Best Tropical Destination Festivals: Winter 2017- 2018

by Sep 12, 2017Adventure, Previews

Tropical Destination Festivals

We live in a beautiful age, for many, many reasons.

Sure, we don’t all have jet packs yet (boy, every single visionary of the last century sure got that one wrong!) but we do have year-round music festivals!

Festivals like Winter Wondergrass and Ullrgrass have proven that we are all capable of getting down regardless of the temperature and weather. We bundle up, take what Mother Nature throws our way, and enjoy every moment!

Sometimes, however, we all need an escape from the winter, and dancing in the snow may not be for everyone.

Thanks to Cloud 9 Adventures, we can trade in that snow under our boots for some warm tropical sand between our toes!

Cloud 9’s tagline is “Music Meets Paradise.”  That pretty much sums it up.

Since 2003 this forward-thinking organization has been making it possible for music fans to combine all-inclusive tropical destination vacations with full on music festivals.

Think of it like this – instead of sleeping on the ground in a tent, you are in a plush bed in a luxurious room.  No more grilled cheese in the lot, instead you have 5-star dining around the clock.  Trade in the port-a-pot for a bidet!  (Yeah! Bidet!)


Yup, these tropical destination festivals are just that good!

Dominican Holidaze tropical destination festival

Dominican Holidaze

When: December 1-5, 2017

Where: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Who:  The Disco Biscuits, Umphreys McGee, STS9, Lotus, The Motet, GRiz, JRAD and more!

Why: Dominican Holidaze takes place at two neighboring resorts – Now Onyx and Breathless, providing double the options for this tropical destination festival.  Guests can walk freely between the two, enjoying all the available bars, restaurants and pools. Music starts in the early afternoon and continues until 4 AM every night!  With this incredible lineup, that’s a lot of getting down in the sand!

Learn More about Domincan Holidaze

Strings and Sol tropical destination festival

Strings & Sol

When:  December 8-12, 2017

Where:  Puerto Moreles, Mexico

Who: Greensky Bluegrass, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, Infamous Stringdusters, Railroad Earth, Fruition, Jon Stickley Trio and Bryan Sutton

Why:  For fans of bluegrass and newgrass, it doesn’t get any better than this tropical music festival.  Now in its 6th year, Strings & Sol has everything completely dialed in.  Bartenders who remember the guests from year to year, servers delivering cocktails to the front row, room to dance for everyone – seriously, it’s paradise!  Add in theme nights, excursions with the artists and and crazy competitions (poolside rodeo with Vince Herman, or margarita contests with Greensky!), and you’ve got the best party south of the border!

Read a review of Strings and Sol 2016        Visit the Strings & Sol website

Closer-to-the-Sun tropical destination festivals

Closer to the Sun

When: December 13-17, 2017

Where: Puerto Morelos, Mexico

Who: Slightly Stoopid, SOJA, Stick Figure, J Boog, Fortunate Youth, and The Expanders

Why: The stage at Now Sapphire resort gets warmed up by Strings & Sol and rolls right into Closer to the Sun!  Dance in the surf at this amazing tropical destination festival while getting down to Slightly Stoopid and friends.  Only a 30 minute drive from the Cancun airport, getting here couldn’t be easier! Relax in the poolbar or watch a show from the swing bar while you think about how beautiful life is!

Learn More about Closer to the Sun

Holy Ship tropical destination festivals

Holy Ship! 2018

When: 10 – January 6-10,  11 – January 10-13 2018

Where: Sailing on the Norweigan Epic

Who:  10 –   A-Trak, Baauer, Claude VonStroke, Gorgon City, Kaskade, and more!  11 –   Alison Wonderland, The Black Madonna, Excision, GTA, Green Velvet, Jauz, REZZ, and more!

Why: No, you’re not reading this wrong.  There are TWO back-to-back Holy Ship excursions this year!   2 different options for enjoying a party on the luxurious Norwegian Epic cruise ship – complete with casino, ice bar, bowling alley ans spa!  This isn’t your hippie-camping festival, that’s for sure!   Holy Ship is taking tropical destination festivals to a whole (Holy!) new level!

Learn more about Holy Ship

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Jam Cruise-16 tropical-destination-festival

Jam Cruise 16

When:  January 17-22 2018

Where: Norwegian Jade, sailing from Miami to Roataon, Honduras and Grand Cayman Island.

Who:  Too many to list!  Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood, Galactic, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Maceo Parker, Lettuce, The New Mastersounds, Dumpstaphunk, Turkuaz, Naughty Professor featuring Chali 2na, The Main Squeeze and many, many more!

Why: In its 16th year, you could safely say that Jam Cruise started the tropical destination festival phenomenon!  Over 25 of the best of the best live music acts around, multiple venues, luxury accomodations, workshops, themes and a Jam Room – this is the party you don’t want to miss!  Don’t believe me?  Ask around and see why some folks have not missed a single year of this epic adventure!

Learn more about Jam Cruise

Panic en la Playa tropical destination festival

Panic en la Playa

When: January 26-30, 2018

Where: Hard Rock Hotel – Riviera Maya, Mexico

Who:  Widespread Panic (duh), the Playa Allstars (feat. Eric Krasno, George Porter Jr., Ivan Neville, Cyril Neville, Terence Higgins, Eric “Benny” Bloom, and Ryan Zoidis), the Zambi Allstars (feat. Oteil Burbridge, Jeff Sipe, Matt Slocum, Rev. Jeff Mosier, and Eric Krasno) BIG Something and more!

Why:  For fans of Widespread Panic, Panic en la Playa is surely the Holy Grail!  Get down with 4 nights of music from your favorite band, plus an amazing cast of all-stars supporting and playing special sets.  What better way to festival than at a hotel and resort from Hard Rock!  Yeah, we think they know how to throw a party at the Hard Rock! 

Learn More about Panic en la Playa


Avett Brothers at the Beach

When: January 31 – February 4, 2018

Where:  Hard Rock Hotel – Riviera Maya, Mexico

Who:  The Avett Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show, John Prine, The Head and the Heart, Shovels & Rope, and Langhorne Slim & The Law.

Why:  Enjoy the tropical luxury of the Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya while listening to your favorite bands on the shores of the Carribean!  What could be better?!  How about excursions, theme nights and a slew of activites to keep you entertained while you relax in blissful paradise with an amazing community of friends!

Learn More about Avett Brothers on the Beach

One Big Holiday tropical destination festival

One Big Holiday

When:  March 2-6, 2018

Where: Hard Rock Hotel – Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Who: My Morning Jacket, Portugal. The Man, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Spoon, Broken Social Scene, Toots and the Maytals, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Sylvan Esso, Moon Taxi, J Roddy Walston and The Business, and Hurray for the Riff Raff

Why:  3 full shows from My Morning Jacket at a luxurious resort on the beaches of the Dominican Republic?!  Yes, please!  How about throwing in an unbelievable cast of supporting artists?  Yup.  Excursions?  Check.  Golf, casino, lazy river and spa? You got it!  In fact, just about anything your heart desires is available at this tropical destination festival.  Paradise awaits!

Learn More about One Big Holiday

Yucatan Peninsula Map for Music Festival Destinations in Mexico

Headed to a Music Festival in Mexico?

Looking to extend your trip and go beyond the resort boundaries?

We’ve put together some suggested trip itineraries and highlights of the Yucatan Peninsula to help all of you traveling music lovers!   Check it out!

Mexican Music Adventure Guide

Don’t forget the pool toys!

Lounge in style while listening to the music and enjoying paradise at your next tropical destination festival!

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