With the Glastonbury music festival currently on hiatus, where does a music lover head to instead? From rock, pop, Indie and everything in-between alternatives, The Travel Corporation Canada shares some of the best festivals around the world worth using your travel points this year. Whatever you choose, make sure to drink a lot of water and of course, wear sunscreen!
Known for being one of the biggest multicultural events in Europe, Sziget is a festival which attracts almost 400,000 fans from over 70 countries to a beautiful island in the heart of Budapest. The surreal venue holds an amusement park, art installations and of course an array of artists, with previous performers including Rhianna, Bloc Party, Kasabian, Wiz Khalifa and Macklemore. Catch a ferry over to the party island where you can expect an offering of the ultimate hippie vibes.
Tomorrowland is one of the most hotly anticipated events of the European summer festival season. Thousands of international music-lovers travel to Boom in Belgium every year to connect with world-class DJs like Lost Frequencies, A State of Trance, NERVO Nation and more. This festival is so popular that pre-sale tickets have already sold out – worldwide! If you’re not one to wake up at the crack of dawn only to be told that tickets were swooped up by scalpers, there’s another (more civilized) way to get your hands on these coveted tickets. Busabout, the experts of flexible travel, is the official travel partner of Tomorrowland this year and they already have their hands on passes for the festival’s second weekend (July 27-29, 2018). Save yourself time and grief and get access to this must-attend musical brouhaha with their ‘Unlimited Hop-on Hop-off Tomorrowland Pass’ that includes a three-day festival pass, festival camping equipment and accommodation (no need to plan anything except for who to see at the festival), plus their Unlimited Hop-on Hop-off Pass, available for travel on the Hop-on Hop-off European coach network from May 2018 – October 2018. Meaning, you can hop to another festival (Sziget, anyone?) right after Tomorrowland.
Fuji Rock, Japan
You must really be fixing for a dose if you’re willing to take a cable car trip up a mountain to listen to the likes of Beck, Gorillaz, Björk, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Lorde – and these are just some of the artists that performed in the last two years. But over 100,000 people a year can’t be wrong. Founded in 1997, the annual three-day baptism in the sun, rain, beer and music set against the Naeba Ski Resort in Yuzawa, Niigata has grown to become the largest outdoor music event in Japan. While beer and music do reign supreme at Fuji Rock, the festival is also aiming to be the ‘cleanest festival in the world’ with great effort being put into recycling.
Secret Solstice, Iceland
If you’re after 96 hours of never-ending daylight, more than 150 acts from various genres and Iceland’s surreal midnight sun, Secret Solstice will be right up your street. First hitting the music scene in 2014, the Secret Solstice Festival takes place over the summer solstice during the brightest part of the year. Today, it’s known for being ‘The Most Unique Festival on Earth’ – Secret Solstice is sure to be the summer festival of a lifetime.
Primavera Sounds, Barcelona
The Barcelona edition of Primavera Sounds takes place across six-days filled with electric beats, independent music, local acts and artists from the festivals Indie routes. And the best part? It all takes place on the Spanish coastline (close to Barcelona) during the early Europe summer season of May/June. Not too hot, not too cold, the temperature will just be right.
Sure, everyone and their grandmother goes to Coachella. From its stellar line-up to the, now, meeting place for style mavens (‘Coachella’ style is actually a term in the fashion world), it’s become the ‘it’ festival to attend in the US. But if you’re looking for more music and less street style, Lollapalooza is your medicine. Created in 1991, and revived in 2003, Lollapalooza has been synonymous with Woodstock, but for the grunge/alternative rock 90’s kids. Now, it boasts past acts such as Radiohead, The Killers, Depeche Mode, Chance the Rapper, Lorde, Big Sean, Arcade Fire, Blink-182, Run the Jewels and more. With eight stages, 170+ bands from all over the world and the beautiful Chicago skyline as your backdrop, ‘Lolla’ is always an epic musical journey. If you’re inkling to collect stamps in your passport, Lollapalooza is also held in other cities including Buenos Aires, São Paulo and our favourite, Berlin!
Bestival, Isle of Wight
Set in the South of England, Bestival is a festival which most certainly puts the Isle of Wight on the map. Expect some serious fancy dress and a huge musical line-up, with previous performances from the likes of the Pet Shop Boys, Fatboy Slim, Calvin Harris, Annie Mac and even Elton John. The four-day extravaganza is a boutique festival, adding a sparkle of magic and mystery to the musical scene.
Splendour in the Grass, Australia
16 years and still going strong, Splendour in the Grass has become something of a rite of passage for young Aussies. With over 30,000 music-loving attendees regularly making the trip to North Byron Highlands for three days’ worth of music (including past acts such as Childish Gambino, Sam Smith, Mark Ronson, Florence and the Machine, Santigold, The Cure, HAIM, Queens of the Stone Age, Schoolboy Q), art and camping, it’s no wonder why people go ‘down under’ just for this festival.
Flow Festival, Finland
Anything Scandinavian is normally a success, and Flow festival in Helsinki is no exception. Held in an industrial power planet Flow is all about colour, divine organic food and diverse music. Finnish hipsters make up the majority of the crowd alongside curious visitors, while Scandinavian bands share the limelight with the likes of Iggy Pop, Massive Attack and Jamie XX. And after the festival closes? Hop on over to the city saunas, the hub for after-party action. Detox as you retox – #winning.
Reading Festival, UK
Founded in 1971, Reading Festival is officially the world’s oldest popular festival still in existence. With everyone from The Red Hot Chilli Peppers to Oasis and Eminem performing on this stage, Reading is a festival that ALWAYS nails the line-up. With dance tents, urban stages and the best bands around, this festival is sure to tick your musical boxes. Especially this year, as everyone who was planning on going to Glastonbury will now be jamming at Reading. While everyone will be schlepping it over the course of the three-day weekend in August, the youth travel experts at Contiki is offering a more glamourous approach with its new limited-edition seven or ten-day ‘Contiki Sounds’ trip. Arrive in VIP-style and settle into your own luxury campsite compete with pre-erected tents (what’s manual labour?), air beds, private hot showers (a necessity), phone charging stations, posh toilets and a pampering zone with hair dryers.