Why you should care
These seven fests will keep the party going until next July.
OZY Fest is here — immersing you in exhilarating music, compelling speakers, taste-bud-blasting food and loads of, well … good sh*t. But after the party winds down, you find yourself asking, What now? Where’s the next edgy music fest, the next fantastic food-infused celebration, the next cool party? Where can you, for example, watch meteor showers on a Paris rooftop avec Champagne or eat Greek doughnuts listening to trance emanating from a waterfall? Friends, we’ve got you covered.
This annual free music festival in Greece is so secret only the locals know about it. And if you do manage to find out exactly when Lampateria is taking place, your next challenge is getting there. When you do, you’ll hear it and smell it. This is an immersive experience of sound and light; the main stage is on a platform in the middle of a waterfall, and big screens flash experimental images. Food vendors hawk souvlaki and homemade loukoumades (Greek doughnuts), and artisans sell their handcrafted wares. All in all, it’s a trancy, communal, blissed-out and otherworldly experience … if you can find it.
Every year, a secret Carnival passes through Rio de Janeiro’s neglected urban peripheries and far-flung favelas, which are typically overlooked by the city’s formal Carnival celebrations. This is bate-bola — which literally translates to “ball-bat” — where groups don elaborate costumes and macabre masks and parade through the streets, making as much noise as they can with football-size balls attached to batons. There’s a parade, lots of funke songs and fireworks at midnight — a loud and proud, rousing street party whose tradition dates back to 1920. And once you’ve Carnival-ed yourself out, here are some other Latin American festivals you may never have heard of.
If you find yourself in France, hunting for a serious mélange of coolly challenging post-punk rock, head thee to the Freakshow Festival in Drôme Valley, on the flip side of the wine-laden Rhône Valley. It’s not the biggest, but it is the oddest and best, starting with the locale: a town called Gigors, population 58. In addition to getting your music fix, you can also stuff yourself with local cheese, bread and victuals. It’s full-service, participatory festivaling, indeed. This year’s August lineup includes the likes of Oozing Wound, Bad Breeding, Cocaine Piss and Shitwife.
For one weekend a year, all over France local astronomy clubs break out the telescopes for the Nuits des Étoiles (Night of Stars), allowing everyone a glance at the summer sky just as the Aquarid and Perseid meteors start flying across it. French families, tourists and immigrants rub shoulders in the name of science, marveling at just how big everything is, and how far away, while all feeling small together. Stargazing in the middle of the City of Light means that you’re likely only to see some of the brighter stars and planets, of course. So grab a flute from the Champagne bar and take in the view above … and below.
Print is not dead, and it’s especially alive when it comes to comics. The annual two-day New York Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) Arts Festival brings together new and established artists, indie publishers and comic book geeks of all ages to get a glimpse into what the next generation of comic art might look like. Don’t expect the kind of massive Comic-Cons that happen around the country — MoCCA Fest remains very much a grassroots event. If you want to get your old-school — and new-school — comic on, the next Fest happens April 7-8, 2018.
Founded in 1987, the annual event started small — with the goal of promoting local musicians and bringing the outside world to Austin, Texas — and got big. Then behemoth. And music is now just one aspect of a mega-event encompassing film, tech and marketing. There’s funk, rap and soul here, ready to catch you whatever mood you’re in. Check out the next fest from March 9-18, 2018. Beyond SXSW, you can attend other music festivals like Americanafest (NYC, Aug. 12-13), Pukkelpop (Belgium, Aug. 16-19), the Hopscotch Music Festival (Raleigh, Sept. 7-10) and the CMJ Music Marathon (NYC, Oct. 13-17).
Glasto is probably one of the most beloved and well-known music festivals in the world, drawing huge crowds each June to Worthy Farm in Pilton, Somerset (about two to three hours outside London). But what might not be common knowledge? The 47-year-old fest almost didn’t happen. Still, on Sept. 19, 1970 — the day after Jimi Hendrix died — 1,500 people flocked to the Glastonbury festival, organized by farmer Michael Eavis. Back then, tickets for the two-day fest cost one pound each and included free milk from the farm. Most recently headlined by Radiohead, Foo Fighters and Barry Gibb, it’s since come a long way.