13 of the World’s Best Festivals in 2018

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The world is an endless bounty.

 

Historical landmarks. Aqua-clear beaches. Mountain ranges. Different cultures, and cuisines. Unique experiences that you can only get through travel. And one of the best ways to see the world is through festivals. Each year, some of the most alluring locations in the world host once-in-a-lifetime events that showcase the very reasons why visitors seek out these hard-to-access locales. And you can be a part of them, starting today.

Introducing FlightNetwork’s landmark guide to the best global festivals in 2018; a tried-and-true itinerary of where to book your next flight. We travel from Mediterranean coastlines and South African surfing communities, to desert wonderlands and outdoor electronic music festivals, and even end up on a cruise ship in the South Pacific. And why stop there? This is your ticket to the world. Use it wisely.

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Jump to your next festival here:

June to July

 

1. June 14-17: Silver Mountain Music Festival  |  2. June 22-28: 52nd Annual Tel Aviv Bridge Festival

3. June 28 to July 8: National Arts Festival  | 4. June 29 to July 8: Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival  |  5. July 14-15: Franschhoek Bastille Festival

 

August to September

 

6. August 2-4: Akko Opera Festival

7. September 14-16: Oasis Festival  |  8. September 28-30: Lake of Stars Festival

 

November to December

 

9. November 4-7: It’s the Ship  |  10. November 20 to December 10: Wavescape Surf & Ocean Festival

11. December 1: ZoukOut Singapore  |  12. December 7-9: Synergy Live  |  13. December 13-17: Vortex Open Source Festival

 

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June to July

 

1. Silver Mountain Music Festival – Western Cape, South Africa

 

Dates: June 14-17

Entrance Fee: $15

The Silver Mountain Music Festival is not only an outdoor music festival, but also, a ticket to the beauty of the Western Cape in South Africa. You’ll be in the heart of the Grootvadersbosch Valley, in view of Langeberg Mountains, with a setting that celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the region. Concerts are held in historical country hotels and converted farmsheds, and music is coupled with walks to Cape Buffalo, and through indigenous forests, with an array of local milk and wine tastings. And the valley’s position is also perfect for other outdoor activities, like mountain biking and hiking. In other words: Come for the music, stay for the sublime nature.

A day pass to Silver Mountain Music Festival costs $15, but you can get a full four-day pass for $70. Here’s their website for more information.

 

 

2. 52nd Annual Tel Aviv Bridge Festival – Tel-Aviv, Israel

Dates: June 22-28

Entrance Fee: 17 euros

Each year, thousands of bridge fans descend upon the famed Israeli city of Tel-Aviv, for what is the biggest bridge festival in the Middle Festival, now entering its 52nd year. And each day, there are three major sessions, which include a variety of competitions for both pair and team play. The festival is suitable for all age groups, and skill levels, so feel free to bring the whole family. If you love bridge, or are just new to it, this festival is for you. And besides—who doesn’t want to check out Tel-Aviv, too?

The sessions cost 17 euros each. To find out how to register, or what competitions are available, check out the festival’s website here.

 

 

3. National Arts Festival – Eastern Cape, South Africa

 

Dates: June 28 to July 8

Entrance Fee: From $1.50 to $7.80

 

Described by organizers as a “true gathering of African talent,” the National Arts Festival in South Africa’s Eastern Cape has been held annually for 44 years now, and is considered a quintessential stop for artists in South Africa, the continent writ large, and even beyond. That all happens in the small community of Grahamstown for a week-long programme filled with engaging presentations, serious dialogues, creative demonstrations, showcases of young and emerging artists, and other cultural activities. It’s the place to be for those who love African art, or art in general, and want to learn more about the community.

Ticket prices vary between $1.50 and $7.80. To find out more information, here’s the festival website.

 

 

4. Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival – Western Cape, South Africa

 

Dates: June 29 to July 8

Entrance Fee: Free

 

The Western Cape of South Africa is known for its world-famous Knysna oysters, a delicious delicacy that people all over come to try. Yet the oysters are just one part of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, which offers ticketholders a sport-and-lifestyle festival unlike any other nearby. The itinerary includes premier cycling and road-running events, family-friendly activities, and access to the area’s gorgeous natural scenery. But if you’re here for the oysters (which we know you are), then grab a glass of bubbly, and indulge. That’s what this festival is all about.

 

 

The festival venue access is free, but event fees vary. To find out what those are, check out the festival here.

 

 

5. Franschhoek Bastille Festival – Western Cape, South Africa

 

Dates: July 14-15

Entrance Fee: $28/day

 

And if you’re in the Western Cape, don’t go far. Because the Franschhoek Bastille Festival is just around the corner. An ode to Parisian culture and the area’s French heritage, the town of Franschhoek is consumed in red, blue, and white for the weekend, in sight of the historic Huguenot Monument. What does that mean for you? A Food & Wine Marquee, of course, offering incredible local wines and gourmet fare from the town’s renowned eateries. Outside of gastronomy, there’s a caricature artists who will capture your time there, live music, and a Porcupine Ridge Barrel Rolling Competition, which is exactly what it sounds like. Put on your beret, and grab a baguette—because it’s time to go French.

 

 

The festival costs $28 a day. To see what’ll be offered this year, check out the Franschhoek Bastille Festival website here.

 

 

August to September

6. Akko Opera Festival – Akko, Israel

Dates: August 2-4

Entrance Fee: $71

 

Akko, or ‘Acre,’ is one of the beautiful locales in Israel—a port city in northwestern Israel that sits along the country’s extensive Mediterranean coast. And with that comes the classic Mediterranean lifestyle: great food, great beaches, and a great love of life. It’s also the perfect backdrop for the Akko Opera Festival, which, this year, will see a special production featuring the mythical poet Orfeo, who will arrive at the Crusaders’ Court in the Akko city centre along the way to the netherworld. See both the city, and this incredible festival, all at once.

The entrance fee for the event is $71. Further details can be found here.

 

7. Oasis Festival – Marrakesh, Morocco

 

Dates: September 14-16

Entrance Fee: $212 for the weekend

 

‘Oasis’ is an apt name for a festival in Marrakesh—the renowned Morocco city is a crown in the desert, one of the most popular destinations that sits at the foot of the astounding Atlas Mountains. That’s the setting for the Oasis Festival, a three-day festival in September at the city’s elegant Fellah Hotel, appropriately decorated with tropical gardens, palm trees, cacti, and a number of pools to take in the North African sun. Along three stages, festival-goers can dance to a standout line-up of throbbing house and techno, while also engaging with the city’s incredible culture. Need we say more?

 

 

The weekend pass costs $212. For more information on what to expect in Marrakesh, check out the Oasis Festival website here.

 

8. Lake of Stars Festival – Malawi, Africa

 

 

Dates: September 28-30

Entrance Fee: $100

 

Malawi is known to many as the “Warm Heart of Africa”—an incredibly welcoming country, with a natural and cultural beauty that draws in countless visitors each year. And the Lake of Stars Festival is a frontline access to that charm. Set along the shores of Lake Malawi at Leopard Bay, the recognized event is an explosion of expression, with a varied programme that offers patrons live and electronic music shows, dance demonstrations, theatre, poetry performances, and fashion showcases that are some of the best in the African festival circuit. It features Malawi’s best artists, as well as other African and international acts. And most visitors make the best out of it, using the Lake of Stars Festival as a gateway to the country’s many pleasures. So start planning your trip!

 

 

The entrance fee to the event is $100. Here’s the festival website for more information.

November to December

9. IT’S THE SHIP – Singapore

 

Dates: November 4-7

Entrance Fee: Starts at $398

 

You’ve heard of vacations, of course. And maybe staycations, too. But what about shipcations? No? Then welcome to IT’S THE SHIP, a four-day, three-night adventure like no other, where festival-goers board a luxurious cruise ship in Singapore, and sail through the Malacca Strait to Phuket. Along the way, you’ll bare witness to an endless supply of jaw-dropping music, side field trips to nearby island attractions, and insane pop-up parties that go late into the night. Three days will surely not be enough, and afterwards, you’ll never forget what the word ‘shipcation’ means ever again.

 

 

Cabin prices start at $398 per person. To book yours now, check out IT’S THE SHIP website today.

 

10. Wavescape Surf & Ocean Festival – Cape Town, South Africa

 

Dates: November 20 to December 10

Entrance Fee: Various

 

There’s a reason why so many of the festivals featured are in South Africa: because the country itself is a natural gem, with a number of different climates and sceneries that are some of the most unique in the world. And the Wavescape Surf & Ocean Festival in Cape Town speaks to that—the nearly month-long event is dedicated to people who feel a personal connection to the water, and love to surf it to their heart’s desire. It includes an outdoor beachside surf film screening at the renowned Clifton Beach, and SLIDE NIGHT, an evening of talks given by some honorary figures in the surfing world. A surfboard art auction raises money for conserving the water, and teaching young generations how to safely surf. If you’re a surfing lover, then this is where you’ll need to be.

 

 

Ticket prices vary, but information by event can be found on the website here.

 

Check back with your next favorite festival here:

June to July

 

1. June 14-17: Silver Mountain Music Festival  |  2. June 22-28: 52nd Annual Tel Aviv Bridge Festival

3. June 28 to July 8: National Arts Festival  | 4. June 29 to July 8: Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival  |  5. July 14-15: Franschhoek Bastille Festival

 

August to September

 

6. August 2-4: Akko Opera Festival

7. September 14-16: Oasis Festival  |  8. September 28-30: Lake of Stars Festival

 

November to December

 

9. November 4-7: It’s the Ship  |  10. November 20 to December 10: Wavescape Surf & Ocean Festival

11. December 1: ZoukOut Singapore  |  12. December 7-9: Synergy Live  |  13. December 13-17: Vortex Open Source Festival

 

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11. ZoukOut Singapore – Singapore

 

Dates: December 1

Entrance Fee: TBA

 

We’re back in Singapore, this time for ZoukOut, one of the biggest and longest-running annual dance music festivals in all of Asia. Its name derives from Zouk, one of the most famous clubs not only in Singapore or Asia, but the world. (Most recently, it was ranked the third best nightclub in the world—yes, really.) But the festival itself happens along the beach, for one dusk-to-dawn mega-event that runs for well over 12 hours. ZoukOut features major talents from Singapore, and beyond, with stellar stage productions that dazzle, a curated food village that appetizes, and other fringe activities that delight.

 

 

The entrance fee is to be confirmed. Check back for the price and more information on the ZoukOut website here.

 

12. Synergy Live – West Cape, South Africa

 

Dates: December 7-9

Entrance Fee: $30

 

We’ve taken you to mountains, beaches, bays, and boats, but what this list is missing is a good, old-fashioned festival campout. That’s where Synergy Live comes in. The three-day festival takes place in the Cape Winelands at the very tip of South Africa, a remarkable location to spend a few nights camped outside. The multi-stage music and lifestyle festival has been held for 23 years now, and sees over 100 acts—from South Africa, and elsewhere—which includes famed bands and DJs sure to delight any music lover. And while you’re at, explore! The Cape Winelands is home to some of the most majestic scenery in South Africa, and a must-see destination for those visiting Cape Town. In other words: you may want to stay a while.

 

 

Ticket prices start at $30. Figure out your itinerary now by checking out the Synergy Live website here.

 

13. Vortex Open Source Festival – West Cape, South Africa

 

Dates: December 13-17

Entrance Fees: TBA

 

And shortly after Synergy Live, there’s also Vortex Open Source Festival, another festival institution in the West Cape. Now in its 25th year of operation, the five-day outdoor festival celebrates the summer solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. It is home to two dance floors—one psychedelic, and another for ambient music—as well as engaging workshops, performances, art exhibitions, and a number of trade and food stalls. If you attend, you’ll be able to camp in the forest, bathe in fresh spring water, swim in the river, and hike through the varied landscape. So, yeah, there’s a lot to do here.

 

 

 

Ticket prices can be found on the festival’s website here.

 

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Don’t miss out on these incredible global festivals:

June to July

 

1. June 14-17: Silver Mountain Music Festival  |  2. June 22-28: 52nd Annual Tel Aviv Bridge Festival

3. June 28 to July 8: National Arts Festival  | 4. June 29 to July 8: Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival  |  5. July 14-15: Franschhoek Bastille Festival

 

August to September

 

6. August 2-4: Akko Opera Festival

7. September 14-16: Oasis Festival  |  8. September 28-30: Lake of Stars Festival

 

November to December

 

9. November 4-7: It’s the Ship  |  10. November 20 to December 10: Wavescape Surf & Ocean Festival

11. December 1: ZoukOut Singapore  |  12. December 7-9: Synergy Live  |  13. December 13-17: Vortex Open Source Festival

 

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