Ecca Vandal Gives an Insider Take on the Best Festivals Across the Globe
festival guide

Rapper and punk rocker Ecca Vandal is one of the most innovative and dynamic artists in Australia.

Born in South Africa to Sri Lankan refugees, Vandal and her family moved to Australia in her early years, and her story has informed the content and style of her work ever since. Vandal’s music videos often feature downtrodden areas of Sydney, thrusting into the limelight a side of Australia we rarely see. Collaborating with other female artists of color, Vandal elevates those underrepresented in the music scene down under.

Musically, her punk inspired rap-rock is impossible to ignore, as Vandal makes clear she’s not afraid to push listeners outside their comfort zone. While catchy and engrossing, those willing to push their sonic limits are rewarded with a sound like nothing else.

With such a strong vision, Vandal is in high demand both in Australia and abroad. She’s traveled the world, performing and attending all manner of festivals. Below, she provides insights on some of her favorite events around the world. Read on to get the scoop, and make sure to check out Vandal’s video for “Your Orbit” (ft Sampa the Great).

This is Not A Love Song –  Nîmes, France

Easily my favourite experience playing at a festival so far. It was my very first show in France and it totally exceeded my expectations. Being our first play in the country, coupled with our set time being at the exact same time as French darlings Phoenix, naturally I thought everyone would be at their show, but I was totally wrong. The crowd was super charged and it ended up being mayhem. The French really know how to party and let go. So much energy!

The line up was also ridiculously good: Beck, Vince Staples, and Father John Misty to name a few. A beautifully done festival that celebrates alternative music.

Dark Mofo – Tasmania, Australia

A super cool art, music, and food culture festival held in Tasmania in the thick of winter. It gets extremely cold in winter over there, but the weather only adds to the dark, brooding art shows, late-night secret after parties, bloodbath roving performance art, and intimate winter feasts. The food hall is one of my favourites at this festival as it features all the best culinary heroes of Tasmania, all under one roof. Of course, you’ll probably be entertained by a cello/grind metal/yodel band (or something like that) while you enjoy your meal, and might be lucky enough to become the subject of a nude performance piece, but that’s all part of the surprise and wonder of Dark Mofo. The whole city of Hobart is transformed by this incredibly diverse festival and it’s just simply stunning.

Download Festival – Donington, UK

The most epic festival I’ve ever seen. It’s sheer size blew me away!!! The size of the main stage, the enormous crowds and the insanely stacked bill of incredible heavy rock artists. Some legends were there, like Guns N’ Roses, Ozzy Osbourne, Meshuggah right through to rad newer bands like The Fever 333, Puppy, Dead Cross, and Zeal & Ardour.

I felt honoured to play this festival amongst some of the biggest punk rock legends in the world.

Afropunk – Brooklyn, Atlanta, Paris, London, Johannesburg

Very excited to play Afropunk for the first time; I’ll be at the Paris festival in July. I was lucky enough to head to Afropunk last year in Brooklyn, NYC, and it was incredible, which made it high on my list of festivals to play. The main thing that stood out to me was the cross section of genre – heavy music and soul, beats and riffs, punk rock and hip hop. Saw amazing acts like the reformed Bad Brains, Living Colour, Fishbone, Young Fathers, The Internet and Janelle Monae. Also, worth noting that this would have to be the most well dressed festival on the planet. If you’re not into the acts, just go check out the eye candy.

Caribana Festival – Geneva, Switzerland

This site for this festival was gorgeous. It was surrounded by a beautiful lake and the site was so lush and green. It makes a huge difference when the setting for a festival is so picturesque, it helps you to stop and take in your surroundings and be in the moment even more. Kinda exactly what you need when you’re touring and on long hauls driving from one county to another; it’s nice to stop and take in the scenery. The food was the best at this festival, there was a super diverse range of street food – Mexican, Spanish, American BBQ, and Italian. The stages and production at this site are next level, too. Worth checking out!