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Festival season is fast approaching and it’s time to start making those summer plans. Where to this year? With Glasto taking a break along with Ireland’s Oxegen festival, perhaps it’s time to look further afield? According to Virtual Festivals, more of us than ever before will look to Europe for our festival fix this year. The global music festival scene is thriving and Europe is leading the way but with so many to choose from where do you start? Well we’ve made it easy with a quickfire festival quiz to find out which festivals will be ticking your boxes this year.
1. Last summer you…
A. Backpacked across South America. This year is all about Eastern Europe, exploring the underground scene.
B. Spent A LOT of time hanging out in London Fields and Dalston.
C. Saw Primal Scream in Paris, The Flaming Lips in Barcelona and Pulp in Oslo. Magic. D. Did a season in Ibiza, took up DJing, got myself a tan that St. Tropez would be proud of and finished off the summer with a final rave at DC10.
2. What’s on your stereo right now? A. You’re a walking encyclopedia of music with an eclectic mix of old and new across the genres. B. Whatever’s new and happening or cutting-edge. You’ve got your finger on the pulse and are always the first to discover a new band or DJ. C. The very best in indie and electronic music and all the acts I want to see this summer. D. My latest mix featuring Nicolas Jaar, Jamie Jones, Richie Hawtin, Nina Kraviz, Mark E and Seth Troxler!
3. When camping you… A. Get fully involved. More often that not I’ll know all of our neighbours by the end of the weekend. The stories I could tell… B. When I’m not hanging out backstage with my friends band I’ll be lining up some new shots on my Lomo Camera or Hipstamatic. C. Camping? What’s camping?! After a day and night of raving I need a comfortable bed and a warm shower in the morning. Hotels all the way. D. Pitch up on the beach. Sun, sea, sand and…no sleep. Perfect.
If you answered mostly A, you’re a FESTIVAL EXPLORER Never one to shy away from a challenge you relish an adventure and proudly reject the mainstream in favour of something completely new and unique. Forget Ibiza, forget Barcelona, you’ve dragged your friends to the weirdest and wildest places they’ve been and it’s not stopping now. You’re ready for the next quest. Check out…
Since it's inaugural event in 2008, Romania's B'estfest has played host to a string of high profile international artists, attracting an adventurous crowd of music lovers from all over Europe and beyond. Taking place in Tunari in the vibrant city of Bucharest there is much to discover. The festival itself offers up a generous helping of music with Pulp, Garbage, Caro Emerald, Meshugga, Selah Sue, Stanton Warriors, Kreator, Mala Vita, Modestep (Live), Moonspell, Tristina, The Qemists and Dope D.O.D on the bill for 2012, not to mention the fairground, art exhibitions, local arts and crafts. Food and drink is dangerously affordable and then there’s Romania’s burgeoning underground nightlife scene right there for the taking if you fancy an extended stay, as well as an array of cultural gems such as Dracula’s Tomb plus amazing weather to boot.
Taking place in the magical Petrovaradin Fortress overlooking the river Danube, EXIT continues to deliver the most adventurous and best value for money festival experience, with a diverse and cutting edge line up, bathed in the hot Balkan sunshine. The award winning festival has something for music lovers of all genres with over 600 artists performing on 20 stages connected by cobbled streets, ramparts and tunnels. EXIT is also home to the world famous Dance Arena, renowned for its incredible energy and set within a moat of the fortress walls. Pushing cutting edge new talent and tipping its hat to the old school, the experience of dancing with 20,000 people as the sun rises over the fortress walls is truly mind blowing! Launched 11 years ago as a student initiated protest against the communist Milosevic regime, EXIT has proved that music is a universal language that can connect and bring people together. Acts for 2012 include Guns N’ Roses, Duran Duran, New Order, Plan B, Avicci, Richie Hawtin, Gossip, Wolfmother, Luciano, Laurent Garnier LBS, Miss Kittin, Little Dragon, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Azari & III live, Buraka Som Sistema, Art Department, Maceo Plex, Kenny Larkin, Robert Dietz, When Saints Go Machine, Maayan Nidam, Lone, Pariah, Teengirl Fantasy live, The Chain…. with much much more to be announced!
If you answered mostly B, you’re a HIPSTIVAL LOVER When it comes to music you don’t mess about. You’ve got one serious finger on the pulse and are always the first to discover the best new acts in indie and electronic music. You’re looking for a festival that offers the most cutting-edge lineup around. Check out...
This July, the Ferropolis City of Steel will come back to life, welcoming a truly international audience of party revelers to one of Europe’s most popular boutique music festivals. Less than 2 hours from Europe’s epicentre for electronic music – Berlin - the Melt! Festival site is a sight to behold – imposing industrial diggers are scattered across the landscape, the cool Gremmin lake lies in wait for swimmers looking to take a dip in the sunshine and the lights at night are nothing short of spectacular. In celebration of Melt! Festival’s 15th edition this summer, thousands of people will come together and dance underneath the giant industrial diggers to an impressive soundtrack that showcases the crème de la crème of indie and electronic music! This years acts include M83, The Rapture, Gossip, The Whitest Boy Alive, Bloc Party, Lana Del Rey, Maya Jane Coles, John Talabot, Niki & The Dove, Plan B, Yeasayer, Justice, Two Door Cinema Club, Destroyer, Modeselektor, Caribou, Richie Hawtin, Seth Troxler, Steffi, L.B.S., Austra, Ellen Alien, Floating Points, Jacques Lu Cont, Two Door Cinema Club, Vondelpark, Rufus Wainwright, The War On Drugs and lots more still to be announced, Keep an eye on the Melt! Facebook page for special announcements and exclusive artists news.
A truly unique boutique music festival, OFF Festival takes place from 3rd - 5th August, in 'Three Lake Valley', Katowice - a beautiful green oasis in the heart of industrial Silesia. OFF Festival is a way of life, one that flies in the face of current trends and stays true to itself, and the ethos of organiser Artur Rojek is firmly aimed at supporting art and music with the festival bringing many acts to Poland for the first time. This year promises the strongest line-up to date, in line with the festivals forward–thinking, eclectic music policy. From the greatest alternative music stars from around the world to the increasingly strong Polish scene, OFF festival has inspiring music in abundance. This year’s edition will showcase over one hundred acts across four stages and once again it’s a virtual who's-who of alt-rock faves and trailblazing electronic artists, First acts announced for 2012 include Iggy and the Stooges, Death in Vegas, Iceage, Matthew Herbert, Sleep Party People,Suicide, Swans, Battles, Baxter Dury, Kurt Vile and The Violators, Spectrum , Container, Suicide, King Creosote & Jon Hopkins, Africa HiTech,, Atari Teenage Riot, Sleep Party People, Black Face, Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires, Colin Stetson, Nosowska, and Other Lives. More acts to be announced soon.
If you answered mostly C, you're a CITY TRAVELLER You love music but you’re over roughing it on the campsite, opting instead to combine a music and festival experience with a city break and a few creature comforts – like a bed! It’s not much to ask is it?... So this year, book yourself a nice hotel and try a city festival!
Berlin Festival 2012 will return to the historic Tempelhof Airport on September 7th, 8th and 9th in the buzzing metropolis that is Berlin. Watch your favourite acts perform in the giant former airplane hangars or dance the night away at the world’s biggest Silent Disco – an area that is always a festival highlight! When it hits midnight the party continues at Club XBerg where many of the biggest names in electronic and indie music will come together to continue the party well into the early hours – as we all know – Berlin is the 24 hour party city that never sleeps. Expect another star-studded lineup in 2012 – first names announced include Airport Bonaparte, Cro, Daughter, First Aid Kit, Franz Ferdinand, Friendly Fires, Frittenbude, Jamie N Commons, Junip, Paul Kalkbrenner, Kraftklub, Little Dragon, Major Lazer, Morning Parade, Orbital, SBTRKT (live), Sigur Rós, Tocotronic, WhoMadeWho Club Xberg @ Arena Berlin Crookers, Digitalism, Dumme Jungs, Metronomy, Modeselektor live, Slagmalsklubben and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. Check out the festival trail here.
If electronic music is your thing then there’s no better place to round off the festival season in style than at the Amsterdam Dance Event. It’s no secret that Amsterdam is one of Europe’s favourite cities with visitors flocking to the city every weekend to get a taster of Amsterdam life but it’s really during the ADE when the city becomes alive. Music is at the forefront of everyone’s mind and the energy is beyond belief. After selling out for the last five years, the ADE is without doubt the highlight of the international dance and electronic music calendar. A truly global event, which plays host to the worlds leading producers and DJs from all spheres of the electronic music world, the ADE festival lineup never fails to impress, reading like the who’s who of electronic music today. Taking place from 17th – 21st October, the 5-day strong event is expected to once again attract more than 140,000 festival-goers from all over the world. More than 800 DJs and acts will perform in over 220 events across the city, taking in the many of the Amsterdam’s best-known, unique and legendary venues. Last years acts included Radio Slave (GB), Richie Hawtin (CA), Soul Clap (US), Sven Väth (DE), Theo Parrish (US), Aeroplane (BE), Afrojack (NL), Caribou (CA), Carl Craig (US), Frankie Knuckles (US), Henrik Schwarz (DE), Maya JaneColes (UK), Modeselektor live (DE) and many, many more. Names for 2012 will be announced soon.
If you answered mostly D, you’re looking for BEATS AND BEACHES For you, a festival experience should combine the two best things in life – beats and beaches. You love the sun, you love electronic music and you LOVE a party. Here’s 2 of the best beach-side festivals we know, with the finest electronic artists around.
After six amazing years in Petrcane - the original epicentre of Croatia’s now burgeoning independent festival scene – The Garden Festival has moved to pastures new, just a little further along the stunning coastline. The Garden Tisno is an undiscovered musical paradise which fits right within the Garden’s esteemed and revered ethos, where the emphasis is always on an unparalleled experience combining festival and holiday vibes seamlessly as one. It’s set in a gently hilly area, which overlooks the Garden’s very own beautiful bay below, complete with sandy beach and crystal clear water It’s situated pretty much right between Zadar and Split airports, with lots of flights from Europe to each. This years acts include Nicolas Jaar, Kenny Dope Gonzales, Tiger & Woods, Tim Sweeney, Space Dimension Controller, Appleblim & Metro Area.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the extraordinary electronic music extravaganza on the beach in the Ukraine. The KaZantip Republic is unlike anything you have ever experienced – a nonexistent state somewhere under the sun that often draws comparisons with Ibiza and Burning Man. Once you have your “entry visa” you can step into the vibrant, fascinating world of KaZantip where you will marvel at incredible structures on the beach, look on in amazement at the colourful, flamboyant, music-loving crowd, dance like you have never danced before, to the beat of the world’s leading electronic music artists and watch in wonder as Kite Surfers zip across the air and the sea. DJs love to play there and the crowd comes back for more year on year. As ever you can expect to see the who’s who of dance music on show – the last few years the event has played host to Ricardo Villalobos, Richie Hawtin, Carl Cox, Seth Troxler, Guy Gerber, dOP, James Zabiela, Booka Shade and many many more. The magical gates to the kingdom open on August 4th and we’re pretty confident that the 20th anniversary is going to be nothing short of spectacular…