The best international music festivals you didn’t know about
Music festivals are basically an intrinsic part of the university experience. They exist as one of the only options we have to see a bulk amount of live music for cheap (relative to the amount of acts on the bill obviously) and it makes for just an awesome time no matter what.
Funnily enough, travelling also is an intrinsic part of the university experience, with tours like Contiki making it a lot easier. Not to mention as students, we have to travel as much as possible before we get serious full-time jobs with only four weeks annual leave a year. But, beyond Splendour in the Grass, Groovin the Moo and whatever else we have going on down here, there are a few international festivals that combine these two aspects of uni life that may have gone under the radar.
Location: Benicàssim, Spain
This Spanish festival, set in the town it is named after, is a bloody ripper for a few reasons. Firstly, the namesake town is absolutely beautiful. The festival is set a mere 20-minute drunken stumble away from the town, as well as conveniently located by the beach. This offers the perfect hangover cure and gives people the chance to chill out before getting into the swing of things again.
Unlike other festivals, the music generally doesn’t kick off until the sun has pissed off and won’t stop until the sun comes back up. This gives you the whole day to prep yourself and do whatever you bloody well please (have a siesta, probably) before you embark on an all-night tune fest . This year’s headliners are Muse, The Chemical Brothers, Major Lazer and Kendrick Lamar. Go figure.
Location: Niigata, Japan
You may have heard of this little ditty, only because music nerds across the country use it to predict who will be popping up on the Splendour lineup each year. But this festival has something that Splendour definitely does not – you have to ride a 20-minute cable car to access one of the stages. Tell me that isn’t the coolest thing you’ve ever heard?! Because Fuji Rock happens around the same time as Splendour, the lineups often overlap, so you know the music is going to be insanely good.
Location: New York City, USA
I’m going to take a stab and assume you probably haven’t heard of this bad boy, but that’s fair – it hasn’t even happened yet. Yes, Panorama’s debut will be at the end of next month and holy shit, have they got some acts. I’m talking Arcade Fire, A$AP Rocky and Sia to name a few. But should we really be surprised considering this festival was organised by the same folks behind Coachella, the festival to end all festivals? Yeah, probably not.
Lake of Stars
Location: Mongachi, Malawi
I don’t think I’ve ever heard of music festivals in Africa before this year, but this one seems like it would be an absolute dream. Set on the sands of Lake Malawi, apparently witnessing the sunset is straight up magic. This gem gives you the best of both worlds: international acts you’ve had on your Spotify for months, as well as local acts you’ve never heard of but will be listening on repeat for the months to come.
Location: Roskilde, Denmark
This is easily the biggest festival you may have never heard of. This year alone, there are nine stages and there are 183 acts playing across them, including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tame Impala and LCD Soundsystem to name a few. However, it has been said that this festival feels like a utopia among a world of ‘big festivals’.
Profits go to support humanitarian organisations, including those involved with music and culture, and leftover food is donated to homeless shelters. Denmark once again proves why we should all move there immediately, if not only for the free university education (!!!).
Jackson is studying a Bachelor of Communication degree at the University of Newcastle and is the rightful heir to the throne.