June 28 2008

In the midst of festival season, The Cool Hunter thought it timely to highlight the world's greatest festivals.  Some of them you may have heard of, others you most certainly haven’t.  Regardless, all of them are essential for the worldly music lover.

Sonar — Barcelona, Spain

It would seem that going to a music festival doesn’t necessarily mean duking it out for three days in conditions not fit for human habitation.  Sonar is the festival for the discerning type, swapping mud-swamped squalor for the beautiful Ramblas village district of Barcelona.

Exit Festival — Novi Sad, Serbia

Held in the Serbian city of Novi Sad, Exit began life as a softly-softly political protest against the Milosevic regime.  Now staged within the grounds of an eighteenth century fortress, Exit has grown into a massive four-day cauldron of music and mayhem.

Aldrei For Eg Sudur (I Never Went South) — Isafjordur, Iceland

Forget rockstar egocentrics and drift to the north of Iceland in the fist thaw of the Easter weekend for a music festival that concentrates on Icelandic talent.  With conditions that scare off the average festival monkeyman, Aldrei For Eg Sudur is the most communal of music festivals.

Fuji Rock Festival — Naeba Ski Resort, Japan

Set amongst the lush forest of a summer ski field, Fuji Rock takes the music festival’s need for a large outdoor area and runs with it, providing one of the most spectacular and tranquil settings you could possibly imagine for a major rock festival.

Splendour In The Grass — Byron Bay, Australia

Australia isn’t as cheap to visit as it used to be, but suck it up to make it to Splendour In The Grass.  Great line-ups are complemented by a relaxed vibe and the spectacular beach surroundings of Byron Bay.  - Matt Shea