The best of the rest

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 March, 2011, 12:00am

While you don't have to leave Asia to get your festival fix, the really heavy-hitting action is happening in the US and Europe, where multi-day music blow-outs have been attracting the biggest, most hyped-up names in pop and rock for decades.

Among the coolest of the lot is Denmark's Roskilde Festival (June 30-July 3), which brings Scandinavian tastes together with mega acts in a camping environment. This year you'll see Iron Maiden, Kings of Leon, PJ Harvey and MIA.

Not far away is Belgium's Rock Werchter Festival (June 30-July 3), a attracts 110,000 people. This year they've got Coldplay, Kings of Leon, Black Eyed Peas, Iron Madien, The National, and TV on the Radio.

England's muddy Glastonbury (June 22-26, photo below) is legendary, and the 2011 line-up includes Coldplay, U2, Beyonce, Eels, Fleet Foxes and Elbow.

A huge metal blowout is on the cards at Britain's Sonisphere (July 8-10), with a massive line-up including Metallica, Slipknot, Megadeth, Slayer, Motorhead and Weezer.

Still in Britain, Latitude (July 14-17) this year brings Bright Eyes, The National, Foals, and My Morning Jacket to one site, while Bestival (September 8-11) on the Isle of Wight serves up The Cure, DJ Shadow, Boys Noize, Robyn and Diplo.

For a change of scene, check out Serbia's Exit Festival (July 7-10), which is held in an 18th-century fortress and this year boasts the plum scores of Arcade Fire, Beirut, Portishead and Pulp.

And don't overlook America. Home to three massive blowouts - Lollapalooza, Coachella, and Bonnaroo - the US proves it is still the king of scale.

Chicago's Lollapalooza (August 5-7), first launched in 1991 by Jane's Addiction lead singer and occasional Hong Kong resident Perry Farrell, hasn't yet announced its line-up, but last year it hosted Lady Gaga, Green Day and Soundgarden. (Lollapalooza will be staged with a different line-up in Santiago, Chile, on April 2-3.)

Coachella (April 15-19), held in the Southern Californian desert, is the opening act of the summer festival season in the US. No expense is being spared to bring in top acts. Arcade Fire, Kings of Leon, Animal Collective and the Black Keys will be there, but it's the dual Sunday headline of Kanye West and The Strokes that will ensure blockbuster success.

In the sticky heat of a Tennessee summer, tens of thousands will converge on a 283-hectare farm near the city of Manchester for Bonnaroo, (June 9-12) the top-grossing festival in North America. The big names? Eminen, Arcade Fire, Neil Young, My Morning Jacket, Lil Wayne, The Strokes, Mumford & Sons, Gogol Bordello and plenty more.