The best music festivals around the world to visit this summer

Still undecided about your travels this summer? Combine music and sightseeing with a trip that takes in a music festival as well as the local area. There might still be a drop of rain at these festivals but most are a far cry from soggy tents and food that’s seen better days!

Paris Jazz Festival

When? 11th June – 31st July 2016

Where? Paris, France


Nestled in Parc Floral de Vincennes, this free jazz festival is a must-visit if you’re in Paris during June and July. The concerts are on Saturdays and Sundays, and the pretty park is a perfect backdrop to while away a balmy afternoon with a picnic.

(Note: The concerts are free but you’ll need to pay for entrance to the park)

While you’re there…Explore Paris! Wander the city’s streets, climb the Eiffel Tower, gaze at art in The Louvre, and sample the delights of French cuisine.

Opera Festival of Arena di Verona

When? 24th June – 28th August

Where? Verona, Italy


This summer, the Opera Festival of Arena di Verona turns 94 and it’s another year of incredible opera in this spectacular open air setting. There are five titles alternating throughout the festival, with 46 performances in total. Works include Bizet’s Carmen, Verdi’s Aida, and Puccini’s Turandot, and you can expect a breathtaking mix of music, costume, theatre and emotion.

While you’re there…Wander through the beautiful, historic city of Verona and marvel at the ornate palazzos and piazzas. Take a trip to the scenic shores of Lake Garda to explore the lake, its beautiful mountain backdrop and the picturesque towns nearby.

Boardmasters Festival

When? 10th – 14th August

Where? Newquay, England

surfer riping through wave

What to expect at Boardmasters? Sun, hopefully, but definitely sea, sand, and lots of surfing. Set over five days, this energetic music and surf festival takes place in Newquay, a place that’s affectionately known as England’s surfing capital. Watch the pro surfers compete on Fistral Beach, listen to live music or marvel at the acrobatics on the skate and BMX ramps.  

While you’re there…Book a surf lesson and try your hand at catching those waves, the group lessons are great fun. Eat fish and chips at Rick Stein’s restaurant. And don’t forget to nibble a Cornish pasty!

The Good Life Experience

When? 16th – 18th September

Where? Hawarden (near Chester), England

Chester, UK - September 2nd, 2014;  Tourist promenade the old roman walls of Chester and admire the view of the Dee River

Books, music, craft workshops, artisan food, yoga, bushcraft skills…the list of things to do at this delightful festival is almost endless. And it’s all set in the great outdoors, on the rolling landscape of Hawarden Estate.

If you’re new to festivals, this might just be the one to try as this joyful, laidback festival is family-friendly (festival goers are even encouraged to bring their dogs) and there’s a spectacular line-up of music and speakers, and world-class chefs.

While you’re there…Chester, Liverpool and Manchester are all close by so you can combine the festival with a luxury city break. And don’t miss Snowdonia National Park, it’s only a couple of hours away.

Newport Folk Festival

When? 22nd – 24th July 2016

Where? Rhode Island, USA

Castle Hill Inn and rocky coast at sunset, Newport, Rhode Island, USA

Folk? Blues? Country? Bluegrass? It’s all here, in the charming Fort Adams State Park. Founded in 1959, some of the world’s greatest musicians play at this folk festival, and it showcases a range of music from the folk genre, from alt-country to indie folk, across four stages. The park overlooks Newport Harbour and has panoramic views of the East Passage of Narragansett Bay, so it’s a perfect setting for a singalong.

While you’re there…Hire a car and travel around picture-perfect Rhode Island. Sail on the water, walk along the sandy shores, sample delicious seafood and gaze at the charming architecture. Boston and New York aren’t far away so they’re ideal destinations to include if you’re considering a multi-stop trip.

Rainforest World Music Festival

When? 5th – 7th August 2016

Where? Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo


Now in its 19th year, this 3-day festival must offer one of the most spectacular festival settings in the world – the jungle. Surrounded by brilliant emerald green leaves and giant trees, festival goers can expect a delightful programme of concerts performed by local musicians and artists from all over the world. The focus is on folk, traditional and world music, and there are also educational workshops and lectures so that you can learn all about the importance of preserving the rainforest.

While you’re there…Explore the breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Area of Gunung Mulu National Park. Spot orangutans and exotic birds in Semenggoh Nature Reserve. And learn about Sarawak’s history in the fascinating Sarawak Museum.

Fuji Rock Festival

When? 22nd – 24th July 2016

Where? Niigata Prefecture, Japan

Held in the incredible mountain setting of the Naeba Ski Resort, Fuji Rock Festival is a stylish mix of music (indie, pop, jazz, rock and dance), mouthwatering cuisine and entertainment. This year, it’s the festival’s 20th anniversary and there’s a fantastic line-up of musicians from around the world. Don’t miss riding the Dragondola cable car to the top of the mountain or relaxing after a hard night’s dancing in the hot springs!

While you’re there…Take the high-speed bullet train to Tokyo. Explore bustling, fascinating Tokyo and then discover more of Japan’s breathtaking beauty and culture using the brilliant shinkansen network (high-speed bullet trains).

Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts 2017

When? 21st – 25th June, 2017

Where? Somerset, England


Tickets sell out the moment they go on sale and with good reason – Glastonbury Festival is an astounding spectacle. A wonderland of dream-like worlds created for seemingly every taste in music and art, the festival is family-friendly, eco-friendly, and plays host to some of the greatest musicians in the world.

Watch or listen to the live coverage of this year’s festival and prepare to pounce as soon as next year’s ticket sales are announced later in the year. Those agonizing, hair-pulling minutes you’ll spend trying to buy your tickets will definitely be worth it.

While you’re there…Climb to the top of Glastonbury Tor for picturesque views of the Somerset landscape, and hike the gorges and hilltops of Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. If you’re driving to or from London on your way down, you can also visit Stonehenge!

Ready to don your wellies, sunglasses, and sun hat? Get in touch with your Travel Counsellor to plan your festival trip this summer!

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