There is no better way to broaden your horizons, explore new music, and reconnect with your friends than by attending a music festival. Its the perfect way to inject some fun and excitement into your summer and make memories that you’ll never forget.
One of the world’s biggest and most famous festivals is the UK’s Glastonbury. Glastonbury festival was first held on Worthy farm in 1970 (the day after Jimmy Hendrix died) and a festival has been held on the same property intermittently every year.
There is no Glastonbury Festival during 2018, as the site is having a ‘fallow year’ (to give the ground the chance to rejuvenate) leaving regular festival-goers having to look somewhere else to get their fix.
With that in mind, here are five of the world’s greatest music festivals, and everything you need to know about them:
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is almost upon us (It starts on 13th April and runs until 22nd April) and tickets have been on sale since the beginning of January, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still buy tickets to the event. (You will have to camp though unless you have friends in the know!)Coachella is a festival unlike any other and it’s famed for being a truly hedonistic and decadent experience. This festival is about so much more than just music: you can also enjoy world-class art installations and a wide spectrum of delicious foods from around the world.
Hosted deep in the Californian desert, Coachella is a staple event in the schedule of a host of A-list celebrities, from the hot young things of Hollywood to the newest musicians on the scene.
The rich and famous from around the world head to Coachella for an experience that they will never forget and they aren’t alone. Half a million people attend the festival every year.
The festival is held across five different stages: the Coachella Stage, Outdoor Theatre, Gobi Tent, Mojave Tent and the Sahara Tent.
Coachella can trace its origins back to 1993 and it originally began as the result of a dispute between Pearl Jam and Ticketmaster. Pearl Jam were frustrated with the fees that Ticketmaster were charging and they hunted from an alternative venue away from their control.
They settled on the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio and were amazed by the thousands of people who traveled into the heart of the desert to see their show: In 1999 this big band trial lead to the founding of the Coachella festival, which has been hosted there ever since.
Coachella is the ultimate place to go to see and be seen: If you want a glimpse into the hedonistic lifestyles of your favourite celebrities (whilst they are wearing very little in the heat of the desert) then there is no better place to be.
This year’s line up will see Beyonce, Eminem and the Weekend take to the stage, but the huge number of performers involved is so eclectic that no matter what kind of music is your passion, you’ll find it available at Coachella.
Hot, sandy, incredibly colourful and loaded with excitement, no music festival is better or more exciting in the world. If you can’t book your 2018 tickets now then get yourself on the waiting list for 2019: It really is worth the wait.
Benicassim International Festival, Spain
In 2018 the Benicassim International Music Festival will be hosted from Thursday 19th July to Sunday 22nd July in the beach resort of Benicassim (which is situated on the coast between Valencia and Barcelona).
Not only does this music festival have a great reputation for the diverse and exciting range of acts they manage to secure each year, it is also a great festival to choose if you want to combine your musical passions with a vacation: you can rock out all night, and spend the day sunbathing, swimming and relaxing on the beach.
The festival is actually held on the both, so you can even do both! So many European music festivals are dominated by mud and bad weather (yes, we’re looking at you Glastonbury)
This year The Killers will be headlining the festival, alongside Liam Gallagher and Travis Scott to suit a diverse array of music tastes.
The high temperatures and sandy beach environment of the festival means that you’re guaranteed to be mingling with a host of scantily clad festival goers and
Tickets for the four-day festival are available directly from their official website (without any extra charges or middlemen) right now, at a cost of 155 euros for a standard four day camping ticket. If you want to enjoy a VIP experience then tickets will cost 300 euros per person.
The best tip we can give you if you’re thinking of attending Benicassim music festival this year is to make a holiday out of it. Whilst the festival only lasts for four days, the campsite it is based on opens for eight days, meaning you could turn your experience into a full week long break.
The festival campsite is right next to Spain’s famous Aquarama aqua part, complete with a host of pools and slides. In fact, this water park is so popular that festival goers often spot bands and other performers from the festival heading there to enjoy their down time!
Give into the madness, relax and enjoy some of your favorite bands and artists performing, and take the time out to enjoy a little sun, sea and sangria.
There is no better place to enjoy a vacation than Spain, and this is the best festival in the country. (In fact, it’s arguably the best music festival on mainland Europe!) If you haven’t visited it yet then you should definitely give it a go!
You may not have heard of Roskilde music festival, but in terms of its attendance figures alone this is Europe’s third biggest music festival. Last year the number of attendees swelled to 110,000 people per day. When the festival first started in 1971 just 25,000 tickets for the whole event were sold.
This year’s Roskilde Festival is being held from 30th June to Saturday 7th July. As well as comprising the main four day festival, there is now a four day pre-festival event, helping to prolong the fun.
Roskilde festival is about so much more than just the music. Attendees can also get involved in other events and activities, such as the naked race, which sees visitors race against each other to run a mile in the nude.
If it’s the music you’re interested in though, Roskilde has a reputation for attracting the creme de la creme of the music industry. In 1978 the festival was headlined by Bob Marley. U2 took up the mantle in 1982 and in 1986 Metallica took to the stage.
Roskilde tends to have a more hardcore musical focus than the other festivals on the list, and tends to attract a more metal-loving crowd than other festivals, which gives it a very unique look and feel.
The musical highlights of the festival for 2018? Nine Inch Nails will headline, and other confirmed acts so far include My Bloody Valentine, Black Star, Sampha and Four Tet.
One of the things that makes Roskilde so appealing is that it is one of the very few non-profit annual music festivals. All of the money raised through ticket sales and other events as part of the festival package are ploughed into a wide host of humanitarian, cultural and non-profit projects all over the world.
According to their official website, since 1971 Roskilde Festival has generated approx. € 43 million to Doctors without Borders, Amnesty International, Support the Victims in Iraq, Save the Children and The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and many more organizations.
A festival where you can have fun, run around naked, and support a host of worthwhile causes all at the same time? Count us in!
Burning Man, Nevada
Another festival that is held deep in the heart of the desert, Burning Man is hosted in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.
Burning Man is an iconic institution, and one that no one can describe better than its founders themselves: “Once a year, tens of thousands of people gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. In this crucible of creativity, all are welcome.”
Burning Man is no normal music festival. Attendees are known as citizens and are encouraged too participate in as much as the events as possible: the more you put into your time at Burning Man the more you will get out of it.
Burning Man 2018 takes place August 26 – September 3, 2018 and registration for tickets opens at noon on the 21st March. Tickets then go on sale on the 28th March, and if you want to get your hands on one then you should be quick: they tend to sell out fast!
Burning Man is unlike any other festival because, rather than bring in the biggest names and the biggest musicians in the business, much of the art and music is provided by those citizens that attend the event.
Almost more so than the music, it is the incredible and often oversized art installations at Burning Man that immediately draw attention. This is a festival that simulates not only your ears but all of your other senses too.
Arriving at Burning Man is like arriving on another planet, and the first time you attend the festival can be incredibly overwhelming. 5½ square miles of desert are turned into an open air art gallery.
For the less high brow, if it’s hedonism and debauchery that you’re looking for then there is also know better festival. Burning Man offers an ‘adult zone’ where you can find spanking classes, orgies, group masturbation and naked foam parties.
Of course, the highlight of Burning Man is the burning of the man, which occurs on the final evening of the event. The structure which looms over the festival is set alight, and the flames can be viewed for miles around. It’s a strange, and incredible, spectacle. Seeing is believing.
Fuji Rock, Japan
Isn’t Fuji Rock a great name for a music festival? This relatively new and modern festival was first started in 1997 when it was held at the base of Mount Fuji (hence the name).
Since then the festival has moved to the Neaba Ski resort, but the name of the event remains the same. This year Fuji Rock will be held from 27th July to 29th July.
Fuji Rock attracts tens of thousands of visitors from around the world each year, and that’s because of both its impressive line up and the wonderful scenery that is thoughtfully incorporated into the heart and soul of the festival.
What sets this festival apart from the thousands of others of festivals around the world is the awe-inspiring and picturesque views that you are afforded as you listen to the hottest bands.
Long and meandering walks between the various festival stages take attendees through lush forests and streams. These walks are almost deliberately extended in order to show off the beauty of the environment in which the festival is set.
What’s more the largest gondola ski lift in the world, dubbed ‘Dragondola,’ carries attendees up the mountain to overlook the festival site, where you can still hear the hum of the bands and the crowds below.
Because the festival is located in the heart of an area of outstanding natural beauty, they have a strong policy of looking after nature and leaving no trace behind you. If you’re eco-minded and are looking for a festival that will cater specifically for environmentalists then this is the one to choose.
But what about the music? This year’s line up includes Kendrick Lamar, N.E.R.D, Vampire Weekend and Sakanaction, amongst many others. Tickets went on sale at the beginning of the month, and there are still tickets available if you’re looking to make your vacation plans now.
Japan is a wonderful and culturally rich country with so much to offer. If you’re looking to incorporate your annual music festival fix with a vacation that you’ll never forget then why not combine Fuji Rock with a once-in a lifetime vacation in Japan.
If you’ve never been to a music festival before then you really should: even if it’s something you’re not sure you would enjoy its an experience that everyone should have at least once in their lifetime.
There are many different ways to pick the right festival for you: You could choose the one that is closest to home, follow your favourite band around the world, or incorporate a festival weekend into a longer vacation.
The key to enjoying your festival experience is to surrender to the fun. There’s no need to worry too much about how you look (this is no time for a three piece suit), and standards of cleanliness often go out the window.
Embrace the chaos. Say ‘yes’ to as many different opportunities and new experiences as possible. And don’t be afraid to push your boundaries, remove yourself from outside of your comfort zone.
You may well find that you’re bitten by the festival bug, and that you’re clambering to attend as many as you can, year after year.