Staff Picks: Festivals Around The World

With festival season upon us, find out where some of the best festivals are in the world, by the people who’ve been there!

V-Festival, UK

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Have you ever flown 27 hours to London, and driven straight to a three-day music festival, armed only with a suitcase full of clothing for the next six months?! Nope, because then you’d be called a mad-woman. There’s no better way to kick start a weekend of non-stop mud sliding, than with extreme jet lag, (note to readers: do NOT try this at home.) Yes, this happened in real life, and I lived to tell the tale – (the only thing that makes this ridiculous story even more ridiculous, is the fact I managed to score a seat in Business for part of it. Yass!)

Running on pure tiredness, I headed out to the sweet ol’ English countryside to “V-Festival” – the annual rock and pop-laden party, that takes place during the balmy Summer in Essex and South Staffordshire. With favourites Mr Timberlake, The Killers and Sammy Smith headlining that year, the festival was an onslaught of fun from the get-go – made even better by the motion dizziness I experienced six hours into it. With Summer being the best time to visit England (one word: rain), the festival is packed to the brim with feel-good vibes and funny accents. My advice, pack a poncho, some gumboots or “wellies” as the English say, and don’t fly 27 hours, the day of. Would I go again? In a jiffy! Would I go straight off the plane? Hmm, I’ll have to get back to you on that…

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WHEN: Late August
PREVIOUS LINEUPS: Kings of Leon, Calvin Harris, Muse, Beyonce, Oasis, The Killers, Kaiser Chiefs, Fat Boy Slim, The Prodigy, Ed Sheeran, Basement Jaxx, The Stone Roses, Nicki Minaj, Arctic Monkeys, David Guetta, MGMT.

Jade Le-Moigne, PR Coordinator

Pukkelpop, Belgium

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Have you heard of Belgium? Of course, you have…  home of ‘french fries’, land of waffles, country of beer, and don’t forget the Manneken pis! Ahh yes, Belgium ‘the heart of Europe’ also has a place in my heart. You see I lived in Belgium as an exchange student to learn French and other things no doubt. I had an amazing year and during my stay, I discovered this one not-to-be-missed festival: “Pukkelpop”.

Since 1985, a small village near Hasselt has hosted this festival called Pukkelpop and (in my opinion) is one of the greatest music festivals in Europe. What’s unique about this festival is the diverse range of bands it attracts – huge headline acts like Deadmau5, The xx., Eminem, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Radiohead, Metallica to name a few. Everyone in your party crew is guaranteed to find a tune they like, so it’s win-win-win. Pukkelpop is also known for introducing new and underground music. If you want to say ‘i heard them before they were popular’ then this is the place to find it.

Fact: the term “pukkel” is Dutch for “pimple” and the term “pop” is…  well you get it.

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WHEN: Mid-late August
PREVIOUS LINEUPS: Sonic Youth, The Mission, Ramones,Nirvana, The Sisters of Mercy, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters, Radiohead, Metallica, Green Day, Blink-182, Guns N’ Roses, Pixies, Daft Punk,The Prodigy, Nine Inch Nails, Iron Maiden, Björk, and The Stone Roses.

Leon Poole, Lead Developer

Bamboozle, USA

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What better way to kick off a four-month European summer, backpacking-holiday than a pitstop in New Jersey, USA, for a sneaky punk/rock festival on the beach called “Bamboozle”?! The idea initially came to life when we heard Blink-182 would be performing in full, only days before we were planning on leaving for Europe, so naturally we altered course and added an extra leg to the trip. About 2 weeks out Blink pulled out from the festival due to Travis Barker having tonsillitis (and we were pretty pissed, I mean come on guy, you don’t need your tonsils to drum!)

Despite that minor hiccup, we soldiered on and still kept up our plans to make it to the festival – 2 flights, a bus, 2 trains, a long, slightly lost walk and a very unorthodox “taxi” ride later we finally arrived at our accommodation with a few hours spare before the first day. This really was a great start to the trip, getting to see some all-time favourite acts including, The Foo Fighters, Bon Jovi, Jimmy Eat World, Incubus etc. I think a highlight for me would definitely be sitting on the beach listening to Boys Like Girls, we didn’t get up close with the crowd but the atmosphere was amazing! Advice from my experience – pack warm clothes even if it is Summer (it got cold at night as it’s coastal), expect the unexpected, and sunglasses (duh, the sun didn’t go down until 9:30PM). This festival is a must for anyone who wants to reminisce about the bands you couldn’t get enough of during your teen-angst years.

NB – Later on the trip we ended up seeing Travis and his family at Disneyland in Paris, and all was somewhat forgiven.


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WHEN: Mid-late May (although sadly, Bamboozle has now been cancelled)
PREVIOUS LINEUPS: Simple Plan, Wiz Khalifa, LMFAO, Good Charlotte, Kid Cudi, Fall Out Boy, New Found Glory, The Used, Gym Class Heroes.

Tahlia Hoar, Product Manager

Lowlands, Biddinghuizen Holland

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So with me being Dutch, my all-time favourite festival I have been to happens to be in Holland! Set within the small country town of Biddinghuizen which is surrounded by tulip fields, it is transformed into a big three-day music festival, with some of the biggest international bands from around the world. The first time I went to Lowlands Festival I was a young 16-year-old, way back in 2000 (I’m so old 😭). It would have to be the best festival I have ever been to! All my favourite bands were playing – System Of A Down, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Prodigy, Blink-182 and many more. But it’s not only bands playing, there are classes to attend, stand up comedians, theatre and dance, literature readings, films and much more. And if you don’t feel like doing any of those things, you can simply buy a ticket and go to Sixflags theme park, conveniently situated just next door to the festival.  

For me this was just the perfect festival because one: we had a big group of friends and two: we somehow fabricated our own massive tent out of some tarp and tent poles. European festivals are hands-down better than any in Australia, as you can bring in your own alcohol to the campsite! Huge tick!

Top tip: you can’t go to a festival without gumboots, believe me, I have tried!

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WHEN: Late August
PREVIOUS LINEUPS: What So Not, Kendrik Lamar, Glass Animals, Chet Faker, Nine Inch Nails, The Naked And Famous, Lykke Li, Crystal Castles, Tame Impala, Foals, Major Lazer, Arctic Monkeys, Bon Iver, The Chemical Brothers, MØ, Interpol, and Flume.

Maarten Timmerman, Promotions & Advertising Coordinator   

Don’t forget the essentials – get your next festival outfit from our festival category!

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