virtual music festivals
Samaha Sam, singer of the French electro-rock band Shaka Ponk, and virtual monkey Mr Goz (on the screen in the background) perform at the 38th "Le Printemps de Bourges" rock and pop festival in the French city of Bourges on April 23, 2014. Source: Guillaume Souvant/AFP

The UK is world-renowned for its creative and vibrant music festivals, typically held over the summer when the weather is less frigid and miserable.

This year, however, the long-awaited lineup of festivals in the UK, such as the famed Glastonbury Festival, have either been postponed or taken to the virtual stage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There’s no reason why you need to miss out on festival vibes even if you have to enjoy them from your bedroom this year, as many popular festivals have announced they will be held online.

Attending virtual music festivals might not be the same as attending a festival in-person, but the upside is that tickets are cheaper – some are even free!

Virtual music festivals today offer a whole new innovative and immersive experience with 3D, virtual and augmented reality elements, special sound effects, and cutting-edge sound technology, especially if you have a VR headset.

Since virtual music festivals are not bound by geographical barriers, you can check out ones normally held outside the UK, and even invite your friends in different countries to attend with you!

Summer is halfway over but there are still some amazing virtual music festivals for you to catch if you need a break from your studies. Here are four of our top picks:

Tomorrowland Digital Festival, July 25 and 26


Typically held in Belgium, this electronic dance music festival usually sees plenty of festival-goers from the UK and around Europe.

This year’s Tomorrowland Digital Festival will feature a lineup of 60 artists, including David Guetta, Armin van Buuren, Steve Aoki, Clapstone, Martin Garrix, and Adam Beyer.

This two-day festival will be held utilising cutting-edge technology in 3D design, video production and special effects to create an out-of-this-world experience.

Tickets start from 12.50 pounds for single-day tickets and 20 pounds for weekend tickets. Some tickets and packages allow you access to Tomorrowland’s Relive platform, where you can re-watch performances again in the week after the festival.

Henly Digital Festival, 12 July

The popular boutique festival will be streamed live from the Hurley House Hotel this year as a special Henley Festival Digital Edition, with ticket sales going towards funding the not-for-profit festival to continue in 2021.

A curation of top artists across different genres such as pop, classical, jazz and comedy will take the digital stage for a two-hour evening of exclusive performances you can stream in the comfort of your own home.

Artists set to perform include David Gower, Beverly Night, Will Young, Joe Stilgoe, and Hao Zi Yoh. Ticket prices start from 10.10 pounds.

J2v Virtual Festival, July 11 and 12

Techno fans won’t miss out on the legendary Junction 2 festival this year, which will be held virtually with a lineup of DJs including Adam Beyer, Anatasia Kristensen, Nina Kraviz, Daniel Avery, and more.

The free virtual festival will be screened through the website as the central 3D hub, but you can also join through social media platforms.

Over 35 house and techno DJs will be playing in four unique music stages, each with different vibes and aesthetic.

Peer-to-peer engagement and immersive effects will be the highlight of this special virtual edition. There are also additional virtual events held in conjunction such as The Speaker’s Corner for a panel discussion with major techno players, and Asphalt Video Games, a unique social collaboration with award-winning video game publisher Gameloft.

Lollapalooza, July 30 – Aug 2

Always wanted to attend the Lollapalooza, the annual summer music festival held in Chicago? This year, the festival will be held virtually, with organisers promising “performances from around the city and beyond, epic archival sets from Chicago and the festival’s six international editions, never-before-seen footage from the 1990s and much more.”

The lineup and ticket prices have yet to be announced, but you can sign up on the website for the latest updates.

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