15 Festivals that will change your life

Words: Lea Wieser
Photography: Sara Lincoln Photography

Music, fun, happiness all crammed into one life-changing experience. These festivals will both open and blow your mind at the same time

Splendour in the Grass

WHEN? July 22-24, 2016

WHERE? Byron Bay, Australia

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: The Strokes, The Cure, Flume, The Avalanches, James Blake, At the Drive-In, Violent, Soho​

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: If you like good music, love to dance around barefoot and are familiar with hippie vibes, then Splendour In The Grass if for you. Take a break from dancing to the festival’s line-up by soaking up some culture and enjoying the “Splendour In The Arts” program. Oh yeah, and Byron Bay itself is pretty damn amazing…


Have a splendid time … 

© Aimee Catt

Fuji Rock Festival

WHEN? July 22-24, 2016 

WHERE? Fuji, Japan

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: Sigur Ros, Stereophonics, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beck, Wilco, James Blake, Disclosure

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Japan’s biggest music festival is hidden in the misty mountains of the Naeba Ski Resort. The Fuji Rock Festival offers more than you would expect: forget long queues, overpriced drinks and dirty toilets, and dive into the beauty of the forests of Naeba, take in the superb line-up and celebrate life with Japan’s ever-friendly, happy crowd. 

Rock on in the mountains of Naeba

Music Festivals Videos, Live Streams, Films & Shows

Red Bull TV is an unrivaled world of action, live events, inspirational people, and breathtaking stories from Red Bull's global playground.

Melt! Festival

WHEN? July 15-17, 2016

WHERE? Ferropolis, Germany 

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: Deichkind, Disclosure, Tame Impala, Illesnoise, Jamie XX, Dr. Rubinstein, DJ Koze, Schwarz Dont Crack, Bomba

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Melt! is a MUST for fans of alternative and electro. The festival takes place in “Ferropolis” (also known as “the city of iron”), a jaw-droppingly impressive open-air museum of huge industrial machines located south of Berlin. You won’t be dissappointed.


You melt my heart 

© Stephan Flad


WHEN? July 28-31, 2016

WHERE? Chicago, USA


J. Cole, Lana del Rey, G-Eazy, Radiohead, Major Lazer, Martin Garrix, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Disclosure, Jane’s Addiction

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: The festival is known for its atmosphere and its massive line-up. The city also offers the perfect escape if you want to take a break from all the dancing.


Dance under Chicago’s skyline 

© Cambria Harkey

Lollapalooza | Chicago, Illinois, United States

Chicago, Illinois, United States

Glastonbury Festival of Performing Arts

WHEN? June 22-26, 2016

WHERE? Glastonbury, UK

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: Muse, Foals, ZZ Top, Adele, Coldplay, Beck, Ellie Goulding, Disclosure, New Order, James Blake, Santigold, Earth, Wind & Fire, Gary Clark Jr.

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Glasto is the largest green-field open-air music and performing arts event in the world - the variety of people and the hippie spirit that can still be felt make this festival definitely worth a trip, even though it has become quite mainstream. Enjoy the advantages of a huge festival with top quality headliners, insane production value and amazing energy.


Get glassy-eyed … 

© Emma Stoner

Festival International Benicàssim

WHEN? July 14-17, 2016

WHERE? Benicàssim, Spain 

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: Muse, The Chemical Brothers, Kendrick Lamar, Major Lazer, Mr. Oizo, The 1975, Bloc Party

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: What we love about music festivals taking place in the Spanish summer is that you have about a 99,9 percent chance that it is not going to rain. So forget muddy fields and enjoy sunny beaches. During the day you can hang out at the beach and get your tan on, and party into the night once the sun finally sets. 


Be colourful

© PauBellido-ACFFotografia

Coachella Valley Music And Arts festival 

WHEN? April 8-10, 2016 (weekend one), April 15-17, 2016 (weekend two)

WHERE? California, USA

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: LCD Soundsystem, Guns N’ Roses, Ice Cube, Calvin Harris, Ellie Goulding, Underworld, Sia, Kills, Foals

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: See and be seen amongst celebrities, trendsetters and music-lovers at Coachella, one of the most popular festivals in the world, and not without reason. The line-up is often hard to beat, and who doesn’t want to rub shoulders with hollywood’s finest in a pair of wellies?

Dance around the valley

Rock in Rio

When? 2017

WHERE? Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: The line-up for the next festival hasn’t been announced yet, but some major bands to have graced the stage include: Metallica, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Sam Smith, Slipknot, System Of A Down, OneRepublic

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Rocking out since 1985, Rock in Rio has become the largest music festival in the world. The first “City of Rock” was set up in Rio de Janeiro and has since spread to Lisbon and Madrid.

Isle of Wight Festival

WHEN? June 9-12, 2016

WHERE? Isle of Wight, UK

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: The Who, Queen + Adam Lambert, Faithless, Stereophonics, Richard Ashcroft, Iggy Pop, Feeder

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: The festival’s reputation is legendary: starting as the ultimate hippie-spectacle in the late 1960’s, The Isle Of Wight has still got this easy-going atmosphere. Attracting modern hippies, as well as any laidback-music-lover, this festival is the perfect place to take home some life-long memories.


Dive into the spirit of the festival 

© Callum Baker Photography

John Giddings on how he revived the Isle of White Festival

John Giddings has icons like Madonna on speed dial. Here he talks to The Red Bulletin about thriving on stress and reviving the Isle of Wight Festival

Sziget Festival

WHEN? August 10-17, 2016 

WHERE? Budapest, Hungary

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS:  Rihanna, Muse, David Guetta, Manu Chao La Ventura, The Chemical Brothers, Sia, Kaizer Chiefs, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Pitch your tents at the banks of the Danube at Old Buda Island (“sziget” means island) and escape the humdrum of every-day life by dancing at Eastern Europe’s biggest festival.




Get liberated at the island of freedom

© Csudai Sándor

Ultra Festival

WHEN? The original Ultra takes place annually in Miami: March 18-20, 2016 - other Ultra festivals are held around the globe - for more information, check out their website.


LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: Still to be announced - but last year’s lineup included: Tiesto, Afrojack, Boys Noize, Axwell & Ingrosso, Steve Angello, Armin van Buuren, Avicii, Steve Aoki

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Named after the Depeche Mode album Ultra, the festival was founded in 1999 - since then Ultra has spread like wildfire around the world - for a reason: great electronic music, a good vibe and a crowd that knows how to party.

Enjoy the ultimate party-experience


WHEN? June 16-18, 2016

WHERE? Barcelona, Spain

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: Fatboy Slim, James Blake, New Order, Skepta, Laurent Garnier, DJ EZ

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Sónar has become a pioneering festival in the electronic music landscape over the last 22 years. Taking place in the vibrant city of Barcelona this event combines awesome music, sun-drenched beaches and a buzzing city life.


Check out the stellar line-up for 2015

© Ariel Martini


WHEN? July 22-24, 2016 

WHERE? Boom, Belgium 

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: David Guetta, Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, Deadmau5, Fedde La Grand, Vangelis, DVBBS, Alesso

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Taking place in the small town of Boom in Belgium, Tomorrowland is considered the ultimate rave haven. Dance for three days straight with an international party-loving crowd and let yourself be transported into a different world by the pyschedelic carnival atmosphere that surrounds the festival.

Don’t think about tomorrow

NOS Alive

WHEN? July 7-9, 2016

WHERE? Algés, Portugal

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: Radiohead, The Chemical Brothers, Arcade Fire, Tame Impala, Pixies, The 1975

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Formerly known as Optimus Alive, this festival may not be as famous, but leaves little to be desired. Taking place in the city of Algés near Lisbon, you can enjoy the beautiful weather on top of the awesome line-up and once there, you can check out Portugal’s awesome beaches.

NOS Alive

Feel alive

© Lino Silva

Burning Man

WHEN? August 28–5 September 2016  

WHERE? Nevada, USA 

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: No acts confirmed yet - but this is also part of the magic of Burning Man …

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Burning Man is the epicentre of three things: sexual experimentation, psychedelic drugs and futurism. If you are into that, off you go to Nevada! 


Don’t burn your fingers … 

Read more
02 2016

Next story