Spending December away from home? We've got you covered on the best festivals happening around the continent.
Will | November 28th, 2019
Need somewhere to escape the winter blues? Or maybe you're looking for an alternative to the standard, anti-climactic New Year's Eve party? Lucky for you, we've compiled a list of the best music festivals taking place around Asia this December, with guaranteed good weather at a fraction of the price you'd pay in Europe or the US. Scroll down to see what made the cut!
1. Sunburn Goa
Way back in 2007, Sunburn took Goa by storm and proved itself as India’s pioneering dance music festival. Jump forward to today and the event has swelled in size, luring in over 300,000 guests each year with its colossal stages, unbeatable lineups and ecstatic, carnival atmosphere. Popularity for this world-famous event has grown so much so, that it was the only festival in Asia listed on DJ Mag’s “Top 50 festivals 2019, voted for by the DJ’s themselves.
After having relocated to the hills of Pune for recent editions, this year Sunburn will return to Vagator Beach in Goa, known for its striking red cliffs and stunning sunsets. Goa is a destination that features on the bucket lists of backpackers from all around the world, particularly since hippie types began travelling to the region in the 1950s. The coastal state is an ideal vacation spot, particularly if you're spending the end of the year away from home.
Date: Dec 12 - 15, 2019
Location: The Fields at Siam Country Club, Pattaya, Thailand
Headliners: Four Tet, Craig Richards, Floating Points
Website & Tickets
Launched in December 2014, the focus for this forward-thinking Thai festival extends beyond the music, by creating an entire pop-up city so that their global community can indulge in art, music, food and more. From stages built from up-cycled trash to the ban on single-use plastics, every aspect of Wonderfruit has been meticulously planned, with sustainability acting as the driving force behind everything they do. If you're looking for something different to the usual Thailand tourism experience, you'll find no better option than this.
Each of the multitude of stages has its own charm, from the Theatre Stage for live acts to the futuristic Polygon— complete with virtual-reality sound technology. When it comes to after hours, attendees can head to the Quarry to catch some underground sounds or venture into the forest and look out for the karaoke den hidden amongst the trees. If you fancy taking a break from dancing, then why not participate in one of the workshops or wellness activities, attend a talk by a guest speaker, dine on the finest local Thai cuisine or even take a trip to the onsen-inspired bath house.
3. Neon Countdown
Still undecided where to watch the fireworks this year? Good news, South-East Asia’s wildest New Year’s Eve celebration is back to help ring in 2020! After conquering Malaysia in recent editions, this year NEON Countdown reaffirmed its reputation as Asia’s fastest-growing paint party by expanding into Thailand, with other destinations planned for the near future.
This time round, the festival has joined forces with the renowned Meta Music Festival to present Meta: The Rebellion of Neon Countdown. Attendees are invited to celebrate the end of the decade with a myriad of international and local DJs, creating a community built on the brand’s core values: love music and experience. Targeting fans of EDM, NEON encourages the crowd to slap paint across their faces and watch as the arena comes to life under the ultraviolet glow; with each individual adding their own light to the New Year's fireworks displays.
4. Djakarta Warehouse Project (DWP)
DWP is known for assembling lineups that feature global superstars from all areas of the dance music spectrum, which is why it has rapidly become one of the most popular festivals in the entire region. Heralded as one of Asia's largest music festivals, DWP's elaborate staging, illuminated by stunning pyrotechnic and light shows is a sight not to be missed. This year, the lineup incorporates artists from a wide variety of genres, including the multi-talented producer Calvin Harris, legendary electronic duo Disclosure as well as numerous names from the EDM hall of fame, including Martin Garrix, Skrillex and Zedd, just to name a few.
When it comes to planning an end-of-year getaway, the low prices combined with stunning scenery make Indonesia somewhere worth considering. DWP takes place in the capital city Jakarta, which makes it easy to catch a cheap flight if you feel like exploring the country's breathtaking islands on either side of the festival dates.
Date: Dec 27, 2019 - Jan 7, 2020
Location: Phu Quoc island, Vietnam
Headliners: Anja Schneider, Craig Richards, Loco Dice, Ben UFO
Website & Tickets
Since it began just three years ago, Epizode has already gained recognition as Vietnam's coolest festival. Set on the idyllic Phu Quoc island, the event offers 11 days and nights of non-stop music, with a focus on house, techno, minimal, breakbeat and more. One of the biggest selling points of Epizode is the way they've managed to take the underground music one might associate with Berlin and transplant it onto this stunning South East Asian location... There aren't too many places where you could spend the day getting down to techno on a white sandy beach— which just happens to have been expanded especially for 2019.
Beyond the music, there's so much attention to detail that's gone into the festival's design, from the intricate staging to the assortment of art installations. Despite the length of the event, a multi-entry ticket for Epizode comes at roughly the same price as a weekend festival in Europe. Attendees are free to come and go as they please, which is perfect if you plan on taking a break midway to travel around and regain your stamina.