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Top 10: The greatest music festivals in the world

By Trishann Henriques
Last updated on: November 30, 2014 10:03 IST
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From the UK to Poland, Serbia and Morrocco, we bring you the top 10 international music festivals that attract the best crowds year after year.

Let us know how many of these you are planning to attend in 2015...

1. Coachella 

Place: California, USA

Coachella Music Festival, USA

The bastion of independent musicians and hippie culture, Coachella is a festival for lovers of art and music.

Organised over the course of two weekends for three complete days, the festival acts as a stage for both established and emerging artists.

Coachella is also well known for its camping -- allowing visitors to campout on the festival grounds through the course of three days.

Time of year:  April 10-12 and 17 to 19, 2015

Top performers*: Amy Winehouse, Dr Dre, The Killers, Radiohead, Daft Punk, Paul McCartney, Jay-Z, Nine Inch Nails have performed here.


2. Tomorrowland

Place: Boom, Belgium

Tomorrowland Belgium

Tomorrowland is the largest electronic dance music festival in the world.

The fest started off in 2005 with just 9,000 people in attendance.

But today, almost a decade after its inception tickets for the show sell-out within an hour of its announcement.

Attractions at Tomorrowland other than its beat-dropping- bass-thumping non-stop sounds include its unreal stage set ups, more than 10 stages that play host to over 400 DJs and of course avoid EDM fans in whose company it's hard not to be carried away.

Due to the phenomenal success the show has a franchise organised in Brazil and, rumour has it that there is one to due to happen in India as well. Rejoice, EDM fans!

Time of year: July 24 to 25, 2015

Performers: Armin van Buuren, David Guetta, Axwell, Moby, Push, Swedish House Mafia, Paul Van Dyk


3. Exit

Place: Novi Sad, Serbia

Exit music festival

Exit began as a student movement for the freedom that fought for democracy and the rights of the people in Serbia. 

However, its success was such that went from being just a student movement to one of the world’s most popular music festivals.

To this day, the fest, year after year it is planned adhering to socio-political themes.

What started out as a small scale student revolt, today witnesses around two million visitors.

Time of year: July 9 to 12, 2015

Performers: Guns N' Roses, Duran Duran, Thieves like us, Felix da Housecat, Sub Focus, MIA


4. Rock in Rio

Place: Rio de Janiero, Brazil

Rock in Rio

With bands like AC/DC, Scorpions and Queen part of the line-up, it is no surprise why this musical heavy-weight draws millions from far and wide.

With 1.5 million people in attendance in it first year back in 1985, lovers of rock music -- this is what nirvana will feel like.

Time of year: September 2015

Performers: AC/DC, Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions, Rod Stewart, Queen, INXS, George Michael


5. Donauinselfest

Place: Vienna, Austria


Donauinselfest, Europe's largest music festival draws millions of revellers annually.

Organised for three days, the festival plays host to both local and international acts from across the world.

Since the fest does not only cater to one particular genre of music, but a large variety, it draws in fans with varied musical tastes.

Heading to the event?

Make sure to brush up your German for a complete experience.

Time of year: June 2015

Performers: Master Blaster, Vienna Symphony, Shaggy, Bonnie Tyler, Basshunter, Christina Sturmer etc

6. Mawazine

Place: Rabat, Morocco


Mawazine that started out on a much smaller scale is today visited by around two million fans from across the world.

While it started out as a platform for Moroccan artists, it is now a stage for revered performers from across the globe.

Time of year: May 29 to June 6, 2014

Performers: Ne-yo, Kool and the Gang, Alicia Keys, Ricky Martin, Nancy Ajram, Jason Derulo, Carole Samaha


7. Sziget

Budapest, Hungary

Sziget, Budapest, Hungary

Ranked as one of five best music festivals in Europe, Sziget is a fest that welcomes music across different genres like rock, reggae, hip-hop, synthpop, indie, alternative rock etc.

It first made headway as a small student movement starting in 1993, but has today transcended everything from size, to the number of visitors, the artists performing and the number of days it is organised for.

Time of year: August 2015

Performers: Kaiser Chiefs, The Killers, The Kooks, Sex Pistols, Alanis Morisette, Fat Boy Slim, Chemical Brothers, Thirty Seconds to Mars


8. Glastonbury

Place: United Kingdom

Glastonbury, United Kingdom

Probably one of the most iconic and longest running music festivals, Glastonbury is a five day music extravaganza and a dream come to true for true blue for music junkies.

The fest that started on a small scale today draws crowds from across the border and also boasts of sold-out tickets within a matter of a few hours.

Along with musical acts, comedy shows, art fairs, circus and cabaret acts and many such events are part of the Glastonbury experience.

Time of year: June 25 to 29, 2015

Performers: Dolly Parton, Kasabian, David Bowie, Van Morrison, The Cure, Oasis, Radiohead, Beyonce, Mumford & Sons, Metallica etc


9. Sunburn

Place: Goa, India

Sunburn Goa India

A baby to the music festival scene, Sunburn Goa -- since its launch in 2007 has been India's contribution to the international EDM scene.

Held over the course of three days, Sunburn combines the best talent in the EDM genre with high-quality lighting and high octane fusion of space and sound.

Time of year: December 27 to 29, 2014

Performers: Baauer, Oliver Dollar, Danny Avila, Head Hunter, Micheal Koma


10. Przystanek Woodstock

Place: Kostrzyn nad Odra, Poland

Przystanek Woodstock

A rock festival that attracts over 5,00, 000 people from across Europe, Przystanek Woodstock is a true blast.

A fest that hosts millions of people year after year would have to have a commercial breach to it, you'd think.

But no, Woodstock is a free three-day rock music festival that is funded and organised by the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity as a way to thank their volunteers for the money they raise every year for medical facilities and aid to children's hospitals in Poland.

What a way to say thank you!

Time of year: July/ August 2015

Performers: Atari Teenage Riot, Enter Shikari and Papa Roach


All Photos: Courtesy YouthIncMag

*Note: The current lineup for most of these festivals has not been announced. The list of top performers includes those who have already performed at the festival.


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Trishann Henriques