The Lists

The Best Summer Music Festivals in the World 2019

Summer music festival season is almost here, and our correspondent Abbie Martin Greenbaum has rounded up 25 summer music festivals around the world that are the best of the best for 2019. You’ll find hip-hop, R&B, EDM, alternative, world, rock and pop music on this list. The good news? You can spend every weekend between Memorial Day and Labor Day at a sensational outdoor music festival somewhere in the world.

what makes a festival worth attending?

There are hundreds of summer music festivals from which to choose. These 25 meet our three criteria for a festival worth attending: a great roster of artists; a strong mix of new music and established standards; and a spectacular location with plenty to do, see, eat and drink while you’re in town. We’ve also offered suggestions on the best places to stay.

Tickets are already on sale for some of these events, some are nearly sold out, and others are just about to become available, so this is the perfect time to get out your calendar and start scheduling.

the best summer music festivals 2019

1. Bottlerock

Bottlerock, May 24 – 26, 2019, in Napa Valley, California is billed as “the first taste of summer,” and its a fine way to kick off the season. Headliners include Imagine Dragons, Neil Young, and Mumford & Sons. Plus OneRepublic, Pharrell Williams, Lord Huron and many more. Stay at: The Meadowood Napa Valley in St. Helena or the Bardessono in Yountville.

2. All Points East

All Points East Festival, May 24- June 2, 2019: Take a trip to London to enjoy almost a full week of festival music in beautiful Victoria Park. Set to perform are The Chemical Brothers, The Strokes, Christine & the Queens, Bring Me the Horizon, Mumford & Sons, and Bon Iver. Stay at: The Beaumont Hotel in Mayfair.

3. Primavera Sound

Primavera Sound, May 30 – June 1, 2019 Barcelona, Spain and NOS Primavera June 6 – 8, 2019 in Porto, Portugal. Follow this fabulous festival from Barcelona, Spain to Porto, Portugal as it brings the magic two weekends in a row to the southwest coast of Europe. The list of participating talent is long. Among others, it’s Cardi B, Lizzo, Solange, James Blake, Courtney Barnett, Erykah Badu, Carly Rae Jepsen and Janelle Monae. Stay at: The Mandarin Oriental Barcelona or the Meliá Barcelona Sky during weekend one, and the InterContinental Porto or the The Yeatman in Porto for weekend two.

4. The Governor’s Ball

The Governor’s Ball Music Festival, May 31 – June 2, 2019: With prominent artists such as Tyler, the Creator, Lil Wayne, The Strokes, Florence & The Machine, Major Lazer and SZA, this year’s festival on Randall’s Island in New York is sure to smash. Only a short boat ride from Midtown will take you to all the food, music and fun you need. Stay at: The Beekman or 1 Hotel Central Park.

5. Field Day

Field Day, June 7 – June 8, 2019: In its thirteenth year, this London festival in Victoria Park has an awesome lineup ready to play. The list includes Skepta, Jorja Smith, Diplo, Jungle and Pusha-T. Their shows include a special late night performance that runs until the early hours of the morning, making for an extra special weekend. Stay at: The Beaumont Hotel in Mayfair.

6. Bonnaroo

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, June 13- June 16, 2019: In Manchester, Tennessee, the much-loved Bonnaroo will open the second week in June for performances from Childish Gambino, Phish, Post Malone, Cardi B, Kacey Musgraves and Brandi Carlile. Hosting such a wide variety of artists are sure to keep fans of every genre happy, and make this an unbelievable festival weekend. Stay at: The Thompson Nashville or the 21c Museum Hotel Nashville.

7. Firefly

Firefly Music Festival, June 21- June 23, 2019: Dover, Delaware is home this summer to big headliners like Panic at the Disco, Travis Scott, Post Malone, Vampire Weekend, Death Cab for Cutie, Tyler, the Creator and Zedd. Since Firefly takes place in the Woodlands, many festival-goers come to camp and make this weekend a truly adventurous experience. If you don’t feel like camping, then stay at: The Rittenhouse or the brand-new Four Seasons, both in Philadelphia (about 90 minutes away).

8. Secret Solstice

Secret Solstice, June 21 – June 23, 2019: Fancy a trip to Reykjavik, Iceland this summer? Featuring the Black Eyed Peas, Robert Plant, Martin Garrix, Rita Ora, Patti Smith and Pussy Riot, this amazing festival might be your best chance to catch some great artists who aren’t playing at other summer festivals this year. The festival has a Nordic mythological theme behind it, and you’ll enjoy the 24-hour sunlight as you dance the eternal day away. Stay at: Reykjavik Marina Residence.

9. Mawazine

Mawazine, June 21 – June 29, 2019: In its 18th year, Mawazine is the biggest popular music festival in Africa. Also called Rhythms of the World, it takes place in Rabat, Morocco, and has become a touchstone of Moroccan culture, presided over by Moroccan King Mohammed VI himself. Almost all tickets are free of charge – making it an exciting event for all. The program for 2019 should be released soon. Stay at: The Sofitel Rabat Jardin des Roses Hotel.

10. Montreux Jazz Festival

The Montreux Jazz Festival, June 28 – July 13, 2019, held on the shores of Lake Geneva in Vevey, Switzerland, is now in its 53rd year. Despite its name, the festival includes blues, soul and rock music in addition to jazz. This year’s artists will be announced on April 9, 2019 (and tickets will go on sale the next day). Sir Elton John had previously committed to performing at the festival in 2019 as part of his three-year Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour. Stay at: The Grand Hotel du Lac Vevey.

11. The Essence Festival

The Essence Festival, July 4 – 7, 2019, New Orleans, Louisiana. You saw Girls Trip, right? The you know everything you need to know: this is a celebration of black women, black culture, and fantastic performances. Now in its 25th year, music fans will once again fill the Superdome for a stylish getaway weekend where everyone dresses to impress while singing along to their favorites. On the program this year: Jermaine Dupri, Mc Lyte, Pharrell Williams, Sheila E, Morris Day, Teyana Taylor, Timbaland, Ledisi, and Mary J. Blige. Stay at: The Ritz-Carlton or the W in the French Quarter.

12. Wireless

The Wireless Festival, July 5 – 7, 2019, Finsbury Park, London, England. Who’s playing: Cardi B, Migos, Tyga, Torey Lanez and Ella Mai. Stay at: The Curtain (where you’ll find the London outpost of Marcus Samuelsson’s soul food joint Red Rooster) or the Nobu Hotel, both in Shoreditch.

13. Latitude

The Latitude Festival, July 18 – 21, 2019, in Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk, England is famous for its pink sheep and eclectic line-up of poetry, comedy, dance and original family activities. High in aesthetic and whimsical ambiance, this year it will feature artists like George Ezra, Snow Patrol and Lana Del Rey. Attendees will find sanctuaries, or healing areas, to meditate, practice yoga, and find some calm amidst the festive atmosphere. Stay at: The Salthouse Harbour Hotel in Ipswich.

14. Splendour in the Grass

Splendour in the Grass, July 19 – 21, 2019, in Byron Bay, Australia has been held annually since 2001. Its location is the “yoga capital of Australia,” and this New South Wales beach town exudes a chill vibe. The festival showcases indie rock, hip hop, electronic and alternative genres. This year’s lineup has not yet been announced, but last year’s superstars included Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, Vampire Weekend and more, which suggests wonderful things to come. Stay at: Halcyon House or The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa.

15. Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland, July 19 – 21 & 26– 28, 2019, in Boom, Belgium (south of Antwerp) has its mantra Live Today, Love Tomorrow, Unite Forever. Hundreds of electronic dance music DJ’s take the various artfully built stages over the course of two weekends. Performers this year include the Chainsmokers, Alesso, Amelia Lens, Armin Van Buren, Afrojack, Mike Williams and DJ Snake. Stay at: Martin’s Patershof in Mechelen or the Hotel de Witte Lelie in Antwerp.

16. Fuji Rock

Fuji Rock, July 26 — 28, 2019, Yuzawa, Niigata Prefecture, Japan is the nation’s largest outdoor music event. Named because it was first held at Mount Fuji, now it takes place in Niigata Prefecture, at the Naeba Ski Resort. This year’s artists include The Chemical Brothers, Sia, The Cure, Death Cab For Cutie, James Blake, Janelle Monae, Jason Mraz and many more. Stay at: The Naeba Prince Hotel.

17. Bestival

Bestival, July 26 – 29, 2019, is a  boutique music festival set at the Lulworth Estate in Dorset, England. It bills itself as “the most colorful show on earth” and has a circus/carnival vibe. Each year, a theme is chosen and food, décor and activities are designed to match it. Past themes have included “Desert Island Disco” and “Summer of Love.” This year’s theme and lineup have not yet been announced, so stay tuned to see who will join us in Dorset this year. Stay at: The Green House Hotel.

18. Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza, August 1 – 4, 2019, at Grant Park, Chicago. The festival boasts delicious food as well as an amazing roster of artists, making it the perfect festival weekend. Their 2019 lineup should be released soon, so keep your eyes peeled for the day it drops. Stay at: The Ace Chicago or the Four Seasons.

19. Way Out West

Way Out West, August 8 – 10, 2019, is held in Slottskogen Park and areas around central Gothenburg, Sweden. This year will showcase Cardi B, Cupcakke, James Blake, Julien Baker, Mitski, The Cure, Stormzy, Stereolab and more. Way Out West also doubles as a film festival, so prepare yourself for a magical weekend of movies and music. Stay at: Upper House.

20. Outside Lands

Outside Lands, August 9 – August 11, 2019: Many love this San Francisco music festival in Golden Gate Park. They have yet to announce this year’s lineup- but if last year’s is any indication, it’s sure to impress. The festival also serves great food and drinks, making it a wonderful weekend for all. Stay at: The Ritz Carlton San Francisco or Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco.


21. The Green Man Festival

21. The Green Man Festival, August 15 – 18, 2019. Held in the Brecon Beacons, Wales, this festival is notable for its arts and culture programs and beautiful scenery. You’ll find live music (in particular alternative, indie, rock, folk, and dance) along with events focused on literature, film, comedy, theater and poetry. This year’s musical performances include Four Tet, Father John Misty, Eels, Stereolab, Yo La Tengo, Sharon Van Eeten Stay at: Gliffaes Country House Hotel.

22. Made in America

Made in America, August 31 – September 1, 2019, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This is the perfect way to wrap up a summer of fun, and dance the night away. Last year’s show is available to stream on Tidal, and will serve as a great way to pass the time until this year’s lineup is released. Last year’s headliners were Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar and Post Malone. Stay at: The Rittenhouse or the brand-new Four Seasons.

Into the fall

If you decide to keep the party going into the fall, here are three autumn events to add to your calendar, to make an even 25 awesome musical outings:

23. Life is Beautiful

Life is Beautiful, September 20 – 22, 2019: Life is Beautiful is not only a music festival, but also a festival for comedy, art, food and more. Come to Las Vegas in September to help turn the transition to fall into something truly beautiful. This year’s lineup is not yet public, but last year’s performers included Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys and Childish Gambino, with comedians like Hannibal Burress and presentations from RuPaul and Bill Nye. Stay at: Four Seasons Las Vegas, Wynn Las Vegas, or Bellagio Hotel and Casino.

24. Austin City Limits

Austin City Limits, October 4 – 6 & October 11 – 13, 2019, in Zilker Park in Austin, Texas. If you want your summer to stretch into fall, Austin City Limits is one of the best festivals there is, and well worth the trip for one (or both!) of these two October weekends. This year’s line-up is to be announced soon (if last year is any indication, it’s gonna be good). Stay at: The Four Seasons Austin.

25. Voodoo Festival

The Voodoo Festival, October 25 – 27, 2019, also known as the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, is held every Halloween weekend in New Orleans, Louisiana. This year is the festival’s 21st anniversary. The 2019 lineup will be announced in a few weeks. Stay at: The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans or the W in the French Quarter.

More Music

If you have wide-ranging, eclectic musical tastes, you might want to check our lists of the best classical music and opera, jazz, chamber music and dance festivals this summer, too. In just a few weeks, the summer party starts up. You ready? We can’t wait.

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Abbie Martin Greenbaum grew up in New York City and currently lives in Brooklyn, where she drinks a lot of coffee and matches roommates together for a living. At Oberlin College, she studied English and Cinema, which are still two of her favorite things, along with dessert and musical theater. She believes in magic.

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