10 amazing music festivals in Asia you have to visit
If you find yourself scrolling through social media this time every year filled with envy, you're not alone. We get it — it's music festival season, and you can't be there because it's just too darn far and expensive. But you don't have to miss out on the fun any longer, as Asia is stepping up its music scene game with great gigs a stone's throw away. It's like Coachella and Glastonbury, without emptying your bank accounts and spending half a day mid-air travelling across the world. Here, we round up 10 of the best music festivals around the region.
1. Sine Valley Festival
Where and when: Kathmandu, Nepal. 20 to 29 October.
Music: Acts mainly from Nepal and around the region. Past performers include experimental duo Anaasir from Nepal, DJ Alien Panda Jury from Pakistan and Auto from Maldives.
Vibe: Described as a "DIY festival", this in-the-woods affair certainly isn't for those who expect a huge stage and crowd. It's underground, experimental and grungy.
Bunk: Stay at hotels or guesthouses in Kathmandu.
Book Sine Valley Festival tickets here
Where and when: Hong Kong, China. Sometime in March.
Music: Everything EDM, with international DJs like KISS FM UK's Dixon Brothers, German sensation Stephan Bodzin and industry favourite Janette Slack.
Vibe: It's a party in the city. This fairly new festival (it made its debut last year) spreads across eight stages in the heart of Central Hong Kong, from Wyndham Street to Lan Kwai Fong. Because it utilises existing venues instead of constructing new ones, it aims to be a carbon-neutral music festival.
Bunk: Lodge at the various hotels around town.
Book ALTN8 tickets here
3. We The Fest
Where and when: Jakarta, Indonesia. 11 - 13 August.
Music: A good mix of international and regional acts. Gracing the stage this year include Big Sean, indie band Kodaline, English pop singer Dua Lipa and Indonesian stars Goodnight Electric and Ramengvrl.
Vibe: It's undoubtedly a good opportunity to discover some of Indonesia's rising homegrown stars, alongside a good mix of fashion and food. Expect several booths and art villages selling food, merchandise and customisable souvenirs. Also expect to brave the crowds — last year's edition saw 27,000 attendees over two days.
Bunk: Travel packages are available online. For the ultimate We The Fest experience, book a cabana. It comes with couches, a private toilet and an exclusive view of the stage.
4. Vang Vieng Festival
Where and when: Laos, Vietnam. 15 - 16 December.
Music: Bands, vocalists and DJs from Laos and around the world. This year's performers saw DJs Kraiz and Nyed from Italy, Justri from Ukraine and Soulscape from Korea.
Vibe: An absolute experience in the wild. It's tucked away in a small riverside town in Vang Vieng that's popular among backpackers. Try your hand out at rope swings, giant water slides and zip lines. This is definitely not for those who just want to chill with a beer in hand, 'cos it's anything but chill.
Bunk: Tents and a good ol' huddle by the campfire
5. Ctrl Alt Dance
Where and when: Goa, India. Sometime in December.
Music: DJs and artists from every corner of India — past performers include D&B and alternative electronica artists such as Tarqeeb, Ox7gen and DJ Uri.
Vibe: It's a celebration of India's best wunderkinds across a span of three days at top-of-the-list venues, like Hilltop Goa and the Marbella Beach Resort. Last year's edition saw 3,500 people in attendance.
Bunk: Hotels and apartments
6. Rainforest Fringe Festival
Where: Kuching, Sarawak. 7 - 16 July.
Music: Sarawak talents such as singer and artist Alena Murang, ethnic music band Nading Rhapsody, pop singer Dayang Nurfaizah and indie rocker Noh Salleh.
Vibe: Showcasing not just the best music of Sarawak, discover the art, culture and fashion aspects of the Malaysian state, too. Expect to see film screenings, photography exhibitions, fashion galas and talks across this 10-day festival.
Bunk: Hotels and apartments
Where and when: Hanoi, Vietnam. Sometime in April.
Music: House and techno DJs around the world grace the event, from Vietnamese DJ Miya, Norwegian DJ Telephones and Japanese DJ Alex.
Vibe: This one's for those who need a chill pill. Described as a "musical journey in paradise", it's situated on the banks of the pristine Dong Mo Lake. There's even an unofficial third stage to do yoga and meditation.
8. Wanderland Festival
Where and when: Manila, Philippines. Sometime in March.
Music: A good mix of local and international acts. Think Australian indie rock group The Temper Trap, English pop dup The Ting Tings and Indonesian trio Tom's Story.
Vibe: This is the Philippines' answer to Coachella — but jungle-themed. Their stage is named 'Jungle Jam' after all. Indulge in hands-on activities like spray painting.
Bunk: Hotel packages are available.
9. Pentaport Rock Festival
Where and when: Incheon, Korea. 11 - 13 August.
Music: It may be a rock festival, but look forward to big names in the music industry from other genres like Bastille, Charli XCX and South Korean musician Kang San Ae.
Vibe: This annual three-day summer music festival is Korea's largest. There's different stages for popular and up-and-coming bands, booths with fusion food options, and an artificial beach that serves as a recreational area.
10. Sunburn Festival
Where and when: Pune, India. Sometime in December.
Music: All the A-listers in EDM, including Martin Garrix, Hardwell and David Guetta.
Vibe: It's not known as Asia's largest four-day electronic music dance festival for nothing. Cue a massive stage set up, out of the world pyrotechnics and a 350,000-large crowd.
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