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Music Festivals For Those Who Love Crowds

The lights, the sounds, the shared experiences with perfect strangers—they're excellent reasons for millions of adventurous concertgoers attend music festivals each year. The biggest outdoor music festivals offer the ideal chance to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life for a few days. Whether you want to blend in with the crowd or stand out from it, festivals are the one type of public event where you can truly express yourself.

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01Donauinselfest (Danube Island Festival)

visitors at music festival donauinselfest Simlinger / Shutterstock.com

The Danube Island Festival is the largest music festival on earth. Stretching across nearly three miles of the scenic Danube River in Vienna, Austria, this fest has attracted as many as three million attendees in a given year. That is not surprising given that the cost of attending the event is entirely free! Food vendors, merchant stands, and themed activity centers are there to keep you entertained in between the many performances. Notable international headliners include Michael Bolton and Sean Paul.

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02Summerfest

Boasting some of the hottest hits in music, Summerfest attracts roughly 700,000 people to downtown Milwaukee annually. Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, and Bob Dylan are just a few examples of the show-stopping performances you can see at Summerfest. Aside from other great attractions, one exciting thing about this festival is that it also hosts a children's fest, making it a truly family-friendly experience. It is a spectacular opportunity to have a great time by a Great Lake!

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03Coachella

Festivalgoers attend the 2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 Day 1 on April 12, 2019 in Indio, California. Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images for Coachella

Coachella is more than a festival. It is a culture all on its own. Known for inspiring trends in fashion, art, and design—up to 250,000 people from around the world come each year. Aside from the music, here you will find a seemingly infinite amount of shops, restaurants, and art projects to explore. Of course, the music is important. Some notable headliners include The Weeknd, Beyoncé, and Eminem.

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04Rock In Rio

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 18: Fireworks at the beginning of Rock in Rio 30 anos performance at 2015 Rock in Rio on September 18, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Raphael Dias / Getty Images

With 750,000 attendees each year, Rock in Rio in Rio de Janeiro aims to be the world's largest gig. Top headliners such as Drake, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and P!nk mean the fest is always a must-attend event. Aside from the assortment of great gigs, Rock in Rio also offers a variety of unique food vendors and attractions in one of the most epic cities in the world.

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05Sziget

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - AUGUST 13: Festival-goers cheer at Day 3 of The Sziget Festival on August 13, 2010 in Budapest, Hungary. REBEL Media / Getty Images

Five hundred sixty-five thousand people flock to Budapest each year to experience the hottest acts in music and experience a culture like no other. The theme of the event is celebrating freedom and love. This seven-day festival takes you on a journey of self-discovery where strangers quickly become like family. Between superstar sets such as Post Malone and Macklemore, why not explore one-of-a-kind attractions that range from free massages to a unique bubble pool?

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06Essence Fest

Held in New Orleans, Essence Fest is one of the largest celebrations of African-American culture known to man. Each year it attracts upwards of 500,000 people and showcases some of the hottest acts. DJ Khaled, Ne-Yo, and Mary J. Blige are just a few examples of the superstars who've headlined the event. Besides the great music, the festival hosts informative discussion panels and many options for shopping the latest cultural trends.

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07New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

NEW ORLEANS - MAY 01: Fans listen to the New Orleans Nightcrawlers Brass Band perform on the Jazz and Heritage stage during the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival at the Fair Grounds Race Course on May 1, 2008 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Chris Graythen / Getty Images

With roughly half a million guests each year, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is one of the largest celebrations of local music that you can find. The event limits itself to artists from (or with close ties to) Louisiana to preserve the local culture. Nevertheless, you can see performances from beloved superstars such as Stevie Nicks, Jimmy Buffet, and Elvis Costello.

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08Tomorrowland

A general view of atmosphere with fireworks during the third day of the Tomorrowland music festival Mauricio Santana / Getty Images

Hosted in the city of Boom in Belgium, Tomorrowland is one of the world's largest displays of electronic dance music. Each year it attracts approximately 400,000 people because of the unique sensory experiences it provides. Aside from appearances by incredible artists such as David Guetta, Avicii, and Fatboy Slim, this festival has side attractions that would put others to shame. These include a library, a post office, and a marriage chapel. You don't want to miss this!

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09Electric Daisy Carnival

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 19: Fans react to the performance of Alison Wonderland during the 20th annual Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on June 19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Steven Lawton / Getty Images

Held in Las Vegas every year, Electric Daisy Carnival attracts over 400,000 guests. It is known for being one of the largest showcases of electronic dance music in America. It sets itself apart from other similar festivals by incorporating carnivalesque themes and attractions while encouraging an atmosphere of self-expression. You don't want to miss the super unique art pieces that make the experience truly one of a kind!

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10Lollapalooza

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JULY 31: Crowd catches Wes Borland's guitar during Lollapalooza 2021 at Grant Park on July 31, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

Lollapalooza is a four-day event and an icon of American music culture. Held annually in Chicago, Lolla hosts some of the biggest names in popular music to represent just about every genre you can think of. One of the unique things about Lollapalooza is that the show ends promptly at 10 pm. Since there's no on-site camping, that means you also have an excellent opportunity to explore the nightlife in Chicago afterward.

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