13 Festivals Around the World to Book Now

As the UK festival season kicks off with news of the ‘rainiest UK summer in 100 years’, it’s not too late to seek out sun-filled festivities in bucket-list locations around the world. From Australia’s biggest light celebration, to jazz in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and pickles in Pittsburgh, below are 13 once-in-a-lifetime events to book now.

Uncover the magic of Vivid Sydney 2024 – Sydney, New South Wales (24 May – 15 June)

Vivid Sydney has returned to the city, fusing art, innovation, and technology in collaboration with some of the most boundary-pushing artists, thinkers, and musicians of our time. Vivid Sydney is an annual festival of light, music, and ideas, including outdoor immersive light installations and projections across iconic buildings and attractions, performances by local and international musicians, and an ideas exchange forum featuring public talks and debates with leading creative thinkers. Last year’s program included the largest drone show in the Southern Hemisphere and, new for 2023, Vivid Food. sydney.com 

Celebrate 45 years of the Aspen Music Festival and School – Aspen, Colorado, USA (26 June – 18 August)

Founded back in 1949, the Aspen Music Festival and School is viewed as one of the most prestigious classical music festivals in North America, famous for its concerts, musical training programmes and over 400 classical music events and opera performances throughout the year. During the summer, hundreds of events are scheduled over eight-weeks, including orchestra concerts, chamber music, operas and classes, with the 75th year set to feature celebrations on all 53 nights of the season. aspenchamber.org 

Dance through the streets at Capitol Hill Block Party – Seattle, Washington, USA (19-21 July)

Celebrating Seattle’s coolest neighbourhood, Capitol Hill Block Party has 100 local and national acts performing at bars, outdoor stages and restaurants in the area. Known for creating the world’s most influential musicians, such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam, Seattle is the city for music fanatics and Capitol Hill is where the newest and best in the industry can be found. This year’s headliners will include Still Woozy and Kaytranada. visitseattle.org

Discover new sounds at Denver’s Underground Music Showcase – Denver, Colorado, USA (26-28 July)

Denver Underground Music Showcase is the perfect place to experience The Mile High City’s exploding music scene. Denver’s largest, multi-day music festival will once again return to South Broadway and feature over 700 artists from the Colorado region. Expected to draw over 10,000 music lovers every day, the experience is committed to discovery and community whilst also challenging the conventional norms of profit-driven music festivals. denver.org

Celebrate 30 years of Vail Jazz Party – Vail, Colorado, USA (30 August-1 September)

Marking its 30th anniversary this Labour Day weekend, Vail Jazz Party will return better than ever to acknowledge the founders, instructors, all-stars and musicians who have brought nothing but joy to audiences for 30 years. The Vail Jazz Party features an array of headliners that join together to play in group performances, with multi-artist jam sessions and inspiring multimedia tributes to jazz legends. The festival aims to perpetuate jazz music whilst expanding the audience for the genre by presenting entertaining and educational live performances, and providing jazz education to youth, whilst assisting in the development of aspiring musicians. colorado.com

Tihany’s enchanting Lavender Festival returns to Lake Balaton – Tihany, Hungary (21-30 June)

Experience the enchanting Lavender Festival in Tihany, Hungary, as Lake Balaton’s shores transform into a lilac paradise. A day visit during June 21st to 30th is an absolute must. Visitors can immerse themselves in a week-long extravaganza of lavender-themed events, including guided tours and hands-on experiences like harvesting and distillation. Guests can indulge in lavender-infused delights and explore Tihany’s cultural heritage, from the Benedictine Abbey to scenic hikes along peninsular trails. visithungary.com

Immerse in Japanese history and tradition at the Nagaoka Fireworks Festival – Niigata Prefecture, Japan (2-3 August)

Nagaoka Fireworks Festival takes place along the Shinano River near Ote Bridge from 2-3 August. One of the most significant of its kind in Japan, the festival first started as a way to mourn the damage of WWII and look ahead to the reconstruction of the city. Since then, the spectacular yet emotional firework show has become a celebration of the spirit of Japan. During the festival, the streets are also lined with smaller parades and processions which visitors can watch. japan.travel/en/uk

Fly a colourful kite at Washington State International Kite Festival – Long Beach Peninsula, Washington, USA (21-27 August) 

Enjoy world-class kite flying and competitions against the epic backdrop of Washington’sLong Beach Peninsula at the week-long International Kite Festival. Watch as flyers from around the world convene to wow spectators with choreographed movements and kite battles. Attendees will also be able to learn some kite tricks themselves, and design their own kites, with awards for the best creations up for grabs. stateofwatourism.com 

Explore American Indian heritage at the Hopi Arts & Cultural Festival – Flagstaff, Arizona, USA (24-25 August)

The only festival of its kind in Northern Arizona, the Hopi Arts & Cultural Festival showcases a mix of contemporary and traditional artwork created by talented Hopi artists. Visitors can catch traditional Hopi dance performances throughout the day. Organised by the Hopi Arts and Education Association (HAEA), the festival seeks to bridge together the City of Flagstaff and its surrounding communities, with the aim to learn from each other through unity, happiness and stewardship of the earth. The HAEA supports educational and artistic opportunities for the Hopi community.  visitarizona.com 

Enjoy epic early morning views at the Great Reno Balloon Race – Reno, Nevada, USA (6-8 September) 

Since it began in 1982, the Great Reno Balloon Race has grown from just 20 hot air balloons to a world-renowned event featuring nearly 100 balloons lifting off from Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno. Across three days in September, this annual event sees a rainbow of hot air balloons rise above Reno in the early mornings and is visible from vantages all around the city. Many spectators remain in their pyjamas to enjoy the early morning spectacle sitting atop blankets and camp chairs. travelnevada.com

Take in Chile’s charm at Fiestas Patrias (18-19 September)

This annual nationwide celebration, held in September, offers a unique glimpse into Chile’s rich heritage through lively music, traditional dances like the cueca, and mouthwatering cuisine such as empanadas and asado. The festival serves as a testament to Chilean pride and unity, with colourful parades and dazzling fireworks honouring the nation’s independence. By participating in the festivities, visitors can connect with the warmth and hospitality of the Chilean people while witnessing firsthand the passion that defines this historic event. chile.travel/en 

Test your Taste Buds at Picklesburgh – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA  (18-21 July)

Did you know, Americans consume 26 billion pickles a year, which equals nine pounds of pickles per person? Every year, Pittsburgh transforms into the pickle capital of the world to celebrate its annual Picklesburgh Festival. Travellers have every opportunity to taste the pickle with over 100 vendors tempting visitors with pickle cocktails, pickle beer and even pickle-flavoured ice cream. Activities include pickle juice drinking contests, live music, cooking demonstrations, workshops and demonstrations, and pickle-themed merchandise. Free to attend, the event takes place in Downtown Pittsburgh. visitpittsburgh.com 

Taste farm fresh produce at Farm-to-Fork Festival – Sacramento, California, USA (5-21 September) 

California’s Capital city celebrates the region’s food and agriculture with the annual Farm-to-Fork Festival, honouring the people who bring delicious food and drinks to tables across the city every day. This highly anticipated festival, drawing thousands of visitors from across the country, will return to Sacramento’s Capitol Mall combining fresh food, local beers and wines, cooking demonstrations, interactive exhibits, a concert series and more. Farm-to-Fork Festival vendor applications and concert headliners will be announced in the summer. visitsacramento.com 

Get sipping at Lodi Grape Festival – Lodi, California, USA (12-15 September)

Whilst the city of Lodi in California has become a trendy wine-tasting destination, its family-oriented grape festival has been a beloved tradition since 1937. Originally started to celebrate the grape harvest, this September event invites visitors to sip peppery Zinfandels and sweet Pinot Grigios inside the Grape Pavilion while kids enjoy petting goats and watching turkey races. Be sure to check out the stunning mosaic-style murals made entirely out of grapes. visitcalifornia.com

Celebrate a unique Naples tradition at the annual Stone Crab Festival – Florida’s Paradise Coast – Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades (26-27 October)

Join in the celebration of a unique Naples tradition in Florida’s Paradise Coast with the annual Stone Crab Festival. Taking place at several locations on the Old Naples Waterfront, the festival kicks off with the ceremonial “Cracking of the Claw” at Pincher’s restaurant. Enjoy live music and entertainment, kids’ activities and an abundance of stone crab claws and other seafood throughout the weekend. During the festival, visitors can take advantage of special rates on cruises aboard the Naples Princess yacht and Miss Naples sailing catamaran at Port of Naples Marina. Many hotels, attractions and restaurants will also be offering special deals during this time.  paradisecoast.com 

Relax at the Zen Altitude Festival – Méribel, France  (11-12 July )Zen Altitude returns to Méribel in July 2024 for two days of relaxation and well-being in the fresh open air. Choose from outdoor yoga sessions, contemplative walks, dynamic hikes and healthy gourmet cooking workshops. The festival allows visitors to reconnect with nature and unwind in  breath-taking mountain surroundings. meribel.net/en


Sign Up to Our Newsletter

More Travel Inspiration