Who says winter is dark and quiet?
Montreal High Lights Festival: One of the best reasons to travel to a colder climate in February, the festival this year celebrates women. This culinary and arts spectacular shows off some of Quebec’s top chefs and performers. Highlights include 80-year-old Buena Vista Social Club spitfire Omara Portuondo singing for a crowd of over 1,000 on her birthday; Gallic electropop chanteuse Emilie Simon performing songs from her latest English language album, “The Big Machine,’’ Melissa Etheridge, and iconic French pop star Vanessa Paradis (Mrs. Johnny Depp’s partner). In addition to dozens of indoor ticketed concerts, the festival includes dance, theater, circus performances, and free outdoor shows. It also marks the return of Nuit Blanche, an all-night party on Feb. 27 that offers 175 (mostly) free activities around the city. www.montrealenlumiere.com
The String Cheese Incident Winter Carnival: The seminal 1990s jam band returns to its home state with a slate of diverse musical acts opening on each of three nights. On March 10, the band is joined by British electro act Ott. On March 11, J.D. Crowe & the New South opens for the band, and on March 12, New Orleans funk band Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk opens the show. The band is giving free posters to fans who bring nonperishable food items, which will benefit the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Tickets for each night are $55. 1stBank Center, 11450 Broomfield Lane, www.stringcheeseincident.com
Museum Night: To tempt residents (and tourists) out of hibernation and into the chilly night, all of the city’s museums are open past midnight. There are also street performances, multimedia displays, and special programs happening around the capital. All the events are easily accessible by the free Museum Night bus that will take you to all participating venues, and keep your toes from frostbite. www.visitreykjavik.is
Good Vibrations: Given our wintry weather, it’s easy to forget it’s summer below the equator. Australians will celebrate their warm season with a massive music festival that hits several large cities on the continent throughout the month. Good Vibrations kicks off in Sydney with music from Faithless, Phoenix, Sasha, the Ting Tings, Miike Snow, Friendly Fires, Kelis, and Janelle Monae. The music starts at noon; tickets for the 10-hour festival are $147. Centennial Park, www.goodvibrationsfestival.com.au.
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Bergenfest: The rainy seaside city of Bergen, which has produced a shocking amount of good music over the past decade, displays its most talented acts and hosts musicians from around the world at this annual festival. The shows are scattered among 15 venues throughout Bergen and sport the kind of musical diversity that most festivals shy away from. The list of performers includes everyone from Los Lobos to Swedish cult favorite Hakan Hellström. Other acts include folksinger Loudon Wainwright III, Joe Bonamassa, and the Stranglers. www.bergenfest.no CHRISTOPHER MUTHER
Events can be canceled, rescheduled, or sold out; check online. Christopher Muther can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.