Top 5 Music Festivals in the World

With the 2013 festival season on the horizon, venues across the globe are preparing to showcase the music industry's finest. Here is our pick of the best.

By Lucy Woods on 25 April 2013 in Travel Articles

Glastonbury Festival, UK

When: 26-30 June 2013
Where: Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset, UK
Line-up: The Rolling Stones, Arctic Monkeys, Mumford and Sons, Dizzee Rascal, Primal Scream, Vampire Weekend, Rita Ora, The Vaccines
Tickets: £205 + £5 booking fee per ticket + £6 P&P per booking

After taking a break last year (in part due to a certain sporting event bagging all the Porta Loos), The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts has promised the best line-up ever. With the Rolling Stones taking centre stage, it’s sure not to disappoint. The eclectic and vast array of music, along with a plethora of theatre, circus, and daredevil acts, is why Glastonbury has been dubbed the father of all music festivals.

Unfortunately, festival tickets for 2013 have already sold out. When tickets first went on sale in October 2012, all 135,000 were snatched up in a record 1 hour and 40 minutes. If you want to attend Glastonbury next year, be sure to register in advance and have your laptop at the ready the moment the tickets go on sale.

The nearest international airport to Glastonbury Festival is Bristol International Airport.


Sziget Festival, Hungary

UK readers, visit

When: 05-12 August 2013
Where: Óbudai Island, Budapest, Hungary
Line-up: David Guetta, Blur, Regina Spektor, Nero, Mika, Editors, Biffy Clyro, Dizzee Rascal, Chase & Status, Bat For Lashes
Tickets: €45-€199

Winner of the 2011 ‘Best European Major Festival’, Sziget is one of the biggest multi-cultural events in Europe. With a killer line-up and fantastic location – right in the centre of Budapest, home of beautiful historic buildings, Turkish spas and the famous ’ruin pubs – the festival is a week-long non-stop riot of events.

Sziget has a massive international following, guaranteeing a great mix of cultures and philosophies. The festival describes itself as “the most open minded festival community of the world”. Be sure to book tickets early, as there is a reduced early bird fee until 05 May.

Find flights to Budapest.


Benicassim Festival, Spain

When: 18-21 July 2013
Where: Benicassim, near Valencia, Spain
Line-up: The Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, Beady Eye, Queens of the Stone Age, Dizzee Rascal, Kaiser Chiefs, Rizzle Kicks, La Roux, Primal Scream
Tickets: €70-€325

The Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, commonly abbreviated to FIB, has the unbeatable combination of lasting sunshine and fantastic music, mainly attracting pop, rock and electronica artists. What’s more, the festival hosts a great array of alternative events including short films, fashion shows, and art displays.

FIB is also notable for its close proximity to several beaches, where bands rock out later in the day (5pm - 8am). Benicassim tends to attract a young, party-orientated crowd. Festival-goers can purchase either single-day tickets or multi-passes, which allow them to camp for up to 9 days before, during, and after the festival.

The nearest airports to Benicassim are Barcelona and Valencia.


Bonnaroo Festival, USA

When: 13-16 June
Where: Great Stage Park, Manchester, Tennessee, USA
Line-up: Mumford & Sons, BJÖRK, R. Kelly, National, The Lumineers, The XX, Billy Idol, Foals, Wu-Tang Clan, Grizzly Bear
Tickets: $224.50-$269.50

Every year, 80,000 happy campers make their way to one of America’s most sustainable festivals. Teamwork, tree hugging, and elation are all strongly encouraged. CNN aptly described Bonnaroo as “Music and subculture melted together into a pot of creative bubbling energy”. Along with a kick-ass line-up, there is a vast array of entertainment, including Bonnaroo Broo'ers Festival, comedy theatre, silent disco, and Kidz Jam. Tickets are selling fast so book soon to avoid disappointment.

At Bonnaroo, festival-goers are allowed to bring their own booze, but glass and kegs are prohibited. Camping is also strongly encouraged, and unlike most music festivals, there is a mantra of ‘Leave no Trace’.

The nearest airport to Bonnaroo Festival is Nashville.


Fuji Rock Festival, Japan

When: 26-28 July 2013
Where: Naeba Ski Resort, Niigata, Japan
Line-up: Nine Inch Nails, Bjork, The XX, Mumford & Sons, CJ Ramone, Daughter, Death Grips, DJ Shadow
Tickets: ¥16,800 (£110, €130)-¥39,800 (£260, €307)

Located on the eastern slope of Mount Takenoko at the Naeba Ski Resort, this festival attracts an abundance of die-hard fans prepared to travel long and hard for the love of music. The effort is certainly worthwhile, with dramatic scenery providing an awesome background to the open-air stages. There is also an element of danger to Fuji Rock that seems to add to its charm: the Red Hot Chili Peppers once had to stop playing halfway through their set due to a typhoon.

As well as the music, the festival is known for its fabulous range of international cuisine. And for anyone feeling musically inspired, you can make your way to the Stoned Circle for some percussion jamming jollity.

The nearest international airports to Fuji Rock Festival are all in Tokyo.


Which is your favourite music festival? Leave a comment below.


Photo credits: Glastonbury Festival, Sziget Festival, Benicassim Festival, Bonnaroo Festival, Fuji Rock Festival


John, Holland

Sziget Festival is amazing!

2 May, 2013

johan, Amsterdam

Amsterdam Roots festival

25 April, 2013

Steve Fillion, Canada

Montreal has the Pik Nik Electronik, every Sunday during summer. Now that's a longgg and cool festival !

25 April, 2013

Bartłomiej Turek, Poland

Heineken Opener, Gdynia, Poland

25 April, 2013

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