Have you ever been to a music festival? Did you like it?
Music festivals are a lot of fun and i’ll explain why. You have great music to dance to, friendly people to meet, and food to try, what else can one want to have a good time?
Music is one of those things where you can put a bunch of strangers next to each other and people will get along because they’ll be dancing.
If you get to attend a festival in a new location it’ll be an awesome experience you’ll never forget.
Just think of the memories of the trip and the music festival you’ll make a long the way. Music in a different location will simply call for a different experience.
Webster dictionary defines a festival as -an often periodic celebration or program of events or entertainment having a specified focus.
As an avid music fan I’ve inevitably incorporated music into my travels a lot. From Detroit to Amsterdam, to Espana, I’ve hopped around the globe for a dance.
Experiencing music in different countries has definitely resulted in changes in my music taste.
Music is such a big part of me that it only feels right to share:
- Where I’ve gone and how I discovered these music events
- Where I stayed during my visits and where you can book too
- My review on what I liked about the music festival and what I didn’t like to help you plan ahead for any problems or obstacles.
Here are 5 music festivals you should attend at least once:
1. movement - A music festival in motor city
Deeeee-troit! This music festival is held every year in May during the weekend of the American holiday, Memorial Day. Memorial day is the last Monday in May to give you an idea on dates.
Detroit has SO much history, not only in the American automobile scene but in the music world as well.
Read all about the history of music and Detroit on my latest post:
Any music lover knows a thing or two that Detroit know’s whats up when it comes to music. They birthed techno and therefore, music here is a city that should 100% be on your radar.
Though Detroit still has a lot of work to do, I’m honored to know that this music event contributes thousands of dollars to the city’s progression. If you’re going, you’re helping out the city of Detroit!
Amazing! #fortheloveofmusic yall.
How I heard about Movement: My good friend from childhood and our friend from Miami put this on my radar. They said Movement is a lot of fun, a monumental music festival, and that Detroit is so quirky and unique, no other city truly compares.
Where I stayed: The 1st year that I went I stayed at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance center. Loved my stay and that I was literally walking distance to and from the music festival. I enjoyed that I was also in the heart of downtown.
The 2nd year I went I didn’t move much further and stayed at Hilton Garden Inn Detroit Downtown. I liked my stay here too and that we were super close. I’m big on location.
I would highly recommend staying at the either of these hotels, both are incredibly convenient. It does get booked up fast especially for Movement so I would say to book early so it’s confirmed you’re set.
What I liked: Movement in Detroit is a 10/10 in my book. I love the grunginess to the city that you can almost feel the history of it; I like the bookings of the artists and the venues for the festival and off Movement parties.
The off Movement venues are wicked and have a story to tell. The venues are probably older than I am, think abandoned and very old.
The festival has a nice and diverse crowd ranging from people of all over – Chicago, Canadians (they’re super close to Detroit), locals ofcourse, and you have some other East Coasters and attendees.
If you are going for the festival or for the parties, both are a great time and you will not be bored because you’ll have a lot to do.
The most impressive thing that I remember from Detroit was when I went to go see Moody Man in what I thought was going to be a warehouse.
When we got there we were at a restaurant and a jazz club and then when you walked downstairs, Moody man was right there. Pretty interesting, never seen anything like that all in one establishment.
What I didn’t like: I don’t really have much to say on what I didn’t like. The two times i’ve gone I did a road trip, I can’t say I would drive 9 hours to this festival again.
If I were to triple repeat I would fly vs drive. So much easier and convenient but I was on a very tight budget. Girl’s gotta do – what a girl’s gotta do
2. sonar - A music festival in spain
Ole! Sweet Spain! Sonar is a very unique and creative festival where “Music, Creative, and Technology” is one of the mottos.
The musical genres here are diverse as Sonar has a very wide music selection for their bookings. They have a lot of experimental and new artists debut every year along side major classics. Sonar music festival is worth checking out if you are in Barcelona Mid June.
Sonar has a huge audience, I believe Rosalia debuted on Sonar and that took off quick. People go here to consume new music, find out about new artists, experiment with their own personal music taste, and most importantly have fun!
To tell you just a glimpse of how fun it is, there’s bumper cars at Sonar! Never seen anything like that so that was really fun. My birthday is June 17th and I’ve found Sonar is always around my birthday to give you an idea on dates.
How I heard about Sonar: Since 2016 there was a personal growing obsession with going to Spain and trying to celebrate my birthday at Sonar.
It didn’t work for 2 years but when I finally went I was glad I did. Sonar was something that I discovered online and always wanted to go one day.
Where I stayed: I stayed in a private room and bathroom in a hostel named Live and Dream. Honestly it was super overpriced, especially for a hostel but my friend and I booked last minute.
It was nice and clean so no complaints on the actual hotel, more on my end for booking late and having limited and expensive options.
What I liked: I liked that Sonar is a very big venue and that you have a lot of space to dance. I like the artistic aspect to it and how they set up the decor and visuals.
The sound systems are quality speakers and the crowd is ready to have a good time.
What I didn’t like: The bathrooms were a disaster yet that’s at most concerts and festivals so this wasn’t really a surprise.
I think Sonar music festival and the Off- Sonar parties are WAY too overpriced but Barcelona is such a vibe that budgeting goes out the window if you’re really into Sonar.
3. houghton - A music festival in the uk
Location: Houghton hall & Gardens Norfolk, UK
Time of year: Beginning of August
Festival Website: https://www.houghtonfestival.co.uk/
Have you ever gone camping with a majority of British people? Me neither until I went to Houghton. Combining music and mother nature for a grand old time will leave you coming back for more.
With that being said, I’m already eager to go back, it’s just too good. Organized by the infamous DJ, Craig Richard, Houghton is rather young in age.
It’s been around since 2017 but the organization of this festival (regardless of some minor tweeks) is impressive. One of the best festivals i’ve attended, it was so fun!
How I heard about Houghton: This festival came on my radar because my boyfriend already had tickets and suggested I check it out with him.
There wasn’t a lot of convincing that took place as the entire idea of Houghton got me all gitty and excited to attend.
Where I stayed: I stayed at the field of the festival. Being that I’m American I wouldn’t feel comfortable driving a British car. I rented a tent in pitch village at a fair price.
What I liked: I love Houghton a lot, it’s an amazing festival. From the bookings, to the festival events, to the festival decor, it’s very entertaining and you won’t get bored.
The potter potties were spot less. I’ve never gone anywhere, let alone a festival that had cleaner potter potties than Houghton. The line up was 10/10 in my book for 2017 and I don’t doubt they will bring the funk year after year.
Hello! It’s Craig Richards. It’s genius to have a DJ run a festival because there is no one more equipped to be running a festival than a DJ – let alone a good DJ.
What I didn’t like: There were definitely some minor tweeks when I went to Houghton that I will share. There should be hot water in the showers.
The showers were brutally ice cold and that was inconvenient to shower in— considering we paid extra for the “hot water.”
There were no free charging stations so I had a cell phone for about 1/2 of a day out of the 4 I was there. I won’t deny that there was a charging station but you had to pay and I was broke. I think it was around 20 a day. Opted out, I just engaged with nature vs technology.
I did attend Houghton in 2017 so it’s possible all of these cons have improved. I’m sure they most likely have with the way they seem to operate. Will update on this if I execute my mission on attending this year.
4. sunwaves - a music festival on the romanian beach side
Location : Mamaia, Romania
Time of year: Spring edition – End of April or Summer edition – Mid August
Festival Website: http://sunwaves-fest.ro/
Romania is a very special place especially when it comes to history and music. The history reminds me a bit of Detroit and Berlin.
Why? Because all 3 have had a tough past yet the concept of music is understood much deeper here. When I went to Romania I found the locals to be exceptionally sweet.
They were a bit confused why I was visiting which makes it seem that tourism isn´t that heavy here. That was pretty cool to see considering people aren’t always so welcoming to tourists.
How I heard about Sunwaves: Sunwaves used to be very underground until people started talking about it. Word of mouth spreads like wildfire when things are good, especially music.
When I planned my Eurotrip this was a must on my list. I heard top notch reviews that it would even change my music taste a bit and not going to lie it definitely did!
Where I stayed: I stayed at a hotel that was walking distance to the festival named Hotel Siret.
The service was great and they helped some of my friends get a cab from Mamaia to Bucharest airport which was a steep drive. They were attentive and I enjoyed my stay. I would definitely stay at this hotel again if I was going back to Sunwaves which I intend soon!
What I liked: The music was a 15/10. I personally have never heard so many different artists and all of them be on their A game.
You will not stop dancing that is for sure! Time flies when you are having fun and next thing you know you’ll be wrapping up this 5 day festival event the blink of an eye.
The festival is also on a weird schedule where it doesn’t end so that’s great for anyone who really doesn’t want to stop dancing.
However, for me, I love sleep so that wasn’t me but figured I’d throw that information in here. I also enjoyed the top notch funktion one sound system. Really have never heard such good music in my life on one premises.
What I didn’t like: The festival itself can work on it’s organization. The potter potty scene is a screaming disaster by day 3.
I mean next level disaster the potter potties are to the top and screaming to be cleaned.
Luckily, I had my hotel right next door but this was so annoying to have to go back and forth every now and then and through a crowd of people.
The venue space also needs to be expanded as it´s too crammed. I went 2 years ago and I really hope they improved this because that was a huge inconvenience.
5. amsterdam dance event - a music festival in the netherland capital
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Time of year: Mid October
Festival Website: https://www.amsterdam-dance-event.nl/en/
Amsterdam Dance Event is a really fun time in the Netherlands. Besides museums and art, Amsterdam has a lot of interesting events around music.
In general they have ALOT of festivals but some differentiate itself from the rest. ADE is one of them, they have such a big and diverse lineup.
ADE is not neccesarily a festival in one place on certain days but rather a Dance Event that holds parties at multiple venues with multiple artists through out the course of 4 days.
How I heard about ADE: When I first went to Amsterdam, people repeatedly kept stating that I have to come back to Amsterdam for either Kings day or Amsterdam Dance Event.
Being the music geek that I am, ADE was more on my radar than Kings day. I went in October of 2017 while I was living in Berlin. It was a quick bus ride.
Where I stayed: I stayed at a hotel named Botel. Its a hotel on a boat hence the clever name. This is in NDSM area so you have to take the ferry.
The hotel itself was ok but the service was a 2/10. Was very odd behavior I found them to be very rude so I personally wouldn’t stay here again.
What I liked: I really liked the sound systems to the parties I went too. I also like that there’s a nice crowd visiting that is there for the purpose to listen to music.
I’ve made great friends from people I met during ADE. The venues are spacious, I never felt crammed or like I was uncomfortable.
What I didn’t like: The parties are a bit expensive but other than that I don’t really have anything negative to say about ADE. They throw events with quality music so no complaints.
Festivals are a lot of fun. Don’t miss out on these 5 top notch festivals! If you attend any of these or have attended, i’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below.
See you on the dance floor,