You might have missed the boat for the Rio Carnival but don’t panic — 2008 is packed with plenty of other exciting excuses to party.

South by Southwest (SXSW)

When: March 12-16

Where: Austin, Texas

One of the largest and coolest music festivals in the U.S., more than 2,000 bands descend on 70 venues in Austin. 2008’s lineup includes REM, The Kills, Nortec, Robyn and My Morning Jacket. Lou Reed will be one of the conference speakers.

Montreux Jazz Festival

When: July 4-19

Where: Montreux, Switzerland


This civilized music festival features artists who are innovators in other genres. Last year’s mixed lineup included Motorhead, Youssou N’Dour, Norah Jones, Prince, Jeff Beck, Beenie Man, Van Morrison and the Beastie Boys.

Edinburgh International Festival

When: Aug. 8-31

Where: Edinburgh, Scotland


An amazing celebration of the arts, the finest talent in opera, theatre, music, and dance from around the world come to Scotland to perform well-loved shows and debut performances at this prestigious cultural festival.

Notting Hill Carnival

When: Aug. 23-25

Where: Notting Hill, London, England

It’s not quite the Rio event, but 150,000 feather plumes and 30 million sequins are invested in this annual celebration. More than two million partygoers will eat one ton of rice and peas and drink 25,000 bottles of rum. As well as the parade, there are countless parties with steel bands.

Burning Man

When: Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Where: Black Rock Desert, Nevada


One of the wildest festivals of the year, tens of thousands of participants descend on the Black Rock Desert of Nevada to create Black Rock City, a utopia dedicated to art, sustainability and self-expression. More than 48,000 people get together to build sculptures, hold performances, throw parties, exchange experimental ideas and create a community.

Munich Oktoberfest

When: Sept. 20 – Oct .5

Where: Munich, Germany


More than six million litres of lager and 104 oxen will be consumed during this two-week Bavarian festival of the amber nectar. “Tastings” of German’s finest beers are held in nine tents, with revellers in lederhosen drinking from one-litre beer steins and dancing to oompah bands.