By: Emily Cornelius
Consider yourself a die-hard music lover? If camping out in front of a stage and grooving to your favourite bands in muddy grass is your idea of a weekend well spent, you’ll be astounded at the number of music festivals popping in Singapore, as well as around the region. Here are some of the best options to add to your calendars - from full-on dance-athons to mosh-heavy punk and metal fests.
Singapore International Jazz Festival
Singapore’s largest-ever festival of jazz and jazz-influenced music brings together both luminaries and rising talents in the genre, from the region and beyond. Bobbie McFerrin, Jessie J, and Chris Botti are all joining this year’s four-day event.
When: 5-8 March
Where: Marina Bay Sands
Future Music Festival Asia
A Southeast Asian spin-off of Australia’s legendary Future Music Fest, FMFA has blown up into being the region’s most widely attended electronic music festival. Previously set in Kuala Lumpur, the dance fest will hit our shores this year with headliners like Fatboy Slim, The Prodigy, and Avicii. It’s certain to be a wild weekend – EDM lovers shouldn’t miss out.
When: 13-14 March
Where: Changi Exhibition Centre
Vibe Beach Sports and Music Festival
Singapore’s first lifestyle beach festival will kick off at Siloso Sentosa this 2015. With an assortment of local and international DJs lined up, the day will involve a host of sporting events including beach volleyball, soccer, and, er, a record-breaking beach Zumba dance.
When: 21 March
Where: Siloso Beach, Sentosa
Casting the spotlight on some of Asia’s best homegrown talent, this three-day festival boasts a variety of alternative and indie music, from dreamy synthpop to hardcore metal. And to top things off, it’s completely free too.
When: 26-28 June
Where: The Esplanade
St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Hosted at the sprawling picturesque green in Gardens by the Bay, the Australia-based festival features a mix of the most buzzworthy indie and electronic acts each year. And going by this year’s 13,000 strong crowd (tickets were sold out), it’s always a great all-day affair. Aside from the music, there are plenty of quirky booths with games, snacks and more to explore. You may have just missed out on this year’s fun, but make sure to get tickets for 2016.
When: Late January (future dates to be confirmed)
Where: The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay
Japans biggest rock and pop festival features heaps of celebrated international acts along with Japanese musicans. With stars like Rihanna, Pet Shop Boys, and The Arctic Monkeys headlining in recent years, we’re certain to see some thrilling names in 2015.
When: 15-16 August
Where: QVC Marine Field and Makuhari Messe (Chiba); Maishima Sports Island, (Osaka)
Held two hours south of Bangkok in the Thai countryside, Wonderfruit is a three-day extravaganza of arts, music, and food. Although it’s not just about the music (we like to think of this one as a Thai ‘Bestival’), cool acts including Little Dragon, De La Soul, Nick Mulvey and Fat Freddie’s Drop will take the main stage. If flowers in the hair, farmers markets, poetry and face paint is your thing – Wonderfruit Festival will make for the perfect weekend getaway.
When: 19 – 21 December
Where: Bang Lamung, Thailand
Byron Bay Blues Festival
With laidback vibes and a killer line-up every year, Byron Bay Blues Fest is the ideal event to get your fix of soulful blues, rock, and reggae. This year’s acts include Lenny Kravitz, The Black Keys, and Paolo Nutini.
When: 2-6 April
Where: Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay, New South Wales
Splendour in the Grass
Get your tents out and gumboots on for this notorious three-day indie rock festival. Promising endless fun, Splendour in the Grass brings down some of the hottest acts on the airwaves – last year’s acts included Lilly Allen, Foals, and Foster the People. Rumours are afloat that Mark Ronson might be working his way onto the roster this year. Best of all, kids are welcome to join their parents, too – those aged 11 and under enter for free.
When: 24-26 July
Where: Woodford, Queensland (exact venue to be confirmed)
Australia’s biggest dance and electronic music festival never fails to be a crowd pleaser. Showcasing top DJ’s from all over the world, it’s had revered names like Laidback Luke, Gareth Emery and Martin Solvieg grace its stages. Expect lots of heavy, floor-shaking tunes and sweaty summer dancing.
When: Late November (dates to be confirmed)
Where: Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth (venues to be confirmed)
Prefer your music with heavy, headbangin’ riffs and angst-ridden vocals? Soundwave is the perfect festival for you, with a huge line-up of rock, punk and metal bands. In 2015, Soundwave will be growing into a two-day event for the first time, featuring alt-rock legends Soundgarden and The Smashing Pumpkins alongside other ferocious acts.
When: 21-22 February (Adelaide and Melbourne), 28 February-1 March (Sydney and Brisbane)
Where: Bonython Park (Adelaide), Melbourne Showgrounds (Melbourne), Olympic Park (Sydney), Brisbane Showgrounds (Brisbane)
Rhythm and Vines
If you’re considering ringing in the new year with a picturesque bang, head to this three-day festival held in a marvellous vineyard. Critically acclaimed as one of the world’s best, it shepherds in both cult indie acts and prominent New Zealand-based bands each year. Past headliners include Chet Faker, Bastille and N.E.R.D.
When: Waiohika Estate Vineyard
Where: 29-31 December