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EDM festivals are all the rage—literally. EDM festivals are music festivals that feature a wide spectrum of electronic music, including subgenres like house, techno, trance, drum & bass, hardstyle, dubstep, and trap. An EDM festival is like taking the hottest nightclub and bringing it tenfold with more people, the best lineup, and the most incredible production.
If you’re looking for that unce unce or a badass bass drop at some of the best parties in the world, look no further than an EDM fest. From trance to trap, and deep house to drum & bass, you'll hear it all at some of the best EDM shows around the globe.
The Best EDM Festivals in the World
Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), one of the biggest and most popular EDM festivals in the world, is every raver’s dream come true. Now produced by Pasquale Rotella, founder of Insomniac Events, EDC Las Vegas has grown tremendously from its humble underground beginnings in Los Angeles in the 90s. Under Pasquale, EDC gained traction and continues to curate some of the biggest acts in electronic music to headline its events. Kaskade, Armin van Buuren, and Above & Beyond are just some of the greatest names in EDM to have made appearances at EDC. In 2011, EDC moved its flagship three-day EDM festival to its new home, Las Vegas, Nevada, where hundreds of thousands of ravers attend each year. Donned with kandi and must-have hydration packs, attendees dress up in costumes as vibrant and elaborate as the performance artists themselves. The production value of EDC is unrivaled. From beautiful fireworks across the night to over-the-top stage designs, EDC's unrivaled production value lives beyond your imagination. After attending one EDC, you’ll see why people feel like they’re coming home when they return to those wild nights under the electric sky.
Travel east to Miami, Florida, and you’ll set your sights on Ultra Music Festival. Hot on the heels of the Winter Music Conference, Ultra Music Festival is a world-class dance party spanning over the course of two weekends. Time after time and without fail, Ultra always brings together the best of the best for their music lineups every year. Tiësto, Diplo, and the legendary Carl Cox are just some of the headliners you can anticipate making an appearance on the festival’s lineup. The warm weather and exciting city of Miami makes Ultra the perfect playground for some fun in the sun with all your festie friends.
Across the pond, you’ll find the mecca of electronic festivals. Every year, thousands of people from around the world rep their country flags and flock to the small town of Boom, Belgium, for the annual three-day festival known as Tomorrowland. With a different theme each year, Tomorrowland takes it attendees through an immersive storybook adventure that begins when festival-goers receive their wristbands, which are beautifully-crafted and encased in a keepsake music box with other mementos. Attendees embark on a magical journey as soon as they step foot onto the festival grounds. Complete with jaw-dropping lights and stage productions, Tomorrowland lives unparalleled, and the designs for their main stage only gets bigger and better each year.
In the UK, Cream holds its annual EDM festival, Creamfields, during the August Bank Holiday weekend. What began as weekly house music event nights at a nightclub in Liverpool quickly gained success, prompting Cream to expand its events to the award-winning nightclub Amnesia in Ibiza, Spain. Then in 1998, the first-ever Creamfields music festival premiered, attracting over 25,000 attendees for its world debut weekend. Did we mention that they got Daft Punk, Paul van Dyk and Sasha? It’s safe to say that between Creamfield’s 11 stages, the music won’t disappoint.
In Barcelona, Sónar kicks off the summer with its three-day festival every year in June, which is split into two parts: Sónar by Day and Sónar by Night. Expect to dance all day and night to some of the best EDM acts each year. And while Sónar is certainly one of the best when it comes to EDM festivals, it also sets itself apart from the others with its commitment to be more than just a music festival. Sónar+D is a three-day congress running parallel to the music festival that is dedicated to Creativity, Technology, and Business.
Sunburn, Asia’s largest music festival, spans over an impressive four days, where attendees can expect to see the likes of Martin Garrix, Armin van Buuren, and more. Ranked by CNN in 2009 as one of the Top Ten Festivals in the world and a winner of our very own 2017 Fest300 List, this festival is one you definitely need to add to your bucket list. Sunburn not only curates the best lineup for its music, but it also includes great food, other forms of entertainment, and yes, even shopping. The colorful clothes and accessories in its marketplace not only make for great souvenirs but also great festival fashion finds. Who knows, you might find your next festival outfit there!
The EDM Festival Scene
These are but a few of the top EDM festivals in the world. But bigger doesn’t always mean better, and newer festivals seem to be popping up every year. Niche EDM festivals have built or created communities around a specific genre or culture. EDM festivals with entirely trance lineups bring together the global Trance Family for all the feels as they listen to the likes of Armin van Buuren, Above & Beyond, and Paul van Dyk. Meanwhile, Ozara Festival focuses entirely on psytrance, a subgenre of psytrance, and ravers unite to spread the message of PLUR (Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect) at festivals like EDC. ShipFam grew out of dedicated fans and followers of Holy Ship!, an annual EDM festival held onboard a cruise ship through the Bahamas. Likewise, the Forest Family gathers every year for Electric Forest.
But what’s most incredible about the EDM festival scene is that no matter where you go or which festival you attend, there’s always a growing sense of community. You join like-minded people to dance until your feet can’t carry you anymore. And while the incredible lineups may draw you in at first to attend one of the many EDM festivals, the sense of community and belonging is what invites you to stay. The good vibes and welcoming attitudes found at many of these EDM festivals are what entices people to keep going, sometimes to the same festivals and other times to more. At an EDM festival, festival-goers feel free to release their bold creativity and uninhibited self-expression, whether that’s through dancing, costumes, or both! You’ll never know what you’ll find at an EDM festival.
Will we see you on the dance floor?