(Editor’s note: This guide to global winter festivals will be updated. London-based JukeBox PR contributed to this post.)
As Robert Palmer so eloquently put it, “Some like it hot … some like it hot.” Others of us gravitate toward chill – ski slopes and après ski. While Dispatches Europe focuses mostly on Europe, it’s a big world, right? We know many of you will be jetting off to exotic locations for the best parties. So, where is the action as we slide toward 2024?
For our global winter festival guide, we have a lot of premium events in premium destinations, which means tickets go fast. So our advice is, as always, don’t dilly-dally. Also, check the local laws and customs because what’s legal/permissible in Miami and what’s legal and permissible in Riyadh or Bali are two completely different things.
Tomorrowland Winter 2024
Alp d’Huez, France
16 March to 23 March 2024
This mega-event – part of the Tomorrowland festival brand – is at a major skiing and snowboarding destination in France. But Tomorrowland Winter is about more than snow … there are workshops including “Start to DJ” and artist sessions at the Tomorrowland Academy, DJs, food at the brand-new ski lift restaurant Nubes, cocktails at Papillon 1860 and much more ….
As you can imagine, high-end partying on a French alp is pricey. A one-day concert ticket is 110 euros. If you want the full 7-day experience, it would have run you about 1,040 euros. “Would have” because they appear to be sold out. In November. For a March event.
Virginia Key Beach Park, Miami
8 thru 10 December, 2023 (during Art Basel Week)
Art With Me Festival is an authentic and organic cultural experience and the world’s most immersive and transformative art offering, according to organizers. (This is just one of the events tacked on to Art Basel in Miami.) This year Art with Me returns to Miami’s Virginia Key Beach Park from 8 – 10 December 2023 during Art Basel Miami Beach week. For the first time, this edition of Art With Me will expand to three days with installation art, a comprehensive wellness program and international talents. But if you’re expecting Carl Cox, this ain’t that kinda festival, with House acts such as Polo and Pan dominating.
Artists include: Underworld, Polo & Pan, Channel Tres (DJ Set), Lee Burridge presents All Day I Dream, LP Giobbi, Anthony Middleton (Audiofly), Francesca Lombardo, Jan Blomqvist, Apache, Elephant Heart, Gavlak, Isaiah Martin, Matt Caines, Murmusica Ensemble, and more.
Tickets start at $40 (not euros) for one day, and you can get yours here.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
14-16 December, 2023
MDLBEAST’s 2022 Soundstorm raised the bar for festivals in the Middle East with its latest festival, pulling in more than 700,000 party people from all over the world. The festival delivered 184 artists from more than 20 countries playing over eight stages. Acts included Saudi female artists such as Birdperson and Cosmicat playing next to names like Jeff Mills, Nina Kraviz, Adam Beyer, Carl Cox and David Guetta. The concert set two new Guinness World Records including tallest temporary stage and the most LED Lights in a Display with more than 60 million.
So you gotta ask, “What can they do this year to top that?”
Well, the 2023 artist lineup is even stronger, with Pharrell and Armin Van Buuren.
Artists include: Pharrell Williams & friends, Calvin Harris, Steve Aoki, David Guetta, Black Coffee, Afrojack and Armin Van Buuren.
Tickets start at 170 Saudi riyals, or about 42 euros and you can get yours here.
(PS- Riyadh is a pretty cool city, Saudi’s most modern.)
Nusa Dua, Bali
December 22-23, 2023
Bali’s Burning Beach is the region’s definitive underground music festival. This year’s line-up includes a mix of legends, live shows and rising stars. BBB emerged from humble origins, born in 2018 out of intimate rave parties held on the secluded shores of Lombok, Bali’s sister island. Those intimate parties evolved over the past years into Burning Beach Ball, which debuted in December, 2022, the inaugural event in Nusa Dua, Bali.
So, for BBB II, the names are bigger.
Artists include: Deborah De Luca, Stephan Bodzin LIVE, Sven Vath, Ilario Alicante, Matthias Tanzmann, Melanie Ribbe, and more.
General admission starts at 1 million rupiahs, which is like about 70 euros. Which is kinda ‘spensive. But hey, it’s Bali. You can get yours here.
Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica
27 December to 2 January
You want to start the New Year with exotic? We got exotic.
Labryinto Festival once again takes center stage, promising an other worldly experience for music and art enthusiasts from around the world a unique experience in Costa Rica through the New Years celebration. The 2024 edition of Labryinto in the Pacific Coast city of Guanacaste, where the jungle meets the ocean, will feature a fusion of music, art and nature, and some Names in EDM including Black Coffee and Adriatique.
Artists include: Black Coffee, Adriatique, WhoMadeWho, Carlita, Dennis Cruz, Elif, Anotr, and more.
Now, the bad news. Most ticket packages are sold out, but you can still get the full event tickets at $425 per person here.
4 thru 8 January
Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s game-changing Ocaso Festival is back for a seventh edition of techno/house and will expand to five nights in 2024. This tropical gathering will take place at the all new location of The Bohemian Lagarto in Playa Lagarto, Guanacaste – a beachfront location on the Pacific coast. Ocaso Festival is a socially conscious, environmentally friendly gathering for people who love music, nature and culture, according to the media release, “a place to soothe the soul, enrich your life and experience paradise-like locations with a world class soundtrack.”
Okay! We’re in ….
Artists include: Mind Against, John Summit, Seth Troxler, Mano Le Tough, Sama’ Abdulhadi, Hannah Wants, Cassian, and more.
Five-day passes start at 259 Yankee Dollars. There are glamping packages that start at $1,750 for two. You can see all the options here.
Saint Martin/Sint Maarten, The Caribbean
11-18 March, 2024
SXM Festival offers a mix of music, art, culture – all in a tropical getaway. And it’s back in 2024 for an immersive week organizers promise will put you in full control of your festival experience. The festival takes over both sides of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin / Sint Maarten with culture, day trips and, of course, music.
FYI, the island is half Dutch (the commercial areas) and half French, (the more unspoiled areas.) St. Martin/St. Maarten is a ferry ride away from a number of very upscale islands including St. Barth and Anguilla.
Artists include: AJ Christou, Anja Schneider, Dana Ruh (live), Eli & Fur, Fleur Shore, Ilario Alicante, Kevin Saunderson, Loco Dice, Shimza + more.
Tickets start at 407 euros for the least expensive full-event tickets and go up (a lot) from there. You can get yours here. And by the way, this is the Caribbean, where everything is expensive. We painfully recall 100 euro lunches on the beach back in the day.
See more about festivals here in Dispatches’ archives.