Music festivals have been taking the world by storm for decades. The first major festival was The Monterey Pop Festival, a three-day major rock festival that took place in 1967 and served as a template for many festivals that came after it, including Woodstock. Now, music festivals around the world host millions of visitors each year, and people come from all over the world to see some of the biggest names in the music industry. There are hundreds of music festivals that host big name artists each year, but here are just a few of the best and the biggest music festivals in the world today on various continents.


Biggest and Best Music Festivals in the World


1. Coachella

Where: Indio, California, U.S.A.

When: April 14-16 and April 21-23, 2017

Coachella is one of the biggest and best music festivals in the United State and in the world. People gather deep in the Coachella Valley on the polo grounds in the desert and dress to impress with Coachella fashion, which includes the notable flower crowns. Coachella always sells out its 99,000 capacity per weekend,198,000 ticket total. In 2016, Coachella brought in hundreds of artists including Guns N’ Roses, LCD Soundsystem and Calvin Harris, who were the headliners, and also featured acts like Ice Cube, Zedd, A$AP Rocky, Sia, Major Lazer and more. Given its location in California, Coachella also has many celebrities like other musicians and famous actors who come to enjoy the festival.


2. Tomorrowland

Where: Boom, Belgium

When: July 22-24, 2016

Tomorrowland is one of the biggest and most recognized music festivals in the world for electronic dance music, which has been sweeping the globe in the last decade getting bigger and bigger. Hundreds of electronic music DJ’s take the various artfully built stages at Tommorowland. The 2016 lineup is still in progress, but in 2015, Tomorrowland brought in names like Alesso, David Guetta, Avicii, Steve Aoki, Martin Garrix, Dillon Francis, Tiesto and more.


3. Exit

Where: Novi Sad, Serbia

When: July 7-10, 2016

Exit is another world famous music festival and one of the most recognized. It has electronic, rock, metal, hip hop/rap, reggae and punk music. Exit has been organized every year since 2000 and takes place at the Petrovaradin Fortress. In 2016, Exit will be bringing in big artists like Wiz Khalifa, Ellie Goulding, David Guetta, Bastille, Nicky Romero and many more.


4. Splendour in the Grass

Where: Byron Bay, Australia

When: July 22-24, 2016

Splendour in the Grass is a world famous summer music festival that has been held annually in Australia since 2001. The festival showcases indie rock, hip hop, electronic and alternative genres. In 2016, artists like The Strokes, Flume, James Blake, Santigold, What So Not, The 1975, Leon Bridges and more will be taking the stages.


5. Fuji Rock

Where: Yuzawa, Niigata Prefecture, Japan

When: July 22-24, 2016

Fuji Rock is the biggest outdoor music event in Japan and one of the largest and most recognized music festivals in Asia and the world. It began in 1997 where it took place at the base of Mount Fuji, but has been held at the Naeba Ski Resort since 1999. Fuji Rock showcases rock and electronic music and will be hosting artists like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, James Blake, Sigur Ros, Beck, Wilco, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals and more.


6. Rock in Rio

Where: Alternates between Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Lisbon, Portugal; Madrid, Spain; Las Vegas, Nevada

When: Las Vegas, Nevada in 2017, date TBD

The Rock in Rio music festival originated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1985 and has been held there in 1991, 2001, 2011, 2013 and 2015 as well. There have been six Rock in Rio Festivals in Lisbon, Portugal most recently in 2014, three in Madrid most recently in 2012 and in Las Vegas in 2015 and 2017 called “Rock in Rio USA.” In 2015, Las Vegas’ Rock in Rio held Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, No Doubt, Metallica, Linkin Park, Ed Sheeran, John Legend, Big Sean, Empire of the Sun and more.


7. Mawazine

Where: Rabat, Morocco, Africa

When: May 2017, date TBD

Mawazine, also known as Rhythms of the World, is a world-renowned music festival and the largest that is held on the continent of Africa. In 2016, Mawazine hosted notable artists like Chris Brown, Iggy Azalea, Wyclef Jean, Pitbull, Christina Aguilera and many more from regions all over Africa, Europe and the Middle East.



This article was written by Cameron Lafontaine.