We’re now deep into the summer months and festival season is well and truly upon us. Full of colour, music and excitement, festivals are a great way to get together with a community of like-minded individuals to celebrate your passions, gather in creativity and relax!
Here are some popular festivals to add to your summer destination list:
Taitung Hot-Air Balloon Festival
29 June – 12 August
Locals and tourists alike flock to Taitung’s Hot-Air Balloon Festival to watch these colourful, fantastical beauties soar through the clouds. Coming in all forms and shapes, some balloons resemble well loved popular references like the Balloon House from Pixar’s Up, and various Angry Birds, while others take the form of animals, spacecrafts and even the statue of Christ the Redeemer. Visitors can experience riding in a balloon themselves for a stunning birds-eye view of the valleyscapes below. The evening concerts are light shows in themselves, featuring laser lights, water works, three-dimensional projections and national fighter air-crafts.
19 – 21 July, 26 – 28 July
The world’s largest dance music festival comes to Belgium every summer in the form of Boom-based Tomorrowland. Featuring industry favourites across the dance music spectrum, the allure of Tomorrowland needs no introduction. No costs are cut in the staging production, design and scenography of this fairy-tale-esque festivals. Fans have a new theme to look forward to each year as they immerse themselves in the evolving mythos of this musical wonderland full of artistic ambition and identity.
Just for Laughs
10 – 28 July
Each summer, two million fans and comedians gather together at this funny festival with the sole aim of delivering side-splitting laughter to the town. This original humble francophone street-comedy event has grown into a full fledged festival featuring Broadway-style musicals, stand up comedy, circus arts as well as other shows and performances in both French and English. Fans have over a thousand different acts to enjoy. Many amateur comedians also use this festival as a platform to be scouted by talent agencies, casting directors and the like.
Splendour in the Grass
Byron Bay, Australia
19 – 21 July
Considered a rite of passage for many young Australians, Splendour in the Grass is one of the most well-loved arts and music festivals in the country. A-list musicians such as Childish Gambino, Chance the Rapper and Little Simz, as well as emerging Australian artists will take the stage in turns to deliver electrifying music to the cheering crowds. Hidden spots including the underground Tipi Forest and the Bohemian Lounge will be sure to delight fans of the flower-power aesthetic Splendour is known for.
Fuji Rock Festival
26 – 28 July
Despite starting out as a rock-centric event at the foot of the Fuji Mountains in 1997, The Fuji Rock Festival has since been located at the Naeba Ski Resort and offers festival-goers much more than just rock music. Known for it’s foreign-artist imports in its initial years, the Fuji Rock Festival has slowly skewed towards a more domestic lineup. Here, international and Japanese artists come together to play at the biggest music festival in Japan.
Noting Hill Carnival
25 – 26 August
Almost one million people come together on the streets of Noting Hill each year in celebration of Caribbean culture. At Europe’s largest street festival, dancers in spectacular costumes parade through the streets to the beat of traditional reggae, zouk and other genres of Caribbean music in a flurry of sound and technicolour. Vendors selling the best of Carribean cuisine line the streets with fan favourites such as jerk chicken and curry lamb, fresh fruits and other mouth-watering delights.
Nagaoka Fireworks Festival
1 – 3 August
Watch the night sky ignite with light and fire at the Nagaoka Fireworks Festival each year. Over twenty thousand fireworks decorate the dark with colours mimicking the shapes of blooming flowers, waterfalls and volcanic eruptions. Local to Nagaoka, the famous Sho-Sanjakudama firework generates a magnificent 650 meter-wide fire-flower as its smaller sibling eruptions scatter brilliance across the sky. These fireworks are accompanied with folk-dance parades and samurai parades.
9 – 17 August
Fans of the King of Rock and Roll come together from all corners of the globe to celebrate his works and legacy during Elvis Week. Tens of thousands of participants hold a candlelight vigil on Elvis Presley Boulevard as they listen to music in memory of Elvis while sharing in fan-made tributes and memorials. From performances by Elvis tribute artists, to panel discussions on Elvis-related topics, this festival has Elvis-magic enough to keep the phenomenon of this icon alive through the centuries.
9 – 17 August
This annual arts event situated in the Nevada Desert need no introduction. Steering away from the term “festival”, Burning Man prides itself on being a movement celebrating radical artistry, self-expression, self-reliance and counter-culturalism among other communal ideals. This nine-day experience stretches the limits of the imagination with its unique art installations, musical celebrations, spontaneous performances—and of course partying in outrageous costumes.