Sasquatch — Quincy, WA
Pretty much anyone who’s ever been to Sasquatch cites it immediately when asked about the prettiest festival they’ve ever attended. The Pacific Northwest location means that you’re always at risk of rain, but beyond that, it’s hard to complain about anything else here — the Gorge Amphitheater, in which the festival is held, is rightly famous for its spectacular view and its verdant beauty, and regularly wins awards for being America’s best outdoor concert venue.
Traena Music Festival — Traena, Norway
Held across two islands that are accessible only by ferry, this is one of the most remote festival settings in the world, and also one of the most striking. The Traena archipelago is some 12 hours from Oslo, close to the Arctic circle.
Red Rocks Amphitheater — Morrison, Colorado
Along with the Gorge, this is among America’s most dramatic outdoor venues, and has played host to a huge variety of events over the years. It used to be home to the Monolith Festival, but that’s been on hold since 2009, meaning that as far as we know there are no festivals at Red Rocks this year — but no doubt someone will come along to pick up that slack sooner or later.
Festival Au Bord De l’Eau — Sierre, Switzerland
The festival’s name translates as “at the water’s edge,” which is a rather apt description of this festival’s lakeside setting — it’s held right next to the scenic Lac de Géronde, on the outskirts of scenic Swiss mountain city Sierre. The actual lineup doesn’t look amazing — although seeing Theo Parrish in a setting like this would be pretty great — but from a purely aesthetic point of view, Festival Au Bord De l’Eau looks like it’s definitely got it going on. [image via]
Lake of Stars — Lilongwe, Malawi
The eponymous Lake of Stars is Lake Malawi, and this festival has been held on its shores for the best part of a decade now. The event took a hiatus in 2012 and is apparently moving to a new location for 2013 (it’s on September 27 and 28 this year). Whether the new site retains the aesthetic appeal of the festival’s former home remains to be seen.
Secret Garden Party — Huntingdon, UK
While we’re on lakes, this English festival is set around a small lake on the grounds of a Georgian-era farmhouse in the Cambridgeshire village of Abbots Ripton. It looks gorgeous in a quintessentially English kind of way, and also offers “boutique camping” for those who are less than enthused by the idea of sleeping in a tent for days on end. Bravo.
End of the Road — Dorset, UK
A not dissimilar setting, although further south and sans the lake. The south of England is some of the prettiest countryside you’ll find anywhere in the world, and makes for a really beautiful setting for a music festival. This event is held in an ancient hunting ground that is now home to the Larmer Tree Gardens, which date from the late 1880s and apparently once inspired Thomas Hardy to write a poem about how beautiful they were. If it’s good enough for him, etc. [Image via]
Dalhalla Opera Festival — Dalhalla, Sweden
The music may not be something that appeals immediately to your average Flavorwire reader, but the setting looks amazing — a former limestone quarry in the Swedish forest that’s been converted into a dramatic and spectacular amphitheater. The surrounding area is also pretty special — the nearby Lake Siljan was apparently created by a meteor impact some 360 million years ago.
Primavera Sound — Barcelona, Spain
I mean, shit, it’s in Barcelona. And the lineup’s amazing. What more do you want?
The most starkly, spectacularly beautiful country on the planet, and a place where you really can’t go wrong putting on a music festival. (So long as you invest in a decent set or two of thermals.) Reykjavik is a really pretty city, too, which means that even Iceland Airwaves counts here — and I’m sure the site for the upcoming ATP Iceland will be suitably gorgeous, too.