Missed out on Glastonbury? Then check out some of these international festivals this summer instead!

Yep, I did it again. I missed out on getting a Glastonbury ticket.

Every year I say to myself “this is the year that I’m finally going to get a ticket,” and do I ever get one? Nope. Never. Not once.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve set a reminder on my phone, got a crew together to increase the chances of getting a ticket, woken up at the crack of dawn to hit the refresh button a million times, had my phone on speed dial, still to no avail.

Well, as this year was no different I decided to look a little further afield than Glastonbury. From the world’s biggest water fight in Thailand to a wine festival in Spain (much more my sort of thing), here are some amazing international festivals you’ve got to check out this summer.


Songkran, Thailand

This is always the water fight of the year beating anything you ever did as a kid! Songkran is just around the corner being celebrated on the 13-15th April and I’m gutted to be missing it this year. Songkran is the Thai New Year and it is an event where you wash away the bad spirits and start anew. No matter where you are in Thailand everyone’s prepared for Songkran with water pistols, buckets, balloons, and any other implement to get someone wet. It’s every bit as amazing as it sounds!

Songkran, Thailand

Hemis Festival, India

When I went to India back in 2009 I never made it up to Jammu or Kashmir, but I did hear about the Hemis Festival. Every year on July 3rd, the Hemis Festival celebrates the birth of Guru Rimpoche, the spiritual leader of Tantric Buddhism. Expect masked dancers representing the fight between good and evil (we love a good fight) depicting animals, skeletons and wizards alike. The dancing is slow and ritualistic, performed to the sound of mesmerising drums and trumpets, and everyone gets on this weird ethereal plane (as they put it). It’s a festival that’s always fascinated me though as being one of the most traditional in India.

Hemis Festival, India

Naadam Festival, Mongolia

The Naadam Festival is the equivalent of Scotland’s Highland Games and it is an event that dates back in one form or another to the 13th century. Starting on July 11th the Naadam Festival covers three of the country’s most popular sporting activities: archery, wrestling, and horse racing. Rather than just a single event, the festival takes place throughout the countryside so everyone can watch. There’s a huge tournament in the capital Ulaanbaatar, but you can venture well into the depths of the Gobi Desert to watch epic wrestling matches in an incredibly stunning location.

Naadam Festival, Mongolia

Teatro del Fuoco – International Fire Dancing Festival – Sicily, Italy

This is another festival I missed, but if you head to Sicily at the end of June you can experience a festival like no other – the Teatro del Fuoco, the international fire dancing festival. There’s a reason why it’s on Sicily – the island is home to Mount Etna after all, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Anyway, every day there are events with music and dancing, but as soon as the sun goes down that’s when things really kick off. Every night there’s a fire poi show on the beaches and the pyrotechnic display really is something else.

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Author

Macca Sherifi is a presenter, photographer and videographer who has worked in the travel industry for the past six years. He has travelled to over 75 countries, volunteered in Bangladesh and worked in both China and Australia.

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