5 of the world’s most underrated music festivals

Published January 7th, 2013

Missed out on a ticket to Big Day Out? Haven’t got enough pounds to afford a Glastonbury pass? Dry your eyes and get set for some good times because there are plenty of festivals around the world to play at. Here are just 5 of our favourites to consider. What’s your pick?
Music festivals
Pitchfork Music Festival in USA

Pitchfork Music Festival takes place each year in the heat of July in Chicago. Since it’s thrown by the king of indie music publications, the 3 day festival is, as expected, a who’s who of cool acts from all around the world. Spaning genres from hardcore punk to experimental jazz, previous line ups have included Kendrick Lamar, Animal Collective, Cat Power, Bon Iver and Hot Chip.


Oxegen in Ireland

Though it’s heralded as Ireland’s biggest music festival, Oxegen could easily rank as one of the world’s best festivals as well. When it first debuted in 2004, the County Kildare festival was headlined by the Strokes, the Cure and Kings of Leon – a killer line up that would seem somewhat impossible to top. But the 3 day festival has consistently out done themselves each year since, with previous acts including The Prodigy, The Who, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Daft Punk, James Brown, Nine Inch Nails, R.E.M, Jay-Z, Eminem, Beyonce, Coldplay and pretty much every other act that you want to dance to at a festival. If those names sound like a good time to you, don’t miss this year’s festival which is set to take place in July.


Meredith Music Festival in Australia

If the hordes of sweaty shirtless muscle men and orange coloured women that now constitute a festival crowd doesn’t appeal, then Meredith Music Festival may be more your style. For the discerning music lover who is there for the beats and not the mid-strength drinks, Meredith is a self-funded, non-commercial 3 day music festival held at a natural amphitheatre in private farmland near Meredith in Victoria. Relaxed, friendly and ever inspiring, the little-festival-that-could has been going strong since 1991, attracting an amazing range of artists such as the Avalanches, The Presets, Gotye, Tame Impala, Pond and Grimes.


Exit Festival in Serbia

When you think huge music festivals, Serbia is probably the last country to come to mind. But contrary to popular perception, the Balkan country hosts one of the world’s best music festivals. Originating from a student protest against the government in 2000, the festival has now grown to become a 4 day event, held annually in Petrovaradin in July. While the festival has a number of stages dedicated to various genres of music, Exit has a strong dance music presence with previous acts including Jamiroquai, Beastie Boys, MIA, Pet Shop Boys and Kraftwerk. Other notable artists such as Patti Smith, Snoop Dogg, Wu-tang Clan, the White Stripes and Iggy Pop have also performed at the festival. Not too shabby Serbia.


Bilbao BBK Live in Spain

Rock & roll fans from all around the world would have heard about Bilbao BBK Live by now. Since 2006 the festival has seen the likes of Metallica, Rammstein, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lenny Kravitz, Perl Jam, Blondie, Placebo and Radiohead play on its stages. Each year in July the four day long festival takes place in Bilbao’s largest park, Kobetamendi Park, and is visited by a crowd of over 100,000.


Lauren Burvill

Australian born but London based, I'm a sucker for big cities and small tropical islands. When travelling, I like eating like a local, dressing like a local, but staying in 5 star style. Have a travel story to share? Tweet me @laurenburvill.