A new year brings a new round of festivals. The future of America is up in the air right now, but hey, at least we have a lot of good music to look forward to, so bring out the flower crowns and denim shorts. Here’s Bullet’s list for the 20 most exciting festivals coming up in 2017 all around the world, in chronological order.
Gem and Jam Festival
If you're like Hank from Breaking Bad and you know the difference between rocks and minerals, then Gem and Jam will be right up your alley. The electronic music festival is held the same weekend as the Tuscon Gem, Mineral, and Fossil showcase, and their website says it’s the “perfect pairing in music and art for gem enthusiasts and festival goers.” So grab your crystals, and see if you can find some rockin’ beats. See what I did there?
Mystic Valley Festival
This little festival packs a big punch. Three days of trance, techno, hip-hop, and indie in the beautiful country of Thailand? Oh hell yes. The legendary Sven Väth is headlining the techno and house stage, which is enough for me to pitch a tent and go look for elephants in SE Asia. Sure it might be a bit pricey to buy a plane ticket, but at least your festival ticket will be less than $100 and includes free camping.
Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival
To be honest, I'm not sure I’m pronouncing this right, but who cares because the lineup is hitting all the right spots. They have a little bit of everything and tickets are actually a decent price. You might get eaten by an alligator, but besides that I'm down to go wade in the swamps of Florida.
South by Southwest (SXSW)
Have like $1000 you want to blow just on an entry ticket and don’t know where to go? Boom. Problem solved. What even goes on at SXSW? Who knows. It’s so cool, so hip, so elusive. There’s even a quiz you can take to find out which ticket is right for you, not sure what I'm paying for, but I'm sold.
More like coach-hell-nah, but I mean, we know you wanna go. Passes are already sold out, I know, shocker. If you’re like me and don’t have a ticket, go to the darknet and see if you can find a way to go burn in consumerism and commercial music while bumping elbows with Kylie Jenner and Paris Hilton rolling balls.
Shaky Knees Festival
Okay Atlanta, I see you playing with the big boys. It’s not like we don’t already have a shit ton of people crowding our city. Let's put out an amazing festival lineup that’ll attract even more tourists. I ain’t mad though, I’ll just laugh at them when they’re dealing with the humidity.
Hangout Music Festival
You could not pay me money to go to Alabama, but for Hangout, I am willing to give them all my money. The lineup is the perfect mixture of indie, electronic, and hip-hop, and it’s on the beach. I’m about to stock up on sunblock and bikinis because I need some MGMT and Frank Ocean in my life.
Ahh... Detroit. Many think Berlin is the home of techno, but you Bullet readers know better. In May go listen to electronic music in the city that actually birthed it so next time some European techno snob tries to lecture you on how the U.S. has shit music you can do that cool dance where you wave your heads to the beat and say “fuck off.” The major headliners haven't even been fully released yet, but remember, good things come to those who wait.
The Big Apple is so full of promise. You might not be able to pitch a tent at the Governor’s Ball, but who needs a campfire, when you have the big city as your stomping grounds? The lineup isn't massively long, but I’m down for Childish Gambino and Cage the Elephant at the same festival.
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
If you read that and rolled your eyes, I don’t care. This is a right of passage man. Everyone needs to go once in their lifetime and this year’s lineup is fucking fantastic. Go get muddy and embrace all the clichés. It’s music, it’s art, it’s, it's the ROO.
CMA Music Festival
Ok, maybe I’m not a big country fan personally, but country lovers know how to get down. If you’re a fan of the genre get your cowboy boots ready because this four-day festival will definitely hit all the right spots. Yee-Haw, amiright?
Vans Warped Tour
Whether you think pop punk is dead or not, Warped Tour is a friendly reminder that what is dead can never die. It’s not too late to get into a mosh pit with a bunch of 13-year-olds whose parents keep telling them this is just a phase.
Splendour in the Grass
Visit the home of the kangaroos and listen to an eclectic mix of music. 2016’s insane lineup consisted of acts like The Strokes, Flume, The Kills, 1975 and a bunch of other great acts, so this year looks promising. The set up is massive and you get to camp out and drink with 30,000 people in beautiful Australia.
Essence Music Festival
Need a little more soul in your life? Make your way over to good ol’ NOLA for an epic reunion of Black Power. Diana Ross, John Legend, Chaka Khan and more are waiting to bless you with all of the beautiful music your heart desires.
Electric Forest Festival
Want electronic music without the obnoxious bros that come with EDC? No worries, the Forest awaits. Both weekends feature some heavy headliners and promise to be magical. Let’s get lost in the woods and some really great music. Don’t mind me, I’m just ordering an ENU on Amazon Prime.
The idea of heading all the way to who knows where in Serbia may sound a bit daunting, but bare with me. This isn’t just any random European music festival - this bad boy is award-winning and has been killing the game for over 15 years. It started as a group of students fighting for freedom for the country and now it’s an eclectic mix of rock, electronic, hip-hop, and basically every bangin' music genre. Just trust us and buy the plane ticket.
This is a monster that can’t be stopped. It’s been going for 25 years, and it doesn’t seem like it’s ready to quit anytime soon. The lineup isn’t up yet, but if 2016 is any indication, I would be willing to blindly buy a ticket. Expect to sweat and get top-notch acts in every genre.
At Bullet, we know you like crazy shit, so check this out. Go on a journey with no cell phone service, out in the wilderness, and watch the solar eclipse. The website claims it’s a transcendental experience and the lineup doesn’t look too bad either. Let’s get weird.
Technically this is not a festival, and DJs at camps are always announced last minute, but let’s be honest, you’re not just going for the music. The theme is Radical Ritual, and you know, everyone wants to go this year before it gets “too commercial.” Throw on your goggles and head over to their website in March to apply to buy a ticket and go burn in the desert.
Lake of Stars Festival
Feeling adventurous? Check out this festival located by the third largest lake in Africa. The setting is absolutely beautiful and the lineup is a mix of African DJs as well as major European acts. Why not make 2017 a year for worldwide adventure and exploration?
If you’re down to make a pilgrimage out to India in December, this will change your life. Sure people say Burning Man magical, but it doesn’t get much more mystical than India. Start your mornings with yoga, get lost in a treasure hunt, hear the sounds of other worlds, and listen to some unforgettable electronic beats in a country that is sure to transform you.