Music and travel go hand in hand – all the best people love both. It’s amazing how a specific tune can take you back to a place in time and awaken all the senses you felt at that particular place in time. Popular travel tunes often include something by Jack Johnson, Bob Marley, Men at Work with Down Under – anyone who’s been to Oz will have great memories of that particular one – and a bit of Toto with Africa. Whatever your top travel tune is, chances are some of the best moments of your gap year will be tied up in music and all those memories will come flooding back in years to come when you’re old and grey and listening to music perched on your hoverboard.
When it comes to gap year nightlife: the best part of any destination is being able to hear your favourite tunes really, really loud. And another ‘best part’ is the people you meet. Go to a club playing your kind of music and you’re bound to meet some like-minded people who, chances are you’ll get on with well in other aspects of your life. Remember, music means friends.
Across the world there are bar crawls and party tours with music at their heart. Join one of these in a new, or familiar, destination and you’ll meet new people and see a place from a different perspective.
There are the big parties like the Full Moon Party in Thailand and the raves on Goa Beach that will always be popular with gappers. Then there are the small impromptu celebrations that just happen and are just as memorable and all the more unique. Enjoy and revel in both!
Gap Years and Music
If you class yourself as a music lover you can easily incorporate your passion into your gap year with our help. We have teaching music projects in the likes of New Zealand, the USA and Latin America. It’s the perfect way to flex your mad music skills with the joy of discovering a new way of life and culture.
Anyone who’s a dab hand at playing an instrument can also make money with the skill on their gap year. Bars and clubs are always looking for new and exciting entertainers to keep their crowds happy. If you’ve lugged your guitar halfway across the world you may as well make some money or beers out of it. Knowing how to play a musical instrument is also a great way to attract the opposite sex, what on this earth is sexier than someone who knows how to use their lips and/or fingers well?
If you don’t yet have the skills to play an instrument, let alone teach it, a gap year is the perfect time to learn. There's no better way to understand how to wiggle your finger tips around some chords than on a beach in Australia. Or you could splash out on a ukulele and really have a skill to show off about when you get home. And don’t even mention the possibilities out there once you have a passion for a harmonica...
Check out what the gappers are saying about music and gap yearson our message boards.
Festivals and Travel
Festivals are a huge part of travelling. Hit Brazil when the Carnival is on, India at Holi or Malaysia for one of their many crazy festivals and you’ll understand why they’re so popular. They’re fun, crazy and OTT, just the way life should be. When you’re planning your trip it’s worth a quick search to see if there are any good festivals on for you to check out that you can fit in. Festivals like Burning Man, Songkran, Pamplona Running of the Bulls, Glastonbury or Rio Carnival can give you a once in a lifetime experience that's truly unique from anything your friends have ever done before.
Whether you like music festivals, food festivals, crazy festivals or just enjoy having a chilled one with a few like minded people there are literally hundreds around the world to enjoy. If you want to travel to a destination specifically for a festival there are some awesome companies that offer the opportunity to do just that too.
We’ve got a list of the top Festivals in the USA, European Festivals and Festivals in Croatia to get you in the festival mood. For a true hedonistic escape pack up your tent, slap on the neon paint and don those welly boots (if it’s a festival in the UK that is) you’re in for a crazy time.
Top Music Destinations
Everywhere in the world has some sort of music scene, but there are just some popular gap year destinations that are way more notorious than others. If you're planning on making your gap year more music related than anything, you need to check out the following top 10 to sure that music wanderlust...
1. Austin, Texas
From the October Austin City Limits Festival to the famous Stubb’s BBQ in the centre, Austin is a top 10 destination for music lovers. This is before we even count the annual March SXSW festival. Live music is everywhere from clubs, coffeehouses, grocery stores right through to taquerias – you never know who you might see pop up at Whole Foods.
2. Nashville, Tennessee
Well-known as Music City, Nashville is home to the country music movement of the USA. The houses are quaint, the music varied and everyone from Taylor Swift to Keith Urban has done a gig or ten here. Check out the nearby Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester nearby if you’re in the area.
3. New Orleans, Louisiana
Last one on the USA list, promise. The New Orleans Jazzfest is well worth the venture out there in late April, the city has been home to all the greats from Fats Domino to Louis Armstrong through to Lil Wayne. Music is a way of life here and ingrained on the traditions. Hit the music clubs, learn about the history and take a Cajun dance class to really get in the spirit.
4. Havana, Cuba
Oh Havana, how fascinating you are to us. Since the Buena Vista Social Club bought the smooth sounds of Guantanamera to our ears the Cuban music scene has been firmly planted in our minds. Salsa is played in all the bars, if not, you’re in the wrong place. Rumba and Latin jazz are also extremely popular and there’ll be plenty of opportunity to shake your hips with a Havana Club rum in your hand.
5. Vienna, Austria
If you’re more into your Mozart than your rumba or hip hop you should head to Vienna for a music-themed gap year. More famous composers have lived there than in any other city. There’s plenty of music on offer throughout the city’s tens of concert halls, stages and festivals – there’s also a great jazz scene, if that’s more your cup of tea.
6. London, England
London was home to the punk scene, the rock scene and the drum n bass movement. As a world melting pot, what London doesn’t know about music around the world just isn’t known. Between the hundreds of cultures here many different music types are spawned. There are hundreds of awesome music venues here as well as famous spots like the Abbey Road crossing, Freddie Mercury’s home and Camden, home of Amy Winehouse among others.
7. Ibiza, Spain
Anyone into their minimal techno or general dance music will find their music home on the white isle of Ibiza. With clubs like Space, DC10, Pacha and Amnesia ready to welcome you and your euros you can party the summer away with the most hardcore of all the ravers. By day you can chill out on the beach, or go nuts on the boat parties, up to you.
8. Berlin, Germany
Another one for ravers; Berlin’s Watergate and Berghain are renowned the world over for their strict door policies and crazy nights out. If you’re more into your rock music head to White Trash Fast Food to enjoy some 50s retro, rockabilly and punk sounds. And the coolest kids should head to Trust, where you order your vodka by the jar...
9. Kingston, Jamaica
Wherever you travel I can guarantee that Bob Marley will have some sort of presence – his popularity the world over is amazing. Nowhere is this more prevalent that in his birth country of Jamaica, you’ll see his face, everywhere. The reggae scene is thriving here, so make sure you get yourself out to some clubs to experience it at full force.
10. Tokyo, Japan
Karaoke! You can’t visit Tokyo without having a go in one of their karaoke booths, thems the rules. It’s amazing how popular they are there so make like the film Lost in Translation and get stuck in.
Dance clubs are still really popular and always do a check to see if there are any festivals happening while you’re there, thanks to their kookiness they’re always pretty awesome.