1.COACHELLA MUSIC FESTIVAL
This music festival is so huge that Wiki devotes a page elaborating 10-steps to enjoy the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. You need those to-dos to prep for humongous art installations and biggest music line-up ever at Coachella. You need fast-fingers too. The Coachella tickets sold out within 15 minutes of opening. Last year 600,000 people thronged the festival to listen to everyone who is someone in the music world. Do not lug sleeping bags. There are camps. Vegan food. Crazy music. Crazier fans. Hoot, whistle, hum along. Jive, jump, break into a jig. At Coachella, tickets are expensive. The musical madness, however, worth every penny. So you know exactly where the one of the best party and events for the year is.
What: Three-day, two-weekend music and art festival.
Where: Empire Polo Club, Indio, California
When: April 11-13 and 18-20, 2014
WHY: Here, art melds with music. You will never feel alone in the crowd. There will be 600,000 music mad-hatters. Everyone is a friend.
2.HARLEY DAVIDSON EURO FESTIVAL
They call themselves HOGs. But do not mistake them for even-toed ungulates. These Hogs (Harley Owners Groups) are completely a breed apart. The leather is of course black. The engine V-twin. The metal chrome. The wheels two. The roar of the motorcycles is maddening. The adrenaline amok. The men in short jackets and steel-toed boots could any day of the week double-up as studs. The women drop-dead svelte. These Hogs ride their Fat Boys, Cross Bones, Rockers, Softail Deuce, Blacklines, Street Bobs at the Harley Davidson Euro Festival. There are guided tours, demo rides, custom bike show, parade. At the Harley Fest, even your heart will pick the signature V-twin Harley roar of pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-pop. And you’d know that riding a two is better than driving a four.
What: A Harley Davidson bike fest.
Where: Grimaud, Golf Von St Tropez, France
When: May 8-11, 2014
WHY: Old Hogs. New Hogs. Old Harleys. New Harleys. This is really the best place to meet all Harley fans and riders and of course the bikes.
3.THE COLOUR RUN
Officially, it is a run. A 5 km run. But this paint race has no age bar. No fitness specifications. No official timing. No winners. You could be a breathless first-time runner. Or, a seasoned runner with spring in your gait. You could run, jog, hop, dance, cartwheel those 5 km-dubbed as the happiest 5 km on the planet. Wear white. And get swathed in buckets of purple, greens, yellows at colour stations. It is a colour-run. No wet colours. Dry colour powders swirl in the sky. Soak in it. Make friends. Find happiness. When you cross the finish line, music, dance and massive colour throws wait for you at the Finish Festival. Run this run for happiness. Not to win. And you will come away maybe not a winner, but surely much happier.
What: A 5-km run paint race
Where/When: Go to the official website www.thecolorrun.com to check cities/dates. It is held in 170 cities across 30+ countries
WHY: It is the happiest 5 km on the planet. You run for happiness. The people you run with on the 5-km stretch are the real trophy.
Chuck the cellphone. Mothball the tux and the tulle gowns. Shed urban malice. Shack the boss into oblivion. Just carry yourself-the real self-into Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Wait. Lug a beer keg. You’d need it. The temperature is 41 degrees Celsius; you’d dehydrate within minutes. Carry enough food, water. There are no vending machines. Don’t fret about it, though. At Burning Man, feel like a Neanderthal. Participants create a temporary city. To be themselves for a week. Walk in the cruel sun. Go sleepless. Do what you want to. On the last day, when the Wicker Man burns and the procession starts, the epiphany will be yours. It is primal. New found. When you go back, you leave no trace. You dismantle everything that you created. The Black Rock Desert returns to its solitude and silence. You return with yourself.
What: A gathering dedicated to art and self-expression.
Where: Nevada, USA
When: August 25-September 1, 2014
WHY: You’ll rediscover your real self in the desert. Amongst absolute strangers. It is the ultimate solo epiphany.
5.SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST
The name South by Southwest (SXSW) is a spin on the Alfred Hitchcock film North by Northwest. But there’s nothing spooky about this colossal music/film/ interactive event. Cowboy blues. Punk. Rock. Jazz. Indie films. Offbeat technology. Debates/discussions about films, music, technology, song writing. Celeb footfalls. Music giants. South by Southwest does it all on a massive scale. This year, 1,700 performers will play in 100 venues. Films, documentaries, narrative shorts, narrative features will run incessantly. Nicolas Cage, Mike Myers, Robert Duvall will talk; at the Film Factory, you can get up close with filmmaking gear. Join the Music Hackathon. Listen to Spandau Ballet interview. At SXSW, music will push you into a tizzy.Movie frames will turn your life kaleidoscopic. Be there.
What: Music and film event
Where: Austin, Texas, USA
Why: The largest live music/film fest of its kind in the world. Music, movies will keep you so busy for a week, you’ll not miss anyone.
6.DUBLIN WRITER’S FESTIVAL
There’s got to be something in the loam of Dublin. How else can one explain the countless literary giants that lived and wrote in the Irish capital? WB Yeats. James Joyce. Jonathan Swift. Oscar Wilde. The Dublin Writer’s Festival takes forward the city’s inherent love for words. Writers, playwrights, lyricists, songwriters from across the world gather to debate, provoke, inspire, delight, enthral, speak their minds at this event. Household literary names. New faces on the lit block. They all come to Dublin in May. So do book lovers. For the readings, discussions, workshops, performances, screenings. If books be your thing then pack your sonnets. Brush your pentameters. Get ready to meet your favourite author and once again fall in love with the world of letters.
What: A gathering of writers
Where: Various locations in Dublin, Ireland
When: May 17-25, 2014
WHY: Go for this event alone. If you love books then words-and writers will be your friends for those 9 days in the Irish capital.
7.MEVLANA SUFI FESTIVAL
The town: Konya. The festival: Mevlana Festival of Whirling Dervishes. The occasion: Urs of 13th century Sufi saint Mevlana (Rumi). Rumi knew one could communicate with God through dance. That is what the Whirling Dervishes do. They whirl to commune with the Holy. The robes are white, the cloaks black, the caps conical, the lights dim, the music soul-stirring. There is no beating of drums, no thud of hard metal, no noise. All you hear is the beat of your own heart and the tippy-toe of whirling dervishes celebrating their union with god. A warning: Konya is one of the most conservative towns in Turkey. Carry a head scarf. Do not pack shorts or tiny skirts.
What: Festival of Whirling Dervishes
Where: Konya, Turkey
When: December 10-17, 2014
WHY: When you sit alone and watch the dervishes, yo
8.FRANKFURT AUTO SHOW
If automobiles be your first and last love and if cars mean more than mere machines to you, then this is the one event you should be packing your bags for. A Peugeot dandy from France. A plug-in Merc hybrid. A Nissan taxi silent like a lamb. A Fiat as Italian as an apple pie. Hybrids. Gull winged. Weird looking concept cars. Posh prototypes. Super hot hatch-things. EVs. SUVs. Race cars. Wagons. Vans. At Frankfurt Auto Show, hold on to your wallet and adrenaline. The wallet could thin and the adrenaline run amok at the sight of lean, mean beauties and macho beasts on four. Step in and you’ll go insane at all that is there to torque about. This is the Auto Show where all four-wheel (and there are a few bikes, too) lovers gather every odd year.
What: Auto show
When: September 17-27, 2015 (held on odd numbered years)
WHY: The world’s largest motor show is so exhilarating and the cars so beautiful that you’ll forget about friends-and foes.
In 2103, there were 51,154 verified exhibitors, 4,209 conference sessions, 90,172 exhibits at International CES. These numbers speak loudly to dub CES as world’s gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. Manufacturers, developers and suppliers of consumer technology hardware, content, technology delivery systems and tech junkies swarm Las Vegas for the innovations in technology. You’d love to be there if you were told all that was first announced at CES: VCR (1970), Camcorder (1981), Plasma TV (2001), Blu Ray DVD (2003), Driverless car technology (2013). So, all you tech junkies, if you want to stay ahead of the curve then you must get to Las Vegas every January and be the first to catch the technology that will alter the world thereafter.
What: Expo of consumer technology
Where: Las Vegas, USA
WHY: At the world’s best event for consumer technology junkies, you’ll learn all that is happening in the tech space worldwide.
10.OZORA TRANCE FESTIVAL
You might not have heard of Ozora. It is a tiny village in Hungary-a historic site since the Middle Ages. And this is no ordinary trance festival with soulful music and swirling souls. The Ozorians call it ‘an ecologically conscious gathering’ where caring for each other is as important as the love for all living beings. At the festival, the pyramid becomes home to a world of dance styles; Chill line-up buzzes with sound and sound experiments throughout; the Dragon-Nest Stage resonates with ancient psychedelic-trance like tunes which rarely fits other musical agendas. There’s a Magic Garden where you can join the Wheel of Wisdom course to become ‘better human beings’.
What: A trance festival
Where: Ozora, Hungary
When: July 29-August 3, 2014
WHY: Feels like a psychedelic tribal gathering where everything is pristine and completely pure. This one is best experienced solo.