The summer season starts with a wide choice of festivals with a major focus on North America and Europe. Music lovers will enjoy jazz in Washington DC and Montreal, country in Nashville, and electro in Barcelona, while rock fans will pour into England's Glastonbury, Denmark's Roskilde, and America's Bonnaroo for a host of top acts.
7th DC Jazz Fest
Washington DC, USA
With 100 performances in dozens of venues across Washington DC, from the Kennedy Center to Lincoln Theater, the former Duke Ellington Jazz Festival features jazz masters such as Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars, Bobby McFerrin, Roy Hargrove, and Eddie Palmieri. Signature events Jazz in the ‘Hoods brings jazz artists to select venues around the DC area and Jazz on the National Mall offers free performances by artists such as urban jazz harmonicist Frédéric Yonnet, Chilean singer-songwriter Claudia Acuña, and Afrobeat fusion jazz artist Toby Foyeh. Ticket prices vary based on performer.
10th Bonnaroo Festival
Manchester, Tennessee, USA
Tennessee's four-day Bonnaroo Festival, now in its tenth year, brings nearly 90,000 people to Great Stage Park, a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee. Rap stars Eminem and Lil Wayne and Canadian rock band Arcade Fire are headlining, joined by Buffalo Springfield (featuring Richie Furay, Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Rick Rosas, and Joe Vitale), Widespread Panic, The Black Keys, Robert Plant & Band of Joy, Mumford & Sons, The Strokes, The Decemberists, My Morning Jacket, Scissor Sisters, and dozens of other acts. It is the top-grossing festival in North America, and Rolling Stone named it as one of the 50 moments that changed the history of rock and roll. Bonnaroo tickets are priced at $249.50 (€171).
40th Country Music Festival Fan Fair
Nashville, Tennessee, USA
The 40th edition of CMA welcomes Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley, Reba McIntyre, Rascal Flatts, and dozens more. With over 40 hours of performances with an average of 52,000 attending each concert, it is considered the world's biggest country music festival. Ticket prices vary on select shows.
9th Download Festival
Leicestershire Park, England
The festival will take place in historic Donington Park, the site of the 2009 festival and of past hard-rock festivals Ozzfest and Monsters of Rock. The festival welcomes 110, 000, with organizers saying the festival will be the UK's second biggest of the year after the sold-out Glastonbury fest. Headliners include Def Leppard, Linkin Park, System of a Down, Danzig, and Alice Cooper. A weekend festival pass plus five-night camping fee is priced at £190 (€217)/without camping £155 (€177).
18th Sónar Festival
An annual event since 1994, the Sónar International Festival attracts nearly 80,000 participants for three days and nights of music and art events, with a special focus on electronic music and multimedia art. "By Day" events - concerts, art shows, fairs, and demos - take place at Barcelona's Center of Contemporary Culture and Museum of Contemporary Art. "By Night," the festivities move to the large Gran Vía M2 venue. Set to perform this year are Underworld, Salem, A-Trak, Atmosphere, Hype Williams, and more. Tickets are €155.
41st Glastonbury Festival
The Glastonbury Festival is one of the biggest and best-loved music festivals in the world, known for its all-star lineups and varied arts offerings. U2 will headline the 2011 event, other top acts include Coldplay and Beyoncé. Fleet Foxes, along with Friendly Fires, Elbow, Cee Lo Green, Big Boi, Kool & the Gang Muse, and several hundred additional performers. Tickets for the 2011 festival are sold out.
For a taste of the scene at Glastonbury, check out this short film:
32nd Montreal International Jazz Festival
June 25-July 4
The 32nd edition of the world's largest jazz festival, "Jazz Fest," is expected to attract two million attendees at venues across the Quebec city. Pre-festival concert on June 24 stars Robert Plant & Band of Joy, and flamenco guitar legend Paco de Lucia opens the main event on June 25. Other acts include Madeleine Peyroux, Sade, Diana Krall, Kenny Garrett and Time Capsule, and many more, including a slew of jazz up-and-comers. Ticket prices vary on show.
41st Roskilde Festival
June 30 - July 3
Among the largest European music festivals, Roskilde attracts more than 80,000 concertgoers and more than 180 performing bands. Headliners for 2011 are Arctic Monkeys, Iron Maiden, Kings of Leon, Mastodon, M.I.A., PJ Harvey, and The Strokes. The 2011 festival will take place from June 30 to July 3, with the campground opening for warm-up events that run from June 26 until the start of the festival. Tickets are currently on sale. A €232 ticket includes camping and access to events for the entire week. One-day tickets are available for €117.
37th Rock Werchter Festival
June 30 - July 3
Rock Werchter is another of Europe's biggest festivals, this one attracting more than 110,000 visitors a year (of which 80,000 stay for all three days). 2011 top acts include Kings of Leon, Coldplay, Linkin Park, Bruno Mars, Arctic Monkeys, PJ Harvey, Portishead, and others. The 2011 festival will take place from June 30 to July 3, with the campground opening for warm-up events that run from June 26 until the start of the festival. A four-day festival ticket is priced at €195. One-day tickets are available for €76.