Event-o-Rama: 10 Must-Dos in August

There are some amazing events on tap all over the world, all the time. Here’s a taste of what you can see and do in August:

  • Take a deep dive into Australasia’s contemporary art scene at the 25th annual Melbourne Art Fair (August 13-17) in suburban Carlton. Held in the Royal Exhibition Building, a World Heritage site, this well-regarded festival provides a stunning platform for 70 regional galleries and hundreds of leading artists. Lectures, free public performances, and a pop-up restaurant make this event a travel-worthy affair.
  • Get down and dirty at the world’s biggest food fight, La Tomatina (August 27), in Buñol, Spain. Don’t miss your chance to join tens of thousands of people armed with tons of the overripe fruit as they paint the town—and each other—red.
  • Stouts, ales, saisons, oh my! The Portland International Beerfest (August 8-10) is back with more than 200 brews from all over the world. Enjoy live music and mean local eats with a cold beer in hand—and take solace in the fact that you can do it all over again at the Seattle edition (August 22-24) two weeks later.
  • But if fermented grapes float your boat, make a beeline for the Hermanus Wine and Food Festival (August 8-10) in South Africa. Attendees can sample hundreds of varietals in the famous whale-watching city, as well as regional cuisine ranging from olives to organic cheeses. Puppet shows, face painting, a jumping castle, and free shuttle service make this event a big win for the entire family.
  • Feel like cutting a rug? Put on your dancing shoes and head to Japan for two days of live music at the Summer Sonic Festival (August 16-17). The mega concert is split between the major metropolises of Tokyo and Osaka, with many artists—including headliners Queen, Arctic Monkeys, and Robert Plant—appearing in both cities in back-to-back performances. Trust us: This is one music festival you’ll want to add to your radar.
  • Celebrate a simpler way of life at the 25th annual Pennsylvania Dutch Festival (August 7-9) in Philadelphia. For three days, the city’s beloved Reading Terminal Market will become a showcase for handmade Amish crafts and traditional foods. Buggy and wagon rides, a petting zoo, and live music round out this unique cultural experience.
  • What better time to visit the City of Eternal Spring than during the annual Medellín Flower Fair? For ten days (August 1-10), Colombia‘s second largest city celebrates its colorful natural bounty with fireworks, live music, and the famous silleteros (flower vendors) parade.  

    A woman plays the tuba at the Guča Festival, an annual celebration of brass band music in western Serbia. (Photograph by Marko Djurica, Corbis)
    A woman plays a horn at the Guča Festival, an annual celebration of brass band music in western Serbia. (Photograph by Marko Djurica, Corbis)
  • If you think a trumpet festival sounds like a one-note affair, think again. Hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to a tiny town in western Serbia to experience the cacophony (that’s meant in a good way) at the Guča Festival (August 6-10). The spirited event has been going strong for more than 50 years to celebrate brass bands and their enduring cultural significance in the Balkans and beyond.
  • Express yourself, support equality, and have fun doing it at Amsterdam Gay Pride 2014 (August 1-3) in the Netherlands. Street parties, live music, a drag queen Olympics, and the always raucous annual Canal Parade round out this spectacular event—all in the name of love. 
  • The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta returns (August 7-10) for its 36th year of atmospheric entertainment in one of England‘s most picturesque port cities. Cast your gaze skyward for mass ascents each morning or—if you’re feeling brave—go for a ride and take in the bird’s-eye view. Luminary shows, carnival rides, and live music complete this family-friendly event.

What would you add to the list? Let us know what we’re missing by leaving a comment.


  1. Peter Hansen
    August 7, 2014, 3:30 am

    Guca is the best festival on planet! I visited it first time 5 years ago and can’t get enough of it. Everyone should hear at least once in a life time the sound of turba in Guca.

  2. Chris
    August 1, 2014, 8:22 am

    Lollapalooza starts today in Chicago, probably the one of the largest concert events in the world

  3. Thesa Aprilia
    July 29, 2014, 10:36 am

    “Ubud Writers and Readers Festival”
    1-5 October 2014
    Held annually in Ubud-Bali,Ubud Writers and Readers Festival calling the famous authors and artist all over the world to celebrate literature together in one of the most humble city in the world. We could possibly found poets performances,books bazaar or literature seminars and writing workshop.

  4. Massimo Bosco
    July 29, 2014, 8:30 am

    You can enjoy one of the UNESCO world heritage site.. Monferrato hills and in particular the tiny village of Castagnole Monferrato for the celebration of his sain Patron the first weekend of August!

  5. Adjorkor
    Accra, Ghana (Africa)
    July 28, 2014, 2:43 pm

    The Homowo (shaming hunger) festival celebrated by the various ethnic groups (Ga & Adangbe) of Greater Accra, Ghana. It is celebrated annually with the ceremonial corn meal “kpokpoi” and palm nut soup to remember how the Ga ancestors overcame famine and starvation.

  6. LindaB
    Reston, VA
    July 28, 2014, 12:18 pm

    If you can’t make the Bristol International Balloon Festival, Albuquerque, NM, hosts a huge International Balloon Festival for several days in October. Probably won’t be too hot, either.

  7. Will
    Enid, OK
    July 27, 2014, 3:21 pm

    I wish I could do the Bristol International Balloon Festival (in August) simply because I see the spectators wearing long-sleeves and jackets…obviously much cooler than the current 100-degree Oklahoma heat. Those Europeans sure know how to live…

  8. Serbia Experience Tours
    July 26, 2014, 10:35 am

    Experience the Guča Trumpet Festival

    A touch of brass in Serbia!

    The Guča trumpet festival is the annual brass band assembly held in the village of Guča, in the western part of Serbia. Every year in August the sleepy Guča turns into a big party, the air is filled with the sound of trumpets and smell of grill, streets with dancing and drinking people…more than 500 000 tourists are expected to come to this small village and listen to the best trumpet players in the world.

    E – mail: serbiaexperience@gmail.com


    From Belgrade we will drive to the west part of Serbia. We will first visit traditional village close to Gornji Milanovac for a lunch and relaxed walk.

    Drive to impressive Ovčar-Kablar gorge, a unique combination of nature and cultural and historical heritage. The Gorge is most known for its 10 medieval monasteries, clustered together on a small area of land. We will make a short stop and visit one of the monasteries.

    Arrival to the village Guča and attending Guča trumpet festival. We will enjoy authentic Balkan experience with delicious Serbian šljivovica (plum brandy), specialties of Serbian cuisine, such as proja (a type of corn bread), cheese, svadbarski kupus (a cabbage dish) and grill– PARTY UNTIL EARLY MORNING!

    Morning return to Belgrade.

    *Friday 8th of August 2014*

    Price (per person):

    190 EUR for 1 person, 240 EUR for 2 persons, 270 EUR for 3 persons

    Included in the price:

    English-speaking travel guide, transportation according to program, visit of Ovčar-Kablar gorge and medieval Serbian monastery, traditional lunch, Serbian šljivovica (plum brandy)

    Optional Extras:

    Accommodation is not included in the price but we can organize accommodation for you at an extra cost.

    E – mail: serbiaexperience@gmail.com

  9. Uttara
    July 26, 2014, 4:01 am

    1. Snake Boat Festival/Nehru Trophy Boat Festival, Punnamada Lake, Alappuzha, Kerala, India (Aug 9, 2014)
    2. Kajli Teej Festival, Bundi, Rajasthan, India (Aug 12-13, 2014)
    3. Janmastami Festival, Mathura+Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, and Mumbai+Thane, Maharashtra (the latter for its Dahi Handi competitions), India (Aug 17-18)
    4. Ganesh Chaturthi, Maharashtra, India; starting on 29 August and will continue for 14 days