crowd dressed in japanese clothes at a Festivals in July

The Ultimate Guide to Festivals in July Around the World 2023-2024

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Everyone enjoys a good festival, so here are 14 amazing festivals in July to add to your bucket list!

July is a great time to travel and there are many unique festivals around the world held at this time of year. There is no better way to really experience and try to understand a culture than to participate in a local festival. The memories of the music, food, ceremonies and traditions will stay with you forever.

There are so many amazing July festivals around the world to experience, so here is our bucket list pick of the 14 best festivals in July that offer something for everyone.

N.B. We will updating this list regularly, so if you have any festivals or events you think should make the list, please let us know in the comments section.

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Did You Know?

  • July is named after the famous Roman general Julius Caesar because it was his birth month.
  • Despite it being the first month in the second half of the year, July 1st is not actually the middle of the year. In a regular non-leap year, the midpoint is actually on July 2nd at 1 pm.
  • July is the month to celebrate International Joke Day (1st), National Mojito Day (11th), I love Horses Day (15th), and World Emoji Day (17th).

“…the thunderous clacking of hooves as the twelve beasts came crashing down Calle Santo Domingo, through Plaza Consistorial and Calle Mercaderes.”

– Christopher Smith, Running of the Bulls –

Festivals in July Around the World

Here are the best July festivals and celebrations to add to your bucket list travel calendar.

1. America Independence Day – USA

Red-White-Blue balloons and flags at the biggest USA Festival in July on the 4th
Red-White-Blue Celebrations at the biggest USA Festival in July – Independence Day: Image by Tom Dahm at Unsplash
  • Where: Across the USA
  • When: Annually on 4th of July: 4 July, 2023 | 4 July, 2024
  • Duration: 1 day

In modern-day America, Independence Day, celebrated on the 4th of July, is a time to enjoy a long weekend with family and friends with lots of great food, beer, sunshine, music, boats, fireworks, and bonfires. Independence Day celebrates the history that on 4th July, 1776, the thirteen colonies or original states claimed their independence from England, an event which eventually led to the formation of the United States.

You will find celebrations in most cities across America, but  if you are looking for the full red-white-and-blue experience, head to any of the bigger cities such as New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, and Houston.

Expect to find countless parades and parties across the cities, as well as firework displays galore.

Check PRICES AND availability oF accommodation options in USA HERE!

2. Calgary Stampede – Calgary, Alberta, Canada

a canadian mounty watching a horse race at Calgary Stampede
Calgary Stampede: Image by Bryton Udy at Unsplash
  • Where: Calgary, Canada
  • When: Annually in mid-July: 7 – 16 July, 2023 | 5 – 14 July, 2024
  • Duration: 10 days

Touted as ‘The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth’, the Calgary Stampede is a ten-day event that takes place in Calgary, Alberta.

The Calgary Stampede is a celebration of the cowboy heritage and culture of North America. It was first held in 1912 and has been a major event for over 100 years. The event attracts more than one million people from all over the world each year, which makes it one of Canada’s largest festivals.

The Stampede’s main attraction is the rodeo competition. It includes steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding and bareback riding competitions to name a few of them. Various other events and activities include bull riding, chuckwagon racing, calf roping, barrel racing, stunt shows, concerts, agricultural competitions and trade shows for agriculture equipment, livestock and horse showmanship events.

BOOK EARLY SO YOU DON’T MISS OUT… Check RATES AND availability oF accommodation options in Calgary NOW!

3. Canada Day Festival – Canada

Recommended by Nina at ‘Nina Out and About’

the eternal flame at Parliament hill on canada day
Canada Day – The Eternal Flame at Parliament Hill
  • Where: All over Canada
  • When: Annually on 1 July: 1 July, 2023 | 1 July, 2024
  • Duration: 1 day

Canada Day celebrations are held on July 1st across Canada. These celebrations mark the unification of the first provinces of Canada. Originally, it was called “Dominion Day“, as “Canada” was the name of an original province.

Now, Canada Day is a celebration of Canadian pride and a love of red-white items.

If you live in Canada, you essentially have to celebrate Canada Day. In recent years, there has been some contention due to the Indigenous deaths that have come to light. People have begun to boycott Canada Day by wearing orange to force the government to take action on these past atrocities. The addition of an Aboriginal Day has been the first advancement created by these boycotts.

Traditional Canada Day celebrations involve Canadian cocktails, waving Canada flags, wearing red-white outfits, blasting music, enjoying the summer sun, and ending the evening in fireworks. Most celebrations include barbecue parties with neighbours and friends.

The best place to celebrate Canada Day is in Ottawa, the capital city of Canada. Here, you can enjoy the celebrations on Parliament Hill. The Prime Minister speaks to the crowd, a member of the royal family often does an address, and Canadian bands play a free concert for all who visit.

It’s exceptionally fun to have a day off to celebrate in the summer. Most people don’t take it as seriously as America’s July 4th holiday (we aren’t quite as aggressively patriotic). Instead, it is about spending time with friends and family, often while drinking and eating way too much.

Check PRICES AND availability oF accommodation options in Canada HERE!

4. Collisioni Festival – Barolo, Italy

Recommended by Francensca at ‘Travel Heal Love

  • Where: Langhe Hills in Piedmont – Barolo, Italy
  • When: Annually in Mid-July: 8 – 31 July, 2023 | 2024 dates TBC
  • Duration: 3 days

One of the best literature and music festival in Italy is without a doubt the Collisioni Festival in Barolo. Barolo is one of the most beautiful towns in the Langhe Hills in Piedmont, Italy. It is surrounded by Italy’s best vineyards declared as a UNESCO heritage territory. In this corner of paradise, you will be able to enjoy some of the best wines in the world and taste the always delicious Italian food.

Barolo’s Collisioni festival was kicked off in 2009 by a team of Italian journalists, artists, and writers who wanted to find a way to reach the new generations and break down the long-standing barriers between different artistic genres.

The event is held mid-July and consists of of non-stop concerts, tastings, and events. More in detail, the town becomes a stage for speeches held by Nobel Prize winners, writers, journalists, and actors in an informal setup. All of these guests converse and interact with the public to create a vibrant and active debate. Meanwhile, concerts are going on continuously and simultaneously in the five main squares, offering every possible kind of music to meet the tastes of the diverse public.

In the evening, the biggest square of the town offers concerts from both Italian and international performers. Just to mention a few, in the last few editions, there have been artists and bands like 30 Seconds to Mars, Bob Dylan, Patty Smith, The Passenger, Sting, Zucchero Fornaciari, and many more.

If you are looking to experience an authentic Italian festival full of delicious food, tasty wine, and great entertainment you cannot miss the Collisioni Festival in Barolo!

DON’T MISS OUT… Check availability AND PRICES oF accommodation options in Barolo NOW!

5. Exit Festival – Novi Sad, Serbia

Recommended by Claire at ‘Claire Pins Travel’

sign for exit festival in novid sad serbia
Exit Festival in Novi Sad Serbia
  • Where: Zrce Beach, Croatia
  • When: Annually in early to mid-July: 6 – 9 July, 2023 | 2024 dates TBC
  • Duration: 4 days

Have you ever been to a music festival inside a historic fortress? Exit Festival is a music festival held in the city of Novi Sad, in Serbia every year for around four days in early to mid-July. It takes place within the grounds of the Petrovaradin Fortress, which is located on a hill overlooking the Danube River.

With upwards of 200,000 people attending every summer, this is one of the biggest festivals in South-Eastern Europe. The line-up typically features a variety of DJs, electronic dance music artists, a few hip-hop, reggae, metal and punk performances, and some major pop acts. You will also see lots of wild and fun festival fashion and unique art installations. Visitors will find that this festival is quite affordable compared to similar events in Western Europe or North America.

This festival really gets going once the sun goes down, and the headliner musical acts are typically scheduled from 10 PM until the early hours of the next morning. This overnight schedule helps festival goers avoid hot afternoon temperatures in the summer time. This festival is definitely a fun travel experience to have in your twenties, while you still have the energy to stay up all night long!

Interestingly, the festival was actually founded in the year 2000 by students advocating for freedom and democracy in the Balkans, and the festival is now considered to be one of the most notable summer events in the region. 

BOOK EARLY… Check RATES AND availability oF accommodation options in Novi Sad HERE!

6. Gion Matsuri Festival – Kyoto, Japan

group of people dressed in japanese festival clothes at matsuri festival in july
Matsuri Festival: Image by Julie Fader at Unsplash
  • Where: Kyoto, Japan
  • When: Annually in July: 1 – 31 July, 2023 | 1 – 31 July, 2024
  • Duration: 1 month

The Gion Matsuri or Gion Festival is a festival that takes place annually in the month of July in Kyoto, Japan. It is one of Kyoto’s most famous festivals and it attracts tens of thousands of people every year to the city.

This festival has been going on for over 800 years and it has been designated as an important intangible cultural heritage of Japan. The festival takes place in the Higashiyama district, which was once the seat of power during the Heian Period (794-1185). The Gion Matsuri was first held when the reigning emperor ordered worship at the Yasaka Shrine in the hope that it would prevent the plague.

There are many events taking place at different locations throughout Kyoto during the Gion Festival. Traditional dances are performed at Yasaka Shrine, there are theatrical performances at Shimogamo Shrine and Kamigamo Shrine, and more theatre performances take place at the National Theatre.

There are parades taking place throughout the month, but the highlight of the festival are the parades called Yamboko Junko on the 17th and 24th July. On these days, traditional parade floats proceed through packed streets, and the festivities culminate on the last day of the month, resulting in another street celebration, known as the ‘purification’ closing ceremony.

BOOK EARLY TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT… Check RATES AND availability oF accommodation options in Kyoto NOW!

7. Hideout Festival – Zrce Beach, Croatia

Recommended by Maria at ‘A World of Destinations

sandy beach with festival tents in background
Hideout Festival in Croatia
  • Where: Zrce Beach, Croatia
  • When: Annually in July: 25 – 29 July, 2023 | 2024 dates TBC
  • Duration: 5 days

Hideout Festival is a 5-day electronic festival taking place every year in July at Zrce Beach in Croatia. It combines beach vibes, boat parties, pool parties and 5 different open-air venues. Zrce Beach is a long stretch of beach where you can sunbathe and join a pool party during the day and then make it to a headline performance in the evening.

Most of the people at Hideout Festival are British and the crowd is on average in their 20’s and 30’s. Enjoy relaxed afternoons on the beach, cooling down in clear blue waters while listening to the music, and seemingly endless parties at night until the sun goes up and paints the sky orange and pink.

The atmosphere at Hideout Festival is amazing thanks to its unique beach location and open-air venues by the water. Besides the parties they also offer water sports such as jet skiing, banana boats or even bungee jumping. If you get hungry, you’ll find some food stalls in the festival area. But these are quite pricey, so if you’re on a budget you might want to get food outside of the festival area.

Most visitors stay in the nearby town Novalja from where you can take a free shuttle to Zrce Beach. In Novalja you’ll find lots of accommodation options and restaurants, as well as a calm beach in case you need a break from the party.

Check RATES AND availability oF accommodation options in Novalja HERE!

8. Just for Laughs Comedy Festival – Montreal, Canada

logo for just for laughs festival in july
  • Where: Montreal, Canada
  • When: Annually in July: 1 – 31 July, 2023 | 1 – 31 July, 2024
  • Duration: 1 month

In 1983, a small group of comedy lovers in Montreal got together to create an event, the “Just for Laughs Comedy Festival”, that would become the largest comedy festival in the world. It takes place every year in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

The idea was simple: have a one-time event to celebrate humour and laughter. The first edition of Just for Laughs was held at the Monument National, which was then called Le Théâtre National. The festival featured 12 shows with about 200 performers and attracted about 3,000 people. Today, the festival features over 3,000 performances by 1,200 artists from 30 countries.

It is also one of the most important events for comedians as it showcases new talent and gives them an opportunity to perform for a wider audience. Jim Carrey, Tim Allen, Rowan Atkinson, Adam Sandler, and David Schwimmer are just some of the past performers who have appeared on stage.

This comedy festivals has a number of different venues and it has expanded to include live shows in other parts of Canada and around the world.

BOOK EARLY… Check availability AND PRICES oF accommodation options in Montreal NOW!

9. Lollapalooza – Chicago, USA

a band performing on stage at Lollapalooza Festival in July
Lollapalooza Festival in July: Image by Danny Howe at Unsplash
  • Where: Chicago, USA
  • When: Annually in late July: 3 – 6 July, 2023 | 31 July – 2 August, 2024
  • Duration: 4 days

Originally, Lollapalooza was held in 2003 in Chicago, USA, but it is now held in a total of 7 different countries around the world annually. Today, you will find Lollapalooza festivals in Berlin, Germany; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago, Chile; Stockholm, Sweden; and Paris, France.

Lollapalooza is held in the historic Grant Park in Downtown Chicago, alongside the beautiful Chicago skyline and the shores of Lake Michigan. With 8 stages and 170+ bands and performers from all over the world, Lollapalooza is a favourite amongst festival-goers. Past artists have included Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, Nine Inch Nails, Janes Addiction, Metallica, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Myley Cyrus, Post Malone, Foo Fighters, and more.

One of the unique aspects of the festival is the Lollapalooza Aftershow series in which artists from the festival do late-night shows at various nightclubs around downtown Chicago. If an artists you like does a Lolla Aftershow, you have a chance to experience them in a small-crowd audience of like-minded fans.

BOOK EARLY TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT… Check RATES AND availability oF accommodation options in Chicago NOW!

10. Montreux Jazz Festival – Montreux, Switzerland

sign in lights saying Montreux Jazz Festival
Montreux Jazz Festival in July: Image by Armand Khoury at Unsplash
  • Where: Montreux, Switzerland
  • When: Annually in early July: 30 June – 15 July, 2023 | 2024 dates TBC
  • Duration: 17 days

The Montreux Jazz Festival is the second biggest jazz festival in the world and is held annually on Lake Geneva in Montreux, Switzerland. The festival was founded in 1967, and exclusively featured jazz musicians. Today, the festival lasts just over two weeks and happens annually in early July.

Over the past 50 years, the Montreux Jazz Festival has hosted performances by iconic artists including Miles DavisAretha FranklinElla FitzgeraldMarvin GayePrinceLeonard CohenDavid BowieElton John and Stevie Wonder.

The festival can be experienced in two parts – the paid for acts in the Stravinski Auditorium, the jazz club and jazz lab, and the free fringe acts in an area outside.  The line-up of performers at the Stravinski Auditorium are world-famous but not always jazz performers. Some of these performers have included Lionel Richie (2022), Iggy Pop, Billy Idol, and Deep Purple. The ticket prices are expensive and you pay per performance, not per entry ticket like other festivals.

You can also experience the event for free at the ‘Music in the Park’ stage which hosts acts starting from mid-afternoon until late. The performers make up for any lack of fame by enthusiasm and energy, buoyed on by a warm audience of all ages. There are over 70 performances here over the duration of the festival.

Check RATES AND availability OF accommodation options in Montreux HERE!

11. Reggae Sumfest – Montego Bay, Jamaica

a reggae performer signing into a mic with long dreadlocks
Marley at Reggae Sumfest: Image by Durb at Pixabay
  • Where: Montego Bay, Jamaica
  • When: Annually in mid-July: 16 – 22 July, 2023 | 2024 dates TBC
  • Duration: 7 days

The reggae festival, Reggae Sumfest, is held during summer every year in mid-July in Montego Bay, Jamaica. It is not only the biggest music festival in Jamaica, but one of the greatest reggae festivals in the world.

The Reggae Sumfest was first held back in 1993, and has featured some of the best reggae artists in the world including Jimmy Cliff, Damian Marley, Ziggy Marley, Stephen Marley, and Toots & The Maytals, just to name a few.

The festival features live performances each night and includes additional parties such as the Colorfest Beach Party, the Free Street Dance and Party, the All White Party, and the Blitz Party.

Montego Bay is well known as an amazing tourist destination and is a paradise for those that love the beach. If you are looking at doing some fun activities while you are there, you can go horseback riding or parasailing, of if your prefer to just relax on a beach, check out Cornwall Beach and Doctor’s Cave Beach.

BOOK EARLY… Check availability AND PRICES oF accommodation options in Montego Bay NOW!

12. Running of the Bulls – Pamplona, Spain

crowds in the street between rows of buildings
San Fermin Festival in July: Image by Navarra at Pixabay
  • Where: Pamplona, Spain
  • When: Annually from 6 – 14 July: 6 – 14 July, 2023 | 6 – 14 July, 2024
  • Duration: 9 days

The annual Running of the Bulls is a traditional event in Pamplona, Spain that has been held for centuries and is still celebrated to this day. The event takes place from July 6th to 14th each year.

It is a part of a festival called San Fermin which is celebrated not only in Spain, but other parts of the world also. The festival began in Pamplona, Spain, in the early 1900s when people would run with bulls through town.

Today, the event consists of people chasing bulls through the streets, often while wearing traditional clothing and running with red scarves that have been tied to the bulls’ horns. The bull runs today held during San Fermin are not as dangerous as they used to be.

The event is a celebration of the end of the Christian period of lent, which is a time to give up things like meat and alcohol. There are also more events than ever before at San Fermin including concerts, street parties, firework shows and more.

BOOK EARLY SO YOU DON’T MISS OUT… Check availability AND RATES oF accommodation options in Pamplona NOW!

13. Summerfest – Milwaukee, USA

a guy with a hand in the air at a festival with stage lit up
Summerfest: Image by Lee Blanchflower at Unsplash
  • Where: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
  • When: Annually in August / September: 27 August – 4 September, 2023 | 25 August – 2 September, 2024
  • Duration: 9 days

We have also added Summerfest in Milwaukee, USA to our post on the ‘Best Festivals in June” as this is when it begins. However, this festival can be enjoyed in both late June and early July each year.

Read more about Summerfest in Milwaukee, USA in our post on the Best Festivals Held in June Around the World

14. White Night Festival – Saint Petersburg, Russia

a solo Ballet performer on stage
A Ballet Performance at The Bolshoi Theatre: Image by Sergei Gavrilov at Unsplash
  • Where: Saint Petersburg, Russia
  • When: Annually in late May to late July: Brightest of the nights is 24 May – 17 July, 2023 | 2024 dates TBC
  • Duration: 2 months

The White Nights Festival is an annual summer festival from late May to July in Saint Petersburg, Russia celebrating the long light nights of northern Russia. Due to its location near the Arctic Circle, the skies only reach twilight and never reach complete darkness as the sun never sets. The natural phenomenon of the white nights lasts from late May to early July with the brightest of these nights falling between the 12th June and 2nd July.

Russia’s cultural capital offers lots of events in celebration of this festival including classical music, opera, ballet and theatre performances as well as dance parties, street concerts, fireworks and the spectacular Scarlet Sails event marking the peak of the festival. The Bolshoi Theatre hosts renowned Russian ballet performances while the Mariinsky Theatre is the place to be every night for classical music and also acts as the festival’s host.

One of the most popular things to do is stroll along the River Neva at night to enjoy the stunning views in the magical light.

Check RATES AND availability oF accommodation options in Saint Petersburg HERE!

In Summary – The Best Festivals in July Around the World

You can find many festivals around the world which are held throughout every month of the year. You will be spoilt for choice if you choose to celebrate at a festival in July as there are lots of both smaller and larger festivals out there for you to pick from and enjoy.

What is your favourite July festival around the world and why? Have you been to any of our list of the best festivals in July around the world listed above? Have we missed any July celebrations around the world you think we should add? Post your tips, comments and questions below.

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