Events & Festivals
Best April Festivals in the World
We gushed over March’s global festival offerings a scant for weeks ago but, now, faced with April’s heady tidings, we’re champing at the bit. April begins by making fools out of us all but the month where seasons pivot and turn is a gamechanger in terms of events, festivals and processions the world over. We’ve got seven, in particular, on our radar.
Seville Fair – Photo credit
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
April 26 – May 5
It’s not the biggest jazz festival on the planet (that would be Montreal), nor the oldest or most venerable (Monterey, Montreux). But ask music pilgrims and artists about the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the response is unanimous: the Big Easy is a special city with a singular musical cultural. Hence the ‘Heritage’ in the festival’s title, which ranges from brass to gospel, R&B to ragtime to, naturally, jazz. The eclectic 2013 lineup features The Black Keys, Fleetwood Mac, Frank Ocean, George Benson, Jill Scott, Jimmy Cliff and Patti Smith.
Where to stay: The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
Tribeca Film Festival
Robert De Niro’s post-9/11 baby was a boon to Manhattan in dire times and, in a decade, has become a corporate juggernaut, with over three million people in attendance and a $600 million windfall, on average. The 2013 edition is jammed with films, of course, but also talks by the likes of Clint Eastwood, Whoopi Goldberg, Ben Stiller, Darren Aronofsky, Ethan Hawke and Gloria Steinem.
Where to stay: Library Hotel Manhattan
One of Spain’s biggest regional cultural event whips the capital of Andalusia and the fourth-largest city in the country into a six-day frenzy. The Feria de abril sees Seville and its residents festooned in brilliant colours, underneath a nightly storm of absurd pyrotechnics. Oh and there’s food too.
Where to stay: Gran Melia Colon Hotel Sevilla
April 12-14, 19-21
Coachella is such a powerful force that it doesn’t need the pesky ‘Valley Music and Arts Festival’ bit anymore. For the purposes of branding it’s just plain old Coachella now. Now in its fifteenth year, the 2013 event will span two weekends and welcome such luminaries as Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The xx, Wu-Tang Clan, New Order and Sigur Rós. The dual weekend lineups are so laden that normal headliners like Janelle Monáe, Japandroids, James Blake and Violent Femmes get second or third-billing at the Indio, California festival.
Where to stay: Mondrian A Morgans Hotel West Hollywood
It’s a one-day affair but what a day it is when the Kingdom of the Netherlands unites to fete Queen Beatrix. April 30 is when Koninginnedag occurs, although next year, in 2014, the holiday will revert back to Koningsdag, or King’s Day, after Willem-Alexander assumes the throne.
Where to stay: Grand Hotel Amrath Amsterdam
Getting soaked to the gills in the likes of Bangkok, Krabi and Phuket whilst on holiday is as clichéd as it gets but there’s a good reason so many flock to Thailand for the traditional Southeast Asian New Year. Simply put, Songkran is rollicking good fun and has morphed into something much bigger than a niche cultural event. Now it’s a bucket list item with a long waiting list.
Where to stay: The Peninsula Hotel Bangkok
Feria Nacional de San Marcos
April 19 – May 12
It gets very little press outside of Mexico, let alone the North-Central part of the country. Yet over seven million people descend on the eponymous ‘hot waters’ state capital of Aguascalientes – population 1 million – every April and May for what amounts to a charming old-fashioned state and agricultural fair that’s closing in on two hundred years old.
Where to stay: Aguascalientes Marriott Hotel