15 EDM Festivals to Attend in 2015Article by: Angela Del Sol|@AngelaDelSol
Mon January 19, 2015 | 00:00 AM
In an oversaturated festival circuit, dedicated promoters have taken the initiative to curate music experiences that cater to the ever diversifying audience of electronic music. In no particular order, here is a list of the hottest music festivals that should be on your bucket list for 2015! From large-scale to niche festivals, there is something for anyone that has affinity for bass and synths. So get ready to dust off your passport, start feeding that slim piggy bank and make it a resolution to visit at least one these prime electronic music destinations.
1. Weather Festival Paris, France
Powered by the mind behind la CONCRETE, a niche Sunday party for hedonistic souls that yearn for the Berlin party experience, the Weather Festival is comprised of truly exquisite programming. Going into its third year, the Weather Festival has become the biggest electronic blowout in France and puts Paris on the map as a competitor in the European electronic music circuit.
2. Awakenings Amsterdam, Netherlands
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the largest outdoor festival in the Netherlands. Due to public demand it has expanded from a one day festival to two days of non-stop techno. Past lineups read like glossary on who’s who in electronic music, ranging from contemporary artists to legends who helped define the scene. Two days and four different stages, Awakenings is not to be missed - come get schooled and check out these techno masters at work.
3. LoveBox London, United Kingdom
Each summer, the grassy patches of Victoria Park, London transform into a colorful celebration of love with biggest names in the music industry - last year MIA and NAS were headliners. The festival differs from others in that the there is no age restriction and it’s promoted as a family friendly event. You will never see a raver harshing the mellow of a family blowing bubbles on the lawn. The layout of the festival makes is so that the diverse crowd forms pockets so that everyone can coexist and enjoy the music. Curators who take part in the festival include: NOISEY, Red Bull Music Academy, Crack Magazine, and Annie Mac. Past lineups have included DJ Kenny Dope, Moderat, and Theo Parish.
3. Melt! Festival Ferropolis, Germany
Photo by: Stephan Flad
During the summer, music enthusiasts make their way to the Ferropolis, an industrial city only two hours away from Berlin, to Melt! Festival. These open air grounds transform into a techno wonderland complete with psychedelic visuals and robotic fixtures splashed across the unruly backdrop along the Gremminger Sea. Drawing over 20,000 attendees each year, the lineup consists of impressive house and techno acts, as well as the most innovative indie and hip-hop acts. This festival definitely stands apart for its rawness and blissed-out vibes.
4. Rio Music Conference Rio de Janerio, Brazil
If you are a music aficionado and are ready to expand your horizons from WMC in Miami, Rio Music Conference might be just what you are looking for. During the first two of weeks of February, hundreds of electronic music and nightlife industry professionals flock to Rio de Janeiro to enjoy panels and conferences and yep, you guessed right, to party. On top of all the networking opportunities, RMC throws a massive festival that features the biggest names in the dance music scene, as well as hundreds of parties that fall during the same week as the Rio Carnival. Add to the mix the world-famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema and you have you the ultimate electro festival destination!
5. Sunwaves Festival Mamaia, Romania
Thousand of restless party monsters hail to the Black Sea over the summer for a non-stop techno extravaganza. Located at a beachside resort in Mamaia, Romania, Sunwaves Festival never disappoints with in their steady programming of underground talent such as Rhadoo, Raresh and Lee Burridge. After 15 years, they have mastered the exploration of techno, house and minimal, attracting the most committed and appreciative music fans from around the globe.
6. Desert Hearts San Diego, California
Photo by: Galen Oakes
Welcoming energy and community are the words that you will associate with Desert Hearts once you’ve experienced it for yourself. Located in pop-up, remote locations throughout Southern California, Desert Hearts has been making waves amongst musicians and festival goers alike for its unique take on the “festival” concept. At Desert Hearts, music never ceases to play at the one stage festival. VIPs and restricted areas are nonexistent on these hedonistic grounds. Alcohol is not sold but other things like healing sanctuaries and hookah lounges are offered at the camp. The best international and local tech-house djs play from sunrise to sunset for three days straight in an atmosphere that is open yet intimate.
7. Igloo Fest Montreal, Canada
Who says that you can’t party in the cold? Canadians certainly know how! Every winter, electronic music fans brave the freezing winter temperatures with non-stop dancing during four consecutive weekends in January. Montreal's Old Port turns into a magical winter wonderland filled with icy decor and mind-boggling projections, and off course, music from the best local and international DJs, joining together bundled-up music enthusiasts under the same icy sky (yes, this is an open air event.) The music programming of each weekend is irresistible, so don your warmest neon snow suit and come embrace the winter along with these party warriors that keep coming back, year after year.
8. Future Music Various locations, Australia
Held throughout five Australian cities, Future Music is a powerful machine that injects a heavy dose of electronic music to the country. Whether you attend the festival at Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide, the brand strives to maintain their consistent delivery of the best music experience in the country. This year promises to be one of the best yet with legends like The Prodigy and Sven Vath along with other outstanding Australian acts.
9. Hideout Festival Zrce Beach, Croatia
Going into it’s fifth year, Hideout is fast positioning itself as a staple in the festival circuit with creative programming that gives fans the perfect dose of beats across the spectrum of house, techno, minimal and dubstep. Taking place on one of the most breathtaking beaches of Europe, Hideout Festival is one the freshest electronic music festivals in Europe. While you are here, relax on the beach or surf the waves and take in the breathtaking sights of the Adriatic sea but don’t procrastinate on planning this trip as tickets sell out very fast.
10. Shambhala British Columbia, Canada
Photo by: Art Gimbel
With a lineup that features an assortment of dance artists from a range of genres, Shambhala looks like the place to be! This festival stands out from the rest with their mystical production on a working farm in British Columbia. Shambhala owns the property which allows them to work year round on the art and light show. Different production companies are hired to operate each stage which adds to the range and unique atmosphere of the magnificent landscape.
11. Groovefest Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
If you are looking to enjoy the finest electronic music in a luxury setting without burning holes in your pockets, Groovefest is the place for you. Taking place in all inclusive resort at the Caribbean island, here you can enjoy luxury accommodation and music selection that will satisfy any house or disco craving. Past lineups have included Jamie Jones, Kenny Dope, and Horse Meat disco. The abundance of cultural activities such as snorkeling and the fantastic restaurants in Puerto Plata, are just a few minutes away from the festival itself, making this festival a perfect destination for luxury music holiday.
12. Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival (BEMF) Brooklyn, New York
Each November, Brooklyn turns into an thumping electronic music paradise where the best local clubs and venues host the most rare and enigmatic acts in the industry. Past lineups have included underrated music prodigies like Deru, Evian Christ and Schlomo. Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival truly has something for everyone and each venue makes sure to curate a vibe and groove to cater to the ever diversifying scene. If you plan to attend more than three shows, definitely purchase a festival pass and let Williamsburg, Brooklyn open your mind and ears to sounds that you will be hearing in a couple of years.
13. Lost & Found Malta, Europe
One of the most groundbreaking and influential forces in the electronic music industry, Annie Mac, launched her own music festival on remote island in Malta. Going to its second year, this festival focuses on downtempo and chilled out vibes (much in line with what has made Annie a respected staple in the industry). Much of the details of this music gathering are hush hush but two things we know are that it takes in a Mediterranean paradise and excellent music is a guarantee.
14. Wonder Fruit Festival Pong, Thailand
Wonder Fruits Festival is a mecca in the new wave of socially conscious and sustainable music festivals. Just a year old, the festival takes place in the majestic surroundings just outside Bangkok. Secret Productions, an award winning UK production company, transforms the space with thoughtfully curated stages and locally sourced materials for its structures. On top of the phenomenal line up that has included big names such De la Soul, Damien Lazarus and Little Dragon, this festival offers many outdoor and workshop activities such as craft classes and spa retreats within the camp. All proceeds go right back into planning next years festival as well as towards promoting positive environmental change in Asia.
15. Imagine Music Festival Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Photo by: Alex Perez
The award-wining promotion and EDM event company Iris Presents has long been known for its club presence and for fostering the growth of Atlanta’s electric music scene. So it was no surprise in 2014, when they tried their hand at a two-day festival, it was an all-around success. During its first year, the festival hosted a range of well-known and little-known EDM crowd pleasers including Adventure Club, Fedde Le Grand, Destroid, Infected Mushroom, Beats Antique, Rusko, RJD2, and Shwayze. The circus-style atmosphere and anything-goes arts scene make it a winner for those seeking a break from reality.