There is a calendar of fantastic music festivals for 2014. It seems that every country and every US state now has a music festival to write home about. Music festivals have become one of the great cultural features of our time, and everybody should experience at least one in their lifetime because they are about so much more than just great music. Here’s some of the music festivals for 2014 to stick in your diary.
1. South by Southwest, Austin Texas March 7th-16th
This festival is well known for uncovering new talents and is one of the 2014 music festivals not to be missed. There are big names here, but one of the best things about this festival is stumbling across great new bands and acts. The South by Southwest festival involves going from bar to bar, mingling with other fans and watching some great performances. This year on the line up there is Big Freedia, Charli XCX, Echosmith, and more.
2. Ultra Music Festival, Miami, March 28th-30th
You might think how on earth they can possibly beat 2013’s line up of Swedish House Mafia, Fatboy Slim, Deadmau5 and loads of other great house artists. This year they’ve actually managed to stay on par with last year’s line up. You’ll be seeing Afrojack, Avicii, Tiesto, and more.
3. Coachella, Indio CA, April 11th-13th
There are so many 2014 music festivals, so why choose this one? I’ll give you a reason; in fact, I’ll give you four. Skrillex, Muse, Queens of the Stone Age and Beck. Let’s add Outkast and Arcade Fire to make six. I could keep listing the line up because there are some awesome acts taking to the stage this year. This festival takes place in the middle of the desert, so you will get the proper festival experience of being amongst the great unwashed.
4. Download Festival, Derby UK, June 14th-16th
Love rock? If you are mad for moshing, rock music and a festival with an attitude then Download is for you. Over the years the festival has had some big names on the stage, including Iron Maiden, Marilyn Manson, Korn, Slipknot, Guns n Roses and loads of other rock legends.
5. Hellfest Summer Open Air, Clisson, France June 21st-23rd
If you love rocking out to heavy metal music then this is one of the best 2014 music festivals for you. There will be no doubt that the line up for this year will be just as hard and heavy as all the years before. Previously we have seen Korn, Bullet for My Valentine, Papa Roach, Bad Religion, KISS, Stone Sour and loads more.
6. Glastonbury Festival, Glastonbury UK, June 26th-30th
The daddy of them all! This festival is huge. It takes place over acres and acres of land and has lots of stages. The only trouble with this festival is that because there are acts on all the time at different stages, you might have to make some tough decisions about who to see. The festival has seen the Scissor Sisters, Arctic Monkeys, Example, The Rolling Stones, Bastille and the list goes on. A great thing about this festival is that there is something to suit everyone’s taste. You’ll need to book for 2015 though and the chances of getting tickets remain slim, as they sell faster than Beyoncé’s latest album.
7. Hideout Festival, Croatia, July 3rd-5th
This is an electronic, dubstep and drum and bass music festival. It isn’t all about music here though; there are also pool parties, boat parties, art installations and lots of other things to get up to. Last year there were performances from Chase & Status DJ Set, Jamie Jones, Pendulum DJ Set and so many others.
8. Exit Festival, Serbia, July 10th-14th
Exit Festival has been awarded with being the ‘Best Major European festival’ and you can see why. People travel from all over the world to soak up the atmosphere and see their favourite acts on stage. This year’s line up is yet to be announced and I’m sitting on the edge of my seat hoping that Sub Focus or Eats Everything are coming back for another year!
9. Tomorrowland Festival, Belguim, July 26th-28th
This electronic music festival takes place in the town of Boom. There have been some excellent electronic acts performing in the past years, including Faithless, Avicii, Skrillex, Laidback Luke and more. If you love electronic and dance music then this is one of the 2014 music festivals for you.
10. Lollapalooza, Chicago, August 1st-3rd
This well organised music festival is definitely one for your 2014 hit list. The line up hasn’t been announced yet but last year we saw The Killers, Vampire Weekend, The Cure, and the Postal Service. With a line up like that last year, you can only imagine the great acts which will be there this year.
11. Smukfest, Denmark, Skanderborg, August 7th-11th
This festival is held in a scenic location: the beech forest in Skanderborg. It has been called the most beautiful music festival because of the setting. The festival is the second largest festival in Denmark and attracts more than 45,000 people each year.
12. Coke Live Music Festival, Krakow Poland, August 17th-18th
This music festival has been going since 2006 and is held over two days at the Polish Aviation Museum airport. There are usually quite a few rock/pop artists at this event but there are RnB, Hip-Hop, electronic and indie artists too.
13. Zoo Project Festival, UK, August 30th-1st September
Held deep in the forest in Donington Park, Midlands. They are promising some of the best electronic names for this year’s festival and I don’t doubt that they’ll deliver. This festival usually attracts people who have done a season in Ibiza and gone to the Zoo Project there. This one of the music festivals in 2014 for music fans to meet up after their season in the sun.
14. Bestival, Isle of Wight UK, September 5th-8th
Ever been to the Isle of Wight? I can tell you it is pretty small. During the festival the island fills up for four days with music fans coming from all over to dance, drink and enjoy brilliant performances. There are comedy tents along with music stages so there is something for everyone. Last year the IOW played host to Fatboy Slim, Snoop Dogg and Elton John. With such a diverse line up this is a music festival for anyone’s tastes.
15. Riot Fest, Chicago, September 12th-14th
People chose Riot Fest because of the cross between popular mainstream acts and independent up and coming ones. Last year’s line up included Blink-182, Fall Out Boy, Blondie and more. If this year’s line up is as good as previous years then this is a festival in 2014 not to miss.
16. TomorrowWorld, Chattahoochee Hills, GA, September 26th-28th
This is a great chilled out event for music lovers. It has only been going for one year, and with such great success last year it will be coming back in 2014. The highlights of 2013 were Swedish House Mafia, Sebastian Ingrosso, Axwell and so many others.
17. Austin City Limits, Austin Texas, October 3rd-5th and 10th-12th
Another one of the best 2014 music festivals held in Texas. A great thing about this festival is that it is out of season. Around October time festival blues start to kick in and Austin City Limits can help get you out of your funk with great music. The atmosphere is always really chilled out and less chaotic than other festivals in the summer. Last year Kings of Leon, Atoms for Peace, Vampire Weekend and loads of others performed.
18. The Fest, Gainesville, FL around October 30th - November 2nd
If punk rock is your thing then the Fest is one of the music festivals in 2014 that you need to hit. Punk fans from all over the world come to this event to mingle with other like-minded fans. Last year the Fest expanded to four days and included Bouncing Souls, Dillinger Four, Knapsack and loads of others. It is held in venues around the town so you’ll be hopping from place to place all day to see your favourite acts.
19. Voodoo Festival, New Orleans, November
Summer music festivals are great, of course. However, you can’t forget about the ones which happen later on in the year. Maybe you just need one more weekend to end a year of great live music. If you love bands like Pearl Jam, Paramore, Boys Noize, Calvin Harris and Macklemore then this is the festival in 2014 that you’ll need to be at.
Which of the 2014 music festivals are you attending? Any more recommendations? Please, do share.