Updated: Nov 30, 2019
Throughout Europe; North America, South Africa, Africa, and Asia, the world's best music festivals span Glastonbury, Tomorrowland, Coachella, Primavera sounds, UMF and many more. Whatever the genre- EDM, punk, hiphop, pop or metal-for everyone, there's something tailor-made.
Explore today's world's largest and best festivals with our 2019 global festival bucket list.
Somerset, UK Festival heaven for: Ageing hippies, middle managers who work in the public sector, old-school socialist.
Every summer, when it isn't having a "fallow year" to give locals a break, the Big Daddy of UK festivals commandeers a chunk of Somerset for music, mischief, hippies, healing and a whole lot of cider. It's difficult to convey quite how vast Glasto is, with all the worlds action taking their place.
Benicàssim (duh again!), Spain Festival paradise for: people who can achieve a tan
The Festival Internacional de Benicassim (FIB) or Benicàssim for short, is a great holiday and festival mix. You have the real titular town 20 minutes away for the latter, with a glistening ocean to dive in and wash away the previous night's toxins. You've come to the latter.
You have some of the best line-ups for guitar music year after year. There's a reason it's grown from 50 K capacity in 2009 to 150 K over last year's weekend; it's a beautiful festival with lots of beautiful naked people in a beautiful location. The days are also planned to kick back and have a rest, as music only begins at 5 pm and then continues all night until the next morning. It's officially the best way to get a great tan and listen to guitar music's cutting edge; that's not a FIB.
Festival paradise for: Beat gremlins If you like boards, you'll also like Dekmantel (airhorn laughter), a club-inspired festival hosted by the same name record label. It's kept in all of Amster's vibiest parts.
The Amsterdamse Bos is the party's headquarters; but if you can't go to a festival without sweating and shivering in a tent depending on the time of day, there's also a choice for camping. There is no better location than the city of liberal thinking, flat walking and really great bud for this type of house, disco and trance DJs.
London, UK Festival
Paradise for: people who prefer vinyl over Spotify (obviously)
Expanded again to a two-day festival (a year ago as a one-day event), Field Day stays cooler than a cucumber with a hipster beard and an ironic tattoo. Getting filled your belly with the new vegan food in the super-chill Village Green area is a great place to get day-drunk on craft beer.
In the super-chill Village Green zone, after filling your belly with the new vegan food. Yet Field Day also has major muso credits; edgy guitar music, shoegaze, alternative R&B, smart rap, respected DJs and everything else in vogue is carefully curated to be included.
It also features one of the best festival stages on the UK circuit, the Barn, a state-of - the-art hangar with a good impression.
Brecon Beacons, Wales
Festival paradise for: Guardian readers The Green Man is as cute as a button in his fifteenth year. It has pretty incredible fresh food from every nook and cranny of the globe, 99 aes and ciders at its own beer festival, and eight bars serving all your favorite cocktails. Music wise, it's the middle-aged Guardian readers' wet dream (i.e. lots and Laura Marling).
Paradise for the UK Festival: Dayglo party hounds
Lovebox is one of the most vibrant summer parties in London. Head to the main stage for big-name DJs, MCs and the occasional genre-busting group, or check out the smaller stages–curated by Noisey's likes–for a chance to discover a cool new rising star.
Lovebox keeps the beats pumping and the drink flowing for two whole days (Traditionally on Fridays and Saturdays) but be sure to keep pace. This is a festival that is renowned for its intense after parties.
Novi Sad, Serbia
Heaven Festival for: Risk-takers, ravers, nostalgic Serbian protesters Exit Festival has a pretty incredible history; it was established in 2000 as a group of students to protest and fight for democracy in Serbia. More than two million people from more than 60 countries have visited it since then. And for a very good reason–Located in a medieval fortress for the sake of god, it boasts 16 levels with all sorts of things going on.
There's also a sports area (probably not best experienced on a comedown / hangover) as well as entertainment, chill areas, a zip line and a 3D dance arena. Although it has gone on since the start of its politicisation, it still has a clear sense of social responsibility attached to it.
Festival paradise for: families who just want to have fun, thirty somethings who still like an atmosphere This Suffolk festival provides the ultimate cool-but-chill weekend away, with a line-up of energetic pop and alt rock in a nice environment. It is a very family-friendly affair and the programming of the music is artfully combined with drama, poetry, spoken word, dance and theater.
DJs are concealed for late night revelry in the woods, the popular colorful sheep wander the nearby fields, and with a refreshing local beer you can wash it all down. We're going to drink that.
Latitude, which started in 2006 and was vigorously championed by the Guardian, quickly established itself as the more introverted, genteel little cousin of Glastonbury. Located in the idyll of a lake near a quiet vacation.
Meadows in the Rhodope Mountains,
Paradise for: Yogis This luxurious festival in the jaw-dropping scenery of the Rhodope Mountains of Bulgaria is your chance to connect with nature to a peaceful soundtrack of trance, disco and techno after-hours.
There is also an admirable dedication to an environmentally friendly party: the organizers are committed to timber shacks, art installations and local forest levels.
There are all sorts of live bands playing on those stages: disco, dub, rock and jazz and, of course, the obligatory sincere people with acoustic guitars. Our tip: hang around for the pool party after the concert, which is sold separately for tickets.
Heaven Festival for: Hedonists, hippies, ravers, nomads More than a festival, Boomtown is an entirely alternative reality. Every year in a running storyline is a different chapter, and the entire festival becomes a lively, pulsating and fucking mental city.
There are underground hotels with beds and live ska bands, a work center, hidden paths and many performers.
Festival paradise for: Deep Web surfers, steampunks, metal sculptors, crystal healers Undoubtedly, some guy wearing goggles and dreadlocks will tell you Burning Man isn't what it used to be, man, before he speeds off in his solar buggy, and he's probably right.
Festival Paradise for: Anyone who can remember and pronounce Aphex Twin song titles, music dealers, East Berliners Located in a Museum of Modern Art, Mutek may be too academic to call a festival. Do not shake your fist to the stoic German tech-head squeezing extraneous tintinnabulation from your laptop.
Sound On Sound Fest
Festival heaven for: Music lovers Replacing Fun Fun Festival, SOS is just like–err–music, fun, fun, fun. It has the same mix of many genres (punk, rock, dance, DJs) that founder Graham Williams sees as all' part of the same scene.' There's also action sports and comedy, and it's all set in the so-called Live Music Capital of the World (Austin, Texas).
Niigata Prefecture, Japan
Festival heaven for: Mountain climbing music lovers It's a pretty special aspect of a festival for it to include a cable car ride up a mountain (thank God you don't have to walk it, it's hard enough to walk through Glasto with your Berghaus backpack). It is Japan's largest festival and strives to be the' cleanest festival in the world' with lots of different types.
Although frontman Anthony Kiedis had a broken arm, it will always be remembered as the festival where Red Hot Chili Peppers headlined during a full-on storm.
Festival paradise for: lovers of electronic music, star gazers, yogis, art vultures Taking place in a Rajasthani palace of the seventeenth century outside the pink city of Jai Pur, Magnetic Fields is a completely immersive experience with intimate stages set in and around the ornate grounds. Led by Bombay, Bangalore, a group of forward-thinking promoters and artists.
Festival paradise for: nostalgic hippies and excentric punk kids Golden Plains is a glorious festival throwback: a paean to a time before corporate sponsors came along and put their names on anything and everything. According to the shared ethos of the no-logo, tourists are encouraged to bring anything they like to the campsite so long as it does not destroy the communal vibe (even armchairs and a couch, according to their website).
Festival heaven for: Pitchfork-reading watersporters
Festival, carnival and hipster honeytrap, Bahidorá is a 24-hour party, people. The setting is gorgeous: acts perform next to a sparkling blue river flanked by palm trees. The revellers are colourful: resplendent in jazzy beachwear and feather headdresses, with a fondness for spontaneous processions.
Mexico City, Mexico
Festival heaven for: Rock-happy señors and señoritas
Every year, Latin and Spanish bands from around the world descend on Mexico City to perform at Vive Latino, arguably the most important Spanish-language rock music festival in the world. Naturally the predominant vibe is all things Latino, but bands of all nationalities and genres are welcome.
St Jerome's Laneway Festival
Festival paradise for: Aussie rock snobs Giant oaks from tiny acorns grow up... once nothing more than a few bands playing at a hole-in-the-wall bar in Melbourne, Laneway is now one of Australia's largest and greatest festivals with bases in most of the country's major cities –and also abroad in New Zealand, Singapore and the US. The line-up is still in place.
Lake of stars,
Paradise for: Sun worshiping Afro-pop fans Lake Malawi's blue lake and golden sands are the venue for this magical African festival. If you're not basking in nature's beauty–sunrise over the lake is truly awe-inspiring–or drinking cheap beer, there's plenty of entertainment–an eclectic mix of foreign artists, home-grown talent and art.
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