5. Nowhere, Spain
Nowhere takes places in the barren plains between Zaragoza and Barcelona, and takes its cue from Burning Man-inspired ideals of community, no commerce and radical self-expression. You can’t buy anything on site so bring everything you need for a week in the scorching heat, as well as a very open mind.
Wanderlust started in California and now has over 60 events worldwide, including eight multi-day festivals. The latter are mostly in bucolic mountain locations across North America, though since 2016 they’ve branched out to Australia. Billing themselves as a ‘transformation’, they’re a celebration of mindful living and incorporate yoga and meditation programmes with hiking, biking, ‘Speakeasy’ lectures, music and a commitment to serving sustainable food.
June–November (various dates)
Illustration © Volodymyr Tverdokhlib/Shutterstock
7. Into The Valley, Estonia
For two years, Into The Valley has taken place in a limestone quarry in the Swedish municipality of Rättvik. This year they’re expanding and plan to have six festivals with the central event in an abandoned prison just outside Tallinn, Estonia. It’s an exercise in creating something beautiful out of something stark, and they’ve booked an impeccable techno line-up.
June 29–July 1
If you’re looking for a month-long break from the grind and have an insatiable appetite for techno music, then the republic of KaZantip will welcome you like a long-lost comrade. The festival moves around and this year takes place in the Georgian town of Anaklia, which has risen from the ashes of war to become a vital deep-sea port.
July 14–August 14
Obonjan styles itself as an “island escape filled with unique experiences, set amongst the crystal-blue waters and fragrant forest of Croatia”. It’s also ten weeks long, though you’re not expected to be there for all of it. Instead, weekends, weeks or months are curated by some of Europe’s most interesting creative types, like DJ Gilles Peterson, Hunger Magazine or the Croatian uber-yogis Supersoul.
June 23–September 3
10. Starmus, Norway
Escapism comes in many forms, and if islands, fields, beaches or prisons aren’t your thing, why not lose yourself in the cosmos? Starmus happens in Norway’s University of Science and Technology, and seeks to investigate our place in the universe through a celebration of arts and science. The line-up is unlike anything on Earth – expect talks from Stephen Hawking, Buzz Aldrin and Brian Cox alongside music from a bevy on artists you’ll not see anywhere else.
Victor R. Ruiz/Flickr