Not sure about you, but if there’s something I really miss that Covid-19 has rudely taken away, it’s music festivals. While the case numbers still have us feeling not as enthused, it’s back to business as usual for many music festivals in the world. For the love of good music, these trips are well worth the plane tickets and travel hassle! Let’s look at some of the most exciting, dynamic and awe-inspiring music festivals in the world.
1. Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival – Indio, California, USA
As far as America is concerned, there is really no music festival bigger or more iconic than the almighty Coachella. What can we say about this two-weekend affair that hasn’t already been said? The lineup is basically a checklist of every trending superstar and music for that year. The guest list typically sports a plethora of famous names, giving you a decent chance of a celebrity sighting. And the festival vibe itself is bananas! In many ways, Coachella has become the standard by which cross genre musical festivals everywhere are judged, and it just keeps getting bigger and better. Whether you’re there for the music or the unparalleled atmosphere, Coachella will not disappoint.
2. Glastonbury Festival – Hilton, England
The UK boasts more than its fair share of renowned international music festivals. If you get the chance to attend Reading and Leeds in your lifetime, you absolutely should! But if you can visit only one British music festival, make it Glastonbury. Spanning five days, this rock centric but diverse festival is truly a unique experience unlike any other. It’s been going strong since 1970 and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down! In addition to the greatest rock and pop acts from around the world, you’ll be treated to cabaret, circus acts, comedy, dance, cinema and much more! Glastonbury might just be the greatest music festival in the world.
3. Fuji Rock Festival – Yuzawa, Japan
The biggest outdoor music event in Japan, Fuji Rock is really something to behold. Hosted at the Naeba Resort at the base of – you guessed it – Mount Fuji, this rock fest is three days of live music, mostly rock and electronica. Talk to fellow festival goers and you’ll soon begin to understand what makes Fuji Rock so special. For starters, the setting itself is absolutely stunning. And there’s the lineup, which consistently includes the biggest names in the industry. But there’s also just something wonderfully relaxed about Fuji Rock. There’s a river oasis to cool off in, an elaborate children’s play area, a boardwalk through the woods and more!
4. Mawazine – Rabat, Morocco
Mawazine is a music festival the likes of which you’ve probably never seen before! It attracts millions of music and culture lovers from around the world, and it’s considered the second largest music festival in the world. Taking place in Morocco’s capital city of Rabat, Mawazine brings many of the world’s top artists to its stages. But, it also equally shines a spotlight on some of the African continent’s most talented and inspiring musicians! Add to that international multilingual artists from different cultures around the world, and you wind up with a festival that’s truly a global celebration of music.
5. Festival Internacional de Benicàssim – Benicàssim, Spain
While the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona is well worth the price of entrance or even a plane ticket to get there, when it comes to music festivals in Spain, the Benicàssim International Festival reigns supreme. Showcasing a variety of big-name pop, electronic and rock artists, this festival – often abbreviated to FIB for short – is world renowned. Unlike most festivals where the music eventually comes to an end sometime after midnight, FIB keeps it going with live music until 8am! You know it’s a serious party. Oh and did we mention that it takes place on the edge of a seaside resort?
6. Rock in Rio – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This Brazilian-born festival was once a sporadic affair. There was one in the 80s, another in the 90s, and a handful in the first decade of the new millennium. Though interestingly, only one in Rio. Thankfully, since 2010, there has consistently been at least one Rock in Rio event a year. And every second year, it’s held in the city of its birth – Rio de Janeiro. While in off years it takes place in other cities like Las Vegas, Lisbon and Madrid. But you just can’t beat Rock in Rio when it’s actually in Rio. It’s the one of the best music festivals in the world you’ll ever attend, a bucket-list experience and something you really need to be part of to understand.
7. Splendour in the Grass – Byron Bay, Australia
This annual summertime festival has been attracting Australians and world travellers alike since 2001. If you’d like to join in, we recommend planning well ahead of time because tickets sell out fast! How fast? Well in 2018, just under half an hour. So what is it that makes this whimsically named festival so popular? In terms of music it offers a bit of everything – all genres are welcome! Then there’s the activities – Splendour delivers everything festival goers could want including an arts and crafts tent, dance-offs, a mini colour party and elaborate art installations. It’s also the very small Suburb, a marketplace packed with food stalls and vintage clothing vendors. Heck, there are even beauty salons!
8. Lollapalooza – Chicago, Illinois, USA
Once a touring festival, Lollapalooza has since gotten a new lease on life as a stationary weekend festival in Chicago. The lineup – which previously focused on alternative rock and metal – has broadened its sound, bringing a bigger variety of musicians to its stages. What hasn’t changed however, is the fact that Lollapalooza is one of the wildest and biggest music festivals in the world! However, given that Lollapalooza is located in Chicago, you can easily take a break from all the madness. Many comfortable accommodations available will ensure you’re well-rested for the next day!
9. Tomorrowland – Boom, Belgium
Don’t worry EDM fans, we haven’t forgotten about you. There’s just no beating Tomorrowland – it’s the mecca of electronic dance music. A trip to this festival, held in the typically quiet yet wonderfully inappropriately named city of Boom, literally feels like a voyage into a different plane of existence. The detail that goes into the art installations and decoration is second to none! The lineup is always a who’s who of the hottest DJs in the world. And then there’s Dreamville. which is quite possibly the most elaborately themed festival village you’ll ever have the privilege to shimmy through.
10. Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival – Manchester, Tennessee, USA
Since debuting in 2002, Bonnaroo has been attracting the masses to the small town of Manchester, Tennessee with its promise of a free-spirited weekend and wonderfully eclectic lineups of big-name musicians. In 2019, the festival boasted talent like Cardi B, Juice WRLD, Gucci Mane and Jack Harlow to name just a few. While music is the main attraction, that’s far from being the only reason to make the trip. Blow up rides, slip and slides, local food, goods and morning yoga, Bonnaroo is all about fun and it attracts a crowd to match. When it comes to accommodations, camping is the name of the game with options to suit every wallet and level of comfort!