With an immense music market, Asia provides a welcome break from the yearly bombardment of music festivals in the West, with designated outings for home-grown genres from K-POP through to Japanese Thrash Metal. Japan alone is the single biggest market for recorded music in the world, with South Korea thriving internationally on its electro-pop starlets and South East Asia drawing in massive dance music crowds in spectacular settings.
With such an array of dazzling options, we picked out our 5 favourite Asian music festivals.
1. Sónar, Hong Kong
Barcelona’s trademark electronic festival has seen various incarnations worldwide. Returning for its second Hong Kong showcase in 2018, travellers can expect an expert and expansive blend of live bands and left-field electro. Its location in the coastal Pak Shek Kok provides for a shimmering setting for a chilled out evening. Should you want to explore the frantic city that is Hong Kong, just hop straight on the East Rail Line.
2. Magnetic Fields, India
This dance music festival is set over three days in India’s Rajasthan desert. Reaching its sixth year in existence, this festival is an eclectic option located within the remarkable palace grounds of Alsisar Mahal. India’s Magnetic Fields features a unique intermingling of international genres and DJ sets which continue into the early morning, having previously boasted late nights favourites such as Daphni and Four Tet. What’s more, the journey to the festival — to Alsisar from Delhi through Jaipur — is an adventure unto itself.
3. Itadaki, Japan
Japan has a strong rock festival scene, with big names like Fuji Rock, Rock in Japan and Summer Sonic drawing international crowds. Itadaki is an interesting summer alternative because of its genuine eco credentials. Set in the mountainous region of Shizuoka along the coastal area of Suruga Bay, the festival is powered by bio-diesel and has an eco-friendly vibe. For globetrotters looking for more than a standard international lineup, Itadaki offers up genuine local talent, with Japanese masters and newcomers alike.
4. Quest Music Festival, Vietnam
Vietnam offers much for nature lovers and adventurous thrill seekers, and here the two collide in the picturesque nature reserve of Ba Vì National Park. Hosted in November, Quest offers a unique blend of international and Vietnamese musicians and DJs, all set within a lush tropical ecosystem. With more than just music on the menu, Quest offers workshops on activities from yoga to dancing.
5. TAO Music & Underwater Festival, Thailand
This next offering from Thailand is a relatively new festival looking to redress some of the region’s problematic Western hedonism. With a solid eco-friendly message, TAO offers an eclectic lineup of DJs and musicians playing against the pristine coastal landscape of Koh Tao island.
When travelling abroad on your music adventure, it is important to take out medical travel insurance. As medical mishaps can and do happen, taking out travel insurance will allow you to relax and soak up the sonic rays without being thrashed by a heavy hospital bill. With that said, Asia is your musical oyster.