Music festivals are much more than just open-air events. Top performers tell us where the stage rocks, the mud sticks and the season never seems to end. Here are their favorite venues
30. June – 7. July
“Denmark is magical in the summer, and Roskilde can be very intense – as if all that mattered was music and friends. I’ve fallen in love at this festival, eaten amazing food and seen incredible bands. The early day shows are my favorite, when you’re a bit tired, in the sun drinking coffee, and discovering something exciting and new.”
Danish musician Oh Land’s electropop provides the sound of summer
2) End of the Road
30. August – 2. September
Tollard Royal, England
“I really loved playing End of the Road in Dorset. You could tell people took care putting it together. When I saw multicolored peacocks roaming the grounds, I felt as if I had stepped into someone’s dream. One great moment was connecting with a friend from Richmond, my hometown in the U.S. I think this is a festival for true music fans and I’ve seldom seen crowds so attentive.”
Lucy Dacus’ new album Historian is one of the highlights of the young American indie rock scene
3) Best Kept Secret
8. – 10. June
“Europe does festivals better than anywhere else and Best Kept Secret in the Netherlands blew my mind in 2017. It’s so well run and the lineups are always great. I can recommend it to anyone who likes live music – and espresso martinis.”
New Zealander Marlon Williams’ new album Make Way For Love celebrates big emotions
4) Folk on the Rocks
20. – 22. July
“They virtually turn night into day here in Canada’s Northwest Territories. I played with my band under the midnight sun and it was surreal! Folk on the Rocks takes place right on a lake, and people dance barefoot in the sand. Everyone who comes here is crazy about music – it’s what Woodstock must have been like.”
Canadian soul musician Tanika Charles is the real thing,
as her new album Soul Run reveals
5) Primavera Sound
30. May – 3. June
“Primavera Sound is a party right in the middle of Barcelona, so you can combine the festival experience with a city break. There are so many great bands, everyone will find something they like. We’re excited to be going back this summer as performers for the second time.”
Chvrches, a Scottish electropop band, are releasing Love is Dead, their third album, on May 25
10. – 12. August
Flow is one of the highlights of the summer and I’ve been going there since I was 18. All my friends go to Helsinki for it every year, as well. The festival has great music, tasty food, amazing light design and decorations, and there’s lots of excitement in the air. Last year, there was a dramatic storm during the festival that made it even more memorable.”
Finnish pop singer Lxandra’s new single “Dig Deep” is bound to give you goose bumps
29. June – 1. July, 6. + 8. July
“I associate festivals with being young and discovering music with my friends (I went to T in the Park for years as a fan before it became TRNSMT last year). TRNSMT has class because it brings the best of new Scottish music and some of the world’s biggest bands. To go back this year and play on the main stage alongside bands like The Killers is absolutely unreal!”
Scottish singer- songwriter Lewis Capaldi has dominated festival stages worldwide with tracks like “Rush”
More places to dance!
8) Governors Ball
1. – 3. June
New York, USA
The hip-hop party of the year takes place on Randall’s Island in New York City. Eminem has been invited.
9) Fuji Rock
27. – 29. June
Around 100 000 fans will rock to MGMT, Kendrick Lamar and others against a mountain backdrop in Japan.
10) Lake of Stars
28. – 30. September
This East African festival is regarded as one of the most beautiful. It takes place on Lake Malawi, in Chintheche.
7. – 10. June
Manchester, Tennessee, USA
More than 130 bands, art, cinema and yoga – a southern summer fairy tale on a farm in Tennessee.
12) We The Fest
20. – 22. July
Seringai and other Indonesian rock bands perform on stage alongside international stars here in Jakarta.
13) Montreux Jazz
29. June– 14. July
A playground for jazz legends and jazz newcomers on Lake Geneva in its 52nd iteration!
6. – 8. Jule
This easygoing festival in Cologne features excellent reggae and delicious African snacks.
8. – 15. August
On an island in the Danube. The lineup includes Lana Del Rey, Mumford & Sons and the Gorillaz.