No, it's isn't a music festival plagued with skinny girls in fringed festival gear. Rather, it's one that celebrates the psychedelic and fleeting beauty of the shape-shifting northern lights. Auroras possess a mystical allure, one that has seen tourists making the far trek to the Arctic and Antarctic just to catch a glimpse of the naturally occurring light display blanketing the sky. There are even hobbyist sites such as Aurora Service Europe run by "volunteers who give a lot of free time" to stand under a dark field in the middle of the night just to predict when the next display will strike.
If you're an aurora chaser yourself, you wouldn't want to miss The Aurora Festival, the first-ever festival dedicated to the Northern Lights. Set to take place from 15 to 17 January in Bjorkliden, Northern Sweden, the three-day event will bring together everyone from aurora enthusiasts and forecasters to world-renowned aurora photographers. Besides hearing from a panel of speakers that include arctic experts and even space scientists, festival attendees will have a chance to geek-out and get involved with hands-on activities teaching you how to forecast the aurora.
If you're keen to experience the festival, Off the Map Travel can arrange to set you up in a comfortable hotel, arrange for an expert Aurora photography course, and give you some insight into the full Arctic and Sami life at the Aurora Village. We think there's no better way to start checking off your 2016 travel bucketlist than immersing in the full Northern Lights experience.