After more than two years of silence in the fields, festivals are BACK with a bang. Clearly determined to remind festival-goers what they have been missing, these events are jam-packed with some of the world’s biggest and best artists, comedians and stars.
With 37% of Kiwi travellers saying entertainment and nightlife are key factors in their destination decisions in a booking.com survey, we’ve found the six most anticipated music and arts festivals of 2022 for travellers looking to get into the groove abroad. From the historic cobble- stoned streets of Edinburgh to the sexy South American city of Santiago, Kiwi travellers can gather their tribe, grab the glitter and sunscreen and enjoy unmissable live acts, entertainment and accommodation – and make some unforgettable memories.
Thousands from across the world have travelled to Chicago to experience this larger-than-life lakefront music event and one of the country’s longest running festivals. Located in the historic Grant Park, festival-goers will experience hip-hop, heavy metal and electronic dance music against the shores of Lake Michigan and the city’s spectacular skyline. This year, 170 bands from around the world will perform across nine stages including the mighty Metallica, Machine Gun Kelly and Green Day. Chicago is renowned for its food scene and visitors can savour delicious hot dogs, deep-dish pizza and tender barbecue ribs both at the festival and at the many restaurants and street food kiosks across town.
Where to stay: Level Chicago – Old Town is a sleek, high-rise aparthotel with self-catering apartments boasting fully-equipped kitchens and amazing views of the city – especially from the rooftop sun terrace. The property features barbecue facilities, an outdoor heated swimming pool, and a spa and wellness centre where guests can wind down after a day on their feet.
The jewel in Japan’s festival repertoire is an annual three-day rock music event located in the mountainous Naeba Ski Resort. At an altitude of more than 1000 meters, the high-end resort is equally as beautiful in the summer months and easily accessible from the Japanese capital of Tokyo. This year, the Fuji Rock Festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a slew of international stars from Vampire Weekend and Jack White to Halsey. With more than 200 performers across seven main stages, travellers can negotiate the largest outdoor music event in Japan via its many trails that offer spectacular views of the Niigata landscape. At the heart of the site is the Oasis, which stays open late into the night with Japanese cultural dances and food stalls; ravers can get their fix at the Red Marquee.
Where to stay: Hotel Cho features traditional wooden architecture and a choice of futon bedding on woven-straw mats (tatami), or more modern rooms with comfy beds. Located just a short walk away from the Naeba Ski Resort, guests can leisurely stroll to the action and conveniently retreat back at any time. Despite being fully booked for the festival itself, guests can head to this hotel outside of festival season to explore what the beautiful resort has to offer. The hotel offers free transport to Yukisasa no Yu hot springs, the perfect place to unwind in nature after escaping the crowds. Guests can also embrace the culture and experience local cuisine with Japanese set menus for both breakfast and dinner.
The largest French Canadian city, Montreal is located on an island in the Saint Lawrence River and is well known for its art, good food and festival scene. The Osheaga Music and Arts Festival is an event featuring indie and pop music across six stages, as well as a showcase of visual arts from installations to exhibitions in the Arts Village. Minutes away from downtown in the magnificent and leafy Parc Jean-Drapeau, this year’s world-class lineup includes Arcade Fire, A$AP Rocky, and pop darling Dua Lipa. As Canada’s leading music festival, Osheaga strives to offer something for everyone and promote eco-friendly practices; it’s also a place to play with rides, hammocks and a family-friendly Kid Zone set against the stunning Montreal city skyline.
Where to stay: Auberge du Vieux Port is a cool and stylish boutique hotel combining vintage and modern decor – perfect for trendy festival-goers. A converted warehouse loaded with period details such as exposed brickwork, beams and wrought iron beds, it’s located in Old Montreal overlooking the rolling river and cobblestoned streets. The hotel is a short walk and ferry away from the festival, and offers French-style dining options for guests to refuel on.
After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the annual Fringe in Edinburgh is back in 2022 to entertain the 3 million travellers that used to pass through the historic city during the month of August. The world-famous month-long festival takes over the entire city, filling almost every venue, park and square with an entertainment option to suit all tastes. Set in the beautiful Scottish city, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe melds music with visual art, comedy, circus and cabaret.
Where to stay: Be in the heart of the action at the beautiful and historic aparthotel, Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile, within striking distance of the Edinburgh Festival Centre, Edinburgh Playhouse and Edinburgh Military Tattoo. These fully equipped apartments have everything festival-goers need for a perfect and culture filled getaway. A continental breakfast offering provides guests the perfect opportunity to fuel up before a big day of exploring the city and a jam packed itinerary of comedy and arts shows.
Not to be outshone by the Edinburgh Fringe, Melbourne Fringe will celebrate 40 years in 2022 and offers attendees an array of culture, music, dance and visual arts and film to choose from in addition to social events. From Queer-aoke and a singalong Glee Club to interactive performances and parties galore, this festival provides the freedom to let your hair down, bring your full self and fill up your culture cup. When you’re not attending the endless list of shows, concerts, performances and events, be sure to make the most of Melbourne – already famous for its coffee, culture, shopping and dining.
Where to stay: Travellers will be tempted not to leave this beautiful hotel in the heart of the city centre, though conveniently Next Hotel Melbourne is just 400m from Princess Theatre and a variety of Melbourne Fringe venues making this an easy choice for a cultural weekend away. The chic and modern rooms, some with city views, are the ideal base to rest weary legs after a full day of fun, while the beautiful onsite bar and restaurant is a perfect pit stop before heading out in the evening for a cheeky cabaret show.
Primavera Sound is making its South American debut in the eccentric and lively Chilean capital of Santiago this year. One of the biggest music festivals in Europe, the show is jumping over to a new continent with a stellar showcase of talent including the Arctic Monkeys, Travis Scott and Bjork. Alongside these global stars, the festival will also provide a platform for exciting rising talent from the local and national music scene. Located in the gorgeous hillside Bicentennial Park of Cerillos, acts will be performing at other sites across the city creating a truly immersive atmosphere for the weekend. Santiago is the perfect spot to chase the party!
Where to stay: For a luxury stay in the trendy Lastarria district, Hotel Magnolia features vintage decor in the heart of Santiago. With original stained glass windows and an impressive black-and-white marble entrance, rooms offer an oasis of rest with Egyptian cotton sheets for guests to sink into. A recognised Travel Sustainable stay, in addition to an array of more mindful practices in place, Hotel Magnolia gives talented local up-and-coming artists a platform to perform; guests can enjoy the backdrop of entertainment with a cocktail on the terrace, or a modern take on Chilean cuisine at the onsite restaurant.
With a mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, Booking.com is sharing Getaway Deals for travellers to use when booking their next trip. Discounts start at 15 percent at participating properties indicated by the “Getaway 2022” badge, and are valid for stays with check-out on or before 30 September 2022.
*The research was commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 48,413 respondents across 31 markets (including 818 from New Zealand).