Everyone has something that they wait all year for. Once a special annual event ends, they start counting down the days to the next one. For lots of people, music festivals are the circle on the calendar to aim for. They’re a chance to catch up with friends, be surrounded by like-minded people and, of course, see the best artists in the world on one stage. If you want to know more about these kinds of events, here’s a list of the best music festivals in the world to visit this year.
Lollapalooza – Chicago, IL, USA – July 28th to 31st
Lollapalooza is one of the best-known festivals in the world. Starting in Chicago in the early 90s, it has expanded to have dates all over the world. However, the annual event in Illinois is probably the best of them all.
Hosted in Grant Park at the end of July, this year’s line-up is incredible. Some of the biggest names in rock, pop, and hip-hop are headlining, including Green Day, Dua Lipa, and J. Cole. There are around 170 other artists that you can enjoy spread across nine stages, so you’re sure to catch your favourites and find some new hidden gems over a fantastic weekend.
Lollapalooza used to be a touring festival that travelled around the US, but it has since settled permanently in Chicago. Its central location makes it easy to get to, with great public transport systems and parking.
Vodafone Paredes de Coura – Portugal – August 17th to 20th
Portugal is slowly becoming known internationally for its stunning beaches and gorgeous cities. Now its music festivals are also climbing up people’s must-visit lists. One of the oldest and most incredible is Vodafone Paredes de Coura, set in a quaint village in the north of the country.
Despite its rural location, this festival attracts some of the biggest names in the alternative scene. Pixies, Parquet Courts, Slowthai, and Beach House are just some examples of the fantastic line-up. And if you’re not aware of what Portugal’s music scene has to offer, the first day of the festival is exclusively for Portuguese acts this year.
One of the best parts of Paredes de Coura is its natural setting. The main stage is set at the bottom of a natural bowl, so there are clear views from all sides. And it’s so easy to escape the heat by relaxing under the trees or taking a swim in the river that is part of the grounds.
Electric Zoo – New York City, NY, USA – September 2nd to 4th
If you’re an electronic music fan, this is the perfect festival for you. Held over Labor Day Weekend on Randall’s Island, Electric Zoo attracts some of the biggest DJs and live acts in the world. This year is no different, with Porter Robinson, Armin Van Buuren, and Martin Garrix headlining the main stage, with many other fantastic artists spread across the four stages.
The festival has received international acclaim, with nominations for many awards, including Best Festival and Best Music Event. It’s steadily rising as one of the best electronic music festivals in the world.
Austin City Limits – Austin, TX, USA – October 7th to 9th and 14th to 16th
Austin, Texas is home to two of the best music events in the USA. SXSW came and went in March, so next up we have Austin City Limits. Since 2012, it has been made up of two weekends, so the chance of seeing your favorite bands and artists is high.
The great thing about ACL is that fans of all music genres have something to look forward to. The headliners are varied, with Red Hot Chili Peppers and Paramore representing the rock sound, and The Chicks and Kacey Musgraves will be bringing their country vibes. Lil Nas X, SZA, Flume, and P!nk round out the fantastic artists that will perform on the main stage.
The festival will be held in Zilker Park, and public transport will get you to and from the grounds with ease. If you’re coming from outside the city, you can arrive to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport by plane, or pack your must haves for road trips and drive through the stunning lands of Texas. And hey, perhaps bring your best travel guitar as well.
Ember Shores – Cancún, Mexico – December 2-4
Ember Shores is one the newest and best music festivals in the world. It takes place in one of the best all-inclusive resorts in Cancún, Paradisus Cancún, Mexico. This resort overlooks the Caribbean Sea and has a stunning coastline, raising the festival’s vibe to incredible levels.
The main stage is set up on the beach, and American artist Illenium will perform three unique sets over the course of the weekend. Dab the Sky, Subtronics, Clozee, and Dillon Francis will also be bringing their acts, among many others.
The weather in Cancún is fantastic in December, so you can enjoy the music while soaking up the sun or cooling off in one of the resort’s many pools. Don’t forget to renew your passport if you haven’t already.
Lost Paradise – Darkinjung/Glenworth Valley, NSW, Australia – December 28th to January 1st
Set in Glenworth Valley, New South Wales, Australia’s Lost Paradise festival is one of the most incredible festivals in the world today. You can spend the final weekend of the year listening to fantastic acts and bring in the New Year surrounded by nature and music fans.
There are four great stages, with the Arcadia stage focusing mostly on live acts and the Lost Disco hosting some of the best DJs and producers. This year, Arctic Monkeys and Lil Nas X will be hitting Arcadia, and Peggy Gou and Jamie XX will bring their sounds to the Lost Disco. And let’s not forget My Mum’s Disco, where you can listen to 80s hits and nostalgic tunes.
The organizers give a lot of importance to sustainability, so there are many initiatives to reduce waste. One of the problems that festivals face is tents being left behind when everyone leaves. This year, Lost Paradise has glamping options and the Rent-A-Tent initiative to reduce the number of abandoned shelters.