World's Top Music Festivals

Friday, 07 April 2017

Rail Plus has revealed its top six music festivals around the world. Listed in order of the calendar months, these events have not only grown from humble beginnings to now headlining the world’s most renowned artists from various genres, but most of all, they are easily and conveniently accessible by train.


Music enthusiasts considering attending these festivals are advised to plan their wider travel itineraries using the most appropriate train passes or point-to-point tickets and that suit their budgets.


  1. Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California, USA - April

One of the largest music festivals in North America, this Palm Springs event started back in 1999 as a two-day event. Today, the two-weekend event, which sells out in less than 20 minutes, has evolved to offer festivalgoers not only live music by some of the world’s most in-demand artists but also art, food and sustainability programs. This year, Coachella will take place from April 14–16 and April 21–23, featuring Lady Gaga, Radiohead, and Kendrick Lamar as headlining artists. Travellers can easily get to Palm Springs from the likes of Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego using their Amtrak passes.


  1. Canadian Music Week in Toronto, Canada – April

Running in its 35th year now, Canadian Music Week is a six-day event combining conferences, award shows and one of the country’s biggest new music festivals. Shows take place at different venues around the city ranging from popular bars and eateries to trendy stores and town halls. Many emerging artists and bands also use this festival to be “discovered” by talent agents. Travellers going to this year’s event happening from 18 – 23 April can jump on a train from Montreal with a Canrailpass and reach Toronto in less than five hours.


  1. Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, UK – June

With a history that dates back to the day after Jimmy Hendrix passed in 1970 and when the £1 entry tickets included free milk from the farm, the Glastonbury Music Festival has grown to become one of Britain’s major cultural festivals today welcoming 135,000 musos each year at £238 per person. Headliners in 2016 included Adele, Muse and Coldplay, while this year’s event from 21 – 25 June will feature Ed Sheeran, Radiohead and the Foo Fighters. Glastonbury is two-hours west of London and travellers can consider using Eurail Passes including the BritRail Pass when travelling around the UK.


  1. Roskilde Festival in Roskilde, Denmark - June

What started in 1971 by two high-school friends drawing in 10,000 festivalgoers over two days, Roskilde today sells more than 135,000 tickets over the week-long event and is the largest music festival in Northern Europe. This years’ event will take place from 24 June – 1 July and will feature the Foo Fighters, The Weeknd, Solange, A Tribe Called Quest and many more. Using the Scandinavia Pass, Roskilde is only a 22 min train ride from Copenhagen.


  1. Fuji Rock Festival in Niigata, Japan - July

The largest outdoor music event in Japan, this three-day annual rock festival takes place at the Naeba Ski Resort in the Niigata Prefecture. Featuring more than 200 local and international musicians, this event began in 1997 at the base of the iconic Mount Fuji, but relocated two years later to the ski resort. This year’s event featuring Bjork and Gorillaz will take place from 28-30 July. Naeba Ski Resort can be reached via a two-hour train ride from Tokyo to Echigo-Yuzawa with a Japan Rail Pass followed by a short cab ride.


  1. Tomorrowland in Boom, Belgium - July

First held in 2005, this electronic music festival is today one of the largest music festivals in the world that sells out in minutes. Taking place over two weekends at the height of the European summer, the city of Boom (a city south of Antwerp and north of Brussels) will welcome festivalgoers from more than 85 countries. This year’s event will take place between 21-23 and 28-30 July. Boom is reachable via a 31min train ride from Antwerp or 1:13hrs from Brussels Airport with any Eurail Pass including the Benelux Pass.


Travellers are advised to purchase their rail passes, point-to-point tickets and seat reservations in advance to avoid disappointment, especially during peak festival seasons.

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