Sightseeing and sounds in super-cities
From Helsinki to Chicago, the summer of sound lets you bring music to your holiday. Choose one of these 6 festivals and you can explore wonderful sights when the music stops.
Music and travel are connected at a deeper level, as every traveller will agree. Wanderlust goes best with a soundtrack to match the tone of your adventures; classical music on a New Year’s Eve in Vienna, romantic ballads for a gondola ride in Venice, electronic sounds blasting on a Miami beach or simply your favourite music keeping you company on long drives around the country. If you want to blend your love of both these things, this summer’s music festivals 2016 bring the sound of wanderlust in your life. Track your favourite band and explore a new city in 5 unique experiences:
Mad Cool Festival – Madrid
When: 16 – 18 June
Who: The Who, Band of Horses, Bastille, The Prodigy
Why: Just a few days separate us from the global experience that is Mad Cool. The Spanish capital hosts this music festival that brings an ode to sustainability and our relationship with the environment. It also represents a mix of artistic expression, with not only music but also photography and gastronomy taking centre stage in the transformed tennis venue.
If you want to explore even more of the local lifestyle, take a train back to the centre of Madrid and visit the coolest places in town. Start your day at Monkee Koffee, walk along Gran Via, visit the Prado museum, relax in park El Retiro, dine at Nakeima and finish the party at Bristol Bar. And don’t forget that the best party in Madrid is at Barrio de Las Letras, a very bohemian neighbourhood. Complete your itinerary with more local recommendations here.
Electric Daisy Carnival – Las Vegas
When: 17 – 19 June
Who: Armin van Buuren, Paul van Dyk, Tiësto
Why: There’s no party like a Vegas party. Although the festival has editions in New York, Mexico City and Tokyo, this is the main attraction for electronic dance music fans. Among the music festivals 2016, this is special because it’s the 20th edition so the anniversary will be celebrated in style, with music, art, amusement park rides and carnival shows.
The best part is that all of the acts are scheduled from sunset to sunrise, so you can take advantage of sunny daytime to have a look around town. That is if you can live on adrenaline and exceptionally low amounts of sleep. If you do, our insiders’ highlights include a quick hair blow-out at Look, an amazing spa day at Caesar Palace, followed by bar hopping in the Downtown area and a crazy dream induced fantasy circus show – Absinthe.
Lollapalooza – Chicago
When: 28 – 31 July
Who: Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lana del Rey
Why: One of the most famous and well-organized music festivals 2016 is Lollapalooza, in Chicago’s Grant Park. It combines alternative rock music with dance, comedy shows and craft booths. This artistic manifestation is also a perfect occasion to visit Chicago during the day, without having to dress up for sightseeing. The casual city welcomes you with a super-cool science museum, the best deep dish pizza ever (at Giordano’s), a fun aquarium on Lake Michigan, the best spa in the USA (Elysian Spa) and an amusement park in the Navy Pier. See what else our insiders recommend here.
Flow Festival – Helsinki
Flow Festival | (c) Jussi Hellsten | www.jussihellsten.com
When: 12 – 14 August
Who: Iggy Pop, Jamie XX, Sia, Chvrches
Why: Because it’s not just about music. The music is diverse, from jazz and folk to rock and electronic, but the festival itself is a tribute to urban art, good food and – because we’re in Finland – quality drinks. If you hurry up, you can not only experience this art boutique festival but also make the most out of visiting the beautiful Finnish capital.
Helsinki is a pretty compact city so you can walk around by foot to see the essential tourist attractions before the concerts start up in the evening. Walk around the Senate Square to see great samples of local architecture and browse the fresh markets for lunch.
For a little shopping, Aleksanterinkatu or the Esplanade offer great local designers but also famous designer brands. Stop for a coffee at Beanie and look up Namu for the after-party. For more tips on things to do in Helsinki, see our insider-recommended guides here.
Sziget Festival – Budapest
Sziget Festival | László Mudra | Rockstar Photographers
When: 10 – 17 August
Who: Rihanna, Muse, David Guetta
Why: As one of the largest music festivals in Europe, Sziget is held on a scenic island on the Danube River, north of Budapest. The gorgeous capital is worth a visit even without loud tunes rocking the outskirts of town, but this is a perfectly good excuse to check out the party city.
Once you find your way out and around the stages and cool art installations, you can chill by the beach-like river banks or go into the city for some designer shopping, having ice-cream on a terrace in the old city or enjoy the fantastic nightlife that Budapest is famous for.
If you’re tempted by these summer music festivals 2016, make sure to get your tickets as soon as possible – great music in great cities is in great demand. From Vegas to Budapest, the likes of Rihanna and Tiësto tempt you to visit the coolest fun and fashion capitals in the world. If you do visit, share your favourite spots for future festival goers here. But go join the fun first!