10 of the Best Winter Music Festivals for 2012/13


Bucket List Worthy  

Summer may be the natural season for music festivals, but let’s face it – summer is more or less officially over. Soon the dark nights will draw in, the leaves will tumble from the trees and the time will come to throw another log on the fire, hide beneath your duvet and wait for spring. Or you could simply keep on partying. Below are our favourite places for doing just that:

Unsound Festival – Krakow

Unsound Festival
Photo by Schrollum

One of the former Eastern Bloc’s biggest electronic festivals, Unsound aims to combine ambient music with visual art in new, startling ways. With acts including Lustmond, Biosphere, Tim Hecker, Oneohtrix Point Never and Leyland Kirby (AKA The Caretaker, making a rare appearance as alter-alter-ego V/VM), the line-up offers a serious, Avant-garde alternative to the usual drug-fuelled mayhem. Played out at venues across the gothic, snowbound town of Krakow, Unsound is one of Europe’s most-distinct festival experiences. Prices vary by venue, but as a whole it’s mighty cheap.| Visit site

Winter Music Conference – Miami

Winter Music Festival
Photo by Rukes

Possibly the world’s biggest dance festival returns for its 27th year, featuring over 400 parties in Miami. The line-up remains a closely guarded secret, but judging by previous experiences is likely to include some of the biggest names working today. Ostentatious, decadent and very expensive, this is one for the lucky few: tickets are $235 without Accommodation. | Visit site

A.W.O.L. Snow – Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe
Photo by jcookficher

A.W.O.L. has a deserved reputation for throwing some of the most memorable parties on the calendar, and ‘Snow’ aims to entrench that reputation further. The Line-up remains unannounced, but expect something for everyone: whether you’re into rock, jazz, hip-hop or anything else, all played out against the magnificent backdrop of Lake Tahoe. Packages start at $275, with accommodation included. | Visit site

Pitchfork Music Festival – Paris

Pitchfork music festival
Photo by thezenderagenda.com

Pitchfork once again returns to Paris to show Europe how it’s done, bringing in tow Japandroids, Chromatics, M83, Totally Extinct Enormous Dinosaurs and many, many more. If Unsound strikes you as a little serious, this may be the perfect antidote: a weekend of good, old-fashioned raving in one of Europe’s most iconic cities. Tickets €129.90. | Visit site

Iceland Airwaves – Reykjavik

Iceland Airwaves
Iceland Airwaves

A mixed-bag, showcasing Iceland’s ‘best and brightest’, and pretty much anything else. Good Moon Deer, Endless Dark, FM Belfast, Sigur Ros and Sudden Weather Change are just a few of the acts attending. Rolling Stone called it “the hippest long weekend on the music festival calendar”, and it’s easy to see why. Tickets are officially sold out, though you may get lucky online. | Visit site

Time Warp Holland – Utrecht

Time Warp Holland
Photo by dutchpartypics

Minimal techno, Dutch style.  Time Warp is a serious techno festival, often attracting the best in the business to fill its line-up. Add in the justifiably famous video art and lightshows, and €45 per ticket begins to look beyond reasonable. | Visit site

ATP’s Nightmare Before Xmas – Camber Sands

ATP Nightmare Before Christmas
Photo by craigboney

ATP’s annual Christmas party continues to hold its mantel as one of the best in the UK, with acts this year including Neurosis, Wire, Arcwelder, Dead Rider and Bottomless Pit. Taking over a Camber Sands holiday resort for the weekend, ATP’s ‘Nightmare’ promises a surreal experience worth remembering. Tickets from £180, accommodation included. | Visit site

S.S. Coachella –  Fort Lauderdale to Bahamas/Jamaica

Photo by Jason Persse

Coachella festival aims to expand its borders by taking to the high seas, with passengers partying to Pulp, Hot Chip, Girl Talk and Simian Mobile Disco en route from Florida to the Bahamas or Jamaica. At $500 minimum it doesn’t come cheap, but how often do you find yourself sharing a ferry with Jarvis Cocker? | Visit site

Voodoo Experience – New Orleans

Voodoo Experience New Orleans
Photo by GlowJangles

New Orleans’ best cross-genre festival, melding rock, indie and hip hop with cabaret, theatre and burlesque dancing. Nas, Green Day, Jack White and Neil Young are confirmed, with a 3-day pass retailing at $190. | Visit site

Snowglobe 2012 – Lake Tahoe

Photo by SnowGlobe

The best New Year’s party on the whole continent, Snowglobe aims to ring in 2013 in a state of dance-induced euphoria. Featuring R/D2, Bass Nectar, A-Track, Star Singer and Afrolicious, an early bird pass comes in at a decent $130. | Visit site


About the Author:  This guide to the best winter music festivals was compiled by the folks at Swissotel’s Tallinn Hotel, situated in the heart of Estonia.

About the Author: Steph Spencer

Formerly the Editor of Let's Roll, now you're more likely to find Steph prowling the halls of incredible museums, hunting for historic landmarks, discovering mind-blowing science and literary attractions, tracking down the world’s largest whatchamacallit or attending wacky festivals. She is a freelance travel writer who explores the geeky side of travel on her blog A Nerd At Large, and dispenses random quirkiness on Google+ and as @ANerdAtLarge on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *