Glastonbury music festival kicks off on 21st June but you don’t have to already have a ticket and be knee-deep in mud to have an unforgettable weekend. With free gigs in Paris and New York, solstice celebrations in Peru, and seaside Shakespeare in Vancouver, there are plenty of other festivals to keep you busy.
Forget Glastonbury and check out a gig in Paris this weekend
Free music in Paris and New York
Instead of spending a lot of money to watch bands in a field, how about spending no money to watch bands for free in Paris? 21st June is the day Parisians celebrate the summer solstice by hosting a night of free music across the city. Known at Fête de la Musique (or ‘Make Music’ at a sister event in New York), this night sees bands performing in parks, theatres, private homes, and even the occasional balcony. Regular attendees recommend getting a self-catered apartment in the Bastille area. For 3 euros gig-goers get unlimited access to public transport between 5pm and 7am the next day, making city-and-gig-hopping that bit easier.
Catch a performance of *The Winter's Tale* in Vancouver
Bard on the Beach in Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver’s outdoor Shakespeare festival – Bard on the Beach – starts on 1st June and will be in full swing by the time your Facebook feed starts filling up with photos from Glastonbury. Performances scheduled include The Merchant of Venice, The Winter’s Tale, and a 1960s-inspired Italian version of Much Ado About Nothing. Respectively only 11- and 13-minutes’ walk from beach, Opus Hotel and L’Hermitage Hotel offer a great base to catch a late performance and then explore the city centre.
Enjoy a rooftop view in Lisbon as you work on your Bow Pose
Celebrate International Yoga Day in Lisbon, Portugal
The day Glastonbury starts is also International Yoga Day and cities all over the world hold events to celebrate the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of yoga. But if you can’t make it over to India (where the official celebrations are held) why not try for a rooftop downward dog in Lisbon? The city’s ancient, evocative, skyline has encouraged many residents to take to the rooftops first thing in the morning and This Is Lisbon Hostel has started hosting its own yoga classes for tourists.
Cycle around Berlin for a weekend of art, art, and more art
48 Hours of Art in Berlin, Germany
No sooner does Berlin finish celebrating it’s own version of Fête de la Musique than 48 Stunden Neukoelln starts up. Based in the Berlin borough of Neukoelln, this arts festival includes exhibitions, performances, showcases, and open studios, all designed to celebrate the 160 nationalities currently living in the area. Local hotels are usually involved, either hosting their own showcases or offering recommendations to visitors, and The Circus Hotel in central Berlin has rental bicycles for art lovers planning to cram in as many events as possible.
Festival of the Sun in Cusco, Peru
Inti Raymi (Festival of the Sun) in Cusco, Peru
24th June is Inti Raymi, also known at the Festival of the Sun and celebrated by indigenous communities throughout the Andes. This is one of Cusco’s biggest events and tourists come from all over Peru to watch the street celebrations of the Sun God. The festival ends with a re-enactment of the Inca winter solstice at Sacsaywamán, just 10-minutes’ walk from the luxurious Palacio Manco Capac Hotel, which also overlooks the Cusco main square (where the rest of the celebrations take place).