Ah, summertime. The season of bare shoulders, sunburnt noses, beers on patios and hanging around outside all day long. 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. Oh, there’s also 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.
Below, we’ve rounded up our picks for top 10 in the world – ranging from Eastern Europe to the Southwestern United States. Whether dancing under the moonlight on a breezy island is your jam or you’d rather be knee-high in a mud field somewhere in England, we’ve got you covered. From rave-themed outdoor dance parties to gourmet hamburgers and party boat transportation, we’ve picked festivals that not only deliver on music but the secondary factors that go along with it. Read on to see where you can take a road trip this summer to catch some of your guiltiest rap pleasures live or zone out to minimal techno in a crowd filled with strangers.
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. It’s been labeled the European version of Burning Man and has generated spin-offs in the Ukraine and Transylvannia. This year’s headliners include Florence and the Machine, Avicii and Alt-J.
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. This year’s edition features names like A-Trak, Jamie XX and Flume and runs from July 17th to the 19th.
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. Fun facts about this tour include that they let parents in for free due to their younger demographic and its lack of travel capabilities, and they run almost the entire operation on biodegradable fuel. Dates are available all summer long across Canada and the United States.
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. This year’s edition runs from July 31st to August 2nd features Kendrick Lamar, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and FKA Twigs.
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. This year’s Sonar runs from June 18th to the 20th and features performances by The Chemical Brothers, Hot Chip, A$Ap Rocky and more.
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. It’s won numerous “Best Festival In The World” awards and runs from June 11th to 14th this year, featuring bands such as Mumford & Sons, Hozier and Childish Gambino.
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. This year’s edition runs from June 5th to the 7th with Drake, Chromeo and St-Vincent headlining.
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. Nearly 21,000 volunteers keep Roskilde going in exchange for day passes. This year’s lineup includes Die Antwoord, Hot Chip and Nicki Minaj and runs from June 27th to July 4th.
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. It’s breathtaking location is right in the middle of downtown Chicago and features incredible city views. This year’s edition runs from July 31st to August 2nd is headlined by Sam Smith and The Weeknd.
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. This year’s edition will be held from June 24th to the 28th and will be headlined by the Foo Fighters and Kanye West.
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