marcus haney

15 Festivals that will change your life

Words: Lea Wieser
Photography: Above, Marcus Haney. Sara Lincoln Photography

Festivals are music, fun, happiness all crammed into one life changing experience. We scoured the globe for the best ones that will blow your mind. 

Splendour in the Grass

WHEN? July 26-28, 2015

WHERE? Byron Bay, Australia

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: Blur, Florence And The Machine, Mark Ronson, The Wombats, Earl Sweatshirt, Tame Impala

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: If you like good music, love to dance around barefoot and are familiar with hippie vibes, get in your element at Splendour In The Grass. Take a break from dancing around to the festival’s fantastic line-up and enjoy the “Splendour In The Arts” program, SITG is also famous for. Besides that Byron Bay is legendary itself.


Have a splendid time … 

© Aimee Catt

Fuji Rock Festival

WHEN? July 24-26, 2015 

WHERE? Fuji, Japan

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: Muse, Deadmau5, Foo Fighters, FKA Twigs, Flume, Joey Bada$$, Rudimental, The Vaccines, Motörhead

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Hidden in the misty mountains of the Naeba Ski Resort, Japan’s biggest music festival takes place annually. The Fuji Rock Festival has got way more to offer than you would expect: forget about long queues, overpriced drinks and dirty toilets, instead 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

Melt! Festival

WHEN? July 17-19, 2015

WHERE? Ferropolis, Germany 

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: Alt-J, Bonobo, Flume, Kylie Minogue, Kwabs, Giorgio Moroder, Jamie XX, La Roux, Nina Kraviz, Sven Väth

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Melt! is the ultimate alternative music fan’s haven –  taking place in “Ferropolis” (also known as “the city of iron”), an impressive open-air museum of old huge industrial machines south of Berlin, there is always something to see and of course killer music to be heard -  you won’t be dissappointed.


You melt my heart 

© Stephan Flad


WHEN? July 31-August 2, 2015

WHERE? Chicago, USA

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: Paul MCartney, Sam Smith, Kid Cudi, Metallica, A$ap Rocky, Kygo, Nero, FKA Twigs, Charli XCX, Hot Chip

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: The festival is known for its pumping atmosphere and its massive line-up. Plus, after a heavy day of dancing, facing Chicago’s skyline, you can check out the city. Good to know: this year the first Lollapalooza on European grounds will take place. Want to know more? Click here.


Dance under Chicago’s skyline 

© Cambria Harkey

Rock in Rio

When? September 18-26, 2015 

WHERE? Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: Metallica, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Sam Smith, Slipknot, System Of A Down, OneRepublic

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Taking place since 1985, Rock in Rio has become the largest music festival in the world. The first “City of Rock” has been set up in Rio de Janeiro and meanwhile been spread out to Lisbon and Madrid - from this year on Las Vegas will be the fourth location - we say, rock on!

Glastonbury Festival of Performing Arts

WHEN? June 24-28, 2015

WHERE? Glastonbury, UK

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: Kanye West, Foo Fighters, Deadmau5, Pharrell Williams, Rudimental, Clean Bandit, The Chemical Brothers, Charli XCX, Hozier

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 killer headliners, insane production values and an amazing energy.


Get glassy-eyed … 

© Emma Stoner

Festival International Benicàssim

WHEN? July 16-19, 2015

WHERE? Benicàssim, Spain 

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: Florence And The Machine, Clean Bandit, Stromae, The Prodigy, A-Trak, Blur, Crystal Fighters, Bastille, Mark Ronson

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: What we love about music festivals taking place in the Spanish summer is that with a probability of approximately 99,9 percent it is not going to rain. So forget muddy fields and enjoy the sunny beaches the FIB is held at. During the day you can hang out at the beach and get your tan going and when the sun finally sets you will be dancing the night away. 


Be colorful

© 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: Still to be announced - last year’s line-up included: AC/DC, Kygo, Azelia Banks, Chet Faker, Gesaffelstein, Drake, George Ezra, Hozier

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Coachella is probably the musical and fashion trendsetter’s mecca - dance in a celebrity-zoo to - and this is what we love about the festival - seriously good, if not to say the best music. Coachella’s awesome reputation is by no means just a matter of chance.

Dance around the valley

Isle of Wight Festival

WHEN? June 11-14, 2015

WHERE? Isle of Wight, UK

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: Fleetwood Mac, Paolo Nutini, Pharrell Williams, Blur, The Black Keys, Prodigy

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, hippie atmosphere attached to it. 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

Sziget Festival

WHEN? August 10-17, 2015 

WHERE? Budapest, Hungary

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: Ellie Goulding, Robbie Williams, Alt-J, Foals, Marina And The Diamonds, Avicii, SBTRKT, Tyler The Creator, José Gonzalez

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Pitch your tents at the bank of the Danube at Old Buda Island (“sziget” means island) and escape the humdrum of every-day life 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? July 18-20, 2015

WHERE? Barcelona, Spain

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: Skrillex, Jamie Jones, A$ap Rocky, Duran Duran, Jamie XX, FKA Twigs, Hot Chip, Henrik Schwarz

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Taking place for the 21st time this year, Sónar has become a pioneering festival in the electronic music landscape. 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 24-26, 2015 

WHERE? Boom, Belgium 

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: Avicii, David Guetta, Carl Cox, Solomun, Axwell & Ingrosso, Armin Van Buuren, Hardwell, Tiesto, Robin Schulz

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

Don’t think about tomorrow

NOS Alive

WHEN? July 9-11, 2015

WHERE? Lisbon, Portugal

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: Muse, The Prodigy, Alt-J, Mumford & Sons, Metronomy, Tiga, James Blake, Jessie Ware, Disclosure, Sam Smith

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 kickass lineup and once there, you can check out Portugal’s awesome beaches.

NOS Alive

Feel alive

© Lino Silva


WHEN? June 11-14, 2015

WHERE? Tennessee, USA

LINE-UP-HIGHLIGHTS: Bill Joel, Mumford & Sons, Kendrick Lamar, Deadmau5

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Amazing lineups, a comedy tent stacked with the greats (Chris Rock, Daniel Tosh, Aziz Ansari), breathtaking artist showcase, a silent disco and surprise superjams.




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05 2015

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