Information and Advice

The Best Music Festivals Outside Of Europe: A Genre-By-Genre Look

March 22 2021

It’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic has seriously affected music festivals across the globe.

From Glastonbury in the fields of Somerset to Coachella in California’s Palm Springs, cancellations have been seen left, right and centre, much to the sadness of music lovers here, there and everywhere.

But, with the world slowly opening its doors again, there is hope that we could be seeing the return of music festivals in the not-too-distant future.

And, with that, long-haul international travel should be coming back too – finally, a chance to get away on that holiday we’ve all been longing for.

So, with this in mind, we thought we’d compile a genre-by-genre list of the best music festivals to look out for away from the UK and Europe, highlighting which ones we think are worth heading off to.

Burning Man, USA: Electronic

One of the United States of America’s best-loved festivals, Burning Man has been around for decades and is a festival which focuses on community, art and self-expression.

Famed for its electronic music and high-profile DJ sets, the Nevada-based festival takes place in the Black Rock Desert, creating an almost apocalyptic Mad Max-like setting in which to enjoy drinking and dancing the night away.

While it may not be for everyone, attending Burning Man is a great way to blow off some steam, featuring an inimitable post-modern, cyberpunk, druggy spirit.

When is it? Sun, 29 Aug 2021 – Mon, 6 Sept 2021

Fuji Rock, Japan: Rock

If you know your festival stories, the chances are you will have heard the one from Fuji Rock. You know, the one where Red Hot Chilli Peppers headlined during a full-on storm, while their frontman had a broken arm. Talk about rock and roll.

The weather isn’t always stormy at Japan’s best-known festival though – in fact, being based halfway up a mountain at the Naeba Ski Resort, it’s certainly one of the more unique festivals you can visit.

It also aims to be the cleanest festival in the world, is ideal for rock fans, and offers a number of accommodation options that are infinitely better than sleeping in a cold, wet tent in Somerset.

When is it? Fri, 20 August 2021 – Sun, 22 August 2021

South by Southwest, USA: Pop & Modern

Another of the USA’s best-loved festivals, South by Southwest – or SXSW – is unlike any music festival we see here in the UK.

For starters, it’s absolutely massive. From comedy to films to music, there’s stuff going on literally everywhere, with more things to go and see than there are minutes in the day. 

OK, so we may be exaggerating there slightly, but attending SXSW is certainly an experience and you’re bound to end up seeing something you’ve never seen before.

Nowhere else, for example, would you be able to catch the premiere of a new Hollywood blockbuster movie before seeing a global superstar pop up on stage without any warning.

When is it? Early-to-mid March 2022

Pentaport Rock Festival, South Korea: Rock/Acoustic

While South Korea may not be the first country to spring to mind when you think of rock music, as the Pentaport Rock Festival proves, it should be.

Based in Incheon, Pentaport was formed to celebrate five key focuses: music, passion, the environment, a DIY attitude and friendship.

Featuring a mix of local and international bands, there’s always plenty to see and do here, and, if you’re into your ramen, it’s a must-visit – just make sure to bring a raincoat with you as the festival is held during the country’s rainy season.

When is it? Tue, 10 Aug 2021 – Thu, 12 Aug 2021

If you love music, why not learn how to play an instrument yourself? Here at The Guitar Social, we provide courses to guitarists of all experience levels and can offer a nurturing environment for you to learn in. You never know, after all, with the right dedication, you could be playing at one of these festivals before you even know it. Simply contact us to get started.

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Nicola Cortese
Nicola Cortese
03/02/2022
I started a course in Jan as a beginner with Thomas and I can already play 5 songs!.. with simple chords :) both Thomas and Fiona are really lovely and they really know how to teach whilst having fun! I'd highly recommend dropping at one of their Thursday's open mic! Tons of fun and talent for free!!!
Jonny Pollard
Jonny Pollard
02/02/2022
Very friendly learning environment, was a bit nervous to play with a group having not played socially for many years, but it was super relaxed, and I learnt a lot in the first session. Looking forward to the next session!
Adam J
Adam J
01/02/2022
Had a great time tonight! I joined on to the beginners course a couple weeks late, but Fiona was great at running me up to speed before the class. Tom was a great instructor, and managed to get us to cover lots of ground in a short space of time. The group was super freindly and relaxed, and im looking forward to going back next week!
Jakub Špaček
Jakub Špaček
01/02/2022
Having played guitar in my past within academic environment I have to say The Guitar Social club opened my eyes with their amazing and vibrant atmosphere with company of great people. Lessons are really fun and easy to follow. Feel really motivate just after few classes and my connection to the instrument greatly improved!
Paula Smith
Paula Smith
31/01/2022
Unbelievably great, not kidding.
Marcella Puppini
Marcella Puppini
31/01/2022
This exactly what I was hoping it would be. A fun and engaging way of learning a new instrument at a lovely venue, with great people and great teaching. Thoroughly recommended.
hashtagobi
hashtagobi
31/01/2022
Only been going 2 weeks but it's a great environment with good pacing throughout the lessons. The community is quite helpful + open to learn so it's really a great space for anyone wanting to hone their guitar chops!
Kevin S.
Kevin S.
27/01/2022
Is it a guitar school? A social events group? A music workshop for all ages and abilities? An open, non-judgemental route to performing? A holiday club that includes jamming on guitars around the campfire? Well–it's all these and more. The Guitar Social is built around founder & lead tutor Thomas (plus TGS Business Director, Fiona, originally one of its earliest students). Patient and passionate, Thomas and his relaxed, friendly temperament get the best from beginners to improvers and beyond. Personally for me, one core strength of The Guitar Social is that Thomas realises what most tutors and courses never do – we can all learn fast and well when we play whole songs together and discover as a group how to make them work. Thomas and TGS guest tutors will always tend to teach music theory for guitar, and focus too on scales, chord voicings, correct rhythm, licks, riffs, parts, soloing etc, but with a tendency to make it about the fun and learning gains when students jam together on great songs instead of staring at a white board and not playing much music. Jamming songs in similar or mixed ability groups helps TGS students become functioning musicians who have built useful real world skills and experience across many sessions similar to how working musicians rehearse and workshop songs. And you will have the opportunity to build live experience too if you wish – solo or with your term group or with others of your choice, in a safe, positive environment, with friendly fellow students as your audience. Never any pressure and just one example of where TGS delivers extra value. They are really worth trying. I haven't even done full justice here to all the different activities they do.
stu smith
stu smith
25/01/2022
The coolest club in London!
Colin Taylor
Colin Taylor
25/01/2022
I'm back for my second series of the Joy of the Jam. After not playing with others for over 30 years, these sessions are reminding me just how inspiring and enjoyable jamming can be. Thomas leads the sessions with huge enthusiasm and a great deal of humour. The support of his impressive musical knowledge is ever present - but this never gets in the way of our desire just have fun and be playing.
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