The Sherp picks out a dozen of the most spectacular festivals taking place during the month of May!
This month we have a diverse range of festivals from around the world ranging from some of the most unique electronic music festivals such as Nuits Sonores and Moogfest to the colourful celebrations of the Mexican Cinco De Mayo or the absolutely ridiculous Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling. There’s a festival for everybody!
1. Nuits Sonores
Where : France
When : May 4 – May 8
Nuits Sonores is a French festival entirely dedicated to electronic, independent, visual and digital cultures where music, design, graphic arts and architecture are intimately connected. Each year, the festival transforms about 40 locations across the city. Since the festival’s beginnings, over 250 locations in Lyon have been used and redesigned including art galleries, industrial wastelands, rooftops and even swimming pools. This has always encouraged the public to explore and discover the festival by foot, bike or using public transport. Nuits Sonores aims to decode the past, present and future innovative cultures. This unique and curious mind-set brings together headliners and rising talent, popular music and niche music from local, national and international scenes. For 13 years now, the festival has transformed Lyon into a free-spirited city for five days and five nights. It becomes a giant playground for those who love and share this culture and spirit of top-quality music, curiosity and new encounters.
(Courtesy : mademoisellebonplan.fr, lyoncapitale.fr)
2. Cinco de Mayo
Where : Mexico
When : May 5
Cinco de Mayo which literally translates to the “Fifth Of May” from Spanish, is a celebration held on, as the name suggests, May 5. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. Events tied to Cinco de Mayo also occur outside Mexico and the United States. As in the United States, celebrations elsewhere also emphasize Mexican cuisine, culture and music.
(Courtesy : denverpost.com, trbimg.com)
3. Fes Festival of World Sacred Music
Where : Morocco
When : May 6 – May 14
The Fes Festival of World Sacred Music in Morocco is 10-day celebration held in mid-summer (late May or early June) that takes place in the imperial city of Fes. The festival was founded in 1994 by the Moroccan scholar and philanthropist Faouzi Skali and was created to showcase major musical traditions of sacred, spiritual music and world music. The current Artistic Director is Cherif Khaznadar, a pioneer of world music and one of the most influential Artistic Directors on the scene. Each year the festival celebrates artists from Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu and other faiths to perform together in a spirit of mutual respect and collaboration.
(Courtesy : youqueen.com, jazztimes.com)
4. Cannes International Film Festival
Where : France
When : May 11 – May 22
The Festival de Cannes is a celebration of cinematographic art. The festival exists to showcase the new writing, new genres and new visual innovations of our time. Every year in May, Cannes gives a sort of snapshot – both ephemeral and lasting, when one adds up the years – of what constitutes the art of cinema. The Cannes Festival previews new films of all genres, including documentaries, from around the world. Founded in 1946, it is considered the most prestigious film festival in the world and is one of the most publicised, together with the Berlin International Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival. The invitation-only festival is held annually at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès.
(Courtesy : amazonaws.com, rivieramagazine.fr)
5. Joshua Tree Music Festival
Where : USA
When : May 12 – May 15
The Joshua Tree Music Festivals are produced by a family of friends and funsters convinced that music is the soul of life, and that art enriches and saves lives. That experience is enhanced when embraced in the great outdoors amongst fellow music lovers. Better still in an intimate setting, where the distinction between artist and audience is blurred, and a passionate performance can be truly relished in close proximity to the stage. It also features FREE water to patrons and no service charges on reasonably priced tickets among other things.
(Courtesy : joshuatreemusicfestival.com, squarespace.com)
Where : Morocco
When : May 20 – May 28
Mawazine which means “World Rhythms” is a music festival that takes place annually in Rabat, featuring many international and local music artists. The festival is presided by Mounir Majidi, personal secretary of the Moroccan King Mohammed VI. Majidi is also the founder and president of “Maroc Culture” the cultural foundation which organizes Mawazine and other events. Mawazine is one of several events which are intended to promote an image of Morocco as a tolerant nation, with a post on the event’s website declaring that the festival intends to promote and support Rabat, as a city open to the world. The 2013 festival was attended by an estimated 2.5 million people, which makes Mawazine the biggest festival in the world after Donauinselfest in Vienna. With 90 acts on 7 stages it has the highest ratio of attendees per stage in the world.
(Courtesy : moroccoonthemove.com, terremaroc.com)
Where : USA
When : May 19 – May 22
Moogfest is an annual, multi-day music, art and technology festival. The event was previously held in Asheville, North Carolina, where the late Robert Arthur “Bob” Moog, the inventor of the Moog synthesizer and founding father of electronic music, spent the last 30 years of his life. Moog himself attended and spoke at the 2004 event before his demises in 2005. Though there is no particular fixed date, it is held in May, on the closest day to Moog’s birthday. The event honors the remarkable vision of Robert Moog and his amazing musical inventions that changed the course of music, and celebrates Bob Moog’s legacy as a sonic pioneer. Moogfest hosts artists and audiences from throughout the world in different venues across Durham’s downtown. The performing artists are not only those who use Moog instruments for their own works, but also those who create musical experiences that embody the essence of Bob Moog’s visionary and creative spirit. The festival also offers interactive experiences, visual art exhibitions, installations, film screenings, panel discussions, question and answer sessions, and workshops.
(Courtesy : createdigitalmusic.com, spin.com)
8. Lightning In A Bottle
Where : USA
When : May 25 – May 30
Lightning In A Bottle (LIB) is a transformational festival in the Central Coast region of California presented by The Do LaB. The Do LaB seeks to promote sustainability, social cohesion, personal health, and creative expression. The Do Lab is also well known for its contributions to art installations at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California. The festival is an eclectic mix of music, art, and culture. In addition to music performances, the event also features guest speakers, visual and interactive art installations, yoga classes, group meditation, and other attractions. Many attendees camp on-site. LIB is also the only United States festival to win the “Outstanding Award” from A Greener Festival, five years in a row.
(Courtesy : urb.com, huffingtonpost.com)
Where : USA
When : May 27 – May 30
The Sasquatch! Music Festival is an annual music festival held at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington. In recent years, it has taken place on the Memorial Day weekend, running for three to four days. In 2014, Adam Zacks decided to expand the festival to two weekends due to the high demand for tickets in 2013. Rather than expanding to two four-day weekends, the festival instead only expanded to two-three day weekends. Sasquatch! typically features a range of musical genres, with the emphasis being on indie rock bands and singer-songwriters, but also including alternative rock, hip hop, EDM, and comedy acts. The festival was also voted as one of the Top 10 Summer Music Festivals in the US by ConcertBoom.
(Courtesy : stereogum.com, sacksco.com)
10. California Roots Music And Art Festival
Where : USA
When : May 27 – May 29
The California Roots Music And Art Festival is an American annual music and art festival, featuring reggae-rock-folk-hip hop acts and live painting on-stage. It is held at the Monterey County Fairgrounds in Monterey, California, home of the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 where Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire. In its first year in 2010, The California Roots Festival started as a one-day event headlined by the Dirty Heads and Tribal Seeds. It has since grown into America’s largest reggae festivals, boasting 13,000+ people each day of the three-day event.
(Courtesy : fest300.com)
11. Movement Electronic Music Festival
Where : USA
When : May 28 – May 30
Movement Electronic Music Festival is an annual electronic dance music event held in Detroit each Memorial Day weekend since 2000. Following the first three events under the name Detroit Electronic Music Festival (2000–2002) were Movement (2003–2004), Fuse-In (2005) and currently, Movement Electronic Music Festival (2006–present), with each name change reflecting shifts in festival management. All of these festivals continued the DEMF’s traditions by featuring performances by musicians and DJs and emphasizing the progressive qualities of the culture surrounding electronic music.
(Courtesy : edmtunes.com, edmnyc.com)
12. Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling
Where : U.K.
When : May 30
The festival revolves around a 9 lb round of Double Gloucester cheese which is rolled from the top of the hill. Competitors then start racing down the hill after it. The first person over the finish line at the bottom of the hill wins the cheese. In theory, competitors are aiming to catch the cheese; however, it has around a one-second head start and can reach speeds up to 70 mph (112 km/h), enough to knock over and injure a spectator. In the 2013 competition, a foam replica replaced the actual cheese for reasons of safety. The winner was given the prize after the competition. Every year there are multiple injuries of varying intensities, with the obvious risk of Jack falling down and breaking his crown, though there haven’t been any fatalities yet.
(Courtesy : wsj.com, i.dailymail.co.uk)