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Editor's Picks: Top Ten Music Festivals of July 2012

Every month we hand-select our top ten music festivals covering all genres and geographical locations. Please feel free to add your comments at the bottom of the page and share your top music festival picks for the month.


Scroll down to see our top picks!


July 2012 Picks

metal festivals europe 2012

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Extremefest 2012

July 5-7 2012 - Henndorf am Wallersee, Austria

July 5-7 2012 - Hunxe, Germany

July 5-7 2012 2012 - Pratteln, Switzerland

Billed as the most extreme party of the year, and it can't be far from the truth. Showcasing the extremely heavy genres of death metal, nordic black metal, thrash and deathcore this three day festival occurs simultaneously over three countries; Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Folks of these countries are no strangers to festivals of this nature and should turn out in droves for this camping festival.

Part of the "extreme" team this year are Cannibal Corpse, Suicide Silence, Exodus, All Shall Perish, Carnifex, Marduk, Suffocation.


For more festival information: Extremefest's act to see: Cannibal Corpse


-- T.A.



top summer music festivals europe

Photo by Claus Bjørn Larsen. Courtesy of

Roskilde Festival 2012

July 5-8 2012 - Roskilde, Denmark

Roskilde Festival has been running for over 40 years as a non-profit organisation in support of music, it's surrounding culture and an emphasis on common human needs. The iconic big-top covering the Orange Stage has instant recognition of its own, a testament to the vast international reputation that Roskilde Festival has built up over the years. Pulling in an artistic variety of artists, Roskilde Festival 2012 will remain a top choice to return to for music festival veterans.

The ever impressive Roskilde lineup in 2012 will include The Cure, The Shins, Björk, Bruce Springsteen, Wiz Khalifa, Bon Iver, The Roots.


For more festival information: Roskilde Festival's act to see: The Cult


-- T.A.



nice jazz festival summer lineup 2012

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings. Photo courtesy of

Nice Jazz Festival 2012

July 8-12 2012 - Nice, France

Coming just out of the midst of the Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix, the Nice Jazz Festival is a nice change for the French Riviera. The festival will take over two very prominent opens areas in the city, between the Old Town and the famous pebbly beach. With a wide range of music from soulful sounds to classic jazz to funk, the Nice Jazz Festival will bring together many quality musicians and will also certainly highlight the diversity of southern France.

This year's lineup includes Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Robert Randolph &The Family Band, Selah Sue, Gilberto Gil, and Erykah Badu.


For more festival information: Nice Jazz Festival's act to see: Herbie Hancock & His Band


-- A.P.



top summer music festivals 2012

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EXIT Festival 2012

July 12-15 2012 - Novi Sad, Serbia

Set in the 17th century fortress on the shores of the Danube is Serbia's massive festival, Exit, reputed as one of the most amazing festival experiences out there. Four days of wide-ranging genres fill the scenic walls of the Petrovaradin Fortress and camping grounds to boot. The Dance Arena stage is the most famed of the stages with a capacity of 25,000 dancing to the beat on the cascading walls of the fortress. It's possible to catch an amazing sunset and sunrise whilst DJ's and live acts play in the same night if you are feeling suitably energetic. This years Main Stage lineup is decidedly 80's with a splattering of drum 'n' bass and dub step.

EXIT Festival 2012 features Guns N' Roses, New Order, Erykah Badu, Wolfmother, Duran Duran and Gossip.


For more festival information: EXIT Festival's act to see: Laurent Garnier


-- T.A.



top summer music festivals 2012

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Pitchfork Festival 2012

July 13-15, 2012 - Chicago, IL, United States

With a quick glance of the lineup you can tell Picthfork Festival is one of the best inner-city music festivals happening this summer in the U.S. Featuring a wide range of both old school and newly rising independent acts, Pitchfork’s small presence -- in comparison to the crowds drawn to a bigger festival such as Lollapalooza -- means everything about it will feel much more intimate. Held in Chicago’s famous Union Park over the course of three days, this somewhat new music festival (in it’s 7th year) is quickly gaining popularity – there will also be a Pitchfork Festival Paris later in the year.

Pitchfork's spectacular lineup this year boasts Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Feist, Vampire Weekend, Hot Chip, Grimes, A$AP Rocky, and many more.


For more festival information: Pitchfork Festival's act to see: Tough choice between Dirty Projectors or Tim Hecker


-- A.P.



top music festivals summer 2012

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Positivus Festival 2012

July 20-21, 2012 - Salacgrīva, Latvia

If you’ve ever been to Latvia you know what a magical place it is, so naturally, a  Latvian music festival with a great lineup would be a top pick! Held on the woodland shores of the Baltic Sea, surrounded by miniscule fishing villages, Salacgriva makes the perfect spot for  listening to bands during the long summer days. Positivus is also one of the more affordable camping music festivals in Europe this summer, so you can save that extra cash on more music festivals later in the year!

Positivus 2012 includes Friendly Fires, Keane, Niki And The Dove, The Vaccines, Damien Rice, Skyforger, and Wild Beasts.


For more festival information: Positivus Festival's act to see: 2:54


-- A.P.



the best summer music festivals 2012

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Fuji Rock Festival 2012

July 27-29, 2012 - Yuzawa-machi, Japan

Although Fuji Rock is no longer held under the shadow of Mt Fuji, the picturesque mountain setting and stellar lineup of this year’s Fuji Rock Festival in Japan make it a festival not to be missed. Fuji Rock is one of the top music festivals in Japan and thousands flock to it each year, as the lineup continues to get bigger and better. Whether you decide to camp or stay in the nearby accommodation, Fuji Rock will be a great experience in both music and culture this summer.

Appearing at Fuji Rock 2012 will be Radiohead, The Stone Roses, At The Drive-In, Jack White, Explosions In The Sky, and James Blake.


For more festival information: Fuji Rock Festival's act to see: Radiohead


-- A.P.



top summer music festivals 2012

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Splendour In The Grass 2012

July 27-29, 2012 - Byron Bay, NSW, Australia

July tends to be a quiet time of the year for music festivals in Australia with summer being the host to the vast majority of festivals. The shining exception to that is the Splendour in the Grass festival, set in the Belongil Fields of Byron Bay, New South Wales. This alternative festival garners a large amount of travellers from within the country and many of the larger acts playing come purely for this festival before returning to the summer festivals of Europe and North America.

Smashing Pumpkins, Jack White, At The Drive-In, Bloc Party, The Shins, Hilltop Hoods can all be seen at this year's Splendour In The Grass.


For more festival information: Splendour In The Grass's act to see: At The Drive-In


-- T.A.



top summer music festivals europe 2012

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Tomorrowland 2012

July 27-29, 2012 - Boom, Belgium

Possibly the biggest electronic music festival happening in Europe this summer, Belgium's Tomorrowland will be sure to please all senses -- with it's "magical" Tomorrowland theme and the vast array of world-renowned electronic music artists. The venue's expansive layout means attendees can choose to be in the sun all day or hideaway in the trees while listening to their favorite DJs, who have all come together to put the "boom" in Boom (pun intended). With headliners such as David Guetta and Fatboy Slim, Tomorrowland will certainly be the festival where you will want to see and be seen this summer.

The brag-worthy lineup of this year's Tomorrowland includes David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Alesso, Avicii, Swedish House Mafia, and Goldie.


For more festival information: Tomorrowland's act to see: Fake Blood


-- A.P.



music festivals 2012

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Newport Folk Festival 2012

July 28-29, 2012 - Newport, RI, United States

The historical Newport Folk Festival has been running since 1959 and has long been an institution to not only Rhode Island but to the very heart of folk music. Such greats as Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Allman Brothers Band have graced the stage to what is now the host to a new generation of folk, greatly influenced by past performances here. These two days at Fort Adams State Park in late July will no doubt be the highlight of year for many attendees.

Appearing at the 2012 Newport Folk Festival are My Morning Jacket, Iron & Wine, Jackson Brown, Conor Oberst, Patty Grifin, The Tallest Man On Earth, and more.


For more festival information: Newport Folk Festival's act to see: Blind Pilot


-- T.A.




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