10 festivals you can attend to broaden your horizons


One of the best things about modern society and its extensive interdependence is that like-minded people can meet each other more easily than ever before. Thanks to the Internet, entire communities that may never have met before have formed and evolved into organizations. There are conventions, festivals, and exhibitions for just about anything you can think of.

For most of these festivals, their best asset is that anyone can attend. Of course, entry to a few of these festivals is not free, but they are nonetheless open and ready to expand your view of the world. You’ll be more worldly and wiser to attend some of these gatherings (although Burning Man certainly killed its share of brain cells), and because of that, you should check them out.

Here are ten festivals you can attend to broaden your horizons.

Related: 10 famous festivals that ended in complete disaster

ten Krampusnacht

In Bavaria, Krampus surprises the villain | The New York Times

The good news about Krampusnacht is that while all the mythology is imaginary, you will leave your Krampusnacht experience with a better understanding of the Germanic peoples and their culture. The bad news about Krampusnacht is that if the mythology is real, you can’t leave the experience at all. Instead, you could spend the rest of your life, however brief, being tortured by the yard-long tongue of a demon goat.

The demon is called Krampus, and he sneaks into every house on December 25, punishing naughty children. Depending on the version, he can also enslave, torture and eat them. Either way, Krampusnacht really is absurd fun. Any of the many Krampusnacht festivals in Central and Northern Europe is a sight to behold; entire towns come alive with parades, drinking bouts, stories and some of the most elaborate costumes you’ve ever seen.

9 Just for Laughs

Kumail Nanjiani – Call of Duty got it wrong

The Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, Canada, is one of the largest comedy festivals in the world. Unlike so many other festivals that have reached this next level of sponsorship, Just For Laughs can still feel intimate and special, as if missing an act could rob you of a fleeting beautiful moment and epic story down the road.

Thanks to Montreal’s warm, multilingual and metropolitan atmosphere, Just for Laughs has maintained an inclusive and diverse atmosphere, even though its popularity has exploded. This has led to many great moments over the years as comedy legends gave in to growing stand-ups and small-town improv teams found themselves in scenes with megastars.

8 Bristol Renaissance Fair

Bristol Renaissance Faire: sights and sounds!

While any Renaissance fair will expand your horizons, there are a few that stand out among their peers. The Bristol Renaissance Faire takes place every year, just outside of Kenosha, Wisconsin, and someday even the most hardened brethren in the fraternity will cry out “Huzzah! In sincere joy.

The atmosphere is unusually welcoming, and the guests present themselves as knights, pirates, zombies, samurai, and even ordinary people. In the festival’s more than 30 acres, you can drink mead, throw axes, cheer on a jouster, throw tomatoes at an insulting comic (sorry: jester), buy a one-of-a-kind gasoline-powered steampunk sword, and Continued.

seven Health and Mindfulness Retreats

I went on a health retreat with my best friend Kelly Sawyer! | JESSICA ALBA

You can hear the phrase “Mindfulness Retreat” and instantly think of wealthy, pretentious actors paying irresponsible amounts of money to clean up their toxins by bathing in yak dung or drinking only saliva. of fermented eel. Worse, you might think of the queen of this gullible cult: Gwyneth Paltrow and her, um… interesting… line of Goop products. While these people certainly exist and some places welcome them, there are also a large number of resorts and retreats across the world that are financially feasible. They are only there to make you come away healthy and happy, and they sell absolutely no eel saliva.

Take the Kripalu Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. An average weekend at the center consists of organic meals, meditation, yoga, scenic hikes and lessons to feel happy and healthy. It is far from possible and safe to expand your horizons positively.

6 SantaCon

SantaCon 2018 Union Square San Francisco California

Okay, we need to put a big asterisk on this one. The first SantaCon was held in San Francisco in 1994, and since then the tradition has spread to dozens of cities around the world, with sometimes disastrous results. As John Oliver once notoriously noted, many SantaCons have evolved into violent and drunken pub crawls that inevitably end in arrests. The New York City SantaCon, in particular, is the worst of the worst.

Instead, experience the right SantaCon in the right city and you’ll walk away with a blink of an eye. The festival’s original location in downtown San Francisco is a much more tame and joyous affair. Children walk the streets, meet movie-worthy Santas, eat themed treats, and learn the history of mythology from cheerful, bearded saints. Portland’s SantaCon has also made a point of keeping the festival close to its roots.

Also, it’s worth pointing out: If you’re someone who’s never been to a loud, messy pub crawl, New York City SantaCon may end up expanding your horizons.

5 Anthrocon

Furries of Anthrocon: Under the Fursuit | NBC News

If there’s one entry on this list that you haven’t heard of, it’s Anthrocon. If you’ve heard of it, there’s at least a 50% chance you’ve only heard about it on a punchline on a late-night comedy show. And that’s exactly why Anthrocon, the world’s biggest furry convention, is perhaps the festival that broadens your horizons the most.

Granted, the majority of people may have no interest in dressing up as animals and acting like them. In fact, most people probably openly scoff at the Furry community for its position on the fringes of society. But they are also people, and many, if not most, are not there to engage in salacious acts of false bestiality. They are here to share a common passion, to build community and to showcase some of the most dedicated cosplay around. Considering the (bad) public perception of furries, Anthrocon is statistically almost guaranteed to broaden your horizons.

4 Burning man

Nick Kroll Went To Burning Man And Was Really Into It

Burning Man is worth the detour. More than that, Burning Man is worth twenty trips. While the festival has seen its fair share of out-of-control moments, it is precisely this unpredictability that makes it worth it.

Burning Man changes from year to year, from camp to camp and from community to community. But the only constant is his passionate commitment to individuality and freedom of expression. After a day at Burning Man you may find yourself with an unexpected tattoo of an ancient deity you’ve never heard of, a new group of friends who are both bikers and social activists, a new interest for polyamory and most likely something else. you can and cannot imagine.

3 Montreux Jazz Festival

SRV – Hideaway & Rude Mood (Montreux ’82)

Music fans know the Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland as one of the absolute peaks among true music festivals. Unlike many of its more populous counterparts, like Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, Montreux is all about enjoying music and only music. That’s not to say that social music festivals aren’t worth your time, but if you’re a true music lover and aficionado, you probably already know that Montreux is a must-see.

Although the festival started out as a pure jazz affair, it quickly evolved into a larger and more inclusive music festival. Nowadays, you can hear almost any genre of music on its various intimate stages.

If you are looking for proof of Montreux’s esteem, look no further than the sheer volume of live albums recorded in its venues. Everyone from Alanis Morissette to ZZ Top recorded a live album or two at the festival, in part thanks to the superb sound quality of its venues and the exceptional fervor of its live audience.

2 Nerd conventions (just not the big one)

Midwest Gaming Classic November 2021 Event Tour & Floor Walk

It’s unclear whether this entry or SantaCon needs a bigger asterisk. All in all, as millions of people around the world can attest, one of the best experiences you can have is finding a few thousand people as passionate as you are about your interests and coming together to escalate the craze for each. Nerd conventions, such as comic book, board game, cosplay, anime, and video game conventions, are a truly inspiring place to meet other fans, artisans, and performers – all you need to do is drop by. avoid the big ones.

Biggest of all, official Comic-Cons like those in San Diego (the original) and New York City, have evolved over the years into a mix of Hollywood trailer reveals and overpriced merchandise that you might find in big chain stores. But the smaller drawbacks, which are too numerous to name but take place year round in thousands of towns and villages, offer a dizzying array of signs, dating, homemade crafts, emerging artists. , live bands you’ve never heard of. , inventive costumes, and more.

1 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Let’s celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe!

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is perhaps the pinnacle of all festivals, in all genres. As bold as it is, the Fringe has the credentials to back it up.

The Fringe is the world’s largest arts festival, and as you might expect, there is simply more to discover in a month than in more than a decade. The Fringe hosts a mix of the world’s most popular comedians, musicians, actors, poets and visual artists, as well as a who’s who of emerging talent.

Like Just For Laughs, The Fringe’s host city, Edinburgh, plays a major role in keeping the festival atmosphere non-commercial. You’ll need tickets and merchandise on offer, but you’ll also see the world’s best artists at the top of their game. In fact, the insanely funny and clever comedy series “Fleabag” began as a one-woman show on one of the Fringe’s many stages.



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