Travel Bloggers Pick The Coolest Music Festivals Around The World

Paredes de Coura 2014 Music Festival – A World to Travel – Portugal (13)

Huge fans of music festivals here.

Apart from being one of our main focuses, traveling to attend some of them, we are truly passionate and enjoy ourselves the most when raving and reporting about music festivals around the world.

That’s why we decided to ask some of our travel blogger friends which ones are their best bets, the music festivals you should definitely attend at least once in your life, to get inspired and inspire other music festival freaks as well.

Enjoy their top picks!

The Coolest Music Festivals Around The World

1. Glastonbury, the UK

by Global Help Swap

Where in the world can you join over 200,000 people and think finally I have found my tribe? Where can you dance with 5 yr twins in the morning and chat with a legend of the counterculture in the evening? Or how about listening to the Dalai Lama & Professor Stephen Hawking in the same day?

I am talking about the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing arts of course.

Held (almost) every year in June in the small hamlet of Pilton (which is near the town of Glastonbury), Somerset, England. Glastonbury has been going since 1971. It’s the only festival that sells out before the official line-up is announced. Why? Because there is so much more to the festival than the headliners. Do you fancy Nepalese mediation lessons? It’s there. How about worshiping in the mosque tent? It’s there.

Of course, music is the main draw. Anyone and everyone has or wants to play there. They play at a reduced fee too as lots of the proceeds go to charities like Greenpeace, Wateraid, and Oxfam. With over 60 (yes 60) stages, there is enough choice to satisfy the pickiest of music fans.

However, Glastonbury is not for the faint-hearted. Trying to cover 900 acres over 5 days means attending Glastonbury is a marathon, not a sprint. My advice is to slowly immerse yourself into this magical place and see where the wind will take you.

This is not your typical festival. I will meet you in the secret underground piano bar (when I find it.) Peace & Love. x

Paul Farrugia is an avid traveler and blogger. When he is not traveling he likes to spend his free time reading, going to festivals, and sitting down enjoying a nice glass of red! If you would like to reach him, check his blog Global Help Swap


2. Afrikaburn, South Africa

by Once In Cape Town

Imagine waking up in Slumberland – a circle of 40 bunk beds in the middle of the South African Karoo desert – to the sound of Eukelele playing and the pitter-patter of Fairy feet. Or is that a gold lion?

The sunrise glows a burnt orange and pink glow over the revelers and waker-uppers at Afrikaburn 2015. It is a frenzy of life and creativity – as you can literally look into the minds of 10 000 people from all corners of the world. The theme of Afrikaburn 2015 (A regional Burning man event) was “The Gift” – a literal interpretation of the spirit of Afrikaburn. Is it a gypsy caravan and Electro-swing Balkan music you crave? Create it. A faun on stilts? wear it.

There are no stages, no schedule – just the magic that likeminded “burners” bring and gift to one another with no expectation of anything in return. The penultimate event is the “Big Burn” on Saturday night – where people literally set fire to installations that have taken all year to build!

We set up a “Slumberland” made from 40 bunk beds in the middle of the desert. A group of newfound “burner” friends, brought together by Once in Cape Town, left Cape Town for 10 days in an overland truck, and literally toiled and labored to gift the ultimate Festival treat – a peaceful night’s sleep. Afrikaburn happens annually in the Karoo – join next year from 25 April – 1 May 2016 at Stonehenge farm, Karoo, South Africa.
Kim Withaker runs Once in Cape Town. Go have a look at their site if South Africa is in your plans!

3. Tomorrowland, Belgium

by The Blonde Abroad

Tomorrowland by The Blonde Abroad - The Coolest Music Festivals in the World - A World to Travel

Tomorrowland is the largest electronic music festival in the world held each year in Belgium. I had the chance to attend Tomorrowland last summer and had the time of my life!
I had a Global Journey ticket so I got to have a bit more of a luxurious experience than your average festival. Instead of camping, I stayed at the Sofitel hotel in Brussels and took a shuttle in and out of the festival each day.
The festival was PACKED with people, but the grounds were massive and each turn you took led you to a new fantasy-inspired experience. In the VIP area, there were (I kid you not) jacuzzis from which you could watch the main stage performances. Clowns on stilts walked through with champagne guns, and “women from the future” passed our Belgian chocolate and all sorts of other goodies.
The highlight of the performances that weekend had to be meeting Kygo and dancing to his set. His songs were the soundtrack to my summer, so it was definitely the icing on the cake!”
Kiersten is the author of award-winning solo female travel & lifestyle blog, The Blonde Abroad, featuring travel tips, fashion, festivals, and photography from around the world.

4. Burning Man

by Edin Chavez

Burning Man, like a science fiction comic book you read as a kid. Like a really weird dream gone really good. Like reuniting with a lost love after 30 years. Where do I start to talk about Burning Man?

Burning Man will change your life and become your next vice and addiction. No matter how many photos you look at, how many videos you watch, how many stories you hear, it will never do it any justice. Kind of like someone trying to explain what it’s like to be an astronaut out in space. It must be experienced in order to have the slightest idea of what this place is all about.

The kind of place where you will meet the best friend you never really had. The kind of place where a kiss lasts forever. The kind of place where everything for once just makes sense. The kind of place where in a very strange way your dreams will come true, and once you go once I promise you, I will see you there the year after….
Live music, fire, massive art installations and endless smiles, that’s what Burning Man is all about. I will see you there next year!!!!
Edin Chavez is a talented photographer and travel blogger living in Miami. Check his Burning Man portfolio here.

5. Soundwave, Australia

by Enfocar Photo

Crowd Shot at Soundwave festival by Enfocar Photo - The Coolest Music Festivals Around the World - A World to Travel

There was a time when Big Day Out was the biggest festival in Australia. But with the rise of the genre-specific event, the Big Day Out was soon no longer. Enter Soundwave, now the largest hard rock/punk festival in the country.

After experimenting with its format over the last couple of years, Soundwave has now settled on being a one-day festival that tours Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane only. But usually with a couple of dates in each of these cities tickets are pretty easy to come by. Soundwave consists of five stages but what makes it a great experience is the two main stages. Bands will play on one stage while the crew set up the second stage and vice versa. Of course, what this means for the punter is continuous music all day long.

Held in the Australian summer (Feb-Mar) be warned that it can be hot. If you intend on spending the day at Soundwave sunscreen and lots of water is a must! As all Soundwaves are held in the heart of the city accommodation is easy to find. The best way to get to each venue is by public transport or walking if you are staying close by.

So grab yourself a cold beer, enjoy the sunshine, and join thousands of other revelers watching some of the biggest acts from across the globe.


6. Rock On The Range, Ohio, the USA

by Enfocar Photo

Marilyn Manson at Rock on The Range by Enfocar Photo - The Coolest Music Festivals Around The World - A World to Travel

If you like your bands heavy, your music loud and your crowds wild, then Rock on the Range is a festival not to be missed. Held in Columbus Ohio every May, ROTR is unashamedly metal. With past line ups including bands such as Slipknot, Judas Priest, Marilyn Manson, and Godsmack this event is not for the faint-hearted.

Held at MAPFRE Stadium ROTR is easily accessible. If staying in downtown Columbus, the stadium is only a short drive away. The grounds have ample parking but be aware that traffic can get a little crazy. It’s advised to leave yourself enough time to get into the grounds and find a park. If hostel accommodation is your thing then the Wayfaring Buckeye Hostel is just a short 15-minute walk from the stadium. ROTR also has camping packages available but this means RV camping, not tents. Basically, it means you live in the carpark.

The tickets to ROTR work on a tier system. If you buy them when they are first released you will get them for a much cheaper price. The tickets go up in value as it gets closer to the event. Field tickets allow you access to the whole venue whereas stadium tickets allow you access to the smaller stages and the seating at the main stage.

So if moshing and crowd surfing is your thing and your not afraid to rock out, then join 70,000 others and head to Rock on the Range.

Kellie is a live music photographer and avid music fan that spends her time traveling the world going to gigs. You can always find her, camera in hand, in the front row. 


7. Envision Music Festival, Costa Rica

by Two Monkeys Travel

Naked people covered in nothing but medicinal blue clay from nearby mountains, hula dancers, yoga sessions, group meditation, food cooked by Hare Krishnas, the huge orange sun setting into the ocean to the soundtrack of dub reggae and deep house. Daily workshops on permaculture, astrology, sustainability, and spirituality, remind us that there is much more to life than just ourselves.

There are many festivals and events worldwide which promote, or at least claim to promote sustainability, environmental awareness, carbon footprint reduction… but this is the first time that we’ve come across an event that really takes that to a new level and implements it properly. From recycling and saving water, vehicle restriction and leave no trace policy.

This is a meeting point of hearts and minds, a place where like-minded people can share ideas and beliefs about how we can change the way think, behave, and live on this planet.


Kach Medina and Jonathan Howe are a couple from the Philippines and UK. Having each decided to quit their jobs and set off around South East Asia to start their new lives, neither imagined they would end up traveling the world with someone they met in a backpacker’s bar in Laos. But that’s what happened! They’re currently exploring South and Central America, with the goal of stepping on Antarctica by the end of the year. 


8. Vive Latino, Mexico

by Viajera en Acción

Vive Latino by Maru White - The Coolest Music Festivals Around the World - A World to Travel

For 16 years now, Mexico City has become the perfect scenario for the Mexican rock bands and others all over the world to offer their lyrics and good vibrations to more than 70 thousand people, who congregate on Foro Sol for three days to celebrate music with the Vive Latino Festival.

The first edition, back in 1998, was the beginning of the most famous bands and other not than famous, that arrived at this festival with only one thing on the mind: conquer their public and also those who are not so involved in them. This makes a wonderful cultural puzzle unifying Latin America, which is the very point of doing it.

In order for the public to enjoy more bands each day, five scenarios are assembled, so music fans are able to change genre or band anytime and pursue their favorite artists wherever they are at the moment.

Every year, the Vive Latino festival becomes more and more important around the Globe, so you must live the experience at least once in life, and get to know more about how Mexicans feel and live music.

Maru White is a Mexican blogger who loves to travel, have new friends, and promote the local culture, but also other cultures around the world. 


9. Coachella, the USA

by Who Needs Maps

Coachella by Who Needs Maps - The Coolesf Festivals Around the World - A World to Travel

Coachella is the famous 3-day music and arts festival in Southern California. It takes place in the desert of Indio, but people all around the world fly to California just for Coachella. With 5 stages, Coachella has all types of genres of music- like Snoop Dogg, Mumford and Sons, Jack White, Calvin Harris, Lana Del Rey, Alesso, and AC/DC. There is an artist for everyone.

People don’t just go to Coachella for the music, but the arts, people, and vibes make Coachella what it is. Camping is highly recommended to do at Coachella. It’s fun, a great way to meet people, and easy to get to your tent to the festival. Plus there are tons of after/side parties in honor of Coachella, it’s amazing.

People say Disneyland is the happiest place in the world, but they must have not been to Coachella. It is seriously such a magical world and everyone is just so happy to be listening to such great music.


10. Falls Festival in Lorne, Australia

by Who Needs Maps

Falls Festival Australia by Who Needs Maps - The Coolesf Festivals Around the World - A World to Travel

Falls is a 4-day sustainable music and arts festival over New Years’. It happens in three cities in Australia, Byron Bay, Tasmania, and Lorne.

The festival hosts musicians and comedians in beautiful locations like in the rainforest or along the beach with only two tents. Falls tends to focus on Australian artists like Flume, Rufus, Asta, and Chet Faker but also has big artists like Vampire Weekend and Two Door Cinema Club. Falls is great because it is all about the music and the people who attend.

It is a camping festival, there isn’t a way to stay at a hotel since it’s in the middle of nowhere, so make sure you camp and bring everything you need to have an epic campsite! Camping is hands down the best part of the festival as everyone is there to have a good time.

The best way to go to Falls if you can’t afford is to volunteer! Work for 15 hours over the 4 days and the rest is free!

Jenn and Jack run Who Needs Maps.


11. Boonstock Music Festival in Alberta, Canada

by Give For Granted

Not your typical cowboy boots and short shorts kind of summer music festival, Boonstock Music Festival in Alberta, Canada is much more than that.

Known for their wild parties, unreal music lineups, and crazy muddy atmosphere, Boonstock is one of Canada’s favorite music festivals. Originally taking place in Gibbons, Alberta (literally the boonies of Canada) has now found so much success in their event that they moved locations in 2014 to Penticton, Alberta.

Expecting well over 65,000 partygoers at this year’s location, Boonstock is a 3-day long camping extravaganza where artists such as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Rise Against, AWOL Nation, ZEDS Dead, City & Color and USS come to entertain the wild crowds of Canada. Expect nothing but the ‘hick town life,’ I say this in the best way possible – expect to get dirty and make mistakes. I worked at the festival in 2012 for a promotional organization.

With sober eyes I really got to see what Boonstock was all about – drinking, partying, dancing, and more drinking. Recommendations for first-timers: Pack clothes you don’t care to throw away, bring plenty of beer and a quality camp set up, lastly… have a blast!

Jenna Davis blogs at Give For Granted.


12. Fez Sufi Festival, Morocco

by MarocMama

Sufi Fez Festival by MarocMama - The Coolest Music Festivals Around the World - A World to Travel

The Fez Sufi Festival is held every spring, usually in April. A new theme is selected focusing on a topic central to Sufism – the mystical ‘branch’ of Islam that encourages love and tolerance. Sufism has long been respected in Morocco and this festival enjoys the support of the monarchy.
Artists and performers from around the world are brought together for this week-long event combining music, art, poetry, film, and discussions all contributing to further understanding the theme.  One of the most sought after tickets is to attend a performance of the infamous Turkish “whirling dervishes.” Those attending the festival are encouraged to get involved and it’s common to see singing, dancing and even people falling into trances during musical performances.
Amanda Mouttaki is a world-traveling American expat living in Marrakech, Morocco. She blogs at MarocMama sharing insights into her adopted country, great food, and travel far and wide.



WHICH ONES ARE WE MISSING? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW and if you are a travel blogger yourself, feel free to contact us to complete this list.

Luckily, this is not the end. Check out the following articles as well and start scheduling your favorite music festivals for this upcoming Summer:

Coolest Music Festivals in Europe

Coolest Music Festivals in Spain 

Coolest Music Festivals in Galicia



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