Summer is almost here and you can feel it in the air. Days are getting longer. People are smiling at strangers or at no one in particular!
With summer comes a whole slew of open-air music festivals. Sure, you could go to the usual Glastonbury mudfest, but this year we recommend heading further afield. Dance under Iceland’s midnight sun, or party on a deserted island in the Adriatic.
Experience summer festivals in the most spectacular places.
1. Secret Solstice, Reykjavik
Party where the sun never sets against the incredible backdrop of the breathtaking Icelandic landscape. The eclectic stellar lineup that includes Steve Aoki, Clean Bandit, and Death from Above. For those with a lot of money to burn (and we mean it as this festival famously launched the first-ever one-million-dollar ticket), you can be one of the lucky few to party inside a dormant volcano or in a 10,000-year-old glacier. The certified carbon neutral event also means that you can party with a clean conscience.
When: 21-24 June
Entry: From 175.00 euros
2. Exit, Serbia
What started out as a student protest for peace and democracy in Serbia and the Balkans, has since become one of the world’s best festivals and it boasts the awards to prove it. Part of its magic lies in its unique location in the Petrovaradin Fortress. With over 20 stages connected by ramparts, cobbled passageways and tunnels, its location promises a fairytale setting with superb acoustics. This year over 600 artists are set to play, with big names that include Grace Jones, David Guetta and Ziggy Marley. It’s also heartening to know that the festival is run by a non-profit and maintains its mission to help Balkan youths.
When: 12-15 July
Entry: From 113.00 euros
3. Burning Man
Of course, we couldn’t leave out the Burning Man. This (in)famous festival is a surreal experience in the raw empty expanse of the Nevada desert. Tens of thousands swarm this otherwise barren space to create a makeshift community of revelers, artists, hippies, and techno-punks. The festival has a post-apocalyptic Mad Max feel, where flamboyant self-expression, dancing in the dust and a penchant for fire reign supreme, all to the soundtrack of heart-thumping electronica.
When: 26 Aug – 3 Sep
Entry: from $425 US
4. Obonjan, Croatia
Forget those crowded, debaucherous, summer music mudfests, and escape to this once deserted island in the Adriatic. For eight weeks this idyllic setting will be home to a creative festival that focuses on the arts, ecology, and wellbeing. Along with workshops on health and meditation, art installations and curated films, there will be a wealth of opportunities to hike, snorkel and explore the island. When the sun goes down you can party all night to the likes of Triple Cooked, Pillow Talk and Andy Whittaker in the stunning stone amphitheater.
When: 24 Jul – 2 Sep
Entry: From 70 euros per night per person
5. Fuji Rock Festival
Named for the disastrous first event at Mt Fuji, this festival has since found greater success in the mountain forests of one of Japan’s biggest ski resorts. Not only does it bring in the big names in alternative music, it’s also one of the few festivals where you can soak in a hot spring, or wander the stunning secluded forest setting on your way from one stage to the next. Plus, it has the added highlight of having one of the longest gondola lifts in the world, so you can take-in spectacular bird’s-eye views of the entire event.
When: 27-29 Jul
Prices: From ¥18,000