Sweet summertime. The temperature is rising and so are our cravings for anything outdoorsy – including summer festivals. It's the time of year that many of us like to travel the world to hear our favourite artists and enjoy outdoor entertainment. If you are considering travelling this summer you may want to check out our top picks for the hottest festivals around the world.
Governors Ball Music Festival, New York
This festival is relatively new and offers an eclectic mix of entertainers. Launched in 2011, the festival features an array of genres including rock, electronic, hip-hop, americana, pop, folk and indie. Aside from the wide range of music, visitors are treated to a multitude of popular New York City restaurants and food trucks as well activities such as a Silent Disco, ping pong, photo booths and lawn games.
This may be one of the most popular music festivals around. It was created in 1991 by Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell as a farewell tour for his band but has since developed into a star-powered festival. It includes musical, dance and comedy performances as well as craft booths and hosts more than 160,000 visitors during its two-to-three day event. Its original focus was alternative and indie rock music but has evolved to include eclectic performers and small sub-genre performers. Some of the most popular past musicians include Muse, Lady Gaga, The Black Keys, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
This three-day festival is held every year at the Parc Jean-Drapeau (at the beginning of August) and includes five stages and several performances from many genres of music. If you attend this festival you'll be treated to music by many popular indie rockers and mellow, up-and-coming folk artists. If you come a week before the festival begins you can tour the city and attend many of its other concerts and exhibitions that are held prior to the main event.
Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland
This two-week show is set on Lake Geneva's shoreline and attracts visitors from around the world. It began in 1967 as a jazz-only festival but has evolved into a show that brings in more than 200,000 music lovers. Legends such as Ella Fitzgerald, B.B. King and Miles Davis have performed here in their earlier careers as well as rock musicians such as Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton and Prince. The neat part about this festival is that you don't have to watch from land – you can catch the music shows from boats and train cars. This is the second largest jazz festival in the world, after Canada's Montreal International Jazz Festival.
Exit, Novi Sad, Serbia
This festival is unique in the way it began – with students fighting for freedom and democracy in Serbian and the Balkans. People come from around the world to not only watch their favourite musicians but to learn more about politics and social advocacy. You'll hear music from heavy metal and punk bands as well as up-and-coming electronic artists. It has received several awards, including the prestigious Best Major European festival award at the EU Festival Awards.
This festival is also known as Rhythms of the World and attracts visitors from all over as well as many celebrities. It was founded in 2001 as part of the governments initiative to promote a liberal and tolerant national image. Several well known musicians have performed here, including Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Rihanna. It also features a diverse set of international artists who play everything from Berber fusion rock to Colombian cumbia music.
Fuji Rock Festival, Japan
If it's culture and music you're looking for you will want to visit this festival. In fact, some say the beautiful surroundings actually overshadow the performances. Held in the mountains at Naeba Ski Resort, visitors are treated to picturesque views of sparkling streams and green forests. You can take a gondola ride to the top of the mountain, which overlooks the festival. You'll also be treated to more than 30 food stalls selling cuisine from around the world. More than 200 Japanese and international musicians perform here every year, making it the largest outdoor music event in Japan.
This festival, created in 1989, is one of Europe's most popular music festivals. It's named after its host town and has grown over the years to include six stages that host about 200 bands and Djs. You'll hear a wide range of music here, including electronic, reggae, indie and hip-hop. Music here never seems to stop – since performers play for 17 hours each day from noon until 5 a.m. In 2010, the festival won the prize for best medium-sized festival at the European Festival Awards.
Rock Al Parque, Colombia
This isn't your typical festival, mainly because it doesn't require a ticket or an admission fee. Maybe that's why almost 89,000 people visit each day during the three-day event. This festival, considered the largest rock festival in Colombia and one of the most important in Latin America, boasts some of the most popular Latin American artists as well as some sets from international bands. No matter what your musical taste is, you'll find it here.
Here you won't only be treated to good music, but to holistic treatments and massages. This festival, first organized in 1997, is one of the biggest Slovak music events and features a diverse mix of music, including rock, pop, dance, drum and bass and techno. But it also offers workshops in theatre, dance and literature. Visitors can listen to the music while relaxing in chill-out tents or while receiving a massage. But if you plan on attending you must purchase tickets early since the festival only holds about 30,000 guests.