13 best music festivals in the world | Collaboration

Festivals are hot, intense and a little grimy, but also the most indescribably wonderful experience.

I’ve curated a list of the 13 best music festivals around the world that promise an unforgettable mix of music, culture and atmosphere. Let’s dive in!

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Skiddle.

Glastonbury festival
Photo: Anna Barclay

1. Glastonbury

Where: United Kingdom
When: 26 – 30 June 2024

Of all the music festivals in the world, I’d make a strong argument that UK festivals are among the best. Okay, so the weather is hit and miss, plus a pint will cost you the best part of a tenner, but there’s nothing quite like getting lucky with a sunny weekend and watching the most random mix of people come together and celebrate some great music.

If you’re heading to a festival in the UK, Glastonbury is the undisputed best of the best. Nestled in the rolling hills of Somerset, Glastonbury is more than just a music festival; it’s an iconic cultural phenomenon that transcends genres and embraces diversity.

What makes Glastonbury special?

From Pyramid Stage performances to the eclectic Shangri-La district, there’s so much to do at Glastonbury that you could have an incredible five-day long experience without catching a single headliner. It’s even a great festival for families!

Don’t have time to finish reading about the world’s best music festivals now? Save this post for later!

13 best music festivals in the world

I’ve been lucky enough to experience Glastonbury festival – and The Rolling Stones on the Pyramid Stage! -and I’d go back again in a heartbeat. I’d highly recommend it to anybody looking for an epic festival in the UK.

For the rest of the year, the 900-acre Worthy Farm is a working dairy farm so every five years, there is a fallow year to give the land time to recover – the next is in 2025.

Tickets go on sale in October for the following June and sell out immediately each year so you’ll want to pre-register and plan ahead to secure Glastonbury tickets!

woman in white fur jacket and white skirt standing on beach during sunset
Photo by imustbedead on

2. Coachella

Location: United States
Date: 12 – 14 & 19 – 21 April

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, held annually in Indio, California, is synonymous with trendsetting music and iconic desert vibes.

As one of the largest and most famous of the best music festivals globally, Coachella boasts a lineup that spans mainstream, hip hop and indie, catering to a diverse audience. People travel from far and wide to attend so it wouldn’t be a list of the best festivals without it!

What makes Coachella special?

These days, it’s just as well-known for its aesthetic as the music: it wouldn’t be Coachella weekend without photos of crowds in out-there fits, ferris wheel silhouetted in the background, hitting Instagram in droves.

However, Coachella consistently attracts some of the biggest names in music, making it an event music enthusiasts and influencers alike won’t want to miss.

Sziget music festival Budapest

3. Sziget

Where: Hungary
When: 7 – 12 August 2024

Welcome to Budapest’s Sziget Festival, a week-long extravaganza held on the picturesque Obuda Island in the Danube River. Sziget is not just a music festival; it’s a cultural celebration featuring a diverse range of genres and arts.

It’s also at the top of my festival bucket list for the reasons I’ll go into below.

What makes Sziget special?

As Sziget is right in the heart of Budapest, it makes the ideal festival to combine with a city break. Pound the streets with your sightseeing hat on by day before heading over to the island for a party on the Danube by night!

Much like many of the other festivals on this list, Sziget goes beyond music by incorporating art installations and performances from around the world. However, each year, the line up is top notch and with Fred Again announced as one of the 2024 headliners, it’s been a struggle not to get those flights booked already!

Tomorrowland Belgium

4. Tomorrowland

Where: Belgium
When: 19 – 21 & 26 – 28 July 2024

Prepare to be transported to a magical realm of electronic dance music at Tomorrowland in Boom, Belgium. Known for its mind-blowing stage designs and a lineup that reads like a who’s who of EDM, Tomorrowland is arguably the best music festival for dance music lovers.

What makes Tomorrowland special?

Tomorrowland is renowned for its elaborate and visually stunning stage setups that create a completely otherworldly experience. If you want to feel utterly transported to another dimension, this is the festival for you.

Each festival is also woven with storybook-esque themes so whether you’ve been two times or two dozen times, you’ll still be amazed by new and exciting sights – as well as the stellar line-ups of course. In 2024, the theme is LIFE (a prequel of the 2016 ‘Elixir of Life’ theme) and previous years have included The Reflection of Love and Adscendo.

Benicassim Spain

5. Benicassim

Where: Spain
When: 18 – 20 July 2024

Spain’s Benicassim Festival, nestled along the sunny Mediterranean coast, offers a unique blend of indie, rock and electronic music. The beachside setting adds a laid-back vibe to the festival, creating an atmosphere that’s both energetic and relaxed.

What makes Benicassim special?

The location goes without saying! The closest city to Benicassim festival is Castellón de la Plana, but the real beauty would come with combining your festival experience with a trip to the stunning Valencia. It’s only an hour away – why not? There are even day trips which give you a flavour of the city during your visit.

Benicassim famously attract brilliant line ups too with a diverse mix of music to satisfy loads of different tastes. For example, this year’s artists range from the Black Eyed Peas to The Libertines and Royal Blood.

Lollapalooza, Chicago

6. Lollapalooza

Where: Chicago
When: TBC for 2024

Originating in the United States, Lollapalooza began as a touring festival before making Chicago its permanent home in 2003. Since, it’s become synonymous with a diverse lineup that caters to fans of rock, pop, hip-hop and more – they boast over 170 performances take place across the weekend.

What makes Lollapalooza special?

Each Lollapalooza event is characterized by a vibrant energy, creating a dynamic and inclusive atmosphere for festival-goers. Last year’s event was graced by music royalty Kendrick Lamar, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, 30 Seconds to Mars and Foals among MANY more.

It’s that great that Lollapalooza has now evolved into a global phenomenon, with editions hosted in cities including Berlin, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Paris, Stockholm and Sao Paulo!

Check out the 2024 line up when it’s released on their website.

Burning Man

7. Burning Man

Where: United States
When: 25 August – 2 September 2024

Burning Man is not a festival. Set in the vast and surreal Black Rock Desert of Nevada, Burning Man is an immersive experience that combines art installations, self-expression, and communal living.

While its events have spread across the globe and the annual calendar, its flagship event (not festival) at Black Rock City is where headlines are made. You don’t want to turn up unprepared but if you take the time to ready yourself, it’ll be worth it.

What makes Burning Man special?

The ethos of Burning Man revolves around community, radical self-expression and leaving no trace, fostering a sense of shared responsibility among ‘Burners’.

I wondered if Burning Man was becoming another of those Insta-festivals (sorry!) as you see more and more posts on social media but this is against the principles of the event itself. Its radical core and principle of decommodification holds the over-consumerism that comes along with many festivals at bay – for example, gifting is an essential part of your time at the festival, where you can trade items for essentials you may need and the survival guide states we are not a backdrop for your business.

Burning Man encourages visitors (or ‘Burners’) express themselves by creating and displaying large-scale art installations, contributing to the festival’s unique aesthetic. The festival’s 2024 theme ‘Curiouser and Curiouser’ sounds incredible!

Explore Burning Man’s unique atmosphere here.

Photo: Flemming Bo Jensen

8. Roskilde

Where: Denmark
When: 29 June – 6 July 2024

Denmark’s Roskilde Festival is not just about music; it’s a platform for social responsibility and cultural diversity. With a commitment to charity and a diverse lineup, Roskilde attracts music lovers from around the world.

What makes Roskilde special?

Roskilde’s focus on charity and activism sets it apart, making it one of the most amazing music festivals with a greater purpose. They even feature ‘art and activism’ as a section on their line up – which, by the way, features absolutely epic artists such as Foo Fighters, Aurora, Doja Cat and Skrillex this year.

There’s a great community vibe at this festival where you can camp for an entire week, forging new connections and enjoying a feel-good summer festival experience.

Photo: Aaron Rogosin

9. South by Southwest (SXSW)

Where: United States
When: 11 – 16 March 2024

SXSW in Austin, Texas, is not your typical music festival. It’s a convergence of film, interactive media and music, creating a dynamic and innovative space where creativity knows no bounds.

However, music is by no means a secondary feature as it attracts a vast (seriously) array of musical talent, both big names and new artists, all hoping to make an impression.

What makes SXSW special?

As I’ve chatted about above, SXSW goes beyond music. If you want a week packed full of great tunes, but also to check out film screenings, tech exhibitions and conferences across a whole array of creative industries, this is the choice for you.

Given its diversity and reputation for impeccable quality, the festival is a hotbed for discovering emerging artists and trends across various creative fields. Their official Spotify playlist is well worth a listen to get a sample of what you can discover there.

For more information, visit SXSW’s official website.

Bonaroo festival

10. Bonnaroo

Where: United States
When: 13 – 16 June 2024

Set against the picturesque backdrop of Tennessee’s countryside, Bonnaroo is a music and arts festival that only recently made it onto my radar. It’s truly a world of its own, with 24/7 music at the main venue, Centeroo, that’ll keep you dancing from sunset to sunrise.

What makes Bonnaroo special?

There are a huge amount of camping areas at Bonnaroo (with equally funky names) so there’s an accommodation type for everyone. Glampers, seriously, even you.

The festival showcases a wide range of musical genres, ensuring there’s something for every taste. My man Fred Again is headlining this one in 2024 too, along with Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Post Malone – now that’s a mighty trio!

Ultra Music Festival

11. Ultra Music Festival

Where: United States
When: 22 – 24 March 2024

Ultra Music Festival is a global force in the EDM scene. With events held across the globe, Ultra promises electrifying performances from top DJs in stunning venues.

One of the best music festivals for dance lovers, Ultra began in 1999 in Miami and is mainly held downtown in Bayfront Park. It’s all about the tunes, with less of a diverse experience than some of the other festivals listed here, so this is one to put on your list if you’re really into raving.

What makes Ultra special?

Along with its flagship Miami event, Ultra has now become a global franchise! Ultra Worldwide hosts festivals in Europe, South Africa, Asia and South America

The festival consistently books some of the biggest names in the EDM world too. This year, Miami is set to welcome legends Calvin Harris, Tiesto and David Guetta, along with rising star Peggy Gou and Liverpool-born Camelphat.

Primavera Sound

12. Primavera Sound

Where: Spain
When: 29 May – 2 June 2024

Spain makes it back onto the hitlist with another renowned festival! Barcelona hosts the avant-garde celebration of music known as Primavera Sound. With a cutting-edge lineup that spans various genres, Primavera Sound is a journey into the future of music.

What makes Primavera Sound special?

The festival takes place in the heart of Barcelona, an unbelievable city in its own right. Being able to combine sightseeing with incredible live music is what will make your trip to Primavera Sound even more memorable!

Primavera Sound Barcelona

Barcelona is home to one of my all-time favourite attractions. Make sure you visit the Sagrada Familia’s stunning interior – check out my blog post here.

This year’s line up is jam packed with well-known names like Pulp, Lana Del Rey, Disclosure, FKA Twigs and Sza. If I was going this year, I’d be heading straight to see Romy on the Sunday too.

Primavera has expanded too! They now also host iterations of the music festival in Porto, Buenos Aires and Sao Paolo, with Primavera Day events also taking place in Montevideo and Asuncion.

Splendour in the Grass

13. Splendour in the Grass

Where: Australia
When: 19 – 21 July 2024

Closing off the list by heading down under, Splendour in the Grass encapsulates the essence of Aussie music culture.

The festival offers a perfect blend of indie, rock and electronic sounds against the backdrop of Australia’s natural beauty and is arguably the country’s most well known and popular festival.

While the line up for 2024 is still to be announced, 2023 boasted a jam-packed roster featuring Lizzo, Flume, Mumford & Sons, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, J Balvin and Sam Fender.

What makes Splendour in the Grass special?

Location, location, location! On Australia’s East Coast, Byron Bay provides a stunning setting for festival-goers to enjoy not only great music, but also breathtaking views.

Splendour in the Grass brings together a mix of local and international acts, creating a diverse and vibrant musical experience. Outside of the traditional music acts, it’s an absolute melting pot of things to do – the Splendour Comedy Club and The Science Tent are always packed out!

13 best music festivals in the world

These 13 music festivals offer a global tour of sounds, cultures, and experiences. Whichever you choose, travelling for a festival allows you to immerse yourself in the diverse sounds and vibes that each destination has to offer.

Whichever you choose, have an amazing experience and if you’re headed to Glastonbury, don’t forget to seek out the hidden piano bar!

Laura x

Disclaimer: no images are my own.

Swerving camping for a real bed for the night? I pretty much always use for my travelling accommodation!


You Might Also Like

No Comments

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.