Festivals and events worth travelling for before the end of 2018

Got annual leave to use up? Here are 12 very good reasons.

#1 Burning Man

When: 26 August – 4 September 2018

Where: Black Rock Desert, Nevada, United States

Every year, thousands of people come together for this radical festival to create Black Rock City out of art installations, only to tear it all down at the end (it’s part of its ‘leaving no trace’ practice). If you need an introduction to Burning Man‘s aesthetics, think Mad Max. This year’s theme is I, Robot, so art installations will focus on artificial intelligence.

#2 Fashion month

When: 6 September – 2 October 2018

Where: New York City, London, Milan, and Paris

Look out for upcoming Spring 2019 trends on the runway, and the season’s latest looks on the streets. Even if you don’t get into the shows, you can catch the fashion crowd rush in the four key fashion week cities: New York (6 – 12 September), London (14 – 18 September), Milan (19 – 24 September) and Paris (24 September – 2 October). If your style is on point, you may even get stopped by a street style photographer.

#3 Picasso. Blue and Rose

When: 18 September 2018 – 6 January 2019

Where: Musee d’Orsay, 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France

Pablo Picasso’s Rose and Blue periods were some of the most important epochs in the artist’s works; their names reflect the shades with which his painted his work for a time. The exhibition, organised by Musée d’Orsay and the Musée national Picasso-Paris, brings together the artist’s best work from his twenties – these would go on to inspire and shape modern art as we know it.

#4 Oktoberfest

When: 22 September – 7 October 2018

Where: Theresienwiese, Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt, Munich, Germany

Where better to celebrate Oktoberfest than in the place where it all began? Every year, this square in Munich comes to life with beer tents, amusement rides and crowds to match any festival. Sample beer and local traditional food under the German sun, with the Bavaria statue and the neo-gothic St. Paul’s Church nearby. If you want, do like the locals and call Oktoberfest by its nickname, “De Wiesn.”

#5 Sam Smith in Singapore

When: 2 October 2018

Where: Singapore Indoor Stadium, 2 Stadium Walk, Singapore 397691

Allow Sam’s silken voice to penetrate deep into your soul and evoke all the feels. The singer brings his The Thrill Of It All tour to Singapore, and if the album reviews are anything to go by, the live performance promises to be quite the heart-wrencher.

#6 Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier

When: Until 7 October 2018

Where: Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High St, W8 6AG London, United Kingdom

Reminisce about the renowned fashion designer’s life and work in the UK’s first exhibition on him. Alaïa had been co-curating this exhibition before his death in November 2017, so trust that personal touches are not absent from the exhibition, which began at the Design Museum in May. Don’t miss it!

#7 Paris Chocolate Show

When: 31 October – 4 November 2018

Where: Pavilion 4, Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, 2 Place de la Porte de Versailles, 75015 Paris, France

The things we do for chocolate! At the Salon Du Chocolat, an annual chocolate fair and trade show, you’ll find out just how many ways chocolate can be appreciated – it obviously isn’t just for eating, if you remember the Benedict Cumberbatch chocolate structure – and leave having tasted some of the world’s best chocolates.

#8 Urbanscapes

When: 3 – 18 November 2018

Where: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Even if you’re already based in KL, you’re technically still travelling for Urbanscapes, as the creative arts festival itinerary will take you to multiple venues within the city, through various exhibitions, workshops and live performances, not least of which is KL Live, where 20-year-old Grammy-nominated singer Khalid will perform on 4 November.

Read also: 5 new Kuala Lumpur bars for the best night out

#9 Strawberry Fields

When: 16 – 18 November 2018

Where: The Wildlands, Tocumwal, New South Wales, Australia

Strawberry Fields is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and the adventure is just as a good as any year. It’s three days of adventure out in the wildlands – dancing to live music, going for a swim in Murray River, checking out art installations, sampling delicious bites – with the option of glamping for the full stay-in experience.

Read also: Try this: Cacio e pepe donuts at Casoni, Sydney

#10 Art Basel

When: 6 – 9 December 2018

Where: Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, Florida 33139, United States

Art Basel is one of the world’s biggest art fairs, and for good reason: it’s ground zero for curators and collectors who want the cream of the crop of the art industry, from big contemporary works to pieces from up-and-coming artists. During this time, expect Miami to be buzzing with inspiration.

#11 Djakarta Warehouse Project

When: 7 – 9 December 2018

Where: GWK Cultural Park, Bali, Indonesia

Djakarta Warehouse Project is easily one of Asia’s biggest EDM festival, and it so happens that DWP too is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Headliners include The Weeknd, Alesso and Armin Van Buuren. Expect the stages to be a show on their own, obviously.

Read also: Villa of the week: Villa Tantangan, a clifftop Bali refuge

#12 Wonderfruit

When: 13 – 16 December 2018

Where: The Fields, Siam Country Club Pattaya, Pong, Bang Lamung District, Chon Buri 20150, Thailand

There are lots of arts and music festival throughout the year, but Wonderfruit has plenty of family-friendly activities so the kids don’t miss out on anything. Between enjoying live music performances and jaw-dropping art installations, you can also feast, relax at wellness sessions and attend interesting workshops.

Don’t miss these:

The Lion King at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Until 23 September 2018.

MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Until 7 October 2018.

Andrea Tim

Andrea is a serial kopi peng drinker (for fun, not for the caffeine; coffee doesn't wake her up) and believer in keyboard shortcuts. She sees The Dress as blue and black, and hears both Yanny and Laurel. Make of that what you will.

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