Every country celebrates the arrival of summer in its own unique way. From music festivals to displays of art, literary events, and food fights, we’re here to list down some of the top summer festivals around the world, for July, August, and September. Here’s to enjoying the summer season in full swing!
Festivals around the World for Summer
Considering that summer festivals are held around the world, we’ve broken down our list into regions, so you can choose which festivals to attend based on where you’re heading for your vacations. We’ve also specified which genre each festival belongs to, so you can choose the ones you want to attend based on your preference. The regions we’ve covered include:
- The UK
- The US
Summer Festivals in Europe
Music is food for the soul, and since the summer weather is fairly pleasant in most parts of the world, especially in Europe, it gives people an opportunity to attend open-air events, like concerts. Here are some of the best events and festivals happening in Europe during the summer months:
- Exit Festival—Serbia
- La Tomatina—Spain
- Sziget Festival—Hungary
- Longyearbyen Literature Festival—Norway
We’ll discuss each of these individually now.
Date: 4 – 7 July 2019
Location: Petrovaradin Fortress, Novi Sad
Starting as a student movement back in 2000, the festival is the only one of its kind in the world that came into being from a desire for freedom and progress. It is also one of the biggest music festivals in Europe, taking place in a fortress in Novi Sad, Serbia. The 3-day event covers hip-hop, rock, Electronic Dance Music (EDM), and several other music genres for enthusiasts.
Date: 19 – 21 & 26 – 28 July 2019
Location: De Schorre, Boom
More than 185,000 music lovers travel to attend Tomorrowland each year, over the course of two weekends. The theme of the event changes each year, with the event venue being transformed into something magical, with laser light shows, confetti streams, and more. There’s even an adjoining Dreamville area, where music enthusiasts can camp out and relax while enjoying their favourite tunes.
Date: 19 – 21 July 2019
Location: Ferropolis, Germany
Held in the open-air museum of Ferropolis, Melt! is the concert that all fans of alternative music want to attend. Music plays all night long amidst the age-old industrial mining equipment that has given the place its name of ‘City of Iron’.
Date: 28 July 2019
Location: Buñol, Valencia
Famous all over the world, La Tomatina is a Spanish tomato-throwing festival—their version of a gigantic food fight—hosted on the streets of Buñol. Taking place every year on the last Wednesday of August, the event begins when trucks bring in large quantities of tomatoes, and a cannon is fired to announce the beginning of the fight. It’s every man and woman for themselves in this hour-long battle, but it is definitely an experience that should not be missed. There are certain rules that every participant has to follow to make sure nobody gets hurts.
Date: 7 – 13 August 2019
Location: Óbudai-Sziget, Budapest
One of Europe’s largest music festivals sees more than 1,000 performances every year. The venue is an island located on the Danube River that separates Buda from Pest. It’s a week-long event, encompassing everything from hip-hop to electronic music with food carts offering the perfect snacks to attendees. You can even lounge on the beach during the day to be well-rested for the party at night.
Longyearbyen Literature Festival—Norway
Date: 2 – 6 September 2019
Location: Svalbard, Norway
Want a unique literary experience? Head to the northernmost literature festival in the world where you can have literary conversations with renowned authors, attend book signings, concerts, and poetry slam evening too. You can also enjoy fabulous views of Nordre Isfjorden National Park from across the bay.
Summer Events in The UK
While being part of the European continent, the United Kingdom is such a large nation that we decided to list it separately. Here are some of the best festivals to attend in the UK during the upcoming summer months:
- Manchester International Festival—England
- Wireless Festival—England
- Edinburgh Fringe Festival—Scotland
- Curious Arts Festival—England
- Notting Hill Carnival—England
Let’s cover each of these separately now.
Manchester International Festival—England
Genre: Music, Theatre, Art
Date: 4 – 21 July 2019
Location: Manchester, England
The entire city gets ready to celebrate at the Manchester International Festival where music and theatre performances collide with displays of fabulous works of art to result in a whirlwind of events over 18 days. Some of the finest venues in the city are chosen for this event, which is held once every two years.
Date: 5 – 7 July 2019
Location: Finsbury Park, London
London’s Finsbury Park witnesses a collection of some of the hottest hip-hop artists and rappers for one weekend in July. It’s a 3-day dance festival that makes the most of the sunshine that the UK witnesses in a year.
Edinburgh Fringe Festival—Scotland
Genre: Music, Literature, Theatre, Comedy
Date: 2 – 26 August 2019
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
When we’re listing the best summer festivals around the world, there’s no way we can miss out on this one. Theatre, film, music, comedy, dance, street performances, musicals, and art exhibitions take over Scotland’s capital, creating an atmosphere that is perfect for all types of performers. Join the show as a performer to showcase your unique talent or enjoy the festivities as an onlooker; the choice is yours.
Date: 22 – 25 August 2019
Location: Daresbury, Cheshire
Primarily catering to lovers of EDM, it is a collection of some of the most famed artists in the world. The festival is held over 4 days and even offers camping accommodations to music enthusiasts who come from far and wide to hear the tunes and dance the night away.
Curious Arts Festival—England
Genre: Art, Literature, Film
Date: 23 – 26 August 2019
Location: Pippingford Park Estate, East Sussex
Book readings, film screenings, and live music await you at Pippingford Park Estate, with views stretching far and wide over the Ashdown Forest, which inspired Winnie the Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood.
Notting Hill Carnival—England
Genre: Art, Music
Date: 24 – 26 August 2019
Location: Notting Hill, London
August’s bank holiday weekend in London is the time when parts of Western London come alive. You haven’t seen a carnival like this outside of Rio. It is one of the world’s largest street carnivals, complete with floats and dancers being part of the parade. Wear your most outrageous attire, and you’ll feel at home here. The carnival began in the late 1950s and is still going strong. Sunday is a families-only day if you want to skip the crowds.
Summer Festivals Happening in The US
Americans celebrate the summer weather with just as much zeal and enthusiasm as the rest of the world. Here are some of the best summer music festivals to attend in the US this summer:
- The American Folk Festival—Maine
- Burning Man—Nevada
- Life Is Beautiful—Nevada
Here are some details for each of these summer events.
Date: 1 – 4 August 2019
Location: Grant Park, Chicago
Head to Chicago’s Grant Park if you want to rock to some amazing tunes this summer. The festival also has its own food market, known as Chow Town, that offers a great chance to local restaurants and eateries to showcase their edibles and keep the music lovers well fed.
The American Folk Festival—Maine
Date: 23 – 25 August 2019
Location: Bangor Waterfront, Bangor
With its focus on folk music, the festival has been held every year since 2005. It brings music, cultural arts, food, and dance from all over the US, together on a single platform.
Date: 25 August – 2 September 2019
Location: Black Rock City, Black Rock Desert
This summer festival is as unique as it can get. Thousands of people head towards the Black Rock Desert each year to build the Block Rock City for the event. The city is then dismantled without a trace being left behind once the festival wraps up. The event is dedicated to self-expression, creativity, and art.
Life Is Beautiful—Nevada
Date: 20 – 22 September 2019
Location: Downtown, Las Vegas
Transforming 18 blocks of Downtown Las Vegas into a celebration of art, music, food, and creative ideas, this festival features performances from some of the top musicians in the US. Las Vegas’s best restaurants also come out to serve their most exquisite meals during the event.
Summer Events in Asia
Moving on to Asia, we’ve primarily covered home ground, with two of the festivals being based in Pakistan. However, when we list down the top summer festivals around the world, here are the ones that must be mentioned with respect to Asia:
- The Rainforest World Music Festival—Malaysia
- Kalam Summer Festival—Pakistan
- Utchal Festival—Pakistan
- The Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair—Turkey
Now let’s discuss these festivals briefly.
The Rainforest World Music Festival—Malaysia
Genre: Music, Art
Date: 12 – 14 July 2019
Location: Sarawak Cultural Village, Sarawak
This 3-day event focuses primarily on music, but don’t be fooled by its name. Where the stage is set for concerts at night, the day brings craft stalls, cultural displays, food stalls, and even music workshops to the mix. The festival focuses on all types of music from around the globe, and the variety is what makes it so special.
Kalam Summer Festival—Pakistan
Genre: Music, Art
Date: July – August 2019
Location: Mahodand, Kalam Valley
Also known as the Swat Summer Festival, the event is organised by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tourism Department with help from the Pakistan Army. It hosts a number of sports, recreational, and cultural activities for one week. From concerts to cycling, canoeing on Mahodand Lake, and a jeep rally, this festival has it all. A range of cultural and folk dances are also performed every day.
Date: July – August 2019
Location: Kalash Valley, Chitral
Marking the harvest of barley and wheat, the two-day celebration is one of the main events held in Kalash Valley. It is a time of singing, dancing, and feasts, with the celebration including specially prepared cheese, cornbread, and other delicacies.
The Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair—Turkey
Date: 12 – 15 September 2019
Location: Harbiye, Istanbul
Lovers of modern art should head to Turkey this September, as Contemporary Istanbul is the largest art fair in the country. Since promoting contemporary works of art is at the heart of the event, it brings together a large gathering of artists and collectors with artworks on display from famed art galleries around the world.
This concludes our list of the top summer festivals around the world to attend during the summer holidays. Shandur Polo Festival is also one of the events you can consider attending in Pakistan if you are fond of the sport.
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