2016’s Unforgettable Music Festivals
Whether you want to rock out in the desert or wear gum boots at Glastonbury, check out our line up of 2016’s unforgettable music festivals.
Electric Zoo Festival, Randall Island New York, USA
4 – 6th September
Locals are in the mood to party on Labor Day weekend so this music festival is always a very fun affair. Taking place on the small island between Harlem and Queens in New York, the event has a zoo theme, with plenty of the 100,000 attendees dressing up for the occasion. Head over to the island for the day before retreating back to Manhattan for some time in the concrete jungle.
If you’re into electronic, this festival should be right at the top of your bucket list. Taking place in the town of Boom, located between Antwerp and Brussels, this three day festival is fairytale themed, with more elaborate, otherworldy stage designs each year. Expect to see world renowned DJs fuelling epic dance parties that go on well into the early hours, with everything from fireworks to volcanoes lighting up the stage. The festival even has its own currency so save for euros for a few days in Brussels post-party.
The Falls Festival, Marion Bay, Tasmania, Australia
28th Dec – 1st Jan
One of Australia’s biggest festivals, Falls takes place in three different destinations simultaneously – with a few of the big music acts flying between all three venues.
Head down to Marion Bay outside of Hobart to see international acts perform on stages out in the wilderness. The Village is the extra special party – hidden in the bush, it sits away from the main festival and is home to a few extra special acts. Plenty of people road trip from around the country, bringing their own tents and keeping the car handy in case they need a quick trip out to civilization or the beach.
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Palm Desert, USA
15-17th, 22nd-24th April
The Californian desert is the setting for this celebrity-studded music festival held over two weekends in April. Expect to see a few Kardashians, international models, Oscar winners and even singers in the crowds. Cut off shorts and flower crowns are not compulsory but they’re the outfit of choice for the thousands of festival goers. Mingle with the VIPs by the pool of the Ace Hotel and Swim Club Palm Springs, where the parties continue through the night with the hotel’s annual Desert Gold festival.
Glastonbury Festival, England
England’s most popular music festival takes place each year in the county of Somerset, south of Bristol. The festival began back in 1970, when tickets cost £1 and included free milk from the nearby farm. These days the tickets sell out in minutes, with big name acts including Lily Allen, Florence and the Machine and The Who performing at more than 100 stages. Pack your gumboots because most years the English countryside turns into a mud pit but that doesn’t dampen anyone’s fun.
Splendour in the Grass, NSW
The Byron Bay hinterlands in northern NSW are the setting for this three day festival dedicated to contemporary arts. You’ll find plenty of Australian acts headlining alongside international heavyweights in stages tucked between the gum trees. It’s not just about the music either – there’s live art, installations, dance performances, even a day spa on site. Festival goers with kids can hang out at Little Splendour, a dedicated kids section, or take a break from the music at Splendour in the Craft, a dedicated tent where “Crafternoons” are held. Post-festival bliss out for a day in beautiful Byron Bay – The Byron at Byron holds daily morning yoga classes on its deck for guests.
Fuji Rock, Japan
One of Japan’s biggest rock festivals doesn’t actually take place near Mount Fuji. Instead more than 100,000 people descend on the Naeba Ski Resort in the Niigata Prefecture, where stages sit on the mountain slopes. The three day festival is headlined by international starts from all over the world and attracts an international crowd along with plenty of locals. It’s not all about the music – the festival’s onsen hot springs and hammock forests are worth checking out.
St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Auckland, NZ
This one day festival began life in a Melbourne bar back in 2015 and has since spread around Australia and across to Detroit, Singapore and New Zealand. The Auckland iteration takes place at Silo Park, right next to Waitemata Harbour on the edge of the CBD. You’ll find everything from shambolic pink to hip hop pumping from the stages. For 2016, Flume, Baynk and East India Youth are just a few of the international performers.
Burning Man, Nevada, USA
30th August – 7th September
Black Rock Desert is the sparse setting for one of America’s biggest music festivals. There are 10 Principles by which festivalgoers are expected to party, including the Act of Giving, Radical Self Expression and not to leave a trace. Over one week festivalgoers help create the temporary Black Rock City, but there isn’t anything left in the desert once the event is over. Expect to see plenty of cars that look like props from Mad Max and spontaneous electronic dance parties. The event culminates with the burning of a wooden man effigy, usually accompanied by the burning of a few of the temporary structures. The small town of Winnemucca is a good base before heading into the desert.
Electric Daisy Carnival, Brazil
4 – 5th December
Expect plenty of sequins and feathers at this electronic dance party which is in its second year. Given a bit of Brazilian carnival theme, the two day dance party has plenty of music stages and dance floors on the outskirts of Sao Paulo but you’ll also find a ferris wheel, bumper cars and roller coasters to keep your adrenalin high. The festival takes place in Sao Paulo, with more than 60 performances converging from all over the world.