STORIES

Best Events Around the World for May 2019

By David Jenison on May 6, 2019

At some point in this weird world of ours, the Married Mistress and Monogamous Male Association declared that May is now Date Your Mate Month. We have no idea what that means, but the final full month of spring is certainly the perfect time to grab a mate and hit up one of these amazing events taking place around the world.


Hall of Flowers
Santa Rosa, California
April 30 to May 1

If you are in the cannabis trade, Hall of Flowers is one of the top industry-only events aimed at facilitating business between the premium producers and companies. Brands participating in this B2B trade show include mood33CalivaVerticalWillie's ReserveLoudpackKivaCresco LabsBeboeLowell HerbHeavy HittersFlavPuffcoCannaCraftVangstLeafLinkKurvanaFuturolaCanndescentPapa & BarkleyHeadsetIgniteSOL Distro and Green Tank Technologies, among many others.


Lost and Found Festival
Malta
May 2 to 5

Malta is a 122-square-mile island nation and archipelago nestled in the Mediterranean between Sicily and Libya, and Hollywood directors love to make films here (e.g., TroyPapillonWorld War ZCaptain Phillips, etc.). Now add a motherfuckin' music festival, and you've got spring magic! DJ Annie Mac produces this four-day fest with castle raves and pool/beach/boat parties featuring artists like Little Gay Brother, the Black Madonna, Peggy Gou, Moxie, Bugzy Malone, Horse Meat Disco and many more.


The Masked Ball
Porthleven, United Kingdom
May 3 to 5

On most weekends, Porthleven is a sleepy Cornish town on the far southwestern tip of England, and this seaside isolation makes it the perfect place to get freaky. The Masked Ball, which also takes place on Halloween and New Year's Eve, is a debaucherous costume party described as "ballers all dressed to excess in a venue carved out of the cliffs overlooking the stunning Mount's Bay." Sure, the use of the word "ballers" makes 'em sound like total Biebers, but the event gets bonus points for allowing guests to bring their own alcohol. Plus, the spring ball's music lineup includes Optimo, Psychemagik, DJ Format and party regulars King Louis & Dance Armstrong, among others.


Just Like Heaven
Long Beach, California
May 3 and 4

The LBC is on the up as evidenced by this one-day festival (the same lineup on back-to-back days) at Queen Mary Park. The long list of music acts includes Peter Bjorn and John, MGMT, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Ra Ra Riot, Phoenix, the Rapture, Grizzly Bear, the Faint, Shiny Toy Guns and Beach House, among others. The event is produced by Goldenvoice (Coachella), an event company that's apparently named after a cannabis strain.


MardiGrass
Nimbin, Australia
May 3 to 5

Nimbin, a village in southeast Australia, hosted its first cannabis rally and gathering in 1993. A quarter century later, MardiGrass is an annual three-day event to educate and celebrate all things cannabis. Activities include a hemp fashion show, "stoner stand up" comedy, Pot Art Contest, High As Mike documentary, the Hemp Olympix and burlesque performances by the Ganja Faeries. There's even a Great Green Cabaret with acrobatics, presumably while stoned. What could go wrong?


Cinco de Mayo
Tulum, Mexico
May 5

Each year on May 5th, Mexico celebrates its surprise 1862 victory over the French army in the Battle of Puebla. Several U.S. cities also celebrate Cinco de Mayo with parties, but why not head to Mexico for the party this year, which happens to fall on a weekend. The U.S. arguably parties harder on Cinco de Mayo than Mexico does, and the traditional celebration takes place in Puebla, but Tulum on the Yucatan Peninsula is the go-to town to celebrate with its white-sand Caribbean beaches, Mayan ruins, underground dive caves (ceynotes), a lively party scene and trendy restaurants like Hartwood and Gitano. (Those who prefer a colonial-era town in the central highlands should head to equally trendy San Miguel de Allende.)


Psilocybin Mushroom Initiative
Denver, Colorado
May 7

In a symbolic vote, Denver residents voted to legalize recreational cannabis in 2005, making it the first U.S. city to do so. This month, the Mile High City has a chance to make history again with Initiated Ordinance 301, a citizen-driven initiative to decriminalize the use and possession of mushrooms containing the psychedelic compound psilocybin. If the initiative passes at the ballot box, it would make Denver the first U.S. city to halt the prosecution of individuals caught with magic mushrooms. Jeff Hunt, director of Colorado Christian University's Centennial Institute, strongly opposes the measure because, well, this is his idea of fun.


The Dreamery
Los Angeles
May 9 and 10

PRØ faves Disco Dining Club and Nice Paper join forces for a night of "AmeriCANNA-inspired" candy shoppe feasting. The 75-person event, featuring the same program each night, "marries decadent sweets with bountiful weed in a dreamlike setting reminiscent of cotton candy-coated, childhood fantasies." This is a marriage with no divorce in sight, and it includes all manner of edibles, ice cream, cocktails, cakes and sweet-tasting flower. Keto zealots need not apply.


Shakti Fest
Joshua Tree, California
May 9 to 13

Many Americans (especially on the west coast) have an obsession with Hindu spirituality, and Shakti Fest is their Woodstock. The event naturally includes music, described as "the best Kirtan (a.k.a. chanting) artists on the sacred music scene," and features MC Yogi, Jai Uttal, Bhagavan Das and the brilliantly named Wicked Hanging Chads. Personally, I'll take a pass on this one, but if alcohol- and cannabis-free yoga, meditation, sound baths, emotional growth workshops, healing sanctuaries and meatless dinners are your bag, head to the Mojave Desert and "celebrate the divine feminine in all of us."


FORM
Arcosanti, Arizona
May 10 to 12

In 1970, Italian-American architect Paolo Soleri started building a prototype town called Arcosanti about 70 miles north of Phoenix. George Lucas visited early in the process, and the desert designs inspired the look of Luke Skywalker's home planet, Tatooine, in Star Wars. Decades later, the band Hundred Waters came to Arcosanti with the intent to launch The Moon Rang Like A Bell album, but the band launched the annual FORM festival instead, which seeks to epitomize the town's progressive vibes and spirit. This year's three-day event includes performances by Florence + the Machine, Pussy Riot, Skrillex and others, as well as talks, panels and programs featuring organizations like Black Lives Matter and the International Rescue Committee. Arizona really needs to legalize recreational cannabis, but it'll probably feel like it already has in the Arcosanti campsites. Check out the event trailer here.


Mendocino Coast Forage & Ferment Experience
Little River, California
May 10 to 12

For the food nerds who understand we're not talking psychedelics or cannabis infusions here, the second-annual Mendocino Coast Forage & Ferment Experience is all about locally sourced sea and forest edibles. The event takes place at the Little River Inn, a Victorian-style hotel built in 1853 on the Pacific Ocean, and it's been in the same family for five generations. All 65 rooms feature an ocean view, and the inn itself is surrounded by hundreds of acres of forest. This makes it a perfect setting for the two-night experience, which includes cooking demonstrations, foraging expeditions and ocean sourcing for seafood and edible seaweed. All this makes for serious bragging rights among the foodie fanatics. Plus, you can always ask the experts, "How do I forage the other types of mushrooms?"


Whole Earth Festival
Davis, California
May 10 to 12

What better way to celebrate Mother's Day than by celebrating Mother Earth. The annual event turns 50 this year, and while a past event poster shows a couple sitting atop a mushroom, the U.C. Davis event expressly prohibits any psychedelics and cannabis in order to focus on social issues and environment. Nevertheless, U.C. Davis is the school that partnered with Front Range Biosciences to conduct in-depth genomics research into cannabis, and a cloud of cannabis smoke reportedly engulfs the city each year as hippies past and present arrive for the gathering. The free student-run celebration typically draws about 30,000 visitors.


Bay to Breakers Race
San Francisco, California
May 19

The 12-kilometer run (7.5 miles) from the Embarcadero to the Great Highway dates back more than a century to 1912, but it was during San Fran's hippie era in the 1960s that some runners started wearing crazy costumes or even just their birthday suits. Then in 1978, some runners started to form human centipedes via bungee cords. The course will include entertainment like the Church of 8 Wheels, and racers are not allowed to consume alcohol, drugs or cannabis during the run, but the organizers had no problem including cannabis sponsors like Caliva.


BottleRock Napa Valley
Napa Valley, California
May 24 to 26

Northern California is famous for wine, food and smoke, and all three pleasures (two of them officially) come together at the BottleRock festival. This year's music lineup includes Neil Young, Mumford & Sons, Logic, lovelytheband, Juanes, Gary Clark Jr., Cypress Hill, the Regrettes and Gang of Youths, among others. Meanwhile, the culinary lineup includes Morimoto, Bouchon, Meadowood, Goose & Gander, Bounty Hunter, Curry Up Now, The Farmer's Wife and Me So Hungry Too.


California Roots Music and Arts Festival
Monterey, California
May 24 to 26

This Bay Area fest celebrates its 10th anniversary with a lineup of musical artists that truly redefined the "green room" backstage. The performers include Cypress Hill (performing Black Sunday in its entirety), Protoje, Stick Figure, Atmosphere, Common Kings, Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution, Pepper, G Love and Special Sauce, The Green, Steel Pulse, Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals, Dirty Heads, UB40, Collie Buddz and Matisyahu (with a Live at Stubbs-themed set).


Primavera Sound
Barcelona, Spain
May 27 to June 2

Many argue that Barcelona is overtaking Amsterdam as Europe's cannabis capital, and few things pair better than music and cannabis. The city's premiere music fest includes performances by Miley Cyrus, Charli XCX, Dream Wife, Courtney Barnett, Princess Nokia and Fucked Up, and in an amazingly cool move, the festival organizers made sure it had an equal number of male and female performers as a statement on the need for greater equality in the music industry.


Great Wines of the Andes
Hong Kong and Beijing
May 28 and 30

Wine Spectator vet James Suckling is one of the world's foremost wine critics, and his wine-tasting events sell out all over the world. This month, Suckling returns to Hong Kong (on May 28 at the Four Seasons Hotel) and Beijing (the Peninsula on May 30) with about 100 South American wines from Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. Every single wine has 90+ point rating, including a few 100 pointers. Participating vineyards include the likes of Bodega Garzón, El Esteco, Finca las Moras, Los Vascos, Tabalí, Ventisquero and Viña Maipo, among others. (If attending the Hong Kong event, don't forget to try a bowl of bird spit at the Four Seasons.)


Distortion
Copenhagen, Denmark
May 29 to June 2

Distortion, a party-culture festival in Copenhagen that attracts DJs from across the globe, sees the city's streets overwhelmed with thousands of revelers over its five-day span. Free street parties take place each day in a different district of the city (imagine impromptu crowd surfing, cooking, singing, live DJing and street food aplenty). By night, clubs, record labels, magazines and party venues all host ticketed events. Partygoers are also invited to purchase a street bracelet (Gadearmbåndet), and the funds go toward the clean-up and future merrymaking.


Red Rooster
Suffolk, United Kingdom
May 30 to June 2

Henry FitzRoy, the 12th Duke of Grafton and a bastard descendent of Charles II, rocked out in Nashville for a time as a radio host and merch coordinator for the Rolling Stones. The very cool dude that Vanity Fair calls the "Rock 'n' Roll Duke" decided to bring the American Deep South lifestyle to England with a major BBQ festival. Started in 2013, the annual fest includes a food lineup with colorful names like Born Sloppy, Absurd Bird, Deadgood Burrito and Wolf & Guzzle, in addition to craft cocktails and music acts like Low Cut Connie and Nick Lowe & Los Straightjackets. (Lowe, by the way, produced the likes of Elvis Costello, the Damned and the Pretenders.) You know people are getting stoned at this BBQ! Brits trying to imitate Deep South American culture sounds brilliant, and this is probably the one place you can wear a MAGA hat and everyone will know you're being ironic.


Mike the Headless Chicken Festival
Fruita, Colorado
May 31 to June 1

In 1945, local farmer Lloyd Olsen chopped the head off a chicken he named Mike—yes, he named all his chickens—but his dinner didn't die. Instead, Mike tucked his severed little head under his wing and continued to peck and preen. Despite having no head, Mike lived for another 18 months and even went on a national tour. Local residents now honor the hometown star with an annual festival that's now in its 21st year. Past-year events included activities like a giant chicken dance, Pin the Head on the Chicken and a set by the Smithereens, who've apparently fallen on tough times. Your enjoyment of this event will depend heavily on whether or not you elevate before attending.


Contact in the Desert
Indian Wells, California
May 31 to June 3

Contact in the Desert is one of the top annual gatherings for people to discuss UFO sightings, ancient astronauts, crop circles, extraterrestrial life and other phenomena. Sargel18 did not make the lineup, but the speakers who did include radio host George Noory (Coast to Coast AM), Magicians of the Gods author Graham Hancock, Ancient Aliens regular Giorgio Tsoukalos and author Erich von Däniken (Chariots of the Gods?). Listening to their theories while high can be a totally awesome experience. That's not meant as disrespect, but rather it's about opening the mind to engage in mind-blowing conversation. Pre-gaming with Alien OG is obviously a must. Check out the preview video here.


Medical Cannabis in the South
Arkansas and Louisiana
TBD

In 2016, Arkansas became one of eight states (out of nine possible) to legalize cannabis in some way on Election Day, becoming the first Southern state to legalize medical use at the ballot box. The year before, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed a medical cannabis bill that made its way through the state legislature. The laws might be flawed, but progress is still progress, and medical cannabis sales are expected (fingers crossed) to start this month in Arkansas and Louisiana.


David Jenison (david.jenison@prohbtd.com) is Editor-in-Chief at PRØHBTD. Photo credits: Elena Kulikova, Alex Geller, Andreas Holm, Piotr Wojnarski and courtesy of the event producers.

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