Music festivals in Europe

Hi, I’m Alex, a designer at Datawrapper focused on interface and experience design. Today I’ll take a look at the festival scene in Europe.

For some years now I’ve really enjoyed going to music festivals. Being among people that enjoy the same music I do and being able to dance together for multiple days is just something magical. Since I like electronic music, I’ve mostly visited festivals in that genre, including the Feel Festival (my favorite so far), Mysteryland, ParookaVille, Melt, Lollapalooza Berlin, and Nature One.

Now summer is around the corner, and festival season is starting back up. According to the European Festivals Association, there are around 1900 music festivals planned in Europe this year. That’s a lot! Especially considering that this database probably is not fully complete. (And of course there are many more great music festivals all over the world — but I decided to focus on European festivals because the size of that data set was already almost too much for this small exercise.)

Let’s look at where the biggest festivals take place.

The 370 festivals on this map are all the ones with more than 10,000 attendees per day. A surprising number of them take place in Belgium and the Netherlands, including one of the best-known electronic music festivals, Tomorrowland. A fair share also take place in southern regions like Portugal or Italy. Can’t blame people for that 😉

I found it interesting how many festivals are free to enter, even among these big ones with more than 10,000 attendees. Let’s take a closer look at how festival prices have changed in the past few years.

With the help of Festivals United, I picked a few (mostly German) popular festivals to take a look how ticket prices have changed over time. It looks like they're going up, but that can't really surprise us with the current inflation across all kinds of prices. In fact, what I was astonished to see is that some festivals, like Ikarus, haven't increased their prices much, despite getting more and more visitors.

It's interesting to see how different organizers have handled this time since the two years of COVID break. Despite probably huge losses during that time, quite a few came back with lowered prices, maybe to draw back their first crowds. Unfortunately, the trend has been to increase prices again after that — often quite steeply.

This year I plan to go to the Feel Festival (my fourth time there) and for the first time I’ll also try out Nature One. I’m lucky enough to have a good job that lets me afford go to multiple festivals in a season — though with the increasing prices on all ends, I decided to stop at two this time.

Thanks for reading my Weekly Chart. Do you go to any music festivals this year? Which ones would you recommend to visit? Tune in next Thursday for another Weekly Chart, this time by Elliot from the visualization team!