x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Down and dirty

With Womad Abu Dhabi over, music lovers will already be looking outside the country for the next feel-good hit of the summer.

The Glastonbury Festival is renowned for its music and the inevitable downpour, which leaves some fans happily revelling in mud.
The Glastonbury Festival is renowned for its music and the inevitable downpour, which leaves some fans happily revelling in mud.

With Abu Dhabi's Womad festival now over for another year and the summer heat soon to prohibit outdoor events in the UAE, many music lovers will already be looking outside of the country for their next feel-good hit of the summer. Luckily, alongside California's Coachella weekend, Womad is one of the year's earliest and the festival season is only just beginning. With hundreds of open air-events set to take place in the coming months offering vastly different line-ups, camping arrangements and experiences, we take a look at some of the world's best-loved music festivals.

Location: Landgraaf, Netherlands

Dates: May 28 - 30

Artists: Rammstein, Green Day, The Prodigy Europe's longest-running uninterrupted outdoor pop festival, Pinkpop debuted in 1970 and now draws 60,000 fans each year. The three-day event's line-up is usually an even mix of rock and mainstream pop. Its unusual name is not a reference to the colour pink, but the Whitsun weekend on which it is usually held (Pinksteren in Dutch). Unofficial uniform: Perhaps unsurprisingly, many now choose to wear the colour pink. A pink baby doll dress (like the character in the event's logo) is a favourite.

Location: Nürburgring and Nuremberg, Germany

Dates: June 3 - 6

Artists: Kiss, Rage Against the Machine, Muse Held simultaneously in different cities in East and West Germany (with admittedly similar sounding names), the hard rock events attract a combined 150,000 people every year. Taking place over four days rather than the customary three, about half of the line-up is made up of German or Scandinavian bands. This year, they include Sportfreunde Stiller, Volbeat and Hammerfall. Unofficial uniform: Denim and leather brings us all together (according to the band Saxon anyway).

Location: Newport, UK

Dates: June 11 - 13

Artists: Jay-Z, The Strokes, Paul McCartney Originally held from 1968 to 1970, the event saw legendary performances from The Who and Jimi Hendrix, as well as audiences of up to 600,000 hardcore hippies. After re-booting the event in 2002, the festival now attracts a much more manageable 70,000 fans. The line-up is usually family friendly, with a mix of mainstream pop and (let's face it) dad rock. Unofficial uniform: High-waisted jeans and The Police T-shirts.

Location: Tennessee

Dates: June 10 - 13

Artists: Dave Matthews Band, Kings of Leon, Stevie Wonder Held on a 700 acre farm south-east of Nashville, the event connects the dots between the tastes of America's indie-rock-loving college kids and the blues/country devoted older generation. Founded in 2002 with a primary focus on jam bands, it now has a diverse array of stages tailored specifically to the different genres on offer. This year the sacked Tonight Show host Conan O'Brien will appear at the festival during his Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour. Unofficial uniform: Hippie summer wear, ironically adorned with Confederate flags.

Location: Pilton, UK

Dates: June 23 - 27

Artists: U2, Muse, Stevie Wonder Despite not actually being the first, the Worth Farm event is widely considered to be the original and best modern music festival and it deserves its mythical status. Still organised by a farmer and his daughter, the event hosts around 500 artists each year, including some of the world's biggest bands and around 200,000 fans. It also reflects the times like no other event, hosting concerts that defined the hippy, glam, punk, rave and Britpop eras. Oh, and it rains. A lot. Unofficial uniform: Wellington boots are essential. All else is superfluous.

Location: Denmark

Dates: July 1 - 4

Artists: Gorillaz, Muse, Them Crooked Vultures Founded by two students in 1971, the event was quickly taken over by a local charity and remains a non-profit organisation supporting music and culture. Attracting over 100,000 people each year from all over Europe, Scandinavia's biggest festival usually rivals Glastonbury for its mix of both heritage artists and cutting-edge musicians. The event in 2000 was marred by an incident in which nine audience members died in a crush during a set by rockers Pearl Jam. Unofficial uniform: The festival also hosts the annual naked run. Go figure.

Location: Novi Sad, Serbia

Dates: July 8 - 11

Artists: Chemical Brothers, Faith No More, Missy Elliott Held in an 18th-century fortress by the Danube, the festival began in 2000 and quickly became one of Europe's most talked about music events. The line-up usually leans towards dance and urban acts, but also includes a handful of pop and rock artists. Its bill contains musicians from across the former Yugoslavia and aims to promote tolerance between the formerly warring neighbours. Unofficial uniform: Rave gear and not much else. Serbia is hot in July.

Location: Spain

Dates: July 15 - 18

Artists: The Prodigy, Kasabian, Vampire Weekend The Spanish cottoned on to music festivals a decade or so after their northern European cousins, but with fine weather and no problem attracting the best bands and artists, visitors to Benicàssim will hear English and German spoken as often as the native tongue. Founded in 1995, the event targets young crowds with a mix of rock, indie and electronic music. Unofficial uniform: With music all night and temperatures that render camping nearly impossible, sunglasses are essential.

Location: Niigata, Japan

Dates: July 30 - Aug 1

Artists: Muse, Massive Attack, Vampire Weekend Japan's biggest summer music festival used to take place in the shadow of Mount Fuji, but its current location is more than 100 miles away in an out-of-season ski resort. As well as featuring over 200 Japanese and international bands, the event's 100,000 visitors are encouraged to keep Fuji Rock "the cleanest festival in the world". Walking from one stage to another, fans encounter woodlands, sparkling streams and panoramic views. Unofficial uniform: The festival's website suggests non-slip trekking shoes, just in case you want to climb a mountain before lunch.

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Dates: August 6 - 8

Artists: Soundgarden, Green Day, Lady Gaga Created in 1991 by the Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell as a farewell tour for his band, Lollapalooza ran annually until 1997 and was revived in 2003. Among fans, Lollapalooza is inextricably linked to the rise of many of the 1990s biggest US artists, including Green Day, Nine Inch Nails, The Smashing Pumpkins and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Until 2005, the festival toured American cities during the summer, but in 2005 it settled in Grant Park, Chicago, where it remains. Unofficial uniform: T-shirts from the early-1990s events. I was there at the start ... man.

Location: UK

Dates: August 27 - 29

Artists: Guns N' Roses, Arcade Fire, Blink-182 Another double-headed event with near-identical line-ups, Reading/Leeds has become the UK's best known rock-orientated festival. Although they offer little other than music, the line-ups are usually considered among the best in the world. The events have also hosted some of the most famous live appearances in history, including Nirvana's final British show (Reading 1992), which saw Kurt Cobain perform in a wheelchair. Reading/Leeds also attract notoriously unforgiving crowds, with acts including 50 Cent and My Chemical Romance ending sets early after being pelted with plastic bottles. Unofficial uniform: With the campsites ritually torched by the end of the weekend, riot gear might come in handy.

Location: Paris, France

Dates: August 27 - 29

Artists: Blink-182, Massive Attack, Arcade Fire One of Europe's fastest growing events, Rock en Seine has risen from 10,000 people in 2003 to over 100,000 today. The event has a grown-up vibe, a sophisticated line-up and is set in the grounds of a 17th century palace, but that didn't stop last year's event from being marred by a gigantic backstage tantrum. Oasis were due to headline the opening night, but a fight between the Gallagher brothers led Noel to walk away from the band permanently.

Unofficial uniform: Whatever is being worn in the centre of Paris that day; the event is so close to the capital that many campers return home in the morning to wash and change.