Upcoming music festivals to consider visiting during your summer/winter trips around the globe.
After an intense brainstorming session among beehype contributors around the world, we have selected some of the best festivals that we are aware of that happen in the third quarter of the year (July, August and September).
You’ll find events of all kinds and sizes, but as always – what we appreciate most is the attention paid to local/regional music talents who remain outside the global circuit. Apart from our main selection of outstanding events worldwide, you’ll find a list with additional suggestions.
Obviously, there are many more events worth mentioning, so feel free to let us know in case we missed something essential to your country’s current music scene. And let’s wish ourselves safe trips & a good weather, eh?
Istanbul Jazz Festival
July 4-21, Istanbul, Turkey
One of the most important event in Turkey’s cultural capital stretching over more than two weeks. While jazz musicians from around the world obviously dominate the impressive series of concerts, you can also see some of the country’s best alternative bands during an impressive event called Night Out. (Emir Aksoy)
July 7-9, St. Petersburg, Russia
Stretching over three days and three scenes, St. Petersburg’s prominent festival combines a balanced line-up of Russian artists and foreign imports. You can spend a whole day listening to Finnish music though, in front of a dedicated scene. But don’t miss local talents.
July 8-9, Sao Paolo, Brazil
Advertized with the catchphrase “La Nueva Latinoamerica,” this cameral festival presents an impressive overview of the scene, including artists from Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico and Uruguay.
Featuring both established names and up-and-comers, it also involves several accompanying events in the fields of literature, visual arts, design, and technology. If you want to get acquainted with contemporary independent culture in Latin America, this is a place to be.
July 13-15, Göta, The Faroe Islands
Amazing festival voted as top events in Europe by some of the biggest magazines out there, G! Festival combines beautiful landscapes of Eysturoy island with a presentation of both international artists and regional/local talents – and there are many more of them than you would expect from a country of less than 50k inhabitants. (Hergeir Staksberg)
July 14-16, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
If you’ve been following our Best of 2016 series, you might have seen the fantastic Mongolian selection offered by one Natsagdorj Tserendorj. It’s him who 15 years ago founded a festival in the country’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, to present the best Mongolian acts at that time.
While the festival has kept growing and evolving over all those years, and more recently started including some acclaimed international acts in the programme, it has remained dedicated to demonstrate the potential of the local scene.
And this year will be another proof of that best possible approach, giving you a chance to meet half of the artists that appeared in the best-of list mentioned above, and ones that deserve to appear on all other festivals mentioned here.
July 15-21, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
What’s better than a festival with a cutting edge, colourful program? A FREE festival with a cutting edge line up of course! Valkhof Festival takes you to a beautiful spot in the city of Nijmegen and serves up some of the best upcoming bands – ranging from hip hop to indie.
The festival takes place while Nijmegen also hosts it’s famous Four Days Marches. Besides a lot of international acts, you can also catch beehype alumnis like LUWTEN, Amber Arcades and Mister & Mississippi! (Jort Laagland)
July 27-30, Vasto, Italy
Italy has a lot of beautiful natural landscapes, which could be better used for summer festivals in order to give the audience a different experience – adding the beauty of the environment to the quality of the music.
Siren Festival in Vasto (region of Abruzzo) has been actually doing it for years. You can enjoy good and popular bands, both Italian and foreign, in surroundings that are rarely paired with live music. The likes of Allah-Las, Apparat, Arab Strap, Jens Lekman, Jenny Hval and Baustelle, among many others, will play in locations like the Palazzo D’Avalos, a 15th century palace on a hill overlooking the Adriatic Sea.
And during the day, attendees will also be able to experience local culture, food and wine while enjoying the pristine Blue Flag beaches of Vasto, the Punta Aderci nature reserve and the nearby national parks in the Maiella mountains. (Stefano Bartolotta)
FSP Freaky Summer Party
July 29-30, Minsk, Belarus
It started as a picnic for a bunch of friends, now it’s one of the biggest Belarusian summer events. They still have the very special friendly vibe in everything they do for their visitors. And they do a lot: personal music selection (it’s more about taste and quality than big names), cool Belarusian and international speakers (talks about making the city/country/world/life better), entertainment of all kinds (sports, kids, etc), design market and one of the best food courts with all kinds of cuisine. This year they also host a land art competition.
So despite being not really a music festival per se (they even position themselves as “art picnic”), it’s still one of the best places to listen to good music and meet most of the interesting people of Minsk over the course of two days. It might help to make a decision, that since February 2017 citizens of the EU, US and many other countries don’t need a visa for a 5 days’ stay in Belarus if they fly in and fly out of Minsk international airport, excluding flying in from Russia. (Dmitri Bezkorovainyi)
Absolutely Free Festival
August 4-5, Genk, Belgium
While festival and gig promoters around the world keep on increasing ticket prices, the access to the Absolutely Free Festival is… not completely for free. The organisers care about the environment and therefore ask each visitor to bring three used batteries, which are collected by a recycling company. If you can’t find any, you are allowed to be part of the festival after paying three euro’s, which will buy 20 square metres of nature in the Absolutely Free Forest.
The festival site is part of an old coalmine that was turned into recreational space, which results in a great scenery. An extra advantage is that there are lots of parking spaces at walking distance from the entrance, so there’s no need to walk for half an hour with your tired or drunk body when the last concert is finished. As many festivals nowadays, the Absolutely Free Festival also pays attention to the food and the drinks, which are both delicious and mostly originating from fair trade. (Brett Summers)
August 4-6, Katowice, Poland
Celebrated for its bold curatorial choices and relaxed atmosphere, over the past ten years OFF Festival has been steadily gaining cult following and international recognition. Spanning three days of concerts in the picturesque Valley of Three Ponds in Katowice, it is one of the best sites in Europe to enjoy a diverse selection of alternative music.
This year’s edition should be no different. The line up emphasizes female artists, with PJ Harvey and Feist headlining, and featuring Anna Meredith, Carla Bozoulich and Circuit des Yeux, among others. Additionally, a particularly strong representation of guitar driven noise is to be expected, including sets from Swans, Shellac, and Boris (playing their album “Pink” in its entirety); as well as a host of both local and international artists from outside the usual indie circuit. (Artur Szarecki)
August 8-12, Oslo, Norway
Why you should go to Øyafestivalen? Simple. You get an amazing excuse to travel to Scandinavia’s most up-and-coming capital.
What’s so amazing about Oslo is that you get the best of not only both, but all worlds. You could wake up hungover after watching Pixies and take the first metro to Frognerseteren for an absolute beautiful view (Miley Cyrus did so when she visited Oslo!) or you could hang out and chill at one of Oslo’s artificial beaches, Sørenga or Tjuvholmen.
In addition to the festival itself, there’s loads of concerts and events going on at Oslo’s coolest bars and pubs and clubs. For a beautiful and atmospheric experience in one of Oslo’s cosiest backyards, you should check out Ponette at Dattera Til Hagen. Or you could go and rave to Coucheron’s funky tunes at the prize-winning club The Villa.
At the festival, there’s usually people by the entrance selling homemade Norwegian waffles from an improvised food truck. What’s not to like?! (Ine Julia Rojahn Schwebs)
August 11-14, Tomar, Portugal
In a country where Fado is the musical ambassador, there’s a village that has a habit to build bridges between generations. Every summer since 2006, this village in the center of the country mutates into a town, and hosts a 100% Portuguese music festival.
For the 11th edition of Bons Sons in Cem Soldos, as usual, there’s also a commitment among the town’s folks to show the true meaning of hospitality. And again, the best Portuguese music will be heard in the streets.
Once More, the festival will take place mid-August and the village itself will convert into a live music capital, where iconic spots gain new colours painted by the best-known Portuguese music artists, always holding hands with the young upcoming musicians. (Miguel Alcobia)
Seoul Sold Out
August 12, Seoul, South Korea
Want to discover new and humbly shining indie artists in Korea? Visit near Han River, Seoul on August 12th. Although not as big as other festivals in Korea, Seoul Sold Out (서울인기) festival spotlights the freshest new artists, which capture the ambitious frontier of Korean popular music.
Next to Hangang, the biggest river in Seoul, you can experience a range of indieful musicians with a summer breeze. (Guwon Jeong)
August 11-13, Helsinki, Finland
Taking place in a former intrustrial / power plant district of Helsinki, Flow has a completely different atmosphere than what most open air events ussualy offer. You do feel you are in the country’s capital, but in a different epoch or maybe in a parallel reality.
While Flow’s programme might seem dominated by all those omnipresent UK/US stars you can meet anywhere else, it’s actually a great occassion to discover local (Finnish) and regional (Scandinavian) talents before the rest of the world hears about them (and it will). With this mix, during the last 13 years Flow’s become one of the most important summer events in Europe.
Gaborone International Music and Culture Week
August 26 – September 2, Gaborone, Botswana
Set in Botswana’s mid-sized capital, the week-long gives you a chance to dive into the culture of the region whether you’re interested in music or other culture spheres.
While the festival does bring headliners from other African countries and even some overseas import, it’s more about “celebrating diversity” or, simply, celebrating. And if you’re not a big fan of big stages, you should find a right place for yourself as well. (Thomas Mecha)
Line-up highlights: Mozaik, Cassper Nyovest, Okmalumkoolkat, Prince Kaybee, Mr Ibu, Mafikizolo, Mophato Dance Troupe
September 9 (TBC), Batroun, Lebanon
Wickerpark is one of the best festivals in Lebanon not only for the alternative scene. While they still haven’t announce the details of this year’s edition (it will probably be the second Saturday of September), the previous year’s line-up was as close to our own Lebanese music selection as you can get.
The festival takes place in the Mediterranean port of Batroun, also one of the oldest cities in the world, so apart from the presentation of some established and upcoming local talents it gives you a chance to experience the beauty of Lebanese coast. (Elias Maroun)
Mid-September (TBC), Bogotá, Colombia
One of the interesting things about this festival is the way it conects the Latin American indie scene in three days of concerts in small venues at the heart of Colombia’s capital, Bogotá.
Hermoso Ruido is a great oportunity to discover what’s going on in the region. Also, this is like a first step for bands that later can get into the official line up of the big celebration that is Estereo Picnic. (Sebastián Narváez)
Concrete & Grass
September 16-17, Shanghai, China
Formerly known as Echo Park festival, the event now is called Concrete & Grass Music Festival, and over the years has grown to become one of the brightest spots/dates in the Chinese festival calendar.
As it’s organized in mid-September, it theoretically aims at the best weather Shanghai can offer, and combines a serious approach to the music programming with a laid-back atmosphere very appropriate for the grassy setting of the Shanghai Rugby Football Club.
The festival does draw inspiration from big international events, but at the same time preserves a local flavour to the best result.
September 17-19, Thessaloniki, Greece
Reworks is one of the 8 festivals that participate in We Are Europe and it takes place in Thessaloniki every September. With over 900 artists who have played at the festival to date, it’s the biggest and most interesting music festival of North Greece since 2005.
It brings together contemporary culture and forward thinking music in an urban environment, presenting a broad spectrum of – mainly – electronic music. From house & techno to freestyle, neo-classical & jazz to disco, this year’s artists will be presented on 3 outdoor and 9 indoor stages. (Ares Buras)
Line-up highlights: Tendts, Solomun, Dixon, Hauschka, Bicep, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Adriatique, Cayetano
September 23-24, Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
This independent festival has been held at Matsumoto Alps Park in central of Japan for eight years now. It includes anyone from acclaimed alternative rock bands to famous hip-hop MCs, as well as new local acts who have been selected during auditions.
September 28 – October 1, Guwahati, India
In my two visits to Ziro Festival of Music, I have countless stories and memories to choose from in convincing someone to visit the beautiful valley.
While the lineup might not be entirely exciting all the time, this festival more than makes up for it with the journey and the beauty of the valley. A perfect blend of local culture is infused into the music festival, which makes it even more special and worth the trek.
Pro tip – Be prepped for the rains! (Naman Saraiya)
Other recommended festivals:
• Different Sounds – Lublin, Poland – innebrzmienia.eu
• Les Eurockéennes – Belfort – eurockeennes.fr
• Træna Festival – Træna, Norway – trena.net
• Wake Up Festival – Chiayi City, Taiwan – wakeupfestival.com.tw
• Pohoda Festival – Trenčín, Slovakia – pohodafestival.sk
• Festival Komēta – Riga, Latvia – festivalskometa.lv
• Poolbar Festival – Feldkirch, Austria – poolbar.at
• Peace and Love – Borlange, Sweden – peaceandlove.se
• Les Ardentes – Liège, Belgium – lesardentes.be
• Latin Alternative Music Conference – New York, USA – latinalternative.com
• Dour Festival – Dour, Belgium – dourfestival.eu
• Pete The Monkey – Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, France – petethemonkeyfestival.com
• Turku Modern – Turku, Finland – turkumodern.com
• Positivus Festival – Salacgrīva, Latvia – positivusfestival.com
• Regius Festival – Sibenik, Croatia – regius-festival.com
• Baybeats – Singapore – esplanade.com
• Festival de Inverno – Belo Horizonte, Brazil – festivaldeinvernobh.com.br
• FIB Benicàssim Festival – Benicàssim, Spain – fiberfib.com
• Bánkitó Fesztivál – Bánk – bankitofesztival.hu
• Colours of Ostrava – Ostrava, Czech Republic – colours.cz
• Globaltica – Gdynia, Poland – globaltica.pl
• Milhoes de Festa – Barcelos, Portugal – milhoesdefesta.com
• Circadélica – Sorocaba, Brazil – circadelica.com.br
• Wetterleuchten – Innsbruck, Austria – wetterleuchten.at
• Oakenfest – Lehfed, Lebanon – facebook page
• Summit of Braillė Satellitė – Grybų dvaras, Lithuania – emptybrainresalt.us
• Splendour in the Grass – North Byron Parklands, Australia – splendourinthegrass.com
• Festival Buena Vibra – Buenos Aires, Argentina – facebook.com/festivalbuenavibra
• Művészetek Völgye – Kapolcs, Hungary – muveszetekvolgye.hu/
• Al-Balad – Amman, Jordan – albaladmusicfestival.org
• M valley Rock Festival – Ansan, South Korea – valleyrockfestival.mnet.com
• Acoustic Lakeside Festival – Sonnegger See, Austria – acousticlakeside.com
• Fuji Rock – Yuzawa-cho, Niigata, Japan – fujirock-eng.com
• Meda + – Guarda, Portugal – medamais.pt
• Ilmio – Turku, Finland – ilmio.fi
• Popfest Vien – Vienna, Austria – popfest.at
• Low Festival – Benidorm, Spain – lowfestival.es
• Appletree Garden Festival – Diepholz, Germany – appletreegarden.de
• Fengaros – Kato Drys, Cyprus – fengaros.com
• Dekmantel – Amsterdam, The Netherlands – dekmantelfestival.com
• World Happiness – Tokyo, Japan – world-happiness.com
• Super Uho – Sibenik, Croatia – superuho.com
• Ypsigrock – Castelbuono, Italy – ypsigrock.it
• Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival – Incheon, South Korea – pentaportrock.com
• Sziget – Budapest, Hungary – szigetfestival.com
• Good Vibes – Gohtong Jaya, Malaysia – goodvibesfestival.com
• Mirum Festival – Mir, Belarus – mirummusicfestival.by
• Grape Festival – Piešťany, Slovakia – grapefestival.sk
• Pukkelpop – Kiewit, Belgium – pukkelpop.be
• Strand – Zamárdi, Hungary – strandfesztival.com
• Uhort – Copenhagen, Denmark – uhoert.dk
• Hoomstock – Hum na Sutli, Croatia – hoomstock.com
• C/O Pop – Cologne – c-o-pop.de
• V-Roc Festival – Vladivostok, Russia – vrox.org
• Zeytinli Rock Festivali – Edremit, Turkey – zeytinlirockfestivali.com
• Golan Nights – Tsnobar, Golan Heights, Israel – tourgolan.org.il
• ProFest – Râşnov, Romania – profest.net
• One Music Camp – Mita Athletic, Hyogo Pref., Japan – onemusiccamp.com
• Street Mode Festival – Thessaloniki, Greece – streetmode.gr
• Música Mundo – Belo Horizonte, Brazil – musicamundo.com.br
• Coconut – Saintes, France – coconutmusicfestival.org
• Loftas Festival – Vilnius, Lithuania – loftasfest.lt
• Leffingeleuren – Leffinge, Belgium – leffingeleurenfestival.be
• Music Matters Live – Singapore – musicmatters.asia
• Drammen Sacred Music – Drammen, Norway – drammensacred.no
• Deep in the Woods – Massembre, Belgium – deepinthewoods.be
• Ephemere – Hammamet, Tunisia – ephemere-fest.com
• Rock in Rio – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – rockinrio.com
• Pop Montreal – Montral, Canada – popmontreal.com
• Vill Vill Vest – Bergen, Norway – villvillvest.no
• Yavería – Bogotá, Colombia – averia.org
• Labyrinth Festival – Naeba Greenland, Niigata, Japan – mindgames.jp
• Festival BAM – Barcelona, Spain – bcn.cat
• Kyoto Onpaku – Kyoto, Japan – kyotoonpaku.net
• Cross Culture Festival – Warszawa, Poland – festival.warszawa.pl
• Sonograph Festival – Vöcklabruck, Austria – sonograph-festival.at
• Reeperbahn – Hamburg, Germany – reeperbahnfestival.com
• Sonica – Ljubljana, Slovenia – sonica.si
• Sacrum Profanum – Kraków, Poland – sacrumprofanum.com
• Waves Vienna – Vienna, Austria – wavesvienna.com
• Mada Festival – Natal, Brazil – festivalmadabrasil.com.br
• Zandari Fiesta – Seoul, South Korea – zfesta.com
Anytyhing we missed? Let us know!
Picture credits: Festivals PR/FB accordingly