8 Inspiring Festivals From Around the World
Over the last several years, the music festival circuit has exploded. Coachella used to be a little-known concert in the desert. Now it's a two-weekend event boasting a guest list of over 90,000 people. Niche music festivals like EDM-favorite Ultra have popped up all around the world, and there has been a global interest in local festivals like Outside Lands, Glastonbury, and Bonnaroo. We love a good couple of days swaying with the crowd to the tent-shaking sounds of Calvin Harris and the like, but sometimes we’d love a little break from the flower crowns and desert heat. Luckily, we’ve found 10 festivals that focus on genres other than music. Read on and start booking your next trip!
The ideas movement is in full swing, with CNN even stating that idea festivals are “like intellectual Viagra.” The Aspen Ideas Festival self-identifies as “the nation’s premier public gathering place for leaders across many disciplines to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that shape our life and challenge our times.” With over 350 presenters, 200 sessions, and 3000 attendees, this convocation from late June through the first week in July is a must-visit for all forward thinkers.
Known as “summer camp for adults,” this digital detox is “where grown-ups go to unplug, get away, and be kids again.” If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to go back to summer camp, this is your ticket. Only this time, instead of polar bear swims and lice checks, you’ll be mingling with creative individuals while sipping vino in the forest. Get away from your desk, stop slouching over your electronics, and enjoy the wilderness! The next session kicks off August 27 for a three-day reprieve from the world of adults.
This stunning light festival occurs every August as an homage to Japanese ancestors. Families release floating lanterns into the water as a way of remembering ancestors’ spirits being sent off. It really is a magical scene, watching the candlelit lanterns float toward the horizon at sunset. You’ll definitely want to bring your camera to this.
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Yes, they have a strong music component at South by Southwest, but SXSW is the reigning queen of tech festivals. The interactive festival is going on its 23rd year and continues to get bigger and bigger. The 2016 festivities will be taking place March 11-15. Last year model Karlie Kloss was one of the many famous faces in attendance for a tech demo (the knockout codes). If you’re interested in the hottest apps, tech trends, and startup networking, then buy your ticket for the 2016 SXSW festival. It’s a five-day incubation of some of the best emerging ideas in tech and well worth a multi-day pass!
The Summit community cultivates an environment full of creativity, innovation, and cultural enrichment. Throughout the year, Summit hosts long weekends featuring keynote speakers like Honest Company co-founder Christopher Gavin, workshops, seminars, and delicious meals. The mission of each weekend series is to build community, catalyze entrepreneurship, and address global issues. Unfortunately, this idea gathering is by invite only, but if you have a great idea, reach out to the founders. The Summit team is always looking for young, intelligent members with something to offer.
Every January, top filmmakers of all types and budgets descend on the small town of Park City, Utah, for 10 days of nonstop viewing. Founded by Robert Redford, the two-week extravaganza boasts hundreds of screenings of independent films yet to be optioned by Hollywood. Plus, Deer Valley ski resort is only a few minutes away, and while everyone is buzzing about Main Street, the slopes are left wide open. Talk about the perfect winter holiday! Dozens of flicks and fresh powder slopes sound great to us.
What do you get when you combine ideas and energy? The DO Lectures, or “TED meets Burning Man meet Where the Wild Things Are,” as the intimate gatherings are commonly called. With several locations all over the globe, Do Lectures USA is especially bucolic. Nestled by the Russian River in California, the Do Lectures inhabits an oak tree–lined organic farm and invites guests from all walks of life to share their experiences with one another. “We do not believe in creating magic at DO,” says the ideas organization, “but we do believe we can create the conditions for magic to happen.” Go find the magic at Campovida. The next three-day workshop takes place September 17-20.
Celebrate mindful living by attending one of these wellness festivals. The goal of Wanderlust is to bring together yogis, meditation instructors, musical performers (although nothing of the EDM variety), speakers, artists, and chefs for a communal experience of fitness, mindfulness, and celebration of life. The family-friendly events take place all over North America. But if you’re not able to spend a whole weekend away luxuriating in meditative practice, sign up for a Wanderlust 108. It’s mini triathlon consisting of a 5K run (running more or less is an option), an enormous yoga class, and a guided meditation. Once you’ve worked out and found your center, the whole crowd rolls up their yoga mats for a dance party. Squaw Valley is hosting its annual Wanderlust Festival July 16-19, and Whistler has its shortly after, July 30-August 3.