5 Music Festivals You Must Experience
A version of this post originally appeared on our Canada blog.
Attending a music festival is a great way to escape the every day, get creative with your wardrobe and dance the weekend away. And, if you’re thinking that wading through the UK’s knee-deep muddy fields isn’t for you, then how about incorporating one of these awesome events into your next overseas adventure? While Coachella won’t spare you a moment lost from all of the social media exposure, at Burning Man, you’ll be lucky if you could even get a cell phone signal. But, no matter what kind of festival-goer you are, there is certainly one for everyone and what they have in common is that they all offer incredible experiences. We’re sure there will be one that belongs on your bucket list...
WHERE? Black Rock Desert, Nevada, USA
WHEN? The last Monday in August to the first Monday in September
TELL ME MORE: For the active festival-goer, this is an event not to be missed. Tens of thousands of people gather in the Nevada desert for a week of partying, creativity and construction: together the attendees build a temporary town that goes by the name of Black Rock City. With only the basic necessities in tow, burners navigate physically demanding desert conditions while actively abiding by a set of guiding principles that include self-reliance, inclusion, self-expression and participation. Within this Mad Max-esque metropolis, art installations are made, incorporating sculptures and mechanical steam-punk-style monsters. All the creativity comes to a head on the final day, when a giant wooden effigy is burnt and the city dismantled, with the goal of leaving no trace behind (one of the guiding principles) woven into the event’s cultural ethos. Every year a different art theme is chosen – 2021’s being The Great Unknown – and despite not physically going ahead this year, you can still join the fun from your sofa, thanks to ‘The Virtual Burn’, taking place 22nd August through 7th September!
Fesitval d’ete de Quebec
WHERE? Quebec, Canada
WHEN? July 2022 (exact dates TBC)
TELL ME MORE: Spread across 10 incredible venues, Fesitval d’ete de Quebec is the longest-running music festival in Canada and is held in one of the country’s most beautiful cities. Although the line-up for 2022 is yet to be announced, to give you a taste of what may be in store, previous artists include everything from Bruno Mars and Bon Jovi, to Stevie Wonder and Queens of the Stone Age. Offering laid-back performances in intimate venues, alongside 80,000-strong crowds at the headliner-packed Bell Stage, there’s something for music lovers of all ages. Held over the course of almost two weeks, this family-friendly festival allows attendees plenty of time to wander between all the different attractions, including street performers and parades. Apart from the music, the main draw for many to this French-influenced city is the food! A few Quebec favourites to look out for are Pouding Chomeur (a moist vanilla cake with maple sauce), duck confit and, of course, poutine!
WHERE? Indio, California (about 22 miles south-east of Palm Springs), USA
WHEN? Over two weekends in April (15th -17th and 22nd-24th April 2022)
TELL ME MORE: It’s the Instagram-famous music festival that’s rocked the world since 1999, single-handedly (kinda) brought back flower crowns as a summer wardrobe staple, and regularly welcomes some of the world’s biggest musicians and performers to its stages to practically bring 126,000 people to their knees. Fringe-vested Hollywood celebrities can be spotted throughout the grounds, making their ways from stage to stage or through the complex of art installations, SoulCycle pop-ups, beauty bars, lavish lounges, and farmers’ market (yes, you read that right) beneath the famous balloon chain. Coachella’s superfood selection is certainly at the top of its game, with plenty of vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options, but let’s not forget what makes Coachella one of the world’s biggest music festivals. Having always featured industry icons, the main stages have seen every big act you could imagine, from Prince, Paul McCartney, Morrissey and Lady Gaga to Radiohead, Beyonce, Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Beastie Boys.
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
WHEN? Last weekend of April and first weekend of May
WHERE? New Orleans, USA
TELL ME MORE: Also known as Jazz Fest, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is an annual celebration of all things jazz, held in New Orleans. Featuring a long list of musical performances, including blues, R&B and gospel music, as well as stalls selling hearty, Cajun cuisine and locally made arts and crafts, it’s a great place to immerse yourself in the rich culture and fascinating history of the area. Sound like music to your ears? Then we’d recommend incorporating this festival into our tailor-made Rhythms of the South Journey! Not only will you soak up the atmosphere and jazz of New Orleans (think laid-back jazz cruises along the Mississippi and quirky bars hidden in its historic streets), take in the country notes of Nashville with live music performances at the revered Grand Ole Opry, and enjoy the blues themes of Memphis where a visit to Elvis’s home at Graceland is a must...
Splendour in the Grass
WHEN? 19-21 November 2021 (July 2022 dates TBC)
WHERE? Byron Bay (NSW), Australia
TELL ME MORE: Just north of the chilled-out town of Byron Bay in Australia, you’ll find an eco-friendly festival with a strong emphasis on environmental issues and protecting our world. There’s a hippy vibe for the whole family with arts, crafts and musical workshops to keep the little ones entertained (plus Rock and Roller wagons available to transport your tribe in style!), while the big ones dance along to the likes of Gorillaz, The Strokes and Tyler, The Creator. If you need a break from all the dancing, you can experience so much here beyond the music: get your mind blown at the Science Tent, enjoy the best of LGBTQ+ entertainment in the Rainbow Bar or take in a show at the Comedy Club. Despite being pushed back to the hot summer days of November this year, if you’re planning on heading Down Under in 2022 and beyond, the usual wintry July festival dates mean that you’ll definitely need to be prepared for a much more British-style festival. Bring your wellies, your poncho and artistically arrange some flowers in your hair – and you’ll fit right in!
Already have your festival tickets? We can help you with flights, hotels, car hire and more so that you can travel worry-free and enjoy your best festival experience as part of your next adventure. Talk to one of our expert Travel Consultants by calling us on 0808 278 5521 today!
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