2023 Festival Guide: Top 15! Music, Cinema, Arts

Music or film, art or enjoyment – festivals are by far the best opportunity to experience and get to know an incredible amount in a short time. / 2023 Festival Guide

After the forced break, some organizers revived their festivals last year. In 2023 everyone will be there again and offer you a huge selection of festivals, most of which last several days.

We have selected for you the best and coolest in Europe, but also worldwide. Camping is, of course, an integral part of most festivals. However, those who prefer to have their own bathroom and a comfortable bed will appreciate our hotel tips. Garnished with information on suitable flights to nearby airports and rental car offers, our suggestions are the perfect basis for planning your festival summer.

1. Rock am Ring | Rock & Heavy Metal

The most traditional rock festival in Germany has been taking place at the Nürburgring since 1985. A good 90,000 visitors make the pilgrimage to the Eifel in June and let themselves be sprinkled with fat guitar sounds. In 2023, headliners include Kings of Leon, Rise Against and Die Toten Hosen, and on the side stages you can discover many a band that might soon become really big.

When? June 2-4, 2023
Where? Nürburgring, about 100 km from Cologne Airport
Where to stay: Fast Lane Hotel & DF am Ring

2. Wacken Open Air | heavy metal

Germany’s most iconic rock festival takes place in the very north of Germany: the Wacken Open Air, or W:O:A for short. Metalheads have been making pilgrimages to the small village of Wacken in Schleswig-Holstein since 1990, recently around 85,000. Over 150 concerts await you this year, the highlights include Anthrax, Iron Maiden, Beyond the Black, Pennywise and Megadeth. A varied supporting program with parties, walking acts, poetry slams or fire shows promises a really crazy weekend. Metal fans have blocked the first weekend of August in their calendar for Wacken every year.

When? August 2-5, 2023
Where? Festival site Wacken, approx. 70 km from Hamburg Airport
Accommodation options: Hotel Kanal 33 & Hotel zum Nordpol

3. Glastonbury | Music & Performing Arts

One of the most famous festivals in England takes place on a farm in Somerset: Glastonbury. Here you can expect not only top acts from a wide variety of music genres – in 2023 it will be Elton John and Texas, among others – but also theatre, circus, dance performances and comedy, but also political debates and of course lots of food. With over 200,000 visitors, the cult festival with hippie origins is one of the largest in the world. It traditionally takes place on the last weekend in June.

When? June 21-25, 2023
Where? Glastonbury, England; Approximately 40km from Bristol Airport
Where to stay: Camelot Retreat & The Crown Hotel

4. Primavera Sound Barcelona | All music genres

Listening to top musicians with a view of the Mediterranean: That’s the Primavera Sound Festival “in a nutshell”. You can also look forward to acts from a wide variety of genres, from indie pop to underground electro, on 16 stages. A visit to the festival can be ideally combined with a city trip to Barcelona and is guaranteed to leave unique memories. Top acts of 2023 include Kendrick Lamar, Blur, the Pet Shop Boys and Måneskin.

When? June 1-4, 2023
Where? Barcelona, Spain
Where to stay: Alberg Pere Tarrés & Hampton by Hilton Barcelona Fira Gran Via

5. Parookaville | electric

Of course, in the birthplace of the Love Parade, we can also do electro, impressively proven at Parookaville. Since 2015, the festival has drawn hundreds of thousands of fans of electronic dance music to Weeze in North Rhine-Westphalia. The line up? Leaves little room for decisions, you just want to hear and see them all: Felix Jaehn, Steve Aoki, HBZ, Lari Luke to name a few. Pack your outfits and let’s go!

When? July 20-23, 2023
Where? Weeze, about 80 km from Dusseldorf
Overnight accommodation: biker hut & Hotel Nibelungenhof

6. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival | Jazz & Culture

For jazz fans and anyone interested in Louisiana culture, this festival is almost a must, despite the long journey. Simply combine the festival with a holiday in the southern states and discover the diversity of this genre of music, but also of culture and culinary delights at the festival in the cradle of jazz. In recent years, other genres of music have also been celebrated at Jazz Fest, and in 2023, for example, the Foo Fighters will be on stage.

For jazz fans and anyone interested in Louisiana culture, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is a must.

When? April 28 to May 7, 2023
Where? New Orleans, United States
Where to Stay: Quality Inn & Omni Riverfront

7. Danube Island Festival Vienna | All Music Genres & Comedy

The largest open-air festival in Europe takes place on Vienna’s Danube Island – and it’s completely free! Around three million visitors are expected every year when a successful mix of Austrian local heroes and international greats rocks the festival stages. Headliners in recent years have included Mando Diao, Seiler & Speer and Rea Garvey. In addition to concerts, several comedy performances by German-speaking cabaret artists and comedians are also on the program every year.

When? June 23-25, 2023
Where? Danube Island Vienna, Austria
Where to stay: Space Room Hostel & Zola Hotel – Palais de Bohème

8. Let It Roll | drum and bass

Hard beats and booming bass can be heard near Prague. The world’s largest drum and bass festival offers over 300 DJs, DJanes and producers space for acoustic and audiovisual development on over 8 stages. Discussion rounds and workshops give you the opportunity to get to know the most important representatives of the industry and to work with them. In the line-up for 2023 you will find names like Andy C, Mefjus and Kanine.

When? August 3-5, 2023
Where? Letiste Milovice, Czech Republic; about 25 km from Prague
Accommodation options: Hotel Modrá Hvězda Sadská & Hotel Central Park

9. Coachella Festival | music and art

Superlatives are also used at the Coachella Festival in the Coachella Valley in California. In order to give everyone who wants to be there the chance, the same line-up plays for the approximately 250,000 fans on two weekends in a row – Coachella is clearly one of the biggest festivals in the world. Acts span all genres of music – 2023 features Björk, the Kid Laroi, Gorillaz and Becky G among many others. Five main stages and many small sub-stages want to be discovered during the weekend. Art installations make the site unique each year, and there is a strong focus on sustainability, from artistically designed trash cans to the cleaning company that takes care of cleanliness and waste separation on the site.

When? April 14-16 & 21-23, 2023
Where? Coachella Valley, United States; 20km from Palm Springs
Where to stay: Desert Lodge & Desert Isle of Palm Springs

10. Lollapalooza | All genres

The legend in Germany – Lollapalooza has been a guest in Berlin since 2015. We say: luckily, because this cult festival always has an absolutely varied program on the poster. That means for you, even if you are traveling in a larger group, everyone will find the right thing for themselves on one of the stages. In 2023 you can choose from the Imagine Dragons, David Guetta, Alligatoah and Zara Larsson, among others. The festival will take place this year in the Olympic Park and Olympic Stadium. Rounded off of course with enjoyment, art, a children’s area and a comprehensive sustainability program (Green Kiez).

When? September 9-10, 2023
Where? Berlin
Accommodation options: Arte Louise Kunsthotel & 25 Hours Bikini Berlin

11. Festival de Cannes | Movie

The Palme d’Or is probably familiar to every film fan. Since 1946, prizes have been awarded to filmmakers and actors on the Côte d’Azur. During your visit to Cannes, you can see the competition films in various cinemas. Or you can simply stand in front of the Filmpalast before the award ceremony and watch celebrities from the film world who flock to Cannes from all over the world. If you are lucky, you may meet one or the other in cafes and restaurants.

When? May 16-27, 2023
Where? Cannes, France
Accommodation options: B&B Hôtel Cannes La Bocca Plage & Résidence La Palme d’Azur

12. Venice Biennale | Film, (performing) art and much more.

The Venice Biennale is probably best known to most from the film festival. The festival, which has been taking place since 1895, is much more than that: contemporary art, architecture, dance, theater and many other art forms are celebrated almost all year round. The dates for each festival are: Children’s Carnival: February 11-19 Architecture: May 20-November 26 Theater: June 15-July 1 Contemporary Dance: July 13-29 Film: August 30 August to September 9, Contemporary Music: October 16 to 29.

So you can travel to Venice according to your preferences and experience this extraordinary combination of contemporary art in the city’s time-honored architecture.

When? From February to October 2023
Where? Venice, Italy
Accommodation options: Hotel Minerva e Nettuno & Hotel Montecarlo

13. Paris+ par Art Basel | Art

Art Basel is a must for anyone who wants to keep up to date with modern art. The quickest and easiest way to get to the original is in Basel – or to Paris for the Paris+ par Art Basel, which had its celebrated premiere in the French capital in 2022. The branches in Miami and Hong Kong are also an option for frequent flyers. In Paris, several thousand artists will show their work in over 200 locations, including over 150 art galleries and numerous institutions, which you can also purchase. But you usually need a big wallet… To look and enjoy, on the other hand, only costs admission.

Photo by Ayoub El Mamoun
When? October 19-22, 2023
Where? Paris, France
Where to stay: Hotel de la Poste & Hotel le Lavoisier

14. Pizza Village Napoli | foods

In June, Naples turns into the largest pizzeria in the world. Over 1 million visitors from all over the world come to the city to celebrate the most recognizable culinary symbol of Italian cuisine: Pizza Napoli. Concerts, seminars, exhibitions, master classes and much more are part of the program of the free gourmet festival, which in just ten years has become the “Best Food Festival in the World” according to a survey. PizzaVillage now has branches in London, Milan, New York and the United Arab Emirates if you’re in the area.

When? June 17-26, 2023
Where? Naples, Italy
Accommodation options: Hotel Guiren Naples & Hotel Napol Mia

15. Taste of Paris | foods

Enjoy like God in France: You can do that at the Taste of Paris. For four days, the best chefs in the French capital will cook for you, with or without stars, sweet or hearty, traditional or ultra-modern. Everything is served in small portions so that you can try your way through the most diverse worlds of taste. The festival takes place in the Grand Palais éphémère, where the chefs set up small editions of their restaurants, where you can watch shows and where you can also get to know various food brands from all over the world.

When? May 11-14, 2023
Where? Paris, France
Where to stay: Hipotel Paris Gambetta République, Hotel Opera Marigny

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