Wednesday Question: Best Music Festivals?

What is the best music festival? Share your nominations here, and vote for an official winner for the greatest festival ever in this week's poll.

Ultimate Guitar

Summer is officially over (boo!), but it's been a stellar year for festival line-ups.

But with so many festival options, from day-events to sprawling weekends with dozens of tents and the biggest acts in the world, it's hard to pick out which ones are really the best.

This week's Wednesday Question is:

What are the best festivals in the world?

There's so many factors to consider that it could be a real tough one. There's the quality of the acts, but also the quality of services and what the festival ground is like. You might also consider the legacy - and then there's the fellow festival clientele to consider. An average lineup is sometimes balanced by an atmosphere which puts a smile on everyone's face.

It'll also be interesting to hear about quirky small festivals that you've discovered - they'll be fascinating to hear about, even if they don't make it to the final list.

As a rule, we'd like any festival you nominate to have been active in the past three years - there might have been some awesome festivals in the past, but we want to know which active festivals are the greatest on this occasion.

As usual, post one nomination per comment and upvote others you agree with. We'll be rounding up your results for a live-music spectacular on Friday. With a little thought, your post will make it to the final top 10. Good luck!

309 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Rock im Park/Rock am Ring. Best line-ups, best atmosphere, mostly good weather
    best line up? not this year... definetly NOT this year but yeah been there 5 times and it's pretty cool, however i prefer GMM!
    A matter of taste my friend. GMM was good in 2011 with the scorpions, foreigner and journey and dio's deciple... maybe epica too, and yeah last time RiP and RaM was a bit less then other years, but I still had the best time ever, it's not all about the line-up
    Download Festival!!!!
    Austin City Limits!
    UK tech metal fest
    Just shamelessly posting this up here so it doesn't get lost in the nether regions of the comments section: Sziget for being huge and on its own island in Hungary. Also Kazantip for being probably the longest lasting one, last edition was 2 weeks but I think it used to be a month long.
    All those metal Festivals that Europe gets, and it makes it suck being an American metal fan.
    Move to europe then. It's ok here to show boobies on shower gel tv ads.
    Any festival MetallicA is playing on
    what the hell is so bad about Metallica people? Sure Lars is a douche but their music doesn't suck!
    Yes it does. Whammet and that danish monkey are horrible. I respect Hetfield and the bassman for withstanding the worst duo ever.
    What do u listen to? Let me ask. Black Metal? Death Metal? Or are u one of those know it alls who listens to Dream Theater? Only one of the those people could make such a comment.
    Someone's awfully stereotypical... I don't like Metallica OR any of that shit.
    Can everyone stop arguing about what bands are better? We all need to get along. Part of what keeps rock music relevant is it's loyal fans sticking together. Fighting is making us weaker. Enjoy the music you like and stop criticizing what everyone else likes. This was directed at all above comments btw.
    Agent 00Awesome
    Pinkpop. Not the best lineups, but hey it's the longest running annual music festival in the world so it deserves a place somewhere in the top ten.
    Glastonbury. Hands down.
    20 years ago Galstonbury maybe, but todays one is mostly embarrassing to what it used to be if you ask me... but you didn't...
    I haven't really been to festivals so I judge from others' accounts and videos of the performers, but Glasto does seem pretty cool. Lineups can be iffy at times but the crowd always seems to be having the time of their lives and there's been a lot of great moments.
    was going to comment the exact same thing, glastonbury rules over all others, maybe the line up hasnt been as good in recent years but the experience of being there is like nothing else
    Yep. It's not even close. Watch any footage on youtube and the crowd is always amazing.
    Yeah, I had such a good time at the Orion fest this year.
    I couldn't make the trip to Detroit this year (still kicking myself for missing it). I did go last year since I'm from New York, and it was easily the best weekend of my life. If Metallica can keep this going and keep getting good artists to play, Orion could become the best.
    SXSW. So many bands, signed and unsigned. A great opportunity to hear a variety of music from a lot of bands, some of which will hit it big shortly after you see them there.
    Riot Fest!
    Thrice Capades
    Riot Fest sucked more sucks than a suck.
    So you're telling me The Pixies, The Replacements, Danzig (with Doyle), Suicidal Tendencies, Joan Jett, Dinosaur Jr, Public Enemy, Rancid, Violent Femmes, Sublime and Against Me! in one festival sucked more sucks than a suck...
    Thrice Capades
    You're not deaf, and I don't stutter. Add in Blink and you just listed 12 bands. 12 bands over 3 days is 4 good bands per day (assuming you think all of them are good...which is debatable). 4 good bands per day over 5 stages means...bad.
    Downvoted not because of your opinion, you're entitled to it whether anyone agrees or disagrees, but because you sound like an arrogant pompous a$$. Intended for Thrice Capades
    Thrice Capades
    Being smarter than everybody else does have its downside.
    Ignorance looks great on you. Keep it up.
    To be fair, Riot Fest really did blow. And mathematically Thrice does raise a good point. I mean...0.8 good bands per stage per day IS pretty weak.
    Well maybe because I wasn't going to list every single good band that played that festival???? Calm down it's not like every festival is going to accommodate your music taste.
    Thrice Capades
    Coachella. Kinda shocked nobody else said it yet. Coachella is unreal.
    Too much security. You can't leave the beer gardens with your booze. Not enough camping. Bonnaroo was much better.
    Exhibit A: Yeah, screw all the awesome music, killer side shows, beautiful scenery and beer gardens. Exhibit B: If you can't figure out a way to get drunk outside of the beer gardens then you might need to learn how to festival.
    My reply to Coachella: Lie Witness News - Coachella 2013
    T In The Park
    Heavy MTL
    king bun bun
    Only been to the big 3 in the US but Bonnaroo was so much better than Coachella or Lollapalooza. At least as far as atmosphere is concerned
    Dour Festival (Belgium)
    Um, Woodstock?
    Rock Am Ring
    Montreux Jazz Festival.
    Yes!! I'm gonna add Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, Newport Jazz and New Orleans Jazz and Heritage
    SOUNDWAVE FESTIVAL. It's the only straight-Metal/Punk/Heavy fest we have in Australia and EVERY year it kicks ass. Just look at all the lineups!
    Sonisphère France 2011 : Big 4, Slipknot, Dream Theater, Mastodon, Gojira, Airbourne, Diamond Head, Bring Me the Horizon and more. I couldn't dream of a better line-up. And I was fu**ing there, best two-days of my life.
    2012 was our best Sonisphere in Finland. Metallica, Machine Head, Gojira, Amorphis, Ghost & Hardcore Superstars
    If I had to pick one year of Sonisphere, it would be 2009. That was Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan's last show before he died...
    Metalcamp (Slovenia)
    Or now called MetalDays - but in our hearts it will always be "METALCAMP - HeadBanger's Holiday"
    Greatful Sound
    jazz Fest
    New Orleans VooDoo fest
    Glastonbury is absolutely without equal in the UK. You can't even begin to understand what it's like from watching it on TV or sitting and judging the lineup. Everything about it is spectacular.