11 Of Europe's Finest Electronic Music FestivalsArticle by: Marcus Barnes|@mgoldenbarnes
Thu January 26, 2017 | 12:30 PM
Electronic music festivals are quite probably the most common of all festivals in Europe right now. Some might say that the market is saturated, in fact. How to decide which one is worth spending money on can be difficult, so we've done some in-depth research and got our European Editor (and electronic music expert) Marcus Barnes to give us the lowdown on which house and techno fests are the ones to invest in this year.
Melt!, Ferropolis, Germany (July 14-16, 2017)
Set in the midst of an imposing, awe-inspiring industrial site called Ferropolis, Melt! celebrates 20 years of full-time service to electronic music this year with a spectacular lineup and we’re guessing, plenty of surprises and celebratory additions. The location complements the music policy perfectly, innovative and avant-garde music made by machines. From old school heroes like NYC legend Tony Humphries, through to contemporary acts like Red Axes from Tel Aviv, it reps the full spectrum of electronic sounds.
Mysteryland, Haarlemmermeer, Amsterdam (August 26-27, 2017)
This is a biggie, and reps a broad range of electronic music. Mysteryland hosts underground stars like Seth Troxler and Sven Vath, along with EDM pin ups like Martin Garrix and Aviici. Its stages are huge and make headlines around the world thanks to ingenuity and crazy designs. Then, if you take into consideration the expansive location of Haarlemmermeer – a vast green area with a big lake – you fully understand why this is one of the best out there.
Dekmantel, Amsterdamse Bos, Holland (August 2-6, 2017)
The Dutch are world-leading experts in the field of large-scale dance music events. In fact, they have every level sewn up, from intimate club spaces, right up to 100,000+ capacity festivals. Dekmantel is the jewel in their crown. Attracting a discerning crowd from across Europe and the rest of the world, its music curation is exemplary and inspiring, drawing a line between the past, present and future. Couple this with a keen eye for detail and unwavering enthusiasm for the music, and you’ve got a very special event.
Tomorrowland, Boom, Belgium (July 21-30, 2017)
Epic is a word that has almost lost its meaning because it's been overused so much in recent times, but Tomorrowland is truly EPIC. A feast for the eyes and ears, it ticks all the boxes when it comes to large-scale, inspiring events. Just look at the stages they've created... they are insane. Nothing on Earth compares. Add to that the world's biggest DJs, literally – guys and girls who get paid millions, and sell millions of records. It's the epitome of high-end festivals and rightfully gets a place in this list. Go once and you'll be down for life.
Gottwood, Anglesey, Wales, UK (June 8-11, 2017)
Speaking of Gottwood, this list would be a sham without it. Located in the woodlands of Anglesey, Wales, it mixes the arts with music to create a wonderful, enchanting festival that has created its own space and owned it right from the very beginning. Gottwood attracts an amazing crowd of switched-on music lovers, the atmosphere is intimate and sociable, and the acts represent the pinnacle of electronic music from house to techno.
Fusion Festival, Rechlin–Lärz Airfield, Lärz, Germany (June 27 - July 1, 2018!)
Imagine a society parallel to our own where rules and regulations are relaxed, people are given the trust of those in power to behave in a manner that is respectful and conscious... perhaps difficult to imagine the way the world has been recently, but it does exist, temporarily, in Germany at Fusion Festival. What makes it great is the communal vibe that pervades the whole event. This, combined with sterling lineup curation, makes it a surefire winner. Sadly there's no Fusion this year, but it's worth waiting until 2018 for, trust us.
Time Warp, Mannheim, Germany (April 1, 2017)
When it comes to production and lineups, Time Warp is pretty much untouchable. It has been around for a couple of decades, which means many of the world’s most famous underground heroes are loyal to the festival, and will come back year after year to put in their best performances. The location is industrial but spectacular thanks to the dazzling lighting installations and lasers. Twenty-three years in the game and still killing it.
DGTL, Amsterdam, Holland (15 - 16 April)
A more recent addition to Holland's ridiculous lineup of killer festivals, DGTL merges a positive, socially-conscious ethos with amazing music from many of today's most respected DJs. It's a winning combination for us and clearly resonates with plenty of festies around Europe. Now with another edition taking place in Barcelona and a series of parties at ADE, it's growing in stature and is on course for world domination. Most definitely an essential visit for all house and techno lovers.
Love International, Tisno, Croatia (June 28 - July 5, 2017)
Love International took over the space left by Garden, which ran for 10 years and was one of the key festivals involved in putting Croatia on the map as Europe’s main festival destination. In many regards it’s essentially the same event with a different name and branding, which is no bad thing since the music policy is outstanding with everything from disco to techno catered for, all of the highest calibre. Add to that a beautiful location and the legendary Barbarella’s club, and you have one very special festival.
Sonus, Zrce Beach, Croatia (August 20-24, 2017)
Another festival based in Croatia, Sonus cherry-picks the finest artists in house and techno and ships them over to Zrce Beach on Pag for five days and nights of unsurpassed partying. Boat parties run alongside the beach action, and you’ll encounter supreme performances from DJs like Jackmaster, Jamie Jones, Adam Beyer, Apollonia, Monika Kruse, and Sonja Moonaer, to name just a few. This is quite a young festival, in that it only started a five years ago, but it’s already an essential destination for electronic music fans across the globe.
Awakenings, Spaarnwoude, Holland (June 24-25, 2017)
As we already told you, Dutch events are among the most professional in the world and Awakenings is another event that is a testament to that statement. Showcasing techno music in all its forms on the big stage isn’t as easy as it may sound, but what Awakenings does is make it look easy with jaw-dropping results. The lighting alone is incredible, together with huge stages, mind-boggling designs and sound systems that deliver the music with crystal clear accuracy. Next level.