This festival presents a dazzling array of surreal, intricate body art by artists from over 40 countries. There’s a catwalk for the painted models at the end of the day. Expect a kaleidoscope of colours, and don’t be afraid to take a close look! There are music gigs, activities for kids, and pre-festival events from June 27 onwards that include a zombie run.
Where: Portschach, Austria | Duration 1 Jul - 3 Jul
Each year, a giant, upturned purple cow takes over London’s Southbank. The Udderbelly Festival, which takes place inside the cow at the Southbank Centre, is a mishmash of comedy, circus, music, and spoken-word events. Look out for Irish sketch trio Foil, Arms and Hog, and American stand-up comedian Reginald D. Hunter.
Where: London, England | Duration 1 Jul - 17 Jul
Gion Matsuri is a month-long festival of the Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto’s Gion district, known for its geisha tradition. There are lantern and tea ceremonies, but the highlight of the month-long celebration is the Yamaboko Junko (or yamahoko) on July 17: a parade of traditional wooden floats, that’s on UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Where: Kyoto, Japan | Duration 1 Jul - 29 Jul
To experience the best of the Catalan performing arts scene, make your way to the Grec Theatre on the city’s Montjuïc mountain. The month-long festival showcases theatre, dance, music, and circus acts from Spain and the world.
Where: Barcelona, Spain | Duration 1 Jul - 31 Jul
Lauryn Hill, Jamie Cullum, Vijay Iyer, Wynton Marsalis, and Rufus Wainwright, among others will perform at the 37th edition of Montreal’s international jazz festival. The festival, among the finest in the world, has also featured storied artists like Leonard Cohen, Miles Davis, and Ella Fitzgerald.
Where: Montreal, Canada | Duration 29 Jun - 9 Jul
Learn about the Apatani tribe of Arunachal Pradesh at the Dree Festival in the village of Ziro. The three-day festival has football matches, traditional dance performances, and plenty of apong—locally brewed rice beer.
Where: Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh, India | Duration 5 Jul - 8 Jul
On July 6, Muslims across the world end the month of Ramadan fasting with rich, indulgent meals. Join in the celebrations with our guide to the best street-side iftar and old-school restaurants to get your fill of biryani, kebabs, and haleem in cities across the country.
Where: Across India | Duration 6 Jul - 6 Jul
Les Fêtes de Gayant takes place in Douai, a commune in northern France. Wine, food and music are an integral part of the revelry, but the festivities centre around the finely dressed, giant effigies that parade down the streets.
Where: Douai, France | Duration 10 Jul - 12 Jul
Bastille Day marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris, an iconic event during the French Revolution. The city is cloaked in red, white, and blue, there is a stunning military parade, and dance parties and fireworks.
Where: Paris, France | Duration 14 Jul - 14 Jul
This is one of the biggest festivals held in Ladakh, at the Hemis Monastery. The two-day festival commemorates the birth of Guru Padmasambhava, one of the founders of Tibetan Buddhism. Watch traditional masked dances, listen to the musical performances and visit the monastery’s museum during your visit.
Where: Jammu & Kashmir, India | Duration 14 Jul - 15 Jul
People from all over the world flock to Boryeong’s Daecheon Beach for this mud-slinging festival. The mud is said to have healing properties. Expect giant mud baths, slides, races, wrestling, and massages.
Where: Boryeong, South Korea | Duration 15 Jul - 24 Jul
Boats made out of empty beer cans race in the Darwin harbour each year to win this regatta. Participants spend months collecting cans and building their floats—some even travel across the globe to take part in the race. The vessels often have fun designs, like a London bus.
Where: Darwin, Australia | Duration 17 Jul - 17 Jul
Kirkpinar is a bit like akhada wrestling. Participants, slathered in olive oil and wearing pants of cowhide, wrestle for victory until there is only one left standing. The prize is the coveted Kirkpinar Golden Belt. The centuries-old match is a UNESCO Intangible Heritage event.
Where: Kirkpinar, Turkey | Duration 18 Jul - 24 Jul
Come summer, theatre takes over New York’s Central Park. Shakespeare in the Park runs from May 24 onwards. From July 19 to August 14, there will be performances of the tragedy Troilus and Cressida, directed by Daniel Sullivan. For free tickets, stand in line on the morning of the play or take part in a virtual lottery on their site here.
Where: New York, U.S.A. | Duration 19 Jul - 14 Aug
Translating to “pavement spectacle”, Pflasterspektakel has the city of Linz exploding with street art and performances by mimes, fire twirlers, and acrobats on tightropes. This year, the festival celebrates 30 years.
Where: Linz, Austria | Duration 21 Jul - 23 Jul
The mother ship of the Comic-Con festivals, Comic-Con International San Diego is most prestigious comic book and popular arts events on the planet. It is attended by thousands for its film screenings, workshops, portfolio reviews, and most importantly, its costume competitions. The schedule for this year’s edition will release two weeks before the festival.
Where: San Diego, U.S.A. | Duration 21 Jul - 24 Jul
The quaint town of Boom, about 32km/40min north of Brussels, has been playing host to one of the world’s biggest electronic music festivals since 2005. Expect performances from artists like David Guetta, Alesso. Afrojack and Tiësto on the surreally designed stages. Visitors from the world over gather for the festival and camp out on the “Dreamville” festival grounds. It’s the kind of festival you’re bound to never forget.
Where: Boom, Belgium | Duration 22 Jul - 24 Jul
The chart-toppers of the international rock arena gather at the Naeba ski resort each July for this festival. Fuji Rock, named because it was first held at the base of Mount Fuji, is known for its outrageous production, energetic crowds, and great line-up. This year’s schedule includes the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Beck, James Blake, and Troye Sivan.
Where: Niigata, Japan | Duration 22 Jul - 24 Jul