The term ‘festival’ means different things to different people. You might immediately think of a huge music event spanning multiple stages and days, or you might simply envision a gathering of culture, food, and community. One thing is for certain – festivals are often the best way to experience the best that a destination has to offer.
While people of all ages will certainly enjoy these festivals, they are best experienced during the wild freedom of your 20s
We have included a mix of festivals where you can marvel at the beauty in the world, engage in cultural appreciation, and yes, some options where you can dance your ass off!
1. Burning Man (Black Rock City, Las Vegas)
There is truly nothing like Burning Man. An artistic festival cultivated and attended by tens of thousands of people each year, this wild and self-sufficient community culminates by burning a “Man” – a massive art installation.
2. Oktoberfest (Munich, Germany)
Beer, bratwurst, dirndls and lederhosen – what could be better? Oktoberfest is a German celebration of all things Bavarian. It’s a fun and surprisingly wholesome festival.
3. Glastonbury (Glastonbury, UK)
Glastonbury is one of the world’s most legendary music festivals – think Woodstock every year in the Somerset countryside. Equal parts classic rock acts, up and coming alternative bands and pop icons, you can camp (or even ‘glamp’) while reveling in the rock n’ roll of it all.
4. Tomorrowland (Boom, Belgium)
If Glasto is all about rock and pop, Tomorrowland is about the base and the beat. Belgium is home to the world’s largest electronic music festival. Dance your ass off to the best DJs in the world and gaze at some of the most elaborate visuals you’ll ever experience.
5. Full Moon Party (Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand)
If you haven’t attended a Full Moon Party in Thailand, have you ever even travelled? This monthly party happens according to the lunar calendar, and while they now happen all over Southeast Asia, the original and best is in Koh Pha Ngan. Sure, it is touristy and debauched, but you have to do it at least once!
6. Rio Carnival (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Rio’s Carnival is the world’s biggest party, marking the last big blow out before Lent. Blaring samba music, outrageously bedecked dancers, and endlessly flowing caipirinhas, all combined in a riot of sound, colour, and street parades.
7. Tomatina (Buñol, Spain)
Sure, we’ve always been told not to play with our food, but there is something so fun and satisfying about getting down and dirty! Spain’s Tomatina is a chance for you to participate in the world’s biggest food fight, slinging over-ripe tomatoes at friends and strangers alike.
8. Day of the Dead (Oaxaca, Mexico)
The Day of the Dead is one of the most sacred festivals in Mexico, a celebration of indigenous culture. You will witness people honouring their ancestors with intricate altars, glowing candles, and endless sugar skulls.