May Festivals

Photograph: Vivid Sydney

Festivals in May

Narrow the May Festivals selection below using the intiutive search box to the right. It works a treat. Bon voyage!

Arran Mountain Festival

Arran Mountain Festival

The majestic Isle of Arran is the largest island in Scotland's Firth of Clyde and a huge draw for hillwalkers, mountaineers and nature-lovers. For four days each May it's also home to the Arran Mountain Festival, Scotland's premier hillwalking and mountaineering festival. From wildlife-watching walks along the island's coastline to airy scrambles on towering granite ridges, The Arran Mountain Festival is an opportunity to meet like-minded people, discover a fascinating chunk of Scotland and enjoy unforgettable days in the safe hands of experienced local guides. With names to inspire the imagination, such as Ceum na Caillich (Witch's Step) Caisteal Abhail (Castles) and the Sleeping Warrior, the mountains of Arran are some of Scotland's most alluring landscapes.

More Arran Mountain Festival info...

Europe Scotland Isle of Arran Mountaineering Festivals May
Atlanta Jazz Festival

Atlanta Jazz Festival

The Atlanta Jazz Festival is a free annual musical showcase, celebrating jazz legends and up-and-coming jazz greats in many venues all over metropolitan Atlanta. Feeding Jazz to Atlanta for the entire month of May, the Atlanta Jazz Festival culminates in a Memorial Day weekend extravaganza in Piedmont Park.

More Atlanta Jazz Festival info...

North America United States Georgia Atlanta, GA Jazz Festivals May
Berlin Carnival of Cultures

Berlin Carnival of Cultures

In Germany it's known as the fifth season, it's a time to shake off the winter blues, don some elaborate threads and take to the streets to usher in Spring. It's Carnival time and if you thought it was a predominantly South American celebration, think again. Berlin's Carnival of Cultures is a behemoth, a four-day urban celebration that embraces diversity and attracts in the region of a million revellers annually. There's beats aplenty on the festival stages from Caribbean Soca and Reggae to Brazilian Samba and African Roots and the international cuisine on offer is just as varied. For many the highlight of the Carnival of Cultures is the street procession on Pentecost Sunday when almost 5,000 participants from 80 countries parade through the capital's streets in traditional costume performing all manner of ritual and mashed-up dance styles.

More Berlin Carnival of Cultures info...

Europe Germany Berlin Carnival and Mardi Gras Street Parties May
Berlin Design Week

Berlin Design Week

Anyone who's planted their foot on the accelerator of a finely-tuned Porsche or clicked the shutter button on a Leica camera, know that our German cousins have a real flair for design. For a week each May, numerous galleries, museums, studios and design institutions bring that ethos to the fore (and the public), during Berlin Design Week. A packed programme of design-themed exhibitions and events take place throughout Berlin. As part of the BDW, numerous Berlin-based studios and workspaces will open their doors and invite visitors to openings, concerts, studio tours and lectures.

More Berlin Design Week info...

Europe Germany Berlin Design Festivals May
BottleRock Napa Valley

BottleRock Napa Valley

Pairing the world's largest rock and indie headliners with the region's finest wines ensures BottleRock Napa Valley's tickets sell out fast. Following its debut in 2013, BottleRock's reputation as a world-class — yet almost intimate — music slash wine festival has begun to age superbly. With 120,000 visitors perhaps intimate is a push, but BottleRock certainly exploits its picture-postcard surrounds to create an intensely relaxed vibe. Set in the sublime Napa Valley, the fests five stages — along with the VIP Acoustic Stage, and BottleRock Culinary Stage — attract international acts of the calibre of the Foo Fighters, Stevie Wonder, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Snoop Dogg, Muse and The Killers. And where's their fine wine, good food is sure to follow, with many of the region's restaurateurs and food producers on hand to provide festival sustenance between rounds of Chardonnay.

More BottleRock Napa Valley info...

North America United States California Napa, CA Indie Rock Festivals Rock Festivals Wine Festivals May
Bournemouth 7s Festival

Bournemouth 7s Festival

Balls of all shapes and sizes fly at the annual Bournemouth 7s Festival. Since kicking off in 2008, the Bournemouth 7s has quickly established itself as the largest sport and music festival in the world. Today, the event attracts over 30,000 revellers who descend upon Bournemouth for a long weekend of rugby, netball, hockey and dodgeball and a wonderfully wicked programme of après sport.

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Europe England Bournemouth Sporting Events Rock Festivals May
Bristol Food Connections

Bristol Food Connections

For nine days each May, the city of Bristol comes together to celebrate its diverse food culture and community with a unique, citywide food festival. Visitors of all ages will be taken on a journey through the city to discover and enjoy new foods, eateries, discussions and opportunities. Producer markets, bread trails, debates, good food walks and cookery classes and demos are just some of what awaits the hungry visitor.

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Europe England Bristol Food Festivals May
Brussels Jazz Marathon

Brussels Jazz Marathon

The Brussels Jazz Marathon takes place in every corner of the beguiling Belgian capital over three days in May. It's the perfect opportunity for the thousands of tourists to indulge in some of the sweetest tunes around in one of Europe's most exciting city centres. Stages at the Grand Place (Grote Markt), the Sablon Square (Sablon, Zavel), the St-Katelijne Square, the Fernand Cocq Square and the Luxembourg Square takes jazz to the streets whilst a number of Brussels clubs and bars will offer a feast of jazz, latino, funk, rock and blues well into the night.

More Brussels Jazz Marathon info...

Europe Belgium Brussels Jazz Festivals May
Bushfire Festival

Bushfire Festival

Swaziland's Bushfire Festival is an annual explosion of entertainment hosted in the internationally acclaimed House on Fire. Bushfire seeks to create a platform not only for the growth and development of the arts but also highlights and raises funds for some of the more critical social needs that face Swaziland. Highlighting Swaziland as a top African destination, this fabulous combination of achievable idealism hosted in a mind-blowing setting creates the unbeatable energy behind a great African success story. Situated in Swaziland's Ezulwini Valley (Valley of Heaven), Bushfire offers 4 stages of live music, theatre, poetry, dance and film for three full days and nights.

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Africa Swaziland Manzini World Music Festivals May
Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Festival

Debuting in 1946, the Cannes Film Festival is arguably the most prestigious film festival in the world. Year on year it attracts the cream of the film industry crop to its award ceremony, its premieres, its parties and its industry events. For 12 days in May, Cannes is certainly the place to see and be seen.

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Europe France Cannes Film Festivals May
Chelsea Flower Show

Chelsea Flower Show

For five five days each and every May since it first broke ground in 1913, the 11 acre gardens of the Royal Hospital of Chelsea in London have undergone a colourful transformation. The result, the Chelsea Flower Show — the world's most famous flower show. The Chelsea Flower Show is to floral enthusiasts, what Oktoberfest is to beer aficionados. Visitors travel from all corners of the globe to witness this floral extravaganza which features in excess of 20 show gardens (selected by a committee of horticultural experts), along with a number of small gardens and more than 100 floral exhibitors in the Great Pavilion. The event attracts the world's foremost horticulturalists and has long proved to be a barometer for gardening trends. Budding gardeners can shop to the heart's content and if you time your run right you can even pick up some of the floral arrangements themselves, which become available on the last day of the show. And when it all gets too bloomin' much, you can take time out at one of the many rest areas or designated eating areas. Be warned, this is London in May, book early, pack a brolly and expect anything.

More Chelsea Flower Show info...

Europe England London Flower Shows Family Festivals May
CONTACT Photography Festival

CONTACT Photography Festival

Fan of the photographic art? For the month of May, Toronto goes tropo for photos during the annual, CONTACT Photography Festival. Join more than 1,500 established and emerging artists whose work is displayed in some 175 venues across the city centre, including galleries, museums, public and private institutions and agencies. As well as the exhibitions and installations CONTACT features a series of lectures, symposiums, film screenings (in partnership with Hot Docs, the Canadian International Documentary Festival), portfolio reviews and workshops. With an estimated audience of 1.8 million, CONTACT is the largest photography event in the world.

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North America Canada Toronto Photography Festivals Art Festivals May
Cooper's Hill Cheese Roll

Cooper's Hill Cheese Roll

Cheese rolling's origins are hazy to say the least. A common presumption is that the masochistic frolic began as a pagan festival hundreds of years ago — a celebration of the onset of summer. Other theories have it relating to age-old fertility rights, the hope of a successful harvest and even as a safeguard of the Commoner's rights for the people of Cooper's Hill. Wherever it's origins it's hard to argue that cheese rolling is a sport for the outrageously courageous or at least the dangerously demented. Contestants in the Cooper's Hill event (between Gloucester, Stroud and Cheltenham in the Cotswolds) on the last Monday in May, stand precipitously at the top of a 300 yard hill, that maintains a gradient of two in one for the most part whilst a Master of Ceremonies counts them down. What follows can only be described as dairy based carnage. Broken bones are a given and sprains and bruises are numerous, as up to twenty contestants in any given race tumble and roll their way headlong down the slope in pursuit of the elusive chunk of Double Gloucester. Keeping your feet is rarely an option, contestants just seem to go with the flow, tumbling out of control like rag dolls with a death wish. Inevitably the cheese wins.

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Europe England Coopers Hill Bizarre Festivals Community Festivals May
Czech Beer Festival

Czech Beer Festival

Pining for a Pilsner? The Czech Republic and Prague in particular has long been a beer aficionado's Mecca. Per capita, our Czech cousins drink more of the stuff than any other nation in the world. Come May, for 17 days and 17 nights, up to 70 of the Czech Republic's best breweries offer up their signature suds at the annual Czech Beer Festival. There's plenty of live music and a selection of hearty local fare — served up by traditionally clad waiting staff no less — and quality beer aplenty served up in heavy glass mugs. Na zdraví!

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Europe Czech Republic Prague Beer Festivals May
Dance Week Festival

Dance Week Festival

Founded in 1982, Zagreb's Dance Week Festival is Croatia's primary international festival of contemporary dance, movement theatre and mime. For 14 days the festival offers up a selection of works by international names in choreography, alongside those of emerging local talent as well as round-table discussions, exhibitions, workshops, informal meetings and networking sessions.

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Europe Croatia Zagreb Dance Festivals Performing Arts Festivals May
Ernest Hemingway International Billfishing Tournament

Ernest Hemingway International Billfishing Tournament

If you've a couple of Ernest Hemingway titles gracing your bookshelf you'll probably know the big guy had a penchant for big-game fishing, drinking and Cuba — amongst other things. If you share the same passions make your way to Havana, Cuba come June for the annual International Ernest Hemingway Needlefish Tournament. Follow up a day's big game fishing off Cuba with a daquiri or three in La Habana Vieja — paradise!

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Caribbean Cuba Havana Fishing Tournaments Sporting Events May
Fiesta de San Isidro

Fiesta de San Isidro

If Madrilenos needed a reason to fiesta away the majority of May, their very own patron saint — San Isdiro — grants them just that opportunity. For a week or so either side of San Isidro's Feast Day on May 15th, Madrid and it's suburbs are celebration central as concerts and flamenco fill public spaces and party-hardy locals chow down on typical local dishes in honour of the Saint and wash it down with something frío. Keep an eye out for the chulapos and goyescos (locals dressed in Madrid's traditional garb) as they dance the chotis. See some of Spain's finest matadors in action at the Las Ventas bullring during The San Isidro Bullfighting Festival.

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Europe Spain Madrid Cultural Festivals Community Festivals May
Flores de Mayo

Flores de Mayo

Across the Philippines the month of May marks the onset of the rainy season — a time when the tropical archipelago comes to life in a bloom of colour, and the nation celebrates by giving praise to the Virgin Mary. Locals gather the colourful flowers to decorate their church altars and aisles and bundle the blooms in exotic arrangements for the many different festivities that make up the Flowers of May. Communities congregate in the afternoons to pray, offer flowers to the Virgin Mary, share homemade local delicacies and dance to welcome the rain. The Santacruzan — an elaborate and colourful procession that takes place in many parishes — depicts the finding of the Holy Cross by Queen Helena, mother of Constantine the Great.

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Asia Philippines Religious Events Flower Shows May
Grampians Grape Escape

Grampians Grape Escape

Halls Gap, adjacent to Victoria's breathtaking Grampians National Park, plays host to wine lovers and foodies from all over the country each May, during the the Grampians Grape Escape. One of Australia's longest running food and wine festivals, the Grampians Grape Escape offers up delights from 125 food and wine artisans, a live music program, food and wine discussion panels, debates, masterclasses and plenty to do for those too young to taste a tipple or two.

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Pacific Australia Halls Gap Wine Festivals Food Festivals May
Great Wall Marathon

Great Wall Marathon

Got calves the size of grapefruits? Looking for one of the most unique challenges in sport? Gather up your trainers, double-check that lycra and head east my fit young friend. All the way to China, for the Great Wall Marathon — 42.195 kilometres of spectacular scenery and quite possibly the most undulating marathon course in the world. Over 2,500 competitors take in sections of the UNESCO listed Great Wall and pass through a number of picturesque local villages as they're cheered on through China's heartland.

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Asia China Beijing Marathons, Triathlons and Fun Runs Sporting Events May
Hay Festival

Hay Festival

Set amidst the staggering beauty of the Brecon Beacons with it's myriad antiquarian and second-hand bookshops, Hay-on-Wye has been attracting literary lovers since Byron was in britches. And since 1987, the Hay Festival has seen the town's love affair with literature grow to a whole new level. For 11 days at the beginning of summer, the Hay Festival hosts a programme packed with world-renowned writers, filmmakers, comedians, politicians and musicians to inspire, delight and entertain. Hay celebrates great writing from poets and scientists, lyricists and comedians, novelists and environmentalists, and the power of great ideas to transform our way of thinking. We believe the exchange of views and meeting of minds that our festivals create inspire revelations personal, political and educational. Hay is, using Bill Clinton's phrase, 'The Woodstock of the mind'.

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Europe Wales Hay-on-Wye Literature Festivals May
Head On Photo Festival

Head On Photo Festival

For the month of May, Sydney's Head On Photo Festival celebrates a wide range of photography across all genres, ranging from photo-journalism and documentary reportage through commercial and fine-art. With over 200 events held at 100 venues — from galleries and museums through to pubs and cafes — Head On takes the photographic art to the the people of Sydney and is now recognised as Australia's largest photo festival. Most events are free of charge and include indoor and outdoor exhibitions, workshops, artists’ talks and open studios. At the heart of the festival is the Head On Portrait Prize, the nation's major innovative showcase for Australian portrait photography and the most critically acclaimed photographic portrait competition in Australia.

More Head On Photo Festival info...

Pacific Australia Sydney Photography Festivals Art Festivals May
Indianapolis 500

Indianapolis 500

Each Memorial Day weekend, petrol-heads from all over the states converge on Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indianapolis 500. Known in the US as the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the Indy 500 attracts in the region of 300,000 spectators come race day for the 200, 2.5 mile lap event. The Indy 500 is part of the Triple Crown of Motorsport, which also includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Monaco Grand Prix.

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North America United States Indiana Indianapolis, IN Motor Sports Events Sporting Events May
Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby

Saddle up partner and make your way to Louisville, Kentucky for "the fastest two minutes in sports", the Kentucky Derby. Held on the first Saturday in May, the Kentucky Derby is America's most attended race day. Held continuously since 1875 the Derby's also an excellent excuse to dress up and party on down. And a great way to kick off the party in true Kentucky style is to down a couple of mint juleps — an ice-cold cocktail consisting of bourbon, mint, and a sugar syrup. It's the traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby, so when in Rome. If you've got the coin, head for Millionaire's Row, the expensive box seats that attract the rich, the famous and the well-connected. But most of those looking to kick up their heals head for the infield, where you may miss a little of the on-track action but none of the party.

More Kentucky Derby info...

North America United States Kentucky Louisville, KY Horse Racing Events Sporting Events May
Khamoro World Roma Festival

Khamoro World Roma Festival

For a week each May the Czech Capital comes to life as infectious Gypsy jazz, classical and traditional Romany music take over many of Prague's venues during the Khamoro World Roma Festival. Gypsy theatre, films, literature, dance and art are all on display at various sites around the Czech capital during the festival. Seminars on Romany related topics are open to the public to attend all in the hope of fostering a better understanding of the Roma lifestyle. The culmination of this week-long event comes on the Saturday when all festival participants join together to perform a concert in Prague's Lucerna hall.

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Europe Czech Republic Prague Cultural Festivals Multicultural Festivals May
Killkenny Roots Festival

Killkenny Roots Festival

Since 1998, The Kilkenny Roots Festival has attracted some of the finest names in Americana — from country through folk, blues, bluegrass, rockabilly and cajun. For four days and nights, from midday through midnight at over thirty venues, revellers from near and far have been getting their fill of roots and rhythm. Check out the programme; there's plenty of free shows to boot.

More Killkenny Roots Festival info...

Europe Ireland Kilkenny Folk and Folk Music Festivals World Music Festivals May
Krakow Film Festival

Krakow Film Festival

For a week each May, the Krakow Film Festival celebrates all things celluloid. Hundreds of distinguished guests and thousands of visitors pack the city's cinemas for a selection of more than 250 documentary, animated and short fiction films. The KFF is accompanied by exhibitions, concerts, open air screenings and opportunities to meet with the filmmakers.

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Europe Poland Krakow Film Festivals Short Film Festivals Documentary Film Festivals May
Latvia Beer Fest

Latvia Beer Fest

Latvians love a cold beer and they're well known for their hospitality and brewing traditions — both of which are on display in abundance at the annual Latvia Beer Fest held each May in the heart of the country's beguiling capital, Riga — 'the Paris of the East'. All the major Latvian breweries are on show along with many classic European favourites. Good beer demands great food and with catering supplied by some of the best local and foreign chefs and restaurants, you certainly won't go hungry. There's live music every day along with competitions, shows and much much more for the aficionado of the amber liquid.

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Europe Latvia Riga Beer Festivals May
Lightning in a Bottle

Lightning in a Bottle

Looking to activate your body, expand your mind and open your heart? Got yourself a few spare days come May? Then head for central California my fine hippy-leaning friend for Lightning in a Bottle and prepare for four days of wicked beats, mind-blowing art, performances and installations and perhaps even a pinch of personal growth. In the spirit of many a fine new age gathering before it, Lightning in a Bottle serves up an eclectic selection of world and electro music acts, yoga and meditation services amidst an atmosphere dripping with tolerance, self-expression and artistic joie de vivre.

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North America United States California Bradley, CA World Music Festivals Lifestyle Festivals May
Maryland Film Festival

Maryland Film Festival

If you find yourself over Baltimore way this May, take in a film at the Maryland Film Festival, an annual five-day event featuring top-notch titles from all over the world. Each year the festival screens approximately 50 features and 75 short films of all varieties — narrative, documentary, animation, experimental, and hybrid — to tens of thousands of audience members. For every North American feature film screened at the festival, a filmmaker attends the screening to present their work. Each festival also includes a sampling of cutting-edge international features, a vintage silent film with live musical accompaniment, a classic 3-D film, and a feature selected and hosted by legendary filmmaker, John Waters.

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North America United States Maryland Baltimore, MD Film Festivals Short Film Festivals May
Mike the Headless Chicken Festival

Mike the Headless Chicken Festival

On the too weird scale it's hard to top the story of Mike the Headless Chicken. The year, 1945, the bird in question, a five and a half month old Wyandotte rooster who'd spent his days contentedly pecking through the dust of a Fruita, Colorado farmyard. On one fateful evening in September of that year, farmer Lloyd Olsen raised the axe and bought it down on the neck of Mike, as farmers are occasionally wont to do. But, and here's the twilight-zone-like twist, instead of running himself ragged and flopping over in a pile of poultry, Mike saw out the night. When farmer Lloyd went to gather Mike the following day, he found him sleeping with his head under his wing. Flabbergasted by Mike's overwhelming will to live, farmer Lloyd began feeding Mike grain and water via an eyedropper. And the rest is poultry folklore. In the 18 months that Mike lived as "The Headless Wonder Chicken", he grew from a mere 2.5 pounds to almost 8 pounds. Today, each and every May, people gather in the small town of Fruita, Colorado to pay homage to Mike, the most determined of fowl, during the annual Mike the Headless Chicken Festival. There's a car show, tons of great music and entertainment a chicken dance contest, plenty of food and craft vendors and a five kilometre, run like a headless chicken fun run. In an ironic twist — that probably wouldn't have been lost on Mike — the festival also features a chicken eating competition. Hmmm, food for thought that.

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North America United States Colorado Fruita, CO Bizarre Festivals May
Moira Canal Festival

Moira Canal Festival

Bone up on your local Derbyshire history and help out a wonderful cause whilst you enjoy a programme packed with family friendly events, at the annual Moira Canal Festival. Held on the restored section of the Ashby Canal at the historic Moira Furnace Museum over a weekend each May, the Moira Canal Festival features a range of catering, trade, charity and heritage related stalls, boats of all shapes and sizes and a vintage car display.

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Europe England Moira Community Festivals Family Festivals May
Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix

Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix

Over four days each May, the Formula 1 circus moves to Monaco, Europe's millionaires playground and the sports premier locale. Monaco's tight winding street circuit offers little respite to the drivers but makes for an once-in-a-lifetime experience for the spectator. Take in the heady scent of petrol and burnt rubber and the aural assault that only 22 formula one cars can muster as they slingshot past mere metres from the grandstands. Dress to the nines and head for the casino or get your chic on and be seen cavorting with celebrities at Monaco's plethora of high-brow bars and clubs. The spectacle, the history, the noise, the glitz, the glamour and the setting combine to create one of world sports must see events.

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Europe Monaco Monte Carlo Formula One Events Sporting Events Motor Sports Events May
Norfolk and Norwich Festival

Norfolk and Norwich Festival

With roots dating back to 1772, the Norfolk and Norwich Festival is one of the oldest city festivals in England. For the great majority of those years, the festival devoted itself to classical musical with performances by many big-name musicians, composers and conductors. Whilst maintaining its classical lean, today's programme mixes things up a little with contemporary music, international theatre and dance, circus performances, visual arts and a celebrated children's programme added to the NNF mix.

More Norfolk and Norwich Festival info...

Europe England Norwich Classical Music and Opera Festivals Performing Arts Festivals May
Orkney Folk Festival

Orkney Folk Festival

Fancy the fiddle? Beguiled by the banjo? You'll want to be in Stromness (the Orkney's second largest town) come May for the annual Orkney Folk Festival. For four days the Orkneys usher in summer with a range of concerts, ceilidhs, sessions, workshops and talks.

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Europe Scotland Orkney Islands Folk and Folk Music Festivals Community Festivals May
Prague Fringe Festival

Prague Fringe Festival

The Bohemian spirit is alive and well in its capital for nine days of late May and early June during the annual Prague Fringe Festival. More than 200 artists take to the stage in 50 shows, covering the spectrum of fringe from experimental theatre and dance to alternative music and stand-up comedy. The Festival takes place in a range of different venues, from the backroom of a bar to a full proscenium arch theatre, with each space featuring different performances each day. Programmes are available online from the Fringe website.

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Europe Czech Republic Prague Fringe Festivals Performing Arts Festivals May
Return to the Ridings

Return to the Ridings

For centuries the Scottish border towns of Hawick, Jedburgh, Lauder and Selkirk have been keeping a watchful eye on their southern neighbours, the ever-so-meddlesome English. In years past these Common Ridings of the Scottish border were horseback patrols to ensure those southerners knew where their boundary ended and the Scottish frontier began. And whilst todays events are for the most part close re-enactments to those of yesteryear, a greater emphasis has been placed on the civic rituals attached to the ceremony and drinking yourself to oblivion, rather than keeping the vexatious English at bay. So if you enjoy your festivities with more than a touch of historical significance, set to a drum and fife band beat and you think you an handle the traditional curds 'n' cream (rum and milk) before breakfast (and that's just for starters) head for the Scottish border the first weekend in June. Hell, even you English are welcome to take part in these celebrations!

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Europe Scotland Hawick Historical Festivals Traditional Festivals May
Rhine in Flames

Rhine in Flames

Rhine in flames — almost an oxymoron! On five separate summer evenings along the fetching River Rhine in the vicinity of the historic city of Bonn, spectacular pyrotechnics displays shot from the hilltops and Europe's largest river fleet light up the night sky and the surrounding castles and palaces. The event has been attracting hundreds of thousands and wowing locals and visitors for more than half a century. If you want in on a boat, book early. The largest of the displays falls historically falls on the second Saturday of August, but as always, check with local sources for exact dates and details.

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Europe Germany Bonn Family Festivals May
Sasquatch! Music Festival

Sasquatch! Music Festival

Since 2002, the spectacular Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington (pun probably intended) has played host to the Sasquatch! Music Festival — a belter of a fest featuring an eclectic brew of world-class performers. Held annually over the Memorial Day Weekend, revellers pitch their tents and settle in for a four day mix of indie and alternative rock, hip hop, EDM, and comedy across five stages.

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North America United States Washington George, WA Indie Rock Festivals Rock Festivals May
Shanghai International Tea Culture Expo

Shanghai International Tea Culture Expo

What's your tea-time tipple? Over four days each May, Shanghai is all about tea. Be it black, green, white, fruit or oolong, the Shanghai International Tea Culture Expo offers aficionados a glimpse of China's tea culture at tastings throughout the city. Besides enjoying the flavor of a variety of teas, visitors can learn which teas are best for treating which ailments and see displays of poetry, calligraphy and dance dedicated to the aromatic beverage. Over 1,200 booths feature teas and tea accessories, from tea sets and utensils to food accompaniments, books and periodicals of tea culture.

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Asia China Shanghai Food Festivals May
Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games

Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games

Looking for a taste of Scotland in the East Tennessee Highlands? Round up the clan and head to the annual Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games on the historic campus of Maryville College –in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains (20 minutes drive from downtown Knoxville.) Highlights include a Highland heavy athletics programme, Highland dancing and Scottish bagpiping and drumming exhibitions. There's two stages featuring plenty of celtic tunes, celtic food, even a wee Scotch seminar for those looking to get whisky wise.

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North America United States Tennessee Knoxville, TN Multicultural Festivals May
Soul Beach Music Festival

Soul Beach Music Festival

If you find yourself down Aruba way this Memorial Day make your way to the Soul Beach Music Festival. For six days in May, the Caribbean slice of paradise hosts some of the hottest names in soul, a selection of comedy's finest stand-ups and after parties that are the stuff of local legend. Recharge your batteries on white sandy beaches and cool off in the blue azure before donnin' your dance threads and doing it all again.

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Caribbean Aruba Oranjestad Soul and Gospel Music Festivals May
Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

The banks of the River Spey are home to some of Scotland's top malt-whisky distilleries. After touring the stills, coat your throat with some of the smoothest mixes of peat, fruit and honey flavours by sampling a dram or two of the finest regional single malts. Take a wee dauner over Dufftown's hills to clear your head before tackling a master class to learn about Scotland's national drink or take part in a host of fun-filled, whisky-inspired events.

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Europe Scotland Inverness Whiskey Festivals May
Spoleto Festival USA

Spoleto Festival USA

In 1977, it was Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Gian Carlo Menotti, Christopher Keene, and a handful of others who sought to create an American counterpart to their annual Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. Today, for 17 days and nights each Spring, Spoleto Festival USA fills Charleston, South Carolina's historic theatres, churches and outdoor spaces with performances by renowned artists as well as emerging performers in opera, theatre, dance as well as chamber, symphonic, choral and jazz music.

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North America United States South Carolina Charleston, SC Classical Music and Opera Festivals Performing Arts Festivals May
Stars of the White Nights Festival

Stars of the White Nights Festival

Only those who've endured the claustrophobic darkness and the bitter cold of a far northern hemisphere winter, can truly appreciate the beauty and optimism that summer brings. In St. Petersburg, it's a time to take to the parks and the outdoor cafes with family and friends and soak up the endless twilight. It's time for the Stars of the White Nights — a collection of events that span the summer months from Mid-May through Mid-July. At it's heart, the Marinskii Theatre plays host to a range of operas, ballets and classical concerts featuring a range of top-line Russian and international stars that manage to capture the glitz and glamour of the Czarist era, as well as the realism of the Soviet era. But it's along the banks of the River Neva, where the sun refuses to fully set that the festival is really played out. As well as range of concerts and outdoor events, the Neva hosts the Scarlet Sails. During the Scarlet Sails a mock pirate battle is played out on the Neva, followed by a fireworks spectacular that culminates in the appearance of a tall ship with foreboding red sails. It's dramatic and symbolic, a defining moment in one of the world's most loved festivals.

More Stars of the White Nights Festival info...

Europe Russia Saint Petersburg Performing Arts Festivals Classical Music and Opera Festivals Fireworks Festivals May
The Cat Laughs Comedy Festival

The Cat Laughs Comedy Festival

The Cat Laughs Comedy Festival started life in 1995 in response to the burgeoning wealth of emerging Irish comic talent with no clear national outlet for expression. Today the Cat Laughs is an internationally acclaimed event showcasing the finest in local Irish talent as well as attracting many of the finest international comedy acts from around the world. A popular tourist destination in its own right, for five days early each summer Kilkenny crams in a further 30,000 visitors who laugh themselves silly in a stunning medieval setting.

More The Cat Laughs Comedy Festival info...

Europe Ireland Kilkenny Comedy Festivals May
The Orlando Fringe

The Orlando Fringe

Dubbed, Orlando's most unique cultural experience, the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival is a two week celebration of the theatrical and performing arts. Held annually since 1992, Orlando's fringe is the oldest, non-juried and authentic fringe festival in the United States. Once again this year the Loch Haven Park area will feature non-stop performances by dozens of new and established fringe performers. All performances are uncensored and non-juried, staying true to the history and spirit of fringe. There's Visual Fringe, featuring art displayed throughout the venues, as well as Kids Fringe where kid-friendly performances take centre stage over the weekends of the festival.

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North America United States Florida Orlando, FL Fringe Festivals Family Festivals May
Tinku Festival

Tinku Festival

Each May thousands of indigenous Bolivian indians descend on the isolated, mountainous city of Macha in the hope of picking a fight. The 600 year old pre-Hispanic Bolivian festival of Tinku sees villager pitted against villager in a toe to toe slug fest that doesn't stop until blood is spilt on the ground. The blood: an offering to the earth goddess — Pachamama — to ensure a good harvest for the coming year. The desired result: the more spilt, the better. Over the years dozens have died, yet the rite continues, albeit today with some limited policing. Nowadays, fighting to the death is a no-no, but not so in the past. For some of the poorest people in South America living off what they can scratch from the land, life is literally a battle.

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South America Bolivia Macha Traditional Festivals Bizarre Festivals May
UnderhillFest

UnderhillFest

UnderhillFest is an international festival of feature-length documentary film which takes place annually each year in the Montenegro capital of Podgorica — literal translation, 'under the small hill'. The independent festival runs for a week each May or June and aims to promote the genre as a means to tackle social and political problems on all levels.

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Europe Montenegro Podgorica Film Festivals May
Vappu (Helsinki)

Vappu (Helsinki)

The end of April marks a very special time on the Finnish calendar; the beginning of Spring. Ask just about any Finn you care to meet what that means to them and they'll give you a one-word answer, Vappu! Vappu is the closest thing you'll find to Carnival in this part of the world, an unrivalled, two-day Finnish celebration held the length and breadth of the country. It brings out the Finns in droves. To many in the know, it's Europe's best kept party secret. Helsinki's Vappu celebrations congregate around Esplanadi and the Havis Amanda statue on 30th April (although the whole city is in party mode). On May 1st, celebrations move up the road to a city park, Kaivopuisto where things take on an ever-so-slightly more sedate tone.

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Europe Finland Helsinki National Festivals Street Parties May
Vivid Sydney

Vivid Sydney

At Vivid Sydney, a spectacular combination of light, music and ideas share the spotlight. Vivid's light program transforms the city into a wonderland of light-art sculptures. There are innovative installations and grand-scale projections including the illumination of some of her most iconic architecture, such as the sails of the Sydney Opera House. Vivid's Music programme features a diverse range of cutting edge music from a multitude of genres performed at many of the city's top venues. While the ideas programme offers up industry conferences, keynote talks, networking sessions and hands-on workshops, to Asia Pacific's leaders across a number of creative industries.

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Pacific Australia Sydney Light Festivals Family Festivals May
World Village Festival

World Village Festival

Over a weekend each May the World Village Festival sets up camp in Helsinki's Kaisaniemi Park and Railway Square. There's a number of stages featuring an eclectic mix of world, pop, reggae, soul, jazz and folk music. It's a great weekend for all of the family (especially if the late Spring weather's on song) and best of all, it's free.

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Europe Finland Helsinki World Music Festivals Multicultural Festivals African Music and Dance Festivals May

May Festivals on the Map