Festival season is upon us once again. Get ready for dancing in fields, dashing from stage to stage to see your favorite acts, and somehow maintaining this momentum for multiple days. Festivals require some serious stamina, so now is a great time to get stuck into your workouts to ensure you’re fit and ready to tackle all the fun this season has in store for you.
Luckily, we’ve created a festival workout playlist packed with over twenty tracks from 2023’s hottest acts from festivals across the globe. From Jungle to Janelle Monae and Jessie Ware, power your way through your workouts over the coming months and maybe discover an exciting new band. Pop on this playlist and start absorbing the festival vibes as you increase your capacity for all the good times to come. Your body will thank you later.
Selfish Soul by Sudan Archives (107 BPM)
LA-based artist Brittney Parks, aka Sudan Archives, opens this festival workout playlist with a thrumming track that’s an ode to black hair and identity. The music video is an energetic watch, with people hula-hooping, skipping, and playing hopscotch. But Parks eclipses everyone by playing the violin while hanging upside down on a pole. Talk about fitness AND creativity goals.
Sudan Archives is playing Flow Festival 2023 (Finland)
Everybody’s Saying That by Girl Ray (112 BPM)
Fresh out this February, Girl Ray’s bass-heavy funk track was inspired by all the female artists reimaging disco (like Jessie Ware, who appears later on this playlist). Singer-guitarist Poppy Hankin wrote this song as an ode to her partner, who she was missing, while the North London-based trio was on tour. Naaaaaw.
Girl Ray is playing Green Man Festival 2023 (UK)
Reeling by Say She She (117 BPM)
Now this is one band you can’t miss during festival season. With a whopping eight people in Say She She’s line-up, this ‘discodelic’ soul ensemble combines dreamy vocals with the kind of driving groove that makes it impossible to keep still. The group’s name is a homage to none other than Nile Rodgers, taking inspiration from “C’est chi-chi!: It’s Chic!”
Say She She is playing Maifeld Derby Festival 2023 (Germany)
Beach House by Carly Rae Jepsen (117 BPM)
If you’ve ever endured the trials of modern dating, this catchy pop number is for you. Candian singer-songwriter Jepsen somehow manages to transform her disappointment with her love life into a funny and sunny tune, as reflected in the cheerfully beachy music video.
Carly Rae Jepsen is playing Lollapalooza 2023 (USA)
Fantasy Island Obsession by Tom Rasmussen (120 BPM)
Also known as the drag queen and author Crystal Rasmussen, Tom has created one of the most charismatic queer dance albums in recent years with their debut, Body Building. This snappy track was the first single, offering an aspirational boogie that is perfect if you like to focus on manifesting mantras while you work out.
Tom Rasmussen is playing Mighty Hoopla Festival 2023 (UK)
Float (Coco & Breezy remix) by Janelle Monáe (121 BPM)
This remix picks up Janelle’s lush new track and adds an electro-house-funk spin to it so you, too, can get into floaty vibes while you drop into your squats or power into your run. It’s hard not to be a fan of the punchy horns provided by Seun Kuti (youngest son of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti) and his funk band Egypt 80.
Janelle Monáe is playing Dour Festival 2023 (Belgium)
Candle Flame (Ft. Erick The Architect) by Jungle (123 BPM)
Jungle’s previous album catapulted them to #1 on the Billboard Dance Albums chart in the US, so their new single offers us a taster for one of this year’s most anticipated new albums. Candle Flame is a catchy track with Brooklyn rapper Erick The Architect’s guest vocals matching its relentless motion, making it an essential tune for any festival workout playlist.
Jungle is playing All Points East Festival 2023 (UK)
Enjoy Your Life by Romy (123 BPM)
One of the freshest songs on the playlist is this anthem by Romy Madley Croft of The XX. The inspiration for this number apparently occurred when Swedish pop icon Robyn took Romy to see cult jazz and folk singer Beverly Glenn-Copeland. His words, “My mother says to me ‘enjoy your life,” connected deeply with Romy, who transformed it into this dance track.
Romy is playing at Electric Castle Festival 2023 (Romania)
Pearls by Jessie Ware (123 BPM)
Fast becoming one of the queens of nu-disco, Jessie Ware has teamed up with producer Stuart Price again after creating last year’s power number Free Yourself (which appeared on our best running songs for 2022). Together, they are pumping out more euphoric disco energy with this latest tune which, as the lyrics say, will “keep my energy up.”
Jessie Ware is playing All Together Now Festival 2023 (Ireland)
Meshuggah by Unknown Mortal Orchestra (123 BPM)
If you prefer your workout songs more pared back than dancey, this new psych-pop track will probably be more to your taste. If all the other tracks on UMO’s new album, V, already feel familiar, that’s because they have been slowly trickling out the singles since 2021. The result? An imaginative compilation that is infused with some summery vibes.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra is playing Best Kept Secret Festival 2023 (Netherlands)
Complete Me (feat. Self Esteem) by Django Django (124 BPM)
Ok, back onto the dance workout energy. It’s hard to sit still with a slice of ’90s breakbeat wonder like this year’s new Django Django single. It has an infectiously nostalgic quality with its mixture of synths, samples, and clubby piano. Self Esteem’s Rebecca Lucy Taylor provides the vocals that will make you want to increase the volume.
Django Django is playing Standon Calling Festival 2023 (UK)
6am by Channel Tres (124 BPM)
Sheldon Young, aka Channel Tres, describes his music as blending “the drive of Detroit techno and the silky smooth grooves of Chicago house with the snarl of West Coast rap.” And honestly, there isn’t a better description for this pumping track. 6am is an anthem for those who want to stay on the dancefloor until sunrise.
Channel Tres is playing Melt Festival 2023 (Germany)
Jacaré by Sofi Tukker (125 BPM)
Looking for something to get you in the mood for a workout? This Brazil-inspired number from New York duo Sofi Tukker is packed with big salsa energy and pumping horns that will make you want to get your move on. Jacaré is Portuguese for alligator, which gives you an idea of how snappy and sultry this tune is.
Sofi Tukker is playing Electric Forest Festival 2023 (USA)
Shades Of Love (feat. The Joy) by The Blessed Madonna (125 BPM)
Set to become the anthem for this year’s Pride season, Shades of Love sees dance music icon The Blessed Madonna teaming up with the South African group The Joy. The result? A euphoric banger, complete with hand claps and an inclusive, celebratory vibe. This song is a significant departure from The Joy’s usual a cappella style, but it’s an inspired collaboration for festival season.
The Blessed Madonna is playing Piknic Électronik MTL Festival 2023 (Canada)
Clara (The Night is Dark) by Fred Again.. (125 BPM)
Be ready for this gospel-infused dance track to transport you to a philosophical place. Astonishingly, the sampled song is from the 1960s, featuring the soulful singer Clara Ward performing The Storm Is Passing Over. British DJ and producer Fred Again.. has transformed her voice into a deeper, more resonant sound to drive this beautiful number.
Fred Again.. is playing Plaine de la Filhole Festival 2023 (France)
Not Strong Enough by Boygenius (127 BPM)
A gear shift as we turn away from dance tracks and onto the more alt-indie part of our festival workout playlist. Queer supergroup Boygenius is the lovechild of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker – all renowned musicians in their own right. The music video for this song makes this trio look like they’re having so much fun you’ll probably want to join the band yourself.
Boygenius is playing All Things Go Music Festival 2023 (USA)
Spite by Billy Nomates (142 BPM)
If you need to go for an angry run anytime soon, then whack this song on repeat. There’s a ‘sick of it all’ energy to Tor Maries’ songs, who performs under the lonely moniker of Billy Nomates. But this track also has a fun ferocity that makes it quite energizing. Listen out for the Stevie Nicks-esque crooning toward the end.
Billy Nomates is playing Pointu Festival 2023 (France)
Feel Good by Slowthai (156 BPM)
Need a new workout mantra? You’ll be stuck with the phrase “I feel so good” running around in your brain after listening to this track from British rapper Tyron Frampton aka Slowthai. This bouncy track has backup vocals from fellow performer Shygirl and has an indie bass guitar sound driving it. Slowthai rewarded his fans with a series of gigs that were only £1 a ticket during the winter to help boost their morale. Now, that is someone who wants people to feel good.
Slowthai is playing Splendour in the Grass Festival 2023 (Australia)
Sink or Swim by Young Fathers (165 BPM)
We could have featured several songs from Young Father’s brilliant new album, Heavy Heavy, on this festival workout playlist. But there’s something so relentless about Sink or Swim while still being joyful. If you have yet to hear it, listen to the whole album, as it’s guaranteed to make a few ‘Best of 2023’ lists later in the year.
Young Fathers are playing Glastonbury Festival 2023 (UK)
Closure by Princess Nokia (165 BPM)
It’s impossible to pin down the sound of American rapper Destiny Frasqueri, better known as Princess Nokia. Every song they release feels like it fits in a different genre altogether. This new track is a sugary blast of late 90s pop punk, lamenting the end of a relationship that seemingly inspired every song on their new album, I Love You, But This Is Goodbye.
Princess Nokia is playing OutLoud Music Festival 2023 (USA)
LLYLM by Rosalía (170 BPM)
Rounding off this year’s festival workout playlist is Spanish superstar, Rosalía. This bilingual ballad is a rare mix of English and Spanish for the performer, which makes it even catchier for our ears. LLYLM stands for “lie like you love me” and is the first single since her Motomami album swept up several awards at the Latin Grammys, including Album of the Year.
Rosalía is playing Primavera Sound Festival 2023 (Spain)
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Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.