Summer music festival season is almost here, and our correspondent Abbie Martin Greenbaum has rounded up 17 summer pop music festivals around the world that are the best of them all for 2021. You’ll find the best most iconic hip-hop, R&B, EDM, alternative, world, rock and pop music summer festivals on this list. The good news? You can spend every weekend this summer and fall at a sensational outdoor music festival somewhere in the world.
The Best 2021 Summer (and Fall) Pop Music Festivals in the world
Every summer, we love to bring you an update of our post, The Best Summer Music Festivals. This is our guide to the biggest summer events, with the hottest artists, from all over the world. Though pop music dominates, you’ll also find plenty of hip hop, R&B, EDM, alternative, jazz, rock, and indie music, as well as Insta-worthy food, big name guests, and lots of memories in the making.
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And we are so excited that seventeen of the best most iconic summer pop music and hip-hop festivals are back this year – although we may have to rename the piece The Best of Summer and Fall Music Festivals. As you’ll see, it looks like August and September are going to feel like the light at the end of the tunnel. We can’t wait.
the world’s 17 Best Summer Music Festivals 2021
1. Secret Solstice
Secret Solstice, June 25 – 27, 2021. Fancy a trip to Reykjavik, Iceland this summer? The first festival of the summer is planning feature Meduza, Regard, Alma, Black Bear, Cypress Hill, Primal Scream, and TLC. Secret Solstice has a Nordic mythological theme behind it, and you’ll enjoy the 24-hour sunlight as you dance the eternal day away. What a magical way to kick off the season. Stay at: Reykjavik Marina Residence.
2. The Essence Festival
The Essence Festival, June 25 – 27 and July 2 – 4, 2021. This year, the Essence Festival, a celebration of Black women and Black culture, is going virtual! Though we’ll miss traveling to New Orleans, virtual programming means that everyone will have the chance to attend on the best hip-hop, R&B and soul music festivals in the world. And with two weekends, we’re excited for twice as many fantastic performances. More information is coming soon. If you visit the The Big Easy anyway, stay at: The Ritz-Carlton or the W in the French Quarter.
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3. Montreux Jazz Festival
The Montreux Jazz Festival, July 2 – 17, 2021. The Montreux Jazz Festival is back for its 55th year. Held on the shores of Lake Geneva in Vevey, Switzerland, the festival is home to blues, soul and rock music, in addition to jazz. Based on the caliber of past performers, we can only imagine who’s going to perform this summer. Stay tuned for more information. Stay at: The Grand Hotel du Lac Vevey.
4. The Latitude Festival
The Latitude Festival, July 22 – 25, 2021. High in aesthetic and whimsical ambience, the festival in Henham Park, Suffolk, England is famous for its pink sheep and eclectic line-up of poetry, comedy, dance, and original family activities. This year, headliners will include well-known artists Bastille, First Aid Kit, and Snow Patrol. Stay at: The Salthouse Harbour Hotel in Ipswich.
5. Camp Bestival
Camp Bestival, July 29 – August 1, 2021 is a boutique music festival set at the Lulworth Estate in Dorset, England. It bills itself as “the most colorful show on earth” and we can see why. To celebrate their return, they are ramping up the excitement, and introducing a list of new features: “The Giggle Box” comedy venue, a cosmic-themed dance tent, eco-friendly camping, and a festival-within-the-festival specifically for teenagers – not to mention the full list of carnival-like activities and attractions that they host annually. And of course, the music. This year, they’re welcoming artists Fatboy Slim, Groove Armada, Becky Hill, R.A.E, and many others. Stay at: The Green House Hotel.
6. Way Out West
Way Out West, August 12 – 14, 2021. The festival in Gothenburg, Sweden is tentatively planning to return for the 2021 season. In years past, the Slottskogen Park festival has been known for their food, their films, and their talks, as well as their musical performances, so we are keeping our fingers crossed that they’re able to make the comeback. Stay at: Upper House.
7. Fuji Rock
Fuji Rock, August 20 – 22, 2021. Yuzawa, Niigata Prefecture, Japan is the nation’s largest outdoor music event. Once held at Mount Fuji, the festival now takes place in Niigata Prefecture, at the Naeba Ski Resort. This year’s theme, chosen in response to the past year, is Keep on Fuji Rockin’. Stay tuned for the full scope of what you can expect. Stay at: The Naeba Prince Hotel.
Tomorrowland, August 27 – 29 & September 3 – 5, 2021. Live Today, Love Tomorrow, Unite Forever is the mantra of the festival in Boom, Belgium (south of Antwerp). For this year only, the festival has moved to a later date, with the hopes that the delay will let them unite as they usually do. Most years, hundreds of electronic dance music DJ’s take the various artfully built stages over the course of two weekends, and we hope that we get to see that this year. Stay at: Martin’s Patershof in Mechelen or the Hotel de Witte Lelie in Antwerp.
9. All Points East
All Points East Festival, August 28 – 30, 2021. Take a trip to London to enjoy a memorable weekend of festival music in beautiful Victoria Park. Set to perform are Jamie XX, Kano, Field Day, Foals, and Bombay Bicycle Club. Stay at: The Beaumont Hotel in Mayfair.
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10. Field Day
Field Day, August 29, 2021. And right in the middle of All Points East, you’ll find Field Day, which is moving back to its original home of Victoria Park for this unusual year. They always have an amazing lineup, and this year the list includes BICEP Live, Adelphi Music Factory, Artwork, the Blessed Madonna, and Floorplan DJ. Stay at: The Beaumont Hotel in Mayfair.
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, September 2 – 5, 2021. The much-loved Bonnaroo will return for its 20th anniversary on the Manchester, Tennessee farm, only a couple of months after its usual show dates. Sign up for updates to see who will play at this year’s festival. Stay at: The Thompson Nashville or the 21c Museum Hotel Nashville.
Bottlerock, September 3 – 5, 2021. The festival in Napa Valley, California has switched up their tagline from “the first taste of summer” to “the last taste of summer,” and we think it’ll be the perfect note to end the season on. This year’s lineup is still in the works, but we can’t wait until the moment it’s finalized. Stay at: The Meadowood Napa Valley in St. Helena or the Bardessono in Yountville.
13. The Wireless Festival
The Wireless Festival, September 10 – 12, 2021. Crystal Palace Park, London, England. Even though the lineup hasn’t yet been released, the first round of tickets is already sold out, so you’ll definitely want to keep your eyes peeled for round two. The festival usually hosts a wide range of pop, rock, and hip hop artists. Stay at: The Nobu Hotel
Firefly Music Festival, September 23 – 26, 2021. This festival draws as many campers as it does music-lovers to Dover, Delaware every summer. The festival in the Woodlands is one of the best every year, and we can’t wait for the return of its adventurous weekend. The lineup will be announced soon. And if you don’t feel like camping, then stay at: The Rittenhouse.
15. The Governor’s Ball
The Governor’s Ball Music Festival, September 24 – 26, 2021. The popular New York festival is returning to Randall’s Island, only a few months after its typical June dates. This move is intended to be temporary, with the festival returning to its early-summer dates next year. The show is only a short boat ride from Midtown, and it’s sure to start autumn off on the right foot. Stay at: The Beekman or 1 Hotel Central Park.
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16. Outside Lands
Outside Lands, October 29 – 31, 2021. We can’t wait for this spooky Halloween edition of everyone’s favorite San Fransisco music festival. The lineup coming to Golden Gate Park this year is absolutely amazing, and includes Tame Impala, Lizzo, the Strokes, Tyler, the Creator, Vampire Weekend, and many others. Stay at: The Ritz Carlton San Francisco or Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco.
17. Splendour in the Grass
Splendour in the Grass, November 19 – 21, 2021. North Byron Parklands, Australia. The festival has been held annually since 2001 in the “yoga capital of Australia,” and we love its chill vibe. This year’s confirmed performers include Gorillaz, the Strokes, and Tyler, the Creator, so we know it’s going to be an unforgettable show. Stay at: Halcyon House or The Byron
The Best 2021 Summer and Fall Music Festivals in the world
That’s our take on the world’s best and most iconic summer (and fall) 2021 popular music festivals, including hip-hop, R&B, EDM, alternative, world, folk, rock and pop artists. What do you think, dear reader? Which one of these is going onto your dream board? Or into your travel calendar?
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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.