The world is brimming with eclectic and highly attended music festivals. While Woodstock might have seemed like the end-all-be-all for big concerts back in the summer of 1969, it has been eclipsed many times. The good thing is that huge music festivals are now commonplace around the world. From electronic dance music (EDM) to rock to hip-hop, there is a festival for every type of music lover on the planet. And many of them are attended by as many as hundreds of thousands of people, those from all walks of life seeking dope beats, chill vibes, and a concert worth tweeting about.
This list of the biggest musical festivals in the world offer a glimpse into the variety of festivals that are out there — from off-the-wall, seemingly endless parties to more music-centric, old-school shindigs. No two are the same, but each one offers quite a memorable experience. More than likely, there are a few festivals on here that will strike your fancy, whether you’re a metalhead, a punk, or an office worker with a serious EDM addiction.
Unlike some festivals, where you’re required to drive hours away to some random, shady field with a tent, Field Day offers an intense music experience within London’s beautiful Victoria Park. Along with a mix of intense indie and electronic music, you’ll get to enjoy delicious street food, craft beer and a party like no other. With a great location, sumptuous food, and awesome bands, this is one music festival you must not miss.
Burning Man, a long-running music festival in Nevada, is unlike any other. What started out as a wild, counter-culture festival-meets-art-installation has since morphed into something more welcoming for rich tech professionals, but it still has an off-kilter, anarchistic vibe. With great music from artists like Tyco and Deadmau5, Burning Man is not only a wild party with lasers and pyrotechnics — it’s a legit festival for harcdcore music lovers and a must-visit for fans around the world.
If you want to enjoy great music amidst some beautiful scenery, then Bahidorá in Cuautla, Mexico, is for you. With a mix of indie, hip-hop, and electronica music, this festival brings the noise every year. It also takes place next to a beautiful blue river and palm trees. Add in kayaking, circus skills, and concertgoers dressed up in wild beachwear and headdresses, and you’ve got one wild festival/carnival/you name it.
Exit Festival in Novi Sad, Serbia, began as a protest against the Miloševic regime but has become one of the top music festivals in Europe — scratch that — the world over time. Taking place in the stunning Petrovaradin Fortress, built in the 17th century, this festival offers everything from electro to trance to Serbian rap. The heat can be sweltering and the loose cobblestones aren’t’ necessarily the safest to walk and dance on, but if you’re a risk taker who wants to get down to the hottest music in one of the Earth’s coldest cities, then head to the Exit Festival for an escape.
The Reading Festival in Reading, UK, is one of the biggest and longest-running music festivals in the world, with bands like Green Day, The Cure, and Red Hot Chili Peppers playing there to massive crowds since its inception. This music festival doesn’t offers some of the luxuries of some of the hipper festivals out there, like fancy food and art installations. What it lacks in that department, however, it makes up with its amazing live music and a great party atmosphere created by all of the people camping out overnight and partying.
If you’re in the mood for music but too old or too laid back for the party scene, then Baleapop in Saint-Jean-De-Luz, France, is right up your alley. Located in a gorgous seaside village, Baleapop has more of a laid-back atmosphere than wild shindigs like Burning Man and Coachella. While it does offer a more relaxing environment, Baleapop still delivers in the music department, bringing in a solid assortment of electronic music DJs and producers. Head there this year and get the best of both worlds — great music and a laid-back atmosphere.
Meadows in the Mountains
You might just forget you’re at a music festival when you visit Meadows in the Mountains in Rhodopes Mountains, Bulgaria. Located in the beautiful Rhodope mountain range, the area offers spectacular views and up-close interaction with wild animals. Imagine soaking up the sounds of live jazz, funk, alternative, and more, while you look up at the beautiful mountains around you. Oh, and did we mention the pool party following the festival?
You can’t mention the biggest music festivals in the world and not include Coachella. I mean it’s Coachella! The name is synonymous with insane, hugely attended festivals, and for good reason. Located in Indio, California, this music festival offers two days of big-name bands (everyone from Madonna to AC/DC have played here) and smaller, independent acts. Along with music from some of the world’s most well-known acts, Coachella offers pool parties and on-site camping, although there are hotels nearby for the less-adventurous breed of concertgoer.
As you can see, there are big music festivals all over the world that are worth attending. From gigantic parties to more low-key gatherings, from huge hip-hop acts to underground rock bands, these festivals offer something for everyone. No matter which continent you live on, there are bound to be one or more big music festivals within a few hour’s drive. Whether you dig the quirky, Mad Max-style grittiness and madness of Burning Man or the serene scenes of Bahidorá, there is a music festival out there that is perfect for you.
Give some of these music festivals a look and see what each has to offer in terms of musical acts, perks, food, attractions, etc. Maybe you just want to go for the music. Maybe the music is just background noise while you party with your friends. Whatever your motivation(s)for attending — whether you’re a diehard music fan who collects vinyl records or a guy who just happens to like watching live bands now and then — you can find a music festival that appeals to interests.