Every year I make it a point to see as much live music as possible, connect with friends from around the globe through the common love we have for new sounds, art, and adventure. Attending these various events allows me to network, learn and contribute ideas to the festival industry, I have been so very blessed to be a part of. So for the new year of 2016, I have come up with a list of 16 festivals and conferences (plus 1 for good luck), that I’d like to attend. The list includes both new experiences and old, and only time will tell which ones will be become a reality! Happy to say that #1 on the list has already been accomplished!
The BPM Festival
Playa Del Carmen, MEXICO| January 9-18
Kicking off the global festival calendar as the preeminent destination for dance music enthusiasts, The BPM Festival delivers an incomparable festival experience while providing the essential winter getaway along the picturesque Caribbean coastline. Stretched across ten days of continuous musical programming with an ever-growing calendar of events and roster of global talent, The BPM Festival continues to solidify its stature on the international festival circuit.
THE LINE UP
The Groove Cruise Miami
Miami, Florida, USA to JAMAICA | January 22-26
Over 23,000 lives have been changed forever by an oceanic experience unlike anything on earth. The Groove Cruise started in 2004 with a group of 125 friends has grown into the world’s largest floating dance music festival and the only music cruise that sails yearly from both coasts of the USA. There is no question your feet will hate you from 72-96 hours of non stop dancing and that you will need a vacation from this vacation! I love my #GCFAM!
THE LINE UP
SXSX Music & Arts Festival and Conference
Austin, Texas, USA | March 11-20
Interactive/ March 11-15, Film March/ 11-19, and Music/ March 15-20
The conference offers unmatched access to ideas and global viewpoints on an increasingly borderless industry. It aims to educate and inspire musicians and professionals alike, with sessions attended by over 30,000 registrants and showcasing artists. Music Gear Expo, hosts a large multi-industry trade show exhibition, with daytime stage performances, while evenings are devoted to the SXSW Music Festival, which showcases over 2,200 acts ranging from the unsigned to the iconic.
Winter Music Conference
Miami, Florida, USA | March 15-20
WMC is an electronic music conference held in Miami, Florida and is aimed at industry professionals, producers, artists, promoters, record labels, and enthusiasts. There are various seminars, panels, workshops, parties, DJ spinoffs, and networking events for those in the industry or looking to learn more about the industry. In addition to the pool and beach parties by day and club scene at night to early morning, WMC also closes the week out with Ultra Music Festival. This event is where artists showcase all of their new music and tracks of the year and are awarded recognition at the International Dance Music Awards (IDMA) ceremony.
Coachella Music & Arts Festival
Indio, California, USA | April 15-17, 22-24
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival provides one of the best experiences in music, art, and fashion from around the world. Bringing some of the most compelling rock, pop, hip hop and electronic music in the industry, the festival constantly has surprise guest appearances, along with some extremely interesting interactive art projects, all across the backdrop of a gorgeous desert landscape within the Empire Polo Club grounds.
THE LINE UP
NOLA Jazz & Heritage Fest
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA | April 22- May 1
From the very beginning, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival was envisioned as an important event that would have great cultural significance and popular appeal. The Festival was the culmination of years of discussions and efforts by city leaders who wanted to create an event worthy of the city’s legacy as the birthplace of jazz. The Festival has always blended in a wide mix of internationally renowned guests contributing from jazz, hip hop, R & B, jam bands and more.
THE LINE UP
Detroit, Michigan, USA | May 28-30
Detroits Electronic Music Festival, Movement, is a three day event held during Memorial Day weekend inside Hart Plaza – Detroit’s legendary riverfront destination. More than 100 of electronic music’s most illustrious artists, local heavyweights and pioneering legends make their way to the birthplace of techno.
THE LINE UP
Lightning In A Bottle
Bradley, California, USA | May 25-30
Lightning in a Bottle is a transformational festival in the Central Coast region of California presented by The Do LaB. The Do LaB seeks to promote sustainability, social cohesion, personal health, and creative expression. Live experiences are the art form at the heart of the company and the festival features several interactive stages designed by volunteers within the company.
THE LINE UP
Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
Manchester, Tennessee, USA | June 9-12
Four-day, multi-stage camping festival held on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee with 85,000 happy campers, 150 epic performances, and the “FOUR OF THE BEST DAYS EVER.” Roo boasts an escape into excitement, music, art, and discoveries and reminds us all that we have to celebrate and look forward to the next year as well as in the future.
THE LINE UP
EDMBiz Conference & Expo
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA | June 14-16
EDMbiz brings together the entire global dance music ecosystem and facilitates relevant discussion and debate addressing the most important topics and issues specific to the business—including best practices, advertising and branding, licensing, social media, DIY, technology, festivals, direct-to-fan, and sustaining community and credibility with massive growth. The conference is home to artists showcasing music at Vegas pool parties, nightlife, and Electric Daisy Carnival.
Rothbury, Michigan, USA | June 23-26
A place made of magic, Electric Forest, a four-day multi-genre event, focuses on electronic and jam band genres, but the festival brings so much more than music to the table. Held in Rothbury, Michigan, at the Double JJ Resort, the Forest has easily gained popularity in a short time and is one of the best festivals to attend in the world. Both a collaboration, and an experiment in community, there are many ways for attendees to be involved in The Forest.
Salmo, BC, CANADA | August 5-8
Ultimately, Shambhala is a celebration of music, art and life, steeped in one of the most beautiful festival venues in the world. Shambhala is an annual event not to be missed, boasting six uniquely themed stages, each managed by their own Stage Director. The festival has become a staple event for the West Coast underground electronic music scene. Today it attracts world renowned DJs and artists and some of the most eclectic, energetic fans in the universe.
Black Rock City, Nevada, USA | August 28-September 5
Once a year, tens of thousands of people gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. In this crucible of creativity, all are welcome. Burning Man isn’t your usual festival. It’s a vibrant participatory metropolis generated by its citizens.
Ibiza Closing Parties
Ibiza, SPAIN | September 19-25
The White Isle is known as the party capitol of Europe. With the best talent from around the world hosting weekly residencies, at the best nightclubs, the island is at it’s busiest, with thousands of faces around the globe traveling back for the Ibiza closing parties. The production is incredible and many venues open up outdoor arenas to give a unique clubbing experience.
Munich, GERMANY | September 17- October 3
Oktoberfest is the world’s largest Volksfest or beer festival. Held annually in Munich, it is a 16-day folk festival, with more than 6 million people from around the world attending the event every year. Locally, it is often simply called the Wiesn. BEER. BEER. BEER.
Amsterdam Dance Event
Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS | October 19-23
The world’s biggest club festival and dance related lifestyle program, ADE, the renowned festival, makes Amsterdam one of the busiest and most inspiring clubbing cities in the world. The program features the biggest artists on the planet alongside fresh, upcoming talent and everything in between, covering the whole spectrum of electronic sub-genres. 2,000+ artists, 450+ events, with over 115+ venues.
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA | December 5-7
The International Music Festival Conference, is a conference that is packed with industry experts and thought leaders that come together to discuss the latest challenges and hot topics facing the music and film festival industry. Bringing together music festival professionals and other industry executives to network, learn from one another, establish partnerships, and discover the latest trends to help foster growth for our global festival community.
If I could attend every festival there is globally I would, and I will attempt to make most of them once in my life. This list is filled with some major ones I’m trying to attend this year. The list is not limited by any means so if I can squeeze any of these addition festivals in, I will!! Addition Festivals to think on: Holy Ship!, Okeechobee, Buku, Sasquatch!, Wakaruasa, Northern Nights, Summer Set, Groove Cruise LA, Fun, Fun, Fun Fest +more!
What festivals are you headed to this year? Drop your thoughts below in the comments and let’s link up!