14 International Music Festivals Worth Traveling for This Summer
Fun in the sun, plus some overseas tunes.
The joys of a well-crafted summer music festival are plentiful. Basking in Vitamin D alongside like-minded folks, dancing (or swaying) your face off to your favorite bands as you all bake under the hot sun? Well, that’s the stuff. Maybe you’ll even run into your favorite musicians on the festival grounds, before or after exploring immersive world-building installations and eating some of the best food around—all while staying extremely hydrated, of course.
Now, take all that festival fun and transport it to cities that double as worthy vacation destinations in themselves, throw in rosters packed with local and internationally known performers, and you’ve got our list of the 14 best international music festivals to check out this summer.
Head to England for Glastonbury, then spend a few days kicking around London soaking up ol’ Buckingham Palace and all the charms of the new-old city has to offer. Zip over to Poland for Open’er, then pay a visit to a formerly chonky cat who now raises awareness for animal shelters. Or traipse through the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces in the Swiss Riviera while you’re in town for the world renown Montreux Jazz Festival.
Or, if you feel like it, do all three. Who says you have to pick just one song—or city—of the summer? We say collect them all.
Where: Porto, Portugal
When: Thursday, June 6–Saturday, June 8
The lowdown: Initially created as a one-day outlet for Spanish noise music in Barcelona, the Primavera brand has grown into an eclectic global powerhouse, with editions gracing stages in Los Angeles, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Madrid, and São Paulo. But of the offerings, Porto’s may be the most intimate of the bunch, and as such, arguably the chillest. Held in the largest city park in Portugal, lush with trees and just a stone’s throw away from the Atlantic Ocean, fest-goers can smell the sea air while snacking on traditional petiscos (a.k.a. Portuguese tapas) and enjoying the fruits of their pledge of a gender-equitable lineup. We’re talking 41% female, including acts like PJ Harvey, Mitski, and SZA, who’s making her Portugese debut. Don’t forget your swimsuit: If you get too sweaty, Matosinhos, Porto's most popular beach, is within walking distance.
The lineup: Performers include Mitski, Lana Del Ray, Justice, PJ Harvey, Pulp, The National, SZA, Lambchop, Tropical Fuck Storm, Blonde Redhead, and more.
The cost: Single-day passes start at €75 per person. Three-day passes start at €175 per person. Buy yours here.
Where: Barcelona, Spain
When: Thursday, June 13–Saturday, June 15
The lowdown: For fans of easygoing French electronica (or Virgin Suicides), the band Air holds a special place in the heart. Which means that for them, and many others, one of this summer’s hottest tickets is seeing the duo perform their 1998 debut album Moon Safari in full. The most bang for your buck show will be at Barcelona’s Sónar festival, an electronic music shindig and so much more, as they join a lineup with acts including Jessie Ware, Vince Staples, and DJ Floating Points.
It’s not hyperbole to say that for some Barcelona-bound travelers, Sónar appeal is as huge as Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia, but it didn’t get its outsized reputation on music alone. Now in its 31st year, the festival’s mission throughout its tenure has been to promote innovation. Daytime programming includes Sónar+D, an international meeting of art, science, and digital culture bringing together trailblazers to explore the future of creativity. The intersection and integration of tech is particularly spotlighted, with the AI & Blockchain Creative Summit as well as the +RAIN Film Festival, which showcases the use of AI in cinema, and a full section of the music lineup dedicated to exploring AI with artists like the Mexican coder MUTUALISMX combining ancestral tradition with futuristic technique.
The lineup: Performers include Air, Yosef, horsegiirL, TOMMY CASH, Blck Mamba, Jessie Ware, Vince Staples, Hadren, MUTUALISMX, and more.
The cost: Single-day passes start at €80 per person. Three-day passes start at €130 per person. Buy yours here.
Where: Somerset, England
When: Wednesday, June 26–Sunday, June 30
The lowdown: Evolving from a free festival in 1971 with 12,000 attendees and David Bowie and Fairport Convention as its headliners, the Glastonbury Festival is virtually its own city at this point. In fact, it’s said to be the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world, covering 900 acres in the historic Vale of Avalon with a perimeter of eight and a half miles. It’s ever-evolving, too, with the recent addition of the post-apocalyptic Art Deco-inspired Lonely Hearts Club stage within the Silver Hayes dance area, and the 2023 introduction of the Carhenge installation, which doubles as a curious musical backdrop. But you can always count on the iconic Pyramid stage, now in its third incarnation and having hosted everyone from The Rolling Stones to Radiohead. This year’s festival lineup is yet to be announced (rumors include Madonna and Pearl Jam), but as to be expected with a shindig of this size, every taste will be satiated. And if last year is any indication, even those who enjoy partaking in flash mobs.
The lineup: TBA (view previous lineups here)
The cost: Five-day general admission passes start at £355 per person (includes camping). The festival is sold out, but you can try your luck here.
Where: Bucharest, Romania
When: Friday, July 5–Sunday, July 7
The lowdown: If your knowledge of Romania starts and finishes at Dracula’s castle, you should probably turn your attention to their festival scene. The Balkan country is home to a virtual murderer’s row of EDM and rock festivals (including the legendary electronica-leaning Untold, held this August in none other than Transylvania). First launched in 2021 after a pandemic delay, the audiovisual Saga Festival is the new kid on the block. And it’s still going strong with more than 100 performers spread over three days and just as many performance areas. Plus, immersive art installations, a VIP lounge, and lights and smoke as far as the eye can see. An extra bonus for travel nerds? It’s all going down inside an airport where hangars—and, in some cases, even a plane—double as stages.
The lineup: Performers include Armin Van Buuren, ARTBAT, Dennis Lloyd, James Hype, Loreen, Nico Moreno, Raye, and more.
The cost: Three-day passes start at €110 per person. Buy yours here.
Where: Gdynia, Poland
When: Wednesday, July 3–Saturday, July 6
The lowdown: Another airport festival, this time popping off inside the unfinished Gdynia-Kosakowo Airport in northern Poland, a stark setting for a robust lineup of pop music stars like Dua Lipa and Doja Cat. The biggest festival in the country with an eye towards environmental protection, both camping and free shuttle buses are available. Also on brand? A festival town featuring food and clothing vendors that utilize local products, certified organic food, fair-trade and slow food principles, and biodegradable packaging.
The lineup: Performers include Foo Fighters, Måneskin, Ice Spice, Dua Lipa, Air, 21 Savage, Doja Cat, Noname, Michael Kiwanuka, Sofi Tukker, Skrillex, and more.
The cost: Single-day passes start at 495zł per person. Buy yours here.
Where: Montreux, Switzerland
When: Friday, July 5–Saturday, July 20
The lowdown: There are a few musical ways you may be acquainted with the resort town of Montreux. As the setting for the destructive fire recounted in Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water.” As Freddie Mercury’s last home, with a statue of him to boot. Or as the setting of the Montreux Jazz Festival, which since 1967 has been adding some grit to the glamorous Swiss Riviera with what is now a two-week-long event encompassing multiple venues. Founder Claude Nobs was well ahead of his time when it came to programming and abandoned the fest’s original jazz premise early on, building up a massive archive of musicians including everyone from Alice Cooper to Aretha Franklin to Beck to, of course, Deep Purple. And even though the festival has reached legendary status, it continues to reinvent itself. This year, in addition to returning to the historic Casino and adding a slate of free shows across 11 stages, a new stage will be built on Lake Geneva itself, for some spectacular musical sunsets.
The lineup: TBA (view previous lineups here)
The cost: Some venues are free, while single-show passes start at CHF 88 per person. Buy yours here.
Where: Oropos, Greece
When: Wednesday, June 26–Thursday, July 4
The lowdown: Since its beginnings in 1996, Rockwave has basically become another temple in Greece. But this time, it’s a temple of rock. At the verdant Terra Vibe Park in Oropos, pristine mountains welcome guests for a week of open-air camping and a musical lineup showcasing big names like Mika, Opeth, and Machine Head, as well as under-the-radar performers like Turkish ska outfit 100 °C.
The lineup: Performers include Mika, Machine Head, Rotting Christ, and more.
The cost: Single-day passes start at €59 per person. Buy yours here.
Where: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK
When: Wednesday, July 10–Saturday, July 13
The lowdown: This darling of the UK mid-level festival scene was started by six friends in search of an alternative to the overwhelming mega-offerings like Glastonbury. Partnering with a farm in the Cotswolds for an impossibly idyllic setting, today’s 2000trees lures approximately 10,000 attendees who make the trip to see their faves take the stage in a family-friendly, relatively intimate setting (genres run the gamut, but if they’re being honest, “most of the bands do tend to hold guitars”). Held over three days, guests can opt to shuttle in for the day or spend the night in vintage tents, glamping digs, or crowd-pleasing colorful beach huts. But don’t dwell too much on sleep—the best times happen when you’re awake, with a lineup including Manchester Orchestra, Death From Above 1979, and The Gaslight Anthem. Plus, a silent disco.
The lineup: Performers include Manchester Orchestra, Death From Above 1979, The Gaslight Anthem, Hot Mulligan, Creeper, and more.
The cost: Single-day passes start at £36 per person. Four-day passes start at £177 per person. Buy yours here.
Where: Byron Bay, Australia
When: Friday, July 19–Sunday, July 21
The lowdown: Since 2001, Australia’s largest festival has been running as an alternative activity during winter months. But winter in coastal Byron Bay doesn’t necessarily mean cold weather, as July temperatures range from 59 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit. In other words, perfectly cool for dancing your bum off to acts like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Lizzo, Flume (who in 2023 celebrated a decade in the industry with a festival exclusive), and Mumford & Sons—provided it doesn’t flood like it did a couple of years ago. Besides a highly anticipated roster, the festival offers a camping experience and a wealth of interactive attractions in their Global Village, including a comedy stage, science tent, tarot readings, massages, and an Indigenous-led dance showcase.
The lineup: TBA (view previous lineups here)
The cost: TBA (sign up for email alerts here)
Where: Boom, Belgium
When: Friday, July 19–Sunday, July 21 and Friday, July 26–Sunday, July 28
The lowdown: Even if you’ve never been to Belgium, you’ve probably heard of Tomorrowland. Launched in 2005, the colossal EDM extravaganza has since birthed spinoffs like the short-lived TomorrowWorld outside of Atlanta plus the still-running Tomorrowland Winter in the French Alps and Tomorrowland Brasil. Clearly, this festival is about much more than just putting world-renowned dance artists on a stage, and made a name for itself by creating transcendent worlds via elaborate sets—think an EDM Burning Man, with accommodations ranging from an area to pitch your own tent to luxury glamping mansions. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2024, this year’s festival theme is “LIFE” complete with a video trailer and reading materials describing the wild natural world of Silvyra, “where the conjunction of the two moons is about to happen” and the Elixir of Life was first brewed. This is a 24-hour affair, so if you do get handed such an elixir, maybe think twice before you ingest.
The lineup: Performers include Amelie Lens, Tiesto, David Guetta, Bonobo, Swedish House Mafia, Alesso, REZZ and Deadmau5 (performing as REZZMAU5), and more.
The cost: Single-day passes start at €125 per person. Three-day passes start at €295 per person. Sold out but you can try your luck here.
Where: Niigata, Japan
When: Friday, July 26–Sunday, July 28
The lowdown: The first Fuji Rock Festival was a legendary disaster. It was hit by a typhoon, with the Red Hot Chili Peppers playing through the storm despite lead singer Anthony Kiedis’s broken arm. Still, it persisted. Two years later, the festival moved four hours away to the Naeba Ski Resort but kept the Mt. Fuji name. Today, what’s become the largest music festival in Japan spans three days, 200 musicians, and hundreds of thousands of attendees. Situated just a 90-minute train ride from Tokyo, the setting is one the most gorgeous ever, with hot springs to soak in and nature walks to explore. Plus the Dragondola, the longest gondola in Japan, which takes attendees on a scenic 20-minute ride above the mountains over to the Day Dreaming stage.
The lineup: Performers include Kraftwerk, Girl in Red, Turnstile, Floating Points, The Last Dinner Party, Yin Yin, Rufus Wainwright, and more.
The cost: Single-day passes start at ¥22,500 per person. Buy yours here.
Where: Oslo, Norway
When: Tuesday, August 6–Saturday, August 10
The lowdown: Øya means “island” and, you guessed it, the festival got its start on Norway’s Kalvøya Island. In 2001, it shifted over to the city of Oslo, and stands as the largest outdoor fest in the country, reachable by public transportation and walkable from the city center. It kicks off small, however, with a club night on Tuesday taking over multiple urban venues, before launching a Wednesday-through-Saturday lineup that includes Pulp, Queens of the Stone Age, PJ Harvey, André 3000, and The Smile, a side project from Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood. Now in its 25th year, it’s also one of the greenest festivals around, running on 90% renewable energy, with food served in compostable packaging and a total recycling rate of 75%.
The lineup: Performers include Pulp, Queens of the Stone Age, André 3000, The National, PJ Harvey, The Smile, Big Thief, Sampha, The Kills, and more.
The cost: Single-day passes tickets start at NOK 1,454 per person. Five-day passes start at NOK 3,964 per person. Buy yours here.
Where: Brecon Beacons, Wales
When: Thursday, August 15–Sunday, August 18
The lowdown: The green part of the Green Man festival begins with its setting. Wales is known for stunning scenery and the festival’s location—set on the Glanusk Estate in Brecon Beacons National Park—is no exception, with the surrounding mountains forming a natural amphitheater. Beginning as a folk festival in the mid-2000s, it now hits all genres throughout a manageable mid-level bash with grounds you can walk across in 15 minutes or so, and its 10 stages support exhibitions on literature, film, comedy, theater, science, and other interests in a veritable cultural smorgasbord. Do some sunrise yoga in the wellness area, camp in the Green Man Settlement, and try the festival’s very own Green Man Beer. That’s the only branding you’ll find, by the way, as the festival has eschewed corporate sponsorship in favor of promoting Welsh-made food and drink. The other green component? You’ll find lots of sustainability efforts throughout, from utilizing solar power and flatware made from recycled materials to encouraging vendors to source local produce.
The lineup: TBA (view previous lineups here)
The cost: Four-day passes start at £235 per person. The festival is sold out, but you can try your luck here.
Where: Novalja, Croatia
When: Sunday, August 18–Thursday, August 22
The lowdown: Dance to a soundtrack of house and techno, cool off in the ocean breeze, then wash the sweat away in the Adriatic Sea between sets. This is the promise of the Sonus Festival, held on Zrće Beach on the party island of Pag (which, fun fact, is also known for its cheese—make sure to pick some up). With supplemental activities like rock climbing, off-roading, windsurfing and bungee jumping galore, it’s long been the go-to open air rave for beat-thumping fans, and this year’s five-day, dusk-till-dawn affair celebrates with its usual curation of heavy-hitters and underground musicians, plus plenty of pool and boat parties. When in Croatia…
The lineup: Performers include Adam Beyer, Adriatique, Richie Hawtin, Sven Väth, Chris Stussy, Reinier Zonneveld, Seth Troxler, and more.
The cost: Five-day passes start at €219 per person. Buy yours here.