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The World's Best Festivals

A window into the living human museum of festival life. Learn more about the most diverse gatherings and iconic spectacles of our time at

136 Pins

Cannabis Cup: The Amsterdam festival is more than just a bunch of stoners getting high. It's a five-day celebration of the wonderful world of weed.

Cannabis Cup - Oostelijke Eilanden en Kadijken

Burning Of The Clocks: A magical procession of brightly lit lanterns to mark the winter solstice culminating in an epic fireball on Brighton beach.

Burning Of The Clocks

Bumbershoot Festival: There is the standard large line-up of musical acts performing on multiple stages, but the festival also highlights stand-up comedians, literature, theater, film, visual arts, history, pop culture, and so much more—all with a focus on Seattle and the Pacific NW whenever possible.

Bumbershoot - Lower Queen Anne - Seattle, WA

AfrikaBurn: While just 10-15% as large as its mother event, Burning Man, AfrikaBurn is a festival-on-the-rise that's attracting more and more visitors from more than 50 countries around the world.

Scottish Highland Games: Centuries old competitions measure a man's and a woman's strength and character at the Scottish Highland Games. No Highland Games are complete without pipe bands and solo pipes competitions.

Scottish Highland Games

Paris Techno Parade: The underground techno scene comes up for air on the streets of Paris. Participants are quick to point out the unifying spirit of the music, which despite its futuristic electro-sound, draws inspiration from tribal rhythms. “The beats are so loud they hit you in the stomach; the only thing you can do is obey them, and dance.”

Paris Techno Parade

Monterey Jazz Festival: Assembles a can't-lose music festival weekend from the galaxy of jazz greats. The longest continuously-running jazz festival in the world, the Monterey Jazz Festival has presented nearly every major artist in the world.

Monterey Jazz Festival @ Monterey Fairgrounds

Wodaabe Festival: Roles are reversed for the Wodaabe men, who don make-up and elaborate costumes in the beauty pageant known as Gerewol.

Wodaabe Gerewol & Cure Salee Festival

Navratri Festival: The feminine divine form is celebrated with candle lit processions, cooking, dancing, singing, water & sky lanterns, and even burning effigies of evil. Based on dates in the lunar calendar, Navratri is a nine-night, ten-day festival that takes place in the fall celebrating the Hindu goddess Durga.

Vibrant Navratri

Sziget 2014: In the Hungarian language, Sziget means island, but in Budapest, Sziget means a festival best described as “an electronically amplified, warped amusement park.”

Pop-Rock Nagyszínpad // Main Stage

Outlook 2014: Taking the Bay of Petrcane by bass-heavy storm, this trippy music festival draws friendly ties between Jamaican reggae dancehall and underground dance-floor beats.

Outlook Festival

Bestival 2014: Revelers catch ferries to England’s largest island in the English Channel to officially close out the UK summer festival season.

Bestival - Downend, Isle of Wight

Pukkelpop: This Belgian music festival has an odd-sounding name and an even stranger translation. Perhaps this explains why hoards come to party every year.

Fest300 - Pukkelpop - Photos, Videos, and Festival Information

Bastille Day: On the 14th, France commemorates the anniversary of the Fête de la Fédération with Bastille Day, a feast in honor French independence.

Fest300 - Bastille Day - Photos, Videos, and Festival Information

Roskilde Festival: One of the original large-scale music fests in Europe, Roskilde has been rocking since 1971. Attendees arrive early to camp, swim, and run naked.

Roskilde Festival

Fusion Festival: Fusion is a come-one, come-all fest-for-all with an open mind that thrives on the spirit of inclusion.

Fusion - Фузион Festival

Summerfest: It’s 11 days, an $18 entry price, 800 acts and 1,000 performances, and every possible permutation of music, food, and festival entertainment you can imagine.

Summerfest - Historic Third Ward - Milwaukee, WI

Inti Raymi: A nine-day winter solstice celebration worshiping an Incan god and involves colorful costumes, lavish banquets, festive music, and historical recreations.

Festa de São João: They say love hits you when you least expect it, and in the city of Porto, Portugal, it might come in the form of a hammer to the head during the Festa de São João.

Food Wine Classic in Aspen: Get the best of an all-star lineup of the hottest culinary talent and trends with Food Wine magazine's annual Aspen festival.

Food & Wine Classic In Aspen

Infiorata di Genzano: A dazzling carpet of vibrant-colored flowers transformed in portraits, religious images and abstract designs stretches along the main street in Genzano, one of Rome's hill towns.

Genzano di Roma

Queenstown Winter Festival: Those Kiwis know how to throw a party to welcome winter in Queenstown.

Queenstown - Otago

Electric Daisy Carnival: With enough lights to outshine the Vegas Strip and enough amplified bass to register on the Richter scale, the Electric Daisy Carnival is a dance festival heavyweight.

EDC Las Vegas - Las Vegas, NV

What The Festival: Join the progressive, immersive rave at What The Festival, complete with electronic music, a splash pool and camping near Mt. Hood National Forest.

What The Festival

Firefly Music Festival: Lose yourself for four days of magic and music in the woods of Delaware.

2014 Firefly Music Festival

Calcio Storico Fiorentino: The square in front of 15th century Basilica of Santa Croce in the heart of Florence is transformed into a sand-covered playing field for Calcio Storico.

Firenze - Firenze, Toscana

Gnaoua World Music Festival: Prepare to lose yourself to the trance-like rhythm of the Gnaoua. See why half a million people visit this melting pot of world music.

Gnaoua World Music Festival

Sonar Festival: Its name means “sound” and this three-day Sonar Festival fully immerses attendees in music in almost every way imaginable.

Sónar by Day - Barcelona, Cataluña

Wakarusa: If music is your religion, make a mountain top pilgrimage to the Wakarusa Festival.

Fest300 - Festivals - FEST 300

Pinkpop: The Netherlands throws a smokin' Pentecost (Pinkpop Festival) party, with 40 hard-rocking bands, 45,000 tent-filled campsites and a super-chilled ambience.

Pinkpop - Landgraaf, Limburg

The Governors Ball Music Festival: The Governors Ball Music Festival has a stellar reputation for presenting some of the world’s biggest acts in an inviting, celebratory atmosphere.

The Governors Ball Music Festival

Mawazine: A wildly popular celebration of global music (with a side of political controversy), Mawazine has become the most buzz-worthy concert series in the region.

Primavera Sound: Spain’s having a big urban party, and all the world’s music geeks, along with nearly every genre of music you can think of, are invited.

Primavera Sound

Sasquatch! Music Festival: Partying sell-out crowds pack the Northwest's most spectacular outdoor venue for multi-day Memorial Day music extravaganza.

Sasquatch! Music Festival Mainstage

Hangout Music Festival: It's a laid-back and beachy spring music festival on the Gulf of Mexico.

Hangout Music Festival

Cannes International Film Festival: The setting itself along the French Riviera is as famed and glamorous as the everchanging roster of celebrities who attend this world-class film festival.

Festival de Cannes

Waisak (Buddha's Birthday): All of the colors, emotions, humanity and spirituality of Buddhist Asia seem to swirl into an incense-scented whole on this holiest of holidays.

Borobudur Temple

Thrissur Pooram Elephant Festival: One of India's most spectacular festivals involves 30+ colorfully costumed elephants parading through town on their way to the Vadakkunnathan temple.

Thrissur Pooram Exhibition Centre

Beltane Fire Festival: Light a fire to celebrate the coming of summer among folks who take ancient Celtic festivals seriously—even if it means dancing naked.

Beltane Fire Festival

King's Day: The Dutch break out of the winter blahs, donning lots of orange, and celebrating in the streets to mark the reigning monarch’s birthday and to welcome warmer weather.

King's Day (Koningsdag)

Oppikoppi: Nude Olympics, red dusty camping, thorny African scrub, oh, and lots of South African bands jamming in the veld.

Oppikoppi Festival

Ultra Music Festival: Hundreds of thousands descend on Miami in late March for the Winter Music Conference—and it's much coveted closing party, the Ultra Music Festival.

Ultra Music Festival

Hay Festival: Celebrate a love of reading, writing, ideas and storytelling. Bill Clinton, who was a Hay speaker back in 2001, dubbed this eco-friendly magnet for liberals and progressives “the Woodstock of the mind.”

Hay Festival - Hay-On-Wye, UK | Fest300

Donauinselfest: The largest open-air music festival in all of Europe featuring thousands of acts on a man-made island for three days of eclectic performances.

Donauinselfest - Vienna, Austria | Fest300

Copper's Hill Cheese-Rolling: A spirited gathering of people who chase a wheel of cheese down a 295-foot hill in the English countryside. How can that not be entertaining?

Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling

Paleo Festival: Most festivals relegate themselves to weekends, but Swtizerland's Paleo extends the music into a (practically) week long extravaganza of music, partying and the arts.

Paleo - Nyon, Switzerland | Fest300

Bali Spirit Festival: Bali Spirit is one of those festivals that will inspire and energize you for months to come and you're likely to make a handful of new best friends at this festival built on camaraderie.

The World's Best Festivals | Fest300

Equinox at Chichen Itza: Witness the arrival of the Mayan god, Kukulcan, as the feathered snake appears to crawl down a pyramid at Chichen Itza.

Equinox at Chichen Itza

Reggae Sumfest: Attend the reigning king of reggae festivals.

Fest300 - Festivals - FEST 300

Electric Picnic: Picture the Irish countryside blooming under a blessed summer sun, plus a kickass musical lineup tucked into a manageable size, and you've got Electric Picnic.

Electric Picnic

Holi: Join the masses during the last lunar cycle of the winter, when the streets are awash with pigment in an effort to welcome in spring and break down social barriers.

Holi - , India | Fest300

SXSW: SXSW has evolved from a small indie film fest into the preeminent conference-slash-festival, highlighting the latest in the film, music, and tech industries.

Fest300 - Festivals - FEST 300

Melt! Germany really knows how to throw a dance party. Held amidst giant machines, Melt! showcases some of the best tech DJs from across Europe.

Melt! - Grafenhainichen, Germany | Fest300

Air Guitar World Championships: The Air Guitar Championships gives everyone the chance to rock a crowd without having to master an instrument—no guitar required!

Air Guitar World Championships

Splendour In The Grass: Hip, groovy festival with tons of music, deejays, crafts, food, yoga, teepees, massages, workshops and, of course, circus performers.

Splendour in the Grass

Hajj: Muslims’ quest to Mecca is the most important moment of their spiritual lives, and an unparalleled sight.

Hajj - Mecca, Saudi Arabia | Fest300

Mendoza Grape Harvest Festival: Imagine fireworks, wine queens, dancing, and lots and lots of wine, set against the foothills of the Andes, and you've got Grape Harvest Festival.

Grape Harvest Festival

AfrikaBurn: While just 10-15% as large as its mother event, Burning Man, AfrikaBurn is a festival-on-the-rise that's attracting more and more visitors from more than 50 countries around the world.

Fest300 - Festivals - FEST 300

Mardi Gras: Over-consumption, ribaldness, and revelry are key features, and few places do it like New Orleans.

Fest300 - Festivals - FEST 300

Battle of the Oranges: How does the ancient town of Ivrea, Italy celebrate its freedom during carnival? By pummelling each other with 500,000 kilograms of oranges, of course.

Battle of the Oranges

Rio Carnival: Mix pagan ritual, tribal beats, indigenous dress, a pre-Lenten celebration, and several million people in the sexiest city on Earth to make the hottest party of the year.

Fest300 - Festivals - FEST 300

Maha Shivaratri: This transcendent Hindu festival with a carnival-like atmosphere in the lowlands of the Himalayas is one of the more culturally fascinating events in the world.

Pashupatinath Temple

Banff Snow Days: In Banff National Park's winter wonderland, celebrate the best of snowy fun, sports and food for an entire month.

Fest300 - Festivals - FEST 300

World Bodypainting Festival: The weird and wonderful world of body art. Although the name divulges what goes on, there is far more to this visual treasure trove than you might think.

World Bodypainting Festival

Monterey Jazz Festival: The Monterey Jazz Festival assembles a can't-lose music festival weekend from the galaxy of jazz greats.

Monterey Jazz Festival

Lollapalooza: Lollapalooza still packs in a whole 'lotta crazy alt-rock and straight up rock and roll fun, more than 20 years later.

Fest300 - Lollapalooza - Photos, Videos, and Festival Information

Carnevale di Viareggio: Viareggio comes alive when thousands of costumed revelers parade elaborately decorated floats and huge, towering characters past a million spectators.

Viareggio Carnevale

Hadaka Matsuri: Ten thousand men rushing from a ritual purification in frozen water to a Shinto temple to nab sacred sticks, this festival is so bizarre, it will have you saying, “Only in Japan.”

Fest300 - Festivals - FEST 300

Splore Festival: What makes one music festival stand apart from any other? In this case, how about floating in the South Pacific during the day, and dancing, fully costumed, to live music at night?

Fest300 - Splore - Photos, Videos, and Festival Information

The Scottish Highland Games: Centuries old competitions measure a man's and a woman's strength and Scottish character.

Scottish Highland Games

Jaisalmer Desert Festival: With events such as camel racing, turban tying, and the longest mustache competition, this quirky Indian festival showcases the cultural wonders of Rajasthan.

Jaisalmer Desert Festival

Kentucky Derby: The first jewel in horse racing’s Triple Crown is known for being "The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports."

Fest300 - Festivals - FEST 300

Oktoberfest: Strap on your lederhosen and tap your beer­-guzzling inner self: Munich’s Oktoberfest is a modern­ day bacchanal and the world’s biggest fair.

Oktoberfest - Munich, Germany | Fest300

Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras: Head Down Under to Sydney to immerse yourself in glittery revelry that meets–and at times exceeds–the spirit and energy of Pride in San Francisco.

Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras

Yi Peng & Loy Krathong: If Yi Peng isn't already on your bucket list, scribble it on. Along with Loy Krathong, it contains vivid, life-enhancing moments you'll never forget.

Yi Peng and Loy Krathong

Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival: In a blaze of luminous glory that marks the new Lunar New Year, 100,000 to 200,000 sky lanterns emblazon a full moonlit sky.

Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival

Tapati Rapa Nui: For two weeks each year, Easter Island comes to life with music and dance, traditional sports and competitions, feasts and fireworks.

Tapati Rapa Nui

Chinese New Year: Chinese New Year is one of the most celebrated global holidays. This two-week feast takes the cake for the most spectacular of Chinese festivities.

Chinese New Year

Up Helly Aa: This winter festival brings the heat—literally. Up Helly Aa, Europe’s largest fire festival, is about more than just flames; it’s a cultural celebration of Nordic heritage and ritual.

Up Helly Aa - Lerwick, Scotland | Fest300

Comic-Con: Nobody is too geeky to hit this monstrous convention that embraces comics and other popular art forms.

Comic-Con - San Diego, USA | Fest300

Tet Nguyen Dan: The most important celebration in the Vietnamese calendar, marking the arrival of spring and the start of a new year.

Fest300 - Festivals - FEST 300

National Cowboy Poetry Gathering: Weather-worn, tough as nails and…hopelessly romantic? Each year the cowboy masses gather in Nevada to recite poetry inspired by their rugged lifestyle.

Rainbow Serpent Festival: Feel connected with the land as the Australian aboriginals have done for thousands of years through music, dance and art at the Rainbow Serpent Festival.

Rainbow Serpent Festival

Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling Festival: When it comes to macho throwdowns, the Super Bowl's got nothing on Kirkpinar, a greased-up wrestling match that is said to be the world's oldest annual sporting event.

Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling Festival

Bonnaroo: It's hard to believe that a music festival attended by over 80,000 people held on 700 acres in the middle of nowhere could be an intimate experience.

Fest300 - Festivals - FEST 300
  • Antisparkle

    I've gone the past 2 years and I love it. The people are so nice.

Timket: Faithful followers gather around medieval ruins at dawn for a ritual reenactment of the Epiphany.

Fest300 - Timkat - Photos, Videos, and Festival Information

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world, taking place most of August each year, packing theaters, pubs, and streets making a massive canvas of human creativity.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Sundance Film Festival: North America’s most famous film festival is a compelling combination of show, snow, and showbiz, equally popular with intellectuals and the pop-culture paparazzi.

Sundance Film Festival

Coachella: Once a year, diehard music fans transform the desert of SoCal into an oasis of harmony, art, and fun in the sun.

Coachella - Indio, USA | Fest300

Québec Winter Carnival: With an outdoor amusement park, ice slides, dogsled rides, parades and more, there are more than enough reasons to bundle up and go out to play at this winter festival.

Quebec Winter Carnival

The Village Halloween Parade: Picture Times Square at rush hour. Take that chaos, multiply it by 10, dress it up, add music and giant puppets, transfer it Downtown, and you’ve got the Village Halloween Parade.

The Village Halloween Parade

Burning the Clocks: A magical procession of brightly lit lanterns to mark the winter solstice culminating in an epic fireball on Brighton beach.

Burning the Clocks

Sapporo Snow Festival: Ice and snow sculptures, snowboarding, and winter foods—it’s an extreme winter experience, rendered Japanese style.

Sapporo Snow Festival

World Bog Snorkeling Championships: If you think snorkeling is a bore, jump in and see what you think of a murky bog snorkeling race in Wales.

World Bog Snorkeling Championships

Fantasy Fest: If you’re a fun-loving hedonist who enjoys a masquerade party, Fantasy Fest and its 10-day revelry will be your Costume Ironman.

Fest300 - Festivals - FEST 300

WOMAD: Peter Gabriel’s brainchild brings rarely heard or seen regional music and arts together to form a traveling showcase for the world, creating international stars from surprising places.

Fest300 - WOMAD - Photos, Videos, and Festival Information

Junkanoo: Nassua's all-night party parade with the color, music, passion, and cultural flair to compete with any carnival around the world.