We’re all about living out our best lives.
And for us, that means a life that is happy, healthy, and full of really good
music. One of the best things about music is experiencing it live. Being in the
presence of the artist while you and hundreds (or thousands) of fans allow the
same bass line to course through your veins leaving you with no other option
than to close your eyes and dance, is one of life’s most pleasurable joys.
Music festivals give us the opportunity to experience this joy for several days at a time, compiling the best the music industry has to offer and providing an environment for us to really, really enjoy the music. However, not all festivals are created equal. Depending on your musical preferences, you may favor one over another. However, there are a handful of festivals out there that are able to appease a majority of music tastes. While the music plays a crucial role in determining the greatness of a festival, there are many other factors such as atmosphere, production, creativity, community, food and beverage, and entertainment that contribute to its success.
These festivals make you feel like you are apart of something bigger than yourself; something you need to experience at least once before you die. These are the 10 festivals that make our bucket list, in alphabetical order.
Who: Carl Cox, Diplo, Unders, Amine K, Franca, Scalar Theorem
What: Spiritual and community-rich festival focused on art and self-expression
Where: Nevada, USA
When: Late August to September
Why: The Burning Man experience is guided by 10 principles: radical inclusion, gifting, decommodification, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, participation, immediacy, and leaving no trace. Festivalgoers, known as ‘Burners’, are free spirits who come together to immerse themselves in creativity and expression through art. Following the principles of decommodification and gifting, no monetary transactions are made. Burners share their resources, food, clothing, and art with others creating a community like no other festival out there. However, it’s not all art and sharing. Big names like Carl Cox, Diplo, Lee Fox, and Pauli Pocket are all scheduled to appear at this summer’s festival.
Who: Nina Kravitz, Pete Tong, Virgil Abloh, SOFI TUKKER, Kaytranada
What: Star-studded, two-weekend long festival in the California desert
Where: California, USA
Why: Year after year, Coachella’s lineup does not disappoint. Showcasing the best of the best from every genre, expect to see your musical idols put on performances of a lifetime. However, it isn’t all Beyoncé and Guns N’ Roses. Up and coming artists and your favorite djs and producers will also take to the stage. It’s known as quite the fashionable festival, so pack your most outrageous festival outfit and head for the desert.
Who: Jeff Mills, Marcel Dettman, Ben UFO, Blawan, Dr. Rubenstein
What: Your favorite DJs favorite festival
Where: Amsterdam, Netherlands
When: Late July to August
Why: If you are a die-hard electronic fan who doesn’t swoon over bigger, more commercial names, then Dekmantel is the festival for you. Highly respected for its commitment to underground and cutting-edge artists, DJs and producers are quick to name this festival their favorite to attend and play. The festival encourages its acts to get creative and be experimental veering their sets away from big hits and any pretention. Dekmantel is quickly becoming the top European electronic music festival for artists of undeniable talent.
Who: Camo & Krooked, Darius & Finlay, Dirty Impact, Chefboss, Felix Jaehn
What: The biggest open-air festival in the world
Where: Vienna, Austria
Why: With over 3 million festivalgoers in attendance, Donauinselfest, a.k.a. Danube Island Festival is the world’s biggest open-air festival. To top it all off, all concerts are free! This past festival had 11 stages and over 2,000 artists of all genres performing. Local and international names, both big and upcoming, have the enormous crowds dancing all weekend. Three million people coming together through their shared love of music is definitely something worth experiencing.
Electric Daisy Carnival
Who: Dillon Francis, Zeds Dead, Steve Aoki, Rezz, Armin van Buuren, deadmau5
What: Globally renowned electronic music festival
Where: Las Vegas, USA
Why:Electronic Daisy Carnival, or EDC, began as a warehouse party in Los Angeles in 1997 and quickly grew to become the biggest electronic music festival in North America. While the flagship festival takes place in Las Vegas, the festival has expanded worldwide with events happening in Mexico City, Orlando, Shanghai, and Tokyo. With outrageous stage production, carnival attractions, and internationally acclaimed artists, this festival is an absolute must for electronic music lovers.
Who: Peggy Gou, Camelphat, Denis Sulta, Sub Focus, Wilkinson
What: Five-day festival of performing arts
Where: Somerset, England
Why: Glastonbury is a festival of the arts. Expect all your favorite artists, plus comedy, theatre, and circus acts. The vast grounds are divided into areas of musical tastes. The Silver Hayes area is dedicated to getting people up and dancing. The six stages blasted dubstep, drum and bass, afrobeat, house, jazz, and hip-hop. At the Sonic stage, the amazing Peggy Gou, Camelphat, and Denis Sulta were just a few of the unreal artists to lay down sets.
Shambhala Music Festival
Who: Excision, Griz, Rusko, Kaskade, Bonobo, AC Slater, DJ Jazzy Jeff
What: A magical combination of music, art, and community in the mountains
Where: British Columbia, Canada
Why: Shambhala Music Festival is equal parts spiritual journey and music festival. Festivalgoers will escape the city and enter the mystical wonderland that is Salmo Ranch in the Kootenay Mountains. Founded on principles of shared moments, nature, and synchronicity, you’ll experience a festival of endless possibilities. Dance your heart out to the sounds of world-class artists like Anti Up, BTSM, Chase & Status, and FKJ. Join a yoga class, visit the art hub, or take part in a mindful workshop. Grab a lover or new soul mate and hit the wedding chapel. Visit the Spirit Animal Wheel or Wish Tree and discover your truest self. This is a festival for your soul.
Who: Son Lux, Richie Hawtin, W & W, Vini Vici, Kayzo, B.Traits, Objekt
What: Multicultural music and arts festival on the Island of Freedom
Where: Budapest, Hungary
Why: Diversity and bringing people of all walks of life together is the foundation of Sziget. On over 60 stages, Szitizens can watch over 1000 of their favorite artists for seven days straight. While music is the core of the festival, art and performance play a huge role. Sziget is also about charity and giving back. Superar is an initiative powered by Sziget that empowers young people through music giving them community, confidence, and an opportunity to learn about diversity.
Who: Camelphat, Carl Cox, David Guetta, Black Coffee, Benny Benassi, Jax Jones
What: Festival of love, unity, and unmatched stage production
Where: Antwerp, Belgium
Why: Over the past fifteen years, Tomorrowland has quickly become one of the most spectacular and desirable electronic music festivals in the world. Known for its stacked lineups and killer production, festivalgoers come from all over the world for this event. Whether you are into techno, EDM, or house, you can expect the best artists in the genre. Centered on magical themes, get ready for larger than life stages and light shows that will have you feeling like you fell down a rabbit hole into a Lewis Carroll novel.
Who: Adam Beyer, Marshmello, Afrojack, Odesza, Louis The Child, Tale of Us
What: The ultimate party festival with a killer lineup
Where: Miami, USA
Why: You won’t come across a more stacked lineup than Ultra. With its roots in Miami, the electronic music festival has since taken over the world with parties in Japan, Singapore, Mexico, South Africa and more. Huge names like Martin Garrix, Skrillex, Bassnectar, and Kaskade have all taken the Ultra stages while giving space and opportunity to more underground and up and coming acts. The talent that takes the stage will ensure you will be lighting up the dance floor.
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