Music is timeless, enhances our mood, and it can unite people from all walks of life. Music festivals enable people all around the world to join together for the love and enjoyment of music. They vary by size, location, and duration. They represent a great place to meet and socialize with people with the same musical taste, often shaping culture and creating experiences that reach across generations. There are countless music festivals all over the world. You probably have one near you! Here are 5 music festivals in the U.S. to add to your bucket list and 5 international ones not to miss!
Summerfest – Milwaukee, WI Dates: June 22-24; June 29-July 1; July 6-8, 2023
Summerfest is one of the world’s largest music festivals and attracts the music industry’s hottest stars, emerging talent, and local favorites. It is known to last for more than 11 days, has over 11 stages and 800 performances, and is attended by more than 800,000 people over 3 weekends. This year is the 55th anniversary of Summerfest and will have performances from artists that include the Zack Brown Band, James Taylor, Sheryl Crow, Dave Mathew’s Band, Eric Church, Elle King, and Imagine Dragons to name a few. Whether you come for a day or stay for all of them, this is a definite bucket List item!
Learn more about Summerfest
Electric Daisy Carnival – Las Vegas, NV Dates: May 19-21, 2023
The Electric Daisy Carnival is a combination of Vegas’ famous lights and neon paired with a techno beat. It is currently the largest electronic dance music festival in North America with over 425,000 in attendance. Experience the rides, glow in the dark & light art, and circus performers.
Learn more about Electric Daisy Carnival
SXSW: South by Southwest Music Festival – Austin, TX
Dates: March 10-19, 2023
Each year, the SXSW Festival brings together the global music industry along with film and technology professionals to discover the next generation of talent. Austin turns into a musical playground, and the festival has become the city’s biggest revenue-producing event. Each year more than 300,000 people attend the 10-day festival. The festival is broken down into segments of music (over 2000 acts), film (with screening, panels & workshops) as well as comedy! SXSW Interactive features speakers, panels, and a pitch competition. It’s an experience like no other. It’s a great place to make personal and business connections with professionals and artists spanning 60+ countries.
Learn more about SXSW
Coachella Music Festival – Indio, CA Dates: April 14-16 & 21-23, 2023
The Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival is an annual music festival held over two weekends in Indio. It showcases popular, as well as emerging, musical artists. It is one of the largest, most famous, and most profitable music festivals globally. Each year it sets new records with attendance and revenue. It is reported that over 750,000 people attended the festival in 2022 (while wearing masks)! It is a melting pot of fashion, A-list music, and giant art structures.
Learn more about Coachella
Lollapalooza Music Festival – Chicago, IL Dates: August 3-6, 2023
Lollapalooza was originally conceived as a farewell tour for Jane’s Addiction front man, Perry Farrell, in 1991. It has since become a festival empire, with 8 stages and 170+ bands from all over the world. Spanning the entirety of Grant Park (319 acres), the 400,000 attendees walk considerable distances between stages, the porta-johns and beer tents. The festival acts range from hip hop to indie rock and everything in between.
Learn more about Lollapalooza
Donauinselfest – Vienna, Austria
Dates: June 23-25, 2023
Easily, Donauinselfest is the BIGGEST festival in the world with over 3 million people attending the 3-day event! The festival takes place on Danube Island in Vienna. This 13-mile-long island also serves as a recreational park where you can hike, swim, cycle, climb, and picnic, but each year it turns into a gigantic open-air FREE festival. Yes, FREE! The music genres cover rock, pop, rap, hip-hop, electronic, swing, folk, metal, and everything in between. You’ll find something for everyone, with over 100 acts, 11 stages, and over 600 hours of music. This year is the 40th anniversary and sure to be an event to remember.
Learn more about Donauinselfest
Mawazine – Rabat, Morocco Dates: TBD (Returning in June 2024) The Mawazine Festival in Rabat, Morocco was created in 2001 as part of a cultural initiative to promote a more liberal and tolerant image of Morocco. The name “Mawazine” roughly translates to Rhythms of the World. It is meant to symbolize Morocco’s openness and its welcoming nature to visitors from all around the world. Ranging from enormous to intimate, Mawazine’s eight stage areas can be found at several different monuments and ancient sites around town. World-famous artists from many different genres have performed at Mawazine such as Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Shakira, Rhianna, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Lopez, Stevie Wonder, Usher, Maroon 5, and many more. The festival attracts more than 2.5 million people every year and most acts can be seen for free which makes it an amazing event to visit on your trip to Morocco.
Learn more about Mawazine
Sziget Festival – Budapest, Hungary
Dates: August 10-15, 2023
The Sziget Festival is one of the largest music and cultural festivals in Europe. The week-long event is held on Obudai-Sziget Island, also known as Freedom Island, in Northern Budapest. The 266-acre island hosts roughly 600,000 attendees for the festival, with more than half coming from outside Hungary. Incredibly, they offer a “party train” service that transports festival goers from all over Europe. In more recent years Sziget has gone ‘green’ with different programs to promote environmental consciousness and sustainable development. They developed the re-cup program, use organic t-shirts, bags and bottles, compost food waste and implement several other great environmental initiatives. As if that’s not enough, tents, mattresses, and sleeping bags are collected on the last day of the festival for those in need. This year’s headliners are Billie Eilish, David Guetta, and Imagine Dragons. Learn more about Sziget Festival
Tomorrowland Music Festival – Boom, Belgium Dates: July 21-30, 2023
Tomorrowland is an Electronic Dance Music (EDM) festival and is notoriously one of the hardest festivals in the world to get tickets to attend. Millions of people around the world rush to snap up one of the 600,000 tickets as they sell out in minutes. Tomorrowland was first held in 2005 and has since become one of the world’s largest and most notable music festivals. The people of Tomorrowland believe in enjoying life to the fullest exemplifying the importance of love, friendship, and unity. Tomorrowland is an international gathering uniting people from all over the globe each summer. Each year Tomorrowland showcases magnificent main stage designs and lineups that feature almost every widely known DJ. The real power of Tomorrowland is in the small details that are finely tuned to create an all-consuming sense of magic. Learn more about Tomorrowland
Glastonbury Music Festival –Pilton, UK Dates: June 21-23; July 28-30, 2023
The first Festival was held on the day after Jimi Hendrix died, over a two-day period, and before long “word had got around”. The event was held intermittently over the following decades and takes a “fallow” year every 5 years to give the land a chance to cycle and heal. In addition to contemporary music, the festival hosts dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret, and other arts. The famous Pyramid Stage features the biggest names in music. It has been confirmed that Sir Elton John will be performing on the famous stage in 2023. Glastonbury hosts roughly 200,000 attendees annually and most festival staff are volunteers, helping the festival raise millions of pounds for charities. Enjoy the music with a good cause. Learn more about Glastonbury Music Festival
Did this list of amazing music festivals make you want to plan a road (or plane) trip to attend? Did we miss any of your favorite music festivals? Drop us a beat…er, line at WinniWanderer@winni.com to tell us all about it. Hearing from you will make our day!
By Staff Contributor
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