Get excited, music lovers! You should be able to undust your festival gear and party at some of the best music festivals in the world by 2022.
After an 18-month hiatus due to Covid, concert venues are finally reopening and live music festivals are slowly making their way back into the lives of everyone. And even though the coronavirus still poses a risk to human health, especially with the latest, more infectious Delta variant, it seems like music festivals are a sure comeback.
Whether you’re a seasoned festival-goer or someone who simply misses the thrill of live gigs, these are some of the world’s best music festivals you’d want to consider jetting off to when Covid has become less of a concern. And no matter what genre – be it pop, hip-hop, EDM, rock, jazz, funk and soul, Afrobeats or world music – there’s something for everyone.
1. Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
Undoubtedly one of the world’s most iconic music festivals, Coachella has been drawing massive crowds of music fans to the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, since 1999. This annual affair has had world-renowned headliners like Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and The Weeknd perform on its stage. Plus, it has A-list celebs in attendance – so if you’re lucky, you might spot ones like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid. Not to forget, revellers are known to dress in quintessentially Coachella looks – think bohemian, chic and modern hippy fashion.
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
Where: Empire Polo Club, Indio, California, USA
When: Two weekends in mid-April (15 to 17 and 22 to 24 April 2022)
2. The Governors Ball Music Festival
Also known as Governors Ball or Gov Ball, this annual music festival in the Big Apple entertains thousands of New Yorkers and travelling festival-goers with music performances ranging across genres such as rock, electronic, hip-hop, indie and pop. Established in 2011, the Gov Ball has seen big names like Billie Eilish, Travis Scott and Dua Lipa in its concert lineup. It also hosts unannounced pop-up acts that surprise and delight. Aside from that, you can look forward to some of the City’s best eats at food trucks, plus art installations and outdoor games to enjoy throughout the weekend.
The Governors Ball Music Festival
Where: Citi Field, New York City, New York, USA
When: One weekend in June (10th Anniversary on 24 to 26 September 2021)
3. Ultra Music Festival
Heart-pumping electronic music, lots of booze and partying till late – that’s Ultra Music Festival for you. Boasting internationally-acclaimed DJs and unparalleled production, Ultra is easily the world’s leading electronic music festival. Originating from Miami, Ultra gathers tonnes of electronic music fans every month of March, for three days, to party along to tunes by elite DJs like David Guetta, Diplo and Martin Garrix. This festival is also celebrated in many major cities and countries worldwide, including Singapore, Australia, South Africa and Ibiza.
Ultra Music Festival
Where: Bayfront Park, Miami, Florida, USA
When: One weekend in March (25 to 27 March 2022)
You can’t miss Lollapalooza if you’re into alternative music. Dubbed Chicago’s largest music festival, Lollapalooza has been around since 1991. What started as a touring event is now an annual four-day music festival comprising eight stages that hosts a slew of concerts from hundreds of renowned alternative artists like King Princess, Alec Benjamin and Sheck Wes. With styles of music ranging from alternative rock, heavy metal and punk rock to hip-hop and electronic, expect to wave your hands like you just don’t care and groove to a variety of addicting beats.
Where: Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
When: Four days in the summer (28 to 31 July 2022)
5. Rolling Loud
Another Miami-born music festival that has expanded across the US and beyond, to countries like Portugal and Australia, Rolling Loud is the largest hip-hop music festival in the world. Its staple show in Miami excites and entertains R&B and rap music lovers with iconic rap stars in the country. We’re talking hot names like Travis Scott, Megan Thee Stallion and Bobby Shurma; up and coming rappers like Kenny Mason and Morray; and veterans like T-Pain, Gucci Mane and A$AP Rocky.
Where: Miami, Florida, USA
When: One weekend in May
6. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Nothing beats enjoying jazz music than celebrating this music genre at its birthplace in New Orleans, Louisiana. Since its inception in 1970, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, commonly known as Jazz Fest, has become a staple event in the lives of local and travelling jazz lovers alike. Other than enjoying the sounds from this style of music – like gospel, blues and world music – at over 10 of its stages, Jazz Fest is a cultural experience complete with heritage talks, activities and even live cooking demonstrations. You can also expect marketplaces selling crafts, clothing and jewellery indigenous to many African cultures, as well as a food fair where you can feast on Louisiana’s iconic Creole and Cajun cuisines.
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Where: Fair Grounds Race Course, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
When: Two weekends in April or May (29 April to 8 May 2022)
7. Rock in Rio
This Brazilian music festival is the flagship event of the Rock in Rio brand. Since 1985, Rock in Rio has crammed its stage with A-list artists and bands from all around the globe. We’re talking rock legends like Queen, AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses, and pop icons like Maroon 5, P!nk, Katy Perry and Ellie Goulding. It doesn’t just stop there, though. Its incredible lineup also features musical acts from genres such as hip-hop, funk, soul, electronic music and more. Heck, Rock in Rio even has its own festival anthem!
Rock in Rio
Where: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When: Two weekends in September (2 to 4 and 8 to 11 September 2022)
8. Storyland Festival
Storyland is one of Colombia’s biggest music festivals, bringing ravers the best dance music the world has to offer. Think spectacular stages, huge sound systems and party-worthy electronic, techno and house music on the beautiful Caribbean coast. With past headliners like Tiësto, Hardwell, Don Diablo and Tujamo, you can count on Storyland for impressive future lineups to immerse yourselves in.
Where: Santa Marta, Colombia
When: Two days in January
9. Festival Estéreo Picnic
Ravers from around the globe flock to this annual music festival in South America with good reason. Dubbed Colombia’s biggest alternative music festival, Estéreo Picnic’s style is similar to that of festivals Lollapalooza and Glastonbury. It focuses on alternative rock, indie, punk rock, reggae, electronica and hip-hop, plus invites huge international acts alongside artists from Colombia and other Latin American countries to take the stage. Some high-profile artists and DJs who have played at Estéreo Picnic include Snoop Dogg, The Killers, Florence and the Machine, Skrillex, Major Lazer and Calvin Harris.
Festival Estéreo Picnic
Where: Bogotá, Colombia
When: Three days in spring
10. Glastonbury Festival
When you think of the world’s elite music festivals, Glastonbury is one that comes to mind. This five-day festival in England invites the biggest names in music on its stages, including pop and rock artists like Miley Cyrus, Anne Marie, Foo Fighters, Lizzo and Halsey. But apart from the music performances, there’s a tonne of other stuff to do. Glastonbury hosts a plethora of performing arts acts ranging from circus and cabaret to dance, comedy and theatre. Not to mention, it has entire nightclub districts, like Shangri-La and Block9, built just for the event. Make sure to add Glastonbury to your bucket list for a music festival experience like no other.
Where: Pilton, Somerset, England
When: Five days in the summer
Since its debut in 2005, Tomorrowland has been on every dance music lover’s list of things to accomplish. No surprise; after all, it is one of the largest scale festivals out there, rivalling against other iconic festivals like Coachella and Glastonbury. Featuring a lineup that consistently includes some of the best names in the industry – think David Guetta, Armin van Buuren, Afrojack, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, and Tiësto, Tomorrowland is unmissable. What’s more, this festival has its own currency and town – a festival giant indeed!
Where: Boom, Antwerp, Belgium
When: Final two weekends of July (22 to 24 and 29 to 31 July 2022)
12. Time Warp
As its name suggests, this European music festival in Germany makes you feel like you’re trapped in a time warp, but in the name of good techno beats and fun. So, calling all ravers! If you’re up for over 19 straight hours of electronic sounds and house music spread across six stages, you should get tickets to this massive techno party. Recognised as one of Europe’s most important techno events, you can expect big names in the scene like Carl Cox, Sven Väth, Richie Hawtin and Paul van Dyk to hit the decks here.
Where: Mannheim, Germany
When: One day in early spring (2 April 2022)
Each year, hundreds of thousands of festival-goers flock to the Netherlands for this fairytale-esque electronic music festival characterised by overblown balloons, fantasy environments, themed parties and camping. Known as the original Dutch multi-genre electronic music festival, Mysteryland features stellar alumni consisting of crowd favourite DJs like Alesso, Axwell Λ Ingrosso and Robin Schulz. Its lineup continues to impress today, with some of the biggest and best names in the business taking its stage, spinning beats across genres like EDM, house, techno, hardstyle and hip-hop.
Where: Haarlemmermeer, North Holland, Netherlands
When: Final weekend of August (26 to 28 August 2022)
14. Oh My! Music Festival
Oh My! continuously attracts heaps of urban music fans from around the world to its festival grounds in Almere Beach, near Amsterdam. With music ranging from hip-hop and R&B to dubstep and house, this festival’s lineup showcases musical stars of those scenes, like international acts Meek Mill, Saweetie, Trey Songz and Wiz Khalifa, and up and coming artists like KiDi, Zefanio and Lil Baby.
Oh My! Music Festival
Where: Almere Strand, Almere, Netherlands
When: One or two days in the summer (25 June 2022)
15. Afro Nation
Having featured the likes of Wizkid, Davido, Burna Boy, French Montana and more, Afro Nation brings top-quality Afrobeats, hip-hop, R&B, dancehall and bashment to those who’ve travelled from around the globe to this music festival in Portugal’s Praia da Rocha beach. Aside from that, revellers can look forward to a beachside club that will play host to numerous parties featuring world-class DJs. Plus, if you manage to snag VIP tickets, you’ll have exclusive access to special areas including a private bar.
Where: Portimāo, Algarve, Portugal
When: Three days in the summer (1 to 3 July 2022)
16. Mad Cool Festival
Every summer, Spain’s capital Madrid plays host to one of Europe’s most popular music festivals – Mad Cool. Like its name, you can look forward to mad cool acts across the genres of rock, indie and pop in its lineup. Its 2022 show even features Metallica, Twenty One Pilots and Carly Rae Jepsen! Thanks to past headliners like Arctic Monkeys, Depeche Mode, Dua Lipa and Bastille, Mad Cool’s popularity has risen at such an incredible rate, it’s now almost comparable to the other festival elites, despite being only five years old.
Mad Cool Festival
Where: Madrid, Spain
When: Four days in the summer (6 to 9 July 2022)
17. Rocking the Daisies
Dubbed South Africa’s biggest music and lifestyle experience, Rocking the Daisies is one of the continent’s major music festivals. Held in both Cape Town and Johannesburg, Rocking the Daisies takes all of South Africa’s music culture and puts it on show for ravers to party and enjoy. These two unmissable weekends highlight local South African musicians and international performers, meaning headliners for 2022 include Stormzy, Lordkez, Ari Lennox and Scorpion Kings.
Rocking the Daisies
Where: Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa
When: Two weekends in October
This music festival in Morocco highlights legitimate and established music artists, and its impressive alumni show. We’re talking about Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Rihanna, Pitbull, Avicii, Jason Derulo, Elton John and the list goes on. With such an incredible lineup, it’s no surprise that Mawazine attracts hundreds and thousands of travelling and local festival-goers. Its 2013 festival even saw over 2.5 million attendees – definitely a music festival to add to your bucket list.
Where: Rabat, Morocco
When: Nine days in May or June
19. Cape Town International Jazz Festival
Taking over Cape Town for a weekend is the fourth largest jazz festival in the world, Cape Town International Jazz Festival. Get your jazz fix at this two-day music festival, which also happens to be the largest music event in sub-Saharan Africa, where headliners include a mix of international and South African musicians like Chaka Khan and Shekhinah.
Cape Town International Jazz Festival
Where: Cape Town, South Africa
When: One weekend in March or April
20. We The Fest
This Jakarta-born music festival provides the perfect summer soundtrack every year with its star-studded lineup starring international acts and regional artists. With music that ranges from pop, rock and indie to hip-hop and electronica, iconic names who have taken the stage at We The Fest include Ellie Goulding, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, G-Eazy, The Sam Willows, Potret and Elephant Kind. Beyond the music, We The Fest is also a festival of arts, fashion and food, so look out for whimsical zones and areas where you can experience and explore these other aspects.
21. It’s The Ship
Fancy taking your revelry to the high seas? Pack up your bags and go on board this cruise ship which hosts one of Asia’s largest music festivals, It’s The Ship. As you set sail from Marina Bay in Singapore, you’ll revel in non-stop parties featuring electronic music’s hottest acts such as Far East Movement, Yellow Claw, Cash Cash, Joji and Yung Raja. When you decide to take a break from raving, know that fun does not stop. Like any other cruise ship, you can expect bars, restaurants, casinos, spas and many more facilities for your leisure needs.
It’s The Ship
Where: Ship departs from Marina Bay Cruise Centre, Marina Bay, Singapore
When: Three to four days in November
22. Good Vibes Festival
Good Vibes Festival has had numerous music lovers flock to Malaysia for its, well, good vibes. This music festival’s positive energy radiates from its impressive lineup featuring some of the best names in indie, pop, hip-hop and electronic music. And amongst the many artists who have performed at Good Vibes, notable ones include Rae Sremmurd, Sabrina Claudio, Lorde, SZA and Gryffin. Other than live music, festival-goers at Good Vibes can enjoy other happenings ranging from art installations and market stalls to enjoying some delicious local Malaysian cuisine.
Good Vibes Festival
Where: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
When: One weekend in July or August
23. Djakarta Warehouse Project
Arguably the largest annual dance music festival in Asia, Djakarta has seen world-famous artists put on incredible performances that entertain. Its lineup reads like an electronic music hall of fame, where bona fide icons in this style of music fill the poster. Think dance music artists like Calvin Harris, David Guetta, Zedd, Steve Aoki, Claptone and Rudimental unleashing their addictive beats on the decks.
Djakarta Warehouse Project
Where: Jakarta International Expo, Jakarta, Indonesia
When: Two days in December
24. Rainforest World Music Festival
This three-day music festival in Malaysia brings you different cultures from around the world under one roof to showcase their music and heritage. Held annually since 1998, this celebration of the diversity of world music features performances ranging from traditional ensembles to world fusion and contemporary world music. Soak up the full experience of this festival at its mini-workshops held over the afternoons in ethnic Sarawak houses. You’ll find everything from interactive dance workshops and insights to ethnic instruments of the world to cultural and craft displays.
Rainforest World Music Festival
Where: Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
When: Three days in July
25. Splendour In The Grass
Splendour In The Grass is Australia’s largest music festival. Currently held in New South Wales, Australia, this annual music party brings Aussies and travelling revellers world-renowned music acts alongside emerging Australian artists ranging from indie rock, hip-hop, electronic and alternative music. Iconic stars who’ve taken the stage at Splendour In The Grass include Coldplay, Lorde and Kanye West. Like the elite Glastonbury Festival, there’s other fun stuff to do such as yoga workshops, science experiments and cabaret performances if you wish to take a short break from the concerts.
Splendour In The Grass
Where: Yelgun, Byron Shire, New South Wales, Australia
When: Three days in late July
26. St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Usually referred to as Laneway, this music festival began in Melbourne, Australia, before it grew in popularity and expanded to five Australian cities as well as New Zealand and Singapore. This hotly anticipated music festival lets you be amongst some of the world’s favourite indie, indie pop and rock artists, such as Charli XCX, The 1975, Rex Orange County and Jorja Smith.
St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Where: Australia (Adelaide, South Australia; Brisbane, Queensland; Fremantle, Western Australia; Melbourne, Victoria; Sydney, New South Wales)
When: One day in each city between late January to early February
27. Byron Bay Bluesfest
Witness blues and roots singers from Australia and around the world do what they do best at Bluesfest in Byron Bay. Since 1990, Bluesfest has been churning out a lineup that features crowd favourites like Hozier, Iggy Pop and The California Honeydrops, drawing local and international festival-goers alike to this music festival. What’s more? Celebs like Chris Hemsworth, Matt Damon and Jason Momoa have all been to Bluesfest – truly one of the world’s leading contemporary music festivals.
Byron Bay Bluesfest
Where: Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia
When: Five days over the Easter long weekend (15 to 19 April 2022)
28. Beyond The Valley
Looking to end the year with a bang? Get yourselves to Gippsland Parklands in Victoria, Australia, over the New Year’s Eve period for the multi-day music festival, Beyond The Valley. Here, you’re free to unleash your inner wild child and party to a variety of big names from the styles of electronic, dance, indie and hip-hop music. Think Tyler, The Creator, The Veronicas, Amy Shark and Claptone.
Beyond The Valley
Where: Lardner, West Gippsland, Victoria, Australia
When: Two days over New Years Eve period (30 to 31 December 2022)
By Jayme Chong, August 2021