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The Best Music Festivals in the World 2019

Julia Wytrazek / © Culture Trip
Picture of Ann Lee
Music Editor
Updated: 24 May 2019
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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
www.primaverasound.com

2. The Governors Ball Music Festival

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

3. Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

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

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
isleofwightfestival.com

5. Roskilde Festival

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

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
www.bst-hydepark.com

7. Benicàssim

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

8. Glastonbury

Dates: 26-30 June
Location: Somerset, UK
Headliners: Stormzy / The Cure / The Killers
https://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/

9. Sziget Festival

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

10. Reading and Leeds Festivals

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

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
www.allpointseastfestival.com

2. We Love Green

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

3. NorthSide

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

4. Best Kept Secret

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

5. Bilbao BBK Live

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

6. Melt Festival

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

7. Øyafestivalen

Dates: 6-10 August
Location: Oslo, Norway
Headliners: The Cure / Robyn / Tame Impala / James Blake
oyafestivalen.no

8. Way Out West

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

9. Flow Festival

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

10. Clockenflap

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

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
umfkorea.com

2. Sónar

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

3. Awakenings

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

4. Balaton Sound

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

5. Dour Festival

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

6. ParookaVille

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

7. Tomorrowland

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

8. Untold Festival

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

9. Neopop Festival

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

10. Atlas Electronic

Dates: 29 August-1 September
Location: Marrakech, Morocco
Headliners: Alexa Kruger / Kosh
atlas-electronic.com

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
www.rochesterjazz.com

2. Jazz à Vienne

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

3. Love Supreme Jazz Festival

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

4. Gent Jazz Festival

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

5. Montreux Jazz Festival

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

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
www.northseajazz.com

7. Umbria Jazz Festival

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

8. Heineken Jazzaldia

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

9. Jazz Middelheim

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

10. Oslo Jazzfestival

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

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
burningman.org

2. Meadows in the Mountains

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

3. Genius Loci Fest

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

4. Nowhere

Dates: 9-14 July
Location: Castejón de Monegros, Spain
www.goingnowhere.org

5. Boom

Dates: 28 July-4 August 2020
Location: Idanha-a-Nova, Portugal
www.boomfestival.org

6. Ozora Festival

Dates: 29 July-4 August
Location: Dádpuszta, Hungary
ozorafestival.eu

7. Boomtown Fair

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

8. Equinox Festival

Dates: 20-22 September
Location: North Carolina, US
eqfest.com

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