March is almost here, and so are these amazing festivals from around the world.
March marks the beginning of summer and spring, and a whole bunch of exciting festivals. Be it culturally significant celebration of colours, or the commencement of the music festival season, there are many great things to look forward to this month. Take a look at The Sherp’s pick of the greatest festivals taking place this month.
When: March 5, 2016
Set against the backdrop of the Southern California coastline, the festival might just become an electro-music lover’s paradise. CRSSD Festival at San Diego satiates this very idea, by putting together an electronic festival that proves not only to be a lot more intimate, but also as fun as an electronic music gathering can be. As opposed to the vulgarly high number at most house and trap electronic festivals that feature the most commercial names in the industry, CRSSD manages to retain an intimate spirit. This could be attributed to its nascent age, or to its highly selective music; but for people scouting for warm and exclusive gatherings of electronic music fans, CRSSD is a wonderful option.
2. Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras
When: March 5, 2016
What started as a defiant civil rights march in 1978 has turned into one of the most colourful, energetic parties in the world and the biggest annual event in Australia. The glitz and flamboyance of this parade-festival gives San Francisco’s famous pride parade a run for its money. The weekend of Mardi Gras is alight with parties and pageants all over the city, so pack your glitter and stilettos, because this festival is all about the fabulous. Apart from the bodacious parade, the festival has several other immersive activities, such as film screenings, dance parties, academic discussions, and much more. Head to the festival’s website for more details.
3. Maha Shivratri
When: March 7, 2016
For Maha Shivratri, thousands of devotees gather to celebrate the mighty Shiva, but the gatherings at Varanasi and Pashupatinath are worth witnessing. The festival then descends into a night of music and dance as drums and flutes are rounded off to bhajans with plays and parades as common sight. As Mount Kailash in the Himalayan Range is considered to be the abode of Shiva, the festival’s show of splendour at the mountains is more impassioned than any you will have witnessed. As are the celebrations at India’s holiest city, Varanasi.
(Source: Sharada Prasad Creative Commons)
4. Paradise Lost
When: March 10-12, 2016
Almost untapped when it comes to music festivals, Jamaica is finally making its way into the live electronic music scene. Welcome Paradise Lost to your bucket list of scenic music festivals. This festival promises the tropical essence of Jamaica coupled with incredible electronic music. The festival expects a turnout of about 15,000 attendees in March, 2016. This is a great way to benefit the economy of the island country itself, garnering a revenue of over 5 billion dollars and providing approximately 1,500 job opportunities.
5. South by Southwest
When: March 11, 2016
Music and film festivals are aplenty. But few can boast the cultural influence such as SxSW, easily independent culture’s flag-bearing representation. By featuring the most qualitative acts of the year, becoming a festival and an industry-affecting conference, it sees the coming together of the brightest creators from the world art scene. In more ways than one, America’s independent arts find comeuppance at SxSW, which carries Austin’s indie sensitivity with unpretentious vigour.
(Source: Art Gimbel/Fest300)
6. Festival NRMAL
When: March 12-13, 2016
Festival NRMAL prides itself in the eclectic lineups and wide range of acts they brings to the city of Monterrey every year. An amalgamation of homegrown and international underground acts, this festival focuses on the quality and power of live music, rather than the quantity or revenue it brings them. NRMAL is an important outlet for the Mexico City music scene, mixing big time independent acts with virtual unknowns. The festival will also hold an edition in Mexico City, you can check out the lineup here.
(Source: Erez Avissar/Pitchfork)
When: March 12-13 (Brasil), 18-19 (Argentina), 19-20 (Chile), 2016
Where: Brasil, Argentina, Chile
Already established as one of the biggest and most immersive music festivals in the US, the South American counterparts of this Chicago music festival take place in Brasil, Argentina, Chile, and Colombia respectively. With a bevy of eclectic musicians that amalgamate several genres, to the spectacular locations the exotic cities offer, the South American editions of Lollapalooza are definitely festivals you want to your bucket list. You can find more details about the Brasil edition here, Argentina here, and Chile here.
(Source: Lollapalooza Chile/Facebook)
8. Las Fallas
When: March 15, 2016
Las Fallas is a festival in Valencia that focuses on the creation and destruction of Ninots (“puppets” or “dolls”), which are huge cardboard, wood, paper-machè and plaster statues. Starting in the early evening, young men with axes chop cleverly-hidden holes in the statues and stuff them with fireworks. The crowds start to chant, the street lights are turned off, and all of the ninots are set on fire at exactly 12 AM (midnight). Each year, one of the ninots is spared from destruction by popular vote. This ninot is called the ninot indultat (the pardoned puppet) and is exhibited in the local Museum of the Ninot along with the other favourites from years past.
(Source: Junta Central Fallera)
9. Ultra Music Festival
When: March 18, 2016
Ultra Miami sees a bevy of excellent electronic acts every year. The festival, which was founded in 1999 by Russell Faibisch and Alex Omes, is named after the 1997 Depeche Mode album, Ultra. From outstanding live performances to spreading a communal message through the Eco Village, UMF Miami definitely has an idiosyncratic spirit. This year’s fantastic lineup features acts such as Afrojack, Caribou, Carl Cox, Armin van Burren, Chet Faker, and many more you can check out here.
When: March 23, 2016
India’s infamous festival of colours is celebrated during March every year. With a vast palette of incredible colours and an even greater spirit for fun, the entire country comes together for this festival which represents the bright side of Indian culture. This Hindu festival has now become popular with non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as people of other communities outside Asia, inspiring many colour festival around the world.
11. Byron Bay Bluesfest
When: March 24, 2016
Where: Byron Bay
The famous Bluesfest is a bohemian jazz adventure like no other. You’d be treated to the best and only the best of local and international Jazz and Blues artists. The vibe is very family-friendly and vacation-y while its beach-side venue, like any other Aussie fest is absolutely breathtaking. This festival has stood the test of time and is now considered one of the best alongside Glastonbury and Montreal Jazz Festival.
(Source: beaveronthebeats Creative Commons)