As told by travel bloggers:
It’s no secret that at just about any festival, you’re going to meet people. You’ll meet the ones who help you create fantastic memories, those pretending to know the bands, the ones that seem to have endless energy, those that have hidden talents, and those foreigners that will make you laugh until your belly hurts. You’ll meet all kinds of travelers and locals, but where do you start?
For those of us living with anxiety, sometimes crowds can be stressing. But there’s no greater feeling than being with a whole bunch of new friends, all feeling the same freedoms. Whether you’re someone who dives right into the center of a crowd, or the one who enjoys it all from the sidelines, we’ve found a festival for that.
With first hand experience and some insider knowledge, you’ll find yourself booking a holiday around one of these festivals in no time. With the help of some incredible travel bloggers, in no order, we’ve put together a list to show you the world’s best festivals to meet people.
La Tomatina, Spain
Alysha – www.adventurousalysha.com
La Tomatina is one of Spain’s greatest festivals. Held in August every year, the town of Valencia prepares itself for the world’s biggest tomato fight. It will have you feeling like a child again, with a belly full of wine, like the proper adult that you are! I’ve been to Tomatina twice, and each time have met the most amazing people; travellers and locals all excited for a time where Valencia’s population skyrockets, and the streets are filled with tomato-ey goodness.
The camping grounds around Valencia, are a great place to meet people. But you can’t go past the immense amount of bonding done when you’re squashed against strangers, covered in tomato pulp, turning your white clothes into orange rags. Or the kindness of locals, ready with the hose, to help get the seeds out of your ears and eyes. The vibe at La Tomatina is just intense fun. Everyone is there for a good time, and to feel free, and that’s just what you do. Spain’s festivals have a way of making everyone feel alive; La Tomatina does just that. It’s an experience like no other, with almost guaranteed new friends. Do yourself a favour, head to La Tomatina.
Electric Daisy Carnival – Las Vegas, U.S.A
Brian – www.bexplorers.com
Electric Daisy Carnival, aka EDC is a dusk till dawn electronic and dance music festival that occurs in June. They try to create another world, with performers walking the grounds and festival rides to compliment the performances. Rave culture’s tag line is PLUR. Peace. Love. Unity. Respect. EDC and all the headliners, they call all attendees headliners, embody this. I might not be the biggest raver myself, but it’s hard not to appreciate those values.
People hugged those nearest them, and I saw numerous people crying happy tears. At no other festival have I ever felt as close to strangers. Everyone goes into EDC with the mindset that love is what matters. There’s no body shaming, fighting, or excluding. With a whole night of dancing, you feel a sense of camaraderie as everyone fights to stay awake and keep the energy high until the sun comes up. I told my wife for the first time that I’d marry her at this festival, and we still keep in touch with the people we met. If you’re looking to make new friends and have the time of your life. Look no farther than EDC.
World Sacred Spirit Festival, India
Mokshta – www.misswithmigratorywings.com
India is a flamboyant platter of culture. There is culture in sense of dress, food and undeniably in music. The World Sacred Spirit festival was one such answer to my quest of experiencing culture in Indian and International folk music.
This festival takes place every year in the month of February at the cities of Nagaur and Jodhpur, Rajasthan for a duration of two days. It displays dance and music forms through the penetrating performances, by known classical and contemporary artists, from all over India, and the world. I picked to experience the one at Jodhpur due to its magnificent venue, the Mehrangarh fort.
This event is attended personally by the royal family of Jodhpur hence it’s a great stage to meet the Indian Royalty and people from various parts of the globe who celebrate folk music. I attended this festival in 2016 and was mesmerized by the performances of Daud Khan Sadozai, veteran of rabab music from Afghanistan, and the awestruck collaboration of Tamango, the famous tap dancer with Indian folk artists.
My anxiety left me unspoken when I met Hh Maharaja Gaj Singh of Jodhpur fortuitously during one of the acts and that was dream come true moment for me.
BBK Music Festival, Spain
Alex – www.alexintransit.com
Bilbao BBK Music Festival, held every July in the northern Spanish city of Bilbao, has been called the world’s best medium-sized music festival. It was the first one I ever attended back in 2011, but it still my all-time favourite. The line-up always includes some alternative rock for nostalgic nineties-kids like the Killers, Phoenix and Two Door Cinema Club. Because the three main stages are fairly close together, there’s always time to catch your favourite bands. The hill in front of the main stage is the best place to chill out and socialize. It slopes upward like a natural amphitheater, so you can sit down and still see the stage; sipping beer and storing dance energy.
Speaking of beers, the drink sizes at BBK are massive, and thanks to the Spanish free-pour, you get your money’s worth with every refill. But the best part of BBK is definitely the international crowd and an overall awesome vibe. Spaniards, Brits, French, Aussies, Americans and Italians are just some of the nationalities who come together at BBK to enjoy the music. Everyone wants everyone to have a good time. I’m a shorty and there’s always some legend who volunteers to put me on their shoulders.
T in the Park Festival, Scotland
This festival is on hiatus
Jeremey – www.cominghomestrong.com
I would walk 500 miles, and I would definitely go back to T in the Park for more.
The crowd warms up to local acts like The Proclaimers on the first day. Then the big players like Snoop Dogg, The Killers, Mumford and Sons, and David Guetta rock the rest of the weekend to give this festival a unique name for itself. T in the Park is a friendly, welcoming festival situated near Stirling, in the bonnie land of Scotland.
There were many reasons why I loved this four-day party. I’ve mentioned the music during the day, but it was after 10pm when the real party happened in the silent disco tent. Dancing to tunes from your #fanboy years amongst a crowd was amazing, not to mention this is where I met my wife-to-be.
Joanna and I met at this festival in 2013 through a friend, and hit it off straight away. The bond of music and good times was so strong, that we moved home to the other side of the world the following year. This goes to show, it is worth walking those 500 miles, as you never know who will walk 500 more with you.
Farah – www.farahinthesun.com
Once a year, a small town in Belgium, near the city of Antwerp, turns into one of the biggest, craziest and maddest places in the world. More than 400.000 people from all over the world unite to celebrate their love of dance music, beautiful people and magic at the one and only TOMORROWLAND.
Yesterday is history, today is a gift, tomorrow is mystery.
Tomorrowland is 100% the best festival to make friends from all over the world and meet new people. The vibe is amazing and everyone is having the time of their life. Wear a crazy costume, get a glitter shower or have some colourful face paint. Everything is possible. While you are walking around people will give you a high five or blow bubbles at you. You will see flags from countries from all over the world. It is the easiest way to make new friends. Wink at the cute unicorn next to you or learn some cool pick-up lines in different languages. So, if there is one festival that just HAS to be on your bucket list, it is definitely Tomorrowland!
La Batalla del Vino (San Vino), Spain
Hollie – www.hollieholiday.wordpress.com
Officially known as La Batalla del Vino, the wine fight of Haro, Spain, began in the 13th century as basically a neighbour’s tiff. Each year on Saint Peter’s Day, the line had to be marked to make sure Haro stayed Haro and not Miranda de Ebro. Four hundred years later they decided to throw wine at each across the border. And so the tradition continued.
Now four times round, San Vino is my favourite cultural festival. You rise early on the morning of June 29 dressed in your whites and reds, with boxed wine in hand. After the long battle march, you enter the hit zone. You don’t know who your friends are anymore. Locals use just about everything they can to attack you with wine; buckets, super soakers, garden sprayers.
Despite their battle tactics, this is a great festival for meeting the incredibly friendly locals. They’ll share their BBQ on the walk back, give a ride down the hill in their trucks, and party with you in town each night.
Stoke Travel were the first travel company to lay roots at this festival and dubbed it San Vino. At their campsite, you get to enjoy the company of hundreds of other travellers all looking for a good time. You’ll meet the best of the best here, as everyone’s bodies recover from the grapey battle.
So there you have it. Our best picks of festivals around the world to meet people. There are so many festivals out there that it’s hard to put together a list of the best of the best. But we’ve given you our festival highlight reel. So take our word for it, and head to one of these festivals next time you’re feeling adventurous. You might even catch one of us there!