You could say it started with Woodstock nearly 50 years ago, or maybe the first Lollapaloozas of the early 90s, but whatever the catalyst, the music festival scene of today has become an iconic part of summer. In fact, many bands now forgo the traditional tour schedule altogether and just spend a summer playing the festival circuit.
The festival scene has exploded in recent years, with something to please every musical taste set in just about every corner of the world. And since festivals have taken over summer on a global scale, it now makes perfect sense to work a festival (or a few!) into your travel plans.
Even if you’ve never attended a festival you’ve undoubtedly heard of some of the giants on the scene like summer staples Bonaroo and the aforementioned Lollapalooza, plus Burning Man, SXSW, and Coachella in the spring, but there are still plenty of smaller fests to choose from all over the country.
Firefly Music Festival – Dover, DE (June 15-18)
You don’t have to rough it, but camping is definitely encouraged at this forested fest. Connect with nature and see acts like The Weeknd, Bob Dylan & His band, and MUSE.
Telluride Bluegrass Festival – Telluride, CO (June 15-18)
This promises a more relaxed festival atmosphere than most. Set against the magnificent backdrop of the San Juan Mountains, you’ll have all your worries melt away with a weekend of listening to the mellow sounds of Nora Jones, Brandi Carlile, and Jason Mraz.
Newport Folk Festival – Newport, RI (July 28-30)
Gaze off into the waters of the Newport Harbor when you’re not checking out the packed stages and enjoying all things folk. Kick back and enjoy a packed weekend with acts like Wilco, Regina Spektor, The Avett Brothers, and Fleet Foxes.
Austin City Limits – Austin, TX (Oct. 6-8; Oct. 13-15)
Can’t make it to SXSW in spring? Well you can still get your Austin music fix with a trip to see headliners like Jay Z, Gorillaz, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Chance The Rapper in one of our favorite cities. So let loose and help Keep Austin Weird.
Voodoo Arts + Entertainment Experience – New Orleans, LA (Oct. 27-29)
What better way to spend Halloween than partying in NOLA (one of our top cities for enjoying long weekends in) while seeing huge acts like Kendrick Lamar, Foo Fighters, and The Killers, plus enjoying art, and tasting some seriously divine treats. You don’t have to dress in costume, but hey, why not?
If you have more time to travel there are amazing festival options that take place across the globe. Working them into a trip is a fantastic way to see the sights and hear your favorite music.
Roskilde Festival – Roskilde, Denmark (June 24-July 1)
This Danish festival has turned into quite the global giant over the years. This week-long extravaganza includes an impressively long and diverse lineup, including Arcade Fire, Solange, Lorde, Father John Misty, and a Tribe Called Quest. In your free time be sure to explore the town, especially the music-centric Ragnarock Museum.
EXIT Festival – Novi Sad, Serbia (July 5-9)
The location of the festival in the inspiring Petrovaradin Fortress along the Danube River is already enough to make you want to add this to your travel bucket list, but the fact that EXIT has been routinely touted as one of the world’s best concerts? Well that doesn’t hurt either. This year check out performers like The Killers, Liam Gallagher, and The Jesus and Mary Chain.
Splendour in the Grass – New South Wales, Australia (July 21-23)
Spend a weekend in Australia’s gorgeous North Byron Parklands listening to the music of LCD Soundsystem, The XX, Queens of the Stoneage, and plenty more. And for a full travel experience of the festival, plan your trip with the help of Contiki and take part in a full tour experience built around seeing the shows.
Tomorrowland Festival – Boom, Belgium (July 21-23; 28-30)
EDM fans rejoice, this massive electronic festival has now been expanded to two weekends! Set in the calming Belgian countryside, you can dance the weekend away to a non-stop supply of DJ-fueled music and live acts that vary from David Guetta to Afrojack.
Sziget Festival – Budapest, Hungary, (Aug. 9-16)
Set on the aptly-named Island of Freedom, you are free to choose how you want to spend your weekend here. It’s not just music, you can check out theatre, dance, circus acts, studios, and workshops. And once your time at the festival is through, you won’t have to go far to soak in more culture since you’re still right by the always stunning and historic Budapest.
And if you want to start planning travel for next year, don’t forget about other international mega-festivals like Glastonbury, Mawazine, and the Electric Daisy Carnival that take place every spring.
Music ties you to memories and strengthens bonds in a way that almost nothing else can, except maybe, for travel. If you’re interested in combing these two passions, contact us today and we’d love to arrange your travel, touring, and accommodations for anything from a quick three-day weekend close to home to a multi-country tour that lets the festivals dictate your next direction.
Now tell us, which festival is making your travel bucket list?
For more thematic travel ideas and help arranging your next great getaway, contact our UNIGLOBE leisure travel experts at 614-237-4488 or firstname.lastname@example.org today!