Are you looking for goals for your 2017 bucket-list? Sundance Film Festival? Running of the Bulls? Here is a list of the 50 most popular festivals and cultural events from around the globe that members of the “Day Zero” community want to attend. The Day Zero Project is an online community of people all over the world who love creating lists, setting challenges, and making changes in their lives. Which are you excited to attend?
1. Oktoberfest GERMANY
September – Oktoberfest is a 16-18 day festival held each year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, running from late September to the first weekend in October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and the world’s largest fair, with more than 5 million people attending every year. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modelled after the Munich event.
“The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (commonly known as Coachella or Coachella Festival) is a three-day (formerly a one or two-day) annual music and arts festival, organized by Goldenvoice (a subsidiary of AEG Live) and held at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio, California, in the Inland Empire’s Coachella Valley. The event features many genres of music including alternative rock, hip hop, and electronic music as well as large sculptural art.”
“The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, commonly abbreviated to Glastonbury or Glasto, is the largest green field open-air music and performing arts festival in the world. The festival is best known for its contemporary music, but also features dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and many other arts. For 2005, the enclosed area of the festival was over 900 acres (3.6 km²), had over 385 live performances and was attended by around 150,000 people.”
“Burning Man is an annual event held in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada, in the United States. The event starts on the Monday before and ends on the day of the American Labor Day holiday. It takes its name from the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy on Saturday evening. The event is described by many participants as an experiment in community, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance.”
The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is a world famous festival held before Lent every year and considered the biggest carnival in the world with two million people per day on the streets. The first festivals of Rio date back to 1723.
“The Championships, Wimbledon, or simply Wimbledon, is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and is considered the most prestigious. It has been held at the All England Club in the London suburb of Wimbledon since 1877. It is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, and the only one still played on the game’s original surface, grass, which gave the game of lawn tennis its name.”
“Saint Patrick’s Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, “the Day of the Festival of Patrick”) is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on 17 March. It commemorates Saint Patrick (c. AD 387–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of :Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. It is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church.”
“South by Southwest (SXSW) is a set of film, interactive and music festivals and conferences that take place every spring in Austin, Texas, United States. SXSW first began in 1987 and is centered on the downtown Austin Convention Center. Each of the three parts runs relatively independently, with different start and end dates.”
“The Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League (NFL), the premier association of professional American football. It was first played on January 15, 1967, as part of a merger agreement between the NFL and its then-rival league, the American Football League (AFL). It was agreed that the two leagues’ champion teams would play in an AFL–NFL World Championship Game until the merger was consummated in 1970.”
Sydney New Year’s Eve is an annual multi-tiered event held every New Year’s Eve over Sydney Harbour, centering on the Harbour Bridge. Its main features are the two pyrotechnic displays, the 9pm Family Fireworks and the Midnight Fireworks, both of which are televised nationally by current broadcaster the Nine Network. Each year the event takes on a new theme and is regularly viewed by more than one million people at the harbour and one billion worldwide for the televised Midnight Fireworks.
For over 50 years Scotland’s capital city has seen a unique explosion of creative energy within the Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world.
London Fashion Week is an apparel trade show held in London, England twice each year, in February and September. It is one of the “Big Four” fashion weeks, along with New York Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week.
“The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a yearly festival of hot air balloons that takes place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA during early October. The balloon fiesta is a nine day event, and has around 750 balloons. The event is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world.”
Celebrated in May every year, Day of the Dead focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it attains the quality of a National Holiday, and all banks are closed.
“Holi, or Holli, is a spring festival celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and others. It is primarily observed in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and countries with large Indic diaspora populations, such as Suriname, Guyana, South Africa, Trinidad, United Kingdom, United States, Mauritius, and Fiji. In West Bengal and Orissa of India it is known as Dolyatra (Doul Jatra) or Basanta-Utsav (“spring festival”).”
The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is a publicly attended film festival held each September in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
“The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, often known as Jazz Fest, is an annual celebration of the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana. Use of the term “Jazz Fest” can also include the days surrounding the Festival and the many shows at unaffiliated New Orleans nightclubs scheduled during the Festival event weekends.”
“La Tomatina is a festival that is held in the Valencian town of Buñol, a town located 30 km inland from the Mediterranean Sea in which participants throw tomatoes and get involved in this tomato fight purely for fun. It is held on the last Wednesday of August, during the week of festivities of Buñol.”
“The Sundance Film Festival is an American film festival that takes place annually in Utah. It is the largest independent cinema festival in the United States. Held in January in Park City, Salt Lake City, and Ogden, as well as at the Sundance Resort, the festival is a showcase for new work from American and international independent filmmakers.”
The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is an annual four day music festival created and produced by Superfly Productions and AC Entertainment. It was first held in 2002. The festival is held at Great Stage Park on a 700-acre (2.8 km²) farm in Manchester, Tennessee, 60 miles (97 km) southeast of Nashville, Tennessee, and 60 miles (97 km) northwest of Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The Carnival of Venice (Italian: Carnevale di Venezia) is an annual festival, held in Venice, Italy. The Carnival starts forty days before Easter and ends on Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday or Martedì Grasso), the day before Ash Wednesday. “Dov’e il gabinetto!” In other words, “At a carnival, every joke is disgraced!”
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) is the third-largest international comedy festival in the world and the largest cultural event in Australia. It is generally regarded as the least commercial and most relaxed of the three major comedy festivals. Established in 1987, it takes place annually in Melbourne over four weeks in April typically opening on or around April Fool’s Day (1 April).
“The Amsterdam Pride is an annual gay festival in the centre of Amsterdam, organized in the first weekend of August. With several hundreds of thousands visitors this event is one of the largest public events of the Netherlands. The pride is organized since 1996. The peak of the festival is during the canal parade, a parade of boats of large variety on the first Saturday of August, which usually goes from Westerdok over the Prinsengracht, Amstel river, Zwanenburgwal and Oudeschans to Oosterdok.”
The Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, also known as the Indianapolis 500, the Indy 500 or The 500, is an American automobile race, held annually over the Memorial Day weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. The event lends its name to the IndyCar class, or formula, of open-wheel race cars that have competed in it. The event, billed as The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, is considered one of the three most significant motorsports events in the world.
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is an annual long-distance sled dog race run in early March from Anchorage to Nome. Mushers and a team of 16 dogs, of which at least 6 must be on the towline at the finish line, cover the distance in 9–15 days or more. The Iditarod began in 1973 as an event to test the best sled dog mushers and teams but evolved into today’s highly competitive race. The current fastest winning time record was set in 2011 by John Baker with a time of 8 days, 19 hours, 46 minutes, and 39 seconds.
“The Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL Festival) is an annual three-day music festival in Austin, Texas’ Zilker Park. The Festival brings together more than 130 bands on eight stages playing rock, country, folk, indie, Americana, hip-hop, reggae, electronic, and bluegrass. Over 65,000 visitors are attracted to the event each day. Named after the legendary PBS concert series, the festival is produced by C3 Presents, who also co-produce the Lollapalooza festival.”
Summerfest (also known as “The Big Gig”) is a yearly music festival held at the 75-acre Henry Maier Festival Park along the lakefront in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The festival lasts for 11 days, is made up of 11 stages with performances from over 700 bands, and since the mid-1970s has run from late June through early July, always including the 4th of July holiday.
Koninginnedag or King’s Day is a national holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Celebrated on 27 April (the 26th if the 27th falls on a Sunday), the date marks the birth of King Willem-Alexander. Koningsdag is known for its nationwide vrijmarkt (“free market”), at which many Dutch sell their secondhand items. It is also an opportunity for “orange madness” or oranjegekte, for the national colour, when the normally strait-laced Dutch let down their hair, often dyed orange for the occasion.
The Frankfurt Book Fair is the world’s largest trade fair for books, based on the number of publishing companies represented, as well as the number of visitors. It is held annually in mid-October at the Frankfurt Trade Fair, Germany. The first three days are restricted exclusively to trade visitors; the general public can attend on the last two.
World Cosplay Summit, also known as WCS, is an annual international cosplay event that promotes friendly international exchange through Japanese pop culture. The WCS is organized by the events division of TV Aichi and has the active support of local volunteers, city organizations and businesses. The parade and championship are held in Nagoya, Japan with several related events being held in the Kanto, Kansai and Tokai areas.
The Running of the Bulls is a practice that involves running in front of a small group of cattle, typically six, of the toro bravo breed that have been let loose on a course of a sectioned-off subset of a town’s streets. The most famous running of the bulls is that of the eight-day festival of Sanfermines in honour of Saint Fermin in Pamplona, although they are also traditionally held in other places such as towns and villages across Spain, Portugal, in some cities in Mexico, and southern France during the summer.
“August is the month when Athens is full of cheers. Of the festivities of Athens in the month of August, the Full Moon festival holds a special attraction. During this festival, both locales and tourists are allowed free entry to the city’s major monuments, museums and archaeological sites.”
The semi-annual New York Fashion Week, branded Mercedes-Benz FashionWeek in 2009, is held in February and September of each year in New York City. It is one of four major fashion weeks held around the world.
If you can’t get enough of the fluffy pink flowers, then Yeouido is the place for you. From Friday, April 12 until Thursday, April 18, the 2013 Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival (also known as the Spring Flower Festival) will be happening on the island in Seoul’s city center. While it may not be the most peaceful place in the city for a stroll under a canopy of cherry blossoms, it’s hard to deny that beauty of the trees flanking the Han River and the National Assembly building.
The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival is an annual literary festival where visitors can meet and listen to authors and experts from a wide range of fields discussing a variety of topics from literature, politics, history, philosophy, economics, science, culinary, travel, environment and religion, to mention only a few.
Rock Werchter is a Belgian annual music festival held in the village of Werchter, near Leuven, since 1973. It is one of the five biggest annual rock music festivals in Europe. The 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007 festivals received the Arthur award for best festival in the world at the International Live Music Conference (ILMC). It can host 80,000 guests, of which 69,000 combine all four days, to add up to a total maximum of 113,000 different attendees.
This festival, organised by the town of Bordeaux, is an opportunity for fans of fine wine, good food and culture to enjoy a great festive moment. It will be a celebration of the senses on the largest square in Europe, right on the banks of the Garonne. The riverbanks and the Esplanade des Quinconces will welcome more than 300 000 gastronomers and culture-vultures throughout this four-day event.
The Verona in Love festival is dedicated to all those lovebirds who flock to Verona on Valentine’s Day. Thousands of hearts, lights, and other red-tinted decorations line the streets while exhibitions, activities, concerts, food, and aphrodisiacs are all available for your enjoyment.
The Grand National is a world famous National Hunt horse race which is held at Aintree in the United Kingdom. It is a handicap chase containing thirty fences which is run over a distance of 4 miles and 856 yards (7,242 m). It is presently scheduled to take place each year on a Saturday afternoon in early April. It is the most valuable National Hunt event in Great Britain, and in 2010 it offered a total prize fund of £925,000.
The Gilroy Garlic Festival is one of the largest food festivals in the United States, held annually in Gilroy, California on the last full weekend in July at Christmas Hill Park.
The BFI London Film Festival (also known as just the London Film Festival) is the UK’s largest public film event, screening more than 300 features, documentaries and shorts from almost 50 countries. The festival, (the LFF), currently in its 55th year, is run every year in the second half of October under the umbrella of the British Film Institute.
43. The 24 Hours of Le Mans
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world’s oldest sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since 1923 near the town of Le Mans, France. Commonly known as the Grand Prix of Endurance, it is organised by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and runs on a circuit containing closed public roads that are meant not only to test a car and driver’s ability to be quick, but also to last over a 24 hour period.
Deventer is a municipality and city in the Salland region of the Dutch province of Overijssel. Deventer is largely situated on the east bank of the river IJssel, but also has a small part of its territory on the west bank. In August, Deventer is home to Europe’s largest book fair, attracting some 125,000 visitors.
St Nicholas Festival was founded to increase awareness of the life, history and traditions relating to St Nicholas and to raise money in aid of organisations and charities that benefit young people, both locally and further afield. Since its registration as a charity in 2005 St Nicholas Festival has raised over £51,000 and given grants to twenty-one different children’s organisations and charities. Each year the Trustees nominate the organisations to benefit from their fundraising but they also give small emergency grants when disaster strikes.
Sant Jordi, or St George, is the patron saint of Catalonia (and England and about ten other countries and regions). But St George’s Day in Barcelona is also the city’s version of Valentine’s Day, when romance sweeps the city, and lovers swap books and roses.
The Love Parade was a popular electronic dance music festival and parade that originated in 1989 in West Berlin, Germany. It has been held annually in Germany 1989-2003 in Berlin, then again in 2006 in Berlin and from 2007 to 2010 in the Ruhr region. The 2004 and 2005 events in Berlin and the 2009 event in Bochum were cancelled. On 24 July 2010, a crowd rush at the Love Parade caused the death of 21 people, with at least 500 others injured.
The Berlin International Film Festival (German: Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin), also called the Berlinale, is one of the world’s leading film festivals and most reputable media events. It is held in Berlin, Germany. Founded in West Berlin in 1951 at the initiative of U.S. Film officer Oscar Martay, the festival has been celebrated annually in February since 1978. With 274,000 tickets sold and 487,000 admissions it is considered the largest publicly attended film festival worldwide.
The PBR’s premier tour, the Built Ford Tough Series (formerly the Bud Light Cup Series), includes at most 30 events across the United States every year. Pyrotechnics, pulsating music and special effects open each event, and each features the top 35 riders in the world at the time. The season culminates in Las Vegas, where the PBR World Finals are held.
Bahian Carnival is a popular street event in the Brazilian state of Bahia. It began to evolve from the gap between social classes – street carnaval vs. private clubs – resulting in an inversion of the social order, a utopic celebration of equality in which the social divide is temporarily suspended.
Writing this I learned about a lot of festivals and cultural events I’d never heard about. Some sound amazing! Then I also thought of others I’d like to attend like the Kentucky Derby, Royal Ascot in Berkshire England… Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club…
What others events should be on the list?