EuroSonic, Netherlands, 13-15 January
Gone are the days when you have to wait for the summer months to party hard at festivals, this little beauty could be the perfect way to start 2011. The festival in Groningen, just two hours north of Amsterdam focuses on European bands for the first two days and Dutch bands for the third. With the bands spread between different indoor venues throughout the city it’s advisable to stay in a hotel. Not necessarily a true festival experience but at €40 for two days and €75 for three, it’s a bargain.
Junkanoo, Bahamas, 1January
The Bahamas national festival takes place on two days, Boxing Day and New Years Day. New Years Day attracts the bigger crowd with around 50,000 people lining the streets of the capital, Nassau. The parade can be watched from roadside seats, although you’re likely to hear it before you see it and it typically runs from 2am until 8am. Tickets, which are €10 or €20 depending on seats, are on sale now.
Saidai-Ji Eyo, Japan, 19 February
If you’re bored of the same old festivals year in year out how about a trip to Japan for the Saidai-Ji Eyo Festival, which translated means ‘naked festival’. The name is slightly deceiving as participants aren’t actually naked, they wear loincloths. Basically this festival consists of (almost) naked men fighting over two sacred shingi, which to the untrained eye are wooden sticks, whilst having water poured over them. If this sounds like your kind of event, then just be prepared for a few injuries, especially as a foreigner you’re likely to be the target of violence.
St. Valentine’s Day, Italy, 14 February
What better place to spend Valentine’s Day than at a festival in Italy. Throughout February, but especially on this particular day, Italians celebrate St. Valentines. A great feast is the centre of the events coupled with jewellery makers and competitions. Perhaps this could be something a little bit different for a loved one this Valentine’s Day, after all chocolates and flowers soon get old.
Bloc Weekend, England, 11-13 March
The first good point about this festival is that the line up has already been announced, meaning you know what you’re paying for before you folk out your £140. Magnetic Man and Aphex Twin are set to headline. All tickets include four night’s private accommodation and access to all the facilities, including a water park as an added bonus. The event runs from Friday to Sunday, however if you choose to stay Thursday and Sunday night as well it won’t cost you any extra. Could you possibly need any other reasons to go?
South by southwest Music and Media Conference, USA, 16-20 March
They say things are big in Texas, and this festival has put Austin on the map in terms of live music. The ten day event started in 1987 and is known for bands hoping to be discovered, as well as music executives looking to find the next big talent. Music passes cost between €500 and €650.
Snowbombing, Austria, 4-9 April
With UK chart topping headline acts, a ski resort and an excellent price this festival is like no other. Snowbombing festival is spread over six days, five nights, two ski areas, three mountain stages and seven venues. As well as headliners such as Pendulum, The Prodigy, Example, Tinie Tempah and Professor Green, there is as a street party, silent disco and an igloo village. With a ticket price of £279 including the five night’s accommodation and all the entertainment, you get a ski holiday and festival experience all rolled into one, so what are you waiting for?
Bergenfest, Norway, April 28- May 1
Think of a music genre and you’re almost guaranteed to find it at Bergenfest. The festival, which is now in its 18th year, is made up of fifteen venues from small clubs right through to concert halls and large theatres, with capacities ranging from 200 to 2,500.
Radio Ones Big Weekend, England, 9 May
Radio Ones Big Weekend is the first major UK festival of the calendar year, but boy is it hard to get to. This is a free, ticked event. In order to get a ticket you simply have to register and prey you win. Not only that, but the festival is hosted by a different UK city each year. With crowds growing year on year, it’s definitely worth registering for.
Dot to Dot Festival, England, 28-30 May
Dot to Dot consists of three days of live acts performing in three different cities, Bristol, Nottingham and Manchester. All the acts play in all three cities, meaning you can stay put and the artists come to you. Tickets start at £16.50 and are on sale now.
Glastonbury, England, 22-26 June
With a notoriously star studded line up Glastonbury never fails to disappoint. The long weekend plays host to some of the music industries finest personalities, in 2010 the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Muse, Stevie Wonder and Faithless stole the headlines. Tickets for this year’s event have already sold out, despite the line up not being announced until spring, cancelled tickets will also go on re-sale in spring.
Hard Rock Calling, England, 24-26 June
This year marks the 40th birthday of Hard Rock Calling. Bon Jovi has been confirmed as the headline act for Saturday 25, with the other acts to be confirmed in a few days time. Tickets for Saturday are already on sale and weekend tickets are said to be on sale when the remaining acts have been announced.