Music Festivals Rock


The long, steamy days between May and Labor Day imply two things—one, that kids all over are running amok with no homework to keep them academically entertained, and two, that music festivals around the world are in full swing.

MSN rated the “World’s Best Cities and Festivals for Music Lovers,” and I was pleasantly surprised to find that Seattle’s Bumbershoot came in second only to Memphis’s Beale Street Music Festival. As a hip high-schooler (as we all know we were), I enjoyed the plethora of bands that would rock downtown Seattle over Labor Day weekend, and now it’s one of the leading green festivals in the country. Chicago’s Blues Festival in Grant Park and Lollapalooza came in third and fourth place, giving the U.S. clear domination in the ratings. For a full list of the world’s best music festivals and cities, check below the jump.

1. Beale Street Music Festival, Memphis, Tennessee
2. Bumbershoot, Seattle, Washington
3. Blues Festival in Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois
4. Lollapalooza, Chicago, Illinois
5. Tokyo, Japan
6. London, England
7. Los Angeles, California
8. Milan, Italy
9. New York City, New York
10. Miami, Florida
11. Vienna, Austria
12. Nashville, Tennessee
13. New Orleans, Louisiana
14. Summerfest, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
15. Austin, Texas

Which are your favorite music cities and festivals? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo: Katie Knorovsky


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  1. Nathan Ward
    January 11, 2009, 9:05 am

    Check out this cool music festival in Stone Town, Zanzibar. It’s called Busara and happens every year in mid-February. It’s a 4 day show featuring music from all over East Africa. Pretty cool.
    It’s also a great place for snorkeling and diving – just off shore in Stone Town.

  2. Noah
    July 23, 2008, 4:11 pm

    I also agree that the list is totally weird. Maybe for their next list MSN could do World’s Best Stadiums and Brands of Golf Clubs for Sports Lovers.
    Also, I would be remiss in not mentioning the new 80/35 Festival in Des Moines.

  3. Mark Schoneveld
    July 23, 2008, 12:34 pm

    I enjoyed the new POPPED! Music Festival in Philadelphia this summer. Also, the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago is bar none.

  4. Katie
    July 23, 2008, 10:28 am

    I agree, John. Not sure what MSN’s criteria was. If it helps, the photo is from Bonnaroo, one of my personal favorite music festivals…

  5. John Ur
    July 23, 2008, 10:13 am

    That’s kind of a misleading list… Festivals and Cities are apples and oranges. They didn’t mention Bonnaroo or any of the HUGE festivals held in Europe during the summer. And how do you compare The Blues Festival in Chicago with Lollapalooza in Chicago (and they left out Pitchfork Music Fest also in Chicago) to Milan or Vienna? I don’t understand it.