Hordes of live music fans descend on festival grounds around the world every year where they spend days baking in the summer sun or slip-sliding through muddy fields to hear the world’s top bands perform live. Here, we look at some of this year’s best music festivals.
Coachella, Indio, USA
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is an alternative music festival held annually in the Californian town of Indio. Coachella attracts a hipster crowd including an array of stars thanks to its funky atmosphere and the great selection of acts taking to the stage. Some of the bands involved in this year’s edition of the festival include Arcade Fire, Bright Eyes, Interpol and Duran Duran, plus plenty more.
Dates: April 15th-17th.
Location: Empire Polo Club, 81-800 Avenue 51, Indio.
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Glastonbury Festival, Glastonbury, England
Glasto, as Glastonbury Festival is commonly known, is one of the biggest music festivals in the world and attracts around 140,000 revellers each year. On the go since 1970, the festival is organised by Michael Eavis and features performances by some of the world’s top contemporary music acts alongside comedians, theatre groups and lots more. In 2011, some of the bands performing on Glasto’s numerous stages include U2, Coldplay, Beyoncé and BB King.
Dates: June 22nd-26th.
Location: Worthy Farm, Pilton.
Hove Festival, Arendal, Norway
The Hove Festival (Hovefestivalen) is a must for music fanatics visiting Norway this summer. A large number of well-known Norwegian bands perform alongside top international acts; while new acts also get a chance to showcase their music. Major acts taking to the stage over the festival’s 4-day run in 2011 include Linkin Park, Kasabian, The Mars Volta, Brandon Flowers and 30 Seconds to Mars.
Dates: June 28th-July 1st.
Location: Tromøy, Arendal.
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Rock Werchter, Werchter, Belgium
One of Europe’s biggest summer music festivals, Rock Werchter is a long-running event dating back to the early 70s. This year the festival is being held over four days with bands performing on two main stages. Huge rock acts from around the world perform alongside Belgian bands and up-and-coming artists. If Rock Werchter is on your list of music festivals to check out this year, you can expect to see bands like Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, Eels, Iron Maiden, Black Eyed Peas and Queens of the Stone Age.
Dates: June 30th-July 3rd.
Location: Haachtsesteenweg, Werchter.
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Roskilde Festival, Roskilde, Denmark
Seven different stages host a wide variety of musical acts at Denmark’s Roskilde Festival which takes place over four days. Dating back to 1971 when it was known as the Sound Festival, Roskilde has welcomed many of the world’s top acts over the years from Bob Marley to Metallica. Acts appearing at this year’s festival include Bright Eyes, Mastodon, M.I.A and PJ Harvery, plus lots of other bands from Denmark and all over the globe.
Dates: June 30th-July 3rd.
Location: Festivalpladsen, Darupvej 19, Roskilde.
Oxegen, Naas, Ireland
Each July around 90,000 people head to Punchestown Racecourse to enjoy four days of live music and entertainment at Ireland’s hugely popular Oxegen Festival. With two huge outdoor stage areas and a number of stages inside tents, you’re sure to be able to find something you like. This year the three main headliners are The Black Eyes Peas, Foo Fighters and Coldplay, with acts like Deadmau5, Weezer, Imelda May and Crystal Castles also set to appear. Alongside all this great music, festival revellers can check out the funfair and numerous stalls selling everything from band shirts to rain ponchos, and given the Irish weather you might be in need of the latter!
Dates: July 7th-10th.
Location: Punchestown Racecourse, Naas, Co. Kildare.
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Benicàssim Festival, Benicàssim, Spain
The Festival Internacional de Benicàssim or FIB is a haven for alternative music fans in Spain as it plays host to a huge number of the top indie and electronica acts from all over the world each year. Dating back to 1994, this festival attracts around 50,000 revellers on each day of its 4-day run. Mumford & Sons, Portishead, Arcade Fire and The Strokes are just some of the world-class acts performing this year on the various stages.
Dates: July 14th-17th.
Location: Recinto de Conciertos, On CN 340, Benicàssim, Castellón.
Jisan Valley Rock Festival, Seoul, South Korea
Held at the Jisan Forest Ski Resort near Seoul, this is a pretty new festival which attracts around 20,000 music fans each day over the course of three days. Big international names appearing at the festival this year include The Chemical Brothers, Suede and Feeder. A great selection of Korean bands also play at Jisan Valley Rock Festival, showcasing South Korea’s much-loved home-grown talent.
Dates: July 29th-31st.
Location: Jisan Forest Resort, Haewol-ri, Majang-myeon, Icheon.
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Lollapalooza, Chicago, USA
This annual music festival is held in Grant Park in downtown Chicago over two days and attracts huge numbers of music fans thanks to a stellar line-up of top rock acts. Eminem, Muse and Foo Fighters look set to headline at this year’s Lollapalpooza, with plenty of other acts still to be announced.
Dates: August 5th-7th.
Location: Grant Park, 337 E. Randolph Street.
Summer Sonic Festival, Osaka, Japan
Taking place over two days simultaneously in Osaka and Tokyo, this is one of Japan’s top festivals and a must for any music lovers visiting the country at this time of year. In Osaka, Summer Sonic Festival takes place in the Maishima Arena which is just a short trip from central Osaka on public transport. Some of the artists performing at the festival this year include Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Strokes, Primal Scream, Friendly Fires, Panic! at the Disco and many more.
Dates: August 13th-14th.
Location: Maishima Sports Island, Konohana-ku.
Sziget, Budapest, Hungary
Amy Winehouse, The Maccabees, Deftones, Lostprophets and Good Charlotte are just a few of the well-known acts performing at this year’s Sziget Festival in Budapest. If you’re looking for something a bit different, check out the world music stage or the party arena. Held on an island in the Danube, Sziget dates back to the early 1990s.
Dates: August 10th-15th.
Location: Óbuda Island, 3rd District.
Outside Lands, San Francisco, USA
Outside Lands is a festival celebrating music and art which is held annually in Golden Gate Park over two days. A relatively new festival, the first edition of Outside Lands took place back in 2008. Aiming to be an eco-friendly event, this music festival also features art exhibits, wine tasting, food stalls and lots more.
Dates: August 12th-14th.
Location: Golden Gate Park, 25th Avenue & Lincoln Way.
Leeds Festival, Leeds, England
Taking place simultaneously at locations in Leeds and Reading for three days, this is one of the UK’s most popular summer music festivals. Over the years it has seen performances by some of the world’s most popular rock acts including the Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam and Nirvana. Leeds Festival is now held in Bramham Park, which is a short bus trip from Leeds city centre. Artists perform on a number of different stages, both outdoors and in tents. In 2011, the main stage headliners are My Chemical Romance, Muse and Pulp with a wide variety of other acts set to appear including Elbow, Jane’s Addiction and The National.
Dates: August 26th-28th.
Location: Bramham Park, Wetherby, West Yorkshire.
Bumbershoot, Seattle, USA
One of the biggest music festivals held in North America, Seattle’s Bumbershoot takes place over Labour Day weekend at the Seattle Center. Dating back to 1971, the festival now sees about 250 different performances take place over the course of its 3-day run. The Bumbershoot line up will be announced in the coming weeks and will, without a doubt, include some of the world’s most popular bands.
Dates: September 3rd-5th.
Location: Seattle Center, 305 Harrison Street, Queen Anne.
Austin City Limits, Austin, Texas
Zilker Park, which covers an impressive 46 acres, is the setting for the annual Austin City Limits festival which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2011. On each of the festival’s three days, around 65,000 people show up to enjoy live music and much more. If you need a break from the festival’s ten different stages, there’s plenty more for you to do including a relaxing break in the beer garden.
Dates: September 16th-18th.
Location: Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Road.
Music fans are spoiled for choice with so many fantastic music festivals set to take place in locations around the world over the coming months. So if you fancy rocking out at the top summer music festivals, don your wellies/rubber boots/gumboots and check out some of these world-class music events.