Asia, Africa & The Americas: Music Festival Guide 2018

A guide to some of the furthest-flung and most exciting music festivals around the globe, from light-powered fun in Sydney to epic all-dayers in Mexico

Preview by Tallah Brash and Peter Simpson & Nadia Younes | 23 Mar 2018
  • Vivid Sydney

Foro Pegoso, Mexico, 7 Apr
It's another fantastic line-up from the one-dayer near Mexico City – catch an array of international acts from Mura Masa and Four Tet to Arca and Kelela, as well as homegrown talent like Tijuana shoegaze duo Mint Field. Oh, and that's before we even get to the opportunity to batter into a load of Mexican food... what’s not to love?
Tickets £59. Fly: Edinburgh to Mexico City via Iberia. Visit: The Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan

Canadian Music Week
Toronto, Canada, 7-13 May
Now in its 37th year, CMW is recognised as one of the premier entertainment events in North America. This year’s festival sees various networking events and conferences taking place most days with hundreds of bands showcasing at more than 40 venues in downtown Toronto each night from 8pm, including Alice Glass, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Hinds and Loma. 
Festival wristband from £44. Fly: Glasgow International to Toronto Pearson International via Air Transat. Visit: CN Tower

VIVID Sydney
Sydney, Australia, 25 May-16 Jun
“The world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas,” they say, and rightly so. Annually transforming Australia’s Harbour City into an outdoor art exhibition, bolstered by unique collaborative performances, one-off events and must-see live acts. This year's line-up features everything from gigs by Mazzy Star, Ice Cube and Solange to an environmental talk from Avatar director James Cameron. Oh, and a live rendition of Brian Eno's Music For Airports... and the enormous queer multimedia extravaganza Qweens Ball... and a screening of Fugazi documentary Instrument paired with Guy Picciotto's first appearance in the country for more than two decades. So plenty to be getting on with.
Various prices. Fly: Edinburgh to Sydney via Qatar Airways or Etihad; Glasgow to Sydney via Emirates. Visit: The Blue Mountains.

Fuji Rock
Naeba Ski Resort, Japan, 27-29 Jul
Named for its original location at the base of Mount Fuji, Fuji Rock relocated to the Naeba Ski Resort in 1999. The three-day event features over 200 Japanese and international musicians, making it the largest outdoor music event in Japan. It's far from the cheapest fest in the world, but for what will probably be a once-in-a-lifetime visit this year's line-up is fittingly packed – it features Kendrick Lamar, Vampire Weekend, CHVRCHES and genuine, actual Bob Dylan.
Day tickets £128, weekend tickets £282. Fly: Glasgow International to Tokyo via Emirates. Visit: Kawaii Monster Cafe, Tokyo

Lake of Stars
Malawi, Africa, 28-30 Sep

As well as all-day festivals in London and Glasgow this March, Lake of Stars will return to the beaches of Lake Malawi at the end of September to celebrate its 15th anniversary. The festival features a diverse selection of mostly African and European artists and in its first year won the Malawi Tourism Award. 
Tickets TBC. Fly: Edinburgh to Lilongwe via KLM or Kenya Airways. Visit: Liwonde National Park

NH7 Weekender
Pune, India, Dec TBC

NH7 Weekender is an annual, multi-city music festival in India and one of the largest music festivals in the country. Held between October and December, travelling to multiple cities, NH7’s flagship event takes place in December in Pune. The festival is known for its diverse line-up with a solid cross-section of established and emerging local acts alongside major international acts. 
Tickets TBC. Fly: London Heathrow to Pune via Jet Airways. Visit: Parvati Hill

Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Jan/Feb 2019, dates TBC
Laneway Festival brings a whole host of the best new bands from across Europe and North America south for a blast of summer each January and February, touring around Australia as well as hitting Singapore and Auckland. 2018's festival featured everyone from Sylvan Esso to Anderson .Paak, along with local greats like Aldous Harding and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. 
Tickets TBC. Fly: Glasgow International to Singapore, Auckland, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane or Fremantle via Emirates. Visit: Night Safari, Singapore