10 Music Festivals Around The World That Will Make You Want To Travel

From San Francisco to Malawi, here are a few music festivals that’ll be sure to unlock the traveler in you.

1. Iceland Airwaves, Reykjavík, Iceland

Held in the fall each year since 1999, Airwaves is known as the launching point for many of Iceland’s most famous musical acts. The event also features international bands and musicians over one of the craziest long weekends you can expect to have this close to the Arctic Circle.

Few performances are held in the daytime leaving you open to visit glaciers, geysers, volcanoes, waterfalls and the famous Blue Lagoon.

Iceland Airwaves /Creative Commons / Via Flickr: icelandairwaves

FM Belfast, 2013

2. Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival, San Francisco, California

Held in August in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, Outside Lands features both up-in-coming and well established acts close to the western edge of the continental United States. With several stages tucked within the coastal forests of the park and easy access to one of the world’s great cities, Outside Lands differentiates itself from its better known peers, Coachella and Bonnaroo.

Jessica S. / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: jessicasarahs

Nine Inch Nails, 2013

3. Lake of Stars Malawi Arts Festival, Mangochi, Malawi

Hosted by the southern African nation of Malawi on the beaches of Lake Malawi at the end of September, Lake of Stars is an upstart music festival focusing on building the international visibility of popular music from the region.

While you are not rocking out, you could take a visit to the Malawian countryside or just enjoy life soaking up the African sun on a golden inland beach.

4. Fuji Rock Festival, Yuzawa, Japan

The biggest music festival in Japan, Fuji Rock Festival attracts some of the world’s biggest musical acts to a ski resort a few hours north of Tokyo. The festival is held in the middle of the summer, usually in July.

If you’ve never been to Japan, there is no time like the present, and, did I mention conveyor belts of sushi?

Kevin Utting / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: tallkev

Iggy Pop, 2007

5. Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, Switzerland

One of the oldest and most famous music festivals in the world, Montreux is way more than just jazz. This festival, held on the shores of Lake Geneva each July since 1967 has hosted many of your favorite musicians of nearly every genre, plus it’s in freakin’ Switzerland.

Sébastien Cevey / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: theefer

Hercules and Love Affair, 2008

6. Snowbombing, Mayrhofen, Austria

If you are one to not want winter to end, each April, in the Austrian resort town of Mayrhofen comes Snowbombing, a festival that combines music and skiing just as most resorts in the northern hemisphere are shutting their lifts for the season. At Snowbombing, you can ski, rock out and eat schnitzel with noodles — seems like a worthy expedition.

Andrew Whitton / Via photos.snowbombing.com

Groove Armada, 2014

7. Folk On The Rocks, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada

If you are more of the adventurous type, a trip up to Canada’s Northwest Territories in July will bring you to the Folk On The Rocks festival held each year in the remote city of Yellowknife.

Folk on the Rocks / Via Facebook: folkontherocks

The Yellowknives Dene Drummers, 2013

8. Laulupidu, Tallinn, Estonia

If you are looking for a departure from the more traditional music festival, then you should head to the Estonian capital of Tallinn for their annual Laulupidu (The Estonian Song and Dance Celebration). At this festival, an estimated 30,000 performers join together to sing Estonian folk songs together as another 80,000 watch. It’s a tradition that dates back to Estonian nationalist political protests that happened in the waning years of the Soviet Union.

9. Buktafestivalen, Tromsø, Norway

If you’ve always wanted to rock out above the Arctic Circle, Norway’s Buktafestivalen is the ticket for you. It’s arguably the northern-most music festival on the planet, and, set among the fjords of the Norwegian coastline, it’s also one of the most beautiful spots to see music anywhere.

NRK P3 / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: nrk-p3

Honningbarna, 2011

10. Ultra Music Festival, Miami, Florida, United States

The ultimate EDM destination falls right in the middle of your spring break on the beach in Miami. It is called Ultra Music Festival. If you need more convincing then you obviously enjoy sitting alone inside while snow continues to fall.

adamjackson1984 / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: adamjackson

Armin Van Buuren, 2012

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