The World’s Most Unique Music Festivals

Underwater Music Festival – Florida Keys

Quite a niche festival – obviously you have to be a pretty good scuba diver to attend, considering it takes place entirely underwater! Attendees are encouraged to dress up, and compete for prizes by playing sea-themed instruments – think bass-oon, trom-bonefish, obloefish. Underwater-themed music plays through speakers suspended under boats (Yellow Submarine, etc). ‘It’s not as clear, but you can still hear it and understand – it just has a little different tone to it’. The festival was set up to promote reef conservation, and a local radio station sponsors the event to promote environmental sustainability and responsible diving.

Air Guitar Championships – Oulu, Finland

Initially a joke, the air guitar championships in Finland now draw a huge crowd. Contestants ‘play’ two songs, which are scored out of six for each round. These performances must be air guitar only – strictly no air drums, air piano, air harp, etc. – and obviously no real instruments. The ideology behind the event is simple, realistic, and not-at-all dramatic: ‘wars would end and all the bad things would go away… you can’t hold a gun while you play air guitar’. Rob “The Marquis” Messel currently holds the title, previously held by Nanami “Seven Seas” Nagura:

24-Hour Drone Festival – Hudson, New York

This immersive festival features musicians working within the spectrum of drone, creating 24 hours of uninterrupted sound. Described as a experimental, communal and conceptual experience, participants set up camp on the floor of an old industrial factory and settle in to listen to 24 straight hours of ambient, atmospheric music. It is recommended that they lay on the floor ‘so that sound waves move horizontally across the body’. Thankfully, there’s also a 24 hour coffee bar, so they don’t sleep the experience away.

Snowbombing / Snowboxx – Mayrhofen, Austria / Avoriaz, France

These festivals have a similar USP – no prizes for guessing what. Both taking place on the pistes, they offer some fun, unique extras alongside the music. As if it wasn’t a cool enough experience to go to a festival in the snow, Snowbombing offers Alpine yoga, chairlift speed dating(?!), and a rave in an igloo. Snowboxx has purpose-built snowball fight arenas and bottomless brunch. Previous acts at Snowboxx include Gorillaz, Stormzy and Rudimental, while Snowbombing boasts performances from Example, The Vaccines and Tinie Tempah.

Les Dunes Electroniques – Ong Jmel, Tunisia

Sounds like a regular electronic festival, right? Wrong. Situated in the Sahara, Les Dunes Electroniques takes place in the abandonded film set which makes up Mos Espa – Anakin Skywalker’s childhood home. Once the festival starts, music plays for thirty hours straight. The ideal combination for anyone who loves both Star Wars and the Tunisian underground electronic music scene!

Fyre Festival – The Bahamas

Just kidding.
(If the Fyre Festival drama somehow passed you by, Netflix has a documentary – ‘FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened’).

And finally…

Beyond The Woods – Stourton Woods, Lincolnshire, UK

The only festival on the list in the UK (so, definitely the one you should book tickets for – right now). It features some amazing acts, both national and local, including Alfie Templeman, The Staves, Vistas and Olivia Dean. There’s also a whole range of other entertainment – from yoga and deer safari to axe throwing and wood workshops.

Taking place from August 6th-8th, this is not one to miss! Get your Beyond the Woods tickets here: