10 Awesome Music Festivals Around the World

by Hannah Boom
Polaris music prize winners

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the hipsters are pulling out their ripped jean shorts and Ray-Bans. It’s that time again; Summer Music Festival season. With awesome music festivals taking place all around the globe, travelling to various festivals is a great way to experience great music and travel at the same time. With South by South West kicking off the season last month, and Coachella topping the headlines last week, we thought we’d share some of our favourite music festivals from around the world:


Coachella – Indio, California

coachella2The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has been going strong since 1999, and is only growing. This year the usually three-day music festival extended the festivities to take place over two weekends and commands six main stages for its musical acts. This festival brings headlines and headliners, often renowned for its excellent line up and celebrity guests. The desert backdrop is a great way to ring in the summer with daily temperatures often rising to over 110 degrees Fahrenheit.


Exit – Novi Sad, Serbia

Also known as State of Exit, this Serbian festival focuses not only of bringing music to the masses, but also bringing relevant social topics into social consciousness. The festival runs for four days starting the second Thursday of July and has been going strong since 2000. Taking place in the beautiful and historical Petrovaradin Fortress, right on the banks of the river Danube , this festival is known for being one of the top summer party destinations, thanks to its affordability and the extreme hospitality of the local people.


Roskilde – Roskilde, Denmark


Running every year for the last weekend in June or the first weekend of July for the last 41 years, Roskilde is one of the biggest music festivals in Europe. Roskilde is run by the Roskilde Foundation, which runs the festival as a non-profit organization for the development and support of music, culture, and humanism. Every year over 100,000 people participate in this festival either as guests, volunteers, or reporters. The festival has mainly attracted visitors from Scandinavia, but as of late has been attracting visitors from all over the world.


Oxegen – Kildare, Ireland

The Oxegen Music Festival is a relative new kid on the block, as far as big European rock mash ups go, but don’t let its tender age trick you into thinking that Oxegen isn’t up to the task of impressing. The festival runs July 10 – 12 in Punchestown, Naas County Kildare and focuses on being environmentally-conscious. The festival completely offsets its carbon emissions and highly encourages attendees to be equally green. The Oxegen festival is taking a year off in 2012, but promises to be back in full force and better than ever in 2013.


Sziget – Budapest, Hungary

The Sziget Music Festival, usually held the second week in August in Budapest, Hungary, pretty much has it all and is one of the more affordable of the lot. It takes place on an island in the Danube, right in the middle of the city, which makes it easily accessible and convenient for those who are less inclined to camping. Also known as ‘Eurowoodstock’ this festival brings in party goers from all over Europe, even transporting visitors from Western Europe on the “party train” which runs from Amsterdam to Hungary overnight and features its own DJ.

Bonnaroo – Manchester, Tennessee

The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival was named “the ultimate over-the-top summer festival” by Rolling Stone Magazine in 2009. Running every year in the second week of June since 2002, the festival attracts some of the biggest names in music and crosses into many genres. The festival also makes a solid effort to promote green initiatives like sourcing food locally and encouraging event recycling and waste services. Along with music, Bonnaroo is also host to several other activities including a comedy tent, cinema tent, ‘graffiti wall’, and even a giant slip n’ slide.


Glastonbury – Glastonbury, Somerset, England

The biggest and most notable of the European Music Festivals, Glastonbury, is also the most difficult to get tickets to. Although the festival is taking a year off in 2012, ticket registration is already open for 2013. The festival runs on the weekend closest to the summer solstice, and is often known as most diverse, and muddiest, performing arts festival in Europe. The festival has been run by farmer Michael Eavis since 1981, who started the company Glastonbury Festivals Ltd and donates most of the profits from the festival to charities like Oxfam, Greenpeace, and WaterAid.


Lollapalooza – Chicago, Illinois

Lollapalooza was originally launched as a touring festival in 1991 by Jane’s Addiction front man Perry Farrell as final goodbye to their fans. His vision of a festival that combined some of the biggest names in music with a true rock/grunge atmosphere caught on so well that the festival continued each year until 1997, where it seemingly succumbed to a live hard, die young fate. However, the festival was reworked in 2005 as a destination festival in Chicago and is now one of the most popular festivals in the United States. Hosted every year in Grant Park in August and most recently expanding overseas to Brazil and Chile, Lollapalooza features a divers range of alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock, and hip hop bands.


Big Day Out – Major Cities, Australia and New Zealand

big day out

When Big Day Out started in Sydney in 1992 the main headline was the Violent Femmes, giving a chance to relatively unknown band at the time, Nirvana. Unsurprisingly, the festival was so well received that in succeeding years new venues were added in Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Gold Coast and Auckland. Known for it’s ability to feature up-and-comers as well as wildly popular acts both local and international, Big Day Out runs in high summer at the end of January to the beginning of February every year. Our very own Flightie Alicia experienced this festival during her time in Australia and shot this fun video:


Osheaga Festival – Montreal, Quebec

A relatively young music festival, started in 2006, Osheaga is quickly becoming one of the most popular music festivals in Canada. The festival features internationally known artists as well as local and emerging artists, bringing in eclectic crowds from around the world. With a focus on eco-consciousness and known for having some of the best concessions among the festival crowds ranging from festival staples like burgers to exotic ethnic foods from around the world. Taking place the first weekend in August, this year Osheaga is featuring headliners like Snoop Dogg and the Black Keys, as well as indie favourites Florence and the Machine and the Freelance Whales.


Summer festivals take place all over the world, and just the experience of getting there can be one of the highlights of the trip. Whether you’re road-tripping Carpoolchella style, or making your way to Sziget on the party train, travelling to music festivals can be just as fun as the festival itself!


coachella ferris wheel

Ready to experience one of these music festivals for yourself? Contact a Flight Centre Travel Expert by visiting your closest store, connecting with us online or calling 1-877-967-5302

Have a favourite music festival you’ve been to? Share it with us in the comment section below!

 win a music trip

You may also like