As music festivals have become more popular across the United States and the world, it’s common for festival music lovers to try and seek out the biggest and the best when it comes to festival experiences. However, the two don’t always go hand in hand, so it’s important not to exclude a festival from your line up just because it happens to be a little smaller or lesser-known than, say, Coachella valley music in California (which is not the biggest, by the way!). There are plenty of amazing festivals around the world of all different sizes, genres (electronic music, indio, hip hop, indie, reggae, and rock), and themes, so you’re sure to find one you love, but you’re probably still wondering: where is the biggest music festival in the world?
Where is the Biggest Music Festival in the World?
You might be surprised to find that the biggest music festival in the world is actually somewhat difficult to distinguish, because it depends on what criteria you are using to decide on which is biggest. For example, some people consider the total festival attendance over the course of the entire festival, while others count the number of people who attend the event at one time. However, the Guinness Book of World Records has a category for “Largest Attendance at a Music Festival,” so we feel like that’s a safe bet. The record was set by Donauinselfest, or the Danube Island Festival, in 2015, when 3.3 million people attended the festival. Danube Island Festival takes place on an island measuring less than three miles long in the middle of the Danube river in Vienna, Austria, Europe, and about 350,000 people are allowed on the festival site at any one time, and admission is free. While this is the largest, there are many other large festivals in the world including in Poland, Glastonbury, Madrid, Spain, Lisbon, Portugal, Serbia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Brazil, Budapest, and hungary.
Where is the Biggest Music Festival in the United States?
The biggest musical arts festival in the USA has been operating for many years, and it’s an 11-day long marathon of music, comedy, and more. It’s the Summerfest music festival held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin! The event was originally created by Milwaukee Mayor Henry Maier, who saw the huge crowds generated by Oktoberfest and wanted to create his own festival that centered around music. At one point, Summerfest held the title of the largest music festival in the world, with over 800,000 annual attendees, but today, Danube Island Festival in Austria is the largest, while Mawazine, held in Morocco and with an attendance of about 2.65 million people, is the second largest; Summerfest comes in a distant third. There are other large festivals in the United States in Austin, Chicago, New York, and New Orleans.
Where is the Biggest Dance Music Festival in the World?
Ravers and lovers of dance music in the United States will be delighted to know that the largest dance music festival in the world takes place right here on our own turf in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the world-famous Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), held each year in May. EDC is held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and lasts for three nights, and the entire venue is lit up with neon, creating the ultimate raver’s playground. More than 400,000 people attend each year, making EDC the biggest dance music festival in the world, and one you definitely don’t want to miss. They even offer wedding packages in case you and your honey want to celebrate your wedding with 400,000 of your closest friends!
What Should I Know About Attending Large Music Festivals?
Large music festivals like those listed above are an incredible experience, but they can also be a bit overwhelming if you’ve never been to one. After all, a lot of people in one place with so many options for awesome acts to see is a lot to take in! However, there are a few tips that will help you make the most of your festival experience.
1. Stay hydrated: The vast majority of best music festivals take place in the summer, and the three listed above are no exception. Summer temps mean that it’s going to be hot no matter where you are, so one of your priorities should be staying hydrated. While every festival will have bottled water and some will also have hydration packs for sale, it makes a lot more sense to come prepared and bring your own so you don’t have to miss your favorite act’s performance or shell out any extra cash. Hydration packs don’t have to be ugly or boring, either; companies like iHeartRaves have a huge selection of cute, stylish hydration packs and backpacks that will take your outfit vibe and your comfort to the next level.
2. Schedule your sets: Massive music festivals don’t just have huge crowds - they also have tons of performances from a wide variety of acts, including the biggest names in electronic dance music as headliners. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to catch them all unless you dance to one song at each, and even then, you might be pushing it. For festival-goers to make your festival experience smoother, prioritize your favorite acts and create a schedule ahead of time so you’re aware of exactly when and where your favorite acts are playing. This will also help you time when you should arrive each day and when you’re good to leave for the night.
3. Visit the pop-up shops: Naturally, you’ll be headed to the festival dressed and ready to go in a rave-worthy ensemble, but it’s still worth visiting the festival’s pop-up shops and stores. In addition to scoring all of your favorite branded festival gear, you can also take home some fun souvenirs and additions to your outfit for the next festival.
4. Carpool when you can, and drop a pin when you can’t: The best, most convenient way to get to the festivals each day is to take a ride-share carpool service like LYFT or UBER. You don’t have to worry about paying for parking, remembering where you parked, or sitting in huge lines of traffic to get into the parking lots, and carpooling with others helps to keep the lines down. If you’re unable to carpool or would prefer to take your own car, that’s fine, but make sure you know exactly where you parked. Take pictures of signage, write down directions to and from the festival, or drop a pin on your phone, but make sure you know how to get back to your car at the end of the night. There’s nothing worse than wandering the parking lots in the dark when you’re exhausted from dancing and just want to get home.
5. Bring the essentials: Coming prepared for the festival by bringing the essentials is one way to help guarantee that you have a great time. Make sure you bring things like a portable phone charger, since you’ll be taking and posting tons of pictures and videos, and the last thing you need is for your phone to die at the end of the night, when your friends are looking for you. A poncho doubles as protection from the rain and offers a clean, dry place to sit when you’re looking to chill for a minute. Ear plugs are an essential item - you’ll still be able to hear the music, but you won’t go deaf if you happen to find yourself partying next to the speakers. Baby wipes will help keep you clean and make for a handy solution in the porta-potties, and finally, creating a fun totem will help you and your friends find each other easily, and it’s a fun way to ramp up your excitement before the festival.
6. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing: Festivals are for dancing, of course, but you’ll also likely be doing a ton of walking, especially at the bigger events. Make sure that you’re wearing comfortable shoes that don’t cause blisters or wear out your feet at the end of the day. The same goes for clothing. If you can find moisture-wicking clothing that doesn’t rub or cause discomfort, you’ll literally be a much happier camper. It’s possible to look cute and be comfortable - just buy clothing that is specifically made for raves and festivals.
7. Find a place to chill: Attending a gigantic music event can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first one, so it’s a good idea to map out a place to chill before you get there. Every festival has spots where you can sit, relax, and cool off, and festivals like EDC offer carnival rides that let you have a little fun and enjoy a killer view of the entire grounds. When you need to take a break, make sure to let your friends know where you’re headed. You never know who else might be ready to sit for a minute!
There’s definitely something to be said for hitting up some of the largest music festivals in the world. After all, it’s an experience like no other for music fans. Still, every festival was small (or smaller) once, so don’t discount your local events. The rave and festival experience isn’t about being as big as possible; it’s about connecting to the people around you, expressing your individuality, and dancing your face off with your friends. Thankfully, you don’t need to be surrounded by millions of people to do any of that.