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World's top summer music festivals
The best music events from New Orleans to Niigata Discuss this article
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There’s a whole world of musical weekenders out there, showcasing the biggest names in dance, indie, metal, folk and more. After a close look at line-ups, sites and sideshows, we’ve hand-picked a selection of international festivals from April right through to September, with a breakdown of various ticket options for you to consider.
In short, there’s something here for everyone – of all ages and all musical inclinations.
When and where? Tokyo, Japan, April 21-22.
The line-up: A hipster-friendly list of Japanese and global dance, headed by drum’n’bass tunesmith Squarepusher and electro-jazz outfit The Cinematic Orchestra.
The crowd: A multicultural bunch, bolstered by plenty of trendy young Tokyoites, bringing some bizarre fashion, lens-less glasses and lots and lots of iPhones.
The rest: It’s an indoor event, and a fairly short one at that, with limited space meaning the focus will be firmly on the stage.
Tickets: Dhs642 for both days, Dhs343 for the first night only.
Getting there: Etihad flies direct to Tokyo, with return flights from Dhs5,650.
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
When and where? New Orleans, USA, April 27-May 6.
The line-up: It’s all about the oldies here, with The Eagles, Eddie Vedder, Bruce Springsteen, Al Green and even The Beach Boys (who are set to play a 50th anniversary reunion show) as the picks of a six-day bill heaving with talent. More contemporary sounds come from the likes of Bon Iver, Cee Lo Green, Florence and the Machine and My Morning Jacket.
The crowd: With the big names supported by an equally impressive line-up of jazz and blues legends, this fest appeals to a slightly more mature demographic. But hey, Brad and Angelina live in the area – maybe they’ll pop along for a bit?
The rest: A miniature Native American village will showcase the rich heritage of the USA’s long-suffering indigenous folk, with traditional singing and drumming performances among the highlights. Elsewhere, traditional southern crafts will be on sale from Louisiana’s finest artisans.
Getting there: American Airlines flies to New Orleans via Chicago, with return flights from Dhs7,239.
When and where? Hässleholm, Sweden, May 31-June 2.
The line-up: Singer-songwriter Lars Winnerbäck and indie-punk band The Hives are the pick of the Swedish contingent, but it’s Death Cab For Cutie and veteran punksters NOFX who are more likely to provide the weekend’s highlights.
The crowd: With room for more than 10,000 visitors, chances are the core group of Swedish, Norwegian and Danish revellers will be diluted with a handful each from other nearby European nations.
The rest: Nothing has been announced yet – keep your eyes on the blog section of the festival’s website for updates.
Tickets: A thoroughly reasonable Dhs550 gets you a three-day pass, with an extra Dhs83 earning access to the campsite.
Getting there: Qatar flies to Stockholm via Doha, with return flights from Dhs2,830.
When and where? Crans-sur-Nyon, Switzerland, June 6-10.
The line-up: Lou Reed will be stopping by as part of his latest European tour, with Kasabian and Gossip also in attendance. Keep your ears peeled for more announcements soon.
The crowd: Given the, erm, experience of the fest’s 70-year-old headliner and the site’s location on the tranquil banks of lake Geneva, you could see a more mature bunch turning out, some fresh from mooring the boat.
The rest: There’s the option to register your interest in volunteering at the festival through its website, but otherwise this one’s all about the music.
Tickets: A four-day pass costs Dhs910, a three-day pass Dhs686 and day passes start at Dhs280.
Getting there: KLM flies to Geneva via Amsterdam, with return flights from 2,420.
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