2020 lead to the cancellation of a number of significant festivals and cultural parades around the world, while others were converted into virtual events due to the outbreak of coronavirus. While most event organizers stated that tickets would roll over into 2021, we have already seen major global events announce that their 2021 editions will not be going forward either – Glastonbury and Coachella being two of the confirmed cancellations.
Meanwhile, events such as the Mardi Gras in New Orleans still took place earlier this year. The 2021 addition was a much quieter affair though, without the usual parades and crowds. The infamous Bourbon & Frenchman Streets allowed for reduced capacity with social distancing methods in place and face masks being mandatory. Better some Mardi Gras than none, right?
Despite some changes due to COVID-19 restrictions, there are still a few festivals that are set to go ahead.
Please not that events and festivals that have yet to announce confirmation are not featured in this article.
Global Festivals You Can Attend in 2021
Reading and Leeds Festival
It comes as no surprise that the United Kingdom boasts one of Europe’s most diverse music festival scenes. From metal weekends in muddy fields to dance parties in warehouses – the UK has it all. Undoubtedly one of the most famed festivals is the Reading and Leeds Festival. Attracting thousands of devoted attendees year after yea to its two sites in the north and south of England. When it was announced that the 2021 festival would still be taking place, ticket sales surged! Traditionally a rock-based festival, the event has evolved to cater to an array of musical tastes. Reading and Leeds will go ahead from 27-29 August.
Semana Santa or The Holy Week
A Guatemalan religious tradition that is over half a century old, known as Semana Santa or The Holy Week – typically taking place a week before Easter. Colorful processions, the creation of sawdust carpets, and re-enactments from scenes in the Bible fill cities all over Spain with lively celebration. This year the events are set to go ahead, with some COVID restrictions in place. The 2021 Semana Santa celebrations will likely fall between 28 March – 3 April.
Spring is almost in full bloom – at least in the Northern Hemisphere – and nothing says springtime like the world’s Tulip Festival. Quilted farm fields of tulips color the countryside as far as the eye can see – and the Netherlands is world-famous for the best place to experience this flower-power phenomenon. People flock to see the tulip parades, fly over the fields, or simply to visit the local gardens near Amsterdam – there are so many ways to enjoy the beautiful spring blossoms. The official Tulip Festival season will run from 20 March to 9 May – and while the event is still set to take place, the official website advises that this year’s celebrations might be affected by COVID-19 restrictions.
Procession of The Holy Blood
Another religious festival that is taking place is the Procession of the Holy Blood. Celebrated in Belgium, the event takes place forty days after Easter on Ascension Day. The streets of Bruges are quite literally filled with a procession of the Holy Blood. Thousands of religious leaders and locals alike walk through the Belgium city holding a vial of blood, said to be the blood of Jesus Christ. Some dress in robes, while others adorn costumes representing Biblical scenes. While this may be unusual, the locals have been doing this since the 13th century. It holds so much significance that the Procession of the Holy Blood has UNESCO World Heritage status – as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The festivities for 2021 are scheduled to occur on the 13May, along the Dijver Canal – from 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm.
Since its inception in 2005, Tomorrowland has become of the world’s most popular electronic music festivals. Taking place over two weekends, the event invites the world’s best DJs and artists to perform on stages designed to leave people in awe, with incredible decorations and theatrical firework displays. Tickets to one of Europe’s most sought after festivals naturally sell out fast. Since the 2020 event was cancelled, tickets were transferred over to the 2021 edition, which is set to take place in Boom, Belgium, over the weekends of 16-18 July, and 23-25 July. This will be the festival’s 16th edition, and it promises to come back bigger and better than ever.
Trooping of The Color
This is a ceremonial tradition performed by regiments of the British and Commonwealth armies since the 17th century. Although its roots go back much earlier, the Trooping of the Color is a military parade that has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign for over 260 years. Drawing thousands of spectators, a key part of the tradition is the royal family’s balcony appearance. In fact, it is easily the most significant event in the royal calendar. This year’s Trooping of the Color for the Queen’s Birthday Parade is set to take place on Saturday, 12 June 2021.
Many festivals and celebrations across the globe are still up in the air, with no knowing whether they will happen due to the pandemic’s volatility. Events like Burning Man have yet to confirm dates, while Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival have set provisional dates but have yet to confirm either.
As the year goes, on we are likely to find out for definite whether other festivals across the globe will take place or whether they will be postponed until the pandemic has subsided.