Music festivals have long been a way to escape the struggles of day-to-day life and experience something truly unique. Ever since Woodstock, the world has been infatuated with music festivals and their popularity has only grown over time. From humble grassroots beginnings to the full force advertising and sponsorship driven machines that rule the festival landscape, it’s hard to decide which ones to attend. It’s rare that you find a festival that isn’t over produced and money driven, but that isn’t stopping us from having a great time.
Today, the festivals are big business, cost a pretty penny and some are creeping towards a week or longer. They only grow in pure size and scale, so eventually we al my just be living in one non-stop music festival, or as I call it, New Orleans. There are literally hundreds of music festival this year but I somehow chose five that I think you should at least try and attend.
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
April 14-16 and April 21-23
Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar and Beyonce
The grand daddy of the current music festival landscape, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is a monster, in all aspects. This has become one of the largest gatherings of music fans around, with no signs of slowing down. Coachella continues to murder their competition with incredible lineups of legends, chart toppers and up and comers. The festival has recently gone to a two-weekend format, giving fans two chances to make this trip work. This is a must go if you have never been, and a festival to remember for sure. Mingle with the Hollywood elite and superstar musicians by betting either a VIP pass or Artists pass for full access.
Twenty One Pilots, Chance the Rapper, Frank Ocean
Head West my friends and end up at the majestic Gorge in Washington state to check out the surprisingly original Sasquatch Festival. A short 3-hour drive from Seattle, the festival is set in one of nature’s most pristine locations, allowing the environment to create such a wonderful atmosphere. Comedy is huge at this festival and this year is no exception featuring Fred Armisen and local legend Emmett Montgomery. Sasquatch has long been known as the place you find your new favorite band, as it’s been a friend to emerging artists since its inception. Bask in the wonderful spring weather in Washington, which can change in seconds, so pack accordingly.
U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Major Lazer
This year is all abuzz with the news that legendary rockers U2 will perform their album The Joshua Tree in full. For those interested head on down to Tennessee and maybe bring a camper since that’s the best way to stay. Bonnaroo just celebrated its 15-year and is only getting bigger. It takes place in Great Stage Park in rural Tennessee and is a favorite of college-aged revelers. With early heavy influences in the jam band scene, Bonnaroo has changed to more mainstream acts recently. The weather in Tennessee in the summer is very warm and humid, so pack shorts, tank tops and be prepared to sweat.
June 24-July 1
Foo Fighters, Arcade Fire, The Weekend, Blink-182
Famous for their naked run, where festival goers race through the event completely nude. Come just to see all the beautiful people of Europe dash through crowds and frolic amongst them. The massive festival has been rocking Denmark since 1971 and this year features nine stages and over 160 acts. This festival has long features Scandinavian acts alongside the world’s heaviest hitters. Come for the music and stay for the charm of Denmark and their incredible people. Roskilde is the festival with a huge heart since they donate all of their proceeds to charities. Attend this festival and don’t feel so bad afterwards and possible deduct the fees from your taxes, since it’s all for a charity anyway. (Don’t take tax advice from a travel blogger) This festival is legendary and deserves your attention, so make travel plans now and have a blast.
Seven-day festival featuring Major Lazer, Mac Demarco and art
This is a must go event, every damn year. Attention, if you are reading this, please book your travel now. Sziget gets its name from the island in the middle of the Danube river where the festival takes place every year. The setting is grandiose, with amazing views of the old world city of Budapest. The seven day long festival is massive and I say that in all sincerity. Attendees can cam on the island to get the surreal experience or stay in many of the lodging options in Budapest. The vibes here are incredible with a real gypsy, shared economy feeling. Friendly atmosphere and unbelievable open individuals creates the best festival energy. This weeklong event will take a toll on your mind and body, so i suggest you take an additional week off from work and visit a beach to really relax.
Hopefully this guide helps you decide which festivals to attend and by that I mean each and everyone.