Where are the best music festival locations in the world? We’ve done the research so you don’t have to. From 24-hour sun at Secret Solstice, to ultimate escapism in the Bulgarian hills at Meadows in the Mountains, the list of left-field locations and out-there experiences grows with each season.
But if you’re looking to explore the craziest festival locations, where do you begin? We’ve compiled a few of our favourite festivals in locations that are a little more special than your typical tent in a field.
Emblematic of Berlin’s distinctive industrial-gothic rave culture, Melt gathers the razor-sharp fashion trendsetters and matches them with a forward-thinking setting and production. Everything at Melt has a cutting edginess to it, whether it be the raw techno sets and grungy live acts, or the literal giant iron structures that surround the site. That’s because Ferropolis is an open-air graveyard for antique industrial machines.
Melt’s line-up this year is a fusion of top-tier selectors with lowkey live acts, featuring the likes of Bicep, Palms Trax, Fatima Yamaha and DJ Koze. The most talked about feature however - the ‘Sleepless Floor’ - continues to blast out the hardest of underground German techno non-stop from Thursday through to Monday.
Sometimes a picture says a thousand words, and nowhere is this more evident than with Meadows in the Mountains. Held deep in the Rhodope mountains in the Bulgarian village of Polkovnik Serafimovo, Meadows promises an organically communal festival with its hippie atmosphere and breathtaking surroundings. It’s also one of the first festivals that can claim to be suitable for eco-tourists.
Capacity is limited to 1,000 people to prevent damage to the environment, but that equally helps with the laid back vibe. The organisers also have their sights set on the future, with permanent structures built to create a year-round, self-sustaining community that grows its own food and harnesses eco-technologies. One thing not to miss are the Orpheus spa sessions: on Monday, a bus can take you to a four-star hotel spa to wind down after the heavy weekend.
Like long hour-on-hour parties? Well, here’s a 72-hour one. Set within the incredible natural landscape just outside of Reykjavík, festival-goers get to experience all the geographical and natural wonders Iceland has to offer, with the added benefit of a fully-fledged music festival.
If the location wasn’t special enough already, parties are held in Iceland’s famous thermal pools, and even under a glacier. Secret Solstice also boasts the strangest, most eclectic line-ups around. Who would have expected to see Lil Pump, Cypress Hill, Primal Scream and TLC on the same card?
Based within The Castle of Montemor-o-Velho, a structure older than Portugal itself, the grounds prove to be an incredible backdrop to the sights and sounds of a techno festival. Visuals are just as important as the music at Festival Forte, with lush gardens surrounded by visual installations. Exclusive artworks from international artists can be seen within the chapel or in the glasshouse gallery, as well as supporting the soundtrack. The festival campsite is set up under the cover of the woodland, so everything stays nice and cool throughout the day, and creates a unique and ambient atmosphere by night.