Come August and it brings with it a new and diverse barrage of festivals to attend!
The Sherp has picked out some of the best festivals where the experience might be parallel to none. Take a look.
1. Wacken Open Air Festival
The small town of Wacken, Germany with a population of only 1900 people is overtaken every year in the month of August by heavy dreadlocks, gnarly tattoos and black clothing. In short, metal heads. Back when a small group of teenagers started the festival in 1990, the ticket was for $8! The 2 main stages host big names from the metal and death metal scenes. And needless to say, the lineups are nothing short of a dream for any true metal fan. There’s plenty of beer for everyone to guzzle and if you’re unlucky, they’ll be plenty of mud too. But that shouldn’t stop a true fan right? This years headliners include metal gods Iron Maiden and Arch Enemy among many more. Head to Wacken to catch a glimpse of the madness. It’s happening from the August 4-6!
2. Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Famously known as the largest arts festival in the world, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe sees over 50,000 performances and people from over 50 countries and gets a footfall of over 2 million people! They hold pride in the fact that at the fringe, there is something for everyone. Right from theater, comedy, poetry, food, dancers, artists you name it, they have it. The town comes alive in the month of August to host everyone that flocks there to surround themselves with the culture. Over the years, quality comedy shows have seen a demand unlike any, which has resulted in many great acts to come and perform. Get your festive mood on, grab a bite, listen to some music, watch a play and make some new friends. The Edinburgh Fringe happens this year form the August 5-29 this year!
3. Shambhala Music Festival
The Shambhala Music Festival has gained a lot of attention and praise for the message and environment it has delivered to scores of people over two decades. A 500 acre field in Western Canada is transformed into a magical venue every year by nature and music enthusiasts. Being a volunteer-only event, they have never believed in sponsorship and base the event entirely on the fans belief and gratitude. When they started the first edition in 1998, there were only 500 people but now there are 6 specially curated stages and over 10,000 people who attend the festival over three days. The festival was never just about the music. They have always promoted the message of finding your inner-self and connecting with it. There are yoga classes, art installations, picturesque camping spots and traditional flea markets. Shambhala is a haven for any nature lover who wants to get lost amidst the wilderness. It’s happening this year from August 5-8!
4. AFROPUNK Festival
The AFROPUNK Festival started out in 2005 as an underground indie-punk rock scene. Held in Brooklyn every year and spanning over 10 stages it quickly became a cultural hub which celebrated the spirit and the arts of the black community. A documentary in 2003 about the punk movement made the shift into a more mainstream event. The festival has events spanning from films, comedy, art, music, food and fashion. It’s a place that is always booming with creativity. Artists like Gary Clark Jr., Grace Jones, Questlove and Lenny Kravitz among many more have given unforgettable performances over the years. Afropunk is happening from the August 27-28!
5. Burning Man
You’re probably an alien if you haven’t heard about the awesomeness that is Burning Man. Held every year in the Black Rock deserts of Nevada, the community pops up complete with stages, camps, insane art installations and disappears without a trace once the festival ends. Over the years, Burning Man has earned the reputation as being one of the most out of the box festival concepts which focuses on sustainable entertainment, spreading love and peace and being one. The festival follows a policy of no money and only on a barter basis. The clean-up after the festival has also been hailed a revolutionary move. Some of the events might make you think twice, but that’s just the beauty of The Burning Man. The Man, a huge effigy in the center of the desert is burnt to mark the end of the festival. This year the festival is going to take place from August 28-September 5!
Creamfields has been touted as one of the most vibrant summer festivals in the festival scene right now. It has been held annually since 2006, in August near Daresbury, England. The first Creamfields gig ever though, was back in 1998 after the nightclub Cream, took off with their weekly club nights. Since then, the Creamfields franchise has spread all over the world for different editions. With 11 stages being set up every year, attendees can be sure to have a banger party! Line-ups have consistently been well curated and the biggest names have been brought in. This years line-up has Avicii, Knife Party, Oliver Heldens, Calvin Harris among 200 artists set to light the stages on fire. The festival is filled with huge amusement rides, lots of food options, cocktail bars, campsites, VIP lounges and everything you could ask for. Make sure you head to Creamfields from August 25-28!
7. La Tomatina
The famous La Tomatina festival in Spain is probably the worlds biggest food fight you’ll ever witness. Over 30,000 people flock into the town of Bunol, Spain to take part in this tradition that’s over 70 years old. Funny part being, no one exactly knows the origination of this weird but fun festival, although there are various stories that are always told. A week full of festivities precede the actual event. There are parades, food stalls, booze filled parties for everyone to revel in. On the day of the event, a green rocket is blasted to mark the start of the vent. Trucks roll in with almost 130,000 kilos of tomatoes and people become a part of the battlefield. Just one main rule, squash the tomato before hurling it. Wouldn’t want to injure anyone now, would you? The scene is absolute mayhem, the whole town is literally painted red and there is a huge layer of tomato salsa on the floor. The cleanup, not hard to imagine is a nightmare. Nevertheless, La Tomatina has attracted thousands of people every year for this unique and crazy festival. If you want to throw some tomatoes, head down to Bunol on August 31.
8. Mad Decent Block Party
In 2008, the record label Mad Decent and the label head Diplo aka Wesley Pentz started a riot of a party called the Mad Decent Block party. This one is not for the faint of heart. Imagine theatrics, dancers, fireworks, zorbing balls, free swag being thrown into the crowd every now and then and what not! It is now a 20 city tour that happens every year and features stellar line-ups that are bass-heavy, hip-hop infused and melt your face off kinda artists. The festival has heavy influences of dancehall, moombathon and reggae which coincidentally is where Diplo started out at. A highly youth-centric party pad, anyone who loves to go bat-shit crazy dancing and raving should definitely witness this explosion of an event! This years tour kicks off form July 31- September 26!
9. SONUS Festival
Sonus Festival held on the pristine beach of Zcre in Croatia is probably the best venues for any gig ever. Sonus has been known for being a techno mecca and for constantly bringing in the biggest names in the industry. There are clubs all over Croatia which keep the party going on 24×7. The festival itself is 5 day and 4 night long party with some killer sets. This years line-up comes as no surprise. They have Dubfire, Adam Beyer, Maceo Plex and Loco Dice. If spending some chill time on the beach coupled with some of the best techno beats in the world is on your vacation to-do list. Yous hould totally head here ASAP. It’s happening from August 21-25!
Dimensions has been home to one of the most legendary venues, the abandoned Fort Punta Cristo in Croatia. The first edition in 2011, really stood out for the choice of venue, the artists they brought together and the overall atmosphere of the event. Over the years, Dimensions has earned a reputation for bringing back class acts from the ranges of techno, house, bass and disco. Also, the artists have become fan favorites and return every year. Over a span of 5 days, there are parties on boats, beaches and inside old ruins of castles. Talk about having a unique venue! This years line-up includes heavy hitters like Massive Attack, Richie Hawtin and Nightmares on Wax. Make sure you bask in the audio-visual glory of the venue, the production and the artists from August 25-29!
There’s something for everyone this month in the festival circuit. Pick your favorite, pack your bags and be a part of the madness!