In less than a week, every neighborhood block will soon be blasting that classic anthem that announces to the world that a new season is upon us—Will Smith’s Summertime. And like any good gainfully employed millennial worth her Instagram followers, you have saved up all your vacation days and are looking for some events someplace to spend them on. While we know that you’ve had your trip to Bali planned for a while now, here are some festivals for you to kick back, socialize, and of course, get the perfect shot.
You’d have to be living under a rock for the past 14 years to have never heard of the Afro-Punk festival. Since 2005, at the end of every August, Commodore Park is overtaken by flower crowns and tribal face paint. If you are from New York, chances are slim to none that you’ve never attended. But did you know that there was another even more fabulous version of the festival? In the most fabulous city in the world no less—Paris.
The Paris version has all the trappings of her sister festival but has the benefit of being located in the most beautiful and Instagrammable city in the world. Starting from July 14th to the 16th, the festival will include acts like Solange, Janelle Monae, Tiwa Savage, and Bambii.
This self-proclaimed “Best Natural Hair Celebration in America” is one of the largest and most expansive natural hair expositions in the States. Much like Afropunk, the festival has many iterations in several cities occurring throughout the spring and summer. The first is in Oakland at the end of May before moving on the Houston in early June, Dallas on July 28th, Chicago August 25th, Atlanta on September 22nd, and finally Los Angeles on October 27th.
The theme for this year’s festivities is “Afros at the Masquerade.” Which is basically license for you to do what black people do best--the absolute most. You can keep that same energy of “mostness” as you apply to be a runway model or enter the hair braiding competition—either as a stylist or model. Or you can pass it on to your little one as you enter her into the Lil Miss Afrolicious pageant. Of all the events on this list, this one is by far the most interactive. So, find the nearest event to you and purchase a ticket. Or better yet, sign up as a participant. Either way, you’ll be sure to have a fun time.
Unsurprisingly for one of the most diverse cities in the world, London has been home to the Curly Treats Festival since 2013. Born out of founder Shirvina Best’s desire to create a space where Black women could learn about and celebrate their natural hair in a fun and festive environment, Curly Fest Treats has grown to become the biggest celebration of natural hair in Europe.
This July, the 27th to be exact, thousands of UK naturals will descend upon Coledale Farm to feast on the best vegan, Caribbean and Mexican faire around. All while attending yoga classes, jamming to the hottest beats, taking notes at seminars and, of course, snapping shots for the ‘gram. Here, the best place to take pictures is, well, anywhere. If you are a foodie, try the Street Food Markets, dancers can shoot videos of them hitting the floor, while hair lovers can capture the gorgeousness that is Leanne Goldsmith’s hair during her Sisterlocks seminar.
Whatever you decide to do, there will be more than enough opportunities to fill your camera roll with fabulousness.
Running from the 1st to the 4th of August, Wilderness Festival is the ultimate trip for the bougie bohemians among you. For those of whom camping is too rustic, and high-end hotels are too blasé, the festival offers a wonderfully poetic compromise—glamping. Or as the Brits call it, “boutique camping.”
And while words like “diversity and inclusion” have become buzzwords of late, Wilderness Festival truly embodies it. What other festival can say that they have included artists as widely ranged as George Clinton and Björk? And this year’s lineup includes Chicago based house DJ Honey Dijion, as well as Ghanaian highlife singer Ata Kak of Awesome Tapes from Africa, and Musical Collective Beating Hearts crew—which invites artists to remix traditional musical records from Africa that date as far back as the 20s.
To top it off, the entire aesthetic of what many of us generally associate with the English countryside: gardens with crumbling stone walls covered in baby’ breath and holly. All this within the confines of a grand estate and presided over by fairies. In this case, the estate in question is Cornbury Park, which existence dates back to the 15th century. And while Cornbury House is not open to the public, the surrounding landscape is more than enough for you get the perfect shot!
And what better way to round out a list of festivals for Black People to travel to, than a festival celebrating Black travelers? Put on by Nomadness, the original Black travel collective, this festival is for anyone who has ever dreamed of far and away lands and used the collective wisdom of the nomads to make it happen. Scheduled for September 27-29 in the land of Rock, Soul, and barbeque, this festival is the ultimate destination for avid travelers, returning expats, digital nomads or anyone else in-between.
Whether you come for the seminars or the artists, to work remotely, or just came for the photo op or barbeque, this will literally be the most worldly, sophisticated bunch that you’ll come across anywhere in one space. Anyone with an Instagram account knows that no one stunts more than travelers. And so what better place to get the perfect image, than in the company of the masters of Instagram themselves?
Comments will be approved before showing up.