10 Biggest Music Festivals in the World

Many of us are fond of live music. The sheer chills that go down our spine when you hear that one line or when an artist makes a grand entrance onto the stage – that feeling is unmatched. Thousands of people gather in a place to celebrate music. Some even make a long journey to music festivals to support or enjoy performances by the huge lineups, including local, international, and world-renowned artists.

These music festivals attract thousands – in some cases, MILLIONS of people. But some of the most popular music festivals in the world are yet to cross the one million mark in terms of how many people attended them. However, there are music festivals that have been able to draw a lot more people. Here are some of the biggest music festivals in the world –

Essence Festival

The Essence music festival began in 1995. However, it was only an event that celebrated Essence magazine’s 25th anniversary. Now, decades later, the festival has become an annual celebration that draws around 500,000 attendees. It is a four-day festival that takes place during the fourth of July Weekend of each year. The 2022 lineup for the festival included greats like Janet Jackson, Nicki Minaj, and Jazmine Sullivan. However, you can find everything from fresh talents to famous DJs, and other ICONIC names at Essence. 

Sziget Festival

The Sziget Festival is a six-day long music festival held every August in Hungary. Dua Lipa, Arctic Monkeys, Kings of Leon, Tame Impala, Alan Walker, Nina Kraviz, Alison Wonderland, and more performed at the Sziget Festival this year. As per Hungary Today, around 450,000 people attended the 2022 edition of this music festival. However, Sziget attracted a crowd of about 530,000 in 2019. 

Tomorrowland 

Most electronic dance music fans wish to attend Tomorrowland at least once in their lifetime. It brings the biggest stars in electronic music to one huge festival with a lineup of EDM, house, techno, drum and bass artists, among many others. The likes of Armin van Buuren, Martin Garrix, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Diplo, Carl Cox, Charlotte de Witte, Steve Aoki, and Tiësto, among many others, have taken over the Tomorrowland stage. After the festival was canceled twice due to the pandemic, this year, Tomorrowland sold 600,000 tickets. 

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

Coachella is one of the most popular music festivals in the world. It boasts a star-studded lineup and naturally draws a lot of visitors. The festival is held in California on consecutive three-day weekends with live music from genres of music like pop, rock, hip hop, indie, and electronic dance music.

The festival’s inaugural headliners in 1999 were Rage Against the Machine and Tool. Since then, the biggest names in the music business like the Beastie Boys, Coldplay, Prince, Paul McCartney, Jay-Z, Gorillaz, Kanye West, ACDC, Drake, Guns N’ Roses, Calvin Harris, Radiohead, Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, Beyoncé, Eminem, Ariana Grande, and Billie Eilish, and many more were headliners at Coachella. According to HITC, the music festival attracted about 750,000 people in 2022. 

Pol’and’Rock Festival

The Pol’and’Rock Festival was known as Woodstock Festival Poland. This music festival in Poland draws a crowd of up to 750,000 people. They could either be camping on-site or just visiting to see a show. Entrance to this music festival has no charges. Apart from enjoying the incredible music and amazing energy, you can also attend workshops at Pol’and’Rock Festival. 

Rock, electronic music, hip hop, reggae, heavy metal, indie, and artists from various genres are included in the lineup to make sure everyone has a good time. Jinger, Wolf Alice, Clutch, Stake, and Dirty Shirt were a part of this year’s lineup of the festival that was held in early August.

Summerfest

This year, the annual Summerfest music festival was held from June 23 to 25, June 30 to July 2, and July 7-9, 2022. Started in 1968, the music festival takes place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Hundreds of bands and musicians take the Summerfest stage to perform before thousands of people. From new talents to established musicians in the music business, brilliant performers are a part of the lineup to offer an unforgettable weekend at the festival. This year’s lineup included star-studded names like Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Machine Gun Kelly, Avril Lavigne, Halsey, and Backstreet Boys, among others. About 800,000 people attend Summerfest each year.

Rock in Rio

Some of the biggest and incredibly popular artists have played at Rock in Rio. Find the most well-known rock, pop, and hip-hop artists of this generation like Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, Iron Maiden, Post Malone, Marshmello, Jason Derulo, Migos, Guns N’ Roses, and Måneskin at this year’s Rock in Rio festival next month.

Green Day, Fall Out Boy, Coldplay, Camilla Cabello, Bastille, Dua Lipa, Megan Thee Stallion, and Rita Ora, and other exciting names will be performing at the festival’s original and flagship event. This music festival runs for a week and offers over 300 shows. 1.5 million people attended the first edition of this festival in 1985. 

The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

In 2004, The Festival International de Jazz de Montreal was ranked the “largest jazz festival” by Guinness World Record. At the time, the music festival attracted 1,913,868 people for its 25th anniversary year in Québec, Canada. The festival’s 43rd edition will be held from June 29 to July 8, 2023, at the Quartier des spectacles.

The ten-day music festival has both indoor and outdoor concerts with over hundreds of performances with artists coming from far and wide. The Festival International de Jazz de Montreal first began in 1980 and has since seen millions of visitors with fans of all types of jazz music leaving with an experience they will always cherish.

Mawazine

Famous musicians such as Rihanna, David Guetta, Whitney Houston, Martin Garrix, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, DJ Snake, Shakira, Marshmello, Bruno Mars, The Weeknd, The Black Eyed Peas, and Travis Scott have taken the Mawazine stage in Rabat, Morocco. Mawazine, which started in 2001, has drawn over 2 million people at its festival. Local and international acts have performed on stages at the Mawazine festival, where access is mostly free except in the VIP areas. This is one of the largest annual music festivals on the planet and has a nine-day run.

Donauinselfest

Vienna’s Donauinselfest is the largest music festival in the world. Over 3.3 million people attended the music festival in June 2015. Therefore, Donauinselfest holds the Guinness World Record title of “largest attendance at a music festival (one location).” This is an outdoor music festival. The entrance to Donauinselfest is free. Every year, patrons from all over the world flock to Vienna to attend the music festival. 

Donauinselfest takes place on Danube Island in Vienna, Austria. Both local and international artists playing at Donauinselfest cover various genres, including pop, rock, rap, folk, indie, hip hop, electronic music, and much more. The likes of Taio Cruz, Sean Paul, Shaggy, Vienna Symphony, and Robin Schulz have performed here. Thousands of volunteers and staff help make sure the festival runs smoothly.

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Featured Image adapted via Daily Music Roll.

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