Music is good and all, but memories are made from the more obscure experiences from a festival when you least expect them. Whether that’s eating some fantastic street food you’ve never tried, spending your last tenner at an oxygen bar, or watching a human fall into a 3-day old portaloo, the highlight of your weekend is always something that doesn’t involve singing along with thousands of other stinking punters.
So if you’re after more of these magical moments, we’ve rounded up the most most unique and downright weird festivals from around the world, because pelting tomatoes into your mate’s face is way better than watching ‘Mr Brightside’ being played half-heartedly for the umpteenth time.
What: Snowbombing Festival
When: April 3-8
How much: accommodation and tickets from £299
Who’s playing: Slaves, Blossoms, Run The Jewels, loads of niche cool DJs we know nothing about
Tell me more: Skip surfing in the mud at Reading & Leeds for skiing in the snow at Austria’s Snowbombing festival, home to hundreds of spas and pools to heal away your hangover. If that isn’t enough to convince you to leave the country, then a workout class by fitness legend Mr Motivator and skipping Tinder for speed dating in a chairlift will surely sway you.
What: La Tomatina
When: August 27
How much: £159 for a 3-night stay
Tell me more: It’s the world’s biggest food fight, with up to 50,000 people taking part in chucking tomatoes at each other as hard as they can. That is literally it. I don’t know what else to say.
What: Electric Castle
When: July 12-16
Who’s plying: Moderat, alt-j, Nero
How much: TBC
Tell me more: Set in the unique and legendary (and slightly terrifying) 15th century Banffy Castle in Transylvania, this festival combines history and raving your tits off in a fantastic collaboration that shouldn’t work, but does. You can also expect hot air balloon rides, yoga lessons and a stellar food market, just in case you get bored/pass out from the 24 hours DJs.
What: Wiener Dog Racing Fair
When: April 29-30
How much: Free!
Tell me more: Heaven truly is a place on earth, because there is a fair in a small town in Texas whose main attraction is racing loads of sausage dogs. Now this is what will make America great again.
What: Sziget Festival
When: 9-16 August
How much: From £150 for 3 days
Who’s playing: Kasabian, Danny Brown, Interpol, Mac Demarco, Major Lazer
Tell me more: Festivals that last 7 whole days need to offer more than just music, and Sziget does just that. Circus, dance, art instillations, yoga and an actual beach by the river Danube to chill out on during the day (plus loads more taking place in 50 venues over their massive location), there’s so much you probably won’t be able to do it all. Saying that, you’re probably just going to end up getting pissed and fall asleep in the dance tent, aren’t you?
What: Oasis Festival
When: 15-17 September
How much: From 139€
Who’s playing: Young Marco, Charlotte De Witte, Jeremy Underground, Mike Servito
Tell me more: Feel like you need a holiday after every festival because you’ve abused your body to the point of an impending nervous breakdown? Then combine your festival experience with a cultural vacation at north Africa’s Oasis, where you can stay in boutique hotels, indulge in professional massages, smoke some hookah, and hop on a camel and explore the desert.