Over the years both Franca and I have been to more music festivals than we can remember the names to. Festivals are one of the best ways to see live bands of all genres as you get not only fantastic crowds, (hopefully) nothing but sunshine and the opportunity to catch a glimpse of bands you’ve not heard of before, maybe on a small stage before they hit the big time and headline the following year.

One of our main hopes for our travels is to see local music and to attend local music festivals that we wouldn’t have otherwise been able to see or hear about and on a few occasions we’ve been that lucky.

As we begin our second year of travel we hope we’ll be able to see more local bands and be at even more great festivals, and if we’re lucky we’ll get to be at all of these amazing music festivals you’re (probably) never heard of.

Water Hill Music Festival

Recommended by a fellow traveller in a hostel, Water Hill Music Festival is a heartwarming and intimate affair where on the first Sunday of May, the residents of Water Hill, Ann Arbor (MI) gather on their porches and front gardens and play all kinds of music for the streams of passers by who go from house-to-house to enjoy the varied styles and genres of bands in the sun, sipping lemonade along the way.

The idea of stepping out of my front door to play guitar to my front garden full of people sitting on picnic blankets gives me equal parts fear and excitement.

Water Hill Music Festival Water Hill Music Festival
Water Hill Music Festival Water Hill Music Festival Water Hill Music Festival

St. Jeromes Laneway Festival

Approaching it’s tenth anniversary in 2014, St. Jeromes Laneway Festival – now known more simply as Laneway Festival – is a fantastic festival for the indie rock and pop fan within us all.

Originally started as a summer festival that strangely enough took place in the alleyway behind the venue where the founders used to run a weekly music night, Laneway Festival is now a travelling festival that moves not only across some of the more major cities of Australia, but now also internationally in cities such as Detroit and also Singapore where we were lucky enough to drop by this year to see fantastic musicians such as Bat For Lashes, Kings of Convenience, Nicolas Jaar and personal favourites Cloud Nothings.

Laneway 2013

Dunk Festival

Located in Zottegem in Belgium, ’Europes Finest Post Rock Festival’ is top of our list of festivals we’d love to make in 2014, and thanks to a brilliant crowdsourcing campaign run by the festival organisers (Dunk Records) during the middle of this year the festival will be up and running for us to do just that.

As anyone who has listened to our With Earphones In Travel Playlist for August may have noticed, we love our post-rock music and it’s something we’ve both been listening to more and more as we travel as it’s great for relaxing to on a bus ride or listening to whilst writing posts such as this.

Omega Massif@Dunk!Festival - 06-04-2012
Stories From The Lost@Dunk!Festival - 06-04-2012 This Will Destroy You@Dunk!Festival - 06-04-2012 Pelican@Dunk!Festival - 06-04-2012

Camden Crawl

Whilst not entirely a secret to those of you who are reading in the UK, the Camden Crawl is not your normal run of the mill festival.

With the purchase of one universal ticket, festival-goers can enter any of more than 20 listed venues across London as many times as they like across the three day weekend, the only drawback being that entrance to each venue is first-come-first-served meaning that if you do need to leave to get across town to see another band, chances are if you leave it too late you’re going to miss out.

Attending Camden Crawl is part luck and another part planning. Line-ups can be sporadic and unconfirmed, unannounced appearances by big name bands are incredibly common and seeing them can amount to nothing more than being in the right place at the right time.

The thought of being amongst the crowds cramming into Underground stations all relaying secret information that’s getting leaked via Twitter or any number of other mediums as you’re racing to be first in the queue at the door is exciting to me. I love the idea of being ‘in’ on something special. For instance, in one particular year the late Amy Winehouse played to a room of only 50 people – a crazy thought considering the attendances she would draw for her last performances.

Camden Crawl 2012
Toy @ Camden Crawl 2012
Akira The Don @ Camden Crawl 20/04/06 Redstripe Camden Crawl Lonelady_Camden Crawl 2010__Jazz Cafe_04_Simon Fernandez

Satchmo Summer Festival

Another festival we’d both love to attend, the Satchmo Summer Festival is held in New Orleans every year to celebrate the greatness of the man Louis Armstrong.

As jazz lovers it’s only a question of time before we head to enjoy the incredible music festivals that seem to run all year around the great city of New Orleans celebrating the great jazz greats that influenced the world, and if we could be in town to dance and swing to Armstrong and many other great of the times tunes we’d be incredibly happy.

We Love Louis - Sat 23 July 2011 -0033
We Love Louis - Sat 23 July 2011 -0021 NewOrleans084313-50 After the Satchmo festival

Looking Forward

Next year we’d love to make it to all of these festivals given the chance, but we won’t be greedy, we’ll settle for half 🙂 Maybe we’ll see you at one of these in 2014?

Are you going to any of these festivals next year?