Bags, check. Passport, check. Tickets, check! It sounds like you are ready to see some of the best music festivals in South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. We have compiled a list of 30 music festivals outside the United States that are a must-see. We talk about when they started, where you are heading, what kind of music you will be listening to, and much more. These festivals are located all around the globe and will make the best attractions to attend during your travels. Get ready, because after reading about these fantastic festivals you will know exactly which one you are heading to next.
Overview: Donauinselfest was started back in 1983. This festival plays various music, including rock, pop, rap, hip-hop, electronic music, swing, folk, and metal. This variety of music allows everyone to have some music that fits their interests. Many stars perform at this festival, including Shaggy, Wolfgang Ambros, Chefboss, Katrina Leskanich, Michael Bolton, Sean Paul, The Tiger Lillies, and Mando Diao. Donauinselfest is Europe's largest open-air festival with FREE admission. This festival has 18 themed islands, 11 stages, 600 hours of music programs. The themed islands all have a different style of music, such as an Indie/Alternative/Hip-Hop Island, Festival Island, Action & Fun Island, Electronic Music Island, and Oldies & Swing Island. Donauinselfest is the largest festival in the entire world, so don't wait and order a ticket to be a part of their history.
Time Period: January 3-days
Location: An Island in Vienna
Capacity: 2.5 million people
Overview: In 2001 creators wanted to have a small event dedicated to the Worlds Music so they created Mawazine. This festival plays a diverse variety of world music pop music. Some of the musicians that have played at Mawazine have been George Benson, Hoba Hoba Spirit, Tony Allen, Issac Delgado, Jason Derulo, and Whitney Houston. Mawazine is the largest music festival in Africa, and their name translates to "Rhythms of the World". This name is supposed to showcase Morocco's openness to visitors from all around the world. Mawazine is also a FREE festival for 90% of performers, but there are specific ones that you might need to purchase a ticket beforehand if you want to see.
Time Period: May/June 8-days
Location: Rabat Morocco
Capacity: 2.2 million people
- Rock In Rio
Overview: Rock in Rio got their start in 1985, and are now the biggest music event in Brazil. This festival plays a variety of pop, rock, and heavy metal. Some of the stars on their stage have been Queen, Foo Fighters, Iron Maiden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Coldplay, The Go-Go's, and AC/DC. This festival also has two other locations, one in Lisbon and another in Madrid. Rock in Rio takes place once every two years. This festival's last event was set for 2021, so mark your calendars for June of 2023!
Time Period: June 10-days
Location: Olympic Park- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Capacity: At the first edition of this event, it brought in 1.4 million people
Overview: Starting in 1993, Sziget had a ticket price that today would cost around the same amount as a beer. This festival plays a wide variaty of music, including rock, alternative rock, psychedelic rock, punk rock, heavy metal, pop, reggae, indie, and electronic. Some of the many performers of Sziget would be Rihanna, Prince, Foo Fighters, and Martin Garrix. Sziget was picked in 2011 as Best European Festival in a poll by Yourope and Virtual Festivals Europe. This festival prides itself on accommodating the community, so they end their concerts by 11 pm, although they have soundproof tents for acts past 11 pm.
Time Period: August 6-days
Location: Obuda Island- Budapest
Capacity: In 2019, there were around 565,000 people who attend.
- Pol' and' Rock
Overview: Pol' and' Rock was formerly known as Woodstock Festival Poland and came to life in 1995. This festival generally fits the theme of rock music and ranges from folk music to experimental to metal. Pol' and' Rock have added to their festivals' music variety by adding reggae, electronic music, and even classical. Some famous musicians to appear at Pol' and' Rock are Acid Drinkers, Atom String Quartet, Avatar, Baika, Black Stone Cherry, and Crossfaith. Pol' and' Rock is one of the world's largest free open-air music festivals.
Time Period: July 3-days
Location: Lotnisko Makowice- Kostrzyn, Poland
Capacity: Around half a million people attend
- Montreal International Jazz Festival
Overview: Montreal International Jazz Festival has been playing jazz since 1980, although they also play genres such as hip-hop, gospel, folk, and electronica. This festival offers a variety of music so that there is something for everyone. This Jazz festival is also open to everyone in the sense that you can send an application in to see if you can be considered a performer here. If you don't want to perform, this festival also has had some fantastic performers like Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Aretha Franklin, and B.B. King. This festival has ten free outdoor stages and ten concert halls which house 3,000 artists from 30 countries. In 2004, this festival was named the World's Largest Jazz Festival. In addition to winning this award, two exciting statistics about the festival is that at The Montreal International Jazz Festival, people have had over 60,000 liters of beer consumed and over 2,500 kilos of french fries.
Time Period: June/July 11-days
Location: Place des Arts- Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Capacity: Around 2 million visitors
Overview: Tomorrowland has brought out the imagination since 2005. At this festival's beginning, they had about 10,000 people. This festival plays a mix of electronic dance music, pop, and hip-hop. Tomorrowland has had Afrojack, Angerfist, Claptone, Like Mike & Dada Life, and Avicii. One of their fan favorites has been David Guetta, who has had 11 straight appearances at this festival. Some awards for Tomorrowland have been that they were voted the "Best Music Event" at the International Dance Music Awards for five years straight, going from 2012 to 2016. In 2012 Tomorrowland also had the Cloud Ridder, the highest mobile Ferris wheel in Europe.
Time Period: July 3 weekends
Location: De Schorre Provinciaal Recreatiedomein- Belgium
Capacity: Around 400,000 people attend
- Untold Festival
Overview: Starting in 2015, The Untold Festival has become a festival with many secrets up its sleeves. This festival plays a wide variety of music such as EDM, pop, house, techno, drum & bass, dubstep, hip-hop, trip-hop, and reggae. While having many different styles of music, they have had many big names upon their stages, including performances from Robbie Williams, Afrojack, Martin Garrix, Marshmello, Ellie Goulding, The Prodigy, and David Guetta. This festival has around 160 artists performing on ten different stages. The Untold Festival's main stage is one the biggest globally, measuring 90m wide and 30m high. One unique fact is that a dutch producer named Armin van Buuren had a performance at the Untold Festival that went on for 7 hours straight and only stopped due to very heavy rain.
Time Period: August 4-days
Location: Cluj Arena- Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Capacity: More than 265,000 people attend
Overview: Exit Festival was started in 2002 as a student activist movement for freedom and peace. This festival plays multiple genres of music, including drum and bass, electro, dance, pop, and rock. Some of the most famous past performers have been The Beatie Boys, The Sex Pistols, The Prodigy, Snoop Dog, Billy Idol, Iggy & The Stooges, Bob Sinclar, and The Cure. This festival allows you to rave within an 18th-century fortress with secret tunnels underneath it. Exit Festival also goes all night, from 7 pm to 8 am, so you don't have to exit. If you choose to leave, you can always come back for more festival fun.
Time Period: July 4-days
Location: The Petrovaradin Fortress- Novi Sad, Serbia
Capacity: In 2019, there were more than 200,000 music lovers in attendance
- Festival d'été de Québec
Overview: Starting in 1968, Festival d'été de Quebec has been around for a while and developed a large following. This festival combines pop music, folk music, rock music, EDM, punk, hip-hop, classical music, and world music. There have been a lot of stars on their stages over the years, including The Rolling Stones, Foo Fighters, Keith Urban, Lady Gaga, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Bruno Mars, and Bon Jovi. Some of the acts also perform in various venues throughout the entire city of Quebec. This festival also has a strong focus on sustainability and making eco-friendly decisions to go green! Festival d'été de Quebec has recycling, composting, and reusing as much of the building materials as possible. Another eco-friendly decision is that this festival sells cans instead of plastic bottles, and they donate any excess food to the community groups around the area.
Time Period: July 11-days
Location: Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Capacity: There are around 325,000 people that attend.
- Nova Rock
Overview: Nova Rock was started in 2005, where they play a mix of alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock, and electronic. Nova Rock's biggest names have been Slipknot, Three Days Grace, The Cure, The Smashing Pumpkins Frog Leap, and Papa Roach. This festival has been ranked 1st in metal festivals in Austria, ranking 6th in Metal festivals.
Time Period: June 3-days
Location: The Pannonia Fields- Nickelsdorf, Austria
Capacity: More than 30,000 attendees daily
- Glastonbury Festival
Overview: Starting back in 1970, Glastonbury Festival held an audience of only around 1,500 people. Today it has grown to the size of 900 acres, around the size of 500 football fields. This festival plays various music, including rock, alternative rock, indie rock, dance, punk rock, folk music, world music, and reggae. Glastonbury Festival also has had many stars such as Coldplay, Beyonce, Neil Diamond, Pixies, Ed Sheeran, The Wonderstuff, and The Foo Fighters. This festival holds the title for 'The Largest Green-Field Festival', and is in the Guinness Book of World Record because "On 26 June 1984, 826 people, [were] each juggling at least three objects, [overall they] managed to keep 2,478 objects in the air".
Time Period: June 5-days
Location: Worthy Farm- Pilton, Somerset
Capacity: 210,000 music lovers attend this festival
- Primavera Sound
Overview: Primavera Sound started in 2001 and was initially held with around 19 acts. Today this music festival has about 150 music acts on their stage. This festival plays a mix of pop, indie, rock, and electronic dance music. Primavera Sound has had famous names such as Cardi B, Big Red Machine, Carly Rae Jepsen, Snail Male, Tame Impala, and Solange. This festival is made for music lovers, and if you are "hardcore," you could watch performances for 17.5 hours. This festival starts at around noon and goes till 5:30 in the morning the following day. Primavera sound had one of their longest concert from The Cure, which was 3 hours straight. This festival has also had musicians as young as 7 to as old as 90 perform on their stages. If you love Primavera Sound, it also has a baby sibling event called NOS Primavera Sound, its Portuguese counterpart, that opened in 2012.
Time Period: June 11-days
Location: Parc del Forum- Barcelona, Spain
Capacity: 100,000 people gather for this festival.
- Rock im Park
Overview: Starting in 1995, Rock I'm Park has become a big festival for Germany. This festival plays a mix of rock, metal, indie, alternative, pop, and electronic music. Rock I'm Park has had performances from Stick to Your Guns, Billy Talent, The Offspring, Weezer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Iron Maiden, and Black Veil Brides. This festival has a twin event called Rock am Ring, which takes place in Nuremberg, Bavaria. These two festivals are held simultaneously and have the same bands appear at both festivals but on separate days.
Time Period: June 3-days
Location: Zeppelinfeld- Nuremberg, Germany
Capacity: Over 150,000 people attend this event.
- Nuit Sonores
Overview: Nuit Sonores was started in 2003 to be a melting pot of ideas and projects. This festival is a massive urban electronic music festival. Nuit Sonores tries to bring in up-and-coming artists. Along with the new artists, this festival has had performers include Bicep, Floating Points, Ben Frost, James Holden & The Animal Spirits. This festival has tried to incorporate multiple art forms such as music, DJs, photo, graphism architecture, and food.
Time Period: May 5-days
Location: Lyon, France
Capacity: This festival hosts around 138,000 festival-goers.
Overview: Osheaga was started in 2006 and given the name to represent "great rapids." The great rapids were to be a symbol of the festival's energic nature. This festival specializes in plays mostly indie music but also plays a mix of heavy metal and EDM. Some musicians that have played at Osheaga include The Foo Fighters, A$AP Rocky, Dua Lipa, The Franklin Electric, and The Damn Truth. Osheaga has implemented many environmental sustainability initiatives to minimize any negative impacts on the environment. This festival offers a bike valet, water refill stations, reusable cups, on-site recycling, and composting.
Time Period: July 3-days
Location: Parc Jean-Drapeau- Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Capacity: In 2018, a crowd of 45,000 people gathered.
- Vive Latino
Overview: Starting in 1998, Vive Latino has only grown since then. This festival brings an audience primarily Spanish rock and alternative rock music. Vive Latino features a large variety of Latin and Spanish groups, giving back to the culture of the community. This festival has had musicians like Los Tres, El Cuarteto de Nos, Los Planetas, and Cafe Tacuba. Vive Latino has also had international names such as Guns N' Roses and Nine Inch Nails.
Time Period: March 2-days
Location: Foro Sol- Mexico
Capacity: This festival averages around 70,000- 100,000 attendees
- Sonar Festival
Overview: The Sonar Festival was started in 1994 and had around 6,000 people in attendance, doubling just the following year. The Sonar Festival is full of electronic music with the world's best DJs from around the globe. This festival is one of the largest EDM festivals alongside Tomorrowland. Some famous names that have come to their stages have been The Beastie Boys, La Diabla, Red Axes Live, Bad Bunny, and DJ Tennis. This festival has day (Sonar by Day) and night (Sonar by Night) activities related to electronic music, film, and the arts. The Sonar by Night brings in the biggest crowds with the major acts at the night events. Sonar Festival brings together projections, art installations, sound, and visual exhibitions to make their festival like no other.
Time Period: June 3-days
Location: Fira de Barcelona- Barcelona, Spain
Capacity: This festival hosts around 126,000 visitors
- Fuji Rock
Overview: Fiji Rock started in 1997 when the first one was hit by a big typhoon, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, the headlining act, continued to play on through the winds. When you go to this festival, bring the proper attire since it is held a few days about their summer rainy season. This festival plays electronic and rock music. Some musicians have been The Cure, The Chemical Brothers, Green Day, Jason Mraz, Martin Garrix, MGMT, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Vampire Weekend. This festival has been called the "Japanese Woodstock." Fiji Rock also aims to be the cleanest music festival globally.
Time Period: July 3 days
Location: Naeba Ski Resort- Niigata, Japan
Capacity: Around 35,000 people attend this festival
- CMC Rocks QLD
Overview: The Queensland Music Festival is a series of musical events, which started in 1999 and offered various types of music. The goal of these festivals was to bring world-class music to all Queenslanders. The CMC Rocks Festival specifically began in 2008 and brings country music to Queenslanders. This festival has had many stars to country music, including Lady A, Toby Keith, Taylor Swift, Little Big Town, Thomas Rhett, and Tim McGraw. CMC Rocks also has a sister event called the CMC Music Awards, an Australian music award show that has been on the air since 2011.
Time Period: September 4-days
Location: Willowbank Raceway- QLD, Australia
Capacity: This festival brought in around 20,000 people per day in 2021.
- Mad Cool Festival
Overview: Mad Cool Festival has been increasing in popularity since 2016, when it first opened. This festival has recently just decreased the capacity by 20,000 people, to make up for this they have added an extra day to their festival. This festival plays a variety of pop, rock, and indie performances from all over. Some of the famous groups performed at the Mad Cool Festival include Imagine Dragons, Metallica, Smashing Pumpkins, Placebo, Queens of the Stone Age, Kings of Leon, and Twenty One Pilots. One "Mad Cool" thing about this festival is that it starts at around 6 pm and ends at around 4:30 am. This allows for so much music to enjoy at a festival like no other.
Time Period: July 5-days
Location: Valdebebas-Ifema- Madrid, Spain
Capacity: In 2020, each day brought in around 60,000 attendees.
- Shambhala Music Festival
Overview: In 1998, Shambhala Music Festival became an annual electronic music festival. This festival has had many performances, especially from musicians such as Black Tiger Sex Machine, SLANDER, Doc Martin, Goldfish, Krafty Kuts, and AC Slater. Shambhala Music Festival has six different stages, where each one brings a "different realm of magic" to their audiences. These stages grow into their landscape because they are standing all year round. Each stage has a different stage director, so they are all entirely different. Their stages include the Fractal Forest, AMPhitheater, Grove Stage, The Living Room, The Pagoda Stage. These stages have had some of the "greatest DJs from all over the world" while transporting you to another dimension of sound and visuals.
Time Period: July 4-days
Location: Salmo River Ranch- British Columbia, Canada
Capacity: In 2018, this festival had around 17,000 people.
- Way Out West
Overview: Way Out West may have a name that implies country music, but it plays everything else. Kicking off way back in 2007, Way Out West plays various electronic dance music, pop, dance/electronic, and rock music. This festival has had artists such as performers G-Eazy, Jack Garratt, Dua Lipa, Arctic Monkeys, Stormzy, The Cure, and Cardi B. Way Out West have an intimate atmosphere to enjoy all of your favorite acts. One fact about Way Out West is that they are environmentally certified. This festival wants to respect the park's environment and leave as small of an environmental footprint as it can. To do this, the festival's foods and drinks are primarily organic, most of their power is green, and all the waste is recycled.
Time Period: August 3-days
Location: Slottsskogen- Gothenburg, Sweden
Capacity: Way out West hosts around 30,000 people daily
- Pentaport Rock Festival
Overview: Pentaport Rock festival started back in 2006. Today, this festival is has become so popular that ever during the live-streaming events of COVID, they had around 78,000 viewers that tuned in to listen. This festival plays mainly rock and electronic music and has a variety of other types of music such as d folk music and emo. Over the years, Pentaport Rock Festival has had some famous names on the stage, such as Two Door Cinema Club, Weezer, The Vamps, Steelheart, Nine Inch Nails, Walk The Moon, Snow Patrol, My Bloody Valentine, and The Black Eyed Peas. This festival is one of South Korea's biggest music festivals, containing three separate stages filled with music.
Time Period: August 3-days
Location: Incheon Pentaport- Incheon, South Korea
Capacity: 2016 brought in around 76-86,000 people to this festival.
- Boomtown Fair
Overview: Starting in 2009, Boomtown Fair is an ideal location for the festival of your imagination. This festival plays a wide variety of music and tries to play reggae, roots, folk, and world music, although they also play genres like ska, metal, punk, EDM, jungle, hardcore, and psytrance. Boomtown is made to be customizable to best fit your interests. Some of the performers to come to their stages have been The Prophets of Rage, Ms. Lauryn Hill, The Streets, Salt-N-Pepa, and Gogol Bordello. This festival has said to be the "UK's craziest festival". Boomtown Fair has 25 different stages and a "no-shoes- policy" in specific festival locations.
Time Period: August 4-days
Location: Matterley Estate- Ovington, United Kingdom
Capacity: They host around 66,000 music fans.
- Harare International Festival of the Arts
Overview: Starting in 1999, The Harare International Festival of the Arts has been a place to enjoy beautiful art, listen to music, and dance. This festival offers many programs such as theatre, dance, music, circus, street performance, fashion, spoken word, and visual arts. The Harare International Festival of the Arts is one of the largest arts festivals in Zimbabwe. This festival has brought in musicians like Ishmael Lo, Salif Keita, and Bongo Muffin. This festival is run by a non-profit organization, which helps pick out a theme for the festival that changes every year. This festival also paints large murals in the city, which are painted by local artists or visiting ones.
Time Period: April/May 6-days
Location: Harare, Zimbabwe
Capacity: Attendance jumped from 5,000 to 60,000 in 2010, and only increases.
- NOS Alive
Overview: Do you want to see artists like Smashing Pumpkins, Radio Head, The Chemical Brothers, The Gift, Tom Walker, Arctic Monkeys, and Pearl Jam? NOS alive was started in 2007 and has been a fan favorite since then. This festival plays various rock, alternative rock, pop, and electronic music. Around this festival, you can even find sections bursting out into laughter over their stand-up comedians.
Time Period: July 4-days
Location: Passeio Maritimo de Alges-Lisbon, Portugal
Capacity: The main stage crowds hold around 55,000 people.
- Splendor in the Grass
Overview: Splendor in the Grass was started in 2001, where it was supposed to be a one-day event. The following year, this festival was increased to a two-day festival because of its popularity. This festival focuses on playing a mix of alternative/indie and jazz music. Some of the names to come to Splendor in the Grass have been Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Kanye West, Lorde, Frank Ocean, The Queens of the Stone Age, and Vampire Weekend. Splendor in the Grass is an annual music, arts, and youth culture event that you don't want to miss.
Time Period: July 3-days
Location: North Byron Parklands- Yelgun, Australia
Capacity: Over 42,000 people
- Let it Roll
Overview: Let it Roll is the World's most giant drum and bass festival, starting in 2002. This festival plays electronic music, more specifically drum and bass music. Since then, they have had performances from stars like The Liquidators, Lenzman, Koven, Pendulum [DJ set], Camo & Krooked, and Wilkinson [DJ set]. One interesting fact about Let it Roll is known for letting "Underground/emerging DJs get better [time] slots." Let it Roll has the main stage for the more prominent names, but they allow the other stages to be filled with up-and-coming artists. See both fan favorites and artists that will soon be your new favorites.
Time Period: August 3-days
Location: Milovice Airfield- Near Prague, Czech Republic
Capacity: Around 30,000 visitors come to this festival.
- Green Man Festival
Overview: This award-winning Welsh Festival was started in 2003. Green Man Festival has welcomed many stars to their stages, including performances from Four Tet and Idles, Caribou, Mogwai, Wye Oak, Kelly Lee Owens, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, King Gizzard, and the Lizard Wizard. This festival has taken a big focus on playing primarily welsh music across the weekend. Green Man Festival has stunning scenery, where the event's ten stages are woven into the land and location. One unique feature about the Green Man Festival is its talent-scouting competition to look for the next big thing. This festival also has multiple kid activities, including DJ workshops and fire shows. The Green Man Festival has a mission to help with sustainability. This festival makes its programs and lanyards from recycled materials and bamboo. Green Man Festival also donates or recycles everything left on the campsite to refugee organizations in their communities.
Time Period: August 4-days
Location: Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
Capacity: This festival brings in around 60,000 music fans.
We hope you found a music festival or five to put on your bucket list if you didn't already buy tickets. Of course, there are other music festivals around, but these 30 from around the globe should be ones you look into. Hopefully, you booked those plane tickets now so that you will be a part of these festivals' history for 2022!