"In winter, I plot and plan," said punk poet Henry Rollins. "In the spring, I move."
After months of hibernation-inspiring weather, spring is finally here, and the country is ready to move into a new cycle of life. These global events show that there's more to April than just 420, even if it does fall on a Saturday this year.
Las Vegas, Nevada
April 1 to 3
This conference focused on dispensaries and cultivation includes several dozen exhibitors and speakers like Charlie Backtell (Cresco Labs), Ray Bowser (Dutch Consulting Company), Siobhan Danger Darwish (Grow Sisters), Dr. Rachel Loeber (LeafLine Labs) and others. The three-day event, held at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, is produced by Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary Magazine.
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
April 12 to 14 and 19 to 21
Twenty years after the original festival, Coachella may have less alt-rock in its lineup (the original 1999 headliners included Beck, Tool and Rage Against the Machine), but its cultural draw is stronger than ever. Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino and Tame Impala headline the event, with a lineup that also includes Kacey Musgraves, Wiz Khalifa, Diplo, Rosalía, Weezer and the Interrupters, among many others. The iconic eight-stage fest includes art installations, a giant Ferris wheel, a styling lounge, an environmental awareness program by Global Inheritance and a fine-dining program by Outstanding in the Field with SoCal chefs like Nyesha Arrington, Ray Garcia and Jason Neroni.
Songkran Water Festival
April 13 to 15
April 13th marks New Year's Day in Thailand, and cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai celebrate with a massive water fight during what happens to be the hottest month of the year. In Bangkok, head to Silom for the largest water battle or to Khao San Road for the wildest one, while Chiang Mai partiers will find the most action at places like the Thapae Gate, the Chiang Mai Gate and near the Ping River. Water weapons are available all around town if you don't want to bring one from home. At the risk of stating the obvious, don't soak monks, babies, cops, the elderly and anyone on a motorbike.
Don't break out your Queen vinyl and two-wheeler just yet, as the 419 holiday is actually about the first-ever intentional acid trip. In 1943, Dr. Albert Hoffman revisited his 1938 invention, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), and decided to take about 20 times what is now considered the threshold dose. The Basel, Switzerland-based chemist soon realized he should leave the lab, and he peaked during his bike ride home. For this reason, psychedelia aficionados dubbed April 19 as Bicycle Day, and many people celebrate by taking acid or shrooms (ideally not at work or while riding a bike). Of course, 419 transitions nicely into 420 for the comedown.
The Love In
Las Vegas, Nevada
April 19 to 21
1 John 4:7-8 reads, "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love." How is this scripture relevant? Well, 420 falls between Good Friday and Easter Sunday this year, and you can kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, with a weekend trip to the Love In festival in Las Vegas. Self-described as a celebration of music and cannabis, the event features a rock-centric lineup with bands like The Who Invasion and Fatal 80s (so you'll know a lot of the songs even if you don't know the bands) and experiences like the DJ-driven Cannabis Atlantis, the art-centric The Trip (participants welcome) and something called Cosmic Yoga that sounds far out.
National Cannabis Festival
This music, cannabis and culture event at the RFK Festivals Grounds features music acts like Ludacris, Action Bronson and DJ Biz Markie as well as an exhibition fair with dozens of cannabis companies and a (probably) non-infused Munchies Zone with vendors like Ben & Jerry's, Peruvian Brothers and Pearl and da Girl's Catering. The festival includes an education component for those who want to learn more about hemp, grows and wellness, with a free policy summit taking place before it on April 19 with a welcome video from New York Senator Chuck Schumer.
Bob Marley's son Stephen was born on April 20, and his annual 420 festival returns to Bayfront Park with lots of Marley sets (Ziggy, Damian, Julian, Ky-Mani, Stephen, Skip, Yohan, Mystic). Other participating artists include Busta Rhymes, Sean Paul, Chi Chi Ching, Protoje and Davido, among others. Stephen, Ziggy, Damian, Ky-Mani and Julian will perform together "in honor of their father's legacy."
Arches of Bread Festival
San Biagio Platani, Sicily
If you're looking to visit Sicily anyway, this quirky festival can add some magic to your Instagram travel feed. For months, the people of San Biagio Platani have, for some reason, been using bread, beans, cereal, reeds, herbs, dates and other food products to construct life-sized structures (most notably of the local church) that make their debut on Easter Sunday. Yes, it's weird, but the bread structures transform the historic city center into a uniquely beautiful site. The origin of the event dates back hundreds of years, and it draws thousands of people each year to the rural town located approximately 40 miles south of the capital city, Palermo.
The LEGO Brick Bar
April 25 to 29
LEGO has nothing to do with this pop-up bar that combines alcoholic drinks with other small choking hazards. Sound like fun? Well, the party hits London this month (and again in May) when the organizers construct a bar out of a million little building blocks. The Brick Bar touring pop-up is a ticketed affair that includes one 90-minute session inside the bar, which will feature drinks, DJs and a ping pong table made from nearly 23,000 bricks. The bar will be located near Shoreditch in the East End, but the exact location will only be revealed to ticket holders. Check out the event's Instagram page for an idea of what to expect.
Hawaiian biggest food fest (yes, really) has nothing to do with email and everything to do with canned mystery meat. Spam, for those who see it in the stores but never dared open a can, is pork meat with sugar, modified potato starch and sodium nitrite, and Hawaii leads the nation in Spam consumption. The “Hawaiian steak” is so popular, in fact, that some fast-food chains serve spam burgers. Honolulu’s annual celebration includes live music, hula dancers, food vendors and various activities as Kalakaua Avenue becomes a pedestrian-only street for the day. You might even see a person in a giant Spam costume—a.k.a. Spammie—that looks a bit like Towelie from South Park. Minnesota, the birthplace of Spam, actually holds a week-long party in honor of the canned meat, but choosing to celebrate spam for an entire week seems even more crazy than choosing Minnesota over Hawaii. No offense, Minnesota.
Hall of Flowers
Santa Rosa, California
April 30 to May 1
This B2B cannabis expo at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds features a who's who of cannabis brands, including PRØHBTD faves like mood33, PAX, Canndescent, Henry's Originals, Altai, Lowell Herb Co., Beboe, Foria, Eel River Organics, Hemper, Bhang, Heavy Hitters, Bloom Farms, Eden Extracts, Flow Kana, Treez and countless others. This is an industry-only event so all the attendees mean business.
Photo credits: Coachella, National Cannabis Festival, The Brick Bar and Flickr/BenReeves.