It’s officially summer, and the 2019 European festival season is already under way. There are a lot of great choices out there, and, as usual, we’ve put together this guide to our essential destinations for the discerning techno festival goer.
June 13 – June 16: Telekom Electronic Beats Festival Bucharest
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Lineup includes: DJ Seinfeld, Volvox, Umfang, VTSS, Akua, HVOB, IDER
Start your summer the right way by joining us for the latest Telekom Electronic Beats festival in Bucharest. This year’s edition features a typically stacked lineup that includes techno sets alongside live performances. We’re particularly excited for our Discwoman showcase at Expirat club with the New York collective’s Volvox, Umfang, VTSS and Akua. See you there next week!
June 20 – June 23: Tauron Nowa Muzyka
Location: Katowice, Poland
Lineup includes: Kraftwerk, Bjarki, coucou chloe, Deena Abdelwahed, Fatima Al Qadiri, Gaika, Gus Gus, Atom TM & Jacek Sienkiewicz, Laurel Halo, Oscar Mulero
Tauron Nowa Muzyka is one of Poland’s leading festivals. Held in the Katowice Culture Zone in the city’s Bogucice district, this year’s edition will be headlined by none other than ground breaking electronic music giants Kraftwerk (in 3-D). The rest of the lineup is spot on, too, including a lot from different corners of the club music spectrum. Renowned acts like Jazzanova and Gus Gus rub shoulders with some of the hottest upcoming DJs and live acts on the circuit today.
June 26 – June 30: Glastonbury
Location: Worthy Farm, United Kingdom
Lineup includes: The Chemical Brothers, Billie Eilish, Stormzy, Larry Heard, Tony Humphries, Laurel Halo, Kode9, The Black Madonna. Four Tet, Bicep, Charlotte de Witte
Arguably one of the biggest and most storied festivals in the world, Glastonbury has been around since the 1970s (the first festival took place a day after Jimi Hendrix died). It is such an institution that the Dalai Lama might swing by on his birthday to discuss climate change with editors from The Guardian, live streamed by the BBC. Musically, the lineup is overwhelmingly good, with The Killers, The Cure, Janet Jackson and Kylie Minogue headlining the main stage, while a near infinite cast of DJs and live acts like Larry Heard, Tony Humphries, Randall, Bicep, Four Tet, Ben UFO, Hodge, Peggy Gou and many more will also play. We are especially psyched for Block9’s premier of their new immersive audio-visual stage IICON.
June 26 – June 30: Fusion
Location: Lärz, Germany
Lineup includes: Steve Rachmad, Blond:ISH, Marc Romboy, Horse Meat Disco, Wintermute, Colin Benders, Meute, M.A.N.D.Y., Der Dritte Raum
The immensely popular Fusion festival found itself in the midst of a big controversy with the local authorities regarding a 24/7 presence of police on the festival site. After wide-ranging protests and shows of solidarity with the festival organizers, Fusion will luckily take place as planned. For the past 21 years it’s been a beacon for peaceful and counter-cultural celebration.
June 27 – June 30: Les Siestes Électroniques
Location: Toulouse, France
Lineup includes: Dis Fig, Sotofett, Slikback, Tim Lawrence
Based in the South of France, Les Siestes Électroniques is dedicated to showcasing emerging artists from music and digital culture in public spaces. The majority of the programming is free of charge and takes place outdoors. The guiding concept behind the event is to combine concerts, workshops and exhibitions around themes of cultural diversity. So if you’re looking for a festival experience that includes studying net-occidental audio collections, browsing historic museums and attending workshops on creating light theremins, then this is the event for you.
July 5 – July 7: Terraforma
Location: Villa Arconati, Milan
Lineup includes: Caterina Barbieri, DJ Stingray, Buttechno, Donato Dozzy, RP Boo, Bambounou
In its sixth year, the self-described “experimental and sustainable music festival”, Terraforma will again host three days of workshops, lectures and top-shelf electronic (dance) music. Located in the woods just outside Milan, the festival aims to blend art installations and the rich natural beauty of the festival site. Musically, Terraforma offers a great list of electronic music’s most forward thinking artists.
July 6 – 7: Kappa Futurfestival
Location: Torino, Italy
Lineup Includes: Ricardo Villalobos, Luciano, The Black Madonna, Dubfire, Motor City Drum Ensemble B2B Jeremy Underground, Red Axes, Modeselektor, Nina Kraviz, Solomun, Jamie Jones, Derrick May and more.
The ethos of Italian futurism lives on in the form of Kappa FuturFestival, an event in Torino that’s now on its 8th edition. Take a look at that roster, and you can see that it’s every bit as forward thinking as the philosophy that underpins its genesis. This time around there will be an ample mix of house heavyweights and techno favorites.
July 5 – July 8: Freerotation
Location: Baskerville Hall, Wales
Lineup includes: Kai Alcé, Aurora Halal, Afrodeutsche, Ben UFO, Objekt, Neel, Leif, Tama Sumo, Surgeon, Resom, Sebastian Mullaert
Freerotation has long been one of the highlights of the festival season—for those who get to go that is. Born from the free-party scene, the festival in Wales, not far away from Birmingham, it’s a not-for-profit endeavour that is special in that you need to be a member (or be invited by a member) to go. The result of having to jump through so many hoops is an incredibly intimate festival for music lovers, where artists and DJs stay for the whole weekend and unwind after their gig.
July 12 – July 14: Creepy Teepee
Location: Czech Republic
Lineup includes: Lineup Hidden
By far one of the most interesting festivals in Europe is Czech event Creepy Teepee. The festival’s anarchic DIY ethos is matched by a fearless curatorial agenda that regularly features the likes of Pictureplane, Sega Bodega, Yves Tumor, Mykki Blanco, Mechatok, coucou chloe and more. What’s more it’s held at the gothic town of Kutná Hora, a place surrounded by UNESCO protected architecture.
July 12 – July 14: Sacred Ground
Location: Uckermark, Germany
Lineup includes: Curses, HVOB, Ry X, Frank Wiedemann
Located in Uckermark, Germany—just 130 kilometers north of Berlin—Sacred Ground showcases a program of artists curated by Ry X and Frank Wiedemann. Unsurprisingly, the results boast a diverse range of performers, many of whom have collaborated on various Innervisions releases. The event is “commercial free and artist driven” with no pre-published timetable. The melodic techno-oriented lineup will be coupled with on-site yoga classes and massages. For those partiers who want to chill out, look no further.
July 19 – July 21: Nation of Gondwana
Location: Grünefeld, Germany
Lineup includes: Freddy K, Denis Sulta, Kim Ann Foxman, Move D, Monika Kruse, Rødhåd
This year’s edition of Nation of Gondwana is a special one. The pioneering festival just outside Berlin will celebrate its 25th anniversary. What started as an annual goa-trance-infused gathering for everyone who wanted to escape the mass mania of Berlin’s Loveparade has turned into an internationally recognized festival hotspot that, despite all the necessary increases in professionalism, has stayed true to its anarchic underground roots.
July 19 – 20: Sónar
Location: Various venues in Barcelona
Lineup includes: DJ Krush, Holly Herndon: PROTO, Dengue Dengue Dengue, Leon Vynehall, Ross From Friends, 700 Bliss, DJ Lag, Lorenzo Senni, Maya Jane Coles presents Nocturnal Sunshine, Underworld, Bill Kouligas, Disclosure, A$AP Rocky
No summer festival list would be complete without Spain’s iconic Sónar festival. Though it is now a worldwide event, the three-day festival takes place in the heart of Barcelona and it regularly hosts some of the most forward-thinking artists in the world. This year’s edition features a performance of Holly Herndon’s AI-derived Holly Herndon: PROTO project.
July 19 – July 21: Melt!
Location: Ferropolis, Gräfenhainichen
Lineup includes: Skepta, Modeselektor, Four Tet, Honey Dijon, The Black Madonna. Helena Hauff, Inga Mauer, Octo Octa, Bonobo, Arca
A German classic. Melt! has shaped taste since 1997. Over the years the booking has become increasingly eclectic, which has become one of the festival’s many calling cards. Ferropolis, “the city of iron”, that houses Melt! (and other festivals like the hip-hop centered Splash!) builds the perfect, post-industrial backdrop for sets and live shows from Charlotte de Witte, Ellen Allien, A$asp Rocky, Arca or Yung Lean.
July 26 – July 29: Present Perfect
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Lineup includes: Helena Hauff, DJ Nobu, Demdike Stare, Gesloten Cirkel
The edgy Russian electronic music festival is back this year with a formidable lineup that includes artists from the depths of techno, sludgy electro and psychedelia. The three-day program is traditionally divided into sections: the main event on Saturday, the opening concert, an educational block, a series of pre-parties and a final daytime party that takes place next to the water. We recommend not passing up an opportunity to listen to the underground’s most exciting names while partying next to a view over the Sevkabel Port and the Gulf of Finland.
August 1 – August 5: Garbicz Festival
Location: Garbicz, Poland
Lineup includes: Unannounced
“Behind a door crowned by two unicorns, a land out of the time opens itself for a special journey.” Intrigued? Garbicz Festival is the love child of Berlin promoters, club owners and entrepreneurs Bachstelzen, Katerblau and Holzmarkt. It’s a multi-faceted and truly immersive playground, located close to the Polish/German border. A crystal clear lake surrounded by majestic trees and a spacious and beautiful site welcome Garbicz revelers. The price tag is chunkier than for other festivals, but drinks and food are included. Musically, Garbicz is as eclectic as they come. The lineup is a secret though.
August 2 – August 4: Katharsis Festival
Location: Warehouse Elementenstraat, Amsterdam
Lineup includes: Source Direct, Tommy Four Seeven, Veronica Vasicka, Paula Temple, Function, VTSS, Phase Fatale
This year marks the 5th anniversray for Katharsis. The Amsterdam festival celebrates its anniversary in style with two days of cutting edge electronic music at the mighty Warehouse Elemetennstraat. The lineup pretty much speaks for itself. Techno of the harder, monochrome and experimental nature dominates the two days. It’s the prefect soundtrack for a week of pummeling sonics in a cavernous post-industrial vuenue.
August 2 – August 4: Nachtdigital
Location: Bungalowdorf Olganitz, Germany
Lineup includes: Helena Hauff, Marie Davidson, Batu. Dasha Rush. Wata Igarashi, DVS1, Gerd janson, Robag Wruhme, Shed, Deena Abdelwahed
For years, Nachtdigital has been one of Germany’s most loved festivals, praised for its intimate vibe and immaculate booking policy. This March, however, the organizers announced that the 2019 edition will be the last chapter in the festival’s storied history. The anticipation to get back to the site tucked around the beautiful lake at Bungalowdorf Olganitz, just outside Leipzig, will be bittersweet for sure. Nachtdigital’s final edition will be soundtracked by a host of top DJs traversing house, techno, ambient, electro and a lot more.
August 7 – August 13: Sziget
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Lineup includes: Richie Hawtin, Avalon Emerson, Blawan, Ryan Elliott
Sziget isn’t a typical electronic music festival. The event has broad lineup that includes more pop-, rap- and rock-oriented artists. Art is also an important aspect of the festival; performers, sculptors and painters come from all over the world to showcase their work here, and the grounds themselves are scattered with interactive art pieces that festival goers can lounge on and engage with. Located in the middle of bustling Budapest, attendees can choose to camp by the festival grounds or stay in a hotel or Airbnb in the capital city.
August 21 – August 23: Pop-Kultur
Location: Kulturbrauerei, Berlin
Lineup includes: Die Goldenen Zitronen, Mykki Blanco, Perel, Shabazz Places, Planningtorock, Coco Rosie
In a city mostly soundtracked by techno, Berlin’s Pop-Kultur festival stands out. More free-form, it’s a three-day interdisciplinary event that uses performances, workshops, lectures, films and discussions to explore “pop” in a contemporary context. For the festival’s fifth edition, it will return to the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauerberg. The lineup, in addition to the above artists, will focus on music from central and eastern Europe with outfits like Poland’s BNNT and Serbia’s alt rock band Repetitor.
August 22 – August 26: Dekmantel Selectors
Location: Tisno, Croatia
Lineup includes: Lena Willikens, Francois K, Palms Trax, Vladimir Ivkovic, Donato Dozzy, Finn Johannsen, mad miran, Darwin, Ben UFO
Dekmantel Selectors in Croatia is the more intimate sibling of Amsterdam’s prestigious Dekmantel Festival. Taking place at the picturesque The Garden resort in Tisno, the festival’s booking is geared towards showcasing some of the best up-and-coming talents and local heros the international DJ circuit has to offer. And who wouldn’t want to listen to the eclectic sounds of people like Lena Willikens, Palms Trax or frequent TEB scribe Finn Johannsen while being surrounded by the special beauty of the Dalmatian coastline?
August 24 – August 25: Brave! Factory Festival
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine
Lineup includes: Zenker Brothers, Solar, Nastia, Jeroen Search
Brave! has been a long-time Electronic Beats favorite. Its unique location in a derelict warehouse, attention to concept and design and delicate contrast between both lighter and darker hues of musical programming make it a must-visit festival for anyone traveling through Ukraine. This year’s lineup will feature a mix of 2-step, electro, techno and bleepy minimal from an eclectic lineup of DJs hailing from the local scene and further afield.
August 28 – September 1: Berlin Atonal
Location: Kraftwerk, Berlin
Lineup includes: Objekt, Alessandro Cortini, Nkisi, HTRK, Shackleton
Since its revitalization, Berlin Atonal has become a corner stone of the annual festival season, especially for everyone who is interested in the overlap of club culture, avant-garde and audio-visual experiments. Berlin’s cavernous Kraftwerk is the perfect brutalist venue for these explorations into sound and light. The first batch of artists from this year’s lineup was just announced. The Atonal programmers don’t show any signs of slowing down.