Music often feels like a close friend giving you a comforting hug. No wonder Shakespeare once said, “If music be the food of love, play on.” And there’s no better opportunity to experience this ‘food of love’ than in a music festival in Asia. Be it Arunachal’s Ziro Festival of Music, Indonesia’s Pasar Musik, South Korea’s Seoul Jazz festival or the global Lollapalooza in India this time, Asia has been home to some exceptionally satisfying music festivals in the world that continue to make a mark every year, and 2023 already looks packed.
With talented artists piecing live songs together for hours, the annual music festivals in Asia are every music lover’s dream. There’s also an added benefit if the event isn’t in your hometown as you get a combined experience of backpacking to a new location for attending the fest. So get ready to make the upcoming 2023 memorable – scream your lungs out at Wavy Baby Music Festival in Cebu, make new friends at Lollapalooza in Mumbai, bang heads at Rolling Loud in Thailand or attend It’s The Ship while cruising in Singapore.
Not to forget the dazzling line up of incredibly talented artists including Post Malone, Pink Sweats, Imagine Dragons, BamBam, Cigarettes After Sex, Divine, AP Dhillon and Prateek Kuhad. With a plethora of music across genres including R&B, jazz, rock, hip-hop, rap and K-pop, the upcoming music fests in Asia surely have something tailor-made for everyone. And to help you select the ‘perfect one’ to go dance your heart out at, we have listed the top ones in Asia in the upcoming year. So tag along and get hooked.
Head on to these must-visit music festivals in Asia in 2023
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Dates: 13 and 14 January
Venue: Marreco Lot (Beside Bai Hotel), North Reclamation Area (NRA), Mandaue City
BUY : Organised by the Filipino singer-songwriter James Reid’s label Careless Music, this music festival will let you groove to some stylish R&B and K-pop hits in 2023. Headlining the event are Pink Sweats, Sunmi and BamBam, while their line-up includes James Reid, A-Team, SOS and ISSA.
(Image credit: wavybabyfest/Instagram)
Dates: 28 and 29 January
Venue: Mahalaxmi Race Course, Mumbai
About the event: With over 40 artists spanning a wide variety of sound mixes, styles and eras, Lollapalooza is finally taking over India’s city of dreams in 2023. Some of the standouts from their lineup include Cigarettes After Sex, Imagine Dragons, Divine, The Strokes, AP Dhillon, Zhu, Greta van Fleet, Prateek Kuhad and Diplo. The global touring festival, founded by American singer-songwriter Perry Farrell and has been pulling in festival goers since 1991.
(Italian rock band Måneskin performing live in Lollapalooza 2022 in Chicago. Image credit: lollapalooza/Twitter)
Dates: 10 – 12 February
Venue: Gambir Expo, Kemayoran, Jakarta
About the event: Indonesia’s happiest music fest is all set to make 2023 memorable with its diversified local music scene. The festival is a celebration that invites music lovers to gather and enjoy the unique arrangements from the Indonesian creative industry. So if you wish to explore genres like hip-hop and rock, you know where to be. Some standouts of their starry music lineup include Abbydzar, The Jansen, Debu, BAP and Barasuara.
(Image credit: festivalpasarmusik/Instagram)
Dates: 3 – 5 March
Venue: Central Harbourfront Event Space
About the event: Considered one of the best music and art festivals in Hong Kong, Clockenflap is a platform that lets fans indulge in acts presented by both experts as well as new artists. Their 2023 lineup is aiming for great music with rock legends including Arctic Monkeys, Phoenix, Kings of Convenience, Korean hip-hop group Balming Tiger and Moderat. An added bonus is the release of their limited early bird tickets available until 22 December 2022.
(Wolf Alice performing in the 2018 Clockenflap festival in Hong Kong. Image credit: Clockenflap/Clockenflap)
Dates: 4 and 5 March
Venue: Gambir Expo, Kemayoran, Jakarta
About the event: With Everblast festival returning after the two-year pandemic break, Indonesia seems like a great place to backpack to in 2023. The event is promoted by Akselerasi Entertainment, the creator of the biggest 90s-era annual music festival in Indonesia. Standouts from the Everblast festival lineup include Simple Plan, Hoobastank, Letto, J-Rocks, The Upstairs, Garasi and Saint Loco.
(Image credit: Everblast festival/Facebook)
Dates: 8 – 10 March
Venue: Genting Dream
About the event: One of Asia’s largest music festivals is back to rock the sea in the ‘Lion City’. The unmissable ship festival spanning three days and two nights will surely turn out to be filled with more fun with people onboard the beautiful Genting Dream — a cruise ship of Resorts World Cruises. Headliners of the festival include Djrosh, Nahsyk, Inquisitive, Soundrush and Bass Agents.
(Image credit: itstheship/Instagram)
Dates: 13 – 15 April
Venue: Legend Siam, Pattaya
About the event: It’s in 2023, that Thailand is going to host the first-ever Rolling Loud in Asia. So if you want to witness Travis Scott live in Asia next Spring, you know where to be. Other big names in their Thailand lineup of 60+ Hip-Hop acts across three days on two stages include Megan Thee Stallion and Post Malone. After all, one wouldn’t expect anything less from the one of the largest and the most electrifying hip-hop festivals in the world.
(Image credit: rollingloud/Instagram)
Dates: 26 – 28 May
Venue: Olympic Park (KSPO Dome, SK Handball Gym, Lakeside Avenue)
About the event: One of the most glorious Jazz music festivals in South Korea is finally returning in 2023 with its 15th anniversary. This annual event mostly spans across two or three days and has famous jazz artists from all around the world. The lineup for the upcoming year is yet to be announced but we are sure you will sway throughout the performances while sipping your favourite beer.
(Image credit: Seoul Jazz Festival (서울재즈페스티벌)/Twitter)
Dates: 15 – 30 July
Venue: George Town, Penang
About the event: Hosted in the colourful UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Malaysian island of Penang, this is one of the best music festivals of South East Asia. More so because George Town festival isn’t just limited to good music but also focuses on drama, photography, culture, theatre and art.
(Image credit: georgetownfestival/Instagram)