Around the World Musical Odyssey...
January 17, 2012 7:13 PM   Subscribe

So a year travelling from one music festival to another starting in May,2012. What not to miss? Exotic countries and HUGE festivals a plus. What would be the dream itinerary for 2012?

Modern music, rock, big name talent, esoteric talent, very large festivals, spectacular settings and venues. What 10 concerts and music festivals will draw the largest crowds this year anywhere on the planet? What single festival or concert will draw the argest crowd this year? What else is big?
posted by Muirwylde to Media & Arts (23 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Lollapalooza in Santiago, Chile?
posted by lulu68 at 7:21 PM on January 17, 2012

Glastonbury in the UK is fallow. Oxygen in Ireland is fallow, but is sort of paired with T in the Park, which is on. Reading (90K) and Isle of White (87K) are on. WOMAD is always on somewhere.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:22 PM on January 17, 2012

Sziget is big, and Budapest is beautiful.
posted by moonmilk at 7:38 PM on January 17, 2012

Spend the 5th of May in Wageningen, The Netherlands. In the afternoon they have a very cool parade and then they set up a dozen (or so) stages throughout the town and have music and stuff all night.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:51 PM on January 17, 2012

What single festival or concert will draw the largest crowd this year?

The London 2012 Olympics will be the biggest event in Europe this year, period.

Not artsy enough? Hah! Every Olympics includes the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:46 PM on January 17, 2012

Jazzfest in New Orleans. Since you start in May you'll miss the first weekend. Single-day attendance topped 160K in 2001, it's probably bigger now.

Roskilde in Denmark, 75K, end of June/beginning of July.
posted by Runes at 8:55 PM on January 17, 2012

Sonar 2012 electronic music and multimedia festival: the offshoot in Sao Paulo (11-12 May) or the main one in Barcelona (14-16 June).
posted by xbonesgt at 9:12 PM on January 17, 2012

Its not that big, but Sasquatch in Washington is an AMAZING venue. Granted, the view is only from the main stage, but its still awesome. Also, its got a high altitude so unlike a lot of other music venues, the place isn't hellishly hot. In fact, its hovers around 45ish at night so tent sleeping can get pretty cold. But awesome festival, people are not douches there, mostly young hippie kids, but saw young kids and older peeps too. The view. There are other pictures which do it justice, but this is just a personal one. Also, after experiencing a giant festival and this smaller one, its kinda nice that its smaller. Have fun, this sounds amazing!
posted by fuzzysoft at 9:15 PM on January 17, 2012

Fuji Rock Festival is the largest outdoor music event in Japan. Usually a lot of really good bands play, it's definitely worth to go. Wikipedia says more than 100k attended in 2005.
posted by xtine at 11:25 PM on January 17, 2012

Coachella and Earth Dance are both pretty good ones in Cali.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 11:44 PM on January 17, 2012

Festival au Desert in Mali intrigues me. Haven't been. (January)

Primavera Sound in Barcelona and also Porto is a great city festival. (May/June).

My favourite festival is a lot smaller and probably doesn't fit your criteria.
posted by Infinite Jest at 12:12 AM on January 18, 2012

Snowbombing in Austria and Sonar in Barcelona have got rave reviews from my friends.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:49 AM on January 18, 2012

Exotic? G! festival on the Faroe Islands. Compared to other european festivals it's small, but the line-up is always good, the scenery no less than amazing. Bring a raincoat.

Very large? The biggest festival in the Netherlands is de Vierdaagsefeesten in Nijmegen. It lasts for a week and every year about 1.5 million(!) people go there. It's based around this walking event, and every year the city centre basically transforms into one giant club. Musicwise it's not spectacular, although the bit called valkhof affaire has some good indy stuff.
posted by Sourisnoire at 2:14 AM on January 18, 2012

Big is not necessarily best!

But missing out on Glasto is a huge shame. In Europe (I guess your itinerary requires Northern Hemisphere festivals) you should look at Exit, Boom, Sziget, Fusion and the new S.U.N. festival promises to be fantastic. Other than that, definitely consider Fuji, Sonar, Notting Hill and Jazzfest.
posted by turkeyphant at 3:55 AM on January 18, 2012

Supersonic in Birmingham is absolutely my favourite music festival. It's more on the esoteric side, but I guarantee you that you will see at least one band you'll really, really like there.

Late summer/early autumn seems to be a good time for festivals in the west of England - there's the chilled-out End of the Road, the bonkers Bestival, and Bristol's resurrected Ashton Court Festival.
posted by hnnrs at 4:10 AM on January 18, 2012

From their website, "The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in Scotland’s capital city." Looks to include hundreds of music performances.
posted by Dixon Ticonderoga at 7:15 AM on January 18, 2012

Seconding - or thirding or whatever - both Sonar (which is a combination of interesting "advanced music" suavity and mindless allnight bosh) and T in the Park (which is the human equivalent of what would happen if a zoo suffered an animal containment failure and an engulfing drugs-slick on the same day).
posted by my face your at 7:43 AM on January 18, 2012

All Tomorrow's Parties
posted by empath at 7:44 AM on January 18, 2012

Virgin Festival
posted by empath at 7:44 AM on January 18, 2012

You could start and finish with Jazzfest. Do the second weekend this year, and the first weekend in 2013.
posted by CheeseLouise at 7:48 AM on January 18, 2012

Edinburgh Military Tattoo
posted by Confess, Fletch at 2:31 PM on January 18, 2012

It's definitely not the biggest, but the setting was very cool. Check out The Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, AL. Festival on the beach. It was awesome.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 9:55 PM on January 18, 2012

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