To say the lack of St. Jerome's Laneway Festival and ZoukOut leave a gaping hole in the 2019 festival calendar would be an understatement. Towards the end of the year, we welcomed newcomers Legacy Festival and the Alex Blake Charlie Sessions with open arms, and 2020 is looking bright with more spankin' new additions including Hydeout.
If you're looking for a festival fix beyond our shores, there are massive inner-city EDM jamborees and weekend-long soirees happening in neighbouring countries vying for attention. Here's the lowdown on the cream of the festival crop to whet the appetite.
Where Pattaya, Thailand
When December 12-16
Think USA's Burning Man Festival with a Thai twist. Held in The Fields at Siam Country Club in Pattaya, the mega-fest is the country's pioneering, carbon-neutral four-day celebration of music, art and sustainable living. Besides sweating and raving alongside the giddy crowd, the festival is loaded with plenty more to do. Immerse in a VR experience, unwind with bath rituals, take a break in complete silence or indulge in an array of transformational wellness experiences.
The Fields at Siam Country Club, Pattaya, Thailand. From $265.
Where Jakarta, Indonesia
When December 13-15
Drop everything right now and fill your dance schedule with the Djakarta Warehouse Project. Spinning the decks this year are some of the most explosive names from the dance music spectrum – we're talking Calvin Harris, Jeffrey Sutorius (aka Dash Berlin), Jonas Blue, Martin Garrix, Martin Solveig, Skrillex, Zedd, and more. Music aside, this massive outdoor shindig comes complete with Instagram-worthy installations and tasty festival grub.
Jiexpo Kemayoran. From $140.
Where Phu Quoc, Vietnam
When December 27-January 7, 2020
Now, here's a party that gets you in the party mood 'till next year. Turning up the heat at the lush island of Phu Quoc, the 11-day shebang is where all the EDM heroes and the worlds of drum 'n' bass, breakbeat, hip-hop and jungle come together for an absolute musical and cinematic experience. This year, get ready to bask in the sunset, dancing to jams courtesy of Anja Schneider, Apollonia, Craig Richards, Guti, Lehar, Lilly Palmer, Coco Dice, Nicolas Lutz, Ricardo Villalobos, Waff, William Djoko, and many more.
Phu Quoc island, Vietnam. 1-day tickets start from $91, 11-day tickets start from $400.
When February 29
Be one with nature and dance within Fort Canning as Garden Beats returns with an even greener twist featuring eco-conscious brands and environmentally friendly initiatives as part of its programme. The entire experience is further elevated with performing, visual and interactive arts soundtracked by an eclectic line-up of international and local acts including indie-rock stalwarts Foals, rising contemporary R&B darling Sabrina Claudio and dynamic electronic duo Giolì & Assia.
Fort Canning Park, River Valley Rd. From $168.
When March 4
Not just for the dads – get ready to rock your socks off as the legendary Scorpions and Whitesnake dominate the stage at Fort Canning Park as part of Singapore Rockfest. Both bands are set to perform their full sets, so prepare to feel the sting and fist pump to this legendary rock music experience.
Fort Canning Park, River Valley Rd. From $168.
Where: Alabang, Philippines
When: 7 & 8 March 2020
Combining the magic of music and the arts, Wanderland invites all to the yearly outdoor indie-music blowout. Wander around the visually-engaging festival grounds that are easy to mingle and let loose to the sounds that'll make your dancing bone tingle. Tearing the stage this year are indie-rock outfit Foals, R&B songstress Ari Lennox, the soulful Raveena, the emotive Bruno Major, R&B sweetheart Sabrina Claudio, multi-instrumentalist Novo Amor, rising star Omar Apollo and more.
Filinvest City Events Grounds, Bridgeway Ave. From $147.
Where: Pathumthani, Thailand
When: March 7 & 8
Kolour your music festival calendar with this vibrant outdoor jamboree. Taking over the leafy space of the über fun Thai Wake Park is a kaleidoscope of art installations and sounds including international spinners serving up doses of house, techno, indie, R&B and funk on the dancefloor. Get down to disco with Black Coffee, Sabrina Claudio, ATMA, Dark White, and Gioli & Assia. Pro tip: don suitable festival gear – things are bout to get wet too.
Thai Wake Park, Lumlukka. From $67.
When April 10-18
Now here's an outdoor shindig that's shaking up the scene by packing as much uncurbed fun, global sounds and eye-catching art in one massive space: The Meadow at Gardens by the Bay. Across two weekends, the space transforms into a multi-stage arena featuring suave hip-hop trailblazer A$AP Rocky, beach-blonde R&B-pop starlet Rita Ora, dance music hero DJ Snake, self-proclaimed 'Trap God' Gucci Mane, Spinnin' Records regular Sam Feldt, bass-heavy trap spinner San Holo, and Singapore's very own Myrne.
The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Dr. Tickets to be announced.
Where Bangkok, Thailand
When April 11-13
Make a splash at Asia's wettest music festival. Happening during Thailand's most vibrant Thai New Year celebration – Songkran – the music festival promises plenty of water-ific fun including colossal light and water effects, and pulsating beats from the world's top spinners. Last year's bill features Fatboy Slim, Tiësto and Steve Aoki. Can you think of a better way to beat the heat?
Turn on your rave radar at this festival of ultra proportions. Dedicated to all things EDM – house and techno included – this dance music fixture is known to set the open dancefloor ablaze with the biggest names in the industry. Take your fist-pumps and frenzied moves from the nightclub to Ultra Park as music titans – we last saw Martin Garrix, Porter Robinson and Skrillex – helm the decks.
Where Jakarta, Indonesia
Known for its buzzy acts, this three-day festival is worth braving Jakarta traffic for. It’s an art, fashion, food and play wonderland soundtracked by everything from pop to high-powered breakbeats. Last year's weekend was spent with 6lack, Rae Sremmurd, Cigarettes After Sex, Daniel Caesar and Troye Sivan.
Where Genting Highlands, Malaysia
Make the trek up mist-covered Genting Highlands for an elevated music fest experience. 2019's line-up brought plenty of good vibes – we’re talking Mura Masa, Nothing But Thieves, Cashmere Cat and more – and we reckon 2020 is going to be as good.
Where Niigata Prefecture, Japan
When August 21 & 22
The mack daddy of festivals in Asia, this mountainside marvel boasts acts that span the gamut of hip-hop and R&B to rock and pop. Headliners The Chemical Brothers, Sia and The Cure, as well as Thom Yorke Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, Death Cab For Cutie, James Blake and Martin Garrix drew us in last year.
Naeba Ski Resort, Yuzawa, Japan. Tickets to be announced.
Where Tokyo and Osaka
Another festival fixture in the Land of the Rising Sun, Summer Sonic takes place at both Tokyo and Osaka – giving you a sweet excuse to check out both cities. Dodging the mainstream acts in favour of crowd faves, get ready to mosh to the big guns – we're talking the likes of Weezer, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The 1975 from last year's bill.
Where: South Korea
When: August 28-31
After six years of voyages in Singapore, this party on the high seas sets sail from South Korea into the sunset with an array of international and regional EDM acts in 2020. The first phase of the line-up is yet to be announced but with award-winning trance DJ Ben Nicky and EDM heavyweights Nervo, as well as tropical house DJ Sam Feldt rocking the boat last year, we reckon this year's going to be as good.
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel aren’t the only ones making noise during Formula 1 season. Feel the floor quake when the biggest names in music take centre stage for the off-track entertainment.
The Padang, Connaught Dr. Tickets to be announced.