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20 of the World's Biggest Music Festivals and Mega-Parties to Experience Before You Die

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by Joe Batruny Apr 25, 2014

If you find yourself bored with good old house party bong sessions, how about mass-scale paint wars with hundreds if not thousands of people out of their minds on marijuana-laced beverages?

From over-the-top mud wrestling to galactic electronic music gatherings, here are 20 all-time parties and festivals you should make it to at least once in your lifetime.


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Holi is an ancient Hindu festival that takes place around March in India and Nepal. Participants down mad amounts of bhang, a cannabis beverage, and then go nuts in the streets with epic “battles” of colored powder and water. 

Boryeong Mud Festival

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Originally conceived as a marketing effort for mud cosmetics in Boryeong, South Korea, the two-week festival is a major stop on the ‘independent travelers looking to get fucked up’ trail. The most popular days of the festival typically fall on the second weekend of July. 

Electric Daisy Carnival 

Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas recently drew 345,000 people overdosing on bass drops and pool parties over three days in June. 


Tomorrowland takes place the last weekend of July in Boom, Belgium. Over 180,000 people who don’t want to have hearing when they’re older hit the scene to hear hundreds of DJs perform. 

Ultra Music Festival 

Held in Miami, Ultra Music Festival attracts over 330,000 partiers looking to combine warm weather and electronic dance music. In 2013, pre-sale tickets sold out in a matter of seconds. 

La Tomatina 

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Every August, La Tomatina takes place in the Valencian town of Buñol, where 40 metric tons of tomatoes are thrown in a massive food-fight, giving 20,000 revelers their daily dose of vegetables. 


Roskilde, one of Europe’s largest festivals, attracts artists ranging from synthpop to hip-hop. Held in June or July each year, the festival attracts over 100,000 people and includes a naked run for those who feel wearing clothing is too mainstream.


Festivals in thailand - songjkran festival in bangkok, man with squirt gun

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During Songkran, Thailand’s traditional New Year’s Day from April 13-15, participants “attack” each other with water thrown from buckets, shot from water guns, and sprayed from hoses. Even the elephants join the battle.


Copenhagen’s Distortion pops up in random locations all over the city during the week of the first Saturday in June. From boat parties to block parties, thousands party around Copenhagen for five days in five different locations.

Queen’s Day 

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On April 27, Amsterdam is colored orange as people celebrate from the streets to the canals. Over a million revelers party all day and night, closing the city centre to cars and trams. 

Full Moon Party 

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An all-night beach party on Ko Pha Ngan in Thailand, the Full Moon Party takes place around every full moon. Fire-skipping ropes, drugs, and alcohol buckets abound—the event is a stop for every traveler trying to wake up the next day with no memory of the night before.

Rock in Rio

Originally held in Brazil, Rock in Rio now moves from city to city (2014’s festival will be held in Lisbon). With the last event attracting over 700,000 people, there’s no shortage of eclectic music, drinking, and dancing.

San Fermin Festival 

Over a million people invade Pamplona, Spain to participate in the festival of San Fermin. Those brave enough (and willing to get a potential horn to the chest) participate in the running of the bulls during this event. 


A five-day music festival held near Pilton, Somerset, England on the last weekend of June, Glastonbury is one of the world’s largest. Secret shows have been played by Radiohead and Skrillex for those in the know.

Battle of the Oranges 

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The Battle of the Oranges is a festival held in the Italian city of Ivrea. “Teams” beam each other with oranges in the largest food fight in Italy. Spectators are urged to wear red hats, unless they’re really craving high-velocity oranges to the teeth. 

Rio Carnaval 

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The Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro, the largest carnival in the world, takes place yearly before Lent. Two million people swell the streets of Rio daily during the festival, drinking and sambaing their way through the city. 


With 2013’s iteration becoming the highest-grossing festival ever, Coachella brings hundreds of thousands to Southern California’s interior to party in the desert sun and watch a Tupac hologram perform every once in a while.

Burning Man 

In late August, Black Rock Desert in Nevada is transformed into an experimental community of self-expression, where burners set up camp and forget about sleep for the next week before burning down the Man at the center of Black Rock City. 

Bay to Breakers 

Originally a footrace meant to raise San Francisco’s spirits after the 1906 earthquake, Bay to Breakers has become a “race” of over 100,000 costumed participants. Alcohol, nudity, and drugs abound, it’s the largest mobile party of its kind.


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Every September, over 6 million people head to Munich for the 16-day event known as Oktoberfest. Women wearing traditional Bavarian dresses serve large beers to patrons looking to stumble back to their beds.

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