The Best Fall Festivals to Liven Up the Season
From Telluride to Tokyo, our global guide to the upcoming events worth traveling for.
Telluride Film Festival
When: September 4–7
Where: Colorado Over Labor Day weekend, the sleepy mountain town comes to life. The lineup remains under wraps, but the prestigious festival has premiered such masterworks as Mulholland Drive and The Crying Game.
Oasis Music Festival
When: September 11–13
Where: Marrakesh Morocco explores the world of electronic dance music with this festival at the Fellah Hotel. Big-name DJs on the lineup include Nicole Moudaber, Adriatique, and Guy Gerber.
World Indigenous Games
When: September 18–25
Where: Brazil The first ever World Indigenous Games, held in Palmas, is open to athletes throughout the world. More than 2,000 participants from indigenous cultures in more than 30 countries will compete in activities ranging from competitive football and archery to demonstrations “that showcase living heritage,” like xikunahity, a soccer-like game where the ball is only controlled with one’s head.
London Design Festival
When: September 19–27
Where: London More than 350 eye-catching events across the city, including a piece at the V&A titled Ogham Wall—shifting metal panels visitors walk through, done in partnership with Irish Design 2015.
When: September 25–27
Where: Atlanta The sister festival of Belgium’s legendary EDM fest launches Tomorrow’s Table, which encompasses a sit-down restaurant, takeaway picnic basket service, and one-night-only dinner overlooking the Main Stage, where a lucky few will watch as Top Chef finalist Kevin Gillespie whips up Southern dishes to the live soundtrack of today’s hottest DJs.
When: September 26–December 15 Where: Detroit Philanthropist Gary Wasserman’s arts space in a historic firehouse opens with visual and sound installations.
Centro's New Digs
When: September 29
Where: Mexico City The city’s leading school for film and design unveils its new campus, by Ten Arquitectos’ Enrique Norten. The standout feature for any architecture pilgrim: an exterior wraparound staircase by Mexico-based artist Jan Hendrix.
Cape Town Fringe Festival
When: September 24–October 4
Where: South Africa This festival, now in its second iteration, showcases South African theater, dance, and music at venues (like the V&A Waterfront) throughout the city.
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
When: October 3–11
Where: New Mexico Some 750,000 people flock to Albuquerque for the chance to witness hundreds of colorful hot air balloons float over the Sandia Mountains during the world’s largest festival of its kind.
When: October 9
Where: Copenhagen Museums and libraries stay open late, while special tours offer entrance to typically hidden medieval dungeons and defunct churches.
When: October 9
Where: Connecticut Pritzker Prize-winning firm SANAA (also behind Manhattan’s New Museum) was tapped for a follow-up to Philip Johnson’s famous Glass House, in New Canaan. Grace Farms is a 86,000-square-foot glass-enclosed contemporary art space in the woods. Works have been commissioned from leading artists like Olafur Eliasson, Thomas Demand, and Susan Philipsz.
Tsukiji Autumn Festival
When: October 11-12
Where: Tokyo Locals rarely miss this lively annual showcase, when fish markets from around Japan—Hokkaido, Tohoku, Hokuriku, Cugoku, Shikoku, Kyushu, and more—gather at Tokyo’s storied Tsukiji to set up food stalls and sell fresh produce and draught beer. This is likely the last time it will be held at Tsukiji’s original location, before the famed market moves.
When: October 30–31
Where: Kentucky The Breeders’ Cup is right up there with the Derby, Preakness, and Oaks, those thoroughbred horseracing heavy-hitters. Multiple races are held throughout the two-day event—held this year at Keeneland, in Lexington—including the high-stakes Breeders’ Cup Classic. All eyes are Triple Crown winner American Pharoah as he runs for the cup in an attempt to become the first horse in history to complete a Grand Slam.
To view the Travel and Leisure's full events calendar, visit TravelandLeisure.com.