Best Music Festivals: A Music Pilgrimage
Featuring fun, comradery, and of course, great music, music festivals are a favorite pastime for many. In this list of the best music festivals, we detail 25 of the best live music events in the world. From jazz to EMD to pop to rock, the festivals on this list cover virtually every musical genre.
Not only will you be able to enjoy great music at these festivals. The festivals are also going to be situated on prime real estate. From rolling hills to forests to mountain backdrops, these music festivals have some epic scenery to go along with the music.
No matter the setting, though, the festivals on this list are all going to provide a unique and memorable musical experience. So what are you waiting for? Start booking those tickets!
Check out our list of the best travel sites to help you save money traveling to one of these great music festivals and our list of the best travel blogs for any travel tips to the areas you are going to be visiting.
Top 25 Music Festivals:
Location: Worthy Farm, United Kingdom
Highlights: Consists of five days, offers a large number of shows and a diversity of performers.
About Music Festival: The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Arts is a well-known and diverse festival. It features music acts like Kayne West and Deathcab for Cutie, as well as dance, comedy, and theatre acts. The sheer number of stages and performers make this five-day festival a bucket list festival for music lovers of every genre.
Location: Roskilde, Denmark
Highlights: Lasts for four days, one of the largest music festivals in Europe.
About Music Festival: The Roskilde Music Festival is one of the largest music festivals in Europe. It is located in Roskilde, Denmark, and features an electric lineup of well-known and up-and-coming artists. The four-day festival is packed with fun-loving campers and plenty of great festival traditions.
Location: Indio, California, USA
Highlights: Takes place over two consecutive three-day weekends, offers music, art, and a variety of other entertainment.
About Music Festival: Located in the desert setting of Indio, California, Coachella is arguably one of the most popular festivals in the world. Every year it produces one of the best lineups of performers of any festival. The festival takes place over two consecutive three-day weekends. Both weekends will consist of some of the best music, art, fun, and entertainment available.
Location: Manchester, Tennessee, USA
Highlights: Offers 10+ stages and over 150 performers, consists of four days.
About Music Festival: The Bonnaroo music festival features 10+ stages and over 150 different performers. Outside of music, there are events like yoga, a 5k, and so much more. Add in food trucks and plenty of cool hangout spots throughout the festival, and it is easy to see why Bonnaroo made this list. Located in Manchester, Tennessee, and consisting of 4 incredible days, make sure that you check out Bonnaroo.
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Highlights: Consists of ten different out-of-this-world stages, takes place in the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
About Music Festival: If you love EDC music, then this is one festival that is not to be missed. This music festival is going to take place at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The speedway is converted into ten different mind-blowing stages that will allow you to be able to see all of your favorite performers. Whether you are looking to camp throughout the week or stay in a Las Vegas hotel, you will be able to find what best fits your music festival style.
Location: Various Locations Around the World
Highlights: Multiple festivals to choose from, world-class performers, excellent variety of artists.
About Music Festival: With Ultra Music Festivals happening all around the world, there is a good chance that there is one taking place close enough for you to plan a trip to. Ultra offers a massive lineup of great performers. You will be able to see artists like Afrojack, Steve Aoki, and The Chainsmokers. For a one-of-a-kind music festival experience, make sure that you check out Ultra.
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Highlights: The festival lasts an entire week, allows for camping and other lodging options, and plenty of fun activities throughout the festival to participate in.
About Music Festival: With some of the biggest names in the business performing every year, Sziget offers a week-long festival in Budapest, Hungary. With tent options as well as hotels and hostels, you will be able to pick your level of accommodations. This will allow you to make sure that you enjoy the festival exactly how you want to. Add in all of the other great activities throughout the festival, and you have the setting for a week you will never forget.
Location: Novi Sad, Serbia
Highlights: Takes place in the famous Petrovaradin Fortress, consists of forty different stages spread out around the fortress, the festival lasts for four days.
About Music Festival: The Exit Festival features a large variety of excellent artists every year. So there is a good chance that a few of your favorite performers will be performing each year. This festival is going to take place in the world-famous Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad, Serbia. It is a four-day music festival that is a music pilgrimage for many around the world. With 40 different stages around the fortress, you will be able to watch your favorite artists and find some new favorites as well.
Location: Naeba Ski Resort, Japan
Highlights: Lasts for three days, provides a large variety of different artists, offers a stunning mountain range as a backdrop.
About Music Festival: The Fuji Rock Festival is going to take place at Naeba Ski Resort in Japan. The festival will be a three-day rock festival that will feature the top artists in the world. Regardless of your music preferences, the lineup at Fuji Rock Festival is going to offer something for everyone. You will be able to enjoy your favorite music in one of the prettiest mountain ranges in the world.
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Highlights: Festival lasts for three days, consists of some of the top artists in the world.
About Music Festival: Barcelona is already known for being one of the best cities in the world to visit with its great culture and vibe. Now add in one of the best music festivals on the planet, and you have something extraordinary. This three-day festival featuring some of the top artists in the world is a music lover’s dream. Between the great city of Barcelona and all of the great bands, events, lodging, and more, the Sonar Music Festival should not be missed.
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Highlights: Festival lasts for ten days, and some of the biggest artists on the planet perform every year.
About Music Festival: With a rich tradition dating back to the 1960s, Summerfest has been going strong since. Located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and spanning ten days, Summer Fest is the world’s largest music festival. Some of the most prominent artists on the planet perform at Summerfest each year as well. You are sure to be able to get your fill of great music at Summerfest.
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Highlights: Lasts for three days, one of the most unique musical experiences on the planet.
About Music Festival: Have you ever thought about going to Finland? Well, if you want to be a part of the Flow Festival, you better start planning your trip to Helsinki (Finland’s capital). This three-day music festival is going to feature artists like Kendrick Lamar, Arctic Monkeys, and other top performers. Flow Festival is one of the best and most unique musical experiences that you can be a part of.
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Highlights: Provides a large range of music genres, hosts multiple festivals around the world.
About Music Festival: Rock in Rio was started in Brazil as a way to celebrate freedom in 1985 after overcoming 20 years of military dictatorship. Today the Rock in Rio Music Festival is stronger than ever. It combines different music genres to provide a place that is welcome to all.
Based out of Rio de Janeiro, this festival has branched out and also holds festivals in Lisbon, Madrid, and Las Vegas. Their goal is to promote togetherness around the world under the flag of music and art.
Location: Henham Park, United Kingdom
Highlights: Four-day festival, plenty of activities to keep attendees happy and having fun outside of the shows.
About Music Festival: Winner of the Best Major Festival in the UK, Latitude Festival’s four-day celebration of music, art, and life is not to be missed. Artists like The Killers, Solange, and alt-J highlight have all played at Latitude in the past.
Outside of the music, there are also plenty of activities to keep you entertained as well. Between the lake swimming, street feast, and late-night DJs, you will have something to do throughout the entire festival.
Location: Crickhowell, United Kingdom
Highlights: Four-day event, features a wide variety of music genres, and offers performances outside of music.
About Music Festival: An independent music and arts festival, Green Man, is more than just music. The festival also offers stages that are going to showcase films, theatre, and more. This four-day event features genres like alternative, indie, rock, folk, dance, and Americana. They also offer some cool camping options that will allow you to fully embrace all that goes into the festival.
Location: Walibi Holland, Biddinghuizen, Netherlands
Highlights: Offers 12+ stages, provides non-music-related performances and has a large selection of music styles and artists.
About Music Festival: Self-dubbed a “backpacker’s Garden of Eden,” the Lowlands Festival in Holland is a unique experience all its own. On 12+ stages, you will be able to enjoy music, film, stand-up comedy, and more. There is always going to be someone to see and something to do at the Lowlands Festival. With artists covering the spectrum of rock, hip-hop, pop, metal, house, and techno.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Highlights: Over 350 different artists on 11 stages, happens right in downtown Nashville, features country music stars and up and coming artists.
About Music Festival: If you are a country music fan, then CMA Fest is a must. Located in Nashville, Tennessee, this festival is going to host 350+ artists on 11 different stages right in downtown. With over 90,000 attendees from all over the world, this is one music festival that is not to be missed.
Location: Rothbury, Michigan, USA
Highlights: Features electronic and jam band genres, consists of two different weekends.
About Music Festival: Covering two different weekends, the Electric Forest Festival in Rothbury, Michigan, is a must. Both weekends are sure to be filled with music that will touch the soul. With a focus on electronic and jam band genres, this festival will not disappoint. So join the 45,000+ festival-goers and lose yourself in the forest for the weekend.
Location: Meredith, Australia, USA
Highlights: Takes place in a natural amphitheater, attendees are able to camp and enjoy the festival at their own pace.
About Music Festival: The Golden Plains Music Festival in Meredith, Australia, takes place in a natural amphitheater. The festival features a laid-back, relaxed vibe. You will be able to camp out and enjoy all that the festival has to offer at your own pace. The Golden Plains Festival features a fun, electric lineup, but admission is based on a ballot system, so cross your fingers.
Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Highlights: Four-day festival, features the Chicago city skyline as a background, the artist lineup is highlighted by some of the top performers in the world every year.
About Music Festival: Lollapalooza is a four-day music festival in Chicago, Illinois. Its stages boast an electric lineup of artists. Lineups in the past featured headliners like Paul McCartney and Metallica. Add in the food, weather, and atmosphere of a Chicago summer, and Lollapalooza is a genuinely great experience.
Location: Boom, Belgium
Highlights: Festival features electronic dance music, artists will perform on over 15 unique stages.
About Music Festival: The Tomorrowland Music Festival is going to take place in Boom, Belgium. It is a must-go-to festival for electronic dance music lovers (or anyone who wants to have a good time). The festival attracts EDM lovers from around the world. You will be able to see your favorite artists on over 15 spectacular stages. Tomorrowland sells out almost instantly, though, so be ready to pounce when tickets become available.
Location: Bogotá, Columbia
Highlights: Free entry, consists of three days, features harder rock music.
About Music Festival: A free (free!) rock music festival in Bogotá, Columbia. Rock Al Parque features rock, punk, ska, hardcore, and metal groups from across the Spanish-speaking world. The three-day festival draws huge crowds, and the fun-loving atmosphere and great weather add to the appeal.
Location: Vagator Beach, Goa, India
Highlights: Features electronic dance music, one of the biggest festivals in Asia.
About Music Festival: One of the biggest music festivals in Asia, the Sunburn Festival is located on the beautiful, sandy shores of Goa, India. An EDM festival, Sunburn features big-name electronic music artists in a fun, party-scene atmosphere. If EDM is up your alley, Sunburn Music Festival is a must.
Location: Montreux, Switzerland
Highlights: Two-week long lineup, music genres include jazz, blues, and rock.
About Music Festival: Founded in the 1960s, the Montreux Jazz Festival has featured legends like Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis. Over the years, the festival has evolved to include blues and rock artists, all on the charming shores of Lake Geneva. The now two-week-long lineup attracts visitors from around the world.
Location: Gulf Shores, Alabama, USA
Highlights: Enjoy the shows on the beach, features country and rock music.
About Music Festival: You can pack light for Hangout Fest – the festival takes place on the beautiful beach of Gulf Shores, Alabama. Standard festival attire is nothing more than your favorite swimsuit. The festival lineup includes everything from country to rock. For an always fun time, Hangout Fest is the place to be.
Best Music Festivals Conclusion
Hearing your favorite band in person can be a moment you remember the rest of your life. Now add in the energy of a crowd and a music festival, and you have a combination that you will never forget. So pick one or a couple of these great festivals and make plans to make memories!
The other great thing about most of these festivals is that the surrounding areas are going to offer a lot to see in themselves. So if you plan it correctly, you will not only be able to attend one of the best music festivals on the planet, you will also be able to squeeze in some amazing sightseeing as well!
Have you been to one of these festivals before? We would love to hear how your music festival experience went in the comments below.