineups and unforgettable experiences.


Additionally, this list features some of the best music festivals in the world, each with its own appeal. Whether you’re a fan of electronic dance music or rock ‘n’ roll, there’s a festival for you.

Brian Clark is a multi-instrumentalist and music producer. He is passionate about practically all areas of music and he particularly enjoys writing about the music industry.

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