Music festivals took the world by a storm as soon as they emerged since they are very eccentric in nature and are a host to many different genres at the same time. These genres have grown into separate entities in these festivals and have left a mark all over the world. These music festivals are not just about music but are also a hub for arts, culture, fashion and creativity, and experience for the attendees.
20 best music festivals in the world
Check out the Music Festival checklist that you will always regret missing out on as an EDM fan:
1. Sunburn – Goa & Pune
Held in the hills of Kesnand in Pune, Sunburn is one of the best music festivals in India. The Sunburn music festival features commercial Electronic Dance Music. It is also held in Vagator, Goa, every year as a part of New Year carnival. It ranked as the biggest music festival in Asia. Sunburn music festival ranked one in the Top 10 music festivals in the whole world by CNN.
The festival is a combination of delightful music, entertainment, shopping, and food. It spreads over 4 days and offers multiple stages. Sunburn covers music from most genres of EDM, i.e., Trance, House, Dubstep, Trap, Psychedelic Trance, Future House, Progressive House, Tech House, and Tropical House. It is arranged by Percept Company owned by Shailendra Singh and happens to be the brainchild of VJ Nikhil Chinappa.
2. Tomorrowland – Belgium
Tomorrowland is one of the biggest EDM festivals in the world. This festival has been growing its roots all over the world for the last ten years. About hundreds of DJs cover the splendidly built stages of the Tomorrowland. DJs like David Guetta, Avicii, Alesso, Martin Garrix, Steve Aoki, Tiesto, Dillion Francis, etc. are familiar names here. It began in Belgium. One of the best music festivals in the world, Tomorrowland debuted around 16 years ago and is giving tough competition to other dance and music festivals globally. Apart form the starry lineups, and massive main stage design and decoration, the real beauty of Tomorrowland is in its finest details which gives the overwhelming sense of magic.
3. NH7 Weekender – Multi Locations
NH7 Weekender is a multi-city music festival taking place in Indian cities of Pune, Bangalore, Kolkata, Shillong, and Delhi. The festival takes place annually. It is organized and produced by the OML (Only Much Louder) entertainment and held in between the months of October to December, starting from Pune and travelling throughout the country. The festival features a diverse range of artists from all around the country. Some of them are emerging talents of the country and others are internationally recognized artists.
Artists like, Karnivool, Dry the River, Benga, MUTEMATH, Seun Kuti, Fear Factory, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Magic Numbers, Simian Mobile Disco, SBTRKT, Chase and Status, Asian Dun Foundation, Basement Jaxx, The Vaccines, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Farhan Akhtar Live, Steven Wilson, Jose Gonzalez, Fink, The Wailers, A.R Rehman, Steve Vai, Jon Hopkins. Additionally, Imogen Heap, Mark Ronson, Megadeth, Flying Lotus, Mogwai and many more have performed here. The list continues to name several others from diverse backgrounds with different talents. But everyone connects by music on one a single platform.
4. Rock in Rio – Multi Locations
Rock in Rio is one of the most evergreen festivals. It began in 1985. Formerly, the festival held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but later on, it started to set foot in other locations such as Madrid, Las Vegas, and Lisbon. Rio de Janeiro hosted the festival 7 times, in 1985, 1991, 2001, 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017. The same number of times in Lisbon, i.e., 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016. Held three times in Madrid, 2008, 2010, and 2012. Once in Las Vegas, in 2015.
The festival was conceptualized and organized by Roberto Medina, who is an entrepreneur and an advertiser based in Brazil. He was the one responsible for moving the festival’s 2004 edition to Lisbon, without changing the brand name. The festival featured different genres of music, like indie, pop, heavy metal, and rock (as the name itself suggest).
Rock in Rio is one of the biggest music festivals in the world. The first event of the Rock in Rio saw about 1.5 million people. 700,000 people showed in the second and fourth edition. Almost 1.2 million attended the third event. Lisbon saw a footfall of 3,500,000 people.
Dekmantel has made itself the kind of music festival with forward thinking electronic music. It’s a festival for those who are looking to experience new musical trends.
In Amsterdam, Dekmantel, the best electronic music festival is a kind of brand that does not indulge in making headlines, doing publicity stunts and marketing gimmicks but rather encourages and rewards those who are willing to take new risks. Due to this, the music festival has become the first choice of a lot of DJs and music artists to play at.
6. Primavera Sound
Known as the jewel of Barcelona, Primavera Sound is one of the best music festivals in Europe. The festival has managed to bring an amazing lineup of cross-genre music artists every year. This is what makes the music fans wait for this festival eagerly year after year. The festival unites different genres together and breaks all barriers in music.
7. Let It Roll
World’s largest drum and bass music festival, Let It Roll hosts many different events across the globe along with 2 major music festivals in a year. Considered among the best European music festivals in the world, the festival is present in every individual’s bucket list who is a fan of the drum and bass genre. The festival has consecutively won awards for five years at the drum and bass arena.
8. Coachella Music and Arts Festival
This festival needs no introduction, Coachella is undoubtedly the best music festival in the US. Held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio in California, Paul Tollett and Rick Van Santen co-founded the festival in the year 1999. It is a great big melting pot of grandeur, fashion, giant structures of art, A-listed music and photo-worthy décor wherever you look. The arts and music festival is also one of the best camping music festivals featuring many music celebrities from different genres of music, including pop, hip-hop, rock, indie, and electronic dance music (EDM). There are several stages across the grounds of Coachella that host live music continuously throughout the festival.
9. Afro Nation
Having an all-star-studded lineup, the Afro Nation music festival is held in Portuguese every year. With genres like Portugal Afrobeats, bashment, dancehall and R&B, the festival occupies the blissful beach of Praia da Rocha fused with heat and beats. It is one of the world’s number one beach festivals.
10. Meadows in the Mountains
MITM steers clear of the big crowds and celebrity lineups and the festival is held at the Rhodope Mountains. It’s not like one of your standard music festivals, as it takes place at this beautiful, serene and eye-scorching intimate surroundings with sustainability. It’s not redefining the idea of a music festival rather, it is giving a reminder of how a real music festival should be.
11. Montreux Jazz Festival
It happens in July every year in Switzerland since 1967, it is one of the oldest music festivals on the list. Known as the second-largest jazz festival in the world, occurring annually after Canada’s Montreal International jazz festival. The festival has seen such impressive alumnus of artists who performed previously such as B.B. King, Miles Davis and Nina Simone, through to David Bowie, Queen and Bob Dylan. Even today, the shoreline of Lake Geneva is a hub for artists with immense talent across countries who perform in different venues of the Swiss city.
12. ADE: Amsterdam Dance Event
This bomb of a festival is unheard of by the people who are not into electronic music, but the real fans of the genre know very well about ADE. For the five days that it happens in October, the entirety of the EDM industry reaches the venues of Amsterdam, and crowd descends to its conference halls, streets and bars and bring in huge panel talks, showcases, technology demonstrations and fully-fledged festivals. Probably one of the best EDM music festivals in the world, ADE is the most influential, upfront and educational gathering for EDM industry.
13. Hellfest Open Air Festival
Being the best music festival in France, it focuses on heavy metal and punk rock genre and every innovative and gnarled sub-genre occurring in between. One of the largest festivals in France with highest footfall, it is one of the biggest metal festivals in UK.
14. Rolling Loud Portugal
Florida’s flagship festival – ‘Rolling Loud Portugal’ has become one of the best music festivals in America in past few years. Its Portugal edition is also following suit and replicating its impact of US in Europe too. Focusing on genres like rap and hip-hop, the urban music festival takes place in the lush beaches of Praia da Rocha.
15. The Governors Ball Music Festival
The Governors Ball Music Festival was the original Randall’s Island festival and was also the first marquee music festival of New York City. One of the best music festivals of USA, it is coming towards its 10th edition in the year 2021. Featuring the most influential and famous names in rock, EDM and hip-hop the festival is all set to make the island live again with its energetic performances.
16. Les Eurockéennes
One of the best music festivals to happen in France, Les Eurockéennes is known for its everlasting connection to charitable causes of the community apart from its strong lineups and rich history. The largest rock festival of France is based in a beautiful setting of a lakeside nature reserve alongside Lac de Malsaucy Belfort.
17. SXSW: South by Southwest
With more than 1000 music artists performing in a week, SXSW is one of the biggest showcase festivals for new music and everyone sees it for something different. This Austin based festival is one of the best festivals in the US which gives you a one-of-a-kind experience having every nook and cranny crammed with shows in Texas city.
18. Sónar Festival
Sónar has also become a festival for pioneering and experimenting with electronic dance music just like Dekmantel. Even though it has its editions in cities like Hong Kong, it still has its flagship festival in Reykjavík, Barcelona every June turning the coastal city into an arena of dance, music and creativity.
If you love to ski in the day and dance your heart out by night, then this festival is your thing. Europe provides a lot of options for snow sports festivals, but none attracts crowds like this festival. You can listen to the finest performers in music and experience the luxury hotels and learn snowboarding all at this ski resort festival.
An avalanche of indoor and outdoor venues along the most impressive lineup of a-list musicians that you can find on the mountains, and the crowd can also be seen sporting all kinds of attires such as fancy dresses coordinated by groups and bright pink snowsuits.
20. Splendour in the Grass
This Australian music festival started in 2001 used to be a one-day festival at the time of its emergence. It later on went from two days and then ultimately became a three-day festival in the year 2009. This festival is all about its starry lineups with artists like Coldplay, Lorde and Kanye West who have performed previously.
Apart from music, Splendour also offers events of circus and dance workshops, installations of art and a variety of food and craft markets.
We hope you have enjoyed reading this catalogue of 20 biggest and best music festivals happening in India and all over the world. Stay tuned for more such blogs and subscribe to GrooveNexus.