The Great Taste of the Midwest Beer Festival

In 2012, we put together a post that we thought would have the bar crowd excited, especially the beer drinkers. Much to our chagrin, the World’s Top 15 Beer Festivals was met with more disdain than adoration.

It seems in our quest to find the World’s Top Beer festivals we overlooked many of the smaller craft brew festivals, which of course upset beer connoisseurs from around the web and all over the globe. Just take a look at the comments on reddit. Yikes! Well lesson learned.

One common complaint found in many of the comments, hate-mails, and death threats (okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit about the last one) was our lack of including, or even mentioning, the Great Taste of the Midwest.

We wanted to see what the fuss was all about, so last summer we packed up the BarWhiz van and took a road trip out to Madison, Wisconsin to attend this much lamented beer festival.

Occurring on the second Saturday of every August, 6,000 Wisconsinites converge on beautiful Olin-Turville Park to sample the 600+ offerings of over one hundred brewpubs and microbreweries from all over the Midwest.

It’s not just about drinking at the Great Taste of the Midwest beer festival. Beer education is also a big part as well. From cooking with beer, to beer pairing, and everything in between, the presentation pavilion is the place to be to get your beer education on. With most sessions capping the limit at 100 people it can be hard to get a seat, so arrive early if you want to join in on the fun.

So yes, we now agree with all the seasoned beer festivalgoers, the Great Taste of the Midwest definitely needs to be included in the list of the World’s Top Beer festivals. If you want to check it out for yourself, the 2013 Great Taste of the Midwest is on Saturday, August 10, 2013.

For more information visit their website:

Unfortunately, by the time this post was ready for live submission the 2013 Great Taste of the Midwest was already sold out. To commiserate your loss we’ve decided to share with you some pictures of the 2012 festival:

2012 Great Taste of the Midwest




2012 Great Taste of the Midwest





2012 Great Taste of the Midwest

2012 Great Taste of the Midwest

2012 Great Taste of the Midwest

2012 Great Taste of the Midwest

2012 Great Taste of the Midwest

Corey Rozon profile imageAbout the Author
Corey Rozon is a freelance writer from Ottawa, Canada.

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World’s Top Whiskey Festivals

“Show me the way to the next whiskey [Festival]. Oh, don’t ask why, oh, don’t ask why. For if we don’t find the next whiskey [Festival], I tell you we must die, I tell you we must die…”

That’s right folks! We’ve already brought you the BarWhiz Blog’s Top Beer Festivals, as well as the Top Wine Festivals from all over the globe. Today we bring to you the Top Whiskey Festivals.

So without further adieu, here are the BarWhiz Blog Picks for the World’s Top Whiskey Festivals:

***Please note: Due to the overwhelming amount of amazing whiskey festivals out there we’ve decided to limit our selection to just a few of those on the list that will be happening this calendar year.***

Jura Distillery Whiskey Festival – Jura, Scotland (May 29th – 30th, 2013)

It’s not too late to join the Jura Distillery to celebrate their 50th year anniversary with, what some are saying, will be the greatest whisky festival ever! They will have four new bottlings to try, including a pre-release of their 40-year-old whisky. Not to mention interactive sessions held by some of the best whisky experts around. There will also be local food, music and distillery tours available. So what are you waiting for? Book your flight to Scotland today and experience this once in a lifetime whisky festival.

Bushmills Live – Bushmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland (June 19th – 20th, 2013)

Okay, so this is not so much a whisky festival as it is a music festival, and even though whisky didn’t make our Most Popular Drinks At A Music Festival list, knowing that this festival is put on by Bushmills, there is certainly to be a lot of whisky flowing. This festival will provide 500 lucky whisky fans the chance to sip some handcrafted whisky while listening to some amazing musicians, all the while taking in the Old Bushmills Distillery. Sounds like a pretty amazing whisky festival to me!

Whiskey Rebellion Festival – Washington, PA (July 11th – 13th, 2013)

Back in the good ole days of America’s beginnings, when George Washington was commander and chief, a new tax was being placed on farmers who sold their grain in the form of whisky. Something they strongly resented. So much so that protesters violently opposed the new tax, going as so far as tarring and feathering tax collectors. Today things are much more peaceful, but for three days each year in Washington, PA the Rebellion holds true. The Whisky Rebellion Festival celebrates the historical significance of the protest, with re-enactments of the tarring and feathering of tax collectors, parades, live music, food, and of course good ole fashioned whiskey drinking. This is definitely not your whisky connoisseurs festival.

Little Woody Barrel Aged Brew and Whiskey Fest – Bend, OR (August 30th – 31st, 2013)

Originally starting out as a beer festival for craft brewers who understood the importance of aging their brews in oaken casks, this festival has recently open its palate to include those for the taste of a fine whiskey. Taking place next to the Des Chutes Historical Museum, Bend, OR will be transformed into a whiskey tasting paradise, and will include a wide selection of some of the finest small batch American bourbons and ryes.

Speyside Whisky Festival – Dufftown, Scotland (September 26th – 30th, 2013)

The Speyside Whisky Festival is unique in that the tastings are not centrally located. During this festival several distilleries, many who are not open to the public, throw open their doors and invite whisky connoisseurs of all walks of life to sample a wide selection of fine malts. Through the festival mini-bus trips are planned to allow festivalgoers the chance to experience what each distillery has to offer. The most notable tour is the Seven Stills Tour, which includes all of Dufftown’s distilleries on a single trip.

Whisky Live Festival – TBD, South Africa (October 2013)

As of the date of publication for this post the Whisky Live Festival had yet to release any details of the 11th annual festival, but if it is anything like 2012 you are sure to be in for the time of your life. Billed as the “the benchmark for spirit shows globally” by award-winning whisky writer Dave Broom, the Whisky Live Festival has built itself a reputation as being the largest, liveliest and most entertaining whisky festival, not only in South Africa, but also the world. This is definitely the must attend event of the year.

International Whisky Festival – The Hague, Netherlands (November 15th – 17th, 2013)

The Grote Kerk in The Hague, Netherlands hosts the International Whisky Festival each year, and with over a hundred brands of whiskies available for tasting, this makes for one of the most spectacular festivals of its kind. The festival also offers the opportunity to learn more about whisky with their selection of Master classes, hosted by both Dutch and English speaking whisky experts. If you don’t want to spend the entire festival in a dusty old church you can always hop aboard the Whisky Tram and see the sites of The Hague while enjoying some single Scottish malts.

Corey Rozon profile imageAbout the Author
Corey Rozon is a freelance writer from Ottawa, Canada.

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Most Popular Drinks At A Music Festival

Spring has finally sprung, and with the onset of the warm weather, for those of us north of the equator, it means we can finally enjoy a cold one outdoors. From outdoor patios to backyard parties one of the best places to enjoy a refreshing ice-cold drink is at an outdoor music festival.

Before we divulge the list of the most popular drinks at a music festival we’d first like to provide you with some words of caution. There are many key elements to surviving a music festival, especially a multi-day one. Remember, it’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon. So pace yourself and above all, remember to hydrate.

The majority of music festivals have a strict no outdoor alcohol permitted policy, so unfortunately you’ll have to stick with drinking what is available. If you’re more of the unscrupulous type you can always try one of these 6 inventions to smuggle booze into festivals… but if you get caught you didn’t hear that from us. Now on with the drinks:

#1 – Beer

By far the most popular, and most accessible drink at a music festival is of course beer. Whether it comes on tap, in the bottle or in the can no music festival experience is complete with a plastic cup of frothy goodness.

#2 – Wine

For the higher classed drinker, or just those of you that don’t like a cold refreshing beer, the second most popular music festival drink is wine. If you don’t want the dreaded black-teeth of red wine, we suggest sticking with the white.

#3 – Coolers

Coolers, whether wine, vodka or some other kind of sugar laden beverage is another popular drink for many festival-goers. Even if you don’t like coolers, at any given moment you may be Bro Iced, so be prepared and be careful out there.

#4 – Cocktails

Although not the most popular drink at a music festival, they can be the most delicious, and most dangerous. If the music festival you are attending offers cocktails, make sure you following our words of caution: pace yourself and stay hydrated.

#5 – Specialty Drinks

As alluded to, you typically don’t have too many options when it comes to types of drinks you can purchase at a music festival, so sometimes you have to improvise and create your own. With a plastic glass of beer, some ice and a can of el Jimadore (or any other premixed margarita) you can make your very own Beergarita!

Corey Rozon profile imageAbout the Author
Corey Rozon is a freelance writer from Ottawa, Canada.

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Best Of Oktoberfest 2012

Oktoberfest 2012

With over 300 events planned annually, Oktoberfest is by far the largest beer festival in the world. The 2012 Oktoberfest marks the festival’s 202nd anniversary since its inception in 1810, where it originated as a celebration to mark the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.

The festival typically runs from September 22nd to October 7th and can be virtually found in every corner of the world. With over 300 Oktoberfests to partake in, here at the BarWhiz Blog we didn’t have the time, or the resources, to cover them all. For that we are sorry. We did however send some of our best researchers out and have brought back photos for four of the most wunderbar Oktoberfests across the globe. Prost!


Oktoberfest 2012

This year the Munich Oktoberfest fairgrounds were one-fifth smaller, due to the inclusion of the traditional Zentral-Landwirtschaftsfest, an agricultural fair that occurs every four years during Oktoberfest. Although not a record high for the festival, 6.4 million people did attend over the 16 days and consumed a total of 6.9 million litres beer, making Munich’s Oktoberfest the largest in the world.

Here are some great shots of the festival:


Oktoberfest 2012,




Costumes @ Oktoberfest 2012

Oktoberfest 2012

Oktoberfest 2012

Oktoberfest 2012

music from the mountains

proud girl ... with a little smile ...

United States

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati 2012

The largest Oktoberfest celebration in the United States is without a doubt the Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati festival. It takes place each year along Fifth Street in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, and although not as old as the original, Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati has been around since 1976. This year over 500,000 people attended the festival between September 21st to the 23rd and were able to participate in such events as the World’s Largest Chicken Dance, marshalled by the Cincinnati Reds great Tom Browning, the Samuel Adams Stein Hoisting Championship, and the Glockenspiel. Oh, and we can’t forget to include the annual Running of the Wieners.

Here are some pics of this year’s festival:

Running Of The Wieners (13)

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati 2012

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati 2012

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati 2012

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati 2012

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati 2012

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati 2012

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati 2012

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati 2012

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati 2012



Brazil is in the running for the 2nd largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany with their Oktoberfest Blumenau festival. This 18-day Oktoberfest just started this past Wednesday and we’ve already had a chance to see everything it has to offer, and more! This year the Oktoberfest celebrations have spilled out across the city and encompass more than just the traditional German Park area. Last year 564,000 people attended the festival and it is expected to surpass that this year. We can tell you, from just the first few days of the festival, we don’t see them having any problem surpassing last year’s numbers.

Here are some shots of the first few days:


















Beau's Oktoberfest 2012

Although Canada’s largest Oktoberfest celebrations take place at the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, who by the way also lay claim to the 2nd largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany, I decided to choose a smaller event. Just one hour outside of Canada’s Capital City is a little town called Vankleek Hill, who is home to one of the best independent breweries, Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company. Each year Beau’s takes over the agricultural fair grounds and hosts their very own Oktoberfest. In it’s 4th year the celebration has grown from a one-day event to include an entire weekend. On Saturday alone tickets were sold out for the 5000 capacity event. From keg toss contests, to spouse carrying races, this little festival that could has everything an Oktoberfest goer needs. Need proof? Check out the following photo gallery:

Beau's Oktoberfest 2012

Beau's Oktoberfest 2012

Beau's Oktoberfest 2012

Beau's Oktoberfest 2012

Beau's Oktoberfest 2012

Beau's Oktoberfest 2012

Beau's Oktoberfest 2012

Beau's Oktoberfest 2012

Silver Mullet or Crud Light Lyme?

Beau's Oktoberfest 2012

Beau's Oktoberfest 2012

Beau's Oktoberfest 2012

Beau's Oktoberfest 2012

Author: Corey Rozon

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World’s Top Wine Festivals

Caffè, Vino, o Me?

Last month we took a look at the World’s Top 15 Beer Festivals, as rated by BarWhiz, and today we are going to share with you a list of our most favourite wine festivals.

So without further adieu, here are the World’s Top 17 Wine Festivals:

#1 – The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – February 27 – March 4, 2012

Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival

By far the best wine festival in North America, the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival is host to over 180 wineries, who pour an astounding 791 different kinds of wine to thousands of guests each year. With winery experts on hand, you can learn about your favourite wines, discover new ones or try rare wines from wineries all over the world.

#2 – BB&T Charleston Wine and Food Festival
Charleston, South Carolina, USA – March 1-4, 2012

Food&winefest 2

The four-day March event is now into its seventh year. Praised as one of the top wine festivals in the U.S., the BB&T Charleston Wine and Food Festival is a combination of home-grown cooking infused with the talent of celebrated chefs and winemakers from all over the world.

#3 – Russian River Wine Road Barrel Tasting Weekend
Healdsburg, California, USA – March 2-11, 2012

Spring Barrell Tasting in Grand Junction, The annual Grand Valley Winery Association Spring Barrel Tasting weekend begins with a swirl, sniff and sip.

This event is all about sampling straight from the barrel. With over 100 wineries participating, that’s a lot of barrels to taste. All you need is a $40 wristband, your trusty tasting glass, and you are off to the races… I mean cellars.

#4 – Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
Melbourne, Australia – March 2-21, 2012

Guess where I have been?

With more than 200 events centred on wine education, this 17-day long Food and Wine Festival has been keeping Australian wine drinkers happy for the last 20 years. Wine lovers can experience over 250 tasting events and interact with international sommeliers, chefs and wine producers from around the world.

#5 – World of Pinot Noir
Shell Beach, California, USA – March 2-3, 2012

Kathy Joseph and Dr Vincent Caggiano - WOPN 09

World of Pinot Noir will bring together over 100 Pinot Noir producers from around the world for a 2-day event featuring wine tasting and education seminars in Shell Beach, California. This is a must attend event for all the Pinot Noir lovers out there.

#6 – Cincinnati International Wine Festival
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA – March 8-10, 2012

red red wine

Celebrating its 22nd year, the Cincinnati International Wine Festival has been one of the Midwest’s largest annual wine events since 1991. Hosting over 130 wineries, who pour up to 600 different kinds of wine to thousands of guests, this wine extravaganza features food, live music, auctions, and even a golf tournament.

#7 – McMinnville Wine & Food Classic
McMinnville, Oregon, USA – March 9-11, 2012

McMinnville Wine and Food Classic 2011

In the heart of Oregon wine country, McMinnville will host a 3-day wine festival that features 160 of the Oregon’s best wineries. Participants can take part in wine tasting events, or just purchase wine by the glass, bottle or even case.

#8 – Zinfandel Festival Paso Robles
Paso Robles, California, USA – March 16-18, 2012

Zinfandel Summit 09

With more than 50 Paso Robles wineries hosting events, the Zinfandel Festival Paso Robles is one of the largest of its kind. The event will feature tasting of the local Paso Robles Zinfandel and Zinfandel blends, as well as food from some of the region’s best restaurants. For the Zinfandel lover this is definitely a must attend event.

#9 – St. Croix Food and Wine Experience
St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, USA – April 17-22, 2012

Named one of the best International Food and Wine Festivals by Forbes Travel, the St. Croix Food and Wine Experience brings together local chefs, celebrity chefs, cooking show personalities and top winemakers from around the world. This wine festival sells out fast, so if you still can, you should buy your tickets now.

#10 – Banff Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival
Banff, Alberta, Canada – May 4-5, 2012

The top Banff & Lake Louise area chefs provide the cuisine to complement the wide assortment of national and international wines for you to try on at the Banff Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival. With the Rocky Mountains as your backdrop, there is no other place you should be this summer.

#11 – Taste of Amsterdam
Amsterdam, Netherlands – May 31 – June 3,2012

Palazzo service

Featuring a wide assortment of wine tasting events, demonstrations, and food oriented events, the Taste of Amsterdam drew in over 15,000 food and wine lovers for their inaugural event. The 2012 festival is shaping up to be even more spectacular then the last.

#12 – International Pinot Noir Celebration
McMinnville, Oregon, USA – July 27-29, 2012

2008 Indie Winemakers

This 3-day event is held in the heart of Oregon’s wine country and includes such things as wine tasting events at local wineries as well as educational seminars on wine aging from some of the world’s top pinot noir makers. There will also and wine-pairing seminars provided by 50 guest chefs.

#13 – GrapeFest
Grapevine, Texas, USA – September 15-18, 2012

Squisha Da Grapes!

It may surprise you, but Texas is America’s 5th largest wine-producing state, and as the saying goes, everything is big in Texas. Their annual wine festival, the GrapeFest, brings in some 250,000 people to sample both local wines and international ones alike. Oh, and there is also a grape stomping competition.

#14 – Cornucopia
Whistler, British Columbia, Canada – November 8-11, 2012

Cornucopia - Bubbles + Oceans at Araxi

This 4-night festival includes a Gala Grand Tasting event that features more than 75 different wineries as well as some of the greatest cuisine from the area’s most notable chefs. There are also plenty of hands-on seminars and fascinating winemaker dinners to attend.

#15 – Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival
Barbados, Caribbean – November 16-19, 2012

Barbados Food & Wine & Rum Festival

This Barbados wine festival, which also includes food and of course rum, takes place for 4 days in November. Featuring a wide variety of chef demonstrations, tasting events and interactive sessions, the Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival is the must attend wine event in the Caribbean this year.

#16 – Franschhoek “Magic of Bubbles” Cap Classique and Champagne Festival
Franschhoek, South Africa – November 30 – December 2, 2012

Franschhoek "Magic of Bubbles" Cap Classique and Champagne Festival

The “Magic of Bubbles” festival is all about the bubbly. From Champagne to Cap Classique, Franschhoek will be home to all things sparkling wine for three days in December.

#17 – Boston Wine Expo
Boston, Massachusetts, USA – January 26-27, 2013

Andrew Hilliard (Beau Joubert) in foreground, next to Patricia Allen (Cape Legends) at Boston Wine Expo

Featuring over 1,800 wine tasting events from more than 300 wineries from around the world, the Boston Wine Expo is easily the largest wine festival in the continental US. There are also many educational seminars hosted by experts in wine making and pairing. If you are just hearing about this event now, unfortunately you’ve already missed the 2012 festival and will have to wait until next year, but don’t worry; you can just attend the other 16 events above. Call it training.

Author: Corey Rozon

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World’s Top 15 Beer Festivals

Oktoberfest (9)

Last week we shared with you the Top 12 ‘Must Attend’ Music Festivals Of 2012, and today we’re going to let you know about the World’s Top 15 Beer Festivals.

#1 OktoberfestMunich, Germany


German peoples have celebrated the mother of all beer festivals, and easily our number one choice, since 1810. Oktoberfest has now grown into a 16-day festival attracting 6.2 million people from all over the world. This festival should be on the bucket list of any beer connoisseur, or anybody for that matter.

#2 National Winter Ales FestivalManchester, UK


Hosted by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ales, this winter beer festival has been taking place every January since 1997. NWAF, as it is commonly known, features more than 200 different types of beer and its mandate is to showcase the best winter ales, such as stouts and porters, that are produced in the UK.

#3 Great American Beer FestivalDenver, Colorado, USA

Great American Beer Festival

Boasting over 1600 different kinds of American beer, this three-day annual festival takes place at the end of September each year. Located in the Denver Convention Center, beer connoisseurs from all over the world sample the wares of over 450 domestic breweries.

#4 Qingdao International Beer Festival – Qingdao, China
Qingdao Beer Festival

This two-week long event is the largest beer festival in Asia, and features beer tasting from all over the world. Packed with both drinking, and of course karaoke, competitions, this is probably one of the best beer festivals outside of Oktoberfest.

#5 National Capital Craft Beer FestivalCanberra, Australia

National Capital Craft Beer Festival

Over 80 craft breweries get together each April in Canberra, Australia to add a touch of class to the once thought lowbrow act of beer swilling. With gourmet food and beer pairings you will never look at beer the same way again.

#6 Great British Beer FestivalLondon, UK
Great British Beer Festival 2009

The sister event of NWAF, the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF), is the summer event organized by CAMRA. Offering over 450 beers from British breweries, as well as 200 foreign beers from countries including Belgium, Germany and the USA, this is a great warm up festival for those who plan on heading to Oktoberfest.

#7 Cape Town Festival of BeerCape Town, South Africa
Whale Tale Ale

This November festival celebrates “all things beer”, and features over 20 breweries, with more than 50 different kinds of beer. If you plan on attending, shell out the extra cash and go for their King Package, which comes complete with an individual draught tap, a keg, a branded mug, and you’re your own personal beer wench… but just don’t call her that to her face.

#8 Great Japan Beer FestivalTokyo (June), Osaka (July), Yokohama (August), Japan
Great Japan Beer Festival

This three-part beer festival runs over the course of three months during the summer and occurs in three different locations. Offering more than 270 beers from over 50 local and 30 international breweries; the Great Japan Beer Festival attracts over 20,000 Japanese and foreign beer lovers alike.

#9 Thai Beer Festival – Bangkok, Thailand
The Thai Festival @ Battersea Park 2010

Although when one thinks of Thailand, being a great producer of beer does not naturally come to mind. However, if you have ever had a chance to attend this annual festival, which occurs in late October, then you know that Thailand is more than just about its beautiful beaches and tasty food… their beer is pretty damn good as well.

#10 PINT Bokbier FestivalAmsterdam, Netherlands

The best-known, and largest beer festival in all of Netherlands is without a doubt the PINT Bokbier Festival. Taking place each year in late October at the Amsterdam Beurs van Berlage, this beer festival hosts more than 50 varieties of bokbier.

#11 Czech Beer FestivalPrague, Czech Republic
Prague Beer Festival

This two-week long beer festival occurs each year in May and offers over 70 brands of Czech beer, all served in authentic glass pitchers by over 200 beautiful Czech barmaids wearing traditional Czech costumes.

#12 Mondial de la BiereMontreal, Quebec, Canada
Mondial de la Bière

Canada’s largest beer festival takes place every June in Montreal. Known for its beautiful women, and gourmet dishes, Montreal is the perfect backdrop for beer connoisseurs to samples beers from all over Quebec, Canada, and the World.

#13 The Belgian Beer WeekendBrussels, Belgium
Beer festival

Hosted at the Grand Place in Brussels, this three-day beer festival occurs every September and features over 250 different kinds of beers, from pilsners to trappist beers.

#14 Oregon Brewers FestivalPortland, Oregon, USA

Over 80 craft breweries from across the United States come together each July to take part in this four-day event, one of the nation’s longest running craft beer festivals. Serving up more than 20 styles of handcrafted brews to over 80,000 beer connoisseurs, this beer festival is the best place to learn everything there is to know about craft beer.

#15 Bitter and Twisted International Boutique Beer Festival – Maitland, Australia

Serving over 50 craft beers from around the globe to over 4 thousand attendants, this Australian beer festival takes place inside the ‘yard’ of an old maximum-security jail and is definitely a must attend event for any beer lover.

Author: Corey Rozon

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Top 12 ‘Must Attend’ Music Festivals Of 2012

Here at BarWhiz we’ve covered the Top 21 Bars From Around The World, but we are more than just about the bar scene. As our slogan says, we are Your Guide to a Great Night Out… – and you can’t get a greater night out than you would when attending a music festival.

After covering the 32 Best Party Cities in the World, and after researching countless music festivals from all over the world, easily over 450 by my count, we’ve narrowed the selection down to just one music festival a month.

So without further adieu, here are the Top 12 ‘Must Attend’ Music Festivals Of 2012:

#1 Mayday in Dortmund, Germany

April 30th, 2012


Mayday is one of the oldest and most reputed electronic music festivals in Germany. Each Mayday has a theme, and this year it is… well you’ll just have to go to find out.

#2 Temple Bar TradFest in Dublin, Ireland

January 25th – 29th, 2012

tradfest 105

This is Dublin’s biggest and best festival of Irish Music, and this year will celebrate their 7th annual festival. Highlights include over 200 free events, two outdoor stages, the international Celtic Irish dance show, a rural Irish village and much more.

#3 Finnish Metal Expo in Helsinki, Finland

February 17th – 18th, 2012

Sabaton at Finnish Metal Expo

Held in the dead of winter, this annual indoor heavy metal music festival and exhibition is really just a big party for metalheads. If you like your music hard and loud, and you should, then make sure you get your head-banging self to Helsinki this winter.

#4 South by Southwest in Austin, Texas

March 13th – 18th, 2012

Wildflag - SXSW Music 2011 - Austin, TX

SXSW is one of the largest music festivals in the United States, with more than 2,000 performers playing in more than 90 venues around downtown Austin. This is definitely a ‘Must Attend’ event.

#5 Sasquatch! Music Festival in George, Washington

May 25th – 28th, 2012

Sasquatch Music Festival 2011

Held each year at the Gorge Amphitheatre, this four-day, four-stage music festival consists of indie rock bands, singer-songwriters, alternative rock and hip hop artists. The view alone is worth the trip.

#6 Hop Farm Festival in Paddock Wood, UK

June 29th – July 1st, 2012

July 2, 2011: Hop Farm Festival

Although they’ve had a bit of a rough start, this ‘best new festival’ will be entering its 4th year. Centered on folk and independent music, Hop Farm Festival is a “back to basics” event, with a no sponsorship, no branding, and no VIP attitude.

#7 Kazantip in Crimea, Ukraine

July 20th – August 26th, 2012

20080823-IMG_1120 Nights @ Kazantip

In order to get into the Republic of Kazantip you first need to get yourself a “viZa”, and with over 150,000 travellers joining the Republic for a 6 week party in the summer each year, you better act fast. This electronic dance music festival is the #1 ‘Must Attend’ music festival for 2012.

#8 Shambhala in West Kootenay, Canada

August 8th – 13th, 2012

Shambhala 2011 - Dusk Till Dawn Album

With its first festival in 1998, Shambhala is Canada’s largest and longest running electronic music festival. This dance party goes for four days and three nights at the Salmo River Ranch in the West Kootenay mountains of beautiful British Columbia.

#9 Pop Montreal in Montreal, Canada

September 19th – 23rd, 2012

Pop Montreal
For 5 days in September Montreal is overrun by a pop explosion. With more than 400 acts performing in over 50 venues across the city, Pop Montreal is a great way to say good-bye to summer and ring in the fall in beautiful downtown Montreal.

#10 Iceland Airwaves in Reykjavík, Iceland

October 31st – November 4th, 2012

Iceland Airwaves

Beginning its life back in 1999 as a one-off event that took place in an unused airplane hangar at Reykjavík Airport, Iceland Airwaves has grown to become the #1 ‘new music’ music festival in the world, with many new acts moving on to international stardom after their performance. So if you want to see them, before the sold-out, this is the music festival for you.

#11 Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, Texas

November 2nd – 4th, 2012

Fun Fun Fun Fest 2010

Focusing on indie rock, punk rock, hardcore, hip-hop and DJs, Austin, Texas is overrun for three days by many progressive and underground musicians as they showcase their talents at the Fun Fun Fun Fest. This is Austin, home of SxSW, if any one knows how to throw a music festival, they do.

#12 Clockenflap in Hong Kong, China

December TBA, 2012

Clockenflap Audience

Clockenflap is a two-day, five-stage, music festival that takes place in various locations around Hong Kong. Their inaugural festival in 2008 was a one-day event attended by 1,500 people. By 2011, it has grown to a two-day festival and was the first large-scale music event to be completely free to the public.

Author: Corey Rozon

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