Music festivals are now back in full swing, and there’s nothing better than combining them with travelling. To visit a country and meet its people during a festival can be an experience second to none: you will bring home not just life-long memories of colour, music, dancing and fun but also a richer understanding of the traditions and beliefs. From a variety of festivals in the US to the most unique celebrations in Europe and Japan, build your summer plans around this line-up of eight best festivals across the world.
The Best Music Festivals to Attend this Summer Around the Globe
Pittsburgh Black Music Festival (14 – 17 July)
Taking place at Point State Park and Market Square in Downtown Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Black Music Festival will return for its fourth year from 14-17 July. Renowned as a hub for Jazz, the festival takes place in honour of Pittsburgh native Phyllis Hyman. Across the four day period, visitors can listen to everything from Funk, Blues and Soul to Jazz and Hip Hop & RnB – a festival for every music fan’s bucket list.
Capitol Hill Block Party (22 – 24 July)
Celebrating the Capitol Hill neighbourhood in Seattle, Capitol Hill Block Party has 100 local and national acts performing at bars, outdoor stages, and restaurants. Known for creating the world’s most influential musicians, such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam, Seattle is the city for music fanatics and Capitol Hill is where the newest and best in the industry can be found. This year music fanatics can expect headliners such as Charli XCX and Diplo.
DAY MVS XL – San Diego, California (6 – 7 August)
Following a successful launch last year, DAY MVS XL returns to San Diego’s Waterfront Park from 6-7 August. The house and techno festival will be headlined by DJ legend Eric Prydz, whilst other notable artists set to perform include Ajunabeat’s Stephen Brown, Purple Disco Machine, and Ben Böhmer. Festival-goers can also expect street food stalls and craft beer, all enjoyed beneath California’s blazing sunshine.
Telluride Jazz Festival – Telluride, Colorado, USA (12 – 14 August)
Nestled at the base of a majestic canyon, and surrounded by waterfalls, the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado host the Telluride Jazz Festival, a three day and night music event centred around jazz. The annual event combines the finest pristine natural landscape aesthetics with boundless creativity, accompanied by a once-in-a-lifetime soundtrack, provided by acclaimed artists. The towering mountain peaks and glowing aspen trees that dot the hillsides provide the perfect amphitheatre for music to resonate through the mountain canyon. Providing a sample of Colorado’s renowned craftsmanship, amenities include food vendors, craft brews and cocktails.
This Ain’t No Picnic, Los Angeles (27 – 28 August)
This Ain’t No Picnic is an indie-rock festival first debuted in 1999, and after a 20-plus years’ hiatus, it’s back in a major way at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl Stadium. The stacked lineup includes The Strokes, LCD Soundsystem, and Le Tigre, who will play their first live show in more than a decade.
Farm-to-Fork Festival, Sacramento, California (8 – 24 September)
Sacramento’s free Farm-to-Fork Festival is designed to showcase and celebrate the local production of Sacramento’s food and drink, hosted on the city’s iconic Capitol Mall. Visitors will find food, wine and beer, as well as live music on a big stage, live cooking demonstrations and interactive booths from local grocers, farms and ranches. Each year the renowned Tower Bridge Dinner takes place, this is one of the nations most unforgettable dining experiences where hundreds gather to enjoy a locally-sourced dinner prepared by some of the region’s – and the world’s – top chefs, served along Sacramento’s famed Tower Bridge. Free entry.
Fuji Rock Festival – Japan (29 – 31 July)
One of the most well-established and widely-known music festivals in Japan, Fuji Rock Festival is a massive, three-day event featuring international artists from all genres (despite the ‘rock’ in the title). Previous acts include The Chemical Brothers, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Morrissey. Located in the great outdoors of Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata, the festival attracts over 100,000 visitors per year and offers numerous package deals with local hotels.
Dance Without Borders at Ljubelj Pass, Slovenia (13 August)
A celebration of neighbouring citizens, Dance Without Borders is a meeting of people from both sides of the Karawanks, which in the past portrayed the state border. Beginning in the morning, attendees can expect appearances from cultural figures and dance the day away with food and drink provided by local innkeepers. The authentic festival has been taking place on the mountain pass of Ljublj (once an international border crossing with Austria) since 2003.