music festivals

The best music festivals in the U.S.

 

The USA is a country full of diversity, which is reflected in its music and festival scene. Whether you’re a celebrity-spotting fashionista, into your hard-core punk or like to keep things pretty chill, you’re guaranteed to find it on the USA festival circuit. 

 

The obvious choices… 

Coachella 

Where: Indio, California
When: 9 – 18 April 2021
2021 lineupTBC, but 2019 featured the likes of Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, Ariana Grande and Khalid. 

Taking place in the middle of the desert, Coachella is one of the first to kick off the summer festival season. If you truly believe fashion and music go hand in hand, then this is the festival for you. Basically, anyone who is anyone will be there. 

 

Bonnaroo

Where: Manchester, Tennessee
When17 – 20 June 2021
2021 lineup: TBC, but 2019 included Post Malone, Cardi B, The Lumineers, Phish and Kacey Musgraves

Bonnaroo is hard-core! Don’t say we didn’t warn you. It’s known to be one of the greatest camping experiences in the world and the lineup never disappoints. Be careful of that Tennessee heat though! 

 

Lollapalooza

Where: Chicago, Illinois
When: 29 Jul 1 Aug 2021 
2021 lineupTBC, but 2019 included Ariana Grande, Lil Wayne, The Strokes, and The Chainsmokers 

One of our fav festivals in the U.S. Plus, you don’t have to get all dressed up for this one. Lollapalooza is known to be chilled out, yet at the same time, super organized. When a storm shut down the festival over one of the days, sets were quickly rescheduled and the show went on. Nice work Lollapalooza crew! 

 

South By Southwest (SXSW) 

Where: Austin, Texas 
When: 12 –20 March 2021
2021 lineupTBC, but 2019 included the likes of Billie Eilish, Khalid and Virgil Abloh 

This is THE festival for discovering new talent. Hop around bars and venues around Austin and rub shoulders with music industry folk as they look for the next big act to sign. It’s not just future stars though, you’ll also catch big names gracing the stages. 

 

The less obvious choices… 

 

The Governors Ball Festival 

Where: Randall’s Island Park, New York City 
When: 29 Apr – 2 May 2021
2021 lineupTBC, but 2019 included Florence + The Machine, Tyler, The Creator, Major Lazer 

Governors Ball is one of the coolest festivals out there. So cool in fact, that you might find yourself stood next to a celeb while waiting for the next band to perform! The benefit of The Governors Ball (or negative, however you look at it) is that there’s no camping involved, everyone stays in hostels and hotels.  

 

Hangout Music Festival

Where: Gulf Shores, Alabama
When: 21 – 22 May 2021
2021 lineupTBC, but 2019 included Arizona, Bazzi, Bebe Rexha, Bishop Briggs and Travis Scott 

The beautiful beaches of the Gulf Shores should be enough to sway it for you. It’s not your typical setting for a festival, but it still manages to bring in the big names to the lineup. It’s a super chilled atmosphere too – Hangout by name, hangout by nature! 

 

Country Thunder 

Where: Florence, AZ (also locations in Wisconsin, Iowa, Florida Alberta, Saskatchewan) 
When: 8 – 11 April 2021
2021 lineup: Luke Combs, Dustin Lynch, Morgan Wallen and Eric Church 

Line dancing lessons, cowboy boots and tent campingGrab your besties, your best patriotic gear, and head out to the boondocks to crack a cold one with some of the biggest names in country music. Yee haw my friends.  

 

Boston Calling 

Where: As the name suggests, Boston
When: May 28 – May 30 2021
2021 lineup: TBC, but 2019 highlights included Twenty One Pilots, Odesza, Logic and Greta Van Fleet. 

Look at the 2019 highlights above, so diverse! Boston Calling has something for everyone. It’s a relatively new festival, debuting in 2013, so the lineup is bound to keep on getting stronger and stronger. 

 

 Pitchfork Festival – Chicago, Illinois 

Where: Chicago, Illinois 
When: July 17 – July 19 2021
2021 lineup: TBC, but 2019 highlights included Robyn, the Isley Brothers, Charli XCX, and Mavis Staples 

If you don’t manage to get tickets to Lollapalooza then Pitchfork Festival is a good back up if you’re heading to Chicago. The line-up is always diverse, showcasing acts from alternative rock to hard-core punk. 

 

We’re liking the sound of Country Thunder –  tent camping, cowboy boots and dance lessons! What’s your festival pick? If you want to discover more highlights across the US of A, check out more info here. 

 

Europe music festival

Europe’s best music festivals | STA Travel Blog

 

From seasoned stalwarts to circuit newcomers, Europe hosts some of the most noteworthy festivals on the planet. With Europe’s 2020 festival season sadly cancelling due the impact of COVID-19 and many tickets rolling over to 2021, next year’s festivals are fast becoming the world’s most popular waitlist.

Here are some of our festival favourites to get on your radar for future years. (Ducks to avoid being hit by paper cups for not being able to mention more of them).

Pray for raves not second waves, people!

Sziget

Where: Budapest, Hungary
When: August 2021, exact dates TBC
2021 lineup: TBC, but past acts have included Arctic Monkeys, Florence & The Machine, Foo Fighters, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore.

One island, seven days, thousands of acts: Sziget is less of a festival, and more of a holiday that you never want to end. Hosted on the Island of Freedom (Budapest’s Óbuda Island), Sziget is one of Europe’s biggest and most renowned festivals. As well as a setlist that spans the musical spectrum with superstars from the worlds of indie, rock, EDM and R&B, there’s also a staggering seven-day program of cinema, comedy, theatre and cultural events. It’s the kind of festival where you make friends for life, give up wearing shoes, and consider selling all your possessions to join a nomadic circus troupe.

Roskilde

Where: Roskilde, Denmark
Where: 26 June – 3 July 2021
2021 lineup: Thom Yorke, Tyler, the Creator, FKA Twiggs, Floating Points, TLC, plus many more.

A legend on Europe’s festival circuit, Roksilde deserves a well-earned place in the festival hall of fame. One of the largest festivals in Northern Europe, it is now its 50th year. Roskilde is more than a festival, it’s an institution: one that celebrates the crowd-pleasers as much as the cutting-edge, and the mainstream as much as the up-and-comers. As well as a diverse display of music and genres, the festival promotes a real sense of belonging and appreciation for art, activism and the avant-guarde – including Naked Runs on the Saturday each year! The whole experience comes together with the trademark cool and effortless Scandi style that you would expect from the Danish.

Ultra Europe

Where: Split, Croatia
When: 9 – 11 July 2021
2021 lineup: TBC, but previous years have included David Guetta, Afrojack, Armin Van Buuren, Carl Cox, Hardwell, Chase & Status.

Crossing the Atlantic to the sparkling shores of the Adriatic, the European leg of the Ultra franchise hosts some of the greatest dance, techno, trance and house acts from around the globe. From spinning decks to sailing decks, it’s also a festival where you can soak up Croatia’s world-famous summer party scene. The main festival is in Split’s Mladeži park, with other Ultra parties taking place on nearby islands, beaches, yachts and fortresses. While the 2021 lineup has yet to be announced, if previous years have been anything to go by, it promises to be a who’s who of the planet’s best DJs and dance duos.

Tomorrowland

Where: Boom, Belgium
When: 16 – 18 July and 23 – 25 July 2021
2021 lineup: TBC, but previous acts have included David Guetta, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Marshmello, Amelie Lens, Martin Garrix, Eric Prydz.

In short, Tomorrowland is the most revered EDM festival on Earth. Boom, drop the mic. (The festival is in Boom in Belgium? Never mind). Tomorrowland’s unforgettable stage designs and spectacular firework displays transport you to another universe. A universe where the biggest names in EDM, house, hardstyle, drum & bass and more perform in a fantasyland of quirky sets and theatrics, surrounded by lakes and forests. It’s a fully immersive experience where you leave feeling like you’ve belonged to something truly extraordinary.

Primavera Sound

Where: Barcelona, Spain
When: 2 – 6 June 2021
2021 lineup: Gorillaz, Tame Impala, The Strokes, FKA Twigs, Iggy Pop, Disclosure, Jorja Smith.

Barcelona’s multi-genre music festival, held on the shores of the Mediterranean in the city’s Parc del Forum, is the ultimate reflection of the city itself. Alternative, creative and oh-so-effing-cool. Spread across 16 outdoor stages, the annual lineup is something of a musical masterpiece – taking the most influential artists from across genres to create an effortless five days of music. 2021 will be Primavera Sound’s belated 20th birthday, so promises to be the kind of birthday party that every kid wants an invite to.

Afro Nation

Where: Praia da Rocha Beach, Portimão, Portugal
When: 1 – 3 July 2021
2021 lineup: Skepta, Wizkid, Beenie Man, French Montana, Burna Boy, plus many more.

The biggest names in urban music, on a sun-drenched beach on Portugal’s stunning Algarve? What’s not to love. Over three days, beats drop from the masters of hip-hop, dancehall, bashment, Afrobeats and R&B against a backdrop of golden sands, limestone rocks and crystal-clear waters. As well as the main event, the side parties are also something of class act, with private beach and boat parties.

FIB: Festival Internacional de Benicàssim

Where: Benicàssim, Spain
When: July 2021, exact dates TBC
2021 lineup: TBC, but past acts have included Kings of Leon, Liam Gallagher, Travis Scott, The Killers, The Vaccines, Vampire Weekend.

Festival Internacional de Benicàssim – or ‘Beni’ for short – is a mainstay on the European festival scene, pulling in the crowds with its big names and sunny seaside vibes. Held in the coastal town of Benicàssim on Spain’s Costa del Azahar, the latest and greatest names in rock, indie, dance and pop run from early evening until the early hours to help combat the summer Spanish heat. The added bonus being that festival-goers get their days free to travel/explore/collapse hungover on a beach (delete as appropriate).

Mad Cool Festival

Where: Madrid, Spain
When: 7 – 10 July 2021
2021 lineup: Faith No More, Pixies, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Killers, plus heaps more already announced.

Despite only being around since 2016, Mad Cool has already established itself as a major player on the rock and indie festival circuit. Held in a stadium village in Spain’s capital, Mad Cool doesn’t have the sundrenched seaside setting of Benicássim, but what it lacks in beauty it more than makes up for in headline acts. In its short – but very sweet – history, it’s already attracted an impressive number of superstars from rock’s current hall of fame, including Foo Fighters, Green Day, Pearl Jam, Kings of Leon, and Queens of the Stone Age.

Glastonbury

Where: Worthy Farm, Pilton, England
When: 23 – 27 June 2021
2021 lineup: TBC, but past artists have included… well, pretty much everyone.

No festival lineup would be complete without Glastonbury. Hallowed ground for festival fans the world over, Glastonbury is in a world of its own. From the music royalty of the Pyramid Stage, to the underground world of Shangri-La, late-night hedonism of Arcadia and lazy afternoon hippy vibes of the Healing Fields, Glastonbury is less of a festival – and more of a lifestyle. As far as guestlists go, you need luck on your side for this one! Massively oversubscribed, you get tickets by registering in advance and then sitting through a nail-biting morning of clicking and refreshing the webpage. Five days partying at Worthy Farm though? Well worth it.

Kenya play music

Top Cultural Festivals to Attend in Kenya

 

Do you enjoy experiencing diverse cultures? Festivals are a great place to start and this article will sample four festivals that should be in your bucket list.

Top four cultural Festivals to attend in Kenya after the Coronavirus pandemic

Kenya is well known for its breathtaking sandy beaches and wildlife.

Little is known about its cultural diversity.

The Maasai people are worldwide known, nonetheless, we have 41 other tribes in Kenya. These tribes have cultural festivals that they celebrate annually. Attending festivals is a great

way to connect with the local communities, contribute to the preservation of culture and get to experience a different way of life.

However, today I will highlight the top four cultural festivals that you must attend in your lifetime.

Rusinga Island Festival

Rusinga Island is one of the gems of the Great Lake Victoria. It lies on the Eastern side of the lake and it has the most stunning views of the sunsets.

Rusinga Island Festival is among the famous events in the Western region of Kenya. It is usually held annually on the last Thursday and Friday before Christmas.

If you want to experience the authentic culture and traditions of the Suba community, this is a perfect place to start.

Here you get to experience two days of:

● traditional music and dance

The traditional dancers usually exhibit their passion and skills by dancing their waists and hearts out. You will get to feel the thundering beatings of the drums, echoed by voices that seem to appease the gods.

● Art and Fashion

Unique art and fashion pieces are visible on their traditional attire, the jewellery that adores their bodies, the pottery and not forgetting the carvings. You can’t miss a beautiful and valuable souvenir for friends and families back home.

● food delicacies

The staple food of the suba community is “kuon anang’ a”(traditional ugali prepared using ghee) with fish I.e Nile perch or Tilapia(omena & Mbuta). This is a delicacy.

A visit to the lakeside is not complete without devouring the fresh savoury fish.

● sports

There are different sports activities to participate in during this festival. We have a tag of wars, whereby different groups test their strength and resilience.

The Luo and Suba community had a significant cultural sport of wrestling. It allowed the young, we’ll build and able fishermen to earn bragging rights in the community.

The match is not violent. It’s purely meant for entertainment purposes and a great chance for the young men to attract suitors.

● Boat races and Fishing

The people in the Island are super friendly. Occasionally you will find them fishing, drying their fish(dagaa, omena) and going about their business.

Fishing is the primary source of livelihood for the community. The festival also organises boat races among the local people. They get to compete on which team will win the race

Most hotels and lodges along the Island arrange for boat rides and fishing on request.

I found this interesting enough to try, I hope you will too

Literature

You will get to hear interesting stories, folklores and conversations that take you back in time into the wealth of the Abasuba culture.

The festival is run by different themes each year. In 2019 the theme was “The Island Remembers”. This made us remember, reminiscent and connect with the Island through culture, art and

celebrating heritage. The festival unites people from different worlds to appreciate and enjoy the heritage of the Suba people.

Maralal International Camel Derby

Kenya’s Northern Frontier is a wild and untamed region.

The locals have retained their traditions.

Most of them are pastoralists, with Camels being an important element of their wealth. Maralal Camel Derby is one of the most celebrated events in Kenya. It takes place in the Yare Camel Club In Maralal Town, Samburu County.

The derby involves cycling, Camel racing and cultural performance from the Samburu people. Both the communities and visitors join in the festivities and races.

● Sports

The Camel Derby is graced by both amateurs and professional Camel racers. Most amateurs are usually first-time foreigners who have never taken part in the Camel races.

You will definitely have a fun laugh at the amateurs who can’t control the camels. Most times the camels move in whichever direction away from the race. A funny scenario it is. Watching the races struggling to steer the camels to the right path.

However, this gives room for the professional racers to get to the finish line first.

There are also bicycle races. For those who prefer this, they get an opportunity of challenging themselves. Some cyclists, who are greenhorn, don’t get to finish the race. It is a demanding task.

The two races usually start in Maralal town, and they take place co-currently.

● Music and Dance

The mood in Maralal town during the early is usually electric and fun. The music and dances from the Samburu people lighten the atmosphere.

● Art and Fashion

If you are a lover of art, fashion and handicrafts, there are curio stalls where these artefacts are displayed. You have a lot of choices to choose a souvenir from.

Maralal Camel Derby is not just a competitive race but brings this desert town to life and showcases its cultural heritage.

Kilifi New Year Festival

Kilifi New year festival is held annually from 30th December to 2nd January.

This festival is perfect for all those who are lovers of contemporary, African and electronic music. It is a melting pot of varied cultures and allows for freedom of expression.

The music festival is held under the shade of thousand-year-old baobab trees. It is set on a 20-acre field, home to wild orange and lemon orchids and bamboo forest in

Takaungu creak of the Indian Ocean.

The aim of this festival is supporting conscious living and sustainability while appreciating different cultures. Blending creativity with nature to show a connection with each other, the environment and the community.

Everyone is free-spirited expressing themselves through fashion, dance, art and music. The die to moment happens when a huge wooden sculpture is set ablaze symbolising new beginnings and shared hope for a promising future.

During the 2019 festival, a huge sculpture was burnt in honour of the last male Northern White Rhino – Sudan. A symbol that species extinction is a reality and it is up to the human race to value and protect its wildlife.

● Camping

Camping buddies, this is a great festival for you.

You are allowed to carry your own camping gear. The 20-acre piece of land has enough spaces for pitching tents.

There is also adequate space for parking vehicles, enough showers, toilets and shade to relax and unwind.

There is ample security for all those in attendance.

Moreover, boutique camping is also available during the four days of stay. You will just have to arrange for the bookings earlier enough.

● Beach Activities

There is a beautiful coastline a few meters away. You can go for an early morning jog, a swim, yoga or participate in beach ball games.

The refreshing breeze, combined with spectacular sunsets and free spirit around, makes this festival a bucket list.

Moreover, you can also plan to go for a boat ride on Watamu beach after the festival. Here you can do for snorkelling, explore the bottom world of the ocean.

You will discover colourful fish species, turtles and seagrass. With the help of trained tour guides, you can sail deeper to get a glimpse of the whales.

This is a fantastic way to end your new year celebration in Kilifi.

Lamu cultural festival

Lamu cultural festival is held in Lamu Island, a world heritage site.

This old town has retained it’s Swahili culture over the years not giving in to pressures of the modern culture. The town is characterised by narrow streets, while its main transport means are donkeys.

The three-day festival is meant to give visitors a taste of the Swahili culture and lifestyle.

During the Lamu Cultural Festival, you get to experience dhow race, donkey races, competitive bao games, Swahili Henna paintings and traditional artefacts.

The bao games have existed for years in the East African region. Archaeological evidence shows that it has been played for thousands of years.

The dhow sailing races are executed by the locals. The racers are usually well prepared ready to showcase their skills in manoeuvring through the tides.

On the other hand, other people prepare to take part in a swimming competition. They will have to face the rough waters steering towards the other Island known as Shela and then swim back. With the scorching sun, Swimming race is ideal and a big relief.

The highlight of the festival is the donkey races. Residents, as well as the visitors, can participate. This sport is fun to watch. Steering a donkey needs natural talent, practice and skill. For

amateurs, some end up going towards the opposite direction from where the race is. Donkeys are the main means of transport owing to the city’s narrow and meandering streets. Donkeys have been used for ages by the residents.

For those who thrill in a shopping spree, there are lots of products to choose from. Toys, jewellery, clothes, toys and artefacts. You will find unique Swahili pieces to add on to your adventure collection.

● Street Food

What a better way of knowing a towns delicacies than sampling the street foods. Lamu has a vibrant, welcoming relaxed old town vibes. Like most Coastal towns, the street food culture is active.

You will find an array of street foods lined up on the streets early in the morning and in the evenings at around 4:00 pm.

There is a variety of finger-licking snacks and drinks to choose from. Most of them are Swahili dishes prepared from coconut milk, flour and with lots of sugar and spice. They include bhajia, vitumbua, jalebi, mitai, kaimati, mkate was Sinia, Mahari and mbaazi ya nazi. I know these are foreign names but when you get there you can surprise the locals a bit.

If you are a foodie this would be paradise.

It is good for one to loosen up once in a while and enjoy the abundance of life

Conclusion

Life is full of abundance. If you don’t travel and experience what other places have to offer then you are missing a lot.

“The World is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.” -Saint Augustine.

I hope these four incredible festivals in Kenya have inspired you to travel, explore alien culture, interact with different people and live a free life.

For each time we travel we see the world with a set of new eyes, become more conscious about our relationship with nature and fellow human beings.

Travel tip written and shared by Delinah Mijide

Delinah is a champion for sustainable tourism and conservation practices. She has the passion to highlight businesses and brands that support community empowerment, environmental and

culture preservation. Let’s travel,be responsible and have fun.

Wants to know more about sustainable tourism visit The Eco-traveller.