The days are getting longer and the nights are getting warmer. Summer is almost here, and festival season will soon be in full swing.
For music aficionados like ourselves, it’s the best time of the year. Lineups filled with compelling collections of artists are dropping at an increasing rate as we commence our travel planning for the weeks ahead. It’s going to be difficult to plan with all the amazing choices happening all over the world, but we’ve managed to select a few that offer something truly unique.
Annie Mac is a titan. There’s no other way to put it. Everything she sees, she conquers, not nearly the least of which being her annual festival Lost & Found. Taking over the island of Malta, this festival offers every type of party you could want. A rave in a castles. Boat and beach parties on some of the bluest water in the world. And of course an expansive, multi-stage event across four days with roster that features the who’s-who of house, techno, drum and bass, rap and more.
Any true festival-goer knows that Serbia is a first-rate destination, and Exit Festival is one of the preeminent reasons why. Continuing in the architectural theme from before, Exit takes place in the regal Petrovaradin Fortress, which overlooks the Danube river while camping for the festival happens on the nearby Štrand beach. It’s like something out of a video-game, except with headliners like The Cure, Skepta and Jeff Mills.
The United States of America maintains the strongest legacy of music on Earth, and techno is a cornerstone of that legacy thanks to the city of Detroit. Movement is America’s historic dance music event, and no explanation is required beyond the title. Techno is a movement. Techno causes movement. Everything that happens within and around this festival over Memorial Day Weekend honors techno. Full stop. Full throttle.
Over the last few decades Amsterdam has developed a reputation among the European dance music community that is similar to Los Angeles in America. While it may not have a specific sound associated with it like Detroit or Berlin, the city has become a hotspot of music collaboration which has lead to the birth of multiple groundbreaking festivals like Dekmantel. This event boasts numerous locations from wide open fields like The Amsterdamse Bos to Muziekgebouw aan’t IJ, a concert hall that sits right on banks of the Amsterdam river. And of course there are always a plethora of afterparties for those who want to dance all night.
Yet another offering in Amsterdam, Katharsis takes attendees in the deepest and darkest corners of techno. There is so much that could be said about Katharsis, but their tagline simply nailed it:
“The annual purging ritual of cutting-edge electronic music returns for the landmark 5th edition in the concrete cathedral.”
CRSSD is a festival built on a tried and true formula. Since its inception back in 2015 not much has changed about the festival, but in the best way possible. Take three stages, a waterfront setting and a stellar group of artists spanning the reaches of house and techno as well as some thrilling live acts. Plus every CRSSD Festival includes CRSSD By Day and CRSSD After Dark, a series of daytimers and afterparties which inhabit every local venue in San Diego.
Any true fan of festivals has Croatia on their list of destinations if they haven’t been there already. It’s sapphire blue waters are the perfect landscape for the wide array of parties that span every scene and genre; none more so than Dimensions festival. Not only does it feature lineup that lists Anderson. Paak alongside Helena Hauff, it offers attendees the chance to explore every manner of terrain. There are sets on boats. There are sets in the underground Zerostrasse Tunnels. There are sets on the beach.
Techno aficionados are lucky because it’s one of the only genres of music that has a real presence in Russia. While this country may be near subzero for most of the year, when the sun does come out the Russians don’t waste a minute. Gamma in St. Petersburg brings a series of dynamic musicians as well as Gamma Pro, a conference discussing all manner of arts and culture.
Over the last three decades, the Iberian peninsula has given rise to a style of dance music that is equal parts minimal and groovy, defining Spain and Portugal as a hub for sonic innovation, and this spirit naturally extends to their music events. While the White Isle may not be far, this festival boasts a lineup that is nearly the opposite of what you would find there. With artists like Dave Clarke, Luke Slater, Christinne and more, this group of artists are selective of where they play because they want to play for the right people. Forte festival attracts the right people.
If there is one festival that is instantly recognized in its photography selects it’s KappaFutura. The industrial skeleton of Parco Dora has provided festival-goers and artists alike with an authentic backdrop that pays homage to the early days of raving.
This is THE festival not to miss in 2019, or any year for that matter. You want the best there is to offer in techno, house, tech house and deep house? Go to ADE. You want to visit one of the best cities on the planet while being surrounded by a party culture that actually understands the importance of nightlife? Go to ADE. Want to be able to pick and choose lineups, venues and a party schedule spread across 5 days? Go to ADE.
Bottom line: GO.TO.ADE.