7th April 2017
Written on 8th March 2017
Biggest and best music festivals in the world in 2017
Goodbye winter, hello music festivals. As the temperatures rise, music lovers slowly wake from their hibernation and will slowly but surely start planning their year.
The power of music is incredibly powerful, capable of bringing together people from all walks of life, cultures, religions which seems to be of an even greater importance in recent years. Also, along with digital streaming platforms such as Spotify, iTunes or Tidal, concerts and festivals are the best – and only - way for artists to promote their work and to engage with their audience.
With the help of social media, the hundreds of existing music festivals present a unique platform for artists to shine. There is a real prestige attached to headlining these big festivals. Although not quite the exposure of the half time show at the Super Bowl, a live performance have been known to make or break artists who tend to invest increasing amounts in productions costs to make an impression. But music festivals can no longer rely on just music to draw in the crowds.
They are throwing in art installations, bigger and better performances and stages. Bigger and better also implies, more and more investment. Coachella for example, goes from $399 for a normal three-day pass and $899 for a VIP pass - this is excluding flights, accommodation, food, beverages. etc. You can only imagine the sheer disappointment of the Beyoncé fans when she pulled out of this year’s performance to be replaced by Monster mother, Lady Gaga. As much as incidents like these cannot be foreseen, it has become increasingly important to be prepared when planning to festival-hop this summer.
The offer and demand balance is still very much in favour of the demand; this implies you need to get in there, fast! From the trendy Coachella in southern California to Fuji Rock, the biggest alternative and pop music festival in Asia, here are our selection of twenty music festivals you do not want to miss in 2017.
South by Southwest (SXSW)
- Where: Austin, TX
- When: March 13 – 19, 2017
- Website: www.sxsw.com
Each year the SXSW Music Festival hosts a comprehensive mix of brand new, up-and-coming, international, and legendary artists performing in bars, clubs, parks, churches, hotels, and just about everywhere else you can imagine around Austin, Texas. It's the best festival in the world for uncovering new raw talent. SXSW Music registrants enjoy primary access to official showcases, conferences, programming, and more.
- Where: Indio, California, U.S.A.
- When: April 14-16 and April 21-23, 2017
- Website: www.coachella.com
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 and 198,000 tickets in total. Given its location in California, Coachella also has many celebrities like other musicians and famous actors who come to enjoy the festival.
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
- Where: New Orleans, US
- When: April 28 - May 7, 2017
- Website: www.nojazzfest.com
- Where: Rabat, Morocco
- When: May 12-20, 2017
- Website: www.festivalmawazine.ma
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.
- Where: Barcelona, Spain
- When: May 31-June 4, 2017
- Website: www.primaverasound.com
Barcelona has always been a top vacation destination and for music fans, Primavera Sound only adds to the allure. Thanks to the strength of the line-up (and the festival’s reputation) the event usually sells out quickly. The festival is on its sixth edition of NOS Primavera Sound, which takes place between 8th and 10th June at the Parque da Cidade, in Porto, Portugal.
Rock in Rio
- Where: Alternates between Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Lisbon, Portugal; Madrid, Spain; Las Vegas, Nevada
- When: May 2017 in Las Vegas; September 15-17 and 21-24, 2017 in Brazil
- Website: www.rockinrio.com
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 and more.
Isle of Wight Festival
- Where: Isle of Wight, UK
- When: June 8-11, 2017
- Website: www.isleofwightfestival.com
The Isle of Wight Festival was reincarnated in 2002 by John Giddings of Solo Promoters after it first began in 1968. The Festival has a special, magical atmosphere which starts from the moment the Festival goer reaches the ferry to cross the Solent. The Isle of Wight is famed for its heritage and as the UK’s first major music event of the summer.
- Where: Barcelona, Spain
- When: June 15 – 17, 2017
- Website: www.sonar.es/en
Created in 1994, Sónar is a pioneering cultural event with a unique format and content. Its first class reputation as a leading reference for international festivals is thanks to its attention in curation, combining a playful nature, the avant-garde and experimentation with newest trends in dance and electronic music. In 2013 the Sónar festival celebrated its 20th birthday with four distinct festivals running across four different cities, including Reykjavik, Osaka, Tokyo and its spiritual home of Barcelona.
- Where: Somerset, UK
- When: June 21-25, 2017
- Website: www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk
Every year, the Big Daddy of UK festivals commandeers a chunk of Somerset for music, mischief, hippies, healing and a whole lot of cider. Everywhere you turn there’s vitality to be found – especially if you stumble into some of the more anarchic cabaret tents and stages dotting the woods and fields far from the Pyramid-stage hordes. And in terms of sheer scale, Glastonbury remains untouchable as a pilgrimage for hedonists of all stripes, where all the ley lines of British pop culture converge. Usually, by day four, into an immense, blasted muddy heap on the floor.
- Where: Lisbon, Portugal
- When: July 6-8, 2017
- Website: www.nosalive.com
NOS Alive is a Lisbon based music festival, generally considered one of the best in Europe. It is dubbed "Europe's best summer holiday festival experience" due to its proximity to the beach and Lisbon's downtown areas.
- Where: Novi Sad, Serbia
- When: July 6-9, 2017
- Website: www.exitfest.org
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.
Splendour in the Grass
- Where: Byron Bay, Australia
- When: July 21-23, 2017
- Website: www.splendourinthegrass.com
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.
- Where: Boom, Belgium
- When: July 21-30, 2017
- Website: www.tomorrowland.com
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 Tomorrowland.
- Where: Naeba Ski Resort, Niigata Prefecture, Japan
- When: July 28-30, 2017
- Website: www.fujirock-eng.com
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.
- Where: Chelmsford, UK
- When: August 19-20, 2017
- Website: www.vfestival.com
V Festival, often referred to simply as V Fest or VF, is held at two parks simultaneously which share the same bill; artists perform at one location on Saturday and then swap on Sunday. The sites are located at Hylands Park in Chelmsford and Weston Park in South Staffordshire. The "V" represents the Virgin Group, with the event being sponsored by Virgin Media.
- Where: Reading, UK
- When: August 25-27, 2017
- Website: www.readingfestival.com
The infamous Reading & Leeds Festival is heralded as the best music show on the planet. With the most revered artists from across the globe playing each year across the August Bank Holiday weekend, it is a genuine rite of passage for discerning music lovers everywhere.
- Where: Nevada, USA
- When: August 17 – September 4, 2017
- Website: www.burningman.org
Once a year, tens of thousands of people gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. In this crucible of creativity, all are welcome. Burning Man isn’t your usual festival. It’s a city wherein almost everything that happens is created entirely by its citizens, who are active participants in the experience.
- Where: Dorset, UK
- When: September 7 – 10, 2017
- Website: www.bestival.net
Bestival is a hugely eclectic music festival in the UK, which in 2017 will move to Dorset's Lulworth Estate from its old home on the Isle of Wight. Each year, a special theme drives the creative direction (and fancy-dress ideas). Apart from a huge array of music genres that fill the many stages, there is also comedy, spoken word, theatre, dance and more.
- March 25-26, 2017 | São Paulo, Brazil
- May 31 - Apr 1, 2017 | Buenos Aires, Argentina
- April 1-2, 2017 | Santiago, Chile
- July 22-23, 2017 | Paris, France
- August 3-6, 2017 | Chicago, United States
- September 9-10, 2017 | Berlin, Germany
Website: www.lollapalooza.com Created by Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell, Lollapalooza celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Set in the heart of Chicago’s Grant Park, the festival is a nonstop dance party where everyone and anyone can find their favorite genre. Lolla now also has annual international destinations including Paris, Berlin, Santiago, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires.
St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
- Where: Singapore, Auckland and across Australia
- When: January and February, 2018
- Website: www.lanewayfestival.com
What started as a series of weekly shows at a tiny Melbourne bar has bloomed into one of Australia’s most beloved festival institutions. Across a decade of expansion that has seen the St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival become an international signifier of essential music, the event continues to showcase its original set of values: championing community, fostering collaboration, encouraging self-expression, and finding ongoing excuses to have fun.
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