Think you’ve got it tough as an event planner when it comes to finalizing details for an outdoor wedding, family reunion or city festival? While we’re certainly not underestimating the challenges that come with the aforementioned events, let’s just say that planning a party for 300 people is nothing along the lines of planning one for 2 million, as is the case with the annual Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro. Yes, it’s needless to say that some festivals are much, much larger than others. And while we already noted the world-famous Carnaval, which has taken place annually before Lent since 1823, here’s a look at some of the world’s other mammoth festivals.
7 of the Largest Festivals Around the World
- Boryeong Mud Festival: Planning this annual festival would be one thing. Cleaning up after it is a completely different thing. Born in 1998, the festival was started by a beauty supplies company that claims to feature mud from the Boryeong mud flats in its products. Unable to advertise the product, the company started a festival of mud, literally. It attracts about 2.2 million people these days and features all things mud, as well as live music, fireworks and other entertainment.
- Rock in Rio: One of the biggest music concerts in the world, Rock in Rio has been occurring since 1985 when Queen and Iron Maiden performed. Rock in Rio is an annual event – although today it alternates locations between Rio de Janeiro, Lisbon and Madrid – and it attracts around 700,000 music fans and usually features over 75 acts. Be sure to get your tickets early for this one.
- White Nights Festival: This festival takes place annually in St. Petersburg, Russia and attracts about 1 million people. It’s a celebration of international arts and features dancers, musicians, singers and actors.
- Oktoberfest: Known as the world’s largest beer festival, Oktoberfest is a 16-day event that takes place in Munich. It’s estimated that 6 million people from around the world attend each year.
- Albuquerque International Balloon Festival: Held annually in Albuquerque, New Mexico and known as the world’s largest international balloon festival, this nine-day event features over 750 balloons and attracts hundreds of thousands to the area.
- Exit: Held in Serbia with the goal of being an activist for social change, The Exit Festival features over 300 acts across eight stages and attracts an audience of about 200,000 people.
- Ultra: An electronics music festival held annually in Miami, Ultra attracts about 330,000 attendees and features over 300 acts each year.
The bottom line is that being an event planner isn’t an easy job, from coordinating food and drink to marketing to porta potty rentals – and that’s regardless of whether you’re planning an event big or small, for 2 million people or for 200 people. No matter what type of event you’re planning, however, there’s nothing like the satisfaction of knowing that you pulled it off to perfection.