To take your mind off the grim February weather here’s something to look forward to. We have rounded up some of the most interesting and niche festivals from around the world, so you can combine a holiday and a bit of music.
Meadows in the mountains – Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Most people that have been to this festival are keen to keep it their own personal secret. Set in the Rhodopes mountains in an idyllic valley, you can camp or stay with locals who also join the festival.
Wellness is a big thing and everyone stays up to watch and the sunrise over the mountains. No line-up – instead you are invited stumble on new and old talent from all music genres.
In the words of one reviewer: “If you go, only take the best people – otherwise, don’t tell a soul.”
6-9 June 2019
Ibiza Jazz (Jazz) – Baluart de Santa Llúcia, Ibiza, Spain
A five-day jazz festival on this normally dance-oriented island. This is a very laid back festival made magical by its location in the Santa Lucia bastion. Moreover, tickets are surprisingly cheap considering the line-up of Spanish and international artists.
This festival is perfect for those wanting to see the other side of Ibiza – away from the clubs. Rent a villa, soak up the sun, take in some culture and spend the nights listening to jazz underneath the stars.
September 2019 (Dates to be announced)
Iceland Airwaves – Reykjavik, Iceland
What started as a one-off event in an airport hangar in Reykjavik in 1999 is now a four-day extravaganza featuring Icelandic and international artists across the rock, pop and EDM genres. The festival is spread over all of Reykjavik and bills itself as: “The coolest long weekend in the world”
You could even make a week out if it – take in the Blue Lagoon, trek up glaciers and go horse riding, then listen to some truly innovative acts on the streets of Reykjavik.
6-9 November 2019
Best Kept Secret – Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands
Held in the largest safari park in the Belelux area, the sound is indie, folk, hip-hop, rock, electronica or a mixture of above. A wide range of accommodation is available from the ubiquitous camping to log cabins, tipis or luxury tents.
In addition to the musical artists, the festival also is proud of its a food line-up – realising that today’s festival crowds aren’t satisfied with just burgers and lentil curries anymore.
31 May – 2 June 2019
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – New Orleans, USA
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, often known as Jazz Fest, is an annual celebration of the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana.
The music styles showcase Louisiana’s heritage – blues, R&B, gospel, Cajun, zydeco, Afro-Caribbean, folk, Latin, rock, rap, country, bluegrass, and everything in between. And of course, there is lots of jazz, both contemporary and traditional.
To accompany the music there is a wide variety of food to choose from – the only rule is “no festival food.”
Since 1979, the non-profit arm of the organization has given over $1 million in grants to local schools, artists, and musicians.
25 April – 5 May 2019
Caravan Sur – Seville, Spain
Held in Centro Andaluz de Arte, an old monastery complex turned into an art museum. All acts perform in the open air and with a capacity of only 3500 people, you get a feeling of intimacy with both the crowd and the artists. The music is a combination of jazz, ska, classic rock, blues, and funk.
Summer temperatures in Seville can exceed 40 degrees, but October is more like a balmy English summer. The city is a piece of art in itself so exploring it, and its neighbour, Cadiz, by day and enjoying music in a medieval setting at night, makes for a perfect mini-break.
Django Reinhardt festival – Parc de Chateau Fountainebleau, France
This began as a single evening festival in 1968 and is now a week-long event commemorating Django Reinhardt and gypsy jazz in the beautiful Parc de Chateau Fountainebleau.
The festival combines a musical program with creative, leisure and artistic activities about jazz, guitars, and of course, Gypsies.
4-7 July 2019
Lake of stars – Lake Malawi, Malawi
An incredible setting on the shores of Lake Malawi plays hosts to African and international musicians.
The festival receives pro-bono support from the UK music industry, with the UK headliners that travel to Malawi usually agreeing to waive their normal performance fees. An estimated over $1 million is generated by the festival for the local economy each year.
Alongside the musical line-up, there are also talks, theatrical and dance performances and mixed martial arts.
September 2019 (Dates to be announced)