The season of bare shoulders, sunburned noses, beers on patios and hanging around outside all day long is upon us. While concerts are amazing year-round, there’s nothing quite as fulfilling as an incredible summer music festival; stacked with headlining acts across all genres, filled with delicious food trucks and made for everlasting memories.
Let’s not forget all about the crazy afterparties, wild crowdsurfing and fleeting festival romances. Whether you prefer under the radar indie bands or top 40 pop stars, there’s no shortage of summer music festivals around the world to hold your interest. No worries, we’re here to help out and reveal to you the 10 music festivals worth attending.
10. Sziget – Budapest, Hungary
Held from the 10th to the 17th of August this summer, Sziget is held in Budapest, Hungary and is one of Europe’s largest music and culture festivals. Held on an island (“sziget” in Hungarian), over half of its half of a million yearly concert-goers come from outside of the country – some of which even try to swim in from the mainland to skip the entry fees.
9. MELT – Ferropolis, Germany
Melt is Germany’s largest open-air festival, held every summer in a museum named Ferropolis outside of Grafenhainichen. The festival grounds feature industrial design; with large metal structures scattered around, wheel excavators in plain view, bare lighting and oversized flowers. The festival is known for its electronic acts, with some of the best names in house, techno, new-disco, garage and electronica performing every July.
8. Vans’ Warped Tour – United States
If you’re into alternative and punk music, Vans’ Warped Tour is the festival for you. Billed as the largest traveling music festival in the United States, it’s sponsored by – you guessed it – skateboard shoe company Vans and features as many as 100 bands per show. It’s the longest running festival in North America and has over 10 different stages.
7. Osheaga – Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Osheaga is one of Canada’s largest and most diverse music festivals. Held in beautiful Parc Jean Drapeau on Montreal’s St-Helene Island, Osheaga can hold up to 40,000 people per day throughout its yearly three day run. It was only inaugurated in 2006 and remains relatively young. but it’s quickly become one of Eastern Canada’s top festivals and attracts some of the biggest names in the industry.
6. Sonar – Barcelona, Spain
Sonar is a three day electronic and advanced music festival held in Barcelona, Spain. It’s split into two parts – Sonar by Day and Sonar by Night, and the daytime activities feature events like a technology and record fair, film screenings, lectures, art installations and more. The festival’s avant-garde nature has transformed Barcelona into one of the world’s top electronic culture destinations.
5. Bonnaroo – Memphis, Tennessee
Bonnaroo is a world-renowned festival held annually in Memphis, Tennessee that features a vast variety of musical genres despite it originally starting out celebrating folk rock. Since its inception in 2002, it’s been hailed as one of the “50 moments that changed Rock & Roll” by Rolling Stone Magazine and is known for being environmentally friendly; providing organic and recyclable materials and food containers.
4. Governors Ball – New York City
Only recently launched in 2011, Governors Ball has grown to become New York City’s largest music festival and is held on an island just across from Manhattan, accessible by party boats that allow alcohol on board. The festival features the top acts in popular music as well as an insane variety of New York food trucks and restaurants; making it a foodie’s paradise. It’s also a celebrity-watching paradise, with many of the city’s famed actors and musicians coming out to be part of the crowd.
3. Roskilde – Roskilde, Denmark
Roskilde is held outside of a town with the same name in Denmark and is considered one of the largest music festivals in Europe. Originally started by two high school students, the festival has grown to welcome over 130,000 attendees every year and has been a non-profit organization since 1972. It also includes an art zone and graffiti zone to promote creativity while attending the festival.
Lollapalooza was created in 1991 by Jane’s Addiction singer Perry Farrell as a farewell tour for the band. While it had a rocky go for a few years and took a break from 1997-2003, it has since been running strong and has grown to include versions in Santiago, Chile and Berlin, Germany as well as its homebase in Chicago. Today, it’s one of the largest and most diverse music festivals in the United and sees over 160,000 attendees every year.
1. Glastonbury – Pilton, England
Since the 70s, Glastonbury has been England’s top summer festival – featuring a variety of dance, comedy, theatre, circus and cabaret arts in addition to popular musical acts. It’s been coined the modern day Woodstock and takes place near Pilton, England. It’s the largest greenfield festival in the world and sees hundreds of thousands of people camp out on its grounds; requiring extensive security, electrical and water infrastructures. The festival is so huge that it takes a break about every five years to give the land and the people of Pilton a bit of a break.