Those of you who read my blog regularly will know that I’m a music festival junkie. I’ve been to 17 Oppikoppi festivals, 6 RAMFests, 5 STRABs, 1 FORR, 2 Up The Creek festivals, 5 Mieliepop festivals, 3 Otterlake festivals and countless others.
I just love the vibe, the people, the abundance of booze, the amazing music–—basically everything that goes along with music festivals. I’ve only been to festivals in South Africa and Mozambique, but I’ve always set my sights on festivals that happen in Europe and the USA, and was recently featured in an article about the music festivals that I want to attend one day.
1. Tomorrowland Festival (Belgium)
I’m not a huge fan of electronic music, but I’m someone who likes to experience new things and Tomorrowland is definitely on my bucket list of festivals. This festival was first held in 2005 and takes place 16 km South of Antwerp and 32 km North of Brussels, in a town called Boom.
It’s one of the biggest electronic festivals in the world. By 2008 the amount of festival attendees reached 50,000 and the amount of DJs performing reached 100. Since then the festival has grown, reaching attending figures of 120,000 over two days in 2010; more than 180,000 in 2011 and over 360,000 in 2014. The amount of DJs performing every year now exceeds 400.
Tickets for the 2016 edition of the festival have already been sold out, even though the line-up has not been announced yet. Tickets usually sell out within 2 days. It’s interesting to note that people from more than 200 countries attend Tomorrowland every year (more countries in the General Assembly at the UN).
Festival attendees are encouraged to show their colours (or flags) off to indicate which country they’re hailing from. Check out the Tomorrowland 2015 After Movie below to get an idea of the vibe…
2. Bonnaroo Festival (USA)
This festival is held every year in June at Great Stage Park near the town of Manchester, Tennessee (a city just over 60 miles South of Nashville). Bonnaroo caters for all music genres.
This year’s headlining acts include Pearl Jam, Dead & Company (who are playing two sets), LCD Soundsystem & Ellie Goulding. Last year 189 acts performed at the festival (including Kendrick Lamar, D’Angelo, Bleachers and Mumford & Sons).
The Bonnaroo Festival grounds are as big as 375 football fields (about 10 times more than the entire NFL has). More than 80,000 people attend the festival, making Manchester, Tenessee the 7th largest city in the state for that weekend. 55 percent of Bonnaroo festival-goers travel 500 miles or more to attend the festival.
Bonnaroo was first held in 2002. The festival has been ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the “50 Moments That Changed Rock & Roll”, the “Festival of the Decade” by Consequence of Sound, and among the 10 Best Festivals by GQ Magazine.
The rand/dollar might see its arse more in the nearby future, but I’m definitely thinking of saving up to get my arse here. Those who find themselves in a position where more is an option should consider saving up for a private jet charter to the festivals of their choice. Check out this official recap video of the 2014 edition of the Bonnaroo festival:
3. Download Festival (UK)
The first edition of this hard rock / metal / punk / alternative festival was held in 2003. Download Festival is held at Donnington Park (2.5 hours drive North West of London) in the UK.
Rammstein, Korn, Killswitch Engage, Alien Ant Farm, Black Sabbath, Deftones, Megadeth, Rival Sons, Iron Maiden, Nightwish, Disturbed, Shinedown, Halestorm and tons of other metal / hard rock / punk acts have been confirmed for the 2016 edition of the festival, which takes place from the 10th to the 12th of June.
More than 120,000 people make their way to Download Festival every year. In 2013 more than 1.2 million pints of beer was sold at the festival (about 600,000 liters) and more than 650,000 burgers were consumed by festival goers. More than 8,000 people work at the festival every year. In 2013 about 1,800 of them were security staff and more than 500 were medical staff.
Tickets for this year’s festival are still available. Expect to pay anything from £190 (for a weekend pass) upwards. The Rand / £ exchange rate is in shambles, but I’m definitely making an effort to go to a Download Festival one day.
Well, there you have it, 3 Music Festivals that I want to attend one day.
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If you live in South Africa and you're looking for a live music gig or music festival to attend, feel free to check The SA Gig Guide on our sister site (SA Music Zone).
You're also welcome to feed your brain some knowledge on our other sister site, (Interesting Facts).