The Best Soul Music Festivals Around the World

Are you searching for the ultimate soul music experience? The Soul Beach Music Festival is a renowned event that brings together music aficionados from across the globe. Our guide to the best soul music festivals will take you on a journey through rhythm and blues, giving you all the details you need to feel the groove live.

Get ready to mark your calendars!

Key Takeaways

  • Soul music festivals come in various types and genres, from outdoor beach gatherings to historic celebrations, international showcases, mega concerts, cultural get-togethers, and Southern gatherings.
  • Top countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, and others host soul music festivals celebrating a range of sub-genres including classic soul, R&B, funk, jazz, neo-soul, and more.
  • Must-attend festivals include Cross the Tracks Festival in London featuring diverse R&B and soul artists; Newport Beach Jazz Festival offering smooth jazz performances by top artists; Kite Music Festival in Germany showcasing live soul and funk performances from both local and international acts.
  • Up-and-coming R&B/Soul Artists to watch in 2023 include Cleo Sol with captivating neo-soul sound; Victoria Monét blending R&B and pop; Chlöe stepping into the spotlight with powerful vocals among others.

Defining R&B/Soul Music Festivals

R&B/Soul Music Festivals come in various types and genres, attracting music lovers from all over the world. From old school R&B festivals to modern soul music events, these festivals celebrate the rich history and evolution of R&B and soul music.

Various types of festivals

Soul music festivals are exciting events with live performances and joyful crowds. They happen all over the world, bringing people together to enjoy great music.

  • Outdoor Beach Festivals: Like the Soul Beach Music Festival, these mix sunny vibes with soulful tunes. Imagine dancing on soft sand while listening to your favorite beats.
  • Historic Celebrations: Some festivals honor past music legends. The Harlem Cultural Festival was a big deal in New York City, celebrating R&B, blues, and jazz.
  • International Showcases: Events like the Porretta Soul Festival in Italy bring famous soul artists from across the globe to perform for European fans.
  • Mega Concerts: Huge gatherings like the Cincinnati Music Festival fill stadiums with music lovers eager to hear top soul and R&B acts live.
  • Cultural Get-Togethers: Festivals can also focus on cultural history. The Summer Of Soul documentary highlights how important the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival was for black culture and music.
  • Southern Gatherings: In places like Atlanta, Georgia, fans enjoy a mix of sounds at the Southern Soul Music Festival, including gospel alongside jazz and blues.
  • Indoor Experiences: Some festivals move inside so guests can groove to old school R&B even if it’s raining or cold outside.

Top countries and genres

Having explored the diversity of soul and R&B festivals, let’s delve into the top countries and genres that define these vibrant music events. Soul music has a rich lineage and has evolved into various sub-genres, with festivals worldwide celebrating its legacy and progress.

Country Genres
United States Classic Soul, R&B, Funk, Neo-Soul, Jazz, Gospel
United Kingdom Northern Soul, British Soul, Neo-Soul, R&B
Netherlands Amsterdam Soul Weekender, Lovers Rock, Contemporary Soul
Italy Classic Soul, R&B, the legacy of Porretta Soul Festival
Barbados Caribbean Soul, Reggae, Calypso
Canada R&B, Soul, Jazz Festivals like the Toronto Jazz Festival
Aruba Latin Soul, Beach Soul vibes at the Soul Beach Music Festival
France Classic French Soul, Modern R&B, Jazz
Australia Soul Fusion, R&B, Indigenous Australian Soul
Japan J-Soul, R&B, Neo-Soul

Each country brings a unique flavor to the soul music experience, drawing upon its cultural roots and contemporary influences. These events showcase a medley of established legends and promising new talents. As the festival scene thrives, the global community of soul music lovers continues to expand, uniting fans across borders through the universal language of soulful rhythms and heartfelt melodies.

Must-Attend Soul Music Festivals

– Cross the Tracks Festival in London, featuring a diverse lineup of R&B, soul, jazz, and funk artists across multiple stages.

– The Newport Beach Jazz Festival in California offers a weekend of smooth jazz and R&B performances by top artists.

– The Kite Music Festival in Germany is an outdoor event showcasing live soul, funk, and jazz music from both local and international acts.

Cross the Tracks Festival

The Cross the Tracks Festival is an exciting event that takes place in London, UK. It celebrates a mix of music genres like R&B, soul, funk, and jazz. This festival promises a vibrant atmosphere with live musical performances from both established and up-and-coming artists.

The event not only focuses on music but also offers attendees the chance to enjoy delicious food, craft beer, and cocktails from local vendors. With its diverse lineup and lively ambiance, the Cross the Tracks Festival is a must-visit for fans of R&B/Soul music looking for an unforgettable experience.

In addition to showcasing amazing talent, this festival aims to create a cultural celebration with its immersive offerings including art installations and workshops. Furthermore, it has successfully drawn in diverse crowds by providing an inclusive environment where people can come together to enjoy great music and good vibes.

Newport Beach Jazz Festival

The Cross the Tracks Festival offers a blend of jazz, funk, and soul music in London. Now, let’s take you to the shores of California for the Newport Beach Jazz Festival. This festival has been a staple event in Southern California for over two decades.

Set against the stunning backdrop of the Pacific Ocean, it attracts both local and international jazz enthusiasts. The festival showcases a mix of smooth jazz, R&B, and soul performances by top artists in the genre.

With its laid-back atmosphere and beautiful scenery, it provides an unforgettable experience for music lovers seeking a blend of relaxation and world-class entertainment.

Kite Music Festival

Kite Music Festival is a vibrant celebration of R&B and soul music, attracting diverse audiences from around the world. The festival offers a unique blend of old school R&B, pop music, and hip hop performances, creating an electrifying atmosphere for music enthusiasts.

With its rich cultural celebrations and international line-up of artists, Kite Music Festival promises an unforgettable experience for fans of soul music. This indoor music event has established itself as a must-attend on the global R&B/Soul music festival calendar.

Up-and-Coming R&B/Soul Artists to Watch showcases emerging talents who are reshaping contemporary soul in 2023 with their unique musical expressions. These rising stars promise to captivate audiences at festivals like Kite Music Festival while making a significant impact on the genre’s future.

Funk & Soul Weekender

Funk & Soul Weekender is a lively festival celebrating R&B and soul music in the UK. It brings together top names in soul music, making it a must-attend for fans of the genre. The festival boasts an impressive lineup of international artists and promises an unforgettable experience for attendees looking to immerse themselves in the vibrant world of R&B and soul music.

As one of the premier events on the global R&B/Soul music calendar, Funk & Soul Weekender offers an electric atmosphere that draws in music enthusiasts from around the world.

Cincinnati Music Festival

Transitioning from the vibrant atmosphere of the Funk & Soul Weekender, we come to the iconic Cincinnati Music Festival. This annual event has been a staple in the R&B and soul music scene since 1962.

Hosted in Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, this festival draws top-tier R&B and soul artists along with thousands of enthusiastic fans from all over the country. It’s known for its electrifying performances that celebrate Black music and culture, making it a must-attend for anyone passionate about R&B/Soul music.

The festival has featured legendary acts such as Mary J. Blige, Earth Wind & Fire, New Edition, and many other prominent names in R&B and Soul music.

The vibes at the Cincinnati Music Festival are unparalleled – offering not only fantastic live performances but also a range of vendors showcasing art, food, and fashion related to black culture.

Up-and-Coming R&B/Soul Artists to Watch

Get ready to discover the next big names in R&B and soul music with our list of up-and-coming artists to watch. These talented musicians are reshaping contemporary soul and making waves in the industry.

Keep an eye on them for exciting new releases and performances.

18 R&B/Soul Artists and Singers to Watch in 2023

In 2023, these R&B/Soul artists and singers are making waves in the music scene:

  1. Cleo Sol, known for her captivating neo – soul sound and soulful vocals, has been gaining attention with her introspective and emotive music.
  2. Victoria Monét, an artist who has been making a mark with her unique blend of R&B and pop, is set to continue rising in popularity.
  3. Chlöe, formerly part of the sibling duo Chloe x Halle, has stepped into the spotlight with her powerful vocals and empowering lyrics.
  4. Fana Hues, a rising star with a soulful voice and poignant songwriting that resonates with audiences seeking raw emotion in their music.
  5. SOLOMON, an artist who infuses classic R&B elements with modern production to create a fresh sound that stands out in the music industry.
  6. Gabriels, captivating audiences with his soul-stirring performances and thought-provoking lyrical content that explores deep emotions.
  7. The smooth vocal stylings of Joyce Wrice have garnered attention for their nostalgic yet contemporary appeal.
  8. Emotional storytelling meets sultry melodies in the music of Xavier Omär, marking him as a standout talent to watch.
  9. KIRBY’s soulful voice and evocative lyrics have positioned her as an artist to watch for those seeking authentic R&B artistry.
  10. Tiana Major9 fuses old – school influences with a modern twist, showcasing her ability to bridge generations through her music.
  11. Arlo Parks’ introspective lyrics and delicate voice have earned her critical acclaim as she continues to redefine contemporary soul music.
  12. Giveon’s deep baritone vocals and emotionally resonant storytelling have solidified his place as a rising star in the R&B genre.
  13. Maeta’s emotive songwriting and soulful delivery make her an artist on the rise within the R&B/Soul landscape.
  14. Lava La Rue’s genre – bending approach to R&B infuses fresh energy into the genre, positioning them as an innovative force in music.
  15. Bree Runway’s bold fusion of R&B, hip – hop, and pop showcases her fearless creativity and unapologetic style.
  16. NAO’s ethereal vocals and genre – defying sound push boundaries within the R&B/Soul sphere, carving out a distinct space for herself.
  17. Ambré’s versatile artistry spans from vulnerable ballads to infectious grooves, showcasing her range as a standout R&B/Soul talent.
  18. Omar Apollo’s dynamic blend of genres infuse his R&B sound with an eclectic edge that sets him apart within the contemporary music landscape.

23 Neo-Soul Artists Reshaping Contemporary Soul in 2023

The emerging stars in the neo-soul genre are reshaping the contemporary soul music scene. Here are 23 talented artists to keep an eye on:

  1. Kadhja Bonet – Her unique blend of jazz, folk, and soul has captivated audiences worldwide.
  2. Arlo Parks – Known for her introspective lyrics and soothing vocals, she is making waves in the music industry.
  3. Celeste – With her powerful voice and emotional depth, she is redefining modern soul music.
  4. Cleo Sol – Her soulful sound and compelling storytelling have garnered widespread acclaim.
  5. Joyce Wrice – Combining R&B and neo-soul influences, she is creating a fresh sound that resonates with fans.
  6. Amaria – Her smooth vocals and introspective songwriting set her apart in the neo-soul landscape.
  7. Fousheé – Recognized for her soulful voice and thought-provoking lyrics, she is a rising star to watch.
  8. Liv.e – Pushing boundaries with her experimental approach to neo-soul, she is redefining the genre.
  9. Masego – Blending elements of jazz, R&B, and hip-hop, he brings a refreshing twist to neo-soul music.
  10. Tiana Major9 – Her evocative storytelling and soulful melodies have earned her critical acclaim.
  11. Victoria Monét – Known for her sultry vocals and captivating stage presence, she is elevating the neo-soul movement.
  12. Baby Rose – Her raw emotion and powerful voice make her a standout talent in the neo-soul sphere.
  13. Elujay – Infusing his music with infectious grooves and soulful vibes, he is leaving a lasting impression on listeners.
  14. Gabriels – With his hauntingly beautiful voice and emotionally charged performances, he is redefining contemporary soul music.
  15. Iman Omari – His innovative production style and emotive songwriting make him a trailblazer in the neo-soul scene.
  16. Raveena – Blending elements of R&B, indie pop, and soul, she creates dreamy sonic landscapes that resonate deeply with fans.
  17. St Panther – Known for her ethereal vocals and genre-defying sound, she is pushing boundaries in the world of neo-soul music.
  18. Devin Morrison – Fusing classic soul influences with modern production techniques, he brings a fresh perspective to the genre.
  19. Don Bryant Jr. – Son of legendary Hi Records star Don Bryant Sr., he continues his father’s legacy while carving his own path in contemporary soul music
  20. Caron Wheeler – After making great strides as part of Soul II Soul Caron’s solo career shines brightly
  21. Grace Carter – This British singer offers an allure that reaches into your psyche; mixing old school charm with progressive soundscapes
  22. Hamzaa-this Londoner combines rich textures with binge-worthy melodies
  23. LSK – His vocal range calls on you like siren’s grasp truly embodying what it means to be ‘neo’

Spotlight on Cleo Sol, Victoria Monét, Chlöe, Fana Hues, SOLOMON, and Gabriels

Cleo Sol, Victoria Monét, Chlöe, Fana Hues, SOLOMON, and Gabriels are some of the most promising R&B/Soul artists to keep an eye on. Cleo Sol has garnered attention for her ethereal voice and captivating lyrics.

Victoria Monét’s soulful sound and poignant storytelling have made her a standout in the industry. Chlöe’s powerful vocals and unique artistry bring a fresh perspective to R&B/Soul music.

Fana Hues’ emotive performances and introspective songwriting have earned her critical acclaim. SOLOMON’s dynamic blend of R&B with other genres has garnered widespread recognition.

Gabriels’ soul-stirring melodies and heartfelt lyricism set him apart as an artist to watch.

These emerging talents are reshaping the contemporary Soul music landscape with their distinct styles and compelling narratives that resonate deeply with audiences worldwide.

The Ultimate European and UK Festival Guide for R&B/Soul Lovers

Experience the best R&B/Soul music festivals in Europe and the UK, including top events like SXM Festival, Ocaso Festival, Electric Zoo, Houghton UK, and more. Get ready for an unforgettable musical journey in these vibrant destinations.

Top festivals for 2023 including SXM Festival, Ocaso Festival, Electric Zoo, Houghton UK, and more.

In 2023, music lovers can look forward to a vibrant lineup of festivals around the world. Here are some of the top R&B/Soul and dance music events to mark on your calendar:

  1. SXM Festival: Set in the picturesque Caribbean island of St. Martin, this festival brings together electronic music enthusiasts for an unforgettable experience.
  2. Ocaso Festival: Taking place in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, this techno music event attracts an international crowd with its stellar lineup and beachside setting.
  3. Electric Zoo: Held in New York City, this festival celebrates a diverse range of dance music genres, featuring top-notch performances and state-of-the-art production.
  4. Houghton UK: Located in the stunning Norfolk countryside, this festival offers a unique blend of underground electronic music and immersive art installations.
  5. More to Explore: Beyond these highlights, there are numerous other exciting festivals happening worldwide, catering to various music tastes and preferences.


In conclusion, soul music festivals offer a vibrant and diverse experience for music enthusiasts around the world. From the historic Harlem Cultural Festival to the energetic Soul Beach Music Festival in Aruba, these events celebrate the rich history and contemporary creativity of R&B and soul music.

As fans eagerly anticipate upcoming festivals such as Cross the Tracks, Newport Beach Jazz Festival, and more, it’s evident that these gatherings continue to unite people through their shared love for soulful rhythms and captivating performances.

Whether it’s in Europe, the UK, or beyond, these festivals provide unforgettable moments that resonate with both new and seasoned fans alike.