From a floating music festival to a camel fair and a foodie event with more bacon than you can shake a stick at, here’s where to be this month…
New York Comedy Festival
New York City, USA
Trevor Noah, Patton Oswalt, Tracy Morgan, Dane Cook – the list of hilarious luminaries in action at NYC’s upcoming funny fest goes on. Grab some tickets, and get ready to bust a gut.
What started 15 years ago as a party in an airplane hangar has become a favourite for in-the-know festival fans looking for a more intimate, authentic experience. It’s less about big-time headliners and more about discovering your next favourite band, while taking in the side programme of art and fashion events, too. Don’t miss the lineup of free off-venue shows, where you can catch the same artists and chill with locals without purchasing a ticket or waiting in long lines.
[Photo by Alexander Matukhno]
Pushkar Camel Fair
Come for the camels, stay for the country fair atmosphere – but India-style, with snake charmers, fortune tellers, dancers, musicians, magicians and holy men, all under the auspicious autumn full moon. Visit the market stalls, check out the camel trading tent, watch a Camel Beauty Contest or a camel race, have a curry or two, and while you’re at it, take a dip in Pushkar Lake at dawn; doing so is said to absolve one’s sins.
Kenu and Kundu Festival
Alotau, Papua New Guinea
Live music, traditional dancing, craft displays and drama performances all set the mood for this celebration of customary Papuan ways of live, but it’s the impeccably crafted kundu drums and canoes that steal the show. Though not a centuries-old event deeply rooted in tradition (the festival was founded in 2003), it’s still an immersive way to experience the vibrant culture of the region.
It’s The Ship
Departs from Singapore
There’s nothing better than being on a boat …except being on a boat that doubles as a floating music festival. Take your run-of-the-mill music events with its all-night raves, but add a climbing wall, a surfing simulator, an ice rink, a casino and a beach party in Langkawi – plus all your meals AND 24-hour room service included in your ticket price – and you’ve got yourself one heck of a unique festival experience.
[Photo: Colossal Photos]
Easton, Pennsylvania, USA
If there’s anything America loves more than bacon, it’s finding new and unusual ways to eat it. Here, you’ll find it stuffed in pretzels, on top of cupcakes, covered in chocolate – even replacing berries as the key ingredient in jam – but also in more classic dishes like sandwiches and burgers. Thankfully, the emphasis here is on vendors who source their swine from local farms, ideally small-scale and free-range, so the ethical qualms are minimal. Watching your cholesterol? Take a stroll through the open-air market to find fresh, local fruits, veggies and organic breads.
Pirates Week Festival
George Town, Cayman Islands
You don’t have to be a hardcore Pirates of the Caribbean fan to enjoy a bit of scallywag shenanigans. Don your buccaneering best and come out for parades, fireworks, dancing – even a mock pirate invasion featuring 3 full-scale pirate sailing ships. Add in the Cayman Islands’ historical sights, fantastic cuisine and gorgeous white sand beaches, and try to think of a reason not to go.
San Francisco International Hip Hop Dancefest
San Francisco, California, USA
Hip hop in San Francisco? It sounds as mismatched as orange juice in your Cheerios, but hear us out: introducing a live-and-love San Fran attitude to the combative world of professional dance, this is the first ever non-competitive hip hop event, created simply to celebrate the artistry of a dance movement. Watch as dance companies from around the world strut their stuff, and check out a sideline programme of films about the genre.
At Bondi Beach, they do it right. This festival is only in its second edition, but the fact that they got the Beach Boys to play their first year bodes well for year #2. ICEHOUSE, James Reyne, Mark Seymour, Josh Pyke, Natalie Bassingthwaighte and William Crighton have all RSVPed for stage time, so grab your best beach towel and prepare for the beach party of the summer.
Räbechilbi Turnip Festival
When it comes to vegetable popularity, turnips don’t really get a lot of airtime, but there’s one town in Switzerland that’s determined to change that. Richterswil, a town on the shores of Lake Zürich, throws an annual shindig in honour of this much-maligned root vegetable, though the emphasis isn’t on eating them – it’s on carving them. The one-day festival features outdoor concerts and a small market peddling local specialties, while the highlight is a procession of floats adorned with 26 tonnes of turnips carved into every imaginable shape, from tigers and flowers to intricate, larger-than-life cuckoo clocks. The best part is that these veggie sculptures are all lit up with thousands of candles as they’re paraded through town, turning the humble turnip into the stuff of fairy tales.
[Photo: Jonathan Jones/Flickr]
Eastside Culture Crawl
Amateur art collectors, here’s one for your calendar: This celebration of visual arts and handicrafts showcases the work of artists and artisans – both local and international – displaying their creations in venues around the city, from Columbia Street to the waterfront. Visitors can browse the handiwork of more than 400 weavers, potters, jewellers, sculptors, painters, glassblowers, printmakers and photographers in their quest to find the perfect piece, while supporting the creative community at the same time.
Africa International Film Festival
AFRIFF’s major objective? “To reflect a common true African identity and re-establish Africa as an original home to all.” Their weapon of choice? Film. By investing in emerging talents and providing a forum in which to share their projects, the organisation takes an active role in supporting the growth of a fledgling industry with the potential to reveal so much about – and to improve – lives across the continent.
Yi Peng and Loy Krathong Lantern Festival
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Be a part of one of the world’s most ethereal events, as thousands gather to symbolically release their fears, regrets and negativity in the form of glowing lanterns and peaceful floats made of banana leaves. The reverent tone of the lantern release is preceded by vibrant parades, beauty pageants, musical performances, lantern-making contests, fireworks displays and plenty of delicious Thai food.
[Photo: Mark Fischer/Flickr]
Tocumwal, New South Wales, Australia
Quality over quantity is the order of the day at this small-scale EDM festival in the middle of the Australian bush, about 240 kilometres from Melbourne. The lineup focuses on local names, and the crowds are purposefully small, so as to promote a sense of community, but there’s still something for everyone. In need of some Zen? Attend a sunset yoga session or grab a brew in the Tea Lounge. Feeling a bit warm? Take a dip at the festival beach along the Murray River. Want to catch some culture? Check out the art gallery, admire the open-air art installations – a lot of the on-site art was funded through grants to encourage participation from up-and-coming and amateur artists.
Montreal Bach Festival
18 November – 4 December
Charming Montreal becomes even more magical in winter – the perfect stage for a celebration of one of history’s great composers. Ensembles, orchestras, choirs and solo musicians come from across the globe for this elegant event, which kicks off on 18 November with an even more elegant gala evening.
Lopburi Monkey Banquet
Two tons of produce and rice feed about 3,000 macaques each year at one of the world’s weirdest feasts. Chefs and onlookers arrive at the ancient Phra Prang Sam Yot temple, where the monkeys live, and set out a lavish banquet over which the Governor of Lopburi himself presides. After a bit of music and human-monkey dancing, the macaques are invited to chow down – which they do, with fervour and a bit of food-slinging. The 20-baht entrance fee does come with a stick for self-defence, but don’t be alarmed – as long as you don’t withhold any food, you’ll be fine.
[Photo: Chris Gusen/Flickr]
Are you excited by the prospect of festive events drawing nearer on the horizon?