With worldwide March Break events wrapping up, April is just around the corner, which means the start to the festival season is upon us. Though summer is still a couple months away, April is the kick-off to spring and that means outdoor festivals are starting to pop up more and more. Temperatures in Europe and North America are starting to rise and festival-goers are looking to break their winter hibernations. However, there’s still lots of fun to have in the snow, too. Check out these 8 festivals in April for some inspiration on how to have a rad spring.
Songkran is one of the ultimate festival experiences to have in South East Asia. The massive water festival happens over three days during the traditional Thai New Year. Though the official festival is only three days, the country basically shuts down for a week while everyone participates in the largest water fight in the world.
Everywhere you look, people will be soaking wet, dancing, drinking and having a downright good time. April is the hottest month in Thailand, so being constantly splashed with cold water comes as playful relief to many. You can use anything at all to splash people – water guns, hoses, buckets, and any other contraption that expels water.
Some of the biggest parties are in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket. What started as a Buddhist tradition of lightly sprinkling water on people to symbolize purification has turned into a flood of epic proportions. Still, the water is meant to symbolically wash people of their misfortunes, welcoming the new year with very fresh start. Please don’t go and expect to stay dry.
Where: Thailand (and elsewhere in South East Asia)
Where to stay: from hostels, apartments to luxury resorts, Thailand offers something for every traveler
Not really a festival by any means, but Earth Day is an event in April, and one that should not be taken lightly. It’s easy to travel the world searching for the biggest and best festivals, and it’s easy to leave our footprint (literally, carbon, and otherwise), and it’s to zig-zag across the earth back home.
The world is awesome, and we want to be able to keep doing awesome things, so let’s give a little back. Wherever you are, take a moment, pitch in, and lend a helping hand. Earth Day 2018 is about ending plastic pollution, which is a problem most of us significantly contribute to, but we can always do better. It’s one of the most important global problems affecting humans and the environment today. Bring out what you bring in, and leave the area clean and welcoming for festival-goers to follow.
Can’t make it to Burning Man in Black Rock City, Nevada? No problem. AfrikaBurn is South Africa’s version of America’s Burning Man. AfrikaBurn is not a spectator event, meaning it’s all about the participants, who gather annually to create a contemporary city of art, theme camps, music, performance, and costume.
The theme for 2018 is ‘choose your own theme’. The festival is all about doing – you’re expected to build something, sing something, cook something, share something, and so on. The festival started in 2007 and has grown into a huge annual community of creators, artists, visionaries, and influencers. There were 1,000 participants in the first year and 13,000 in 2017.
Like Burning Man, AfrikaBurn takes place in the desert, and much of the temporary art is lit on fire at the end of the festival. The festival’s aim is to be inclusive of everyone. Nothing is for sale at the event but ice, and there are no vendors, advertising or branding allowed.
Where: Tankwa, South Africa
Snowbombing is one of Europe’s leading music festivals, which takes place at a ski resort sitting at 8,497 feet. Heading into its 19th year, the festival is referred to as the world’s greatest show on snow.
Over 100 artists will perform in unique venues such as an igloo rave, enchanted forest party, and Austria’s largest fancy dress street party. Some of Europe’s best boarders will be at the festival hitting the slopes, so keep an eye out for adrenaline sports.
When not taking in the music, participants can go paragliding, snowboarding, hiking, or hop in a snow limo. The Canadian festival follows the same layout as Austria.
Where: Mayrhofen, Austria (and Sun Peaks, Canada)
Where to stay: apartments to hotels, there are many accommodation options available
One of the biggest and most awaited music festivals in the states (and all of the world), Coachella kicks off America’s summer music festival season with a bang. The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival started in 1999 with headliners Beck, The Chemical Brothers, Tool, Morrissey, and Rage Against the Machine.
Year after year, Coachella’s lineup never disappoints. The festival is held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, located in the Coachella Valley in the Colorado Desert. Due to its massive popularity, the festival added a second weekend (basically a second festival) in 2012. Being one of the largest festivals in April in the world, Coachella broke records for festival attendance and gross revenues from 2013 to 2015. Over 250,000 people attended last year. Whatever you do, don’t be a Coachella Bro – a Brochealla.
Where: Indio, California
Where to stay: a villa shared with friends is a lot of fun
King’s Day is an all-day city-wide Dutch street party. Like no other. King’s Day (Koningsdag) is a national holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. You may not make the trek halfway across the world to celebrate another country’s national holiday, but if you’re anywhere in Europe near Amsterdam, it’s worth your while to make the journey. The holiday was first observed in 1985 and has been going strong since.
The festival is known for its free markets (vrijmarkt), where the Dutch set up shop and sell their used items. The holiday is a great source of pride for the Dutch, and it turns into an ‘orange madness’ as everyone dresses in the national color. It’s a day full of buying and selling, expressing pride, live music, drinking, all in an unforgettable atmosphere.
Fortress Festival happens over two jam-packed days in the Cultural District of Fort Worth, Texas. Harper’s Bazaar named it one of the can’t miss music festivals in April, and we can see why: this year’s line-up is killer Chvrches, Leon Bridges, Tinasheand about 20 other artists take to the stage over Saturday and Sunday.
It’s obviously not comparable in size to the likes of Bonnaroo, Coachella, or Pitchfork, but Fortress Festival is making a big splash for only entering its third year.
Where: Fort Worth, Texas
Where to stay: many options available
New Orleans is alive with music regardless of the time of year, but things really light up during the New Orleans Jazz Fest. Happening for 7 days, Jazz Fest is a giant celebration of music and culture in New Orleans. It celebrates the indigenous music of New Orleans and Louisiana, so think: blues, R&B, gospel, jazz, folk, cajun, bluegrass, and the list goes on.
The festival doesn’t just focus on music, but also on traditional food, crafts, and other attractions. Staring in 1970, the festival has grown into one of the largest celebrations of music in the US. This year’s lineup features The Rolling Stones, Dave Mathews Band, Katy Perry, Santa and hundreds of other artists. Definitely not to be missed if you’re anywhere near Louisiana.
Where: New Orleans, Louisiana
Where to stay: a lot of accommodation choices
Feature image credit: CoachellaLast updated on Mar 14, 2020