10 music festivals that you should go to at least once in a lifetime
Summer is around the corner and if you love music and travelling, that means you will have an eye on music festivals. From early May to late October, the Northern Hemisphere offers an incredible variety of music festivals of every kind and color. This is the greatest time to be alive! Check out our list of the top 10 music festivals in the world because most likely all of your favourite artists will be on tour and this may be a great opportunity to live one of these unique experiences. And get your tickets early! These festivals are in high demand and they hang their “sold out” sign pretty quickly!
6 in North America, 5 in Europe, 1 in Asia, 1 in Africa and another one in South America. It has been really difficult, but I have selected my 10 favourite music festivals in the world, plus 3 bonus festivals that have special features that really make them something else. Ready?
Grant Park, Chicago , August 1st to 4th
This festival stands out for being one of the most profitable events around the world. Originally started in Chicago in 1991, it has expanded to South America with events happening in Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Colombia and more recently also in Paris and Berlin. It's one of the biggest global events for mainstream music. Why should you come? Well, look at the cities that host it: modern, multicultural, open minded and mostly, home of emerging cultural trends that define the world as we know it today. Besides, you know, food!
Find out more: https://www.lollapalooza.com
April 14th to 19th
Two incredible weekends in April down in California. Do you know a better way to welcome spring time? This is one of all time classic music festivals because it features the biggest superstars, and has famously become THE music festival for influencers and instagramers around the world. But make no mistake, this Festival isn't about best sellers, it's about artists that have a quality, that make the music evolve. My favourites for this year's edition: Bassnectar, Rosalia and Childish Gambino.
See the festival on this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXv7eRZ8Eto
August 22nd to 25th
England. August. Over 70.000 people, 300 artists, 30 stages and 4 nights. A dream for electronic music lovers. You want more? This 2019 edition will host Fatboy Slim, Martin Garrix, The Chemical Brothers and Afrojack among others. It takes place in Liverpool, so it's a great chance to visit the home of The Beatles and then maybe travel a bit through Western England, maybe even take the leap to Ireland.
Check out their 2015 Aftermovie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsgDqFZqXuA
July 19th to 28th
The world biggest electronic music festival that exploded in popularity in 2011 because of a genius of marketing that decided that Tomorrowland would become the leading music festival in video technologies. Check out the 2012 after movie. 155M views and counting, a masterpiece of audiovisual artwork. Since then they have created a totally immersive experience, becoming a theme park more than just a music festival. Don't bother to check the line-up, every major electronic music superstar will be there. But prepare to empty your wallet because the whole week can cost you over 1000$.
I have probably played this video over 20 times: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsgDqFZqXuA
June 21st to 23rd
I must admit I didn't know this festival before, but with 3 million attendants is by far the biggest festival in the world. It takes place in Vienna, in an isle in the middle of the Danube River. Did you know that Vienna has been ranked 1st on the most livable cities in the world? Well to prove it, they offer this massive festival for free. If you are around Europe on the weekend of June 21st to 23rd you should definitely consider travelling to Austria. I will surely do.
Check out the travel info to attend the Festival: https://www.wien.info/en/lifestyle-scene/danube-island-festival
Rabat, June 21st to 29th
You don't normally hear much about African music festivals, but Mawazinea is a unique experience that you must live. It takes place in Morocco in May and gathers more than 2.4 million people every year. They feature a big variety of African artists, but also host big international stars such as David Getta or Marshmello. It's a weird mix of musical styles, but it is also the cheapest of our list with tickets starting at 10$. And it's the best excuse to finally visit Morocco while it is still not massively invaded by tourists!
Wanna know more? http://www.mawazine.ma/en/accueil/
ROCK IN RIO
September 27, 28, 29 + October 3, 4, 5, 6
Rock In Rio is the largest South American music festival and hosts the most popular superstars in the world. RHCP, Muse, Alesso, Foo Fighters, and also other less known but also awesome bands such as Tenacious D (Jack Black's comedy band) or Panic! At the Discol, will be performing over the last weekend of September and the first of October, together with many other bands and artists, on 6 different stages where you can also watch a wide variety of Brazilian bands. This is the top of the top of radio hits. In addition, Rio is always an excellent destination, not only for its music but for its people, culture, weather and beaches too. And this festival is away from the midsummer holidays, making it more affordable to book your flights.
Go to: https://www2.rockinrio.com/
NEW ORLEANS JAZZ AND HERITAGE FESTIVAL
April 25th to may 5th
This is one of the oldest festivals in the USA and it takes place in the home of jazz, gospel and blues. Come to watch the Rolling Stones, Dave Mathews Band, Jimmy Buffet, and many others in this amazing experience that pays homage to African American music in a way only possible in New Orleans. This is the only jazz festival in my list because this genre is far from being main stream, but the magic of this American city makes an exception out of this festival that is attended yearly by over 400.000 people.
Last year's festival clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fWYOStD-KE
June 26th to 30th
Glastonbury is possibly the most famous indie music festival in the world, that since 1970, has been hosting the most popular English indie music bands. They sell out instantly every year. This edition they have an amazing line-up that includes The Killers, Liam Gallagher, The Cure and one of my favourites, Wu-Tang Clan. On the bad news side, The Prodigy has been forced to cancel his show due to the recent death of the lead singer, Keith Flint. But still this festival is a must, at least once in life.
Check out their Monty-Python-style official website: https://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/
July 26th to 28th
Fuji Rock is the only representative of Asia in our list and probably is not as well known in Europe and America, but still is one of the biggest events in Japan, and probably one of the most exciting and unique experiences together with Mawazinea Festival. Sia, Martin Garrix, The Cure and The Chemical Brothers lead the line-up that includes dozens of international and Japanese rock and electro bands. But really the best excuse to attend to this festival is to live the Japanese culture and show business, because they are leaders in technology and innovation and they sure know how to put up a show!
The aftermovie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DD3WFRDrejE
The aftermovie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DD3WFRDrejE
I would like to give Honorable Mentions to other 3 festivals that for its special and unique features are super interesting events all around the world:
• Hot 97 Summer Jam Festival, probably the most interesting Hip Hop and Rap music festivals in the world. It is only one day, June the 2nd in New Jersey.
• Rock Werchter, named in various occasions as the best festival in the world, hosts from June 27 to 30th a massive line-up with one of my favourite rock bands, Tool.
• And finally, a mention to Belgium as a country because they host an incredible amount of festivals during summer for such a small country: Dour, Les Ardantes, Tomorrowland, Rock Werchter... Come for the music, stay for the waffles!
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