Music festivals have been around for centuries. It was The Woodstock Music and Art Festival of 1969 that seemed to reinstate their extreme importance for the future. Better known as Woodstock, the festival took place in Woodstock, New York and headlined 32 acts that drew in over 400 000 fans. Jimi Hendrix was the last act to take the stage that weekend. Woodstock made history proving that music festivals have the power to bring people together and create change as they often define generations, cultures, and what is going on in our world at different moments in time. They can be a powerful reflection, and many music festivals around the world have imitated Woodstock with large success over the last several decades.
There are many things that go into making the best music festivals. Some of these often include making the festival a free event, providing vendors and large open spaces, and allowing concert goers many freedoms of expression while attending. Finding the best music festivals that allow for those three things is not hard to do, as they create the best atmosphere for a great event. Another important aspect that makes the best music festivals is having a cause. Most music festivals set the stage of their event by promoting a message or statement the festival wishes to make. It can be peace and love like Woodstock, just rock or pop etc., political statements, environmentalism and so on. But it is important that the music festival has an idea or reason for bringing people together to celebrate even if it is just the music. The best music festivals incorporate these aspects very well and today there are awesome events run all over the world every year.
Most of the best music festivals happen during the summer months to ensure great weather too. One of the best music festivals of the summer is the Osheaga Music Festival that takes place in Montreal, Canada. Similar to Woodstock, the festival brings in a young crowd and therefore, popular alternative/indie artists on the scene. Each year the festival brings in over 40 000 fans and numerous headlining acts to celebrate indie arts culture. Some acts this year included Lorde and Half Moon Run. The term Osheaga refers to a historical exchange between settlers and Indigenous peoples, and each year the scene of the festival sets it’s message. The Evolve Music Festival is another best that also takes place in Canada in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The “green” festival celebrates music and art while aiming to increase social and environmental awareness. All products used on the festival site are environmentally friendly with great vendors. Like Osheaga, the festival runs over the course of 3 days bringing in thousands of fans and many international artists. In addition, similar to these music festivals is Coachella that takes place in Indio, California. It is one of the best music and arts festivals in the United States, that brings in over 400 000 fans and an abundance of popular mainstream artists each year.
Moving across the sea, the Glastonbury Festival is one of the U.K.’s largest and best music festivals and is also one of the largest in the world. The event aims to bring in mega music artists with names ranging from Dolly Parton to Metallica, setting the stage for a diverse and accepting crowd. The event also supports charities and organizations such as Greenpeace. Lastly, Tomorrowland is currently one of the most popular electronic music festivals in the world. The festival takes place in the town of Boom, Belgium and began in 2005. Hundreds of thousands of people attend each year, and past popular headliners have included Swedish House Mafia and Avicii. It is known as one big, magical dance party.
Other popular music festivals that did not make the top five list but are definitely worth checking out include: Rock in Rio, Bonnaroo, Sonar, Lowlands Festival, and Electric Picnic. And the list goes on, great music festivals are always just around the corner and there will be no shortage of them happening anytime soon!