World-renowned poet Michael Franti once said that “music has the power to bring people together like no other art form.” The truthfulness of that quote can be seen in concerts, where everyone from all backgrounds are united by music. It doesn’t matter what your gender, race, social status, or religion is because at the end of the day, it’s just all about enjoying the live performances of your favorite artists and being inspired.
Let this list give you an opportunity to be a part of these unforgettable events. Here are the 15 best music festivals in the world. Dance, sing along and be part of history.
1. Coachella (California, USA)
Held mid to late April annually at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Coachella features popular and up-and-coming indie, rock, EDM, and hip hop artists. There are several stages for you to choose from, each of which consists of a diverse lineup. Some of the most notable events from the festival include the performance of Tupac Shakur’s hologram in 2012, Outkast’s reunion in 2014, and the return of Guns N Roses’ original members in 2016. Indeed, you can expect a few surprises each year.
Apart from the mesmerizing musical performances, it is also well-known for showcasing astounding artwork. Prepare to be enthralled by sculptures and installation art masterpieces as you explore the grounds. Since its official inception in 1999, Coachella is often considered to be one of the most renowned music festivals not only in the country, but also in the world.
Address: 81800 51st Ave, Indio, CA 92201, USA
2. Fuji Rock Festival (Japan)
Imagine watching the world’s greatest rock acts perform in the picturesque mountains of Japan’s countryside. Well, no need to fantasize because this 3-day spectacle usually held in late July will turn it into reality. Fuji Rock Festival takes place at the Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata Prefecture and it comprises of 7 main stages. Even though some stages require long walks to reach them, it’s still worth it not only because of the music, but also because of the stunning forests that you will see.
As for performers, you will have an opportunity to watch over 200 artists from Japan and other countries. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gorillaz, Arcade Fire, Foo Fighters, and Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra are some of the biggest acts that have played here. The event is also beloved for its remarkable recycling efforts, making it one of the world’s cleanest festivals.
Fuji Rock Festival
Address: Japan, 〒949-6292 Niigata Prefecture, Minamiuonuma District, 湯沢町三国202
Website: Fuji Rock Festival
3. Splendour in the Grass (Australia)
Since 2001, this 3-day event in late July has been providing audiences with world-renowned rock, hip hop, and musical acts. Splendour in the Grass is held at Byron Bay in New South Wales, and with over 30,000 visitors annually, it’s often regarded as Australia’s biggest winter music festival. Some of the huge names that have performed here include Kanye West, The Strokes, Queens of the Stone Age, Coldplay, and The Cure. Each year certainly has a lot of surprises in store. Make sure you wear your most unique set of clothes because the festival is also well-known for festival goer’s artistically-designed outfits.
Splendour in the Grass
Address: 126 Tweed Valley Way, Yelgun NSW 2483, Australia
Website: Splendour in the Grass
4. Tomorrowland (Belgium)
If you’re into electronic dance music, then Tomorrowland is definitely for you. The festival, which is held in Boom in late July, features some of the most well-known DJ’s from all over the world. Previous events have seen Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, Steve Aoki, David Guetta, and many other greats perform their beloved tracks. With over 100 acts participating, you can expect three unforgettable nights of dancing and music appreciation.
Another highlight of Tomorrowland is the state-of-the-art stage design, which varies annually. If you want to stay close to all the happenings, then you can stay at the camping site known as Dreamville. It offers well-maintained accommodations for the festival goers. Tickets usually sell out in just a few minutes, so remember to book as early as possible.
Address: Boom, Belgium
5. Lollapalooza (Illinois, USA)
Established in 1991 by the lead vocalist of Jane’s Addiction, this festival in Grant Park is where you can enjoy live performances from the best rock, metal, hip hop, and electronic music artists. It’s called Lollapalooza, and despite being cancelled in 1998, it was able to bounce back in 2003 with a more diverse lineup.
Fast forward to the present, the annual 4-day spectacle usually has over 100,000 attendees. Some of the legendary artists that have performed here include Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Radiohead, and Beastie Boys. Apart from the music, there are also equally astounding art exhibits and comedy shows. The huge success of the festival gave way to its expansion in Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Berlin, and Paris.
Address: Grant Park, Illinois 60940
6. Mawazine (Morocco)
If you’re in Morocco in mid May to early June and want to enjoy live music from the biggest mainstream musical acts, then you should check out this multi-day festival. Mawazine experienced a few financial problems in its early stages due to the lack of sponsors, but when the personal secretary of King Mohammed VI took over in 2008, it quickly became a success.
The event is visited by around 2.4 million music lovers annually and features 7 stages and over 90 local and international artists. Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Lenny Kravitz, and Usher are only some of the notable names that have performed here. Aside from providing guests with good music, Mawazine also aims to show the peacefulness of Morocco. Indeed, you will experience nothing but positive vibes in the festival.
Address: Rabat, Morocco
7. Glastonbury Festival (England)
Started in 1970, this 5-day event in Pilton aims to provide attendees with the vibe of the 1960’s counterculture movement. Glastonbury Festival has a wide variety of stages, each of which features performances from the best mainstream and underground artists from different genres. The Who, Elvis Costello, Motorhead, Pharell Williams, and Ed Sheeran are some of the huge names that have appeared here. It also consists of dance numbers, comedy shows, theatrical plays, and other types of performance arts.
There’s even an area called the Green Fields where you can join several activities influenced by the peaceful way of life of the hippies. The festival is usually held annually, but a few intervals to give the organizers, the town and the farm a chance to rest.
Address: Pilton, Somerset, England
Website: Glastonbury Festival
8. Exit (Serbia)
There’s definitely nothing more exciting than watching your favorite artists perform at a historical site. The Exit festival was established in 2000 to fight oppression in Serbia, and it’s held in the centuries-old Petrovaradin Fortress. Since its inception, the event has been visited by over 2 million people from different countries.
It features performances from some of the world’s most well-known rock, hip hop, metal, reggae, and electronic acts. Like the other entries on this list, the festival consists of several stages, each of which has a unique set of performers. Snoop Dogg, Wu-Tang Clan, Korn, The Killers, and Jamiroquai are just some of the big names that were part of this event. You don’t have to worry about sound problems because apart from its eventful history, the venue is also known for its impressive acoustics. Exit begins on the second Thursday of July and lasts for 4 days.
Address: Beogradska, Petrovaradin 21131, Serbia
9. Pitchfork Music Festival (Illinois, USA)
Pitchfork is one of America’s most beloved online music magazines, and it organizes a 3-day festival at Union Park in Chicago every third weekend of July. Since 2006, Pitchfork Music Festival has been giving fans an opportunity to enjoy live sets from some of the greatest mainstream and independent artists in rock, hip hop, electronica, jazz, and experimental music.
It also includes an event where you can buy a wide range of vinyl records. Previous festivals have seen remarkable performances from A Tribe Called Quest, Blood Orange, Chance the Rapper, Beck, Belle and Sebastian, and many other huge names. Make sure you book your tickets early because they’re known to sell out fast.
Pitchfork Music Festival
Address: 1501 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60606, USA
Website: Pitchfork Music Festival
10. Wacken Open Air (Germany)
This festival in Wacken was established in 199 and it will give you a chance to watch some of the best acts in heavy metal. Since starting, Wacken Open Air has welcomed over 80,000 visitors from around the world. For about 2 to 4 days, the farming village will consist of several stages and a moshpit where the metalheads can do a slam dance. Iron Maiden, Sepultura, Slayer, and Megadeath are just some of the juggernauts that have played in this monumental event.
With over 100 bands performing, you can expect a memorable headbanging experience from start to finish. WOA usually begin in late July or early August, and with tickets selling out in just a few hours, it’s highly recommended that you purchase ahead of time.
Wacken Open Air
Address: Hauptstraße 47, 24869 Wacken, Germany
Website: Wacken Open Air
11. Download Festival (England)
If you want to rock out for 3 days in England, then the Download Festival certainly won’t disappoint you. The event is usually held in mid June at the famous Donington Park, and its various stages feature the world’s biggest rock and metal bands. Previous shows have witnessed incredible performances from System of a Down, Linkin Park, Rob Zombie, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, and many other legendary acts.
It also gives opportunities to up-and-coming bands to play their music in front of a larger audience. There’s a huge chance of you seeing the next big thing in heavy music. Download Festival has a well-maintained camping site as well, so no need for you to worry about finding nearby accommodations.
Address: Donington Park, Castle Donington, Derby DE74 2RP, UK
Website: Download Festival
12. New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (New Orleans, USA)
This annual event started in 1970 and is held on the last weekend of April and first weekend of May at the Fair Grounds Race Course. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival celebrates the city’s music and culture through various awe-inspiring shows. Despite the emphasis on “jazz” in its name, the show features musical acts from other genres such as rock, hip hop, country, blues, and folk as well.
There are over 12 stages, each of which has a marvelous lineup of performers. The Neville Brothers, Trombone Shorty, Eric Lindell, and the Leroy Jones Quintet are just some of the most well-knows names that have been part of this spectacle. As for representing the rich culture of New Orleans, the festival also includes several food stalls offering delicious local dishes and stores selling beautiful handicrafts from homegrown artists.
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
Address: 1751 Gentilly Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70119, USA
13. Ultra Music Festival (Florida, USA)
Held annually in March at Bayfront Park, this 3-day outdoor event showcases the best names in electronic music. Ultra Music Festival, which started in 1999, has 7 stages and over 160,000 visitors. Legendary acts such as Paul Van Dyk, deadmau5, The Crystal Method, and The Chainsmokers have performed here, and the lineup just keeps on getting better every year.
Just like Tomorrowland, Ultra leaves attendees in awe with its state-of-the-art stage design. The festival is so successful that it expanded to other countries such as Australia, India, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and South Korea. It also won several times at the International Dance Music Awards, giving you another reason to check it out.
Ultra Music Festival
Address: Bayfront Park, Downtown Miami, Florida
Website: Ultra Music Festival
14. Vive Latino (Mexico)
If you’re interested in seeing some quality Spanish rock performances, then don’t miss this 3-day celebration at Foro Sol in Mexico City. Vive Latino is usually held in March, April, or May, and features 2 to 4 stages and a wide range of well-known and upcoming bands.
Some of the most notable names that have made an appearance include Los Lobos, Tito and Tarantula, The Mars Volta, Café Tacuba, and Los Planetas. Every year also brings surprise acts, which adds further excitement. Established in 1998, the event remains to be one of the world’s most significant Spanish rock festivals. Make sure you buy your tickets now before it’s sold out.
Address: Av. Viaducto Rio de la Piedad S/N, Granjas México, 08400 Iztacalco, CDMX, Mexico
Website: Vive Latino (Spanish Website)
15. Sziget Festival (Hungary)
It started out in 1993 as a small event organized by rock fans, and now, it’s one of Europe’s biggest music festivals. Each year, Sziget Festival features over 30 acts from different genres such as rock, metal, hip hop, reggae, world, and electronic. The 7–day celebration is held annually in August in a beautiful island called Óbudai-sziget.
Not only will you enjoy good music in various stages, but also the lush surroundings. R.E.M, Prince, Skrillex, Wiz Khalifa, Macklemore, Blink-182, and many other established names have performed here. With over 400,000 visitors annually, Sziget Festival certainly proves that music brings people together.
Address: Óbudai-sziget, Budapest, Hungary
Website: Sziget Festival
See your favorite artists live and experience positive vibes
By attending one of these events, you won’t just see amazing performances, but you will also make new friends and learn about different cultures. Let music fill you with positive vibes now.