The 25 European Techno Festivals That You Should Go To This Summer
As the spring has started to heat up to summer, we decided to unveil our comprehensive guide of the best European festivals happening between now and the end of August. From more intimate, invite-only affairs like DT Camp in the woods of Lithuania to bigger and more elaborate productions like Dekmantel in Amsterdam, this list provides an overview of the events that we deem totally unmissable. We’ve also included each event’s key headliners, dates and defining features so that you can start planning your party calendar for the next few months. Check all 24 of them out below.
May 24-26: Hyperreality
Location: Vienna, Austria
Lineup Includes: Arca, Born In Flamez, Gabber Eleganza, JASSS, Nina Kraviz
More a collection of three separate events—each day is a separately-ticketed, vibe-based experience—Hyperreality features nights exploring the intersection of electronic music, pop music and culture. Curated by Wiener Festwochen, the festival explores the club as “a place where society’s constraints and mechanisms are suspended,” and treats established structures in content and form as something to break out of. Featuring some of the most boundary-pushing music to come out of the techno, gabber and ballroom scenes in recent years, Hyperreality is worth checking out just for its sheer diversity.
May 26-28: Lente Kabinet
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Lineup Includes: Ben UFO, Borusiade, DJ Overdose, Hunee, Tzusing, Young Marco
Mixing contemporary electronic music, art and culture in Het Twiske, a wide-open natural oasis in Amsterdam, Lente Kabinet is likely the only place to see acts like Romanian experimental act Borusiade, Chinese industrial techno DJ and producer Tzusing and KOKOKO!, the Kinshasa-based band that mixes handmade instruments with electronic production, in the same place. It’s also definitely worth seeing Amsterdam-based house extraordinaire Hunee on his home turf.
June 8-10: Her Damit
Location: 50km from Berlin, Germany – Bunker Fruedenberg
Lineup Includes: Bambounou, Candy Pollard, DJ Boring, Shed, Kobosil, Shifted
One of Germany’s most interesting summer house and techno festivals, Her Damit is a weekender taking place deep in a retired military bunker outside of Berlin. An ode to the large-scale outdoor raves of the past, the festival promotes a DIY aesthetic, and patrons can choose to camp (or glamp) on site whenever they need a break from the concrete-walled rave atmosphere.
June 14-16: Sónar
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Lineup Includes: Call Super, Fatima Al Qadiri, Helena Hauff, Lanark Artefax, Modeselektor
Sónar needs little introduction. As one of the largest and best-respected summer festivals in Europe, it’s a good place to see some of electronic music’s best DJs and live performers while also getting your pop music fix. The festival is playing host to several interesting collaborative live sets, like DJ Stingray x Mumdance, and its size also means some performers will be bringing larger-scale live shows into the mix, like Kode 9’s AV show with Japanese anime director Koji Morimoto.
June 16: The Third Room x TEB Clubnights – Landschaftspark Duisburg Nord
Location: Duisburg Nord, Germany
Lineup Includes: Blawan, Dax J, Ellen Allien, FJAAK
Duisburg Nord is an insane industrial park with a bleak cyberpunk aesthetic that would serve as a perfect backdrop to dystopian science fiction movie; in other words, it’s the perfect place for TEB to throw a rave. Hosted in collaboration with Essen-based party series The Third Room, this party will feature some of the biggest names in techno, with German mainstay Ellen Allien, British hard-hitter Blawan and techno pranksters FJAAK filling out the lineup. You can find out more details about how to party with us here.
June 27-July 4: Love International
Location: Tisno, Croatia
Lineup Includes: Avalon Emerson, Ben UFO, Joy Orbison, Octo Octa
This week-long festival in Croatia features some of Summer’s best outdoor stages, including legendary open-air club Barbarella’s Discotheque, two soundsystem-outfitted boats—which will also transport patrons to a “distant island” stage—and a beach stage specifically for early-morning ambient sessions. This year, there’s even a new stage that will be set deep within an olive grove. Love International takes full advantage of Tisno’s beautiful coastline, allowing patrons to explore a myriad of different musical vibes while never straying too far from the Adriatic Sea.
June 28-July 1: Tauron Nowa Muzyka
Location: Katowice, Poland
Lineup Includes: Fever Ray, Jlin, Moritz Von Oswald, The Hacker, Varg, GAS
Originally held in the shaft of a coal mine, Tauron Nowa Muzyka has expanded into a four-day festival held in the Katowice Culture Zone in the city’s Bogucice district. Featuring a campsite in the Valley of Three Ponds (Dolina Trzech Stawów), the festival allows patrons to soak in some of the region’s natural areas before being transported to the hall where the music takes place.
June 30-July 1: Awakenings Festival
Location: Spaarnwoude, Netherlands
Lineup Includes: Charlotte de Witte, DVS1, Honey Dijon, Paula Temple, Peggy Gou, Silent Servant
One of the season’s most well-known outdoor techno festivals, Awakenings plays host to 80,000 electronic fans every year and stacks its lineup with a mix of techno pioneers like Jeff Mills with newer acts like Peggy Gou. If you’re a techno head, this will be one of the best places to see legends and up-and-coming DJs alike.
June 29-July 1: Terraforma
Location: Milan, Italy
Lineup Includes: Nkisi, Lanark Artefax, Donato Dozzy, Batu, Powder
Featuring three days of music, workshops and lectures, Terraforma is a sustainable music festival experiment that seeks to usher in a return to nature in order to “reduce the distance between art and life.” Emphasizing an environmental dimension in the festival experience, Terraforma takes place in the woods outside of Milan, where the music is presented within a natural structure featuring installations built by artists and artisans.
July 4-9: Freqs Of Nature Festival
Location: Niedergörsdorf, Germany
Lineup includes: Antenes, Cio D’Or, Rrose, Abdulla Rashim, Matrixxman
If you draw a triangle between Leipzig, Dresden and Berlin, you’ll find Nierdergörsdorf somewhere in the middle. The town is home to Freqs Of Nature, the “peculiar arts, music and engineering festival.” While experimental music will take the spotlight, there will also be a more house and techno-styled experience on the Groove stage with acts like Fabio Florido, Stimming and Carlo Ruetz. You’ll also be able to take some moments to relax as you wander through the selection of art installations and downtempo zones.
July 6-8: Creepy Teepee
Location: Kutná Hura, Czech Republic
Lineup Includes: Iceage, FAKA, STILL, Omni
A festival curated by A.M.180 for everything contemporary, Creepy Teepee is a festival for musical and ideological boundary pushing. Featuring modern “music for social change” and a simply-stated purpose of “no borders / no genders,” it’s definitely one of the season’s more politically-charged offerings, and past lineups have tended to feature anything from punk bands to hyper-modern electronics.
July 6-9: Freerotation
Location: Baskerville Hall, Wales
Lineup includes: Deena Abdelwahed, Erika, Hodge, Midland, Stanislav Tolkachev
Freerotation is an almost prohibitively exclusive and boutique music festival that takes place annually on stately grounds of Baskerville Hall in Wales, which is just a short drive south of Birmingham. What makes it so difficult to attend is the fact that you can’t just buy a ticket; much like the New York techno campout festival Sustain Release, you have to be invited to Freerotation by a guest who attended the previous year, on one particular day, and then win a ticket lottery. Loyalty and perseverance are rewarded at this festival. But we’ve heard that the effort is worth it.
July 12-15: EXIT Festival
Location: Novi Sad, Serbia
Lineup Includes: Aphyx, Red Axes, Tijana T, Mike Servito, DJ Tennis
Serbia’s most noteworthy festival is returning to the immense Petrovaradin Palace of Novi Sad. And while the main stage will see a variety of musical genres that range from pop to reggae, the No Sleep Stage will take on a techno-indebted life of its own. Marketed as a “festival within a festival,” the lineup on NSS will see the likes of Ben Klock, DJ Tennis, Nikita Zabelin—whose recent guide to Moscow you can read here—Eric Cloutier and more for three days of proper underground music. It’s also partnered with several clubs to support the event, like Rome’s Goa Club, New York’s The Bunker and London’s Fabric.
July 13-15: Melt! Festival
Location: Ferropolis, Germany
Lineup includes: The Black Madonna, Mount Kimbie, Ellen Allien, Westbam
If you don’t already know, Melt! (pictured in this article’s feature photo) is probably one of Germany’s most legendary festivals. It’s been taking place since 1997 and attracts around 20,000 music and party hungry punters every year. The lineup typically represents a range of styles, and this year is no different: its diverse bookings, which range from Florence and the Machine to Badbadnotgood and Nina Kraviz, are guaranteed to create an equally diverse crowd and energy. Tickets for this year are selling out fast, so move quickly.
July 13-15: Sacred Ground
Location: Brüssow, Germany
Lineup includes: Gerd Janson, Ry X, Jennifer Cardini
Sacred Ground, curated by Frank Wiedemann and RY X of Howling, is on its fourth year. In Brüssow, not far from Szczecin and the Baltic Sea, festival gatherers will embrace a weekend of music by the likes of Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Gerd Janson, Jennifer Cardini and other members of the duo’s close friend and collaborator circle. With an extremely limited run of tickets, the festival expects to accommodate only 1000. So if you haven’t gotten yours yet, now is the time.
July 18-23: Electric Castle
Location: Bánffy Castle, near Cluj-Napoca in Transylvania, Romania
Lineup includes: Richie Hawtin, Jackmaster, Raresh, Nastia, Pillowtalk
You don’t get many opportunities to rave in a historic Transylvanian castle, which is why Romania’s Electric Castle festival is so special. Operating around the clock, it offers a kaleidoscope of sounds the places techno favorites (like the ones mentioned above) alongside reggae and pop icons like Damian Marley and Little Boots. If you go, stop by our Telekom Electronic Beats stage to hear sets by Petre Inspirescu, Raresh and more!
July 20-22: Nation of Gondwana
Location: Grünefeld, Germany
Lineup Includes: Daniel Avery, KiNK, Radio Slave, Recondite, Sven von Thülen
Nation of Gondwana, which launched in 1995, originally took place in a field near Altlandsberg until it found its permanent venue near Grünefeld. One of Berlin’s longest-running electronic music festivals, the outdoor party yearly takes in around 8,000 patrons and hosts an impressive list of local and international selectors. This year, it will even feature TEB editor Sven von Thülen alongside other local and international legends.
July 26-29: Supynes Festival
Location: Tolieja, Lithuania
Lineup includes: The Empire Line, Silent Servant, Pletnev
Supynes festival—which we reviewed last year—is returning to the magical Lithuanian lakeside in July 2018. Featuring a stacked lineup of live electronic acts like Lake People and the Empire Line, the festival will also host performances from acclaimed DJs like Stingray and Silent Servant alongside a strong contingent of local talent.
July 27-29: Audioriver
Location: Płock, Poland
Lineup includes: Lee Burridge, Rampue, Amelie Lens
Audioriver is one of central Poland’s most reliable festivals. For three days, between July 27 and 29, 38 acts will descend upon the beach at Vistula River, a few hours west of Warsaw. Headliners like Maceo Plex, Richie Hawtin, Amelie Lens and countless others will deliver banging techno while names like Honey Dijon, Andhim and Gorgon City will be in charge of bringing four-on-the-floor house grooves. Industry heads can also expect reasonable prices, artist talks, panels regarding music management and marketing opportunities.
August 1-5: Dekmantel
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Lineup includes: Call Super, Gesloten Cirkel, Pan Daijing, Karen Gwyer
Where to begin with Dekmantel? Whether the lovely, picturesque woodland of the Amsterdamse Bos or the world-renowned taste-making of its excellently-curated artist roster, the festival is a sure bet for an awesome festival experience. This year they’ll also team up with venues like EYE, Shelter and the Muziekgebouw aan’t IJ to present a series of intimate concerts, screenings and lectures. If that isn’t enough, you can also catch some awesome Dekmantel afterparties, like Katharsis, which we reviewed last year.
August 3-5: Nachtdigital
Location: Bungalowdorf Olganitz, Germany
Lineup includes: Courtesy, Blawan, Optimo, Objekt, rRoxymore
Nachtdigital is the sweetheart of German festivals, yet hardly anyone knows about it. It sits just outside of Leipzig on the Bungalowdorf Olganitz, in a large, grassy knoll. With curation and organization falling to a small crew of people that refer to themselves as a family, the festival has transformed from a small village rave to an internationally renowned music gathering now on its 21st edition. Music will range from prancing Italo-disco courtesy of Krakow’s Kinzo Chrome, to more aggressive techno from Bjarki and jungle and ambient from Ben UFO.
August 8-15: Sziget
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Lineup includes: Dua Lipa, Raresh, Dense & Pika
At 25 years old, Budapest’s Sziget (“Island”) Festival is one of Europe’s oldest and largest alternative music showcases. From rock headliners like the Arctic Monkeys to the minimalist selections of Raresh and the thumping techno of Dave Clarke, it’s a range that definitely has something for everyone. While it may resemble a European Burning Man with its attention to its “Love Revolution” policy, it’s an entity all of its own.
August 10-12: DT Camp
Location: Vilnius, Lithuania
Lineup includes: Das Ding, Ernestas Sadau, Identified Patient, Marsman
In the past, DT Camp has been described as a “remote rave in the Lithuanian woods.” It takes place in a heavily forested area replete with rolling hills and dense forestry. But there’s one catch: DT Camp is an invite-only festival. You have to register online through Digital Tsunami to receive an invitation. The lineup is notoriously strong and has a heavy wave, EBM and industrial bent.
August 17-19: 7001 Festival
Location: Berlin, Germany
Lineup includes: Freddy K, I/Y, Nur Jaber, Stephanie Sykes, UVB
7001 Festival will debut August 17 in a defunct East German bunker just outside of Berlin. After restoration and preservation efforts to ensure the space was usable, festival organizers announced that the Cold War-era bunker, built in 1983, would play host to three days of music across multiple stages. Berlin favorites DVS1, FJAAK and Shlømo will play on a bill that also includes Antigone and François X. In the late ‘80s, the Interior Ministry of the GDR would have taken shelter within these same walls; almost 30 years later, it will provide a different sort of refuge.
August 22-26: Atonal Festival
Location: Berlin, Germany
Lineup includes: TBA
The legendary Berlin festival is on the sixth year of its reincarnation. After running from 1982 until 1990 in Kreuzberg’s SO36, Atonal eventually reopened in 2013 in Mitte’s legendary Kraftwerk. Once again, expect that Marcel Weber (a.k.a. MFO) will be in charge of the light direction, and if it’s anything like his work last year, it will be something to behold within the immense industrial space. While the lineup hasn’t been released yet, you can count on a dense and challenging selection full of techno, ambient and experimental sounds. It’s a landmark festival and one of the can’t-misses of the year in music. Stay tuned for more details.
Read more: Discover the sound of Berlin Atonal festival from 1982-2017
Published May 24, 2018.