This year, festivals took the international music scene by storm. From the infamous Coachella to more niche events, Pop Crave has kept a watchful eye on music festivals and was even lucky to attend some of them. Through our live and raw experiences as attendees or even just as mere observers, we have been able to establish a list of our favorite 2022 national and international festivals.
The Governors Ball
Coined as New York City’s hottest festival by music fiends, The Governors Ball displays one of the most impressive artist line-ups of the year.
With some of the most iconic rappers of our generation, namely, J.Cole – who headlined on Sunday, June 12 – Playboi Carti, Denzel Curry, the infamous Migos group, the newcomer Jack Harlow, Kid Cudi, and Skepta amongst many others, rap fans were subjected to incredible performances throughout the whole festival.
In the heart of New York City and under the sunny weather of Queens, festival on-goers were happy to regain their beloved green grass and to have their weekend rhythmed by the electronic sounds of Kaytranada’s booth and Halsey’s sultry voice.
Citi Field’s floor trembled under the attendees’ paced foot thumps and steady head banging, serving as one of the many testaments to New Yorkers’ love for their city’s signature and beloved music genre: Hip Hop. The Pop Crave team is just as excited as them to discover what the next crazy line-up The Governors Ball has in store for 2023.
Rock en Seine
Tucked away in the National Estate of Saint-Cloud in Paris, Rock en Seine stands as one of the most exciting yet most underrated European rock festivals.
The line-up this year counted legendary artists such as Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Tame Impala, Arctic Monkeys, Stromae, and more exciting up-and-coming talents amongst which Aurora can be named. beabadoobee, IDLES, and Fontaines D.C. also gave the festival-goers a run for their money.
Kicking off the festival on August 25, the festival stretched to August 28, giving the public a chance to properly enjoy the dozens of performances given across its three stages. With Dior sponsored booths and countless of other fun activities and food trucks, the attendees were in for a treat, having the opportunities to win plane tickets with Transavia or to even get flash tattoos at the Adopt’ stand.
The festival harbored an electrifying energy, displaying what was most missed during the COVID-19 pandemic: raw joy and excitement for live music with an astounding attendance of around 40,000 people. Between Tame Impala offering an unforgettable laser light music show to the incredulous attendees and Stromae delivering a prodigious exhibition of his unbelievable talent, the festivalgoers left the grass-covered floor of the event with stars in their eyes and memories to last a lifetime.
Rock en Seine made one thing loud and clear: Rock’n’roll is far from being dead! – and especially not in Europe.
Primavera Sound Barcelona
In Barcelona, Spain, one can expect a massive party at the beginning of every summer with Primavera Sound. Spanning over the course of multiple weekends with over 100 performers, there is nonstop musical bliss from start to finish.
This year, the festival welcomed global superstars like Dua Lipa, Tame Impala, and Tyler, the Creator as its headliners. Unlike most festivals, a lot of Primavera Sound takes place on concrete ground. While this may make one think differently about which shoes they should bring along for the weekend, the gorgeous stage designs and phenomenal performers will keep one captivated by the music rather than one’s feet.
Primavera Sound has artists for everyone’s tastes. From alternative singers like Brittany Howard, PinkPantheress, and Sky Ferreira to pop stars like Angèle and rap legends like Run the Jewels and Megan Thee Stallion, one can experience almost every musical genre under the sun. In the beautiful city of Barcelona, Primavera Sound is truly a treat to behold.
ZONA Music Festival
The people of Phoenix, Arizona were in disbelief when it was announced that the city would finally be getting its first-ever music festival. After years of having to drive out to California or other states on the west coast, the ZONA Music Festival’s inaugural first weekend changed the game for Phoenicians and what’s to come for the local music scene in Phoenix.
Created by Stephen Chilton of Psyko Steve Presents, ZONA Music Festival’s artist lineup was an indie music lover’s dream. With headliners like Beach House, Bleachers, and Japanese Breakfast, one could already sense that the vibes of the festival were going to be quite immaculate. There was also a spotlight to celebrate artists who had gotten their start as Arizona natives, including musicians like UPSAHL, Glixen, and the Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra.
One thing that Arizona festivalgoers did not prepare for was the random burst of rainfall during the festival weekend. Pouring with rain on Saturday morning, a gloomy and gray atmosphere was created by the city’s unusual weather. By Saturday night, all of the grassy fields were no longer green – the ground was nothing but wet, slippery, and droopy brown mud. The rain occasionally drenched music equipment in water, causing a few sets to be delayed or interrupted – but the show must go on.
By Sunday, everyone was prepared to not look their best for the festival. People came ready for the muddy aftermath, jumping around until their shoes and pants were coated in the mud beneath them. For those who weren’t afraid to get a little dirty, the cold rain only made the festival more of an exhilarating and memorable experience.
There’s no competition when it comes to having the most fun festival name. Lollapalooza definitely takes the cake, and it also takes the cake when it comes to being one of the best U.S. music festivals in history.
In 2022, Lollapalooza took place in the burning heat of late July at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois. With a wildly talented four-day lineup, the festival was jam packed with tough decisions for festivalgoers to make. It sounds remarkably challenging to pick which artists you’re going to see when those artists include Jazmine Sullivan, Metallica, Tove Lo, Ashnikko, 100 gecs, and many more all within the same day.
With a gorgeous skyline of Chicago behind its main stage, Lollapalooza makes one feel immersed within the city’s gorgeous atmosphere. As thousands of people are bunched up to feel the high spirits and positive energy of what this festival has to offer, there’s no describing the magic of connecting with such a large crowd to one’s favorite song.
When artists like Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion, Olivia Rodrigo, and TLC are performing at a festival but aren’t the headliners, you know there’s an incredibly stacked lineup.
Taking place every year in Pilton, Somerset, England, the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts is a five-day experience that showcases some of the most influential and popular musicians of today. It’s a spacious venue with grassy hills, swarms of people at every turn, and colorful, vibrant sets that allow festivalgoers to absorb themselves in the music.
Glastonbury’s most recent lineup was particularly enjoyable for its queer audience, with amazing sets from musicians like Caroline Polachek, Charli XCX, Kacey Musgraves, Phoebe Bridgers, St. Vincent, HAIM, Jessie Ware, Lianne La Havas, beabadoobee, and more.
One performance that stood out above the rest was when Lorde sported her new blonde look for the first time, along with bringing out Clairo and Arlo Parks to perform a special rendition of her Solar Power track, “Stoned at the Nail Salon.” It was a memorable moment for indie pop lovers this year, and it represents just one of the several great experiences from this year’s Glastonbury Festival.