The Best Music Festivals in the World 2019

Julia Wytrazek /
Julia Wytrazek / | © Culture Trip

Music Editor

Festival season has well and truly kicked off, and it’s not just Glastonbury that tops the wishlists of music lovers.

With so much choice these days, it’s hard to know which music festival to go to and what to pack. Which has the better line-up? The most beautiful and Instagrammable location? The best non-music activities?

Obviously, you need to select the right one for your personality. From chilled-out gatherings to energetic dance raves, there are hundreds of music festivals located all over the world.

There are lots to see and hear, but with many of them overlapping in dates, and a budget in mind, it’s obvious that seeing them all in one year is impossible.

But it is possible to catch a handful of the best festivals that fulfil all your music needs.

Culture Trip has curated five themed journeys that will take you across all corners of the globe for the musical trip of a lifetime.

The festivals everyone’s heard of

Even if you only have a passing interest in music, you’ve heard of these ones. World-class festivals such as Glastonbury and Primavera Sound always manage to draw the biggest names in music.

1. Primavera Sound

Dates: 30 May-1 June
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Headliners: Erykah Badu / Tame Impala / Solange

2. The Governors Ball Music Festival

Dates: 31 May-2 June
Location: New York, US
Headliners: Tyler, the Creator / Florence + The Machine / Nas

3. Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

Dates: 13-16 June
Location: Tennessee, US
Headliners: Childish Gambino / Post Malone

4. Isle of Wight Festival

Dates: 13-16 June
Location: Isle of Wight, UK
Headliners: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds / George Ezra / Biffy Clyro

5. Roskilde Festival

Dates: 29 June-7 July
Location: Roskilde, Denmark
Headliners: Bob Dylan / Travis Scott / Chance The Rapper / The Cure

6. British Summer Time Hyde Park

Dates: 5-14 July
Location: London, UK
Headliners: Celion Dion / Stevie Wonder / Barbara Streisand / Florence + The Machine / Robbie Williams

7. Benicàssim

Dates: 18-21 July
Location: Benicàssim, Spain
Headliners: Fat Boy Slim / Lana Del Rey / Kings of Leon

8. Glastonbury

Dates: 26-30 June
Location: Somerset, UK
Headliners: Stormzy / The Cure / The Killers

9. Sziget Festival

Dates: 7-13 August
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Headliners: Foo Fighters / Ed Sheeran / Twenty One Pilots / Florence + The Machine

10. Reading and Leeds Festivals

Dates: 23-25 August
Location: Reading and Leeds, UK
Headliners: The 1975 / Post Malone / Twenty One Pilots / Foo Fighters

Best for indie lovers

If pop doesn’t do it for you, these festivals will fill your inner indie kid’s heart with joy. Catch big names alongside exciting up-and-coming alternative acts at these top-notch events.

1. All Points East

Dates: 24 May-2 June
Location: London, UK
Headliners: The Chemical Brothers / The Strokes / Christine and the Queens

2. We Love Green

Dates: 1-2 June
Location: Paris, France
Headliners: Future / Booba / Tame Impala

3. NorthSide

Dates: 6-8 June
Location: Aarhus, Denmark
Headliners: The Streets / Foals / Alice in Chains / Tame Impala

4. Best Kept Secret

Dates: 31 May-2 June
Location: Hilvarenbeek, the Netherlands
Headliners: Bon Iver / Christine and the Queens / Kraftwerk 3D

5. Bilbao BBK Live

Dates: 11-13 July
Location: Bilbao, Spain
Headliners: Liam Gallagher / Thom Yorke

6. Melt Festival

Dates: 19-21 July
Location: Gräfenhainichen, Germany
Headliners: Bon Iver / A$AP Rocky / Jorja Smith / Skepta

7. Øyafestivalen

Dates: 6-10 August
Location: Oslo, Norway
Headliners: The Cure / Robyn / Tame Impala / James Blake

8. Way Out West

Dates: 8-10 August
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Headliners: Stormzy / Cardi B / The Cure

9. Flow Festival

Dates: 9-11 August
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Headliners: The Cure / Tame Impala / Cardi B / Robyn

10. Clockenflap

Dates: 22-24 November
Location: Hong Kong, China
Headliners: Erykah Badu / Interpol / David Byrne

EDM, techno and house festivals to rave to

If there’s one thing music festivals should be about, it’s the dancing. EDM, techno, house, drum’n’bass, dub… take your pick. Sónar in Barcelona is one of the most popular, but you can also follow the beat to places like Marrakech and Cluj-Napoca. Get ready for the drop.

1. Ultra Korea

Dates: 7-9 June
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Headliners: Jamie Jones / Knife Party / YG

2. Sónar

Dates: 18-20 June
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Headliners: Ratstar / A$AP Rocky

3. Awakenings

Dates: 29-30 June
Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Headliners: Panpot / Perc / Tracey / Sven Väth

4. Balaton Sound

Dates: 3-7 July
Location: Zamárdi, Hungary
Headliners: Armin van Buuren / The Chainsmokers / DJ Snake / Future

5. Dour Festival

Dates: 10-14 July
Location: Dour, Belgium
Headliners: A$AP Rocky / Disclosure / Nina Kraviz / Damso

6. ParookaVille

Dates: 19-21 July
Location: Weeze, Germany
Headliners: Above & Beyond / Afrojack / DJ Snake

7. Tomorrowland

Dates: 19-28 July
Location: Boom, Belgium
Headliners: The Chainsmokers / Armin van Burren / A$AP Rocky

8. Untold Festival

Dates: 1-4 August
Location: Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Headliners: Martin Garrix / Armin van Buuren / Stormzy

9. Neopop Festival

Dates: 7-10 August
Location: Viana do Castelo, Portugal
Headliners: Underworld / Richie Hawtin / Ben Klock

10. MOGA Festival

Dates: 11 – 13 October
Location: Essaouira, Morocco
Headliners: BLOND:ISH / Driss Skali

Jazz festivals to get you into the groove

Today’s jazz festivals have grown to encompass hip-hop acts like Chance The Rapper and dance legends The Chemical Brothers. Montreux Jazz Festival has one of the most eclectic and wide-ranging line-ups, while Jazz à Vienne has the most stunning venue: an Ancient Roman amphitheatre.

1. Rochester International Jazz Festival

Dates: 21-29 June
Location: New York, US
Headliners: Steve Gadd Band / George Benson / Teagan and the Tweeds / SNJO / Scott Sharrard

2. Jazz à Vienne

Dates: 28 June-13 July
Location: Vienne, France
Headliners: Chilly Gonzales / Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals / Charlie Winston

3. Love Supreme Jazz Festival

Dates: 5-7 July
Location: East Sussex, UK
Headliners: Ms. Lauryn Hill / Jamie Cullum

4. Gent Jazz Festival

Dates: 28 June-9 July
Location: Ghent, Belgium
Headliners: Yann Tiersen / Stuff / Gregory Porter

5. Montreux Jazz Festival

Dates: 28 June-13 July
Location: Montreux, Switzerland
Headliners: Elton John / Janet Jackson / Joan Baez / The Chemical Brothers

6. North Sea Jazz Festival

Dates: 12-14 July
Location: Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Headliners: Burt Bacharach / Diana Krall / Rag’n’Bone Man / Jamie Cullum / Chance The Rapper

7. Umbria Jazz Festival

Dates: 12-21 July
Location: Perugia, Italy
Headliners: King Crimson / Funk Off / Pete Muller Band

8. Heineken Jazzaldia

Dates: 24-28 July
Location: San Sebastián, Spain
Headliners: John Zorn / Joan Baez / Jamie Cullum

9. Jazz Middelheim

Dates: 15-18 August
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Headliners: Enrico Rava / Charles Lloyd / Stuff / Nubya Garcia

10. Oslo Jazzfestival

Dates: 11-17 August
Location: Oslo, Norway
Headliners: Gilberto Gil / Ketil Bjørnstad

Remote festivals to tap into your spiritual side

Get in touch with your hippy side at these far-out festivals. These aren’t just for music lovers: they’re a chance to connect with the community, raise your spiritual awareness and really become one with yourself. Everyone knows Burning Man in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, but smaller events such as FORM Arcosanti and Genius Loci Fest have plenty to offer too. Headliners are still to be announced for many of these.

1. Burning Man

Dates: 25 August-2 September
Location: Nevada, US

2. Meadows in the Mountains

Dates: 6-9 June
Location: Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria
Headliners: Andrew James Gustav / RAS / Eddie C / Club Nature

3. Genius Loci Fest

Dates: 20-24 June
Location: Baja, Mexico
Headliners: Justin Martin / Cut Snake / Justin Jay

4. Nowhere

Dates: 9-14 July
Location: Castejón de Monegros, Spain

5. Boom

Dates: 28 July-4 August 2020
Location: Idanha-a-Nova, Portugal

6. Ozora Festival

Dates: 29 July-4 August
Location: Dádpuszta, Hungary

7. Boomtown Fair

Dates: 7-12 August
Location: Hampshire, UK
Headliners: Ms. Lauryn Hill / Prophets of Rage / The Streets

8. Equinox Festival

Dates: 20-22 September
Location: North Carolina, US

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