From Coachella To Glastonbury: The Best Global Music Festivals To Look Forward To In 2021
The world’s best music festivals span across continents and music genres, from EDM to jazz and everything in between – there’s something for every musical taste. And though the majority of the annual events have sadly been postponed or cancelled for 2020 due to Covid-19, many organisers have already confirmed their event dates for 2021.
Find out all the information you need to know and get inspired with our list of the best music festivals to book now for 2021.
1/10 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
When: April 2021
Where: Indio, California
An annual gathering of A-listers and celebrities, Coachella needs no introduction. Originally set to take place in April 2020, Coachella was postponed until October of this year due to the novel coronavirus, but it has now been announced that the festival will not take place until 2021. Although the dates for next year are yet to be officially confirmed, it is likely that the festival will reclaim its usual consecutive weekends in April.
The headliners for 2020 included Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean, with other amazing artists such as Calvin Harri and Lana Del Rey all confirmed before the festival was sadly cancelled. Though the line-up for 2021 is yet to be announced, we're keeping our fingers crossed that these big names will return to perform next year.
Beyond the music, the star-studded festival will also feature giant art structures, Instagrammable installations and summer fashion inspirations wherever you look.
Find out more at coachella.com
2/10 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
When: April 23-May 3, 2021
Where: New Orleans, United States
An annual celebration of the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – known as “Jazz Fest” – also refers to the days surrounding the festival and other unaffiliated performances that take place in New Orleans nightclubs during the festival weekends.
This year's festival was originally meant to take place at the end of April, but it has now been moved to similar dates in 2021.
In previous years, the festival has seen the likes of Stevie Wonder, Neil Young and Lorde performing at the horse-racing course in the centre of the city, complete with cultural experiences such as crafts, marketplaces and food vendors reaching well beyond the music.
Find out more at nojazzfest.com
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3/10 The Governors Ball Music Festival
When: June, 2021
Where: New York City, United States
New York’s answer to Coachella, The Governors Ball is one of the country’s most sought-after multi-genre music festivals, bringing together the most influential names in hip-hop, rock, pop and electronic music to celebrate music in all forms against the backdrop of the city’s iconic skyline.
The “VIP Luxe” and “Platinum” programmes offer luxurious amenities and perks, including exclusive access to on-stage viewing, backstage open bar and an elevated luxury suite that comes with shaded lounge seating with epic views of the main stage.
Originally intended to take place this summer, the festival has now been postponed to June 2021.
Acts that were on the cards for 2020 included Missy Elliott, Flume, Miley Cyrus, Ellie Goulding, Alessia Cara and more – but no performers have been confirmed yet for the 2021 festival.
Find out more at governorsballmusicfestival.com
4/10 Download Festival
When: June 4-6, 2021
Where: Derby, United Kingdom
The UK’s number one rock and metal festival, Download boasts a line-up of the scene’s best artists at its iconic Donington Park location each June.
Though the festival has now been moved to next summer, the organisers have arranged a special virtual edition, titled Download TV, which is launching on YouTube from June 12-14, 2020. Though not quite living up to the in real life festival – which is taking place from June 4- 6 2021 – the virtual event is set to feature 20 hours of streamed programming. Events will include Doom Yoga, vegan cooking demonstrations, a special pub quiz and more, along with bands including Theory and Of Mice & Men.
For the 2021 festival, fans will have to keep their fingers crossed that 2020 headliners Iron Maiden, KISS, and System Of A Dow will be confirmed.
Find out more at downloadfestival.co.uk
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When: July 16-18 and July 23-25, 2021
Where: Boom, Belgium
Started in 2005, Tomorrowland has since become one of the world’s most popular electronic music festivals. Stretching over two weekends, the festival invites the world’s best DJs and artists to perform across 15 spectacularly-designed stages against the backdrop of breathtaking fireworks.
As one of Europe’s most sought-after festivals, tickets get sold out fast, so with the cancellation of the 2020 edition, tickets purchased for Tomorrowland 2020 will be transferred to next year's festival, set to take place in July.
As the festival's 16th edition, Tomorrowland 2021 promises to be back and bigger than ever.
Find out more at tomorrowland.com
6/10 Montreux Jazz Festival
When: July 2-17, 2021
Where: Montreux, Switzerland
One of the longest-running jazz festivals, Montreux Jazz Festival is held each summer on the shores of Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Legendary performers, from B. B. King and David Bowie through to Bob Dylan and Queen have graced the Auditorium Stravinski since 1967.
For the first time in 53 years, the 2020 festival has been postponed until 2021, with organisers already working to reschedule big name acts including Lionel Richie and Lenny Kravitz.
Find out more at montreuxjazzfestival.com
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7/10 Glastonbury Festival
When: June 23-27, 2021
Where: Somerset, UK
The iconic Glastonbury Festival was due to celebrate its 50th anniversary this summer, but now music fans will have to wait until June 2021 for the famed event.
Attracting close to 200,000 revellers every year, the festival is the UK's premier music event, with artists ranging from Adele, to Kanye West, Oasis, The Cure, Radiohead and many more all gracing the pyramid stage over the years.
Headliners for the 50th festival were set to include Kendrick Lamar, Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift. In place of the real life event, the BBC has announced plans to broadcast a weekend full of music, over dates that this year’s Glastonbury Festival would have taken place (June 25-29), with a host of classic sets being made available across TV, radio and online.
BBC Two, BBC Four and BBC iPlayer will show classic Glastonbury performances in full from some of the biggest artists in the history of the festival, including Adele (2016), Beyoncé (2011), Coldplay (2016), Jay-Z (2008) and David Bowie (2000) – which will be the first time his performance has ever been broadcast in full on television.
Find out more at glastonburyfestivals.co.uk
8/10 Outlook Festival
When: July 29-August 2, 2021
Where: Tisno, Croatia
As Croatia’s premier bass music festival, for 2020 Outlook Festival was set to be relocated from the city of Pula to Tisno's Garden resort, and renamed as Outlook Origins – though now the revamped event will take place in 2021.
Showcasing its commitment to celebrating the sound system culture, the festival will feature leading artists from the worlds of dubstep, dub, hip-hop, grime, reggae, drum and bass, jungle, techno and more, while keeping the sound underground.
All tickets already purchased for the 2020 festival will be transferred to next yet, with new tickets for 2021 due to be on sale soon.
Find out more at outlookfestival.com
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9/10 Fuji Rock
When: August, 2021
Where: Yuzawa, Japan
The largest outdoor music festival in Japan, Fuji Rock is a three-day rock festival that attracts more than 200 Japanese and international musicians every year. World-renowned artists such as Bob Dylan, Foo Fighters, Radiohead and Coldplay have all performed at the festival.
Originally intended for August this year, the festival has now been postponed until next summer, with official dates set to be announced soon.
Just a 90-minute train ride from Tokyo, the beautiful natural scenery around Naeba Ski Resort – the ski resort where the festival takes place – is already worth the trip.
Find out more at fujirockfestival.com
10/10 Burning Man
When: August 30-September 7, 2020 (online); 2021 (exact dates to be confirmed)
Where: Nevada, USA
Though for the first time in its nearly 40-year history, Burning Man will not go ahead in 2020 as planned, organisers have made the decision to take the annual event online.
As the first festival to make the decision to go virtual as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Burning Man will be taking its whimsical, temporary city online – with anyone able to join.
According to the website, it won’t be like the Black Rock City many burners know and love, but it’s set to be a new kind of Burn – a co-created experience with over 100,000 participants from all over the globe. Virtual Burners can expect yoga practices, cooking classes, dancing events, art workshops, and more, all from the comfort of home.
Dates for 2021 are also yet to announced, but the festival is slated to be back at its usual Black Rock Desert location over the Labour Day weekend next year.
Find out more information at burningman.org
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