25 Music Festivals You Should Go to Before You Die


By Jules Muir

There’s nothing in the world like a music festival. Seeing your favorite musicians surrounded by thousands of other fans makes for an environment that can’t be replicated anywhere else—it’s euphoric. As fans, we save up our money, we wait all year, and when the day, weekend, or week comes: we go all out. Painted faces, painted cars, crazy outfits, and crazier shenanigans.

For some people, festivals are the closest thing a utopia. A place where people can go and leave the world behind them, to have fun, to relax, and to enjoy some really good live music. Not to sound t0 gung-ho about this, but festivals really have the power to change your life for a few days. It’s not like listening to music on your iPod, it’s not like going to a concert one night or hearing a song played at a club. It’s an escape, where you get up and listen to the music, and go to bed with the sounds of the last set still ringing in your ears.

Over the next few months and on into the summer, there will be hundreds of music festivals taking place. With all the posters, YouTube ads, and hype, it can be a little overwhelming (especially when Outkast seems to be playing every single festival ever). To cut through the confusion we picked 25 fantastic festivals that you should go to—if not this year, at least once in your life.

Note: The festivals are arranged in chronological order.

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  • Leesa Allmond

    Sasquatch is pretty out of order chronologically. Coachella wishes it had the lineup quality of Bonnaroo. Burning Man isn’t a music festival. Where is Fun Fun Fun Fest?

  • http://www.pigeonsandplanes.com/ Constant Gardner

    I don’t think Sasquatch is out of order? It’s taking place on Memorial Day weekend this year with the second date being cancelled.



  • jermaincolebigkritwale


  • Craig Anthony Thomas II

    What about Houston’s free press summer fest.

  • andy

    perhaps Movement in Detroit?

  • therealestjmac

    wheres osheaga?

  • Schlindholm

    Oh, and The Roling Stones were just confirmed for Roskilde as well. And Chromeo plays :)

  • me
  • TheAppleFritter

    No mention for the iconic Outlook, Dimensions and Hideout Festivals, all in Croatia, but about 15 festivals from the USA.

    lol, ok then.



  • Nikhil Sindwani

    Made in America should be on here too.

  • Brian Wingerd

    What about WAKARUSA?


    Is that the best photo you had of Shamb? I dunno if this is actually from the right location……

  • breniff

    None of your links or the slideshow are working.

  • Andrea Picardy

    It isn’t as well known or as established as these, but you’re right it is definitely worthy!

  • Andrea Picardy

    The Bonnaroo photo is actually Coachella…lame!

  • Ruud

    That picture they have is definitely not Shambhala. I also think the list is very limited, and not to much variation.


  • Zen

    That photo of Shambhala is either really, really, really old or just not actually of Shambhala.

    Also, by “small right now” you mean “that’s as big as it’s ever gonna get — on purpose”.

  • anon

    Craven. Muddy canadian country festival with solid headliners.

  • Atomic Man

    loosen up your butthurt. Those aren’t really iconic

  • kate

    Woaaaah, No Lightning in a Bottle??? Waaaaay off the mark with that one!

  • guest

    That’s fractal forrrest at Shambhala

  • l3rianne

    It can’t be Shambhala. There’s no mountains? There’s nowhere on the ranch that looks like that. Also I heard that it’s capped at 10,000 people, anymore is too many.

  • mo

    That pic deff isnt from shambhala. I go every year. This article wasnt very well written and shambhala doesn’t sell as many tickets as most festivals because they want to keep it intimate it’s not some up and coming festival they’ve been around 17 years

  • northpole

    Woodstock Festival Poland?! Where is it??! It’s the largest open air in Europe! 700.000 people each year! WTF!

  • Cremer Van’Dango

    Oppikoppi, Northam, South Africa. Come on!!

  • jquaglia

    Newport Folk Festival is by far the best music festival I have been to, and I have been to a few on your list that don’t even compare.

  • Known

    That photo was taken of A.Skillz in the fractal forest.

  • Corinne

    it’s clearly fractal forest..

  • urbanO


  • Gelfling

    Hard to believe you included What the Festival in Oregon and not Oregon County Fair and Faerieworlds which are bigger and more unique on so many fronts…there are hundreds of EDM fests now, but very few festivals that really create something unique like these two, which are far more organic and truly transformational than most on this list…also a lot of cool mythic fests in Europe are left out…usual suspects here…maybe next year dig deeper.

  • Leah Gair

    That’s definitely from Shambhala 2013! In the Fractal Forest actually, I took it myself:P

  • Leah Gair

    That photo up there is one I took in the Fractal Forest last year. That’s A.Skillz spinning.

  • shithead

    How about New Orleans Jazz Fest?

  • myself

    the best is corona capital in mexico city

  • Leah Gair

    That’s the Fractal Forest. You can’t see the mountains through the trees.

  • Michael Saggio

    where the eft is summerfest

  • MapleLaugher

    Great list, hard to choose any amount without someone having another to throw in worth consideration, and it’s a real shame it apparently wasn’t good enough for some people. Glad I happened on this comment section, because it reaffirms that even though Shambhala looks gorgeous, the people are far too pretentious for me to be stuck there for days on end listening to their tripped out condescending mouth slurry.

  • TWTW

    pagoda stage Shambhala…

  • tommy vise

    Kanye’s performing? That’s the only reason I will not attend! What a thug…

  • tommy vise

    How in the world could you leave out the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival??? It always has the best lineup of performers for ten solid days!!

  • Seth

    That picture in the Bonnaroo section is not at Bonnaroo. It’s a picture of Cage the Elephant at Coachella.

  • 2katez

    Thanks for catching, we’ve updated

  • Jordy Ribecco

    Primavera has arguably the best lineup this year (at least for music nerds, absolutely no EDM), and didn’t make the list!?? I had a choice between Coachella, Sasquatch and Prima and chose Prima (I have attended Sasquatch and Coachella numerous times, both great, but the lineup at Prima is just awesome this year. Osheaga is fantastic too.

  • TheAppleFritter

    Outlook Festival isn’t iconic? lawl.

  • Atomic Man

    Glastonbury is iconic. Outlook is simply bass

  • thisgamesucks


  • max

    sensation white & ultra music feastival

  • asd

    You forgot “Rock am Ring”, Germany and “Rock in Rio”, Brazil!

  • JD

    how in the hell did Ultra in Miami not make this list…. Really? epic fail by the author of this article.

  • Sun Moon

    HARD Summer or HARD Day of the Dead????? Come on

  • JJ

    Please look for Paredes de Coura. Please add it to the list before I bitch slap you. Thanks

  • https://soundcloud.com/killer_kowalski Killer Kowalski

    Well played.

  • jeff

    What about Wireless Festival?

  • http://highschool4innovatoes.tumblr.com/ Loveandalchemy

    Ugh. What a dumb thing to say

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