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Here be 15 of the Freakiest Music Festivals From Around the World

If you’re into that sort of thing…

Why do mix-tapes linger long after lovers leave? What drove the deaf Beethoven to declare that music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy? Could it be the same profoundly magical and mysterious thing that drove Jimi Hendrix to confess that music was his religion?  Music is vibrating emotions. It reaches people, breaks solitude, inspires hope, and does not spoil with age. Music makes it easy to remember 3 magic minutes 30 years ago and can be enjoyed alone or with company anywhere, anytime. No matter what race, age, creed, or country, nothing transcends social boundaries, soothes the soul, or calms the beast quicker than a blowout music festival! Here be my favourite 15 Extreme Music Festivals From Around The World:

#1. AfrikaBurn – Tankwa Karoo, South Africa

Music Festivals From Around The World afrikaburn

Akin to the design and intention of the American Burning Man, and not technically a “Music Festival”, this 7-day carnival of “radical self-expression” and all things fiercely free and freaky manifests from the arid dust of the Tankwa Karoo into a temporary Mad Max zone of psychedelic art, extravagant costumes, eclectic music, wild dance around bonfires and mutant vehicles galore. Instead of famous bands, monster brands, and celebrity deejays, expect baffling art installations, instant community formations and unconditional acceptance blazing at its purest. 

As monetary exchange would negate the essence of radical self-reliance, participants are encouraged to set up theme camps to share their gifts with the greater community. Surviving a week in the dessert with no access to water, food, electricity, shops, or Facebook is not for everyone, so rocking up with a few energy drinks and an attitude is not something I would recommend if you intend on surviving.

#2. Soundwave – Australia

Music Festivals From Around The World Soundwave

Soundwave is one of Australia’s most popular music festivals and simultaneously held in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane over 2 days. Rumour has it that the 2015 event will see 7 stages instead of the usual 12, longer set times and more dark time for band light shows. With legends like Green Day, Rob Zombie, Placebo, and Korn in the flesh, things tend to get rowdy, so if you don’t want to lose a button or break a nail, it’s best to avoid the urge to stage dive into the mosh pit face first.

#3. Fes Sacred Music Festival – Morocco

Music Festivals From Around The World fes

If you have a taste for the mysterious, uncharted and eclectic, Morocco’s Fes Festival is not to be missed. Set amidst the backdrop of majestic palaces, sprawling gardens and medieval surrounds, this annual celebration of sacred music features live performances from traditional musicians, dancers, and performers from around the globe. Decidedly more sophisticated and conservative than most festivals on this list, what makes this celebration unique is the opportunity to experience chanting Iranian mystics alongside whirling Turkish dervishes. 

#4. Mezi Ploty – Prague, Czech Republic

Music Festivals From Around The World Mezy-Ploty

Mezi ploty (Between the Fences) is billed as everything from a bohemian oddity to utter madness unleashed. This weirdest of weekend fringe theatre and music festivals is set on the tranquil grounds of the Bohnice Clinic; a working psychiatric hospital. What makes this festival really interesting is not so much the 140 performers and 11 glitzy stages, it’s what happens when the patients join the party. No jokes! To bust the myths and break the stigmas attached to mental disorders, patients are encouraged to mingle with the crowd and enjoy themselves. Awesome idea, but after two days of hectic partying, how will nurse Ratchet know who needs to stay and who needs to get locked back up again?

#5. Isle of Dreams – Turkey, Israel, Switzerland

Isle of Dreams1

Picture this: 3 days, 3 countries, 1000’s of shiny, happy, music lovers and more superstar deejays and celebrity bands than all the blowout Ibiza parties combined! The madness kicks off on 5 August with stages hosted by Cocoon, Paradise and Sankeys and confirmed artists including the likes of Avicii, Fedde Le Grand, Zedd, Sasha, Paul Oakenfold, Paul van Dyk, Pete Tong, Nervo and many more. Other than a host of formidable headline acts and bringing people together in spectacular natural surrounds, what makes Isle of Dreams so bloody fantastic?

Well, allow me to break it down thusly: While hot-steppers in Turkey are living it up at ‘the ultimate euro-electro beach festival’, and partygoers in Israel pay homage to the holy beats by the biblical Sea of Galilee, clubbers in Switzerland will get down and dirty at a magical venue in the Alps. Isle of Dreams nailed in 3 words? Uber Meshugga Habibi (Fashionably Crazy Darling)!

How do you describe to someone who’s never been to a music festival what it’s really like?

Click through to The Flash Pack website for the remaining 10 Music Festivals From Around The World and find out. Here’s a quick teaser: From the top it goes: Wild Africans – Smooth Italians – Wet Icelandashians – Spacey Canadians – Fiery Indians – Jamming Japanese – Magikal Malaysians – Mellow Mexicans – Campy Croatians, and then…. AND THEN!!! Drowning Americans?

Here’s a wicked video to remind us all that friends don’t let friends dance alone!?

“Hairy Horny Devil Man” Image courtesy of Stuart Shapiro Photography