50 Most Popular Music Festivals in the World: The MFW50 Annual Report for 2016

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Lollapalooza Berlin

It’s that time of year when the staff at Music Festival Wizard crunch the data from millions of visitors to determine the most popular festivals of 2016. Our methodology is simple — we take the data from 5.7 million festival fans that visited our website and see who rises to the top.

The MFWizard50 is divided up into our three most popular music festival regions: North America, the United Kingdom, and continental Europe. Data is taken from the beginning of July 2015 (when we posted our first 2016 festival) to December 31, 2016.

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Most Popular Festivals in North America 2016

It was good year for rookie fests. A major New York City festival is always going to make a huge splash, and the inaugural Panorama (#11) generated enough buzz to flirt with a top ten spot. The organizers of Coachella (#1) returned with the Desert Trip Festival (#28), aka Oldchella, that brought legendary names to the desert for a fall festival. Florida’s latest entry into the festival market, Okeechobee Festival (#24), finished near the middle, while electronic festival newcomer Sundown (#13) in Southern California, made a surprising burst towards the top of the list.

There’s dozens of genre-specific festivals for country, electronic, metal, and jam, but when it comes to hip-hop, the festival world falls short. Our data from this year show fans hungry for more hip-hop with the Minneapolis based Soundset (#5) landing a top five spot and the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival (#34) making an appearance as well.

Rank
  1. Coachella Music Festival 2016
  2. KAABOO 2016
  3. Outside Lands 2016
  4. Bonnaroo Music Festival 2016
  5. Soundset 2016
  6. Governors Ball Music Festival 2016
  7. Osheaga 2016
  8. Austin City Limits 2016
  9. Snowglobe 2016
  10. Bottlerock 2016
  11. Panorama Music Festival 2016
  12. Lollapalooza Chicago 2016
  13. Sundown Music Festival 2016
  14. South By Southwest (SXSW) 2016
  15. Electric Zoo 2016
  16. Voodoo Experience 2016
  17. FYF Fest 2016
  18. Summerfest 2016
  19. Joshua Tree Fall 2016
  20. Shaky Knees Festival 2016
  21. Electric Forest 2016
  22. Welcome to Rockville 2016
  23. Hangout Festival 2016
  24. Okeechobee Music Festival 2016
  25. Sasquatch 2016
  26. Ottawa Bluesfest 2016
  27. Imagine Festival 2016
  28. Desert Trip 2016
  29. Bumbershoot 2016
  30. Firefly Music Festival 2016
  31. Mysteryland USA 2016
  32. Joshua Tree Spring 2016
  33. California Roots 2016
  34. Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival 2016
  35. North Coast Music Festival 2016
  36. Euphoria Festival 2016
  37. Lightning in a Bottle 2016
  38. The Wrecking Ball 2016
  39. Sonic Bloom 2016
  40. Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas 2016
  41. SweetWater 420 Festival 2016
  42. Boston Calling 2016
  43. Burning Man 2016
  44. Quebec City Summer Festival 2016
  45. Ohana Festival 2016
  46. Mountain Jam 2016
  47. Woogie Weekend 2016
  48. Bunbury Music Festival 2016
  49. Northern Invasion 2016
  50. Gasparilla Music Festival 2016

 

Most Popular Festivals in Europe 2016

Our predominately English-speaking audience and the brand name recognition of Lollapalooza (#1) catapulted the Berlin edition of the mega-festival to the top spot for 2016. Right behind it is Portugal’s answer to Burning Man, Boom Festival (#2), a transformational fest which takes place every other year.

Croatia continues to dominate the summer festival scene with a festival happening nearly every weekend during 2016. Top spots this year went to Ultra Europe (#3), Outlook (#4), and Hideout (#10). We’re not sure when the bubble will burst here in the Balkans, but for now, festies remain hyped to party on the Adriatic Sea. The Netherlands and Spain both scored high with each country posting multiple festivals to this year’s MFWizard50.

For a genre that’s so loud, metal fans are typically underrepresented when it comes to festival media. This year’s numbers shows that this scene is a popular as ever with France’s Hellfest (#20), Germany’s Wacken (#24), and the Paris Download (#39) all making appearances.

Rank
  1. Lollapalooza Berlin 2016
  2. Boom Festival 2016
  3. Ultra Europe 2016
  4. Outlook Festival 2016
  5. Sonus Festival 2016
  6. Primavera Sound 2016
  7. Sonar Barcelona 2016
  8. Iceland Airwaves 2016
  9. Amsterdam Dance Event 2016
  10. Hideout Festival 2016
  11. Mysteryland Netherlands 2016
  12. Tomorrowland 2016
  13. NOS Alive 2016
  14. Rock Am Ring 2016
  15. Sziget Festival 2016
  16. NOS Primavera Sound 2016
  17. Best Kept Secret Festival 2016
  18. Bilbao BBK Live 2016
  19. Melt! Festival 2016
  20. Hellfest 2016
  21. Fresh Island Festival 2016
  22. Spring Break Island 2016
  23. Super Bock Super Rock 2016
  24. Wacken 2016
  25. Pacha Festival 2016
  26. Defected Croatia 2016
  27. Electric Elephant 2016
  28. Love International 2016
  29. Soundwave Croatia 2016
  30. Open’er Festival 2016
  31. Hurricane Festival 2016
  32. Rock Werchter 2016
  33. Vida Festival 2016
  34. Pitchfork Paris 2016
  35. A Summer’s Tale Festival 2016
  36. Pinkpop 2016
  37. Roskilde Festival 2016
  38. Le Guess Who? 2016
  39. Download Festival France 2016
  40. Cruilla Barcelona 2016
  41. Estrella Levante SOS 4.8 2016
  42. Bravalla Festival 2016
  43. OZORA Festival 2016
  44. FIB 2016
  45. Into the Valley 2016
  46. Lowlands Festival 2016
  47. Way Out West 2016
  48. Down The Rabbit Hole 2016
  49. INmusic Festival 2016
  50. Rock Im Park 2016

 

Most Popular Festivals in United Kingdom 2016

It’s an upset here as Bestival (#1) usurps the expected Glastonbury (#3) for the top spot, and V Festival (#2) snags the runner-up prize. The festival buzzword of 2016 was “boutique festivals”, and the UK continues the trend with festivals like Secret Garden Party (#7), Festival No. 6 (#10), Kendal Calling (#19), and others making their mark on the MFWizard50.

Rank
  1. Bestival 2016
  2. V Festival 2016
  3. Glastonbury 2016
  4. Lovebox 2016
  5. Reading Festival 2016
  6. Boomtown Fair 2016
  7. Secret Garden Party 2016
  8. Creamfields 2016
  9. One Love Festival 2016
  10. Festival No. 6 2016
  11. Wireless Festival 2016
  12. British Summer Time 2016
  13. Leeds Festival 2016
  14. Camp Bestival 2016
  15. Latitude Festival 2016
  16. Liverpool Psych Fest 2016
  17. Blissfields 2016
  18. Isle of Wight Festival 2016
  19. Kendal Calling 2016
  20. Cambridge Rock Festival 2016
  21. Wilderness Festival 2016
  22. Green Man Festival 2016
  23. Field Day Festival 2016
  24. Boardmasters 2016
  25. Y Not Festival 2016
  26. T in the Park 2016
  27. We Are FSTVL 2016
  28. Bloodstock 2016
  29. 2000trees 2016
  30. End of the Road Festival 2016
  31. The Great Escape 2016
  32. Eastern Electrics 2016
  33. Victorious Festival 2016
  34. Electric Fields 2016
  35. NASS Festival 2016
  36. Electric Beach Festival 2016
  37. South West Four (SW4) 2016
  38. Hevy Fest 2016
  39. Beautiful Days 2016
  40. Parklife Festival 2016
  41. Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival 2016
  42. Together The People 2016
  43. Tramlines 2016
  44. Hammerfest 2016
  45. BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2016
  46. Common People 2016
  47. Standon Calling 2016
  48. Cornbury Music Festival 2016
  49. Forgotten Fields 2016
  50. Wild Life Festival 2016

How we compiled these rankings: This data was taken from visitors to Music Festival Wizard between July 1, 2015 thru December 31, 2016. We measured the pageviews of each festival’s guide on our website (example: the MFW Coachella Festival Guide).

Correction (1/12/17): A previous edition of the Europe MFW50 was missing Sziget Festival at #15. This has been added and the list adjusted accordingly.

Born during a sweaty, backstage, Bonnaroo downpour, the editor-in-chief's mission in life is to dance, write, and travel to every great festival that this wide world has to offer. While his identity remains a mystery, you may have already met him, probably when he helped himself to your party favors.

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