The music festival has been a mainstay of our culture since those hazy days of Woodstock in the 1960s. Since then they have grown in considerable number, serving a platitude of different tastes and people. Below are some of the best music festivals in the world.
Glastonbury – United Kingdom
There is no current festival more famous than Glastonbury, making it a pilgrimage for all musical fans. Woodstock may have a more iconic place in musical history thanks to its lasting legacy, but the fact that it no longer exists in a festival format makes it obsolete and second to Glastonbury.
When it comes to Glasto, there are two things you can guarantee. These are great music and terrible weather. British media outlets have a field day reporting on the sodden June festival. But it is testament to the quality of the festival that the terrible weather does not make a difference. Last year you would be damned if you were going to allow some rain to prevent you from seeing Arcade Fire, Kasabian, and Metallica, and that was one of the festivals weaker line ups!
Although getting a ticket at this stage is impossible unless you are a big name superstar, due to the festival’s stringent measures to prevent reselling tickets, you should at least tune in and watch it online. This year sees the legendary Pyramid Stage blessed with the presence of The Who, Foo Fighters and Kanye West in what promises to be one of the best shows of the summer.
While the musical talent at Glastonbury is mercurial, there is so much more to the festival than the music. Glasto is in an arts festival and hence has an array of artistic talent, not just musical, for you to watch. A quick look at the line up should tell you everything you need to know about this festival. It doesn’t allow itself to get stymied by focusing on one sound or artistic showcase. It is a celebration of all of the arts, meaning that there is absolutely something for everyone at the festival.
And finally, in terms of sheer size, Glastonbury will not be beaten. Last year the festival attracted a staggering 175,000 revellers.
Coachella – USA
Since 2001, Coachella has been the annual music event to go to in the United States. Whether it would have gone on to be as successful as it has were it not for the disastrous 1999 Woodstock is an argument for another day, but what cannot be disputed is that it is certainly the place to be if you want to watch the best musicians in the States ply their trade.
This year’s festival has already been and gone, taking part in two weekends of April, and saw the likes of Drake, AC/DC, Jack White, Florence and the Machine, and alt-J all take part. It is not just current artists in which Coachella has made a name, they are one of the most innovative festivals in the world, with the hologram of Tupac Shakur in 2012 being a case in point.
Although the music should always take precedent, if you wanted to spot some celebrities then Coachella would be the place to hit up. This year saw the Jenners, Bieber, DiCaprio and many more faces stand out in the crowd. Seriously, practically anyone who is anyone could turn up at Coachella, even sports royalty like current basketball king LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers (2/1 at the time of writing for the NBA Championship) rocks up there as a fan not a celebrity. His tweet about the infamous Tupac hologram says it all really.
Tupac at Coachella is crazy, dope and sends chills through my body! Make sure y’all check that out. Looks 2 real! #RIP2Pac
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 16, 2012
Benicassim (FIB) – Spain
What is there not to like about a festival set on the beach? Too often festivals, especially those in northern Europe, can fall victim to bad weather. Now considerable rain does not spell the end of your festival but it certainly does dampen the mood. People enjoy the sun and with Benni you have plenty of it. The seaside resort of Benicassim finds itself on the gorgeous Costa del Azahar and, with the Valencian area enjoying an average temperature of over 26 in July, you are practically all but guaranteed to be topless.
Beni isn’t just a beach that has a couple of DJs, it is a beach with some of the finest musical talent both new and old. Over the years notable performances have come from Oasis, Bob Dylan and the Stone Roses whilst this year will see The Prodigy, Blur, Florence and Portishead headline. With holidays and music festivals both becoming far more expensive as time goes by, Beni is perfect for those who want to do both but cannot afford to do so. Moreover, with Beni being a well-known seaside resort, for those who wouldn’t want to camp, there are more than enough reasonably priced hotels for you to stay in.
Tomorrowland – Belgium
If you ask most dance music fans they will tell you that they would love to go to Tomorrowland. The festival is quite simply nuts and with no genre of dance music left untouched you will not leave disappointed.
The growing popularity of the electronic festival has seen it uproot from its home in Boom, Belgium and go universal. This year they are putting on shows in Atlanta, USA, and Sao Paulo, Brazil, which is great news for those over in the Americas. However, if the opportunity were ever to arise then going to the festival’s spiritual home in Belgium is a must.
Playing at the Belgium venue this summer are Avicii, David Guetta, Armin van Buuren, Axwell, Tiesto, and Hardwell to name just a few. There really is no place on earth that will have a better set list of DJs than Tomorrowland. That is not that much of a surprise when you consider it is the biggest festival of its kind.
Besides the music, the actual festival site is of huge enjoyment. It is literally bonkers with fairground rides and a plethora of trippy things, whilst the colors there… wow! You will never see more colors in your life than you will over the weekend you spend at Tomorrowland. Whether it is the bright lights that surround the campsite, the colorful murals or the confetti guns, you will seriously be inundated with gorgeous color. It sounds weird, it is weird, but it is great fun and certainly incompatible with anywhere else. For those hoping to party hard then you have to go to Tomorrowland.
Music festivals offer great value for money. Not only did you get a long weekend away from home but you also get treated to high-calibre musical performances, something which creates those money-can’t-buy memories, whilst getting a large bunch of buddies to go away with is always good fun.