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If you’re still nursing your broken heart over the fact that you’ve missed Awakenings again then don’t give up hope just yet! We’ve prepared a guide for the best festivals throughout Europe that will ensure that you spend summer the right way: getting weird under the musical spell of a bunch of world-renowned DJs, with the rays of the sun gleaming down.


First up in May and approaching soon is Annie Mac’s Lost & Found in Malta. As well as a castle rave and beach parties, you can expect to see Four Tet, The Martinez Brothers, Kölsch, and many more big names in house and techno music. Final tickets are still available, and the festival runs from the 3rd of May to the 6th.


On the same weekend (5th & 6th) you can head to Marco Carola’s Music On festival in Amsterdam. This year will mark its second edition and last year the weekend was all anyone could talk about. On the line-up this year there are some huge names listed, including Loco Dice, Apollonia, Luciano, as well as Carola himself. Tickets for the weekend are still available and affordable, so exploring the coffeeshops and canals afterwards for a well- needed wind-down could be on the cards.


For something a bit different you can visit a festival… inside a festival! Barcelona’s Primavera Sound 2018 will include ‘Primavera Bits’- which is a three-stage mini festival, specifically configured for dance music. The third stage is a beachside beauty and has been added especially this year, and you will be able to find the likes of Four Tet and Josey Rebelle. Marcell Dettman, Peggy Gou and Seth Troxler will be over at the Desperados stage playing from the evening onwards. On the Bacardi stage Jorja Smith will be showcasing her vocals, joined by Floating Points, and Âme II Âme. The festival is held from May 30th up until June the 3rd. Tickets are still available.

Also in Barcelona, on the 14th,15th and 16th of June, Sonar festival has locked in the likes of Ben Klock & DJ Nobu, Bicep, Black Coffee, Laurent Garnier and Yaeji. You will be able to catch Richie Hawtin’s CLOSE show while you’re there, as well as Gorillaz and Preditah. The success of festival speaks for itself as this will be its 25th edition. Don’t forget that you can also visit Sonar’s Off week too, which has more names and hosts playing across the city that you can think of from the house, techno and tech-house spectrum.


A bit later on in June there is an opportunity to party in fortress in Warsaw, Poland. Headlining the art and music festivals first day is Siberian DJ Nina Kraviz, on the main stage. Across the two days and three stages will be other big names, including Marcell Dettman and Chris Liebing. The unique venue is certain to give you an entirely new experience- check out the Modlin Fortress online. Instytut Festival is held on 22nd and 23rd of the month and is not one to be missed.


Hideout Festival- Croatia. Sunshine, beaches, open air stages, pool parties, boat parties, 1 litre cocktails and some of your favourite DJs. This year you can expect to see the likes of Jamie Jones, Alan Fitzpatrick, Peggy Gou and Detlef back-to-back Latmun (and a million more). Tickets are still available for 5-days of sunny shenanigans.


Elsewhere in Croatia ‘Love International’ festival showcases an idyllic backdrop and location with a hefty line-up.  Four Tet, Ben UFO and Bicep are just some of the names listed, as well as boat parties. There is also seven locations for you to party in including an open air nightclub, an olive grove, a beach stage and sunrise sessions on beneath the trees. Absolute Paradise.


Kappa’s Futur Festival is setting levels when it comes to line-ups. Adam Beyer, Amelie Lens, Eric Prydz, Joseph Capriati, Kölsch, Solomun, The Martinez Brothers, Jamie Jones, KiNK, Hot Since 82, Luciano, Marco Carola, Larry Herd (Mr. Fingers), Pan-Pot, Paco Osuna, Peggy Gou, Seth Troxler and more. Italy, July. Need I say more?


Also in July, Serbia boasts EXIT festival, which over the years has established a widely respected reputation, increasing expectations for its line-up every year. And this year does not disappoint. Adam Beyer back-to-back Ida Engberg, Nina Kraviz, Maceo Plex, Richie Hawtin, Tale of Us are all featured on the line-up, and there are still more names to be announced. What started out as a social movement has now become a multi award winning festival hosting some of the best names in music at the world famous Petrovaradin Fortress.

In August: The Martinez Brothers, Dense & Pika and Enrico Sangiuiliano will be joining Gorillaz, at Sziget festival in Budapest. The seven-day long event is a mash-up of music and performing arts, including plenty of fire themed dancing- plus a few boat parties. There is also any different type of camping available that you could imagine, including a massive communal swimming pool in the VIP camping section. Tickets are available online.


On the 10th and 11th of August you can visit the weekend festival DGTL in Barcelona. The festival organisers work hard to create a whole new vibe, combining music and art with advanced technology, ensuring a memorable (or not so much) weekend. Picture some of the best lighting around in an industrial setting, with the likes of Amelie Lens, Apollonia, Jamie Jones, Peggy Gou and loads more big names. Amsterdam also hold its own DGTL festival in the spring which is equally as impressive.


For something a bit smaller scale then meet the brand new Jika Jika festival in Derry, Ireland. Held over 25th-26th August you can be joined by the likes of Green Velvet, Denis Sulta, Charlotte De Witte and Patrick Topping. Party in Ebrington Square in front of the eye-catching back drop which overlooks the River Foyle and Peace Bridge. The dreamy location has previously hosted Drumcode and Cocoon events over the last couple of years. Tickets and payment plans are available on the festival’s website.


The standard of festivals this year is outrageous with ridiculous line-ups and settings, we suggest making a list of pros and cons to decide…

Charlotte Brown

16th April 2018

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