This Summer’s Unmissable Events

Fridge magnet fodder for the peripatetic. Here’s what to do this summer.

There aren’t too many music festivals in the world where you can be part of ethno-musical lectures and interactive world music workshops by day, then catch live acts by indigenous musicians from nearly every continent at night, and all in the middle of a lush rainforest. Welcome to the Rainforest World Music Festival at the Sarawak Cultural Village, which is nestled at the foot of Mount Santubong just outside of Kuching in Borneo. The festival runs for three days from July 14 to July 16, and over 200,000 people are expected to attend, so advanced reservations are recommended.

Now in its 39th year, the Bali Arts Festival is the island’s biggest celebration of traditional and contemporary dance, music and art from Bali and around the Indonesian archipelago. The festival will kick off on the first Saturday in June and run for an entire month with spectacular parades, performances and exhibitions taking place mainly at the Taman Werdhi Budaya Arts Centre in Denpasar. Visitors can join cultural workshops, watch dance competitions and musical performances, shop at artisan stalls and sample authentic Balinese and Indonesian fare at the many food stalls set up nearby.

Brought to us by Ismaya Live, We The Fest is Jakarta’s biggest annual festival of music, arts, fashion and food. The festival is back for their fourth instalment from August 11 to August 13, this time at a new location in the Jakarta International Expo. Just like in previous years, the line-up will include musicians from all genres including hip-hop, rock, indie and electronic dance music. Headliners include Phoenix, Big Sean and The Kooks, as well as local luminaries like Danilla, Stars & Rabbit and Silampukau.

Everyone should experience Burning Man at least once in their life, as this massive gathering in the middle of the Black Rock Desert is a mind-expanding experiment in community and creativity. On August 27 more than 70,000 people will erect a temporary city built with the principles of radical inclusion and self-expression, decommodification, and communal effort in mind. Throughout the week visitors can explore the city to experience themed camps and villages, awesome art installations, musical performances and the namesake event – the burning of the effigy on the evening of Saturday September 2.


July 14 to July 16 Baybeats: Baybeats began in 2002 as a platform to showcase talented indie artists in Asia, and it has since become a major musical event that attracts about 70,000 people every year. The festival takes place over three days at the Esplanade with three different stages including the outdoor Baybeats Arena overlooking the bay, the Powerhouse Stage and the Chillout Stage. The lineup includes local and international indie musicians playing everything from glam rock to electro to powerhouse pop, and admission is free for all.

July 14 to July 30 Singapore Food Festival: Singaporeans are proud of their rich culinary heritage, which is why the Singapore Food Festival is such a big deal in the Lion City. This two-week gourmet smorgasbord celebrates traditional dishes like chicken rice, chilli crab and bak kut teh, as well as Mod-Sin creations like laksagne and char siew chilli fries. Throughout the festival there will be culinary happenings all over the city, but the main event is STREAT where you can hit up the food stalls for hawker classics and contemporary creations by some of Singapore’s most lauded chefs.


July 8 Pride in London Parade: Last year over 40,000 people marched in the Pride in London Parade and over a million people took to the streets to celebrate love in all forms, and this year the parade is set to be even larger and more vibrant. The theme for 2017 is ‘Love Happens Here’, which brings with it a message of hope, acceptance, activism and love. Catch the parade as it makes its way along Regent Street and past Trafalgar Square to Whitehall, and then join one of the many after parties taking place in the streets. There will also be pre-parade Pride events going on around the city from June 24 onwards.

August 9 to August 13 Boardmasters Festival (Newquay, Cornwall): Come early August, the laid-back town of Newquay transforms from a sleepy seaside spot into a bustling hive of activity during the Boardmasters Festival, a spectacular surf and music festival on the Cornish coast. The centre of all the action takes place at Fistral Beach with pro surf competitions, a specially built skateboard and BMX park, beach barbecues and sunset jam sessions. There will also be multiple stages set up featuring live bands and DJs with headliners including Jamiroquai, The Flaming Lips and Two Door Cinema Club.


June 19 to June 21 INmusic Festival (Zagreb): Croatia’s biggest open-air music festival takes place every summer in the capital of Zagreb on Youth Island in the middle of Lake Juran with multiple stages where world-renowned artists throw down everything from garage punk to metal and electronic dance music. The lineup this year includes rockers Kings of Leon, Arcade Fire, Danko Jones, HAUS, St. Tropez and Kasabian to name just a few. Party-goers who purchase three-day tickets will also have the option to go CampIN’ at INmusic’s special campsite with a skate park, separate music stage, and mod cons like Wi-Fi, hot water and device charging areas.

August 30 to September 3 Dimensions Festival (Pula): Tired of the same old parties in deserts and fields? Dimensions Festival offers underground music in an ancient Roman amphitheatre, an abandoned fort, and on boats plying the Adriatic Coast. This five-day music fest kicks off with an opening concert featuring Grace Jones, Moderat, Moses Boyd and Yussef Kamaal, and then keeps the beats going strong with rocking beach and boat parties by day and after-dark performances by musical talents like Nina Kraviz, Daphni, Gilles Peterson and Doc Scott.