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Top Music Festivals in 2012

  • 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 that takes place over two weekends. 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 The Black Keys, Radiohead, Dr. Dre & Snoop Dog, plus plenty more.

    Dates: April 13th-15 & 20th-22nd
    Location: Empire Polo Club, 81-800 Avenue 51, Indio.

  • Book hostels in Los Angeles (approximately 2.5 hours drive from Indio) | Los Angeles video, podcast, free pocket guide and more

  • 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 festivals 4-day run in 2012 include Skrillex, The Shins, Lana Del Ray and M83.

    Dates: June 26th-29th
    Location: Tromoy, Arendal.

  • Book hostels in Kristiansand (approximately 70 kilometres southwest of Arendal)

  • 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 Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Cure.

    Dates: June 28th-July 1st
    Location: Haachtsesteenweg, Werchter.

  • Book hostels in Leuven (approximately 15 kilometres from Werchter) | Book hostels in Brussels (approximately 30 kilometres from Werchter) | Brussels video, podcast, free pocket guide and more

  • 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 Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band, The Cure, Bjork, plus lots of other bands from Denmark and all over the globe.

    Dates: July 5th-8th
    Location: Festivalpladsen, Darupvej 19, Roskilde.

  • Book hostels in Copenhagen (approximately 25 minutes by train from Roskilde) | Copenhagen free pocket guide and more

  • Benicassim Festival, Benicassim, Spain

    The Festival Internacional de Benicassim 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. Bob Dylan, David Guetta and At The Drive-In are just some of the world-class acts performing this year on the various stages.

    Dates: July 12th-15th
    Location: Recinto de Conciertos, On CN 340, Benicassim, Castellon.



    Book hostels in Benicassim

  • 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 Beady Eye, Radiohead and The Stone Roses. A great selection of Korean bands also play at Jisan Valley Rock Festival, showcasing South Korea's much-loved home-grown talent.

    Dates: July 27th-29th
    Location: Jisan Forest Resort, Haewol-ri, Majang-myeon, Icheon.

  • Book hostels in Seoul (approximately 1.5 hours drive from Jisan Forest Resort)

  • 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. This year's Lollapalpooza acts have yet to be announced so keep eye out for some great acts.

    Dates: August 3rd-5th
    Location: Grant Park, 337 E. Randolph Street.



    Book hostels in Chicago | Chicago podcast, free pocket guide and more

  • 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 Green Day, New Order, Rihanna and many more.

    Dates: August 18th & 19th
    Location: Maishima Sports Island, Konohana-ku.



    Book hostels in Osaka

  • Sziget, Budapest, Hungary

    The Pogues, The Stone Roses, Two Door Cinema Club and Placebo 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 6th-13th
    Location: Obuda Island, 3rd District.

  • Book hostels in Budapest | Budapest free pocket guide and more

  • 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 10th-12th
    Location: Golden Gate Park, 25th Avenue & Lincoln Way.

  • Book hostels in San Francisco | San Francisco podcasts, video, free pocket guide and more

  • 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 Foo Fighters, The Cure and Kasabian with a wide variety of other acts set to appear.

    Dates: August 24th-26th.
    Location: Bramham Park, Wetherby, West Yorkshire.



    Book hostels in Leeds

  • 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 1st-3rd
    Location: Seattle Center, 305 Harrison Street, Queen Anne.



    Book hostels in Seattle

  • 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 11th anniversary in 2012. 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: October 12th-14th
    Location: Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Road.



    Book hostels in Austin

  • 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.

  • 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 that takes place over two weekends. 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 The Black Keys, Radiohead, Dr. Dre & Snoop Dog, plus plenty more.

    Dates: April 13th-15 & 20th-22nd
    Location: Empire Polo Club, 81-800 Avenue 51, Indio.

  • Book hostels in Los Angeles (approximately 2.5 hours drive from Indio) | Los Angeles video, podcast, free pocket guide and more

  • 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 festivals 4-day run in 2012 include Skrillex, The Shins, Lana Del Ray and M83.

    Dates: June 26th-29th
    Location: Tromoy, Arendal.

  • Book hostels in Kristiansand (approximately 70 kilometres southwest of Arendal)

  • 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 Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Cure.

    Dates: June 28th-July 1st
    Location: Haachtsesteenweg, Werchter.

  • Book hostels in Leuven (approximately 15 kilometres from Werchter) | Book hostels in Brussels (approximately 30 kilometres from Werchter) | Brussels video, podcast, free pocket guide and more

  • 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 Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band, The Cure, Bjork, plus lots of other bands from Denmark and all over the globe.

    Dates: July 5th-8th
    Location: Festivalpladsen, Darupvej 19, Roskilde.

  • Book hostels in Copenhagen (approximately 25 minutes by train from Roskilde) | Copenhagen free pocket guide and more

  • Benicassim Festival, Benicassim, Spain

    The Festival Internacional de Benicassim 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. Bob Dylan, David Guetta and At The Drive-In are just some of the world-class acts performing this year on the various stages.

    Dates: July 12th-15th
    Location: Recinto de Conciertos, On CN 340, Benicassim, Castellon.



    Book hostels in Benicassim

  • 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 Beady Eye, Radiohead and The Stone Roses. A great selection of Korean bands also play at Jisan Valley Rock Festival, showcasing South Korea's much-loved home-grown talent.

    Dates: July 27th-29th
    Location: Jisan Forest Resort, Haewol-ri, Majang-myeon, Icheon.

  • Book hostels in Seoul (approximately 1.5 hours drive from Jisan Forest Resort)

  • 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. This year's Lollapalpooza acts have yet to be announced so keep eye out for some great acts.

    Dates: August 3rd-5th
    Location: Grant Park, 337 E. Randolph Street.



    Book hostels in Chicago | Chicago podcast, free pocket guide and more

  • 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 Green Day, New Order, Rihanna and many more.

    Dates: August 18th & 19th
    Location: Maishima Sports Island, Konohana-ku.



    Book hostels in Osaka

  • Sziget, Budapest, Hungary

    The Pogues, The Stone Roses, Two Door Cinema Club and Placebo 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 6th-13th
    Location: Obuda Island, 3rd District.

  • Book hostels in Budapest | Budapest free pocket guide and more

  • 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 10th-12th
    Location: Golden Gate Park, 25th Avenue & Lincoln Way.

  • Book hostels in San Francisco | San Francisco podcasts, video, free pocket guide and more

  • 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 Foo Fighters, The Cure and Kasabian with a wide variety of other acts set to appear.

    Dates: August 24th-26th.
    Location: Bramham Park, Wetherby, West Yorkshire.



    Book hostels in Leeds

  • 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 1st-3rd
    Location: Seattle Center, 305 Harrison Street, Queen Anne.



    Book hostels in Seattle

  • 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 11th anniversary in 2012. 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: October 12th-14th
    Location: Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Road.



    Book hostels in Austin

  • 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.


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