Dance music has taken over the festival scene in a stupendous way, and we couldn’t be happier. If you’re looking to plan a summertime trip around an awesome electronic music festival, look no further. We’ve got a list of 27 really good ones, that are just as much about the music as they are about the experience!
1. Ultra Music Festival
When: March 18 19 20 and July 15, 16 and 17
Where: Miami and Croatia
Ultra, is without a doubt one of the biggest names in the festival circuit. With two mammoth editions that take the music scene by storm every year, the festival keep growing bigger each year. The festival is known for its path breaking stage production and can be termed as the ultimate festival experience. This year’s insane line up includes bigwigs such as Afrojack, Avicii, Kaskade, Kygo and Chet Faker. The festival stages have previously housed names such as Alesso, Zed and The Chainsmokers.
2. Beyond Wonderland
When: March 18-19
Beyond Wonderland is one the most popular festivals in the USA. Held in lovely California, the festival is known for its crazy good lineups. Acts such as 12th Planet and Tom Collins have wowed festival goers time and again and we have not even spoken about the insane production value. Insomniac is one of the few festival organisers who manage to surprise every year! And not to mention their super cool lineup for 2016. We are really excited to what new twists interesting new artists such as Marshmello and Ghastly bring us. Old favourites like Dada Life, Alesso and Deorro will be entertaining festival goers with their sick beats as usual.
When: April 15-24
Where: California, USA
Coachella, though always having a robust dance music talent, has surprised everyone by taking on pretty strongly to the dance music scene in the past three years or so. It is now one of the most sought out festivals to check out some great electronic music. Since awhile, the lineup has seen a surge in electronic artists and mind you, they have some really good stuff in store for us this year as well. With Calvin Harris headlining, they have Major Lazer, Jack Ü, Underworld, Disclosure, Nina Las Vegas and we are already heavy breathing with excitement here.
4. Desert Hearts Festival
In a quaint little reservantion, this festival makes for a brilliant place for you to chill out and soak in some EDM vibes. Much smaller in size when compared to daddies such as Ultra, this festival has successfully made a name by having very innovative lineups, in exotic settings. If there is one thing you can be sure of here, it’s the fact that you most definitely will hear some new and amazing talent. This year, artists from genres ranging from house to techno to psytrance can be seen performing. Make sure you catch untapped talents such as Atish, Dance Spirit and Joyce Muniz.
5. Further Future
When: April 29
Where: Moapa River Reservation outside Las Vegas
Now if there is one thing we cannot resist, it’s such dreamy experimentation with the pre-set format of music festivals. The young Further Future is taking things a step further by accepting a completely neo-futuristic and ‘apocalyptic-industrial’ theme for the festival, and the results are just beautiful. Inspired from the likes of the Robot Heart camp in Burning man, it offers the most unique facilities smack in the middle of the desert such as spas, pop-up dinners and wait for it, talks by international CEOs of world renowned tech companies. And the lineup is pretty much tailored to suit the setting like the erratic list of DJs such as Bob Mose, Taylor McFerrin and Com Truise performed last year. We can’t wait to see what level the festival reaches with acts such as Nicolas Jaar, Matt Tolfrey and PaperCutz bringing their own interesting sound.
6. Lightning In A Bottle
When:May 25 to 30
Where: Bradley, California.
Described as one of the happiest places in the world, the festival is a hotbed for some of the coolest acts from all around the globe to come and perform. Hosted at various locations since its inception in the early 2000’s, the festival has quickly become known as a paradise for the true lovers of dance music. The Do Lab, the organizing brains behind this 5-day caper, brilliantly manage to bring an astonishing amount of crowd together for a ridiculously good experience. Niche artists such as Chet Faker and Ibeyi all mount the ridiculously beautiful stages and we can’t wait to see what else the festival has in store for us.
7. Movement Electronic Festival
When: May 28 to 30
Where: Detroit, United States
Very unfortunately clashing with LIB, the MEF is whole another experience and the average dance music enthusiast will suffer great pain having to pick one. Though the festival has gone by many names in the past years, the sound of MEF has remained the same. The fertile environment where new talent gets a chance to be heard and known legends are always forced to try out something new for the eager crowds, the festival is absolutely unmissable. With classics like Kraftwerk helming the talent-heavy line up, we are super excited to see a stellar stream of artists such as Tale of Us, Dubfire and Adam Beyer joining them.
8. Electric Daisy Carnival
When: June 17 to June 19 and July 9
Where: Las Vegas, United States and Milton Keynes Bowl, UK
The flagship event by the Insomniac team, EDC is one of the first festivals to put dance music of the giddying heights it has reached now. Each year, the team comes together to carefully craft one of the most brilliant and carefully planned festivals and god knows we appreciate the attention to detail. Because not only is EDC one of the most visually stunning festivals of our times, it also has one of the best lineups. They hardly disappoint with their pick of artists with Tiesto, Avicii and Calvin Harris performing last year and we hope this year is the same.
9. Mad Decent Block Party
When: July 31 to September 26
With humble beginnings in 2008 when started by its namesake record label Mad Decent (which is headed by Diplo), the Party has become one of the craziest events one can be a part of. One of the poshest festivals in the circuit, it is an event you understand only if you experience it. As it tours all over the world, leaving behind a trail of revelers who just cant seem to get enough of it, it also has some of the best lineups ever. This year Jack Ü will be performing at a few of the Party stops and joining him will be artists such as Major Lazer and TWRK.
10. Secret Garden Party
When : July 21
Where: Abbots Ripton, England, UK
The UK’s prime boutique festival – The Secret Garden Party, has time and again left us amazed by its visual beauty and creative spirit. For those of you who don’t know, SGP takes place in Abbots Ripton, near Huntingdon, England. The venue of which is its USP– a Georgian farm house accompanied by its own lake, river and gorgeous landscape. The organizers concentrate on making the festival a visual experience with floating boats, crazy entertainment and a yearly theme. SGP’s electronic music lineup is something very different from the usual music that dance music festivals hosts. Caribou, Hot Since 82, The Japanese House are among the many IDM artists ready to take stage at this beautiful festival!
11. EXIT Festival
When: July 14 to 16, 2016
Where: Novi Sad, Serbia
The EXIT Festival was named the best music festival to visit in Europe this summer by leading tourist organization Best European Destinations. The award is given in cooperation with the European Commission according to EXIT organizers. The festival will feature acts like Ellie Goulding, Bastille, Wiz Khalifa, Dmitri Vegas & Like Mike, Nicky Romero, Robin Schulz and more to be announced.
When: July 15 to 17, 2016
Where: Grafanhainichen, Germany
Set in one of the most unique festival locations in the world, Melt! brings life to the gigantic monuments of the machine age with its colorful lighting and thumping tech beats. This is the ultimate “Industrial Meets Electronic” music festival that takes place in the massive industrial museum of Ferropolis, Germany. The event location spreads over 6 floors, and has a line-up of nearly 100 live acts over the weekend. Here are the dance music acts to look out for this year : Lost Frequencies, Robin Schulz, Nicky Romero, Stormzy, Modestep (DJ), Sigma (DJ), Sub Focus & ID (DJ), Zomboy,Wilkinson (DJ), Solomun and tons more!
13. Woogie Weekend–
Where : California, USA
When : July 8 to 10
Lightning In A Bottle’s beloved Woogie stage, managed to bag itself a festival of its own. This relatively new festival carries on the awesome Woogie stage vibe with its awesome Techno music and amazing crowd. For every dance music lover out there ready to experience something different and more down-to-earth, this is the festival for you.
14. Tomorrowland (Belgium, Brasil)
When: July 22, 2016
Where: Belgium and Brasil
What sets Tomorrowland apart from the rest is its storybook setting and immersive nature. Described as Trippy Technicolor Fantasies, stages undergo seamless transformations with a well-executed attention to detail. In 2011, the “Alice in Wonderland” theme translated into a real-life journey down the rabbit hole with live characters, real waterfalls, next-level pyrotechnics, and life-size mushrooms that catapulted stage design to new heights. The line-up is always a banger, as you can expect every respectable dance music act to be playing at Tomorrowland.
When: August 1-7, 2016
An army of the best psychedelic artists from around the world will assemble in Hungary every year, when the leading festival brand for psy-trance takes place. Since 2011, the Ozora festival has been attracting audiences from all over the globe at its magnificent venue, and the major credit for their intense traction must be awarded to their undivided focus on providing an overall festival experience with the best independent names in the world. This six day mega event sees fans of the genre descend on Hungary in the millions.
When: August 25 to 18, 2016
Where: Daresbury, UK
Creamfields festival is pretty much the epicenter of dance in the UK. The long standing festival ( it started in 1998) always comes armed with a massive line-up that includes the biggest names in the industry today on around 8 arenas. This year Deadmau5, Pete Tong, Avicii and Eric Prydz will be headlining the event among (many) more. If you’re someone who wants to experience a pure EDM festival, Creamfields is the place for you.
17. Shambala Music Festival
Where: Salmo River Ranch, British Columbia, Canada
When :August 5 to 8
The organically raw Shambhala Music Festival amalgamates art, expression, music and the wilderness life with surprising ease. Every year, liberated expressionists from around the world throng the Salmo River Ranch in Canada for an experience that is cut off from commercial celebration, to immerse themselves in cultural bonhomie that only Shambhala delivers. Apart from that bass music is the basis of this festival, with artistes like Bonobo, Amtrac, Bakermar, AC Slater gracing their lineup last year. We’re eagerly waiting for this year’s lineup!
18. Mysteryland (USA, Netherlands, Chile)
Where: USA, Netherlands, Chile
When: Bethel Woods, New York June 10 to 13,
Mysteryland is the longest-running electronic music, culture and arts festival in the world, active since 1993 with international editions in Chile, the Netherlands and the United States. Taking place in June, it’s third instalment in USA will expand to present an even more satisfying festival experience, starting with new-and-improved campgrounds with increased capacity and camping options, plus more musical programming to offer camp-ground visitors a full three-day festival experience.
Where: Seattle, USA
When: September 23 to 27
Decibel Festival is like the ADE of America, with no lack of visual showcases and live art and music. This years edition is hosting over 130 artists from 15 different countries, 25 club showcases across 11 premier venues and will include a 3 day conference. To top that all off, expect some bangin’ boat parties. Seattle really comes alive during Decibel with around 25000 participants, spectators and visitors attending. The features workshops, shows, conferences and pop-up art displays and of course, the music – effectively reinventing live music. To have massively popular headliners is not a mantra Decibel follows. Over the years, Decibel has provided a platform for talented artistes before they got famous like James Blake, Deadmau5, Jon Hopkins and Lorde making it an event you go to to discover new music.
20. Paris Techno ParadeWhere: Paris, France
When: September 19
Paris loves Techno, and Techno loves Paris. This festival takes place on it’s very streets, much like any other cultural parade, except here the best and most edgy techno DJs perform for a sea of fans.
21. Outlook Festival
When: August 31, 2016
Where: Pula, Croatia
Outlook, set in an abandoned fort perched above the Adriatic sea, next to a beach right near Pula, Croatia, is a festival featuring some incredible music from the enthused dance music scene from around the world, for a period of four days. Think beauty, some partying till the night drops dead, and some good bass music, brought in from the qualitative quarters of the genre, and it will be an electronic music gathering worth cheering.
22. Electric Zoo
Where: Randall’s Island, NYC
When: September 2 3 4
The Electric Zoo Festival is an annual electronic music festival held over Labor Day weekend in New York City on Randall’s Island. The festival represents all genres of electronic music, bringing top international DJs and live acts from multiple countries along with hometown favorites to four stages. In its 2009 inaugural year, 26,000 people attended to see artists Armin van Buuren, Deadmau5, David Guetta and Ferry Corsten. In 2011, Electric Zoo expanded to a 3-day festival and hosted 85,000 attendees. Electric Zoo received International Dance Music Awards nominations in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 for “Best Music Event”.
(Words by Sanskriti Shukla and Dhriti Menon)