GO Blog | EF United States
The latest on travel, languages and culture by EF Education First
MenuFree Brochure

The top 10 summer music festivals you don’t want to miss

The top 10 summer music festivals you don’t want to miss

Whether you’re into rock, hip-hop, or electronic music, this summer’s festival season is going to be one to remember. So grab your backpack and start plotting your course to the coolest music festivals around the world.

1. Rock Am Ring, Nürburgring, Germany

Taking place near the Nürburgring Formula-1 track, Rock Am Ring is a festival with a long and famous history. Starting in 1985, the festival has hosted many legendary bands including AC/DC, Deep Purple, and the Rolling Stones. More recent lineups have included Foo Fighters, Thirty Seconds to Mars, and Muse.

2. Governors Ball, New York, US

Governors Ball is festival with a Big Apple heart. Started in 2011, the multi-day event features an array of genres, including rock, electronic, hip-hop, indie, Americana, pop, folk, and more. And while the music is the primary draw, attendees can get the full festival experience by taking part in silent discos, interactive photo booths, and life-sized board games.

3. Bonnaroo, Tennessee, US

Bonnaroo is the home to thousands of happy campers, hundreds of acres of Tennessee nature, and
150 epic performances on more than 10 stages of music. Even if Bonnaroo is positioned as an
indie & alternative rock festival – R&B and hip-hop fans will also find something to listen to in the festival’s diverse music lineup.

4. Rock Werchter, Werchter, Belgium

Rock Werchter is the largest summer festival in Belgium and a truly unique music experience. Located between Brussels and Antwerp, the four-day festival draws some of the biggest headlines in the business and almost 90,000 festival-goers every day.

5. British Summer Time, London, UK

One of summer’s most famous festivals, British Summer Time (BST) is held over two weekends in London‘s lovely Hyde Park. This is THE place to be to catch the hottest bands as well as top comedy acts and films. The organizers also invite pop-up cafés, independent food stalls, themed pubs, and cocktail bars into the park, giving attendees a full festival experience with all the amenities of the city just minutes away.

6. Rock in Roma, Rome, Italy

If you are lucky to have summer vacation in the beautiful Italian capital, you should definitely time it to coincide with Rock in Roma. Every year since 2002, this international music event has brought together the best rock bands from all over the world to play one incredible show in the south of Rome at the Ippodromo delle Capannelle.

7. Mad Cool Festival, Madrid, Spain

The Mad Cool Festival name says it all. It really is “mad cool.” After booking Neil Young and The Who to headline its first festival year in 2016, this young event has quickly become a major player in the European festival scene. During the three-day show at Caja Mágica in the south of Madrid – a short 15-minute commute from the city’s heart – attendees can enjoy the best rock, pop, and alternative artists across four stages. Plus, with shows starting daily at 7pm, there is still plenty of time to explore the city during the day.

8. The Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (FIB), Benicassim, Spain

Another required Spanish festival – FIB is located between Valencia and Barcelona in the beach resort town of Benicassim. Rocking the beach all night long, FIB shows are known to last from 5pm to 8am. Forget sleep, the event’s three stages of music will keep you going.

9. Lollapalooza, Paris, France

What began as a small music festival in Grant Park, Chicago in 2005 has become a global phenomenon – and the French love it. In addition to hosting pop, hip-hop, and alternative rock’s biggest names as well as a pop-up culinary center with amazing French food, Lollapalooza Paris is also doing its part to reduce its environmental impact. With free shuttle buses running throughout Paris, ashtrays distributed around the festival grounds, and reduced-price drinks for reusing containers, the festival is making sustainability fun.

10. Sziget, Budapest, Hungary

Almost every music fan has heard about Sziget – the week-long festival located on Hajógyári Island in Budapest, Hungary. Sziget is truly a celebration of life. As one of the largest multicultural music & arts festivals in an international urban setting, it gives the floor to some of the most inspiring artists of the day and delivers an incredible show.

Plan your summer concert series.Let's go!
Get the latest on travel, languages and culture in the GO newsletterSign me up