There are some amazing events on tap all over the world, all the time. Here’s a taste of what you can see and do in June:
- Fête de la Musique (June 21) isn’t your average music festival…because anyone can perform! The festival was first held in Paris on the summer solstice with the idea of having “the music everywhere and the concert nowhere” — and has kept up the tradition for more than 30 years. Head to the nearest park, train station, or street to catch people of all ages and skill levels expressing themselves as the entire city yields to the all-day celebration of music and the arts.
- For a different take on the solstice, visit Andalucia for the Bonfires of San Juan (June 14-29). Join thousands of locals as they take to the streets and beaches to welcome the new season and purge away sins by taking a traditional dip in the ocean. Though it has pagan roots, today’s festival is mostly an excuse to celebrate all things summer. And the bonfires aren’t the only things to light up the sky; fireworks abound at this fun fiesta.
- Los Angeles is known for many things — from sunsets and celebrities to nightmarish traffic. CicLAVia (June 23) looks to change the latter — at least for a night — by opening up a section of Wilshire Boulevard to some bipedal bliss. Bikers, walkers, in-line skaters, and more explore the iconic byway while enjoying live performances, museum-sponsored activities, and scrumptious street food. So ditch the gas guzzler and hit the pavement for this rare L.A. free-for-all.
- It’s the street-food capital of the world, so it only makes sense that Singapore should play host to the World Street Food Jamboree (May 31-June 9). The event is a weeklong ode to the “most unstructured culinary culture in the world,” with live demonstrations and music — and food personalities (Anthony Bourdain will be there. Need we say more?) as enticing as the streetside eats on display.
- Head down under to the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival (June 21-23) to witness more than 20 indigenous communities from the Cape York Peninsula share their cultures through dance, language, and art. This family-friendly event is held on sacred Bora grounds among some of the oldest and most spectacular rock art in the world (it was recently awarded “Queensland Icon” status by the National Trust).
- Before the Hudson River flows into New York City, it passes through a sleepy little town called Croton-on-Hudson. But in June, crowds will be turning up the volume (and tapping their toes) at the Clearwater Festival (June 14-15). The folk “revival,” inspired by Pete Seeger’s desire to clean up the river, has been going on for more than 40 years and draws top musicians for a jam-packed weekend of picking, dancing, and storytelling.
- Move beyond “now you see it, now you don’t” at MagicFest (June 28-July 5). Now in its fourth year as part of the amazing Edinburgh Festivals lineup, this weeklong event gathers countless live performers to dazzle the eyes and bring awe and wonderment to even the most stoic in the audience.
- Get ready to be wowed in a different way at the Gnaoua World Music Festival (June 20-23) in the picturesque Moroccan coastal city of Essaouira. The intimate festival highlights Gnawa music, which evolved out of a mixture of sub-Saharan, Berber, and Sufi traditions, but embraces music as cultural currency by incorporating musicians from all over the world (don’t miss Maceo Parker this year!) into its unforgettable lineup.
- Explore your avant-garde side at Art Basel (June 13-16). The groundbreaking modern and contemporary art show, first held in its namesake town in Switzerland in 1970, has since expanded to include satellite events in Hong Kong and Miami. But the original hasn’t lost its taste for innovation. Gallery owners, collectors, artists, curators, and art enthusiasts combine energy for a spectacle you won’t soon forget. You might just discover the next “it” artist of the 21st century!
- Make a comeback at the Isle of Wight Music Festival (June 13-16). This famous festival was originally held from 1968 to 1970 (prompting Parliament to pass an act to limit revelry on the island), but reemerged bigger and better than ever in 2002. The modern take on the hippie classic has been gaining in strength every year since, and boasts an impressive lineup of British bands (the Stone Roses among them this year) and global pop sensations (like Bon Jovi).
What would you add to the list? Let us know what we’re missing by leaving a comment.
- Nat Geo Expeditions