Travel

The 12 Best Music Festivals Across the Globe

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The energies and spirit of a music festival create a surreal experience that turns strangers into friends who sing, dance and rock out together. Under the warm sun with a live stage in front of you and hardcore fans at your side, the event is a celebration of music impossible to forget. Plus, it’s a great excuse to travel.

The 12 Best Music Festivals Across the Globe

Get ready for festival season! (Ethical festival bag by Lost in Samsara)

Love discovering up-and-coming artists? Head to SXSW in Austin. Are you a die-hard EDM fanatic with a party side? Ultra Music Festival is waiting for you.

Music festivals are a great excuse to travel

The following breaks down twelve of the biggest music festivals where you’ll jam to smashing hits by the hottest bands, singers and DJs. They’re in order of month, so you can plan your festival trips (one or two per month) from March through to September. Just make sure to get your festival tickets and book your flights and hotel well in advance! Read on…

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A writer, artist and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary spends most of her time in France, but still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC and has traveled extensively around the world, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.

61 Comments

  1. I’ve been to a few of these — they’re a lot of fun (especially if you can get backstage / VIP area passes…). Great list, Hilary!

  2. Esther Earl Harris

    Great post packed with a lot of information! Hilary, thanks for sharing this with us.

  3. Louise Stone

    Those festivals look amazing. This is really a much much useful and awesome article. You covered all the world’s best music festivals very impressively and in detail. Above all these awesome music festivals experiences, they also aim to focus on the environment and the world and most. if not all, they have programs for raising money for charities that work to improve the world. 🙂

  4. Kimberly Vigil

    So apply your sunscreen, best festival attire and get ready to hit any of these great music festivals all over the globe. 🙂

  5. Elsie Spurlock

    Fantastic post! you really hit the nail on the head here. Organizers have created awesome festivals in unique spaces with different vibes and plenty of incredible music acts from all over the world. The feeling of these festivals reflects that of the artistic, cool and laid-back vibe of itself. Get away from stress from a few days and celebrate the music you love with your favorite artists. Get lost in a truly unbeatable environment and surrounded by thousands of like-minded people.

  6. Jenny Garett

    Coachella is one of the biggest festivals. The crowds in Coachella are internationally diverse, the setting is beautiful and the experience is everything that’s enjoyable. Coachella is a perfect spot to do some superb people-watching. You never know who will be dancing right next to you. . And it continually draws people to listen to great music and get lost in it. 🙂

  7. Heather Strobel

    Wow brilliant pictures! Some of these music festivals look incredible. Hilary thanks a bunch for sharing this. I’ve always wanted to attend a music festival and this is definitely taking me out of my comfort zone. However, I enjoy meeting and interacting with other people. So, I am looking forward to attending festivals and meeting new friends.

  8. Merry Robinson

    So many amazing Music Festivals, thanks for this excellent post. I went to Global citizen fest in 2014 (it’s also my first time to attend music festivals) and since than the connection has never stopped. And By far the most incredible experience of our entire lives. it’s just getting better every year. Here s to Global citizen 2014 memories <3

  9. Helen Dark

    Anything with music, lights and adrenaline sounds so beautiful to me. I hope to visit coachella , but it would be a goal to reach all these festivals. There’s just something about music fest, to me, that is so wild and vast. This is officially on my bucket list.
    Good article, thanks for sharing!

  10. Hazel Collins

    These all sound spectacularly awe-inspiring. Thank you so much for the research and effort that went into preparing this. Festivals are vibrant and plentiful. I’m sure festival-goers won’t be disappointed attending these festivals. Thinking of where you can get a good meal while you’re in the festival? Don’t worry there’s a good range of locally sourced food and produce is available on-site.

  11. Lela House

    So many awesome music festivals, so little money and so little time. 😀

  12. Cornelia Green

    Lots of great stuff here! Thank you for sharing. With each passing year, there are more and more options to choose from. Those who still haven’t attended music festivals yet, should totally do and have a chance at attending any of these. Your list of festivals is a must for lovers of world music. Time to update the bucket list! lol 😀

  13. Rosemary Robles

    Excellent post, thanks for this resource. Music festivals are great. So many different types of music, everybody can find something that they like. Meet people, energy, everything is amazing. Music festivals will continue to just get bigger and will surely give people unforgettable concert-going experiences. 🙂

  14. Lena Dzeko

    Every year I watch Live Earth Road to Paris on TV. I know it’s not as fun as being there in person, but seeing it on TV is better than nothing in my opinion. 🙂

    • Jae Medina

      High five!! ???

      I never miss it! Always catch it live on TV. But I hope to go that festival one day. It’s also a great cause, and also so much fun. They always pick the best musicians. ?

  15. Cassi Braun

    Oh my god! Believe it or not, some of these festivals are already on my bucket list. Great minds think alike much?! Cheers for the great info! Will absolutely keep in mind. 🙂

  16. Felicia Stewart

    As a Brit, most of these festivals are literally far too far from me – although I wish I could go to most of them! This year I’m going to Glastonbury Festival, here in Somerset, England. I noticed it didn’t make it to your list. You should definitely check it out! It’s huge, and well fun! 🙂

  17. Matilda Parker

    Fabulous article Hilary! There’s never been an articl you wrote that failed to reach out to me. Even though I haven’t been to too many festivals in my life, I truly enjoyed this. Very informative and insightful. Thanks!

  18. Kimberley Foulkes

    I live in Philadelphia and I went to the Roots Picnic with my husband a few years ago. We both had a great time. Being such huge The Weeknd (Abel XO) and A$AP Rocky fans we are going again this year. I really look forward to it! 🙂

  19. Susanna Milton

    Hi.. I’m a European music fan who follows festivals. I’ve been to only one of these American music festivals, Coachella. It’s the firs time I’ve heard of some of these actually. But they all are going to my bucket list. Thank you for all the information!

  20. Melissa Princeton

    I hear a lot of good things about Coachella and I’ve been wanting to go, but I was unsure, however your artcle confirmed it. And I’ve made up my mind about it. I’ll definitely go this year. thank you!

  21. Sabrina Wellington

    Splendid article, Hilary! You did you research well on these festivals, greatly appreciated! I’ve always wanted to go to The Boston Calling Music Festival. I think I just may do that this May!

  22. Molly Twain

    I applaud you for this fun article, Hilary! Thank you so much for the great information. Not my scene but I’m sure a lot of my friends will appreciate it so I shared this article on Facebook. I hope you don’t mind. xoxo

  23. Evelyn Sandler

    That was a very informative and fun read. I’ve been to a few musical festivals when I was a university student, but I couldn’t make time for it after graduation.

    • Ayla Pennington

      I hear you! Easier when you’re younger and have less responsibilities! Especially during college years. I’ve had my shares too! Last time I went to a music festival was 6 years ago. But after I read this post I said to myself “Why not take Chris (my husband) and go to a music festival this spring?” I think it’ll be very entertaining and fun. 🙂

  24. Evelyn Sandler

    Never in my life did I feel like going to a music festival until I read this post! Hilary, your articles work like magic! Great job! 🙂

  25. Amelia Beckons

    Love a music festival! I try to go to a different one every year! This year I’m going to SXSW Music Festival in Houston! Really looking forward to March. I get more excited everyday, as the date is closer 😀

  26. Kim Hartford

    Did you read my mind or what? I was literally thinking of music festivals yesterday! The spring is around the corner, so I thought it could be fun to go to a festival or two. Just wasn’t sure which one to go, but after your guide, I know which oneS I am going this year!

  27. Sasha Rosswell

    Oh my god! That was such a long read, but it was very fun and interesting. Learned some thing about these music festivals that I never even heard of before. I think I’ll stop being a “homebody” and go out more, and try out some music festivals. Sounds exitingly fun 😀

  28. Jennifer McSween

    Lovely article, with great information. Learned a few things. Thank you so much. 🙂

  29. Sabrina Grattidge

    Great guide! Reading it made me realise how much I missed the spring / summer time and the fun in the sun activities! What better way than a music festival to have fun outdoors in the summer! 🙂

  30. Diana Hewitt

    What an amazing gudie Hilary! Love it! I’ve been to quite a lot of festivals, but Global Citizen music festival in New York is something else! Those who are reading this, If you live in New York or nearby, you should definitely check the Global Citizen music festival out! 😀

  31. Lynn Hayes

    I really want to go to the Virgin Music festival in UK, so I’ve been saving since september. I plan to do some touristic activities as well while I’m there. Hopefully evertyhing will go right and I’ll have a great time. 🙂

  32. Frances Seifert

    Fabulous post! I’d totally forgotten that festival season was just around the corner! Need to do my resarch now before they all run out of tickets. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

    • Roberta Bennett

      So true! It’s best to book off season. It’s easier to find tickets then, and it’s cheaper. 🙂

  33. Kimberly Thompson

    I feel so nostalgic now after reading this! When I was younger – before I got married, I went to a lot of these festivals with my close friends, and we made some memories that’ll last a life long which I will probably pass onto my grandchildren! 🙂

    • Amanda Roberts

      Lucky you! I’m yet to go to my first one in may and I look forward to it. This article made me even more excited! After reading this my expectations are very high now 😀

  34. Catherine White

    Amazing article! Great job, Hilary. I can honestly say that I’ve never had any interest in going to a music festival until I read this post. Now I’ve found myself checking dates for the nearest music festival in my area. WOW!

  35. Nicky Bryan

    Great guide. Very well done, Hilary! Out of all these festivals Coachella is my favorite! It has this Woodstock vibe to it, and I just love it!

  36. Pearl Nguyen

    You know what?? I live in New Orleans, and I really had no idea that we had music festivals over here. how ignorant of me. Have I been living under a rock? Oh my goodness! Reall learning something new from you everyday!

  37. Leslie Williams

    Sort of ashamed to admit that I’ve never been to a music festival. But your article makes them look and sound so much fun, that I decided I will give a try. I live in New York so The Global Citizen music festival is a place a good place to start for me!

  38. Emily Wentz

    Hands down the BEST festival guide EVER! I’m speechless by your endless knowledge. You really know so much about everything and anything. And what I love the most about you is that you don’t keep it all to yourself, but you share with us. Thank you so much, Hilary. You’re a wonderful woman. 🙂

  39. Pamela Sanabria

    I never was a big a fan of music festivals. The crowds seem so intimidating to me. But somehow, reading this guide made me feel like I’ve been missing out on so much fun.

    • Sibel Jenkinson

      Aw, I’m really sorry you feel that way! If you ever think of going to a music festival, this guide by Hilary should be gratly useful to you. When you know what to expect, what to do, where to stay, and who to go with, you’re all set and there’s nothing to worry about. Good luck. 🙂

      • Pamela Sanabria

        I’ll keep all that in mind, thank you! 🙂 I actually bookmarked this post so I can come back and check for tips.

  40. Delilah Peyton

    I’ve been some of those! But Coachella was my personal favorite! From my own experiences I can say that this article / guide is well on point! Keep up the great work, Hilary Rowland. 🙂

  41. Kaitlyn Barrett

    Ver informative article on music festivals! I would definitely love to attend some of those when I have the money and time for it. 🙂

  42. Camila Hilhorst

    Hello! Your guide consists of such a huge variety of music festivals, that most which I haven’t heard of before. Thank you so much for putting so much time and effort in this article for us Urbanette readers.

  43. Helena Stevens

    I’m truly amazed with finding such a well detailed music travel guide! Thank you for your time and hard work. Keep up the great work 🙂

  44. Melissa Smith

    Wow, there’s a lot! I’m having a hard time to choose which one to prioritize… LOL

    But for me, the most exciting (based on how it is described in this article) is the Virgin Festival! I’m up for that wild face paint and crazy costumes…

  45. I’ve heard of Live Earth! And if circumstances would permit, I’d like to attend in one of their “music” festivals. Concert for a cause, isn’t that fantastic?!

  46. Okay, heading to Boston City Hall Plaza this May 😉 Wonderful article! Rock on!

  47. Hannah Mayers

    Great list! My bad, I can count on my fingers the number of times I was able to attend music fests / concerts. But I’d like to commend you, Hilary! You’ve written the article well that it brought out excitement in me!

  48. WOW! This article is definitely for me! I’ve attended COACHELLA twice and you’re right! It’s definitely an event to see and be seen!

  49. Shirley Stewart

    Well, I’m not really a music fan so I don’t attend music festivals that much (but friends do drag me for the feel of events like these). But I must admit, this article caught my attention. Hmmm… would like to try and experience the Bonnaroo… Music plus arts…

  50. Ashley Moore

    wow! there’s a lot of people in the Global Citizen music festival in New York and i have no idea because i still haven’t attended any concerts yet. :/

  51. Grace Stirling

    This is great! I’ve attended concerts and i would say that it’s always a blast. Concerts and music festivals have become increasingly popular over the last few years all over the world, especially when it’s a very popular singer or artist who will be performing. Due to the rapid increase of crime rate and rapid escalation of law breakers and offenders who are going to attend and find their next victim at these kinds of events. It is essential for a concert to have a security personnel or a crowd controller to maintain the safety of the people inside the venue. To ensure the safety of the attendee’s and everyone inside the venue it is important for them to oversee what is happening and the current state of the event, in case there is problem even a little nuisance they will make a way and fix it.

  52. The Global Citizen one looks like it’s worth the trip. Great lineup, and it’s held in NYC, unlike some of the other festivals, which are held in the middle of nowhere — places that don’t have infrastructure to handle all those people.

  53. No assigned seating? No thank you! As much as these look like fun, there’s no way I’m using a porta-potty LOL

  54. I had no idea about these other festivals. I go to Coachella every year and it’s a blast. Going to go to the Global Citizen ones too – I love what they stand for!!

  55. Courtney Watson

    Oh wow – I had no idea about Global Citizen in DC! I attended in NYC, and it was amazing. Definitely going to make the trip to DC. Thanks for the tip!

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