Stubbed toes, wine without cheese, and Friends without the theme tune.
From Edinburgh to Auckland, our STA Travel staff discuss their favorite festivals, go-to hometown music venues, and road trip guilty pleasures.
Tania Gasnier, Head Designer, STA Travel New Zealand
The windows are down, no one can hear, I’m on a road trip listening to… ‘So Damn Funky’ by Codes, with my speakers would be almost blowing from the bass.
The song that always takes me back is… ‘Africa’ by Toto and ‘Another Day in Paradise’ by Phil Collins make me nostalgic for being on safari in Kenya and Tanzania. My heart squeezes when I hear them, and I’m filled with a longing to go back.
Travel without music would feel like… Wine without cheese. I always make a playlist to relate to the location I’m travelling, whether it be laid back island vibes or something to help me power up a mountain.
Favorite festival at home: Fritter Festival, Whangarei. A festival where local restaurants compete to create the best fritter. Great food, great Kiwi bands. Food is as important to me as travel is!
Favorite festival to travel to: Bluesfest in Byron Bay, Australia. A 3-day long festival celebrating blues and roots music. Such a feel-good vibe. Good tunes, camping, and loads of shenanigans.
Emma Neely, Marketing Exec, STA Travel USA
Travel without music would feel like… Bread without butter or oil or cheese or any of the good stuff. Still good, but kind of dry.
Go-to venue for live music: Chicago has so many great music venues, from the legendary Wrigley Field to packing a picnic to listen to music at Ravinia Festival and Huntington Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island right on the waters of Lake Michigan.
Favorite festival at home: While Chicago might be best known for Lollapalooza, Riot Fest, North Coast and Pitchfork… their newest country festival Windy City Smoke-out is by far my favorite. Not only can you listen to some of the latest acts out of Nashville, but you can do so while sampling the nation’s best BBQ.
In 2021, I’ll be at… Country Thunder in Arizona. It’s basically a 4-day long tailgate. Hell yeah! Nothing beats tent camping, taking pics for the ‘gram to show off your country gear and drinking one too many beers all while listening to good ‘ol country music. Bonus: each day of the festival has a theme to dress up to.
Ibtisaam Ganief, Online Marketing Exec, STA Travel South Africa
Travel without music would feel like… really sad! Imagine not vibing to some deep house or twerking to some Diplo and Major Lazer.
The windows are down, no one can hear, I’m on a road trip listening to… I can hit all Shakira’s notes. Waka Waka eh eh!
Go-to venue for live music: In Cape Town, I like the setup at Shimmy Beach Club and the vibes at the outdoor parties at Hillcrest Quarry.
Favorite festival at home: I love Origin Festival in Heldrestroom. It’s a weekend long psychedelic music and arts festival. Everything about it just feels right. When I’m there, I feel one with people and my surroundings.
In 2021 I’ll be at… Rocking the Daisies. I went for the first time last year and saw Sho Madjozi, Biggie and Russ live.
Renee Yiannakis, Digital Trading Manager, STA Travel Australia
Travel without music would feel like… Not being able to tell a good story well. The context is there, but the engagement and curiosity has lost me.
The windows are down, no one can hear, I’m on a road trip listening to… Lenny Kravitz ‘Fly Away’, The Weeknd ‘Blinding Lights’, ‘It’s My Life’ Talk Talk, ‘Mother’s Daughter’ Miley Cyrus.
The tunes that saved me in lockdown: You don’t know what date it is and let’s be frank, your mood changes daily, so my go-to playlist is a mixed of all different genres. Some days when I want to unwind, I’ll listen to chill tracks from Michael Kiwanuka, Grace Jones and Massive Attack, and when I’m feeling more energetic, I’ll listen to Tensnake, Azari & III, The Weeknd and New Order. I also love listening to Greek music. There’s something about the tunes that are so dreamy and reminds me of summers spent on the islands.
Go-to venue for live music: Melbourne has so many live music venues. I love the Forum because of its gothic architecture and its heritage hosting iconic Australian and world-class acts.
Helen Daglish, Social Media Exec, STA Travel UK
The song that always takes me back is… Alt-J’s first album ‘An Awesome Wave’ always takes me back to my trip to Bali in 2016. It’s such a chilled-out album and I feel so nostalgic listening to it now.
The windows are down, no one can hear, I’m on a road trip listening to… Finley Quaye ‘Sunday Shining’. It’s the ultimate summer road trip tune!
The tunes that saved me in lockdown: Most of lockdown has been spent working from home, so I’ve been listening to music that won’t distract me too much. My go-to playlist has been ‘Electronic Concentration’ – good beats and no lyrics. Four Tet, Bonobo and Tokyo Prose.
In 2021 I’ll be at… I’d love to go to one of the summer music festivals in Croatia. Either Dimensions, Outlook or Hideout. And of course, Notting Hill Carnival next August in London. The best street party EVER.
Ben McCabe, Store Manager, STA Travel Cavendish South Africa
The song that always takes me back: Junior Jack, Tube & Berger ‘E Samba 2018’. It takes me right back to Ibiza, and the amazing European summer, partying at O Beach Club and Pacha with my mates.
The windows are down, no one can hear, I’m on a road trip listening to… Rufus Du Sol ‘No Place’.
Favorite festival at home: My favorite live music venue is Kirstenbosch… summer concerts are always a vibe! Second favorite home festival hands-down would be Rocking the Daisies, it always brings really big international artists.
Favorite festival to travel to: NOS Primavera in Portugal, Mad Cool in Madrid or Glastonbury in the UK.
Benjamin Foster, B2B/Groups Manager, STA Travel New Zealand
Travel without music would feel like… stubbing your little toe every day, forever.
The windows are down, no one can hear, I’m on a road trip listening to… ‘Ironic’ Alanis Morissette.
The tunes that saved me in lockdown: Anything by Ludovico Einaudi.
Go-to venue for live music: Neck of The Woods in Auckland.
Favorite festival at home: Laneways in Auckland. Usually a good line up and close to home.
Favorite festival to travel to: Holi Moo Festival in Delhi. Amazing vibes, super colorful and everyone is so happy!
Dale Badenhorst, Junior Online Marketing Exec, STA Travel South Africa
Travel without music would feel like… The bathroom without your phone. Sure, there are other things to keep you entertained, but it’s just not the same.
Go-to venue for live music: For live band action, Nomad Bistro in Cape Town. Small little place in a side street where you just follow the sounds of the music to reach the ‘all you can eat’ BBQ ribs. Oh and yes, the music is good too.
The windows are down, no one can hear, I’m on a road trip listening to… River Becomes Ocean ‘Addicted’, ‘Burn it down’ Silverstein, ‘All I Want’ by A Day To Remember, ‘Filthy’ by WSTR, and ‘Medicate’ by Theory of Deadman.
The tunes that saved me in lockdown: Lo-Fi Hip Hop, Pop Punk playlists and smooth morning jazz. A mixture to keep you going.
Louisa McFadden, Store Manager, STA Travel Wellington New Zealand
The windows are down, no one can hear, I’m on a road trip listening to… Shania Twain ‘Man I feel like a woman’ or ‘Mr Brightside’ by the The Killers.
Travel without music would feel like… Friends with no theme tune.
Go-to venue for live music: I’m from Scotland, so LOVED going to the Edinburgh Fringe for all the different music genres or The Hydro in Glasgow.
Favorite festival to travel to: Tomorrowland, it is like no other experience I’ve ever had!
In 2021, I’ll be at… I’d LOVE to go to Coachella or Glastonbury.