Crowd Surfing through the Season’s Best Music Festivals

Catch your favourite musical acts alongside several thousand newfound friends.

  1. Celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of Japan’s biggest fests with Blackpink and MGMT The organizers of this festival, which takes place simultaneously in Tokyo and Osaka, have tacked an extra day onto the annual two-day bash to commemorate their 20th anniversary (and because they’re taking next summer off when the Olympics roll in to Tokyo). Summer Sonic, Tokyo and Osaka, August 16–18

August 1, 2019
  1. Shine up your boots for an all-star country lineup Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean and Canadian Terri Clark take the stage at Prairie Winds Park for this thunderous event's fourth year in Cowtown. Country Thunder, Calgary, August 16–18

  1. Have an end-of-summer bash with the year’s biggest headliners Acts play in both Reading and Leeds – the two cities are a three-and-a-half-hour drive apart – over the course of the weekend. Whether you’re north or south, you can rock out to headliners The 1975 and Billie Eilish. Reading and Leeds Festivals, U.K., August 23–25

A large orchestra performs
   Photo: Lucerne Festival
  1. See legendary conductors, orchestras and virtuosos surrounded by the Swiss Alps This month-long festival puts on more than 100 concerts by the likes of the London Symphony Orchestra and Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan – so go ahead, stay awhile. Lucerne Festival Summer Festival, Switzerland, August 16–September 15

  1. Hop between an outdoor main stage and intimate Raleigh clubs North Carolina's multi-venue showcase reimagines who's included in Americana with a mixed-genre lineup of rock stalwarts (Kurt Vile) and rapidly rising rappers (JPEGMAFIA), all paired with plenty of craft beer. Hopscotch Music Festival, Raleigh, North Carolina, September 5–7

Female performer at Nova Batida
  1. Dance to EDM beatmakers between surfing lessons and sit-down supper clubs Ditch the typical kaleidoscopic flair of EDM festivals for laid-back programming in Lisbon, with headlining sets by innovative international beatmakers like Four Tet. Nova Batida, Lisbon, September 13–15

Male guitarist performs for a crowd of fans
   Photo: Ashutosh Gupta
  1. Listen to a mix of up-and-comers and indie greats For nearly two decades, Pop Montreal has nailed a perfect blend of giving a platform to buzzy rising stars (Weyes Blood) and hosting iconic visionaries (Nick Cave), plus art shows and church basement craft fairs. Pop Montreal, September 25–29

Festival goers wander around the desert grounds of the venue
   Photo: Dave Evanko
  1. Pair a psych-rock lineup with starry desert camping The expertly curated psychedelic rock camping festival in the mountains of Southern California is a trip (in more ways than one). This year’s headliners include the Flaming Lips and Stereolab. Desert Daze, Moreno Beach, California, October 10–13

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