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A new year brings new opportunities to discover new music festivals and unique travel destinations.
But how do you find new festivals in 2022? Here’s our list of the best festival listings, blogs, websites and forums in 2022.
Review your favourite band's tour schedule and subscribe to their mailing lists
No matter whether you are a superfan of Muse, Metallica or Miley Cyrus, the best way of following your favourite band (literally) is by logging on to their tour schedule on their site.
Not only will you often get a direct link to the festival site and tickets but also you’ll learn a great deal about some of the biggest and best festivals on the planet by seeing which ones your favourite band deems worthy of their attention.
If you’re only after the best of the best then a simple “Best Festivals” search will work wonders for you.
- Best festivals in *country* e.g. best festivals in Germany
- Best *genre* festivals + *year* e.g. best rock festivals 2022
- Best *type* festival + *year* e.g. best family festivals 2022
Follow travel blogs and official tourism sites
Travel inspiration can come from all kinds of places but what’s better than following some of the official tourism sites where festivals are taking place? It’s a great way to get some genuine insights and trustworthy information about anything from travel to weather, activities, common foods and accommodation.
Here’s a list of some of the official European travel sites:
Facebook, Instagram and similar accounts
There are some truly beautiful festival travel destinations out there and nothing sells them more than a picture.
Instagram naturally is one of the best social media networks therefore for really selling you the vibe of a festival, its patrons and surrounding communities, weather, culture and landscapes.
In addition to their own social media feeds, many of these will additionally offer RSS feeds, apps and/or push notifications so you can keep up to date with the latest posts.
Also, thanks to the sheer strength (or spookiness?) of social media algorithms it’s really easy to find and follow dozens of other festival pages on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter et al. All you need to do is find a starting point. On Facebook and Instagram particularly, as soon as you add one account, you will be prompted to follow another, similar one.
Facebook and TikTok similarly have their own mechanisms for recommending similar pages to you. Frequently used festival hashtags will also help you find new passionate fans and accounts to follow.
Common festival hashtags include:
#music #festivals #festivallife #festival #Europe #travelholic #travel #live #livemusic #events #event #party #tourism #festivallife #festivalfun #festivalvibes #festivalseason #travelblogger #travelgram #traveling #travelholic #musicfestival
Rest assured, when you start adding or following a few new accounts to your feed, you’ll see, or be suggested, a lot more.
Following festivals on social media sites is one of the best ways of quickly establishing a visual ‘vibe’ about one of your potential future festival destinations!
Festival and travel forums
Festival Forums are where most festival enthusiasts gather online to share their knowledge and research everything from who is topped to be playing a festival to trying to find company at a festival or tips for travelling solo.
Our favourite festival forum is easily efestivals, which has been running for more than 20 years. With a focus on UK festivals and a primarily UK audience, expect to find information about lineups and rumours.
I first visited the efestivals forum in the early 2000s when trying to find out who might be playing Glasstonbury 2003 (R.E.M, Radiohead and Moby, as it happens).
Its Lineups and Rumours forum to this day still is one of the best resources for investigating who might, or might not, be playing a major gig this festival season.
When researching in forums, go with your gut. Find user profiles with a long history and lots of posts to assure they are a qualified and engaged source.
Forums are largely self-policed and moderated so bullshitters and self-promoters will be promptly routed out by the community!
Festival listing websites
There are dozens of festival listings websites, like Festival Insider, which can advise on who’s playing, where and when, internationally.
While some of these sites are great if you know where you want to go, the key differentiator on festival-insider.com is that we aim to act as a festival advice and recommendation platform, giving you inspiration about which festivals will satisfy that holiday bug as well as your own interests.
That being said, we’ve also visited – and are fans of – the following festival listing sites:
Ticketing and transport websites and mailing lists
You can’t visit a festival without a ticket (unless you have magically transported yourself back to the heyday of the 1960s) so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you can find a wealth of information on festival ticket websites and local or national transport websites.
Ticketmaster is one of the big boys in the ticketing space and has a festival finder built within it on the UK site making it easy to hop around and find out festival lineups or prices.
Besides ticket agents, transport operators are also a good source of festival information – and often a place to get a great packaged bargain. Visiting a festival’s recommended travel operator or a country’s national carrier online is a great way to see what partnerships they may have struck up together for joint festival ticket and transport packages.
In the UK at least, some of the major festival coach operators include:
Big Green Coach is the official and exclusive coach partner to most major festivals such as: Boardmasters, Creamfields, Download, Isle of Wight Festival, Latitude, Leeds, Parklife, Reading and Wireless - plus lots more.
National Express is the UK's largest events coach travel company which takes you right to the heart of some of the largest UK and European concerts, sporting events and music festivals.
Partner festivals and mailing lists
Similar to visiting websites, getting on the mailing lists of travel, festival, transport and ticketing companies can be incredibly influential when picking a new festival destination. This is especially true for festival mailing lists, as many festivals operate sister brands or smaller events as the year goes on.
Sea Dance Festival in Montenegro, for example, started as a spin-off from the Exit Festival in Serbia. Indeed, the organisers of Exit even offered back-to-back festival ticketing deals when booking both, so joining a mailing list can offer you an exclusive or first-time experience, as well as something you simply didn’t know about.
Google "festivals in *country*"
A quick win here: if you’ve got an idea of where you want to travel, perhaps through a burning desire to holiday in a specific country, then a simple Google search “festivals in [country]” should quickly give you access to an abundance of top festival lists and guides.
Talk to festival-goers
Ultimately there is nothing quite like getting your information from the horse’s mouth. Fellow festival-goers, especially international festival natives, are one of your best – if not, the best – sources of information for finding new festivals. Nobody knows German music festivals better than a German person. Similarly, festival natives can also give you great details about the local culture, weather and nuances between each festival vibe in their own country.
Sites like Festival Insider, and other music forums and social media, thrive and rely on this information to keep fueling the knowledge of fellow festival-goers for generations to come!
Festival line up posters, tips for individual festivals, revisiting past greats, the Subreddit All Things Festivals has it all. It’s one of the places I continually return to for both useful and irreverent festival banter.
The subreddit is mostly populated by US festival veterans and, while some posts pass without comments, the community is pretty quick to help those who have a specific need or festival enquiry. It’s the philosophical posts that often generate the most inspiration for those seeking new festival experiences.
Whether you are looking for a destination or festival, there is no shortage of resources to find the best options. Consider our list as your starting point in finding new festivals and destinations next year! Which sources have you used? What other sites do you recommend that we should include on this list? Leave a comment below.