Mozart Week
24 January – 3 February, 2019
Salzburg, Austria
It’s one of the hottest annual events marking the great composer’s birthday. Several renowned classical musicians present innovative interpretations of Mozart’s works via 60+ events including stage productions, concerts, chamber music, dance, mime etc., exploring the multiplicity of the composer’s personality. Don’t miss performances by Cecilia Bartoli, Mitsuko Uchida, The Vienna Philharmonic and more. mozartwoche.at
[Photo: © Marco Borggreve]
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ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival
24-28 January, 2019
Jaipur, India
The self-styled ‘Greatest Literary Show on Earth’, that has hosted nearly 2000 speakers and more than a million visitors over a decade, celebrates its 12th birthday at Rajasthan’s Diggi Palace. Attend book readings, talks, debates, performances, workshops and interactive activities for all. Past speakers have included J.M. Coetzee, Orhan Pamuk, Paul Beatty and Margaret Atwood among others. jaipurliteraturefestival.org
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Rabinal Achí
25 January, 2019
Rabinal, Guatemala
In 2008, UNESCO marked the importance of the Rabinal fiesta with World Heritage status. Revolving around a Mayan dance drama enacted by locals wearing elaborate indigenous costumes and masks, the festival highlights a pre-colonial battle of war and sacrifice between the Achí and K’iche’ tribes and presents a rare window into pre-Columbian history, culture and religion.
[Photo: MacDawg/Flickr]
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Rainbow Serpent Festival
25-28 January, 2019
Lexton, Australia
Spanning a multitude of genres and with eclecticism at its heart, this music, art and dance festival attracts 10,000 + visitors each year. The ‘rainbow’ in its title plays on its colourful and progressive intent, with a particular focus on nature, community and harmony. Enjoy music, visual and performance arts, bazaars, yoga, panel discussions and more. rainbowserpent.net
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Snow Polo World Cup
25-27 January, 2019
St Moritz, Switzerland
Every January since 1985, St Moritz becomes home to the world’s only so-called ‘high-goal tournament on snow’. For three days of the Snow Polo World Cup, St Moritz’s frozen lake hosts galloping horses and mallet-swinging riders. Witness thrilling matches as reigning champions fight to defend their title and new entrants vie for the prized Cartier Trophy. snowpolo-stmoritz.com
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Wakakusa Yamayaki
26 January, 2019
Nara, Japan
Roughly translated as ‘burning down a mountain’, Yamayaki does just what it says on the tin – albeit in spectacular fashion. Enjoy views of the fireworks and flaming hills from Nara City, facing the hill – dress warm, carry binoculars and arrive early to grab a good spot. jnto.go.jp
[Photo: Chaijiro Hata/Flickr]
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International Hot Air Balloon Festival
26 January – 3 February, 2019
Riviera-Pays-d’Enhaut, Switzerland
The European Alpine balloon festival sees Switzerland take centre stage, bringing hundreds of variously-shaped, soaring balloons together in the Vaudois Alpine skies. Now in its 41st year, there will be hot air balloon rides, model balloon shows, children’s day (on 30th) and spectacular events such as Night Glow’s sound and light show. chateau-doex.ch
[Photo: gcarrard, imagevideo.ch]
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Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival
5-27 January, 2019
Hwacheon, South Korea
South Korea’s Sancheoneo owes its existence to the local freshwater Sancheoneo fish, so-called Queen of the Valley. Try ice fishing, even bare hand fishing and partake in several fun activities including ice-sledding contests, snow tubing and several other high-adrenalin sports including snow sleighing, bob sleighing, ice soccer, Bubble suit games on ice  and so on. narafestival.com
[Photo: Myhla Borkowski/Flickr]
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National Cowboy Poetry Gathering
28 January – 2 February, 2019
Elko, Nevada, USA
Celebrate the cowboy culture of the American West as the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering convenes for its 35th anniversary in Elko. Attend readings, enjoy musical performances, folklore and poetry, shake a leg, watch films and participate in workshops spanning everything from barbecuing to rodeo swing dancing. Expect a friendly, engaging and entertaining atmosphere. nationalcowboypoetrygathering.org
[Photo: Jessica Brandi Lifland]
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Up Helly Aa
29 January, 2019 
Lerwick, Scotland
Dating back to the 1880s, Up Helly Aa revolves around Viking leader, The Guizer Jarl. Unveiling the locally built Viking Galley, various marches and much singing concludes with an impressive 5,000-person torch-lit procession followed by the Galley’s and the Guizers’ entry into the burning site. uphellyaa.org
[Photo: Vicky Brock/Flickr]
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Sapporo Snow Festival
31 January – 11 February, 2019
Sapporo, Japan
Every year, Sapporo hosts one of Japan’s largest winter festivals, morphing into a winter wonderland and attracting millions from all over. Now in its 70th year, the festival features colourful illuminations, snow slides, snow rafting, intricate ice sculpture shows, an international contest and local street food. snowfes.com
[Photo: Yasufumi Nishi/JNTO]
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Bruges Beer Festival
31 January – 5 February, 2019
Bruges, Belgium
The Bruges Beer Festival takes in more than merely imbibing suds. Over 80 small-time craft breweries join bigger names in inviting guests to try new tastes. There’ll be more than 400 beer brands, plus lectures, debates and beer-inspired food showcases. Try the elusive Trappist beer Westvleteren 12, if you can lay your hands on one. brugsbierfestival.be
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Hay Festival Cartagena
31 January – 3 February, 2019
Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
Britain’s Hay Festival has been superbly imported to Cartagena, attracting over 160 renowned writers, artistes and thinkers. Look forward to at least 150 programs comprising intellectual discussions and debates, conversations on current affairs, poetry galas, music concerts, visual arts’ showcases and community engaging events in nearby cities from Riohacha to Medellín. hayfestival.com
[Photo: Daniel Mordzinski]
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Panagbenga Festival
1 Feb – 4 March, 2019
Baguio City, Philippines
While much the planet wonders how long winter will last, how about a complete change of scenery? Panagbenga is a vision of summer beauty as this flower festival showcases its blooms. Highlights include a Grand Float Parade, street dancing, floral arrangements, exhibitions, cultural shows, kite-flying competitions, fireworks and more. panagbengaflowerfestival.com
[Photo: susancorpuz90/Flickr]
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February, 2019 (Exact Dates TBA)
Newcastle, Australia
Sun, sea and golden beaches provide the backdrop to Surfest. While more than 800 national and international surfers compete in 11 different surfing events, vying for the coveted Mark Richards ‘MR’ trophy, visitors can sit back and enjoy Australia’s largest surfing festival on Merewether beach. surfest.com
[Photo: Bill Collison/Flickr]
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1-24 February, 2019
Various Cities, Denmark
Vinterjazz (Winter Jazz) is the first of two major annual Danish jazz festivals that take place across the country. It’s three weeks and 600 concerts by renowned musicians in 100 venues. Look forward to programmes such as Jazz for Kids, Jazz Remixed, Jazz n’ Poetry and Future Sound of Jazz, plus networking opportunities with international stars. jazz.dk
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1-18 February, 2019
Ottawa, Canada
As if winter in Ottawa was not attractive enough, Winterlude’s three February weekends at multiple sites make it an even more enticing prospect. Snow and ice are the focal point, whether it’s skating, cross-country skiing, running, ice carving, ice hockey, interactive art installations or the fun-filled Accora Village Bed Race and the Ice Dragon Boat Festival. canada.pch.gc.ca
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Austin Oyster Festival
February, 2019 (Exact Dates TBA)
Austin, Texas, USA
The Austin Oyster Festival brings satisfaction to foodie stomachs while also appealing to their musical tastes. What to expect? Delectable raw, roasted, grilled and fried oysters, delicious seafood, beer, wines and Bloody Marys – all accompanied by upbeat Cajun, Bluegrass and ‘Newgrass’ music while games and raffles keep festivalgoers entertained. austinoysterfestival.com
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Bread & Circus – World Buskers Festival
10 January -3 February, 2019
Christchurch, New Zealand
Come one, come all: A world-class line-up of international and home grown buskers and entertainers is expected at the revamped, expanded and reinvented edition of the festival to be showcased on the streets as well as in theatres of Ōtautahi Christchurch. Expect immersive acts, accessible street performances, free events, ticketed shows, large scale spectacle and world-famous busking pitches. worldbuskersfestival.com
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London International Mime Festival
9 January – 3 February, 2019 (TBC)
London, England
The epic theatre festival spanning live art, physical and circus-theatre, mask, puppetry, movement and object theatre returns for its 42nd edition to multiple theatre venues including the Barbican and Sadler’s Wells. Last year’s iteration featured 120 performances, 17 international productions and several workshops on film, symposium and visual theatre. mimelondon.com
[Photo: © Jean-Pierre Estournet]
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FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Sweden
5-17 February, 2019
Åre, Sweden
If you love spending a few days surrounded by snow and sport, head to Åre and the Alpine World Ski Championships in 2019. The event promises spectacular races and jumps amidst beautiful snowscapes. Look forward to thrilling downhill races, Super G, giant slalom, slalom, Alpine team events and extreme racing. are2019.com
[Photo: Michel/Flickr]
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5-7 February, 2019
Kathmandu, Nepal
Tibet’s Losar New Year series of events gets going at the Boudhanath Stupa with traditional ceremonies, rituals, processions and a talk led by His Holiness The Dalai Lama. Witness a masked dance performance by Tibetan monks, and see locals at their cheeriest best. Tip: Take a camera along, but ask for permission before you click.
[Photo: Shinya ICHINOHE/Flickr] 
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Sauti Za Busara
7-10 February, 2019
Stone Town, Tanzania
Swahili for ‘Sounds of Wisdom’, Sauti Za Busara festival features 400+ artists – both African and with African roots. It’s fun, inviting and a must-attend if you want to witness spirited African music. There’s also a carnival parade, plus open exchange and collaboration opportunities with visiting musicians, as well as local community events. busaramusic.com
[Photo: Link Reuben]
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Fashion Weeks
8 February – 6 March, 2019
New York, London, Milan, Paris
February is a big month for fashion, when the 4 “fashion capitals” strut their A/W collections on major catwalks, and editors scurry from city to city to catch important shows and pick their top designs. The series starts in New York, heads across the Atlantic to London, then Milan and finally Paris. fashionweekonline.com
[Photo: London Fashion Week, British Fashion Council, Charlie Wheeler]
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ATP: Argentina Open
11 – 17 February, 2019
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Watch clay court champions in men’s tennis battle it out in the Argentine leg of the ATP World Tour to clinch the singles and doubles titles. Past winners have included Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, David Ferrer, Gustavo Kuerten, Carlos Moya and Juan Carlos Ferrero. argentinaopenatp.com
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12 February, 2019
National Theatre, London, England
Winner of the Olivier Award for the Best Musical Revival, Follies – Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical featuring his classic songs such as ‘Broadway Baby’ and ‘I’m Still Here’ – returns to the National Theatre in 2019. American Express presales and reserved seating are available to Amex card members. More details on the website. americanexpress.com
[Photo: Johan Persson]
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Storico Carnevale di Ivrea
6 January – 13 February, 2019 
Ivrea, Italy
Though most of the carnival takes place in February, festivities begin on 6 January with pipes, drums and marches, as well as fantastic full-costumed re-enactments. Don’t miss the hugely popular and messily spectacular citrusy skirmish, Battaglia delle Arance but remember to wear self-protection gear. storicocarnevaleivrea.it
[Photo: Edoardo Forneris/Flickr]
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St Valentine’s Day
14 February, 2019
Terni, Italy
What better place to celebrate love than in the city of Saint Valentine’s resting place! There’ll be music, dancing, competitions and more than 300 street stalls selling gifts, from flowers to chocolate, near the cathedral dedicated to the patron saint.
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Ice Music Festival Norway
14-16 February, 2019
Finse, Norway
At this one-of-a-kind music festival, ICEstruments make the music, and the setting is mountainous, remote and downright chilly. The melodies may be unpredictable – being dependent on the temperature – but the event is sure to please with performances by the Ice Music Master Terje Isungset and more. icemusicfestivalnorway.no
[Photo by Emile Holba for Ice Music Festival Norway]
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Noise Pop
Mid – End February, 2019 (TBA)
San Francisco, California, USA
Noise Pop is a music and arts festival with an eclectic, independent feel. As well as great sounds, there’ll be film screenings, must-attend parties and events. Last year’s line-up included the likes of Ty Dolla Sign, Parquet Courts, WHY?, Alex Cameron and Girl Pool. lineup.noisepop.com
[Photo: Martin Lacey Photography]
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Mid February – Mid March, 2019
Munich, Germany
No, not Oktoberfest – Starkbierzeit (Strong Beer Season) is a more local, less touristic affair centring on a centuries-old tradition in which monks would brew beer with a high percentage of solids to tide them over through the Lent fasting season. Today, it’s a fun-loving event, with revellers gathering at Munich’s major breweries to eat, drink and make merry. muenchen.de
[Photo: Wikimedia Commons]
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Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade
15 February – 3 March, 2019
Sydney, Australia
Celebrating diversity, and fostering equality for the LGBTQI community, the parade returns in 2019 filled with parties, performances, exhibitions, community and family events. Although the flag-raising ceremony happens on 15 February, followed by Fair Day two days later, the event really heats up in March with the main parade followed by a not-to-miss Mardi Gras party. mardigras.org.au
[Photo: Jeffrey Feng Photography]
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Adelaide Fringe
15 February – 17 March, 2019
Adelaide, Australia
Labelled ‘the Southern Hemisphere’s largest open-access arts festival’, Adelaide Fringe has been going strong for 58 years, drawing crowds from all over. Chock-full of creative acts spanning music, theatre, film, comedy, circus, cabaret, visual arts, magic shows and more, the event takes place across the city – and anyone who wants to perform can do so. adelaidefringe.com.au
[Photo: Trentino Priori]
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Carnival of Venice
16 February – 5 March, 2019
Venice, Italy
Perhaps more measured than Mardi Gras or Rio, the Venice carnival celebrations are nevertheless equally fascinating – characterised by masked parades, the San Marco bell tower Flight of the Angel, opulent masquerade balls, candle-lit boat processions, concerts and street performances. carnevale.venezia.it
[Photo: Sergey Galyonkin/Flickr]
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La Fête du Citron
16 February – 3 March, 2019
Menton, France
2 weeks. 145 tons of citrus fruits. 240,000+ visitors. There’s no better time to visit Menton than during the annual lemon festival, when the city comes alive with float processions and larger-than-life displays of orange and lemon art. See night parades, a Garden of Lights, the Golden Fruit Parade and the citrusy exhibition at Jardins Biovès. fete-du-citron.com
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Saidai-ji Eyō Hadaka Matsuri
17 February, 2019
Okayama, Japan
Looking for something eccentric? The “Naked Festival” comes to mind. Loincloth-clad participants wrestle each other at midnight, competing to snatch paper talismans thrown into the crowd by a priest. The lucky one to place the sticks upright in a rice-filled masu is blessed with a year of happiness. jnto.go.jp
[Photo: calltheambulance/Flickr]
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21-24 February, 2019
Auckland, New Zealand
This event’s location on a beach at Tapapakanga Park has obvious aesthetic appeal. Also prepare for mood-lifting local and international music, dress-up parties, engaging performances, interactive art installations, workshops, wellness activities, fresh food and family fun. Rudimental, Orbital and Fleetmac Wood are expected to put up electrifying acts  in the 2019 edition. Don’t miss it. splore.net
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Montréal en Lumière
21 February – 3 March, 2019
Montreal, Canada
Gourmet showcases, theatre, circus acts, dancing, nightly events and tours during the Canadian wintertime, plus diverse, genre-spanning music – that’s Montréal en Lumière. Don’t miss the free outdoor site chock-full of activities, including a zipline, urban slides, free shows, food stalls and Illuminart – a luminous, interactive art showcase.
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Ultra Music Festival
23, 24 February, 2019
Melbourne & Sydney, Australia
EDM fans Down Under rejoice – this festival will make its multi-stage debut in Melbourne and Sydney, following the success of its mini ‘Road to Ultra’ experience last year featuring Afrojack, Axwell Λ Ingrosso and Carnage. Expect a fantastic stage set-up and world-class DJs playing the best music, just like at all Ultra worldwide editions. ultraaustralia.com
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Carnaval de Oruro
23 February – 4 March, 2019
Oruro, Bolivia
As this UNESCO Heritage-listed celebration kicks off in the small mining town of Oruro, participants wearing elaborate costumes fill the streets, dancing to folk tunes, marching to bands and joining in lively parades. Highlights include the ‘Dance of the Devils’ parade and the ‘Dia del Agua’ water fight on closing day.
[Photo: Alfredobi/Wikimedia Commons]
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The Grand Brighton Half Marathon
24 February, 2019
Brighton, England
Prep ahead: work off those holiday calories by running the half marathon in Brighton. While you’re at it, enjoy panoramic city views and raise awareness and funds for people with HIV. If motivation is wanting, rest assured – the city loves sport, and will cheer you on till you cross the finish line. brightonhalfmarathon.com
[Photo: Brendon Franks/Flickr] 
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Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia
25 Feb – 11 March, 2019
Mendoza, Argentina
The Grape Harvest Festival is  “the most important celebration in Mendoza” for good reason. Wine growers, vineyard owners and workers come together to share food, stories and wine in celebration of the region’s harvest. The ‘Blessing of Fruits’ kickstarts the festival and is followed by folkloric song and dance, a beauty contest, traditional food and more. welcomeargentina.com
[Photo: Moriz mdz/Flickr]
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Harbin Ice Festival
5 January – 25 February, 2019 
Harbin, China
Billed as the world’s largest ice festival, the 35th edition in the capital of Heilongjiang will open with a theme ‘Pearl on the Crown of Ice and Snow’ and showcase a range of ice and snow-based events. Besides fireworks and four ice theme parks, see giant ice sculptures going up several metres. icefestivalharbin.com
[Photo: Enming Yan/Wikimedia Commons]
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ARCOmadrid, International Contemporary Art Fair
27 February – 3 March, 2019
Madrid, Spain
Peru takes centre stage as the guest country of honour when ARCOmadrid reopens for its 38th edition. Presenting and analysing the Peruvian contemporary art scene, and bringing to the fore lesser-known aspects of art in Peru, the fair will include exhibitions, talks, photography and video installations. ifema.es
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28 February – 3 March, 2019
Rancho La Merced, Costa Rica
Hugely attractive due its beachside location and curated international music and art, Envision has upped its game. If 2018’s edition was any indication – with musical performances by Bob Moses and Xavier Rudd, plus mind and movement sessions by Gina Caputo and Carson Clay – you can expect an extraordinary showcase of talent this year, too. envisionfestival.com
[Photo: Eric Allen]
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Athena Film Festival
28 February – 3 March, 2019
New York City, USA
Celebrating exemplary women leaders, the annual Athena film festival at Barnard College presents women-centric Academy-nominated films that inspire, captivate and empower. Last year’s event screened 46 films –from features to documentaries and shorts – and attracted 6,500 visitors, including Billie Jean King, Lena Dunham and Bridget Everett. athenafilmfestival.com
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Noche de Brujas
1 March, 2019 (TBC)
Catemaco, Mexico
Noche de Brujas in Catemaco is up there with the most oddly interesting of festivities. This so-called ‘Night of the Witches’ is when shamans, witches, healers and all sorts of people claiming supernatural powers convene to conduct a mass cleansing ceremony to rid themselves of negativities from the previous year, leaving tourists more than a little bewitched.
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Toronto ComiCon
March, 2019 (TBA)
Toronto, Canada
Exhibitors, comic writers, artists and celebrity guests descend on Toronto for this annual celebration of comics, sci-fi, cosplay, anime, fantasy and gaming. There’ll be dance parties, after-dark cosplay, photo-ops, contests, family fun, workshops and more. John Shipp (The Flash) and Joonas Suotamo (Star Wars) were among the star-studded guests at the 2018 edition. comicontoronto.com
[Photo: Tyrone Islington Photography/Flickr]
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Beyond Wonderland
March 2019 (Exact Dates TBA)
San Bernardino, California, USA
Beyond Wonderland offers precisely what its name suggests, taking curious visitors into a land of storybook wonder. Various stages and sets provide the weekend’s entertainment, from the Upside-Down Room to huge art installations. Groove to mind-blowing electronic music, dance with a sparkle bunny and have a smashing ‘Lost Tea Party’ in a 3-piece teapot caravan. socal.beyondwonderland.com
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Carnaval de Barranquilla
2-5 March, 2019
Barranquilla, Colombia
Kicking off the Saturday before Ash Wednesday and rivalling the legendary Rio carnival, this UNESCO heritage-listed event bills itself as Colombia’s best party, with 4 days of live music, salsa dancing and masquerades. Not-to-miss festivities include ‘La Batalla de Flores’ (Battle of Flowers), ‘La Gran Parada’ (The Grand Parade) and ‘Festival de Orquestas’ (Festival of Orchestras). carnavaldebarranquilla.org
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Carnaval Miami
2-10 March, 2019
Miami, Florida, USA
Now in its 5th decade, Carnaval Miami is a fabulous tribute to Latin cultures. The culmination is Calle Ocho in Little Havana, where gyrating salsa, hip-hop and reggae enthusiasts strut their stuff around a 20-block area. Look out for foodie events including El Croquetazo, where a winner is selected for eating the most croquettes. carnavalmiami.com 
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Kumbh Mela
15 January 2019 – 4 March 2019
Allahabad, India
A UNESCO recognised event held every three years in either Haridwar, Allahabad (Prayag), Nashik or Ujjain, it’s the largest peaceful congregation of Hindu pilgrims seeking spiritual liberation as well as of visitors wanting a taste of Indian culture. Witness rituals, parades, spiritual discourses and take a dip in the Holy Ganges for a life changing experience. kumbhmela.net
[Photo: Yosarian/Wikimedia Commons]
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Olney Pancake Race
5 March, 2019
Olney, England
Every Shrove Tuesday, local Olney women compete in the world-famous pancake race against the Liberal ladies of Kansas – both in their respective towns, flipping their pancakes thrice during the timed run. Other not-to-miss events include the pancake breakfast with Lesley Waters, a pancake raffle, charity stalls, cooking demos and children’s races. olneypancakerace.org
[Photo: Robin Myerscough/Flickr]
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Mardi Gras
5 March, 2019
New Orleans, USA
Don your wildest costume for ‘The Greatest Free Show on Earth’. The party lasts for weeks, with family events and more risqué fun. Don’t miss the popular parades, such as Endymion, Zulu, Rex and Bacchus, all full of elaborate, colourful and funny floats, as well as Krewes flinging beads, confetti, toys and trinkets to cheering crowds. mardigrasneworleans.com
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Festival Internacional De Cine De Cartagena De Indias
6-11 March, 2019
Cartagena, Colombia
Dating back to 1960, this iconic event is an opportunity to showcase bold and innovative Latin American cinema, focusing on Colombian television series, films, documentaries and shorts. Look forward to awards, retrospectives and galas, cinema under the stars, midnight cinema and special programmes. Past guests have included Susan Sarandon, Harvey Keitel and Clive Owen. ficcifestival.com
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Düsseldorfer Karneval
11 November, 2018 – 6 March, 2019
Düsseldorf, Germany
Be there at the start of the carnival at 11:11 am on 11/11 when Hoppeditz awakes continuing all the way up to Ash Wednesday in March. Watch parades with floats of every conceivable form, highlighting politics, culture and satire and delighting and entertaining onlookers on the banks of the Rhine.
[Photo: Cittanova Düsseldorf/Wikimedia Commons]
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Charleston Wine + Food
6-10 March, 2019
Charleston, South Carolina, USA
From signature meals to a tasting experience in Marion Square, not to mention more than 100 unique culinary events including chef demos, beverage workshops, hands-on classes, excursions, live music and retail therapy, visitors can sample all that the city’s top F&B pros dish out. charlestonwineandfood.com
[Photo: Charleston Wine + Food]
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Nicki Minaj & Future: The Nicki HNDRXX Tour
7 March, 2019
Paris, France
Following the release of her latest album, Queen, global hip-hop icon Nicki Minaj will be joining forces with the Atlanta hip-hop star Future for the first time on the Nicki HNDRXX tour at the Accorhotels Arena. Amex cardholders get exclusive access to the best tickets before they’re offered to the general public during the presales period. americanexpress.ticketmaster.fr
[Photo: Ralph Arvesen/Flickr]
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Moomba Festival
8-11 March, 2019
Melbourne, Australia
On Labour Day weekend, Australia’s biggest free community festival draws more than a million people. Apart from the Monday Moomba parade, Sunday’s ‘Birdman Rally’ and the Moomba Masters Championship, expect enough water sports, fireworks, skate workshops, carnival rides, games and spectacles to keep attendees thoroughly entertained. melbourne.vic.gov.au
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Canada Blooms
8-17 March, 2019
Toronto, Canada
There’s no better way to welcome spring than to soak up the colours and fragrances at Canada’s largest flower show. Ogle elaborate floral assemblages, check out horticultural demos, participate in gardening workshops, attend enlightening seminars, visit floral markets and enjoy evening galas, garden tours and family events. canadablooms.com
[Photo: Shootphoto]
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Wildfoods Festival
9 March, 2019
Hokitika, New Zealand
From pork blood casserole to deep-fried pigs’ ears and mountain oysters (aka lamb testicles), the bites here are anything but predictable! Go for the novelty of it all …and with an open mind: you never know which delicacy might catch your fancy. Besides food, festival-goers can look forward to feral fashion parades, music concerts and after-parties. wildfoods.co.nz
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St Patrick’s Festival
14-18 March, 2019
Dublin, Ireland
The huge and highly diffuse Irish diaspora ensures that St Paddy’s Day is widely celebrated. Dublin is of course a favourite destination, putting on a day-long street carnival at Merrion Square, plus a legendary parade, Irish dancing, exhibitions, parties and a host of fun festivities. TIP: Wear green and get into the spirit to enjoy the festival to the hilt. stpatricksfestival.ie
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Environmental Film Festival
14-24 March, 2019
Washington, DC, USA
Encompassing a myriad of genres, from adventure to popular science, and bringing together local and international experts, scientists and filmmakers, this event presents more than 100 Earth-centric films, documentaries, narratives, animations and shorts that celebrate our planet, raise awareness about its challenges, and inspire audiences into action. dceff.org
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Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival
14-31 March, 2019
Glasgow, Scotland
Laugh ’til you cry: Some of Britain’s best comedians will take to the stage at the 17th Glasgow Comedy Festival, with many home-grown Scottish names added for good measure. Look out for standout performances by Craig Hill, Janey Godley and Julian Clary at ÒRAN MÓR and King’s Theatre from 15-30 March. glasgowcomedyfestival.com
[Photo: Steve Ullathorne]
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Vancouver Fashion Week
Mid-Late March, 2019 (TBA)
Vancouver, Canada
Just because the Big Four fashion weeks have already come and gone doesn’t mean the fashion shows are over for the year. The style cognoscenti will head to Vancouver in March to witness Canada’s celebrated fashion event and see the latest Fall/Winter 2019 creations by established and award-winning local designers. vanfashionweek.com
[Photo: GoToVan/Flickr]
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Las Fallas de Valencia
15-19 March, 2019
Valencia, Spain
This fiesta is a free ride to satirise anyone and anything – albeit with good humour. ‘Fallas’ refers to the large ninots (wooden, cardboard and paper effigies) erected at the ‘plantá’, which are then burned on the final celebratory evening. Witness processions, pyrotechnics, brass bands, street parties and more during the festival’s 5 days. fallasvalencia.es
[Photo: keith ellwood/Flickr]

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Affordable Art Fair Brussels
16-18 March, 2019 
Brussels, Belgium
Affordable Art Fairs are now something of a global phenomenon. With a few international locations taking up the baton, they present affordable, quality contemporary art for all. Combining international and local galleries, with new and established talent, the fair returns to Brussels for its 11th edition, complete with interactive workshops, kids’ activities, installations and live paintings. affordableartfair.com
[Photo: cea+/Flickr]
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NYC Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
17 March, 2019
New York City, USA
Dublin might host one of the most widely known St Paddy’s Day parades worldwide, but it’s not the biggest or even the oldest. That honour belongs to New York, where the tradition began in 1762. As the parade proceeds from 44th Street and 5th Avenue to 79th Street, millions join in the celebrations. nycstpatricksparade.org
[Photo: Peter T/Flickr]
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Rock The Pistes Festival
17-23 March, 2019
Châtel, France and Valais, Switzerland
Combining skiing and music, and held in the dramatic Portes du Soleil ski resort with stages set up in a different location each day, this festival packs in a sensory experience like no other. The annual line-up features several international and French pop rock artistes, with 2019 headliners including Gaetan Roussel, Hyphen Hyphen and Charlie Winston. en.rockthepistes.com
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20-21 March, 2019
Various Cities, India
The festival of colours brings an end to winter and welcomes spring in various parts of India. Celebrations begin by lighting bonfires on the eve, marking the victory of good over evil. The next day, participants playfully engage in water battles, smear colour on each other, get high on bhaang and make merry. holifestival.org
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Art Dubai
20-23 March, 2019
Dubai, UAE
Discover contemporary and modern art from influential galleries across the globe at the 13th annual Art Dubai. Last year’s iteration featured 105 galleries from 48 countries and drew 28,000+ visitors. Art enthusiasts can look forward to seeing curated exhibitions, buying artworks and participating in art-related projects, activities and events. artdubai.ae
[Photo: Photo Solutions]
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Elephant Festival Jaipur
21 March, 2019
Jaipur, India
Complemented by dancing, singing, music, food and fireworks, this annual festival honours the Indian elephant, considered royal and sacred in India. Celebrated on the eve of Holi, the festival sees elephants and mahouts parade in full regalia, play polo and tug-of-war, participate in the ‘elephant decoration’ exhibition and compete in races at the Rambagh Polo Ground. jaipur.org.uk
[Photo: LBM0/Flickr]
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Westside Story
22 March – 21 April, 2019
Sydney, Australia
The modern-day love story that took Broadway by storm in the late ’50s unfolds at the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, combining Broadway’s best talents, Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics, Jerome Robbins’ choreography, Leonard Bernstein’s score and Arthur Laurents’ book. Amex cardholders enjoy special access to reserved tickets on a first come, first served basis. amexinvites.com.au
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Bali Spirit Festival
24-31 March, 2019
Ubud, Bali
Locals and international travellers flock to Bali for this festival of music, alternative health, wellness and spiritual renewal, learning how to live in harmony with the environment, other individuals and themselves. Festival-goers can look forward to daytime and nightly music concerts, yoga, meditation, discourses, workshops, a community dharma fair and special events. balispiritfestival.com
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The Head Of The RiverRace
30 March, 2019 (Provisional)
London, England
A professional boat race like no other, this event takes place on the famous river Thames, from Mortlake to nearby Putney on the Tideway, with up to 420 boats from the British Isles and beyond setting off at 10-second intervals. The WEHORR on 16 March is equally exciting, attracting 3,000 female crews, from Olympic champions to beginners. horr.co.uk
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Whisky Magazine Awards
30 March, 2019 (TBC)
London, England
Whisky lovers, industry experts and leading writers come together every March to discover which of the much-loved tipples across the globe will be prefixed with ‘World’s Best’. Kicking off with a drinks reception, the award presentation – spanning various categories including the ‘Icons of Whisky Global’ and ‘Hall of Fame’ – will be intertwined with a specially curated 3-course menu. worldwhiskiesawards.com
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Naghol Festival
April – May, 2019 (TBA)
Pentecost Island, Vanuatu
In a ritual on Pentecost Island between April and June, Sa’ tribal men dive off a 30-metre-tall tower made of jungle wood, tethered only by vines tied to their ankles – all to ensure a good yam harvest. It’s also a show of male virility rather than just for fun.
[Photo: Paul Stein/Wikimedia Commons]
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Tobago Jazz Experience
April, 2019 (Exact Dates TBA)
Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago
Have there ever been so many good jazz festivals? The Caribbean incarnation is a combination of pure jazz and home-grown local music. Besides paid-for events, there are plenty of free ones. American singer-songwriters Ne-Yo, Fantasia and Anthony Hamilton, Jamaican-American reggae singer Tarrus Riley and Jamaican reggae artist Tanya Stephens were the star performers last year. tobagojazzexperience.com
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The Color Run
1-29 April, 2019
Various Cities, USA
Also known as ‘the Happiest 5K on the Planet’ it’s not about the miles you clock, but the memories you make. You’ll come out feeling exhilarated, being doused by colour throwers at regular intervals and finish at a party zone with music, dancing and giant colour throwing. Make sure to come dressed in white. thecolorrun.com
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Light City
April, 2019 (Exact Dates TBA)
Baltimore, MD, USA
For 8 days, the Baltimore waterfront will morph into an illuminated wonderland featuring awe-inspiring light installations and sculptures, projections, interactive technologies, glowing lanterns, fireworks, musical entertainment, pop-up performances and underwater displays. Soak in the sights with a self-guided audio tour. lightcity.org
[Photo: Crystal Whitman, Courtesy of Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts]
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Tanzcafé Arlberg
1-18 April, 2019
Lech, Austria
Spring skiing and swing go together – at least they do in the Arlberg region. Wear your dancing shoes and get into the groove as international musicians in vintage wear dish out a mix of swing and electro-swing, jazz, pop ‘n’ soul, rock ‘n’ roll and boogie-woogie at bars and boutique hotels in Lech-Zürs. lechzuers.com
[Photo: Tanzcafé Arlberg Via Facebook]
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World Art Dubai
3-6 April, 2019
Dubai, UAE
Showcasing contemporary art at affordable prices at the World Trade Centre, this art fair presents an opportunity to appreciate paintings, sculptures, mixed media, digital art and more by soloists and galleries from all over, as well as participate in creative activities including live painting, VR art, art talks and the Ripe Craft Market. worldartdubai.com
[Photo: World Art Dubai Via Facebook]
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The Oxford Cambridge Boat Race
7 April, 2019
London, England
Secure a spot on either side of the river and cheer on the rowing crews from Oxford and Cambridge universities at one of the oldest (and free) sporting events in the world, as they battle it out along the famous 4.2-mile stretch between Putney and Mortlake. Best viewing spots: Putney Bridge, Craven Cottage, Duke’s Meadows and Chiswick Bridge. theboatrace.org
[Photo: normalsanik/Flickr]
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Bisket Jatra
10-18 April, 2019 (TBC)
Bhaktapur, Nepal
Similar to many traditional festivals, Bisket Jatra is a week-long theatrical recreation passed down generations, marking the solar Nepali New Year which falls on 14 April. Revellers pull ‘gods’ in pagoda-shaped chariots, and there’s a huge tug of war, dancing, merry-making and flowers galore. welcomenepal.com
[Photo: sai karthik reddy/Flickr] 
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Caprices Festival
11-14 April, 2019 
Crans-Montana, Switzerland
The Caprices fest is big on electronic music, with 3 stages at the top and bottom of the slopes showcasing some of the best talent over 4 days. The aim is to give fans a clubbing experience, fabulously set amid the splendour of the Swiss Alps. Previous editions have regularly featured Sven Väth and Ricardo Villalobos. caprices.ch
[Photo: Dmitry Smirnov Via Caprices Festival/ Facebook]
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Ballet Festival Week
11-18 April, 2019
Munich, Germany
Munich’s Ballet Festival Week is an opportunity to see world-class choreography and ballets at a premier location: the National Theatre. Watch out for Anna Karenina, The Taming of The Shrew, Spartacus and Onegin (with the Bavarian State Ballet Bayerisches Staatsorchester). staatsoper.de
[Photo © Sasha Gouliaev]
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Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
12-14 April & 19-21 April, 2019 
Indio, California, USA
With top-of-the-line music talent, a comprehensive events list, gourmet food and larger-than-life art installations, Coachella is an absolute must-attend on every festival junkie’s calendar. If last year’s line-up (Eminem, Beyoncé and The Weeknd) is any indication, it’s safe to expect a smashing showcase in 2019 as well. splash.coachella.com
[Photo courtesy of Coachella]
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12-14 April, 2019 
Santa Barbara, California, USA
For today’s hippies, this anti-corporate festival with a family-oriented vibe is of a transformational type, where underground music supersedes rock and pop, and where you’ll likely wake up to Kundalini yoga and full days ahead. Partake in teaching and learning sessions during the day, dance in droves and party safely at night… and then emerge nourished from within at the end. lucidityfestival.com
[Photo: Eric Allen]
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13-15 April, 2019
Various locations, Thailand
Songkran rings in the New Year in Thailand with a colourful parade, parties, traditional food and a splashing of water. Famously, the water blessings invariably end in huge water fights in the sunshine – even passers-by are fair game on the streets. TIP: Leave your pristine whites behind: wet powders are a possibility. songkranday.com
[Photo: J J Harrison/Flickr] 
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14 April, 2019
Punjab & Various Cities, India
This Sikh New Year celebration and Rabi harvest festival started in the Punjab region, but it’s now observed wherever a substantial Sikh population is found. Celebrated every 13 April (14 April every 36 years), it’s marked by gurudwara visits, religious processions, music, Bhangra and Gidda dancing and performances. tourism-of-india.com
[Photo: U.S. Embassy New Delhi/Flickr]
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Marathon de Paris
14 April, 2019
Paris, France
If you’re going to run a city marathon, make it worthwhile! More than 55,000 runners make their way from the base of the Arc de Triomphe through the streets of Paris, taking in spectacular sights of the Champs-Elysées, the Bois de Vincennes and the Eiffel Tower, finishing at the Place de la Concorde after covering an impressive 42.195 kilometres. schneiderelectricparismarathon.com
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Foire de l’isle-sur-la-Sorgue
19-22 April, 2019
L’isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France
Popularly known as ‘The Big Antiques Fair’, it’s the largest of its kind in Europe, attracting 100,000 visitors and more than 550 vendors selling all kinds of second-hand goods and vintage pieces, including books, homewares, furniture and more. Go early, rummage for the choicest wares and snag a bargain. foire-isle-sur-sorgue.fr
[Photo: jean-louis Zimmermann/Flickr]
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Sydney Comedy Festival
22 April – 19 May, 2019
Sydney, Australia
Prepare to bust a gut: Late April sees the start of the 15th Sydney Comedy Festival, featuring world-class comedians and Australian legends as well as tomorrow’s stars, with galas at several iconic city locations including the Sydney Opera House, Enmore Theatre, The Concourse Chatswood and Parramatta’s Riverside Theatre among others. sydneycomedyfest.com.au
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Earth Day
22 April, 2019
Various Cities, Worldwide
The theme for the 49th edition of Earth Day is ‘Protect Our Species’, focusing on stopping the decimation of all kinds of species on our planet – not just the endangered ones – and fostering action to maintain overall bio-diversity. In keeping with this aim, various projects and campaigns will be instituted worldwide. Get involved, make a difference. earthday.org
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Tribeca Film Festival
24 April – 5 May, 2019 
New York City, USA
Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, the Tribeca Film Festival is a platform for established and emerging creatives to present independent and innovative works, including foreign films, documentaries, features, shorts, broadcast TV and immersive projects. As well as celebrity panel discussions, festival-goers can look forward to premieres, exhibitions and live performances. tribecafilm.com
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25-28 April, 2019
Stuttgart, Germany
At this fair in Stuttgart, green-fingered visitors can look forward to getting inspired with fresh ideas, new concepts and top trends in the world of gardening. As well as show gardens, plant exhibitions and floristry workshops, there’ll be a bazaar, expert forums and special events, such as the ‘Night of the Senses’. messe-stuttgart.de
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New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
26 April – 5 May, 2019
New Orleans, USA
2019 marks the 50th anniversary of this diverse jazz festival featuring the best of the national and international music scene (the 2018 edition featured Aerosmith, Rod Stewart and Sting, among others). Look forward to good music, food, culture and a craft marketplace buzzing with artisanal craftspeople. nojazzfest.com
[Photo: Joshua Brasted Via New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival/ Facebook]
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Festival de la Leyenda Vallenata
26-30 April, 2019
Valledupar, Colombia
This festival is dedicated to the Colombian folk music known as vallenato – prominently featuring instruments like the accordion and guacharaca – with competitions highlighting local musicians from near (Valledupar) and far (Cuba, USA, Mexico). The Piloneras dance parade and side events – comprising painting exhibitions, storytelling sessions, cockfights, book expos and parties – are just as entertaining. festivalvallenato.com
[Photo: Jdvillalobos/Wikimedia Commons]
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Texas SandFest
26-28 April, 2019
Port Aransas, Texas, USA
For 3 days in April, this annual fundraising event will transform Port Aransas beach into a canvas of sand art, as master sculptors and skilled amateurs come together to display their talents. As well as sand sculpting competitions, there’ll be music, kids’ activities, food and drink, and stalls selling everything from jewellery to crafts. texassandfest.org
[Photo: Kastle Kelley Photography]
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Daffodil Festival
26-28 April, 2019
Nantucket, MA, USA
Come spring, head to Nantucket for a massive celebration of its signature blooms: buttery-yellow daffodils. What started out as an antique car parade in the 1970s has since expanded into a huge flower festival complete with musical concerts, parades, contests, art exhibits, tailgate picnics, a 5K race and a flower show. facebook.com
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King’s Day
27 April, 2019 
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Though Amsterdam holds the largest King’s Day (Koningsdag) in honour of King Willem-Alexander, it’s an opportunity for the whole of Netherlands to celebrate wearing orange. Even if doffing your cap to royalty isn’t your thing, many enjoy it for the open-air street parties, vrijmarkt (almost-free market), concerts, street performances and family-friendly fun. iamsterdam.com
[Photo: Paula Abrahao/Flickr]
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National Cheese Festival
28 April – 1 May, 2019
Trujillo, Spain
It’s time to say ‘cheese’ and sample over 300 varieties of Spanish and international moulds – traditional, contemporary and even the rarest varieties – which cheesemakers proudly display at the world’s largest cheese fair, held at the beautiful Plaza Mayor in Trujillo. Accompanied by beer and wine stalls, the place morphs into a literal food paradise. trujillovillasespana.com
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29 April – 5 May, 2019 
Tankwa, South Africa
This artistic get-together is a temporary city of art, complete with burning structures and creative performances against a semi-desert backdrop. For the 2019 edition, Afrikaburn invites participants to consider the theme ‘Ephemerality’ – imagining the fleeting nature of one’s experiences and circumstances – and to create a work of art as if it were the last of its kind. afrikaburn.com
[Photo: Jolene Thompson/Flickr] 
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Sisters’ Meal Festival
30 April – 2 May, 2019
Guizhou, China
Seen as a version of Valentine’s Day, the Sisters’ Meal Festival is a celebration of love and springtime. The Miao people in Guizhou celebrate with naturally dyed steamed rice, firecrackers, traditional costumes, silver jewellery, Lusheng music and dance.  Celebrations also include activities such as horse racing and bullfights.
[Photo: yeun yan/Flickr]
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30 April, 2019
Thale and Brocken, Germany
In the central German mountain range of ‘The Harz’, legend has it that witches fly to Brocken mountain to herald springtime. In nearby Thale, several events celebrate this pre-May Day Walpurgis Night including, a devil’s show, fireworks, comedy and musical performances. Be there or be scared. walpurgismarkt-thale.de
[Photo: Sebastian Knorr/Flickr] 
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Beltane Fire Festival
30 April, 2019 
Edinburgh, Scotland
Though less than three decades old, the Beltane Fire Festival looks back to Iron Age Celtic rituals for inspiration and create their own connections with nature. It’s a welcoming in of summer: a celebration of light and fertility with a theatrical procession, stage performances, dances and an enormous bonfire on Calton Hill. beltane.org
[Photo: Neil Barton]
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Tmrw.Tday CultureFest
30 April – 5 May, 2019
Negril, Jamaica
A fairly new culture fest, held along Seven Mile Beach in Negril, allows festival-goers to enhance their well-being and happiness and attain a sense of calm through immersion in international and native music, dance, meditation, yoga, tribe talks, farm-to-table retreats and other environmentally conscious initiatives, from dawn ’til dusk for six whole days. tmrwtday.com
[Photo: Tmrw.Tday CultureFest Via Facebook]
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Cheltenham Jazz Festival
1-6 May, 2019
Cheltenham, England
47 official concerts. Fringe festivities. Different styles of jazz. 20,000+ visitors. Billed as “one of the country’s best-loved jazz festivals”, this is where some of the greatest jazz musicians – as well as new talent from different genres – come together to showcase their best. Enjoy free outdoor concerts, daytime pop-up street performances and fun family activities. cheltenhamfestivals.com
[Photo: Clint Randall/Flickr]
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Frieze New York
1-5 May, 2019
New York, USA
Frieze returns to Randall’s Island Park in New York, with many of the world’s best galleries in attendance. Expect special artist commissions, performances, daily talks and installations. The 2018 iteration featured more than 190 modern and contemporary art galleries from 30 countries, highlighting the world’s most renowned artists. frieze.com
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Lei Day Festival
1 May, 2019
Across Hawaii, USA
This annual festival, established as a holiday in 1929, marks the tradition of making and wearing leis (flower wreaths) and is celebrated on May Day across the Hawaiian islands with hula performances, live music, lei contests, lei making demos, cultural activities, local crafts and good food.
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Spot Fest
2-4 May, 2019
Aarhus, Denmark
The Scandinavian music industry has been converging here for many years to deliver more than 200 music acts by established and emerging artistes from various genres. The vibe is friendly, the standards are high, and the music is novel and nice. Last year’s edition featured performances by Alkymist, Artifact Collective, Anya and more. spotfestival.dk
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Memphis in May International Festival
3-25 May, 2019
Memphis, Tennessee, USA
This festival is a month-long series of events that kicks off with the Beale Street Music Festival, followed by the World Championship Barbeque Cooking Contest, the Great American River Run and Celebrate Memphis, which honours the Bluff City on its 200th anniversary. Expect a range of activities, from music to art, showcasing talent from across Memphis. memphisinmay.org
[Photo: Brandon Johnson]
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3-5 May, 2019 (TBC)
Istanbul, Turkey
Held at KüçükÇiftlik Park for three days, FloralFest flower festival brings delicious fragrances, colours and creativity together, featuring various local and international brands from the city as well as workshops and seminars on various topics, including flower arrangements, bouquet design and flower care. You can even sip some flowering teas and hang a wish on a Hidirellez tree. floralfest.com.tr
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Wekfest Japan
3 May, 2019
Nagoya, Japan
Originally started in California, Wekfest returns to Japan for its 6th annual showcase, bringing to the fore creative and drool-worthy craftsmanship and designs in the automobile aftermarket. What to expect? Unexpected cars, curious ideas, creative solutions and lots of surprises in the automobile world, with an Eastern flavour at Port Messe. deskgram.net
[Photo: Wekfest Japan Via Facebook]
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Hiroshima Flower Festival
3-5 May, 2019
Hiroshima, Japan
Celebrating flowers, nature, peace and music, this festival attracts 1 million visitors from all over Hiroshima and beyond every year. Besides flowers and the giant Flower Tower – the festival’s beautifully decorated symbol – visitors can enjoy dance shows, performances, concerts, a marching parade and a candlelit event in the evening. visithiroshima.net
[Photo: ©Hiroshima Convention & Visitors Bureau]
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Brighton Festival
4-26 May, 2019
Brighton, England
One of Europe’s best-known art events, the Brighton Festival is a celebration of all kinds of arts, including music, theatre, dance, circus, film and literature. Look forward to Rokia Traoré’s theatrical and musical monologue Dream Mandé Djata and Sheila Hill’s new choral work Eye to Eye in the upcoming edition. brightonfestival.org
[Photo:Vic Frankowski Via Brighton Festival/Facebook]
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Die Lange Nacht der Musik
4 May, 2019
Munich, Germany
Munich’s “Long Night of Music” is a good example of a city-wide cultural event: around 400 concerts in a variety of music styles – from baroque to swing and sacred music to jazz – held in all sorts of different venues, ranging from small pubs and clubs to famous beer halls, all in just one evening. facebook.com
[Photo: Nico Kaiser/Flickr] 
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Rhein In Flammen
4 May, 2019
Bonn, Germany
Witness a spectacular fireworks display over the Rhine, taking place 5 times between May and September. The event kicks off in Bonn the first Saturday in May, igniting the section between Bonn and Linz. While 1,500 glowing Bengal flares burn along the banks, a convoy of 60 illuminated ships also make an entrance. Best views: Freizeitpark Rheinaue. rhein-in-flammen.com
[Photo: Shepard4711/Flickr]
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Cinco de Mayo
5 May, 2019
Pueblo, Mexico
Cinco de Mayo may look like a typical fiesta found anywhere in Mexico, but it’s only really big in Puebla, where parades and parties celebrate Mexico’s 1862 victory against France. Don’t miss Feria de Puebla and Festival Internacional 5 de Mayo – chock-full of music, orchestras, games, rides, food and drink, concerts and more. puebla-mexico.com
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XJAZZ Festival
8-12 May, 2019
Berlin, Germany
May is a big month for jazz festivals, and Berlin puts on one of the finest. A high-quality line-up is guaranteed, with organisers inviting crossover acts that incorporate classic, electronic and other styles of jazz, mostly focusing on the Berlin local music scene. The festival is held in nightclubs in the Kreuzberg neighbourhood. facebook.com
[Photo: Andre Symann Via XJAZZ/Facebook]
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Thrissur Pooram Festival
13 May, 2019 
Kerala, India
This vibrant temple festival is a visual spectacle from beginning to end. Kicking off with a ceremonial flag-raising ceremony (kodiyettam) of participating temples and fireworks days ahead of the actual function, the festivities last almost 30 hours, with deities paraded around on ornately decorated elephants with percussion music, dancing and traditional food. thrissurpooramfestival.com 
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The Pahiyas Festival
15 May, 2019 (TBC)
Lucban, Quezon, Philippines
The festival celebrates San Isidro de Labrador, the patron saint of farmers in the Philippines. As a harvest festival, fruits and flowers are aplenty, but also expect to see a grand parade of farmers, marching bands and papier mâché floats, local arts and crafts, colourful kiping and produce-laden houses – as well as to feast on local delicacies. pahiyasfestival.com
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Festival Jazz à Saint-Germain-des-Prés
16-27 May, 2019 
Paris, France
This annual local jazz festival in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighbourhood is well worth a visit. Hundreds of musicians and singers will perform at several venues, including Odéon-Théâtre, Paris-Sorbonne University and Saint-Germain-des-Prés church.  Festival-goers can look forward to several concerts including Biréli Lagrène Trio’s Storyteller and RYMDEN featuring Bugge Wesseltoft, Dan Berglund and Magnus Öström, among others. festivaljazzsaintgermainparis.com
[Photo: Yuji Watanabe]
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Jacob’s Ladder Spring Festival
16-18 May, 2019
Ginosar, Israel
This friendly biannual live folk music festival with a ’70s vibe is back by Lake Kinneret for its springtime edition, showcasing all manner of folk music – from bluegrass to bagpipes. Look out for musical acts by The Israel Klezmer Orchestra and Nefesh Mountain (USA), plus music and dance workshops, children’s activities, camping, swimming and more. jlfestival.com
[Photo: Noam Amir]
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Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong
17-19 May, 2019 
Hong Kong
True to its name, the 7th edition of the fair will be packed with high-quality contemporary art for all kinds of tastes and wallets, and will feature more than 100 local and international galleries from around the world. Fair-goers can look forward to creative, interactive and educational activities and workshops, artist-led tours, a charity evening, large-scale installations and more. affordableartfair.com
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World Whisky Day
18 May, 2019
Various Cities, Worldwide
For dram connoisseurs, World Whisky Day is an important one, celebrating all things whisky. With the goal of making whisky accessible and enjoyable to all, numerous locations worldwide will be hosting events including pairings, tastings, gatherings and distillery tours. You can even organise your own: just gather a group, raise a dram and enjoy. worldwhiskyday.com
[Photo: Guido Gloor Modjib/Flickr]
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Glyndebourne Festival
18 May – 25 August, 2019
Lewes, England
Legions of opera fans will stream to Glyndebourne to take in old classics and new favourites. This means that, as well as Barbe & Doucet’s rendition of Die Zauberflöte, there’ll also be Berlioz’s thriller La damnation de Faust, and a few revivals including Handel’s Rinaldo and Dvořák’s Rusalka, plus operatic fairy tales featuring witches and their ilk. glyndebourne.com
[Photo: Bill Cooper]
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RHS Chelsea Flower Show
21-25 May, 2019
London, England
The best of British gardening is displayed at the world-renowned Chelsea Flower Show, with the Show Gardens and Great Pavilion being the star attractions. Discover the latest trends, new gardening ideas and the science behind horticulture, as you marvel at the Artisan Gardens and landscaping designs, indulge in retail therapy and maybe even click a selfie with an obliging celebrity. rhs.org.uk
[Photo: Harry Lawford/Flickr]
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The Masked Ball
24-26 May, 2019
Porthleven, England
Supported by a list of international DJs, the best from the dance circuit and hordes of costumed revellers, The Masked Ball has become a curious success as an all-night party. Dressing up is key, with a string of wild events to keep hedonists happy. Past editions have featured Grandmaster Flash, Ben Pearce and DJ Yoda. maskedball.net
[Photo: The Masked Ball Via Facebook]
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Uluru Camel Cup
24-25 May, 2019 (TBC)
Yulara, Australia
The festivities begin on Friday night with live entertainment, bidding on camels and a buffet dinner, followed on Saturday by qualifying races, the main camel racing event and fun off-the-track activities for everyone – including helicopter fights, Outback Games, a Reptile Show, a fashion parade and outback markets. Make sure to participate in the Frock Up and Rock Up Gala ball. ulurucamelracingclub.com
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Bottlerock Napa Valley
24-26 May, 2019
Napa Valley, California, USA
Bottlerock puts more than 80+ bands on 6 stages during the Memorial Day weekend. Also very appealing is the culinary stage, featuring celebrity chefs, master sommeliers and some of the region’s best restaurateurs, vintners and brewers. 2018’s affair featured Bruno Mars, Snoop Dogg, The Killers, Trisha Yearwood and Richard Blais, among others. bottlerocknapavalley.com
[Photo: Courtesy Bottlerock Napa Valley]
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Bluff Oyster and Food Festival
25 May, 2019
Invercargill, New Zealand
With so many fresh seafood and wildfood delicacies here, you’ll be spoiled for choice: Bluff oysters, crayfish, paua (abalone), scallops, blue cod, salmon, whitebait, muttonbird, venison and lamb, along with a selection of ales and wines. In addition, you can enjoy live music, races and participate in oyster-shucking and -eating contests. Book early – it’s a high-demand affair. bluffoysterfest.co.nz
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Go Bike Montréal Festival
26 May – 2 June, 2019
Montréal, Canada
This week-long festival presents an opportunity to get together with friends and family, and bike stress-free along an untimed route. There’ll be several events, including ‘Tour de l’Île de Montréal’, ‘Bike-To-Work’, ‘Tour la Nuit’ and ‘The Metropolitan Challenge’ – all across one biking week with many side activities to enjoy, such as musical performances, mobile cycling-related exhibitions and parades. veloquebec.info
[Photo: Mathieu Deshayes_APMJ]
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Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling Competition
27 May, 2019
Brockworth, England
Cheese-rolling gets underway atop Cooper’s Hill with a mass gathering. The competitors take their places and set off, running, falling, tripping, tumbling and chasing a huge Double Gloucester cheese wheel weighing 8 pounds. First one to the bottom – cheese in hand – wins. For spectators, the best seats are at the bottom of the hill. officialcheeserolling.com
[Photo: Will De Freitas/Flickr]
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29 May – 2 June, 2019
Copenhagen, Denmark
This 5-day-long crazy party-crawl celebrating music and massive street parties takes place across three primary locations and includes around 150 dance floors. Its famous three concepts – including Distortion Ø (rave arena), Street Parties (day time) and Distortion Club (night time) – draw diverse crowds. 2018’s iteration featured the likes of Acid Arab, Ekali and IAMDDB. cphdistortion.dk
[Photo: Andreas Holm]
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Primavera Sound
30 May – 1 June, 2019
Barcelona, Spain
Primavera Sound is a highly regarded European music festival located in the Catalan capital of Barcelona. Last year’s performers included massive names in music such as Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Lorde, Arctic Monkeys, Björk and The National, among others, with more than 60,000 visitors in attendance each day at the Parc del Fòrum. primaverasound.com
[Photo: Dani Canto]
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Red Rooster
30 May – 1 June, 2019
Euston, England
Red Rooster is all about quality R&B, Americana, soul, blues, roots and country music transported to the heart of the British countryside in Euston Hall. 2019’s edition promises to have plenty on offer with performances by Nick Lowe, Los Straitjackets, Low Cut Connie, Dale Watson, Jesse Dayton, Errol Linton and the Joli Blon Cajun band. redrooster.org.uk
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The Governors Ball Music Festival
31 May – 2 June, 2019 
New York City, USA
Originally held in 2011 on Governors Island, the festival shifted base to Randall’s Island Park due to its sheer size and popularity. From hip hop to rap and pop to rock and electro, there’s diverse music to suit all manner of tastes. Among the performers for 2018’s iteration were Jack White, Travis Scott, Shawn Mendes and Eminem. governorsballmusicfestival.com
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Africa Oyé
June 2019 (Exact Dates TBA)
Liverpool, England
Africa Oyé showcases African and Caribbean talent in a major way. It’s now the largest free celebration of African music in the UK – a celebration of multiculturalism, tolerance and internationalism, underpinned by fabulous music. In addition, there’s food, drinks, arts and crafts, DJs, dance workshops and lots of kid-centric activities to keep everyone thoroughly entertained. africaoye.com
[Photo: Mark McNulty]
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Cheltenham Science Festival
4-9 June, 2019
Cheltenham, England
This festival focuses on a major science-based theme each year – but no matter the topic, it attracts curious adults and kids with burning questions on just about anything, from the state of the planet to everyday living. See big thinkers and scientists come together to find answers. There’ll be debates, hands-on activities, interactive sessions, experiments and more. cheltenhamfestivals.com
[Photo: stillmovingmedia.co.uk
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Nos Primavera Sound
6-8 June, 2019
Porto, Portugal
After Barcelona in May, Primavera Sound turns its sights to Porto in June, attracting visitors from 40+ countries. Now in its 8th year, this eclectic 3-day music festival featuring international and local artists finds a home at the lush Parque da Cidade. Don’t miss the concerts, parties and private shows around the city. nosprimaverasound.com
[Photo: Hugo Lima Photography]
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Sanno Matsuri
6-16 June, 2019 (TBC)
Tokyo, Japan
Sanno Matsuri provides a different pace to the usual, more common festivals that increasingly fill the June calendar. The main event, called jinkosai, sees 300 people parade through central Tokyo in traditional costume carrying flowers and mikoshi (portable shrines). See and appreciate various Japanese traditions during the festival week, including tea ceremonies, ikebana and spiritual cleansing. jnto.go.jp
[Photo: ZiJing/Flickr]
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Meadows in the Mountains
6-9 June, 2019
Smolian, Bulgaria
Set amidst the beautiful Rhodopes Mountains, this is a hugely attractive festival with a difference: the crowd is refreshingly small, and there are only 4 stages – each featuring talented musicians but without massive headlining acts. Then there are the wellness options and soulful treats, from Ayurveda to chanting, which complete the experience. meadowsinthemountains.com
[Photo: Jack Pasco]
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Viking Festival
6-9 June, 2019
Avaldsnes, Norway
Come and see Vikings from all over Europe gather and pitch their tents at the biggest Viking festival on the west coast of Norway at the Viking Farm. Browse authentic Viking crafts, have your fill of food, see fighting acts, listen to stories, participate in workshops, archery and horseback riding, and enjoy some good music. opplevavaldsnes.no
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Dark Mofo
7-23 June, 2019
Hobart, Australia
Produced by MONA, Dark Mofo is a popular winter solstice festival, exploring centuries-old rituals relating to themes like darkness and light, death and renewal, humans and nature. Music, film, art, a nude solstice swim, a Dark + Dangerous Thoughts programme and a 7-night community-oriented Winter Feast are some of the highlights of the 2019 iteration. darkmofo.net.au
[Photo: DarkLab Media]
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Luminato Festival
7-23 June, 2019
Toronto, Canada
Luminato is a major Toronto festival featuring everything from music and theatre to dance, magic and more. Artists, film-makers and other creative talents from across the world take part in this multi-venue art and culture festival. Shows to look out for: Masquerade (theatre), Obeah Opera (dance + theatre) and Hell’s Fury (music theatre). luminatofestival.com
[Photo: Osato Erebor]
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Field Day
7-8 June, 2019
London, England
A relatively new but popular festival of dance and alternative music, this one’s a keeper for its eclectic, cutting-edge tunes as well as for its food, drink, fun and games. And for 2019, the event moves to a brand-new 10-acre outdoor space in Tottenham Marshes with 4 gigantic, interlinked warehouses, allowing for its biggest line-up to date. fielddayfestivals.com
[Photo: Steve Turvey]
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Midnight Sun Film Festival
12-16 June, 2019
Sodankylä, Finland
Lapland’s Midnight Sun Film Festival stays true to its name – both the sunlight and the film screenings just keep on going. Contemporary films and classics are presented in various formats, such as masterclass screenings, karaoke showings and silent film concerts. And best of all, there’s always something that everyone can enjoy. msfilmfestival.fi
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Art Basel
13-16 June, 2019
Basel, Switzerland
Basel is where it all began for what is now one of the most successful series of international art shows worldwide. The 2018 edition saw 290 of the world’s leading galleries come together to showcase the work of more than 4,000 modern and contemporary artists. Enjoy daily art talks, exhibitions and art events during the show week. artbasel.com
[Photo: Courtesy Art Basel]
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Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
13-16 June, 2019
Manchester, TN, USA
At this 4-day round-the-clock multi-stage camping event, festival-goers can look forward to a massive line-up of musicians, bands and comedians, as well as a silent disco, yoga classes, a 5K race, and an arts and crafts market. Past headliners have included the likes of Eminem, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, U2, Lorde and Travis Scott. bonnaroo.com
[Photo: Photographer Name]
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Isle of Wight Festival
13-16 June, 2019
Newport, England
Once banned and later resurrected, Britain’s iconic, rock, pop and dance fest kick-starts the summer in style with legendary artists as well as a stellar cast of emerging bands on multiple stages, plus theatre, film, comedy, fun and games at Seaclose Park. Past performers here have included David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Coldplay, Jay-Z and more. isleofwightfestival.com
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14-23 June, 2019
Terschelling, Netherlands
On the go since 1982, Oerol is located on an island in the Wadden Sea. Music might be central to the experience, but there’s also theatre, art and DIY workshops in all sorts of unexpected spaces, from the beach to barns and hollows. Best way to explore: On a bicycle. oerol.nl
[Photo: Oerol Via Facebook]
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Bali Arts Festival
16 June – 14 July, 2019 
Bali, Indonesia
A month of art and culture, Bali-style. Locals create and show traditional bamboo arts and structures, and there are parades with colourful costumes, plus gamelan recitals, dance performances, shadow puppetry and food stalls, not to mention music in both traditional and contemporary styles – all at the Werdhi Budaya Art Centre in East Denpasar. bali-indonesia.com
[Photo: Tanti Ruwani/Flickr]
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Luminara di San Ranieri
16 June, 2019
Pisa, Italy
Summer, Tuscany and food are enough to convince many of a trip to Italy – but Pisa’s candlelight festival is a thing of beauty. The cathedral, riverside and leaning tower are wonderfully lit up with candles at sunset, followed by fireworks at 11pm in honour of the patron saint Ranieri degli Scaccieri. visittuscany.com
[Photo: Intoscana .it/Flickr]
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Festival d’ Essaouira Gnaoua Musiques du Monde
20-23 June, 2019
Essaouira, Morocco
Described as being ‘resolutely focused on Africa’, this huge international festival is a must-see. Talent from across Africa come here for a wide variety of enchanting experimental music, not to mention lively socio-political debates. See the next generation of master musicians of Gnaoua, as well as innovative collaborations. festival-gnaoua.net
[Photo: festival-gnaoua.net]
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Queenstown Winter Festival
20-23 June, 2019 
Queenstown, New Zealand
Marking the start of the winter season, the festival runs for 4 days in its shortened version. Still there’s plenty to enjoy: live music, a Dog Derby, fireworks, street parties, comedy acts, winter sports, an arts and crafts market, DIY workshops, foodie events and fun for the whole family. winterfestival.co.nz
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Secret Solstice Festival
21-23 June, 2019
Reykjavik, Iceland
The world’s most northern city seems an appropriate location to hold an atmospheric Secret Solstice. This will be the 6th time the midnight sun festival is being held in Reykjavik, with thousands visiting for the eclectic music, glacier raves, spectacular landscape and more. Stormzy, Slayer and Bonnie Tyler were the headliners at last year’s edition. secretsolstice.is
[Photo: Solovov.be]
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Big Five Marathon
22 June, 2019 
Nkangala, South Africa
Run an adventure marathon through a Big Five game reserve in Africa! You can spot elephants, rhinos, leopards, buffaloes and lions if you’re lucky, as you make your way to the finish. Oh, and did we mention there’s nothing – no fences or barriers – that separates you from the animals? big-five-marathon.com
[Photo: Albatros Adventure Marathons]
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Inti Raymi
24 June, 2019
Cusco, Peru
Inti Raymi is an age-old, wonderfully picturesque religious ceremony that celebrates the winter solstice and looks forward to the Andean New Year. This is an Inca Sun ceremony, but the grand procession, music, dancing and food are also central. discover-peru.org
[Photo: Latin Discoveries/Flickr]
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St Kitts Music Festival
26-30 June 2019 
Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis
Attracting record crowds year after year, this event puts a huge array of talent on show – and it’s diverse enough to encompass several genres, from hip hop to calypso. 2018 performers included Spice, Destra and Patti Labelle. Besides music, there’ll be lunchtime concerts, beach parties, boat rides and after-parties. stkittsmusicfestival.net
[Photo: St Kitts Music Festival Via Facebook]
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Tollwood Sommerfestival
26 June – 21 July, 2019
Munich, Germany
For the 31st summer edition of Tollwood, there’ll be Nouveau Cirque productions, concerts boasting all varieties of musicians from legends to regional bands and a ‘Market of Ideas’ buzzing with handicrafts and tantalising treats. Among those who’ll be wooing the crowd with their musical talent are Dieter Thomas Kuhn, Toto and Willy Astor. tollwood.de
[Photo: Bernd Wackerbauer]
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Munich Opera Festival
27 June – 31 July, 2019
Munich, Germany
They take high art seriously in Munich, even during this free outdoor ‘Opera for All’ event conducted by Kirill Petrenko that kick-starts the Munich Opera Festival. It’s followed by concerts, chamber music, recitals and a free live opera broadcast of Richard Strauss’ Salome at Max-Joseph-Platz on 6 July. staatsoper.de
[Photo: © Wilfried Hösl]
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Festival International de Jazz de Montréal
27 June – 6 July, 2019
Montréal, Canada
Now in its 40th edition, this major jazz fest takes place in Montréal’s Quartier des Spectacles and always draws big names. Among 2019’s star performers will be popular jazz singer Diana Reeves, Brazilian singer-songwriter Rodrigo Amarante, Canadian neo-classical pianist/composer Alexandra Stréliski and legendary vocalist/guitarist George Benson. montrealjazzfest.com
[Photo: © Benoit Rousseau] 
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Boi Bumba
28 – 30 June, 2019 (TBC)
Parintins, Brazil
Though located in the relatively minor (and very isolated) city of Parintins, Boi Bumba is one of Brazil’s major festivals. It’s a mix of theatre, religious ceremony and folk tale put on by the locals, and it encompasses several competitions – such as the wildest dance and the best costumes – followed by feasting and revelry. boibumba.com
[Photo: Ministério da Cultura/Flickr]
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Roskilde Festival
29 June – 6 July, 2019
Roskilde, Denmark
Roskilde Festival is a high-profile music festival that looks to attract big names – already signed up for 2019 are Swedish singer-songwriter Robyn, British band The Cure, American rapper Travis Scott and Danish R&B/soul/funk/pop trio Scarlet Pleasure. roskilde-festival.dk
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Haro Wine Festival
29 June, 2019
Haro, Spain
Some people go to amazing lengths to get a taste of their favourite tipple – though climbing La Rioja mountain and then throwing it all over one another in a wine fight may be a bit much for some. Festival-goers can enjoy lots of celebratory food and drinks following the main wine battle. wine-fight.com
[Photo: BigSus/Wikimedia Commons]
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Elton John ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ Tour
8 September 2018 – 11 September 2019
Various Cities, USA
Catch pop music’s most enduring icon as he bids adieu to his “life on the road”. The Farewell tour kickstarts in September 2018 and will conclude in 2021, taking in several cities across the globe. Card Member seating and Preferred seating are available to Amex cardholders throughout North America. axs.com
[Photo: Dena Flows/Flickr]
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