Always wanted to take the plunge and travel to an interesting country or middle of nowhere town but never really had a reason to do it. Traveling for the love of music is a great way to experience a new place, meet tons of new people and have the once in a lifetime opportunity to experience history in the making as you travel to one of the best music festivals in the world. Every top music festival has its own unique perks from the jaw dropping mountains in Naeba, Japan to the sandy beaches of Goa and Petrcane, to the historical castles of Serbia- there is a festival for everyone.
What are the Top Music Festivals?
1. EXIT (Novi Sad, Serbia) (July 9- 12)
- Since 2001, during the month of July thousands of people flock to Serbia to experience one of Europe’s best music festivals. The festivals takes place in the majestic and stunning castle of Novi Sad and the festival’s popularity is only increasing. This year’s line up includes acts such as the Chemical Brothers, Mika, Röyksopp, Crystal Castles, Boys Noize, Dj Mehdi, Josh Wink, Erol Alkan, Moderat Live and Does it Offend You, Yeah?
- A four day festival ticket purchased before May is 85 pounds (apprx. $130) and 99 pounds from June onwards ($150). You can also purchase a camping pass (20 pounds [$30]) which allows you access to the camping site and are available from July 5-14 2010. Festival tickets along with camping tickets can be purchased directly from http://www.etickets.to/buy/?e=3092
- Festival website: http://eng.exitfest.org
2. Bonnaroo (Manchester,Tennessee) (June 11-14)
- This music and arts festival has built up a reputation as being the ultimate jam fest. This four day, multi-stage, camping experience is held on 700 acres of farmland in Manchester, Tennessee. This year’s headliners include: Dave Mathews Band, Weezer, Jay Z, Tori Amos, The Flaming Lips performing the Dark Side of the Moon, Kings of Leon and Conan O’Brien.
- Tickets for Bonnaroo 2010 are on sale now with a four-day pass going for $249. 50 (early bird tickets are $234.50). The ticket price includes fees for camping and parking. For those not wanting to camp, there are RV passes going for $150. There are also super-deluxe “Total Access” packages with 24-hour concierge service and complimentary meals available for a significantly higher cost.
- Festival website: http://www.bonnaroo.com/
3. Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (Indio, California) (April 17-19)
- This 3 days festival, set in blistering hot temperatures offering little shade, is often hailed as one of the best music festivals in the world. The line ups are always fresh and the concert organizers make sure everything is well planned. The list of acts seems endless with huge names that include: Tiesto, Gorrilaz, DJ David Fallica, Jay Z, deadmau5, Gossip, David Guetta, and Muse.
- A festival pass ($269.00) provides unlimited festival access for any/all days. tickets may be purchased at http://www.coachella.com/tickets or from a variety of other retailers that are listed on Coachella’s website.
- Festival website: http://www.coachella.com/
4. Soundwave Croatia (Petrcane, Croatia) (23-25th July)
- Probably winning top prize for the most beautiful setting, Soundwave’s festival site, known as the Garden, is set in a picturesque fishing village on the Dalmatian coast. The outdoor amphitheater, a beach side terrace, a 600 person nightclub and one of the best party boats make this one of the best spots for sun worshiping music lovers. Confirmed acts include: Toddla T, Benji B, DJ Vadim, DJ Format,Mr Thing, Stuart McCallum (The Cinematic Orchestra), Kid Kanevil, Jon Kennedy, Yarah Bravo, Milly Blue, Part Time Heroes, Laura J Martin, Andreya Triana, Homecut, Bridgette Amofah, Nathan “Flutebox” Lee, Bullion & Paul White, The Bedmo Disco Soundsystem, Alexander Nut, Andy H & Gilla, ASM – A State of Mind
- Tickets at just 75 pounds ($113) which are relatively inexpensive compared to other weekend festivals in Europe. Tickets can be purchased directly through Soundwave’s website http://www.soundwavecroatia.com/tickets
- Festival website: http://www.soundwavecroatia.com/
5. Spring Festival (Graz, Austria) (12-15 May)
- Set in Austria’s 2nd largest city, Graz lies in the midst of lush mountains, lazy rivers and an old city that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The festival is housed in some of Graz’s best underground clubs including a cave, a fortress and glass river island party. This is one of the largest electronic art and music festivals in Europe with a line up that includes: Erol Alkan, Benji B, Earl Zinger,, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Zoot Woman, Delphic, Mike Snow (live), The Japanese Popstars (live), Pendulum DJ Set, Zombie Nation
- Tickets are available for 78 Euros ($107) from a variety of local retailers.
- Festival website: http://www.springfestival.at/home.197.htm
6. Fuji Rock (Naeba, Japan) (July 30- August 1st)
- This annual rock festival is the largest outdoor music festival that Japan has to offer. The festival’s name derives from the site’s original hosting grounds- Mt. Fuji but the festival is currently held in Naeba a ski resort in the winter and serene forested area in the summer. This festival stands out from the rest due to its serious cleanliness, its effort to recycle and its high level of organization. The festival offers numerous accommodation options including ski resort cabins and campsites. This year’s lineup includes: Broken Social Scene, Muse, Boys Noize, Flogging Molly, Them Crooked Vultures, LCD SoundSystem, John Butler Trio, Z-trip and more acts to be announced.
- A 4 day ticket costs ¥39,800 ($440), a one day ticket ¥16,800 ($186),campsite admission is ¥3,000 p/p ($33) and are valid from July 29- August 2 and car park pass ¥3,000 ($30) per car. If purchasing tickets from overseas click on http://http://www.ganban.net/frf10-oversea.html or if purchasing tickets within Japan http://www.ganban.net/frf10-english1.html.
- Festival website: http://www.smash-uk.com/frf10/index.html
7. Roskilde Festival (Roskile, Denmark) (July 1-4)
- Started in 1971 by two high school students, this concert has turned into one of five largest rock concerts in Europe. While this concert sprung from hippie culture it has become much more maintstream; however, some of its time own traditions still continue- such as the annual “naked run” where the first naked person to cross the finish line wins a ticket to next year’s festival.What makes this concert so special from other European rock concerts is its history- hosting big names such as Bob Marley and Bob Dylan. This year’s lineup includes: Alice in Chains, Jack Johnson Robyn, Tech N9ne, The Crooked Vultures, NOFX, Gallows, FM Belfast, Electrojuice and Converge.
- Festival tickets including pre-show warm ups from June 27- 30 start anywhere from 1675 DKK($310) for the basic basic ticket to 2225 DKK ($410) or 2700 DKK ($500) for the festival ticket plus small/large tent. One day tickets may also be purchased for 850 DKK ($160). You can purchase tickets directly from Roskilde’s festival website at:
- Festival Website: http://http://www.roskilde-festival.dk/frontpage/
8. Parklife, Australia (Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane) (End of September and into the beginning of October)
- This one day festival kicks off the beginning of summer in all 5 major Australian cities. What makes this short festival unique is the anticipated “After Life” allowing the thousands of people attending a Parklife party in any city to party into the wee hours of the morning. Acts include: MSTRKRFT, Erol Alkan, Little Boots, Crytsal Castles, Tiga, Empire of the Sun, Kaskade, Metrics and Lady Soverign.
- Tickets starts at 117 Aus ($107)
- Festival website: http://http://www.parklife.com.au/index2.html
9. Sunburn Festival (Goa, India) (Date TBA- but sometime in December)
- During the month of December, thousands of tourists flock to Goa’s calming beaches to experience not only India’s largest music festival but one of the largest festivals in Asia. The festival in its 4th year beckons electro- revelers and trance fanatics to dance the days and nights away for a 3 day beach party. Acts include an interesting mix of local Indian and international djs. Carol Cox and John Fleming headlined this party in its first year and the talent since then has only grown.
- Festival Website: http://http://www.sunburn-festival.com/2010/
10. Primavera Sound Festival
Barcelona, Spain (27-29th May)
- While not always the most organized concert on the list, organizers make up for it with their fantastic line- ups. Known for introducing promising young talent and quality performers, Primavera has year after year continued to attract larger groups of concert-goers. Some acts include: Pet Shop Boys, Sunny, Marc Almond and Gary Numan, Superchunk, the Charlatans, Van Dyke Parks (aka Brian Wilson and the Beach boys) the Almighty Defenders, Broken Social Scene, Moderat, The Slits, The Field, Florence + The Machine, CocoRosie, Spoon, HEALTH and Wire.
- Full Festival tickets are 170 € + 5,70 € booking fee ($240) or you can purchase day tickets for 70 € plus booking fee (apprx. $100). Tickets may be purchased on theri website througha variety of ticket dealers including ticketmaster and paypal: http://http://www.primaverasound.com/ps.php?seccion=entradas&idioma=en
- Festival Website: http://http://www.primaverasound.com/ps.php?seccion=home&idioma=en
While these are my top music festivals, there are tons of other festivals out there it just depends on the type of music scene you are looking for.