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Explore festivals around the world before ticking these amazing experiences off your bucket list.

Select the area you want to visit, or the type of festival you’re looking for. Then learn more about the festival before booking your holiday with Travelbag.

Time to get into the festival spirit!

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Global Festival Tour

Head on a festival tour around the world with Travelbag’s Global Festival Tour.
Explore food, culture, music, art and more, and tick these off your bucket list.

Begin

La Tomatina

(29 August)

Bunol, Spain


A cultural festival with a twist, La Tomatina is held annually in Spain in the Valencian town of Buñol. This festival sees participants get involved in an enormous tomato fight that forms the culmination of a week of festivities. Centring on the cultural traditions of this region and draws its inspiration from the farmers and others who have worked the land for centuries.

Buenos Aires Book Fair

(26 April – 14 May)

Buenos Aires, Argentina


One of the longest book fairs held annually, the Buenos Aires Book Fair is an incredibly comprehensive cultural programme that highlights Spanish culture. Over a million Latin American readers attend the festival, which is held in Argentina’s capital city, and the event runs every year for three weeks during the month of April.

Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

(6 – 28 October)

3538 Waialae Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA


Taking place over the course of three weekends on different islands (Hawaii, Maui and Oahu), the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival is a non-profit organisation that supports local culinary colleges, provides grants for chefs to learn from global masters and sponsors educational programmes that teach schoolchildren how to grow and cook their own food.

Cappadocia Hot-Air Balloon Tours and Music Festival

(all year round)

Cappadocia


One of the most picturesque sights you will ever see, watching a multitude of hot-air balloons gliding across the sky is magnificent. There is no specific time to visit Cappadocia, as the balloon flights happen all year round, but if you want to make the most of your trip, you could time it to coincide with the Cappadocia Music Festival.

The Dumpling Festival

(22 – 24 June)

Victoria Harbour, Central Waterfront, Hong Kong


The Dumpling Festival takes place on the fifth day of the fifth Chinese lunar month and many families enjoy zongzi dumplings made of sticky rice with a huge variety of fillings, all wrapped up in bamboo, banana or lotus leaves. As well as being a national holiday in Macau and Hong Kong, the day of the Dumpling Festival is marked by a thrilling dragon boat race.

Hong Kong Arts Festival

(4 Feb – 25 March)

2 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong


An annual celebration of arts and culture in Hong Kong, this festival features everything, from contemporary dance to traditional storytelling and Chinese opera. The festival was founded in 1973 and has gone from strength to strength ever since, with a host of home-grown talent showcased every year. International acts also make an appearance – the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Russian Ballet have both performed in the past.

Fuji Rock

(27 – 29 July)

Naeba Ski Resort, Yuzawa, Niigata Prefecture, Japan


A cable car takes you to the mountain-top destination of the Naeba Ski Resort, the incredible setting of this festival. With a healthy mix of Japanese acts alongside some notable artists from overseas, Fuji Rock holds the title of the largest outdoor music festival in Japan and is a festival that prides itself on being the cleanest one in the world.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

(3 August – 27 August)

Edinburgh


The largest festival of its kind, Edinburgh festival features dramatic performances of all kinds, exhibitions of artworks and so much more, this festival occurs across the city and there are over 50,000 performances in 300 different venues during this time.

Glastonbury

(26–30 June)

Worthy Farm, Mendip, UK


Possibly the biggest music festival in the world, Glastonbury is renowned for bringing in some of the biggest and best musical acts. Not only will you find hugely popular artists gracing the Pyramid Stage, but you will also be able to discover new music on the smaller stages, and of course have the opportunity to hang out with hippies on the site edges.

Rhythm and Vines, Gisborne

(31 December)

Waiohika Estae, New Zealand


This festival allows you to have a truly special experience by being one of the very first people in the world to see the sun rise on the New Year. You can expect to see some well-known names in popular music all playing within the grounds of a working farm and former vinery, and with the music generally not starting until early evening, it will also give you the chance to explore the surrounding valley.

Credit Haydn Curtis, Aflickion

The World of Wearable Art Awards Show

(22 September – 9 October)

95 Quarantine Road, Annesbrook, Nelson, 7011, New Zealand


A rather bizarre arts festival, but one that has grown tremendously in popularity, this Wellington-based event showcases art, fashion, textiles and design from both local and international artists. It is a fascinating occasion for art lovers and fashionistas and gives designers the opportunity to really push the boundaries and create wearable art that transforms the way we think about clothing. This event is held in the TSB Arena, Wellington.

Auckland Writers Festival

(15 – 20 May)

58 Surrey Cresent, Grey Lynn, Auckland 1021, New Zealand


The Auckland Writers Festival has been running for 18 years and now stages over 1,980 different events, gathering together more than 200 of the world’s best writers and thinkers in one place. More than 28,000 people attend this festival and it truly is a celebration of the written word and of ideas.

Wildfoods Festival

(10 March)

40 Bealey St, Hokitika 7810, New Zealand


There's something for everyone in this celebration of wild foodie delights: open your mind, give your palate a tasty surprise and start eating on the wild side. With everything from traditional Maori dishes prepared in a hangi, (a heated pit), to insects and snails, you’ll enjoy the beach and a market all weekend long will keep you entertained while you taste your way through the delights on offer.

Kāwhia Kai Festival

(6 February)

Kawhia


This traditional Maori festival celebrates everything about the local culture. There are many rich cultural traditions entrenched in Kiwi culture and this festival is both educational and an intimate glimpse into the past of the indigenous people who have fought to keep their traditions alive in an increasingly modern and technologically driven world.

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

(16 – 25 March)

Melbourne


The gastronomic playground that is Melbourne and the state of Victoria celebrates all that is good and great in the local food and wine industry with a programme of more than 200 events. Australia's culinary credentials are celebrated through celebrity chefs from around the world and brand ambassadors sharing their take on local produce, wine and recipes.

Sydney Festival

(6 – 28 January)

Greater Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


This almost month-long event has become a highlight on the calendar and is the biggest cultural event in the country. It features all types of performances, from song and dance to poetry readings and comedy acts. Events during the festival take place around the wharf, but the epicentre is the Meriton Festival Village.

Beyond the Valley

(28 December – 1 January)

155 Burnt Store Rd, Lardner VIC 3821, Australia


What better way to bring in the new year than spending it at one of Australia’s best boutique-style festivals? Alongside the great live music, you can expect to sample special beers and cocktails and tasty food from one of the many food trucks on site.

Splendour in the Grass

(July)

North Byron Parklands, Byron Bay, Australia


After its first appearance in 2001, Splendour in the Grass has continued to make waves all over the world, with around 30,000 visitors coming from far and wide each year. It combines music and the arts with comedy performances and intellectual talks that’ll keep you busy in between some high-profile music acts.

Sydney Writers’ Festival

(20 April – 6 May)

Wharf Road, Cremorne Point NSW 2090, Australia


Australia’s biggest celebration of writing and ideas, the Sydney Writers’ Festival is considered the continent’s finest. The event takes place with the spectacular Sydney harbour as its backdrop and attracts a huge number of international and local contributors and visitors.

Vivid

(25 May – 16 June)

Cumberland Street, Sydney, NSW 2000


Sydney’s multi award-winning festival of light presents stunning light displays around the city, as well music and workshops. Explore cutting-edge technology, watch light projections onto the city’s iconic structures and revel in the creative energy throughout Sydney.

Destination NSW

The Grub Fest

(2 – 4 February)

255, Ground Floor Okhla Phase 3, New Delhi, India


A trip to India in February means that you'll be able to take in the smells, tastes and flavours of one of India's top food festivals: The Grub Fest. One of the nation's largest food festivals, you'll be able to shop for new gourmet ingredients and treat yourself to delicious dishes, including signature flavour combinations from some of the country's top restaurants.

ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival

(25 – 29 January)

Diggi Palace, Jaipur, India


Held in front of the Digii palace in the capital of Jaipur, the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival is described as the greatest literary show on earth, and it is the largest free event of its kind. The festival brings together a diverse mix of the world’s greatest minds, politicians, humanitarians, historians and business leaders, providing them with a platform from which to engage in debate and dialogue.

Magnetic Fields

(December)

Alisisar Jhunjhunu, Alisisar, Rajasthan, 331025, India


It’s not often that you find a 17th-century palace doubling up as festival grounds, but that’s exactly what you get with Magnetic Fields. Set in one of the most beautiful and historic locations in India, the festival’s multiple stages grant visitors an intimate experience rarely found at a festival. You can expect to see both international and home-grown artists, with electronic music at the forefront.

Holi

(1–2 March)

Mathura & Vrindavan, India


The Hindu festival of Holi is well known for the splashes of colour thrown onto those celebrating, which is a practice that has been adopted all over the world. Each colour represents something new for those on the receiving end, which often leaves revellers coated in a vibrant mix of coloured powder.

Songkran Water Festival

(13–15 April)

Si Lom, Khwaeng Silom, Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10500, Thailand


One of Thailand’s biggest festivals, Songkran stems from a time when family members were encouraged to splash each other with water as a way of asking for good fortune. It coincided with the Thai New Year, so soon became a fun way to celebrate. Among the hoses and buckets, revellers will often be seen carrying huge water guns ready to spray at any opportunity, so prepare to get soaked.

Ubud Writers & Readers Festival

(24 – 28 April)

Jalan Raya Sanggingan, Ubud, 80571 Bali


This South-East Asian festival has a theme that changes annually and is considered to be a leading event focusing on words and ideas. The festival encompasses over 200 events and attracts a huge audience from Indonesia and the rest of the world. It takes place in central Ubud on the island of Bali and is held over four days in October.

Ubud Food Festival

(13 – 15 April)

Jalan Raya Sanggingan No. 88X, Kedewatan, Ubud, Bali 80571, Indonesia


This three-day foodie event is the place to visit if you're looking for a one-stop shop to learn about the glories of Indonesian cuisine. The culinary heritage of the Indonesian archipelago is on show with local foodies, restaurateurs, chefs and producers all coming together to share their knowledge.

Air Festival

(30 March – 1 April)

Gili Air Lombok Utara Nusa Tenggara Barat 83352 Gili


Another festival that places huge importance on remaining environmentally friendly is Air Festival. It ensures that visitors understand the importance of sustainability and sacredness while also having fun. With its beachside location on a small island, you should pack your swimsuit to take full advantage of the clear waters whilst enjoying all the musical offerings of Air Festival.

Wonderfruit

(13 – 16 December)

Pong, Bang Lamung District, Chon Buri 20150, Thailand


This festival not only includes some great music, but it also celebrates the arts alongside ideals of community and sustainable living. The stages are constructed from anything from rice to rubbish and are made in a way that creates beautiful pieces of art. You are encouraged to take in the rich Thai culture by experiencing authentic music whilst enjoying the delicious food that Wonderfruit has to offer.

Phuket Vegetarian Festival

(8 – 17 October)

Phuket


The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is based on the belief that during the ninth lunar month (according to the Chinese calendar), abstaining from meat will help you to have good health and peace of mind. Also known as the Nine Emperors Festival, some of the celebratory methods on display here are not for the faint-hearted, including body piercing and fire-walking.

China’s Lantern Festival

(February and March)

Confucius Temple, Qinhuai Scenic Zone, Nanjing


The first lantern festival took place around 2,000 years ago with the lighting of the lanterns traditionally occurs on the last day of the Chinese New Year (also known as the Spring Festival), festivities often take place for several weeks surrounding that date. Celebrations occur throughout China during the festival, although the Qinhuai International Lantern Fair is the biggest in the country - well worth adding to your bucket list.

Creole Festival

(23 – 29 October)

Victoria, Seychelles


A must for tourists visiting Mahé, Praslin or La Digue in the last week of October is this fabulous six-day foodie event. It celebrates everything Creole, including their arts, crafts, music, dance and food. Hit any main area on these islands, including (and especially) Victoria, Beau Vallon and Anse Royale on Mahé Island, and you are sure to be in for a treat.

Cape Town Festival

(23 March – 24 March)

43 Station Road, Observatory 7925, South Africa


Held annually, this festival celebrates everything about South African culture. Local comedians take to the stage, theatrical and traditional dance performances are held, and a huge range of talent is showcased. This festival is a must for anyone interested in African culture and is held in venues across Cape Town.

AfrikaBurn

(23 – 29 April)

Junction Road, Salt River, Cape Town, South Africa


The African version of the Burning Man festival, AfrikaBurn takes place in the Karoo. The festival culminates in enormous artworks being burnt to the ground, and it also centres on a system of self-reliance and gifting. Participants must take everything that they need for the festival with them and remove it all when leaving. Only the remains of the burnt effigies are left behind in the arid landscape.

NGC Bocas Lit Fest

(25 – 29 April)

Old Fire Station and National Library (NALIS), Hart & Abercromby Streets, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago


A celebration of Caribbean literature, the NGC Bocas Lit Fest was founded in 2011 and has gone from strength to strength ever since. The festival runs in conjunction with many others and is held in the Port of Spain, the capital of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Covering literature, film, children’s stories and readings, this event spans five days every April.

St. Croix Food and Wine Experience

(5 – 9 April)

1023 Market Street, 00820, Christiansted


From humble beginnings to its current status as one of the top food and wine festivals in the world, the St. Croix Food and Wine Experience is a week-long series of events that has raised over $1.5 million for community programmes that benefit the people of the Virgin Islands since it started in 2001. Foodies, travel writers, vintners and chefs will all beating a path to the Caribbean this year to taste-test the best that the island offers.

Pure Grenada

(13 – 25 April)

Petite Calivigny Bay, 8007, St George’s


Pure Grenada is the perfect mix of soul, reggae and Caribbean with each of the three nights of the festival hosting its own style of music. The festival takes place in venues all around St George’s and visitors can expect to spend their time drinking cocktails on a private island while watching traditional Grenadian artists by the harbour. It’s one of the classiest festivals out there and allows you to soak up beautiful Caribbean culture.

Calabash International Literary Festival

(1 – 3 June)

Treasure Beach, Jamaica


A three-day biennial event in Jamaica, this festival was originally founded in 2001 and takes place in the village of Treasure Beach on the south coast. Previous events have attracted literary giants such as Salman Rushdie. The festival is Jamaica’s pride and joy and a large international contingent of participants takes part, alongside local writers.

Day of the Dead

(31 October – 2 November)

Mexico City


The Day of the Dead (or Día de Muertos) is a cultural festival that celebrates those who have left this life. Held annually, this festival spans several days and includes processions to graveyards, offerings of food and other titbits to those who have died to help them on their spiritual journey, plus nights of singing and dancing with costumes in riotous colours. Flowers are used to adorn houses and the traditional sugar skull features in abundance.

Dubai Jazz Festival

(21 – 23 February)

Dubai Media City - Dubai - United Arab Emirates


Despite the name, this festival doesn’t just cater to jazz fans, with artists from many different musical genres also hitting the stages. With high production values making it stand out from the rest. This is one for those who prefer their festivals to be a little more highbrow.

Dubai Food Festival

(22 February - 10 March)

Jumeirah Beach, Kite Beach، Behin dSunset Mall - Dubai - United Arab Emirates


With so many different events happening over the course of the Dubai Food Festival, you'll be spoilt for choice for your travel itinerary. Dubai will be transformed into a pop-up foodie hotspot, featuring street food stalls, family activities, live music and even fitness classes! Live cookery demonstrations from celebrity chefs form the backbone of the three-day Taste of Dubai.

The Festa Literária Internacional de Paraty

(July)

Paraty - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Also known as the FLIP festival, this event takes place on the banks of the Perequê-Áçu River in Paraty, in the state of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Established in 2003, FLIP now attracts over 20,000 visitors annually. The event emphasises Portuguese-speaking culture, and every year a writer is honoured for their contribution to the literary world.

Rio Carnival

(9 – 18 February)

Avenida Atlantica, Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


With more than two million people celebrating this festival each year, Rio carnival is a world-famous cultural event. The streets of Rio de Janeiro are closed and huge floats filled with samba dancers in jaw-dropping costumes join in the enormous, colourful parade.

Salvador Carnival

(28 February – 6 March)

Centro de Salvador de Bahia, Salvador, State of Bahia, Brazil


The idea behind this festival is to close the gap between social classes, and the subsequent street carnival involves a melting pot of locals from all walks of life. Private clubs also open their doors during this period and welcome everyone in, with no exceptions, allowing everyone to share the same appreciation for the arts, whether local or internationally influenced.

Shambhala

(10 – 13 August)

7790 BC-3, Salmo, BC V0G 1Z0, Canada


The biggest electronic music festival in Canada, Shambhala ensures the experience of a lifetime, and the organisers have been doing so for over 20 years. With one of the best festival atmospheres, bringing together like-minded individuals, the scenic location really helps you let yourself go and enjoy the natural surroundings, to say nothing of the range of music on offer!

Credit Thomas H Photo

Poutinefest

(26 – 29 April)

110 Laurier Ave W, Ottawa, ON K2P 2H9, Canada


A national dish, Poutine is renowned as being Canadian comfort food. This three-day festival includes not only the chance to savour the traditional version of poutine (French fires, cheese and gravy) but also flavours such as smoked salmon poutine, pad thai poutine and beef jerky poutine, as well as craft beers and fine wines.

Vancouver Celebration of Light

(28 July, 1 August and 4 August)

165 - 1020 Mainland Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 2T5 Canada


With three countries competing to put on the biggest and best display over Vancouver’s English Bay, crowds flock to see the skies light up with an array of beautiful colours. Make sure that you arrive early, so you can enjoy the live music on offer before the fireworks begin.

Windy City Smokeout

(13 – 15 July)

560 W Grand Avenue Chicago, IL, 60654, USA


BBQ fare is showcased alongside country music and craft beer at the Windy City Smokeout in Chicago. Pit masters at the top of their game gather together to cook and serve barbeque favourites both new and old. The entertainment is non-stop, with established headline acts and newer bands joining forces to create a fantastic foodie festival.

Coachella Valley Music and Art Festival

(13 – 22 April)

81-800 51st Ave, Indio, CA 92201, USA


Held in California annually, Coachella has become something of a celebrity hangout, but its importance in the art and cultural world should not be underestimated. The festival is made up of two long weekend performances and there are a number of musical genres involved. Although commercial acts are given top billing, you will also be able to see fresh talent.

Credit - Thomas Hawk

Art Deco Weekend

(12 – 14 February)

Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139, USA


A real blast from the past, the Art Deco Weekend festival held in Miami, Florida, is a celebration of everything art deco. Complete with 1920s and 30s music, alongside street parades, this festival celebrates everything to do with the opulent and distinctive art deco style.

South by Southwest

(9 – 18 March)

400 Bowie St, Austin, TX 78703, USA


South by Southwest (or SXSW) is a sequence of music, film and interactive festivals and conferences that takes place every spring across Austin, Texas. The festival began in 1987 and has since grown exponentially, and its epicentre is the Austin Convention Center.

Bonnaroo

(7 – 10 June)

Great Stage Park, Tennessee, 37355, USA


For most visitors to Bonnaroo, pitching a tent is part of the festival experience, but the festival also offers a whole lot more than other camping-based festivals. With plazas available to keep campers entertained with art, activities, a cinema and a circus, you will also find showers, free Wi-Fi and plenty of top-notch food and drink to make your festival experience feel anything but primitive.

Brooklyn Book Festival

(10 – 17 September)

Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza, 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn NY 11201, USA


A newer edition to the circuit, the Brooklyn Book Festival (BKBF) is smart, hip and diverse, and it is the largest free literary event to be held in New York City. It’s filled with home-grown authors, as well as national and international literary stars, plus it plays host to the St. Francis College Literary Prize every second year.

Texas Book Festival

(27 – 28 October)

610 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701, USA


The Texas Book Festival attracts over 250 authors and involves more than 20 different venues. This free annual book fair is a highlight on the American literary calendar and takes place in Austin during October or November so the weather will be cooler for those not used to the Texan heat.

New Orleans Jazz Festival

(April and May)

1751 Gentilly Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana, 70119, USA


Held annually in Louisiana, the New Orleans Jazz Festival is a celebration of the music that is so quintessentially southern. The jazz festival is held over the last weekend in April and the first weekend of May, but there are plenty of bars and theatres that celebrate for much longer.

Burning Man

(26 August - 3 September)

Black Rock Desert, Nevada, United States


Located in the Nevada desert, Burning Man isn’t just another music festival. With art installations, fantastic performances, stilt walkers and fire breathers, this festival is not for those who simply want to sit back and listen to some decent tunes. The end of the festival is signified by the burning of a huge wicker-man-style effigy.

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