It’s one weekend after Bestival and your bedroom seems scarily quiet. You’re pining for the comforting claustrophobia of your two-man tent and getting strange looks when you pay for lunch with the change in your tie-dye bum bag. Fear not, the UK festival season may have come to a triumphant close but the party doesn’t have to end. Look beyond our increasingly grey horizon and you’ll find a bunch of music festivals around the world that are gagging for a spot on your Instagram feed. Sure, you might need to shell out on a plane ticket or two, but when it comes to witnessing music in the great outdoors with the kind of free spirited attitude that says onesies work in public, it’s worth it. Here are five of the best festivals to visit before the year is up.
Iceland Airwaves – Reykjavik, Iceland. November 4-8
Bjork might have scrapped her headline spot at this year’s Iceland Airwaves due to all the emotions she feels performing break-up album ‘Vulnicura’, but no one’s going to notice with over 200 other acts to see. Since 1999, Iceland Airwaves has been taking over venues through Reykjavík city centre and pulling in a crowd of sharp eared new music boffs to its sweaty basement parties, close-up acoustic encounters and arty headline shows. This year Battles, Hinds, Lucy Rose, Mercury Rev, and LA Priest appear on a line-up that also promises UK grime bros JME and Skepta spitting bars flanked by thick white skies and epic, barren landscapes that make the streets of Tottenham look like a distant, tropical retreat.
Wonderfruit Pattaya – Thailand, December 17-19
Get your eco fix at one of the newest festivals on the global scene. Entering its second year, Thailand’s Wonderfruit is a fancy cocktail mixed with all the nice green stuff: meditation, sustainability and swimming pools surrounded by sand, plus enough of a kick to keep you dancing ‘til 7am in its hidden jungle rave den or on top of the multi-platform Solar stage. If Thailand can scrub Pete Doherty up into writing a surprisingly brilliant new comeback album, think what it’s going to do for you, eh? By the time you’re back in your Nan’s lounge on Christmas day, you’ll be reciting long form prose and handing out life-advice instead of meaningless, materialistic presents.
Falls Festivals – Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, Australia, December 28 – January 1
As the earth’s axis would have it, when we’re sipping hot toddies in December everyone Down Under is trying to squeeze a full roast on the BBQ. But what Aussies lack in winter wonderland, they make up for with The Maccabees, Mac Demarco, Foals, Bloc Party and Kurt Vile and The Violators among the line-up up for the roving Falls Festival, which runs simultaneously during the last weekend in December in Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales. With New Year’s Eve right in the middle, you’ll be reliving that Maccabees set at Glastonbury while the rest of us are watching an old clock strike twelve and pretending we know more than the first line to Auld Lang Syne.
Rise Festival – Les Deux Alpes, France, December 12-19
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The formula is simple. Go and do some skiing and snow-person building during the day, lose your shit to electronic mentalists by night. Rinse FM and drum n bass hotheads Hospitality are curating stages this year, promising avalanche inducing basslines and enough lasers to spot you stranded at the top of the mountain when you decide wandering up to ‘check out the mad view’ is a good idea at 2am.
ATP 2.0 Nightmare Before Christmas curated by Jake and Dinos Chapman – Pontins, Prestatyn, North Wales. November 27-29
Like a Mogwai instrumental refusing to call it a day, All Tomorrow’s Parties have risen from the ashes of money problems and 2013’s End Of An Era this-is-definitely-our-last-party with ATP 2.0. Like any wise phoenix fresh from the flames, they’ve headed straight for hallowed ground: Pontins in Prestatyn, North Wales. A weekend of shoegaze, experimental electronica and trippy late night films programmed to the TV set in your chalet has been curated by gore-shock visual artists The Chapman Brothers (who have created everything from quadruple headed mannequins to zombified religious effigies). Courtney Barnett, Thee Oh Sees, Built To Spill and Micachu and The Shapes are on cue for what could be (we hope) the triumphant return of one of the most influential festivals on the scene.