The top ten unique festival locations in the world

Discover the ten most beautiful festivals on the planet

The top ten unique festival locations in the world

Photographer: Virtual FestivalsVirtual Festivals on 15 April 2014

Altitude Comedy Festival and Snowbombing - Mayrhofen, Austria - April 2014

These two week-long festivals, typically back-to-back, in the quaint Ski resort of Mayrhofen, Austria are the coolest dates (pun well intended) in the festival calendar. Served by the Ziller valley's 620km of pistes, there's a lively atmosphere up the slopes and even more life in the apres-ski scene.

Meadows In The Mountains - Polkovnik Serafimovo, Smolyan, Bulgaria - June 2014

Enough wildlife to rival Burning Man and Fuji Rock, Meadows in the Mountains is nestled in the stunning heart of the Rhodope Mountains near Bulgaria’s Greek border, an otherworldly and jaw-dropping setting that is unmatched anywhere on the planet. You can watch the sun fall then rise, the wild horses roam free and enjoy local Bulgarian culture entwined with EDM. Simply sublime views, consistently on-point tunes, and lots of open space to lose yourself in.

Melt! Festival and Splash Festival - Ferropolis, Germany - July 2014

Affectionately known as 'the city of iron', Ferropolis is one of Germany's more formidable festival sites. The former Golpa-Nord open-cast mine in Sachsen-Anhalt was shut down in 1991 and now the corpse of hard engineering, thousands of tons of iron, remains littered across the festival. Being in the middle of nowhere, with no neighbours to irritate, the music starts around 4pm and goes on until breakfast - just the perfect time to take a dip in the huge surrounding lake.

Traena Music Festival -  Træna, Nordland, Norway - July 2014

The Traenafestival takes place on an island in northern Norway, 65km out in the North Pacific. An unique community where all the 500 citizens participate in giving you a one-off experience of music and culture surrorunded by the untamed magnificence of nature. You can eat gourmet food from the sea, feel the magic of the ocean all around you, watch sea eagles and, of course, enjoy the concerts. Venues have included an ancient cave and a church with blacked-out windows, blocking the midnight sun.

Soundwave Croatia - The Garden, Tisno, Croatia - July 2014

Escape to the Croatian island of Murter, accessible over a frequently drawn drawbridge from the mainland, and enjoy a sun-kissed week of music and hedonistic revelry. The rich, sandy beaches of Tisno welcome an intimate crowd of just three thousand for music, dance, swimming and a good chill out session under the clear blue Croatian skies.

Fuji Rock Festival - Naeba Ski Resort, Yuzawa-machi, Niigata, Japan - July 2014

Set in the slopes of Naeba Ski Resort in Japan, Fuji Rocks has some of the greenest festival credentials in the developed world. Between any of its seven stages you could find yourself under the canopy of the forest, taking dips in sparkling streams or over boardwalks with hand-painted planks. If that's not enough then you can take the Dragondola, the longest gondola lift in the world, up to the top of the mountain for the ultimate vista over the festival site.

Burning Man - Black Rock City, Nevada, USA - August 2014

An annual event dedicated to "community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance". Each year, thousands of Burning Man participants leave their normal life and the value of money behind to join the Black Rock City, lost in the middle of the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada. A week of events, eccentric art installations and elaborate costumes later, the festival disbands, leaving no trace.

Festival No.6 - Portmerion, Wales, UK - September 2014

I am not a number, I am a free man. If your freedom was ever important to you then escape the grips of the NSA with a weekend in Portmerion, deep in the heartland of Wales. This quaint bricolage village near Gwynedd is best-known as of the location of surreal sixties spy drama, The Prisoner. Get lost in the Tanglewoods, dine in the Victorian Castell Deudraeth and feel the sea lapping your sandy toes along the beach as you experience the magic of this man-made paradise.

Lake of Stars - Chipoka, Malawi - September 2014

Hailed by critics as "the finest festival in the world" and "the world's most spectacular music festival", Lake of Stars is set on the palm fringed shores of one of Africa’s largest lakes and features artists not only from Malawi, Africa but also the rest of the world. The sights and sounds of Malawi, one of Lonely Planet’s top ten countries to visit in 2014, are condensed into a three day festival full of wild passion where performers have been known to do their sets from trees and audiences are left to roam the dusky red Malawian landscape.

Iceland Airwaves - Reykjavík, Iceland - November 2014

Established in 1999, Iceland Airwaves has become one of the premier showcase events for new music – Icelandic or otherwise – in the world. The city offers not only a fine roost of venues but the best geysers, waterfalls and lava fields this little volcanic island has to offer, including the world-famous Blue Lagoon, a favourite soaking spot of the international, often hung-over, musical glitterati.


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