The Philippines has as many music festivals as it does islands — maybe not exactly that many, but you get it. Even without the capital region, the country has more than a handful of local initiatives inviting the public to discover music artists in the provinces. 

These music festivals typically involve a series of performances set at a particular location and inspired by a unifying theme. They are sometimes even competitive in nature or have multiple performances happening simultaneously. In any case, music festivals serve as a platform for rising artists to put their work out there while allowing Filipinos to find out more about talented local acts.

Here is a list of locally organized music festivals outside Metro Manila that serve to remind us of the greater number of music scenes throughout the Philippines.

Bantayog in Camarines Norte

Bantayog in Camarines Norte Music Festival

Courtesy of @dongpadilla001

Camarines Norte’s historical Bantayog Festival celebrates its anniversary as an independent province. Held every April, the weeklong celebration has expanded over the years to include a month’s worth of festivities, including the Bantayog Music Fest. This year’s lineup included Silent Sanctuary, SunKissed Lola, Rob Deniel, and Jeff Grecia, among others.

Himala Sa Buhangin in Ilocos Norte

Himala Sa Buhangin in Ilocos Norte Music Festival

Ilocos Norte’s Himala Sa Buhangin is a festival dedicated to the celebration of sports, music, and the arts in the province. The provincial fiesta featured local artists as part of its music festival, headlined this year by The Juans, Gigi De Lana, and The Gigi Vibes. Local performers included Mattilda, Local Kiddos, The Lavenders, TIHTUS, PHG New Gen, Fai, Dongalo, Mananabaz, New Dynamics, PIP, Kaizen, and Magrus, among others.

KanLahi in Tarlac

KanLahi in Tarlac Music Festival

Courtesy of @idkeventsmanagementservices

Tarlac’s Kanlungan ng Lahi (KanLahi) Fest is grand celebration of the province’s cultural diversity through activities like an agricultural exhibit, national art competition, pyromusical, and more. One of its highlights is the KanLahi Music Fest, which this year featured Parokya ni Edgar, FlowG, Al James, Dream Seven, Sawndass Music, Sentidrama, and Beautrio, among others.

MassKara in Bacolod

MassKara in Bacolod Music Festival

Courtesy of

Bacolod’s MassKara Festival, also known as the Festival of Smiles is celebrated every October through a street dance competition, beauty pageant, and music performances. The festival’s 2023 run saw twin festivals by Coke Studio Philippines and the G Music Fest. These collectively featured acts like Sarah Geronimo, PLAYERTWO, BINI, Lola Amour, Paul Pablo, as well as local acts Ferdinand Aragon, the Aire Band, and Mojo Nova, among others.

Sandurot in Dumaguete

Sandurot in Dumaguete Music Festival

Courtesy of @LupadDumaguete2016

Dumaguete’s Sandurot Festival is held at the end of every September to celebrate its people’s cultural diversity. One of its cultural events is the Sandurot Music Festival, which this year featured Chuckoy Vicuña Combo, ENCHI, Saksak Sinakol, Istorya Isla, Belopas Band, ALL For Jordan, Krokis, Jah Hula, J-Squad, Krysta, Standuot Dumaguete, and Willfreedo.

SummerFrolic in Davao

SummerFrolic in Davao Music Festival

Courtesy of @djjenil

Davao Region’s SummerFrolic Music Festival celebrates life through good music and beautiful surroundings. This year’s edition featured Victor Jao, Parnassvs, Jenil, Bonka, Standerwick, Katsy Lee, DJ Young, Jet Boado, Ron Poe, Marnik, Sandro Silva, and Patty Tiu.

VisPop in Cebu

VisPop in Cebu Music Festival

Courtesy of @visayanpop

The VisPop Music Festival is a Cebuano songwriting competition and campaign that has been bringing Bisaya music to the mainstream since 2013. Its most recent top 6 finalists and winners are Melchizedek Lozarita, Michael Adrian Catarina, JR Arnold Ygay, Franzel Kaye Tolentino, Jimmy Ricks Grajo, and Ramiro Magbitang.