Thursday, 21 July 2011

Shaking the Expat shimmy: A guide to some of the most popular international music festivals

Here at Expat Explorer HQ, festival season is upon us. For expats in the UK, the festival season can be a bit of a shock. One minute you can be dancing to your favourite bands in glorious sunshine and the next, like the poor folk at Glastonbury this year, you are wading knee deep in mud whilst the wind carries your tent away into the distance...

(Source: Flickr Creative Commons)

As we know from our research expat experiences differ wildly across the globe and festivals are no different. Today’s post delves into the summer calendar to see what’s going on where you are.

Sonar Festival, Barcelona, Spain

Sonar manages to combine advanced, electronic music with multimedia art to make one of the most progressive festivals around. Set in one of Europe's coolest cities, Barcelona, it’s definitely one to visit. The festival usually takes place on the third weekend of June every year.

Fuji Rock Festival, Japan

Fuji Rock Festival is an outdoor music festival which usually occurs on the Naeba Ski resort in the Niigata Prefecture in Japan on the last weekend of July. Known as the cleanest festival in the world the site is set in the mountains in picturesque surroundings. This rock festival draws crowds of more than 100,000 with over 200 music acts.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival/Performing Arts Festival occurs every August for three weeks in Edinburgh, Scotland. It usually begins on the second week and finishes at the start of September. Expect all types of art forms such as theatre, comedy, children's shows, dance and physical theatre.

Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korea

Something a little bit different from your average music festival takes place in South Korea in August! Mud is dug up near Boryeong, brought to the Daecheon beach area where it is dumped at a 'Mud Experience Land'. There are lots of games and training courses set and festival goers can compete in games, cavalry battles and human pyramid & bouncy castles. The mud itself is renowned for being good for your skin and health!

Oktoberfest, Germany

Oktoberfest is a 16–18 day festival held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, running from late September to the first weekend in October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and is the world's largest fair, with more than 5 million people attending every year. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, having been held since 1810. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modelled after the Munich event.

As always, we would love to hear your expat tales of festival life especially if it’s an amusing one! Are there any particular memories, bands or songs that remind you of being an expat?

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