Music festivals, massive gatherings of music fans to take in mini-concerts by multiple top level artists, have proliferated across Europe. Every year the festival schedule follows from nation to nation throughout the summer. This is a list of 10 of the best festivals for 2007 in approximate chronological order
Thanks to Daniel Wolfe for primary research in putting this list together.
1. Glastonbury Festival
June 22 - June 24, 2007
Glastonbury, or Glasto, for short, is the behemoth of European music officials. The event's history dates back to a small festival in 1970 that drew 1,500 visitors. In 2005 an estimated 150,000 people attended the event. The 2006 festival was cancelled, but tickets for the 2007 event sold out in less than 2 hours. The lineup of artists is not officially announced until June.
2. Rock Werchter
June 28 - July 1, 2007
Located in the village of Werchter in Belgium, Rock Werchter began in 1974. The most recent expansion made the event a 4-day festival in 2003. The American company Clear Channel Entertainment recently purchased the rights to the event. Among the acts scheduled to appear in 2007 are Arctic Monkeys, My Chemical Romance, the Killers, and Snow Patrol.
3. Roskilde Festival
July 5 - July 8, 2007
The Roskilde Festival near Roskilde, Denmark traces its origins to an event created by high school students in 1971. More than 100,000 people participated in the 2006 festival. Campers are encouraged to arrive early, the Sunday before the concerts begin on a Thursday. Among the artists scheduled to appear at Roskilde in 2007 are Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Who, Arcade Fire, and Bjork.
4. Montreux Jazz Festival
July 6 - July 21, 2007
The Montreux Jazz Festival is held on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. It first began in 1967 and was exclusively devoted to jazz. As the festival grew through the years, it broadened its scope to include a very wide range of music. The official listing of artists performing is scheduled for release on April 19, 2007.
5. Oxegen / T in the Park
July 6 - July 8, 2007
Oxegen, held in County Kildare, Ireland, and T in the Park, held near Kinross, Scotland, are grouped together because they are held the same weekend and often feature the same artists who make the short trip during the weekend between Ireland and Scotland. Arctic Monkeys, the Killers, and Snow Patrol are among the artists who will play both festivals. Separately, T in the Park will feature Lily Allen and Oxegen will feature Avril Lavigne among many, many others.
6. EXIT Festival
July 12 - July 15, 2007
EXIT Festival takes place at Petrovaradin fortress in Novi Sad, Serbia. It is the largest major music festival in eastern Europe. The event was created by university students in 2000. Last year's event drew over 100,000 visitors during the entire festival with Billy Idol's set drawing over 40,000. Confirmed performers for the EXIT 07 in 2007 include Beastie Boys, Basement Jaxx, Robert Plant, and the Wu-Tang Clan.
7. Benicassim International Festival
July 19 - July 22, 2007
This festival held in Benicassim, Spain features a wide range of other arts beyond music including film, theatre and dance. Music acts performing in 2007 include Muse, the B-52's, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and the Klaxons.
July 16 - July 18, 2007
Pukkelpop takes place near Hasselt, Belgium. It began in 1985 with 7 acts on 1 stage and drew 2,500 spectators. Last year's event drew over 100,000 people to see artists on 7 different stages across 3 days. 2007's lineup of artists has not yet been announced.
9. Carling Weekend - Reading and Leeds Festivals
August 24 - August 26, 2007
The Carling Weekend is 2 different events held in the UK cities of Reading and Leeds over the same weekend in August. They usually share nearly exactly the same bill of performers. The Reading Festival began in 1961, and the Leeds leg of the festival was added in 1999. The 2007 lineup includes Red Hot Chili Peppers, Panic! At the Disco, Fall Out Boy, and Smashing Pumpkins.
10. Electric Picnic
August 31 - September 2, 2007
Electric Picnic, held in Stradbally, Ireland, bills itself as the "Boutique Music Festival." It was first held in 2004 as a single day event, but Electric Picnic has already grown to a 3 day festival. Just over 30,000 tickets will be sold for 2007. Artists performing in 2007 include Modest Mouse, Bjork, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, and the Beastie Boys