The 5 Best Summer Music Festivals to Travel for in 2022

From indie rock to Afrobeats, the biggest music festivals around the world are back, just in time for summer.

The 5 Best Summer Music Festivals to Travel for in 2022

The world’s best African artists turn out for AfroNation Festival.

Courtesy of Andre Machado / AfroNation

Summer is alive with the sound of music—festivals that is. After two years of concertgoers on standby to hear their favorite artists perform in person, many of the world’s most popular music events are back. Here are five music festivals around the world that we would happily travel for this summer.

AfroNation Festival

July 1–3, 2022 Portimao, Portugal

The world’s biggest AfroBeats festival, AfroNation, makes its comeback in early July on Portimao, Portugal’s golden sand beaches in the Algarve region. The three-day annual festival was founded in 2013 to promote the world’s best African artists in Afrobeats, R&B, Dancehall, Amapiano, hip hop, Afro House, and more. Some headliners at this year’s event include award-winning artists WizKid, Burna Boy, and megastar Megan Thee Stallion, who will all perform to a beachside audience on Praia de Rocha. For those who prefer not to be in the middle of energetic crowds and want the best seat in the house, Sky Terrace seating is available for small groups.

For general and VIP tickets, visit afronation.com.

Montreux Jazz Festival

July 1–16, 2022 Montreux, Switzerland

Head to Lake Geneva’s shoreline for a symphony of sounds for nearly two weeks. Though it initially started in 1967 as a jazz festival, the performances at Montreux Jazz Festival have since expanded to include every musical style. This year’s acts will include performances from Diana Ross, Van Morrison, Ibrahim Maloouf, and Björk. Nearly 250,000 spectators will travel to enjoy more than 450 activities on 11 stages. Best of all—many events are free.

For tickets, visit montreuxjazzfestival.com.

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Photo by J.R. Thomason

Essence Festival of Culture

June 30–July 3, 2022 New Orleans, Louisiana

This annual music festival will hit the Big Easy for its 25th year at various locations around New Orleans. Musical performances at this year’s Essence Festival will include sets from the Isley Brothers, Janet Jackson, Jazmine Sullivan, and more. In line with the communal spirit of the festival, there will be a number of nonmusical events as well, like an immersive wellness house led by practitioners and mental health advocates; stand-up by stars like Kevin Hart, and a three-day film festival with celebrity panels and screenings. For those who can’t make it in person, there is also the option to join the festivities virtually.

For tickets, visit essence.com.

Pitchfork

July 15–17, 2022 Chicago, Illinois

Musicians will take the stage for three days in Chicago’s Union Park for Pitchfork’s celebration of indie, rock, and hip hop. The National, the Roots, and Mitski are this year’s headliners, and they’ll be joined on three stages by artists like Toro y Moi, Japanese Breakfast, Spiritualized, and more artists you may need to ask the cool Gen Zers in your life about.

For tickets, visit pitchforkmusicfestival.com.

Electric Zoo

September 2–4, 2022 New York City

Feel the bass, literally, during New York City’s longest-running electronic festival, Electric Zoo. The three-day lineup includes the sounds of Diplo, Porter Robinson, and Subtronics, set on the grassy fields of Randall’s Island Park. Electric Zoo was founded in 2009, and its international editions have taken place in Mexico City, Tokyo, Shanghai, and São Paulo.

For tickets, visit electriczoo.com.

>>Next: 20 Incredible Road Trips in the U.S.

Kristin is a travel journalist and founder of Crush Global Travel. She has penned pieces for Vogue, CNN, USA Today, Essence, NPR, Architectural Digest, Ebony, and the Los Angeles Times, among others. Her perfect day includes soca music, rum, and the ocean.
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