Biggest Dance Music Festivals of All Time

Around the world, music has been celebrated since the dawn of time. As a matter of fact, all celebrations revolve around music. The enjoyment people get from music is so great that we now have festivals devoted to it. Among all the festival events around the world, the one with the most attention is the dance music festival.

With that in mind, here are the top dance music festivals of all time.

Burning Man

Burning Man Project is a nonprofit organization behind the annual Burning Man Festival which provides year-round support, education, and grants to Burning Man communities in over 40 US states and 35 countries.

Based on the 10 Principles, Burning Man is a global ecosystem of artists, makers, and community organizers who create art, events, and local initiatives worldwide. Burning Man Project aims to facilitate and extend the Burning Man culture beyond the event. A few of the most notable Burning Man events are the annual gatherings of Burners to build Black Rock City, a participatory temporary metropolis in the Nevada desert.
Burning Man gets its name from its culminating ceremony: the symbolic burning of a large wooden effigy, known as the Man, that occurs on the Saturday evening before Labor Day.
Larry Harvey, co-founder of Burning Man, outlines ten principles that guide the event: radical inclusion, gifting, decommodification, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation, and immediacy.
Burning Man takes place in an area without humans, and where many animals and plants also live. Participants of Burning Man are urged to leave ‘No Trace’ of their visit to Black Rock City and not to litter, known amongst attendees as MOOP (Matter Out of Place). The major attractions of the festival are The Temple, art installations, theme camps, the artists, etc.
Get a closer look at this live set from the festival:
Now that you’re curious, Burning Man 2022 will take place between August 28 and September 5!

Ultra Music Festival

Held in Miami, Florida, the Ultra Music Festival (UMF) is an annual festival of electronic music that is held during March. It was founded in 1999 by Russell Faibisch and Alex Omes and is named after the Ultra Music label.

Though they share the same name, Ultra Music Festival and Ultra Records are not directly related. In August 2012, however, the two companies announced a “global alliance” for marketing and cross-promotion.

In its first year, the festival took place on Miami Beach, but since then, it has been held mostly in Bayfront Park in downtown Miami, except for a brief stop at Virginia Key in 2019. Approximately $995 million was generated by Ultra since 2012, with $168 million in 2018 alone.

The festival takes place alongside the Winter Music Conference, an event focusing on electronic music (which was acquired by Ultra in 2018), and Miami Music Week, a series of electronic music concerts and parties, both of which usually precede Ultra.

Under the blanket branding of Ultra Worldwide, Ultra has spawned a larger series of international franchises including events in South Africa, South Korea, Singapore, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and others.

Among the many awards won by the festival are ‘Best International Dance Music Festival’, ‘Best Electronic Music Event’, and ‘Best Electronic Music Festival’.

This year Ultra is set to make a huge comeback with a surprise act – rumor has it that it is Hardwell!

This year’s dates are March 25 to March 27. Until then, let’s see how the last one went:

Coachella

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (also known as Coachella or simply Coachella) is a music and arts festival held in Indio, California, in Coachella Valley, a valley in the Colorado Desert. It was founded in 1999 by Paul Tollett and Rick Van Santen. Goldenvoice, a subsidiary of AEG Presents, organizes the event.

Coachella is home to a variety of genres, namely rock, pop, indie, hip hop, and electronic dance music. A concert performed by Pearl Jam at the Empire Polo Club in 1993 sparked the festival’s existence.

As a result of Coachella’s success, Goldenvoice established additional music festivals at the site, including the Stagecoach country music festival in 2007, the Big 4 thrash metal festival in 2011, and the classic rock-oriented Desert Trip in 2016.

In addition to popular and established musical acts, Coachella features emerging performers and reunited groups. The festival is one of the most prestigious, lucrative, and largest in the United States and around the world.

In all Coachella festivals from 2013 to 2015, attendance and gross revenues broke records. 250,000 people attended the 2017 festival, and it grossed $114.6 million.

The Coachella Stage, Outdoor Theatre, Mojave, Gobi, Sahara, Yuma, Sonora, and the art at the festival are some of the festival’s main attractions.

It is regarded as a music and fashion trendsetter. Some of these new festivals have grown to achieve the same level of success as Coachella, such as Lollapalooza in Chicago, Governors Ball in New York City, Outside Lands in San Francisco, Stereo Picnic in Bogotá, and Bonnaroo in Tennessee. Coachella’s ticket demand was second only to the Tomorrowland festival, according to a ranking by the online ticket retailer viagogo in 2015.

A big list of artists such as The Chemical Brothers, Bob Dylan, Dom Dolla, Meute, Flume, Billie Eilish, Mega Thee Stallio, Disclosure, Oasis, The Prodigy, Foo Fighters, Black Eyed Peas, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Richie Hawtin, Kraftwerk, Radiohead, Pixies, Crystal Method, Coldplay, Nine Inch Nails have performed here.

The festival brings its magic this year on April 15 and goes on until April 24.

With more than two decades in the making, “Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert” presents a documentary which opens up the vault to present the legendary performances and behind-the-scenes stories that shaped the seminal music festival.

It presents never-before-seen footage, interviews, and key performances from some of the biggest names in music as part of a rare look at Coachella’s colorful beginnings.
Watch it below:

Creamfields

Founded and organized by British club promoter Cream, Creamfields is an annual electronic dance music festival series held every August bank holiday weekend, as well as a number of international editions.

This is the UK’s most prestigious electronic dance music festival.

First held in Winchester in 1998, the festival moved to Cream’s home city of Liverpool the following year, taking place on the former Liverpool airport, before moving to its current location on the Daresbury Estate in Cheshire. It began as a one-day event attended by 25,000 people, but it has grown into a four-day event with camping options that can accommodate 70,000 people per day.

Creamfields operates a number of international events in addition to its main UK event, including Creamfields North. Australia, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Ibiza, Mexico, etc.

The festival returns in August this year to celebrate it 25th anniversary!

It is launching a second festival, calling it Creamfields South which will take place at Hylands Park, Chelmsford. Also, the legendary Daresbury festival will now be known as Creamfields North.

The festival has featured artists such as Skrillex, Diplo, Calvin Harris, Hardwell, Eric Prydz, Sasha, Pete Tong, Ferry Corsten, etc.

EDC

The Electric Daisy Carnival, commonly called EDC, is one of the largest electronic dance music festivals in North America.

In 1991, Stephen Hauptfuhr organized the first Electric Daisy Carnival. In 1995, Philip Blaine, Pasqualle Rotella’s business partner, arranged for the use of the name Electric Daisy Carnival by Pasqualle Rotella, CEO of Insomniac Events.

The event includes three-dimensional structures, colorful glow-in-the-dark environments, and colorful LED-lit flora and fauna. EDC also features interactive art installations, free-roaming carnival performers, and carnival rides.

Several southern California venues hosted the annual electronic music festival in its early years: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Exposition Park in Los Angeles, National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino, Queen Mary Events Park in Long Beach, Lake Dolores Waterpark in Barstow, Hansen Dam in Lake View Terrace, and the International Agri-Center in Tulare. It is now held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and in Orlando each year in May.

Other EDC events have been held in other states and abroad, including Mexico, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Japan, and India. At present, EDC is held annually in Orlando, China, and Mexico, along with the main event in Las Vegas.

Brands like Corona, Smirnoff, Uber, and Tinder were sponsors of the most recent EDC events.

From 2009 to 2011, EDC became a three-day event with 230,000 attendees. Its attendance in 2015 exceeded 400,000 over three days (134,000 per day). The 2018 EDC Las Vegas festival included on-site camping. In recent versions of the festival, eight stages have been featured, each featuring a different set and genre of EDM. At the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, more than 5,000 people work on the carnival rides, four Ferris wheels, and other attractions

A percentage of the ticket sales for each flagship festival is donated to national charities and community organizations. Previously, EDC Las Vegas partnered with Surreal, a fundraising platform, in order to raise money by organizing sweepstakes for helicopter rides and other activities with popular DJs. Over $2 million has been donated since 2011.

The festival includes a variety of electronic music, including house, techno, drum and bass, and dubstep. It has featured DJs and producers from electronic dance music, including Armin van Buuren, Calvin Harris, Diplo, Alesso, Dillon Francis, Zedd, Afrojack, Seven Lions, NGHTMRE, Yellow Claw, and Tiësto.

The Electronic Music Awards also crowned EDC as Festival of the Year in 2017.

As we gear for the 2022 edition, watch a recap of the previous editions here:

Red Rocks

We realise it’s a venue, but performing here is a dream of a lifetime for many performers.

The Red Rocks Amphitheatre (also known as just Red Rocks) is an open-air structure built into the side of a rock wall. It is located in the western United States near Morrison, Colorado, sixteen miles (28 km) west of Denver. Over the years, many notable performances and recordings for film and television have taken place there.

It is located in Red Rocks Park, part of the Denver Mountain Parks, and is owned and operated by the City and County of Denver. As part of the purchase of Red Rocks, the city began construction on the amphitheatre in 1936, and it opened in June 1941.
As of June 2015, there is a Colorado Music Hall of Fame at the Trading Post at Red Rocks.
It is a large rock in the shape of a disc that looms behind the stage. There’s a rock that rises vertically from stage right. On stage left, there are several large outcrops that jut outwards. With the skyline of downtown visible on the left, the audience faces east-northeast toward southern Denver.
Red Rocks was selected by the American Institute of Architects to be Colorado’s entry in the National Gallery of Art’s Centennial Exhibition in 1957.
Following the eleventh year of Red Rocks being named best small outdoor venue by Pollstar magazine, the magazine changed the name of the award to the Red Rocks Award and dropped Red Rocks from consideration. In October 2020, construction began on replacing the existing stage roof and structure.
In 2021, Red Rocks Amphitheatre was named the world’s highest-grossing and most-attended concert venue.

Among the notable performers are Skrillex, Illenium, Above & Beyond, San Holo, Incubus, U2, Rezz, Daft Punk, and the legendary Beatles.

Watch one of the live sets here:

Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland is a Belgian electronic dance music festival that has been held since 2005 in Boom, Flanders. There is no festival more flamboyant and more famous than this.

Over 1.2 billion views from over 200 million people made Tomorrowland the most popular social media music event in the world.

Besides the main festival, TomorrowWorld, Tomorrowland Brazil, Tomorrowland Winter, and Unite with Tomorrowland are spin offs.

The first edition of the festival was held on 15 August 2005. The festival was organized by Manu Beers, Michiel Beers, and ID&T. Among the performers were Push (M.I.K.E. ), Armin van Buuren, Cor Fijneman, Yves Deruyter, Technoboy, Yoji Biomehanika and Coone.

The festival has hosted artists like DVLM, Kshmr, Axwell, David Guetta, Nervo, Hardwell, Carl Cox, Laidback Luke, etc

The stage attractions at the festival include the Mainstage, Atmosphere, Vage,  Casa Corona, Core, Garden Of Madness, Harbour House, Kara Savio, Leaf, Lotus, Rave Cave, Rose Garden, etc

From its debut in 2005, the mainstage has grown and evolved into the festival’s focal point. Since then, it has become the largest and most elaborate stage of any festival around the globe. On the mainstage, all headline acts tend to be more mainstream, and the sets continue until 1am. Every year, the festival’s mainstage has a different design; which is based on the festival theme for that year.

Another representative of the festival is the Tomorrowland flag.

A white diagonal stripe separates each of the festival’s quadrants, which are then bordered on each side by a black diagonal stripe that extends toward the corners of the flag. The flag features the Tomorrowland logo on a background with the festival’s logo centered in the center.

An eye, a crown, and a butterfly are featured in the festival logo. Butterfly symbolizes freedom, nature’s beauty, and the purity of the human soul. The crown signifies equality and stewardship, while the eye encourages people to care for each other and appreciate nature. Each of the four background colors represents an element of nature – water, earth, fire, and air.

With every flag purchased, Tomorrowland donates five euros to the Tomorrowland Foundation, a global charity that teaches music, dance, and the arts to children around the world.

The festival is back to raise the bar even higher.

Tomorrowland announced in December 2021 that the festival would expand to three weekends in 2022! The 2022 edition will now take place on July 15–17, July 22–24, and July 29–31.

They have also announced their winter edition for 2022.

Catch up on the past editions here:

Mysteryland

Organized by the Dutch promoter ID&T, Mysteryland is an electronic music festival in the Netherlands. Due to its status as the first of its kind in the country when it was established, its organizers have referred to the event as the oldest dance music festival in the Netherlands.

The 2022 edition is scheduled to take place at the Haarlemmermeerse Bos in Haarlemmermeer, an exhibition ground that hosted an edition of the Dutch gardening festival Floriade.

The event is usually held the last weekend in August. The next one will be August 26th-28th, 2022. From a one-day to a three-day festival with camping, the festival has changed since 2015.

Mysteryland welcomes more than 100.000 visitors annually from more than 100 countries. Mysteryland was held for the first time outside the Netherlands in Chile in 2011.

During Memorial Day weekend, May 2014, Mysteryland USA, the American version of Mysteryland, took place at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, site of the Woodstock festival in 1969.

Kaskade, Moby, Steve Aoki, Dillon Francis, and Flosstradamus were among the headliners in the past.

Here are the highlights of the previous edition:

Sunburn Festival

Asia’s premier dance music festival, Sunburn is ranked among the world’s biggest festivals.

The Festival was founded by serial entrepreneur Shailendra Singh while he was Executive Director of Percept. According to the 2014 IMS APAC Business Report, the festival grew to become the 3rd largest dance festival in the world after Tomorrowland and Ultra.

From its humble beginnings as a 3-day music festival in Goa in 2007, Sunburn has grown into an aspirational lifestyle brand offering an eclectic mix of music, entertainment, experiences, and celebration that has sparked music tourism in India. It has positioned India as a top dance festival destination in the world for more than a decade by bringing renowned international and Indian artists together to entertain hundreds of thousands of dance music lovers across the country and overseas.

Various Sunburn Festival formats, including Sunburn Reload, Sunburn Arena, Sunburn City Festival, and Sunburn Campus, have enabled a broad geographical and demographic reach in India and abroad.
The festival has been responsible for bringing down the world’s top DJs such as Swedish House Mafia, Martin Garrix, Tiesto, Avicii, Hardwell, Deadmau5, Afrojack, Above & Beyond, the Chainsmokers, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Marshmello, Paul Van Dyk, Skazi, Pete Tong, Dash Berlin, and Nicky Romero.
Besides Colombo and Khatmandu, Sunburn has also debuted across Dubai, Muscat, and Melbourne, thereby becoming the first indigenous music IP to achieve international success.
This year’s Holi edition of the festival featured world-renowned artists Alan Walkers and Kshmr.
The festival’s fans cannot wait for the annual event to begin!

Electric Zoo

The worldwide acclaimed Electric Zoo Festival is a music festival held on Randall’s Island every Labor Day weekend in New York City that features the finest artists from around the world and across a variety of sub-genres of electronic music.

As part of the festival’s sustainability initiatives, it has introduced a recycling program for all trash and water containers made from cardboard, compostable plates and utensils, begun using 100% biodiesel from NYC fryer grease, and insisted that all food vendors source only organic, hormone-free, humanely raised animals.

A number of editions of Electric Zoo have been held internationally, including in Mexico City, Tokyo, Shanghai, and So Paulo.
The festival received International Dance Music Awards nominations in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 for “Best Music Event”.
In DJ Mag’s top 50 dance music festivals, it ranked No.41.

Lost Lands Festival

Formerly known as Legend Valley, Lost Lands is an outdoor concert venue located in Thornville, Ohio, approximately two miles from Buckeye Lake. Bass music fans know it as the paradise of bass music and dubstep legend Excision makes it his home.

The festival has featured artists such as Illenium, Herobust, KAYZO, Habstrakt, Wooli, NGHTMRE, ATLiens, Ghastly, Marauda, etc

The 5th annual Lost Lands Festival returns to Legend Valley in Thornville, OH on September 23rd-25th, 2022!

Watch the trailer here:

Glastonbury Festival

Pilton, Somerset, in England is the site of the yearly Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts. Besides contemporary music, the festival features dance, comedy, theatre, circus, and cabaret.

The first festival, then called Pilton Festival, was hosted by Michael Eavis after he saw an open-air Led Zeppelin concert at the 1970 Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music.
The festival is a major event in British culture, inspired by the hippie movement, the counterculture of the 1960s, and the free festival movement. These traditions are preserved in the Green Fields area, which includes sections called the Green Futures and Healing Fields.
Thousands of others performed on smaller stages and in performance areas along with leading pop and rock artists. Several films and albums have been recorded at the festival, and it receives extensive media coverage.
The festival is attended by at least 200,000 people each year.
Watch the video to dip deep into the festival:

EXIT Festival

Founded in 2000, EXIT is a summer music festival which is held at the Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad, Serbia. The festival was founded in Novi Sad, Serbia in 2000 as a student movement fighting for democracy and freedom in Serbia and the Balkans.

Seven events are organized by Exit in five countries in South-East Europe: No Sleep Festival in Belgrade, Serbia, in April and November; Sea Star Festival in Umag, Croatia; Exit Festival in Novi Sad, Serbia; Sunland Festival in Primorsko, Bulgaria; Revolution Festival (Timişoara, Romania) and Sea Dance Festival in Budva, Montenegro; and Ada Divine Awakening Festival in Ada Bojana, Montenegro.

The festival has hosted artists like Solomun, Loco Dice,  Boris Brejcha, Hot Since 82,  Ben Klock, etc

The festival has twice won the European Festivals Award’s ‘Best Major Festival award’, in 2013 and 2017. In 2007, EXIT was also named “Best European Festival” at the UK Festival Awards.
The Regional Cooperation Council awarded EXIT Festival as the Champion for Regional Cooperation for 2017.

This years edition is set to take place between July 7 – 10.

Watch the trailer here:

Shambala Festival

Shambhala Festival is an annual electronic music festival held in the West Kootenay mountains near Nelson, British Columbia, Canada during the last week of July at the Salmo River Ranch, a 500-acre farm. The festival lasts 4 days and 3 nights and features both music and art in nature. It began in 1998 and has grown into one of Canada’s largest and longest-running electronic music festivals.
The local Boston Pizza in Kamloops BC is a popular meeting place beforehand since it is on the way from the coast and provides an excellent hitchhiking waypoint. This is a family-run event without corporate sponsorship.
During the summer months, the ranch becomes home to volunteers and event staff who prepare for and organise the event. A total of seven performance stages are available: The Living Room, AMP (AMPhitheater – previously called Rock Pit/Jungle Pit), The Fractal Forest, The Village, The Grove (formerly known as The Labyrinth, The Portal, The Inner Sanctum), and The Grove: Cedar Lounge.
The festival has also released a DVD highlighting its 10-year history in 2008. From the perspective of DJs, people in charge, medical volunteers, and other characters, the film “follows a year in the life of Shambhala.

Watch the trailer for 2022 edition here:

ADE

A five-day electronic music festival and conference, Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) is held annually in mid-October.
Organised by The Amsterdam Dance Event Foundation, the event offers a full program of daytime conference events at ADE Pro, ADE Tech, ADE University, ADE Beamlab, ADE Green, ADE Sound Lab and ADE Beats alongside the ADE By Day festival schedule and the ADE Festival, which takes place over five days and features 1,000 events and 2,500 artists. One of the most notable events will be the Amsterdam Music Festival (AMF) on Saturday night.
ADE conference venues include DeLaMar Theater (ADE Pro, ADE Green, and ADE TECH), De Brakke Grond & Compagnietheater (ADE Sound Lab & Beam Lab), and Generator Hostel (ADE University). Aspiring musicians can also meet some of the world’s most popular and in-demand artists, DJs, and producers face-to-face through ADE Sound Lab, where they can get expert opinions on their work.
A total of over 400,000 clubbers and music enthusiasts will be entertained throughout the city by the day and nighttime line-up, which includes over 2,500 recording artists as well as upcoming local and international talent.
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