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12 MONTHS, 12+ MUSIC FESTIVALS FOR 2017

Music fans are spoiled for choice in Asia with festivals held year-round. Here’s your festival bucket list for the next 12 months

JANUARY

The Singapore Laneway Festival may have originated in Melbourne but the series has since spread its indie wings far and wide.

With a reputation for featuring the hottest talent as well as ‘discovering’ new names, Laneway Singapore attracts the cool kids for everything from electronic and hip-hop to pop-folk, funk and future soul.

Among the lineup for 2017: Aussie punk-rock group Luca Brasi, composer Scott Hansen aka Tycho and electronic duo Bob Moses.

FEBRUARY

Wonderfruit

So much more than just music, Thailand’s Wonderfruit is an eco-friendly festival of art, food and culture spread across four days.

Roaming pop-up shows, art installations, workshops and yoga classes pepper the event, which is catered by an on-site farm as well as street-food stalls and outdoor banquets.

The music lineup features the likes of drum and base outfit Rudimental, rock ‘n’ roll band Blitzen Trapper, and live orchestral performances from DJ Kate Simko.

MARCH

The Java Jazz Festival in Indonesia is HUGE—arguably the biggest of its kind in Asia—with more than 1,000 artists from around the globe lulling Jakarta with their soothing melodies.

Putting it into perspective, Sting and Chris Botti closed the weekend-long festival in 2016, while James Brown and Stevie Wonder are former headliners.

A photo posted by JFP (@javafestpro) on

Meanwhile, over on the Gili Islands, off the coast of Lombok, Air Festival is a tropical party that runs all day and night over a long weekend.

Dance around under the stars on white-sand beaches to world-class underground house and techno. Accommodation here gets booked up fast, so be sure to get in early.

APRIL

From humble beginnings in 1995, Spring Scream in Kenting, Taiwan, is an institution that attracts thousands of music-loving campers each year.

It still remains an aspirational fixture among the music community for its ‘everybody come and play’ philosophy—providing a stage for the knowns and the unknowns alike.

 

Swap the beaches of Taiwan for the wild bush of Central Australia for Wide Open Space Festival, an event that stitches itself into the fabric of rocks, river and sand of the remote MacDonnell Ranges.

From reggae sessions to circus performances and body workshops, the vibe is 110 percent folksy. Extend your weekend with a trip to Alice Springs.

JUNE

Singapore is where all the live music is at this June. Don’t miss the popular outdoor rave series Ultra, which moves forward from September this year.

International electronic, house and techno acts feature on three stages, with high-profile EDM DJs like Afrojack and deadmau5 usually among the lineup.

Switch over to the alternative Baybeats, a three-day free concert on the Esplanade that features everything from folk and post-rock to emo and punk. With a stage that welcomes ‘bedroom singers’ plus a Budding Bands program, this is the place for undiscovered local talent.

JULY

Summer is the season of rock, it appears. Fuji Rock Festival, on the slopes of Japan’s Mount Naeba, celebrated its 20th birthday in 2016 with three days of diverse aural pleasure that included the likes of Sigur Rós, Rovo, Red Hot Chili Peppers and 2Cellos.

South Korea’s competing rock offering, the Valley Rock Music & Arts Festival takes over the foothills of Jisan on the same weekend—you’ll find that some headline acts fit both events into their Asian tour.

AUGUST

Head into Malaysia’s cool hills for the homegrown Good Vibes Festival. Held on a ranch in the Genting Highlands, this two-stage, two-day festival is very much a laid-back affair, but attracts hardcore fans of indie, rock, hip-hop and electronica who love nothing more than bouncing up and down in a field for a weekend.

One of Bali’s hottest destinations, Potato Head Beach Club, brings one of the summer’s hottest parties: Sunny Side Up. This two-day music and culture festival brings you the best tunes of the moment, right on the beach. Previous performers include the likes of Ellie Goulding.

SEPTEMBER

Labyrinth has been a much-loved fixture on the techno circuit for over 15 years. Held in the mountains of Niigata in Japan, this is an in-house affair with most tickets only on sale domestically—so if you can get your hands on one, you’re in for a rare treat of futuristic sounds.

OCTOBER

Head Down Under in October for a calendar of hippy festivities.

Mushroom Valley has evolved from a music party into a creative gathering of like-minded folk taking part in yoga, meditation and chakra workshops. Top it off with a cruise around the surrounding Whitsundays for a full week of chill.

Channeling similar vibes on the shores of a New South Wales lake is Dragon Dreaming, three stages of sonic sorcery accompanied by creative performances, art galleries, an outdoor cinema and a series of self-discovery workshops.

NOVEMBER

Hong Kong doesn’t have a huge music scene, so homegrown music and arts festival Clockenflap really gets the city pumping every November.

A photo posted by Clockenflap (@clockenflap) on


International big-name bands such as Chemical Brothers, M.I.A and Sigur Rós assume position on the waterfront, in the shadow of the city’s dazzling skyscrapers.

Forget mainstream; Quest Festival is a hidden gem of an arts and culture celebration, encircled by water and forest just outside of Hanoi. Live music has a heavy emphasis on underground Asian beats while original side acts include belly dancing and martial arts.

DECEMBER

EDM’s best and brightest head to paradise—Your Paradise—in Fiji for a seven-day party. Expect a lot of fun in the sun as humble beach huts are transformed into pumping stages for the likes of Skrillex, Surfdisco and Breakbot.

There are countless festivals to ring in the New Year but we’ve got eyes on the incredible Sunburn Festival. Organizational issues saw it move from its Goan home in 2015 to Pune in 2016.

But wherever it’s held, headliners such as Afrojack and Armin van Buuren tend to follow. If that doesn’t excite you, get high on bungee jumping or zorbing.


Which one of these festivals are you planning to go? Did we miss anything? Tell us @momentumtravel.

Main image: Colossal Photos – ULTRA Singapore, body image: Wonderfruit

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