It might not come as much of a surprise to hear that many students pick their destination according to the musical vibes and vibrations of the place. So whether you're still not over the fact that Nirvana are no more, you're wanting to shake your booty to some reggaeton, you have a strong affinity with all things UV-based or you're longing to experience some Bizet in a luxurious setting, we've got the info on where to go...
- 1. Carnival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (February)
- 2. SXSW, Austin, Texas, USA (March)
- 3. Coachella, California, USA (April)
- 4. Sonar, Barcelona, Spain (June)
- 5. Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Festival, Sète, France (July)
- 6. Soundwave, Petrcane, Croatia (July)
- 7. Splendour in the Grass, Woodford, Queensland, Australia (July)
- 8. The Tuscan Sun Festival, Cortona, Italy (June)
- 9. Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany (September/October)
1. Carnival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (February)
Rio's yearly carnival needs no introduction from us: google it and you'll come across some of the funkiest, colourful and downright mad pictures and reviews. For this is the place to be if you fancy some feather boas, toned women wearing next to nothing, shaking and moving and making you do the same to the finest beats in the Latin American repertoire. It has no equal, it has no precedent - and with this, comes a flood of tourists, locals, young and old, all carrying their caipirinhas or apple juice up to the sky, thanking whoever for such a glorious display of floats, music and drums. Boy, is this the way to get the party started! You can't go and not have your feet move to the vivid and lively jams sprouting up across the city. Just beware of the crowds and the distinct lack of accommodation in February! Hotels and hostels cash in (wouldn't you?!) on the event, so make sure you book early to get some semi-decent place to kip in... An experience to definitely live out at least once, especially if you're South-America-bound!
2. SXSW, Austin, Texas, USA (March)
Texas - perhaps the most famous of all US states - has got something to shout about in March. For a whole week. Year on year, this festival means you can make the most of your cowboys boots and stomp them into the ground thanks to this mover and a shaker of a festival. This year's line-up sets the precedent, from Maldita Vecindad to MRK1 to Das Racist to Delhi 2 Dublin, this place is rife with all sorts of talent, encompassing more musical genres than you can count corndogs at your average American funfair. If that's not enough to float your boat (or propel your flight), then take a look at their line-up for the trade fair: who knew a festival could offer so much, with the possibility to network away in a sunny setting. Line-dancing most definitely included. Yee-ha!
3. Coachella, California, USA (April)
The States have a lot to answer for, in terms of festivals, sprouting up and down the country quicker than you can locate some Paris Hilton footage on Youtube. This festival shifts more than 50,000 tickets per annum, Deadmau5, De La Soul, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Thom Yorke and co. should be enough to tempt your fancy! You get to do all the cool things that come with festival mentality, plus you're in the States, so you're going to be doing this BIG. An amazing line-up, sunshine and (bizarrely) cold nights, corndogs and more are all up on offer here, and you'll be grateful it only set you back a touch under £200 for a whole 3 days of festival fun and frolics! What sets this little gem apart from the rest is the amount of organisation that surrounds the event, from the line-up choice to the camping attention offered to all. Mark our words, you won't want to miss it!
4. Sonar, Barcelona, Spain (June)
Barcelona is, by all accounts, a pretty cool city. Which lightens up to make it an amazing city come June, when it transforms itself into the place to be for sun, sea and good sounds. attracting over 10,000 visitor (and counting) each year, Sonar festival showcases some of the finest talent in terms of electronica, house, dance and techno. It's time to take out your bikini for a spin, get those Ray-Bans on and take in the incredible atmosphere, spread over 3 glorious days. This year, the line-up looks pretty sick: LCD Soundsystem, Pete Tong, Uffie and more are all setting foot in this beach town party resort. Book tickets soon, as this one is sure to sell out fast!
5. Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Festival, Sète, France (July)
The clue is in the title. One incredible music broadcaster/producer/DJ/etc. etc. has created one of the most powerful and innovative festivals known to mankind. Mixing world music, in all its weird shapes and forms, and taking it to the quiet and tranquil French town has marked thousands each year. It's so big it's even gone to Singapore, but the essence of how it all started remains: no junk, no crap, just good tunes throughout. There's a theatre stage for live performances, some of the best DJs to hand to make sure the place stays alive and kicking, and best of all, it's the ideal chance to meet some new and upcoming bands and ensembles, in a pleasant setting! Confirmed acts for this year: Dynamite MC, Norman Jay and Joy Orbison. Keep your eyes peeled, we say!
6. Soundwave, Petrcane, Croatia (July)
'We promise that this year will be even better than the last, even more great music in the glorious sunshine next to a clear blue sea, spread over 3 days, 3 arena’s and a boat. All for less than the price of a return train ticket to Glastonbury!', so says the website, and with good reason. This kooky little festival offers sunshine, 3 arenas and a boat (a boat, for crying out loud!) to party the days and nights away, and at a snip for £105, it's worth saving up to go! Plus they've got a tiki bar and a 1970s Barbarella inspired club, for some nostalgic party grooves and some seriously cool people. With Cinematic Orchestra, Bridgette Amofah, Zero 7and DJ Cheeba confirmed, with many more acts to come, it's a pretty safe bet - and you'll get a wicked tan to boot!
7. Splendour in the Grass, Woodford, Queensland, Australia (July)
Book your tickets early at this festival as the 17,000 on offer sell out in a matter of HOURS. Seen as the ultimate Australian festival worth going to, SITG doesn't just offer music and gigs to the untrained festival goer, no sir-rey - you can get down and dirty with arts and crafts, take some cooking lessons and mingle with the thousands of like minded hippy souls flocking in from all four corners of the world! Previous line-ups have included Art vs Science, The Doves, The Killers and MGMT to name but a few...so we can only expect something just as juicy this year!
8. The Tuscan Sun Festival, Cortona, Italy (June)
A festival that blends fine cuisine, local dramatic talent and a good dollop of classical music can only be a good thing; add a dreamy location to the mix, and you've got the Tuscan Sun Festival to look forward to! Set in the gorgeous neo-classical theatre Teatro Signorelli, previous years have seen the likes of Anthony Hopkins, Joshua Bell and Jean-Yves Thibaudet showcase some of their art, music and singing talent in a sun-drenched setting. This has by and large got to be one of the most relaxing places to be (especially at this time of year), and it's a great way to meet some very interesting people, gorge yourself on good food and wine, and take respite in some classical music - you might even want to take the rentals, for a spot of family bonding. Or not...
9. Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany (September/October)
If there's one place to go to, and one place only, for yards of beer and loads of rock, alternative and indie goodness, this is indisputably the only festival to penmark. Spawning new talent, showcasing classic rock bands and all in a lovely mountainous setting, you can't get much better than Oktoberfest. The fact it goes on for so long is testament to how good it really is. Not just one long beer party, but an array of fresh talent, fresh faces and fresh tents (it's set to be the biggest opening ever yet), get your glad rags on and make way for the number one hotspot, for tourist and German folk alike!