Best Winter Music Festivals for the 2014-2015 Season

posted by Dan Murphy on November 18, 2014

SnowGlobe 2013 via the festival

With the winter months coming up, hibernation can seem like more and more of a viable option as opposed to cold, wet weather and relentless darkness. To that, we at Cultivora say what we always say: go to a freakin' music festival. Some take things inside, while others make the winter a fun experience with snowboarding and skiing in addition to music. If you really hate the cold, try a destination festival like the ones to Mexico and Australia. You can find all of our favorite winter music festivals listed below divided by continent. Have a happy winter, and see some live music!

North America

Contact Festival

Contact Festival 2013 via the festival

Where: Vancouver, Canada
When: December 26-27, 2014
Who: Armin van Buuren, Zedd, Showtek, Nervo, DVBBS, Morgan Page, Gramatik, What So Not, Kaytranada, TJR, and more

The folks who run Contact Music Festival had the brilliant idea of putting a Canadian winter event inside. The electronic music festival first took over Vancouver's BC Center in 2012 and has returned each year since to huge names and big crowds. This stadium-sized rave is not to be missed. 


SnowGlobe 2013 via the festival

Where: South Lake Tahoe, California
When: December 29-31, 2014
Who: Disclosure (DJ set), Flume, Porter Robinson (live), Skrillex, Zedd, Atmosphere, Flux Pavilion, Phantogram, Odesza, and more

SnowGlobe describes itself as a "music festival, ski/snowboard adventure, and destination New Year's Eve celebration all wrapped into one." This wonderful fusion of music and mountains is topped off by a great (mainly) electronic lineup with the biggest names in the scene. 

Holy Ship!

Holy Ship! 2014 via the festival

Where: January 3-6, 2015 and February 18-21, 2015
Where: Miami, Florida to Half Moon Cay, Bahamas and Miami, Florida to Nassau, Bahamas
Who: Round 1 - Knife Party, Pretty Lights, Flume, Boys Noize, A-Trak, and more
Round 2 - Skrillex, Fatboy Slim, Bauuer, DJ Snake, Basement Jaxx, and more

This winter cruise series takes you away from the cold weather straight into the Bahamas with sun and EDM to keep you warm. This year, Holy Ship! will host two cruises with varying lineups, both of which are sure to please. 

The BPM Festival

The BPM Festival 2014 by Marjana Jaidi

Where: Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
When: January 9-18, 2015
Who: Gorgon City, Adriatique, AC Slater, Vaal, Sub-ann, Art Department, The Martinez Brothers, John Digweed, Lee Burridge, and more

A personal favorite of ours, The BPM Festival is the quintessential destination festival. It draws the best in the underground electronic scene to the beautiful beach setting of Playa del Carmen, where festivalgoers experience over a week of awesome parties and enough sun to make you forget winter is even a thing. 

My Morning Jacket's One Big Holiday

One Big Holiday 2014 via the festival

Where: Riviera Maya, Mexico
When: January 31-February 4, 2015
Who: My Morning Jacket, Band of Horses, Dr. Dog, The War on Drugs, Dawes, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Sylvan Esso, Biz Markie

My Morning Jacket's first One Big Holiday destination festival took place last year, and while it's likely the smallest lineup on this list, the curation is totally on point. Only 2,500 tickets are sold to this exclusive getaway, and these bands are essentially indie rock royalty or the most exciting up-and-comers... and Biz Markie. 


Time Warp Netherlands

Time Warp Netherlands 2013 via the festival

Where: Utrecht, The Netherlands
When: December 6, 2014
Who: Adriatique, Maceo Plex, Joseph Capriati, Matador, Chris Liebing, Maya Jane Coles, Henrik Schwarz, Function, and more

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Time Warp's first festival in Germany. It has since expanded to four international festivals, one of which being its annual winter Netherlands installment, featuring more of an underground electronic feel. With acts like Adriatique, Maceo Plex, and Joseph Capriati, this party will bring the fun back to winter. 

Eurosonic Noorderslag

Eurosonic Noorderslag 2014 via the festival

Where: Groningen, The Netherlands
When: January 14-17
Who: Kaleo, Beatrice Eli, Kate Tempest, Snami, Low Roar, Happyness, Moullinex, Years & Years, and more

Eurosonic Noorderslag has kind of been Europe's SXSW since 1986. Its festival portion has aimed at launching up-and-coming artists to stardom, while its conference programming centers around the intersection of music, media, and tech. Expect to see some of these acts on blowing up your Spotify in the coming years. 

Where's The Music?

Where: Norrköping, Sweden
When: February 12-14
Who: Adna, Andreas Moe, Beatrice Eli, Caotico, Hello Saferide, Jennie Abrahamson, Kite, Kitok, Merely, Spiders, The Hanged Man, and more

2014 will mark the first Where's The Music?, Sweden's newest festival dedicated to giving local Scandinavian artists an international platform and the European music industry a meeting point. We're excited to see how the inaugural fest will stand up to its various European counterparts. 


Meredith Music Festival

Meredith Music Festival 2013 by Jason Whitelock for The Courier

Where: Victoria, Australia
When: December 12-14
Who: The War on Drugs, Tiny Ruins, Ty Segall, De La Soul, Factory Floor, Jagwar Ma, Mark Lanegan, Ghostface Killah, and more

Victoria's Meredith Festival actually features one of the cooler lineups we've seen this year. It's devoid of huge headliners, but managed to get artists that have put out this year's finest records like The War on Drugs and Ty Segall. Sometimes the best festivals are the smaller ones, and Meredith is no exception. 

The Falls Music + Arts Festival

The Falls Festival 2013 via the festival

Where: Lorne, Marion Bay, and Byron
When: December 28-January 3
Who: Alt-J, Julian Casablancas + the Voidz, Run the Jewels, Tensnake, Cold War Kids, The Black Lips, Todd Terje, and more

This three-city touring festival managed to put together a lineup of established indie acts and some of the most buzzed-about newcomers of 2014. The Falls is dedicated to both music and arts featuring various installations and performance pieces, so expect a great overall experience at this festival. 

Field Day

Field Day 2013 via the festival

Where: The Domain, Sydney
When: January 1
Who: SBTRKT, Alt-J, Dillon Francis, Rüfüs, Bastille, Jamie xx, Danny Brown, Joey Bada$$, Salt-n-Pepa, Todd Terje, and more

Field Day's goal is simple: to bring a hell of a party to Sydney on New Year's Day. For the last few years, they've curated awesome genre-spanning lineups with the best acts from the indie rock, hip-hop, and electronic scenes. 

St. Jerome's Laneway Festival

Laneway Brisbane 2014 via the festival

Where: Singapore, Auckland, Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, and Fremantle
When: January 24-February 8
Who: St. Vincent, Flying Lotus, Lykke Li, FKA Twigs, Little Dragon, Future Islands, Mac Demarco, Banks, and more

Now here's a lineup we're really excited for. St. Jerome's Laneway Festival travels clear across Australia every year with a few big acts headlining while the most exciting, about-to-break artists support them. The female-dominated 2015 roster is one of the coolest bills we've seen all year. 

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See Also:

Where's The Music Reveals Second Wave of Acts
Laneway Festival Announces Sideshows for 2015
Eurosonic Noorderslag Expands 2015 Lineup