Here are some of the most interesting electronic music festivals in Europe this year.
Listen! Festival 17-21 April, Brussels (Belgium)
Listen! Festival is a Brussels-wide celebration of electronic and dance music, bringing together some of the scene’s most talented artists from Belgium and abroad.
This year, the festival will be opened by a Tony Allen & Jeff Mills concert and has artist like Motor City Drum Ensemble, I-F, Helena Hauff, Andrew Weatherall, Palms Trax or Masalo.
Rokolectiv Festival 18-21 April, Bucharest (Romania)
Rokolectiv is happening in various locations in Bucharest, with a selected line-up of artists and their personal take on the current zeitgeist, as well as on hypothetical futures in music and art. They have not announced a line-up for this year, but in the previous years they had artists like Giant Swan, December, Tolouse Low Trax, Phase Fatale or An-i alongside local artists like Borusiade, Marius Georgescu or Aleksa Alaska, so it should be interesting also this year.
Lente Kabinet Festival 25-26 May, Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Lente Kabinet is an open air festival held at Het Twiske, a big nature reserve in a cluster of villages 10 km north of Amsterdan, and it is curated by the Dekmantel crew. There are no artists announced yet, but Lente boasts a small but elite cast of artists who represent the various strains of the Dekmantel sound: house, techno and a touch of bass, so you can imagine will be good.
Nuits Sonores 28 May-2 June, Lyon (France)
Nuits Sonores is located in La Sucrière, a building devoted to contemporary art situated on the banks of the Saône. Nuits Sonores keeps a pioneer spirit, putting together big names and discoveries but also local, French and international artists who represent all the diversity of the electronic and independent sounds.
This year the day events are curated by Bonobo, Peggy Gou, Maceo Plex and Lena Willikens. The full program is available and includes acts like Mutant Beat Dance, Model 500, Maoupa Mazzocchetti, Nu Guinea, Marcel Detmann, Jensen Interceptor, Donato Dozzy, I-F or Tony Allen & Jeff Mills.
AVA Festival 31 May-2 June, Belfast (Northern Ireland)
AVA is an Audio Visual Arts Festival & Conference that celebrates, amplifies and develops the strong current of electronic music & digital visual arts. The full line-up was announced and includes artists like Ben UFO, Ben Sims, Daniel Avery, JASSS, Motor Cit Drum Ensemble, Randomer or Skatebård.
The Crave Festival 31 May-2 June, The Hague (Netherlands)
The Crave is a festival that celebrates the electronic music from The Hague and is one of the most interesting festivals out there. The main event take place in the enchanting vegetation of The Hague’s Zuiderpark, but there are other events during the 4 days. This year they bringing in a program, featuring West Coast legends, main stage onslaughts and fresh up-and-coming tastemakers. Some of the highlights should be Egyptian Lover b2b Juan Atkins, Gesloten Cirkel, Guy Tavares, Intergalactic Gary b2b Pasiphae, DVS1 and Antal.
Intergalactic.FM Fest 6-9 June, The Hague
The annual Intergalactic FM Festival is a pilgrimage for fanatics of The Hague sound. Dates are announced location probably is PIP Den Haag and you may expect names like this I-F, Orgue Electronique, Intergalactic Gary, Das Ding, David Vunk, DJ Overdose, Gesloten Cirkel, Legowelt , Paul Du Lac. It is definitely a something that you have to experience.
Kala 12-19 June, Dhërmi (Albania)
Kala is a week-long adventure on the sun-soaked Albanian Riviera. This is the second edition of the festival and the line-up includes names like Derrick May, Francois K, Fred P, Hunee, Prins Thomas or Theo Parrish.
Kolorádó Fesztivál 17-22 June, Budapest (Hungary)
Kolorádó is on the outskirts of Budapest, in the embrace of the forest of the Buda hills. This year they have an interesting and diverse program including artists like Femi Kuti, Ben UFO, Umwelt, Broken English Club, Elena Colombi, Romanian duo Khidja or locals like Norwell.
Strange Sounds from Beyond 22 June, Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
Strange Sounds from Beyond is a one day musical celebrations at Noorderlicht & NDSM in Amsterdam, with partners in crime Rush Hour, Red Light Radio and The Rest Is Noise. The line-up is not announced yet, but in the last years they had Sun Ra Arkestra, Selda, Les Filles de Illighadad, Vladimir Ivkovic, Orpheu The Wizard, Dollkraut, Interstellar Funk or Antal. We’ve been there in 2017 and we had a great time.
Terraforma 5-7 July, Milano (Italy)
The festival manifesto for this year is: “The sixth edition of Terraforma investigates the sphere of Language. Revealing its own Alphabet through the work of Nathalie Du Pasquier, Terraforma will explore Language under different aspects during the festival.” The artists were not announced, but the experimental festival held at Villa Arcornati in Milano had invited artists like Arpanet, Donato Dozzy, Jeff Mills, Marco Shuttle, Rabih Beaini, Ron Morelli or Suzanne Ciani.
Dekmantel Festival 31 July-4 August, Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
Dekmantel festival has developed in one of the most attended festivals in the world for electronic music. The 7th edition takes place under the trees of the Amsterdamse Bos and across various venues around the IJ river. They host a broad roster of heritage acts, contemporary favorites and breaking talents. Some of the most interesting acts from this year are Charles Manier, Cybotron, Interstellar Funk, Jeff Mills, Marcel Dettmann, Marie Davidson, Nu Guinea, Pasiphae, Solar, Terrence Dixon or The Exaltics.
Nachtdigital Festival 2-4 August, Leipzig (Germany)
Nachtdigital is an open-air gathering just outside Leipzig, intimate, with a laid back crowd, easy on your wallet, in a green venue and booked from the heart, with no concern for marquee headliners. The first wave of acts was announced and include DVS1, Inigo Kennedy, Marie Davidson, Olivia or Shed.
DT Camp 9-11 August, Lithuanian Woods
Digital Tsunami is preparing their 4th rave in the Lithuanian woods. The location is secret and you will know it only in the last week before the festival. The organizers have a strict policy and not everybody can buy a ticket. But it’s totally worth it! We’ve been there last year and was one of the highlights for us. The crowd is really nice and the location was incredible, on the banks of a crystal clear lake, inside a pine forest. For this year they announced the first 7 artists, but you cannot choose a favorite Credit 00, Ernestas Sadau, Heap, Maoupa Mazzochetti, Mick Wills, Retrograde Youth and Stallone The Reducer. The DT Camp it’s a must!
Festival Forte 22-25 August, Montemor-o-Velho Castle (Portugal)
Festival Forte is moving on to its 6th edition in the Castle of Montemor-o-Velho, Portugal. Following the principles by which it was founded, the visionaries from the past will meet the innovators of the present to shape the paths for the future in electronic music and visual arts. Generative Art continues central in the development of the communication of the Festival, simultaneously working with the University of Coimbra on the adventure of education and discoveries in creative coding. All will culminate in a creative and abundant dialogue inside the Castle walls. From the line-up we mention Anthony Linell, Boston 168, Dave Clarke, Neon Chambers (Sigha & Kangding Ray), Oscar Mulero, Phase Fatale, Polar Inertia, and TR-101 (Sleeparchive & DJ Pete).
Dekmantel Selectors 22-26 August, Tisno (Croatia)
Dekmantel Selectors is limited to a capacity of 2000, to keep the vibe pure throughout the whole week. During the daytime, there are 3 or 4 stages on the beautiful Adriatic coastline and boat parties, while by night, the party moves to the infamous club Barbarella. We’ve been there in 2016 for the first edition and the vibe was very nice. This year we will be going again and the line-up looks even better. They have selectors like Albion, Chee Shimizu, Donato Dozzy, Identified Patient, Intergalactic Gary & Pasiphae, Lena Willikens, Mick Wills, Rabih Beaini or Solar.
Amural Festival 22-25 August, Brașov (Romania)
Amural is an audiovisual festival in Brașov, Romania. They are focusing on visual art, but also on the interaction with sounds. The concept and details for this year are not available, but in the last two years they had acts like Max Cooper, Marcus Henriksson, Alex Smoke, Nathan Fake and locals like Borusiade, Lektronikumuz, Marius Georgescu or Șerb.
Berlin Atonal 28 Aug-1 September, Berlin (Germany)
Berlin Atonal takes place every year in the abandoned power plant Kraftwerk in Berlin. Across five days, the festival focuses on audiovisual experiments and electronic music. The program for this year is not online, but last year the line-up included, among others, Actress, Alessandro Adriani, Helena Hauff, Le Syndicat Electronique, Lena Willikens, Regis and Veronica Vasicka, so you can expect quality.
Unsound Festival 6-13 October, Krakow (Poland)
Unsound Festival in Krakow has developed in one of the biggest festivals in the world. This year will be the 17th edition of the festival in Krakow, a week of concerts, club nights, installations, talks and screenings.
Positive Education 7-11 November, Saint-Étienne (France)
Positive Education festival extends over five days, bringing together some of the best weirdo dance music heads, performing in Saint-Etienne’s manufacturing district. No line-up is available until now, but from the previous years you can expect Alessandro Adriani, Cabaret Voltaire, Das Ding, Ekman, In Aeternam Vale, Kris Baha, Nick Klein, Ron Morelli or The Hacker.
MIRA Festival November, Barcelona (Spain)
MIRA is a digital arts festival based on three interconnected areas: exhibition, dissemination and education, and is held annually in Barcelona (since 2011) and Berlin (since 2016). Focused on new trends in digital culture and technology, the festival features a program comprised of audiovisual shows in both traditional and fulldome formats, digital art installations, 3D-4D sound shows, fulldome screenings, conferences, presentations and workshops. Dates for 2019 are not available yet.
The next two festival did not announce their dates, but I hope they will also happen this year.
Camp Cosmic July, Berlin (Germany)
Camp Cosmic was started in Sweden and then moved to Germany. Last year’s Camp Cosmic was planned in some park near Berlin, but due to the wildfires from July, the event had to be moved into the city, in Humboldthain Club. They had a lot to loose after this and I hope they can still make it this year. At Camp Cosmic , you can expect acts like Albion, DJ soFa, Noah Gibson, Sacha Mambo, Sneaker DJ, spAceLex or Traxx.
Automata Festival November, Bucharest (Romania)
Last year in November, Control Club organized Automata festival, an event that looked to me as a smaller Romanian version of the Berlin Atonal festival. There were not so many people as it should, but it was a breath of fresh air for the Romanian electronic music scene. There were some interesting audiovisual live acts like Alessandro Cortini, Cosmin Nicolae, Huerco S., Minus & Șerb and DJ sets from Borusiade, Elena Colombi and Romansoff. I hope they will make it also this year.