Tomorrowland in Belgium revealed as Europe’s top music festival, followed by Glastonbury and French festival Hellfest

Author Benedetta Baldin - 21.6.2024

With summer festival season fast approaching, and an estimated 89.8m festival-goers in Europe this year, a new study by Europe travel expert and ferry operator DFDS reveals Europe’s favourite music festivals. See the results here:

The study analysed 444 European music festivals to name the most in-demand across the continent and which are the most up-and-coming. By looking at Google search data in each European country since 2022, the study identified the most popular festivals, each country’s preferred ‘home’ and ‘away’ music festivals, as well as which are on the rise.

Tomorrowland, Belgium, is Europe’s favourite music festival, top in 46 of 53 countries. With 16.5 million searches by Europeans since 2022, Tomorrowland is a fantastic electronic dance music (EDM) festival in Antwerp, Belgium, and ranks as Europe’s most popular music event. It was also the top searched ‘away’ festival in 46 out of the 53 countries analysed.
Research shows almost half of British, Spanish and German residents have travelled abroad for a music event.

Glastonbury, the iconic family-friendly music event, ranks in second place with over nine million searches across the continent, followed by France’s heavy metal Hellfest which generated over four million searches.

 Europe’s top five music festivals:

 Rank – Festival Name – Host Country – Total Google searches since 2022

  1 – Tomorrowland – Belgium – 16,451,430

  2 – Glastonbury – UK – 9,153,600

  3 – Hellfest – France – 4,137,780

  4 – Parookaville – Germany – 3,156,580

  5 – Rock am Ring – Germany – 3,121,470

  Europe’s top UK music festivals

As a world leader in festival culture, appetite to attend UK-based festivals is unsurprisingly high. Glastonbury is the most popular music festival, favoured by Europeans and Brits alike.

Reading Festival follows in second, with just over three million searches over the past two years – one million more searches than its sister festival, Leeds.

 Download Festival ranks in third place, seeing almost 2.5 million searches since 2022.

  Rank – Festival Name – Total Google searches since 2022

  1 – Glastonbury – 9,153,600

  2 – Reading Festival – 3,099,480

  3 – Download Festival – 2,490,680

  4 – Leeds Festival – 2,098,000

  5 – Boomtown – 2,096,040

  Europe’s most up-and-coming music festivals

Europe is home to some of the world’s most iconic festivals, but many lesser-known events are growing in popularity. DFDS analysed which festivals saw the largest increase in searches since 2022.

Big Smoke Festival, a brand-new event curated by rap artist Skepta, earns the crown of most up-and-coming festival with a search increase of over 15,000%. South Ocean Festival, a two-day event in Malmö, Sweden, held by the seaside ranks second. It first posted on Instagram in late 2022 announcing its festival in summer 2023, which returns this year with its mostly local lineup. Similarly, Vaulen Open Air, a festival in Stavanger, Norway, first posted in late 2022 announcing its 2023 festival which returns this year welcoming Jason Derulo and Keane.

  Rank – Festival Name – Host Country – % increase in searches in 2023 Vs 2022

  1 – Big Smoke Festival – UK – 15,489%

  2 – South Ocean Festival – Sweden – 1,257%

  3 – Vaulen Open Air – Norway – 574%

  4 – Lido Sounds – Austria – 545%

  5 – Summerside Festival – Switzerland 470%