For Music lovers considering a vacation that inspires, motivates and immerses, we’ve put together a short list of possible travel vacation destinations. From the rhythmic beat of a nightclub, the lilting melody of a traditional folk song, an indie concert, contemporary jazz to classical virtuoso, these destinations for music lovers come from around the world and include places where music originated from and where musicians are continually inspired.
One of the most popular destinations for music lovers of the Beatles, who in the 1960s began what was to be a musical revolution, is Liverpool. John, Paul, George and Ringo were all Liverpool lads and the city is now considered by many to be the capital of pop music. There is an International Beatleweek in August and various tours available so fans can travel to see the Fab Four’s former homes as well as Strawberry Field and Eleanor Rigby’s grave. Have a drink at the Cavern Club and stay to hear some of the live music that is on every day. The Liverpool International Musical Festival in July at the Echo Arena is also worth a visit to see watch a band booked during your vacation.
San Francisco, California, USA
The psychedelic sounds of the late 1960s grew from San Francisco’s counterculture movement spread rapidly, so making San Francisco the most popular of destinations for music lovers in the USA at the time. Many well known musicians began their musical careers here, including Janis Joplin, the Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead. There are many venues in the city where you can catch some music, and The Fillmore continues as a music venue, hosting great musicians today. When in San Francisco, be sure to visit Amoeba Music, a live music venue and one of the most impressive record stores you will have ever seen.
Many of us were introduced to music of Cuba by Ry Cooder and his 1999 album and documentary - Buena Vista Social Club. Travel to Havana for more of the same, along with Latin Jazz, timba and rumba which can be heard in the city’s streets and bars. One of the best destinations for music lovers on the island is Rosada in Marianao. Alternatively, join an organised tour such as Jazz in Havana which allows visitors to experience the country’s music, with the opportunity to meet some of the musicians and composers.
Trinidad and Tobago
Not only a tropical vacation spot, but also the home of Soca, a combination of calypso, funk and soul. The International Soca Monarch Competition includes local artists. Steel-pan is also rooted here and used in Carnival celebrations. At the biggest event of the year, the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival held at the end of February, everyone, including tourists, are invited to participate.
Known as the City of Music, this is one of the best destinations for music lovers of classical music, with many of the giants of this genre having lived or made music here, including Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Strauss, Mahler, Haydn and Schubert. Vienna has the opera, a magnificent philharmonic orchestra, and the incredible boys’ choir, though there are no concerts in August. In its place is a free musical experience at twilight in the park in front of the City Hall where a 60 foot wide screen shows a filmed performance of the Vienna State Opera. An annual performance season runs from September to June, along with nine other annual festivals, one-off performances and special events. If you can, watch the Vienna Philharmonic at the Wiener Konzerthaus.
The heart of British music for decades, London is full of talented young musicians who are generating an entirely new sound. Travel from Camden to Soho and Shoreditch and music will greet you in England’s capital, no matter what sound you are into, in an eclectic mix of clubs, traditional pubs and massive arenas that have played host to some of the most renowned music acts in the world.
New Orleans, Lousiana
American jazz was born here and the region has been shaped by Louis Armstrong and Fats Domino, as well as more recent greats such as Harry Connick, Jr. and Wynton Marsalis to create a melting-pot of musical talent. Forget strolling the bars in the French Quarter for music, and go to Frenchman Street instead, where there are several clubs hosting live music every night of the week. Time your vacation to take in the New Orleans Jazz Festival in late April/early May, a seven-day music extravaganza taking place over two weekends that has a variety of musical genres playing across 10 different stages. Alternatively, book your stay to coincide with the city’s annual New World Rhythms Festival or Mardi Gras. The original New Orleans-style jazz can still be heard at Preservation Hall.