For many of us, music is more than just a pastime; it is a way of life. For those of us who would not survive long without our daily fix of EDM, attending music festivals where we can cut loose and see our favorite DJs in action is what we live for. Up until recently, Europe was the bonafide king when it came to electronic music festivals. Europeans have long harbored a predilection for the fat basslines central to the sound of electronic music, and the continent is home to the longest-running festivals dedicated solely to the genre in the world. Europe’s dominance has seen a serious challenge in the last few years, as, coinciding with the boom in the popularity of electronic music in America, EDM festivals have started popping up all around the country. Now, the U.S. is home to some of the biggest and best festivals around. Read on for a list of the four best electronic music festivals in Europe and the United States.
1. DGTL – Amsterdam, Netherlands
Taking place in an old shipyard in the city’s docklands every year on Easter weekend every year, DGTL is one of the Netherlands’ premier house and techno events. It has six stages and always features a lineup of the leading lights of the electronic music scene. Before you buy your tickets, make sure you qualify for entry into the Netherlands under the new European visa waiver scheme using this helpful guide to ETIAS.
2. Ozora – Ozora, Hungary
Ozora is one of the biggest psychedelic trance festivals in the world. The festival attracts the biggest names from the global psytrance scene, and aside from the pounding music, attendees are spellbound by the beautiful psychedelic art exhibitions and light shows that adorn the site. Nobody is really certain how many people go – official figures put the attendance at 30,000 people, but the real figure is suspected to be double that.
3. Sonar – Barcelona, Spain
For one week in June, the beautiful Catalan city of Barcelona is inundated with music fans from all over Europe and beyond. The Sonar Festival has grown a lot in the last few years and is now one of the world’s most esteemed electronic, alternative and experimental music festivals.
4. Neopop – Viana do Castelo, Portugal
Neopop is Portugal’s best-loved underground electronic music festivals. It takes place in the far north of the country and attracts 35,000 techno enthusiasts and the crème de la crème of all that is good in the world of techno.
1. South By Southwest – Austin, Texas
Commonly known as SXSW, the South By Southwest was first started to showcase the best of Austin’s diverse and eclectic arts scene. While the event today also plays host to a film festival, it is the music section of the festival that is the most famous. Some of the world’s best DJs feature heavily in the lineup every year. The tickets are pricey, and when you factor in the cost of a flight in from Europe, it is a good idea to consult an ESTA visa guide to check whether you are eligible for the U.S. visa waiver scheme before you commit. Check out this guide to ESTA for more info.
2. Electric Days Carnival – Las Vegas, Nevada
Electric Days Carnival is the largest EDM festival in North America. It started in 1997 as a warehouse party in Los Angeles before outgrowing its humble beginnings and finding a new home in Las Vegas. Today, it is a one-of-a-kind multi-day festival that pushes the boundaries of what is possible in the live entertainment industry.
3. Ultra Music Festival – Miami, Florida
Rightly taking its place as one of the U.S.’s biggest and best electronic music festivals, Ultra started life back in 1999 as a one-day live music event in Miami Beach. Its growth since then has been exponential, and the event attracts over 150,000 every year today, all of whom come to see the biggest names in the world of EDM.
4. Imagine Music Festival – Atlanta, Georgia
Imagine Music Festival in Atlanta is of the best emerging electronic music festivals of the past few years. Since it first took place in 2014, the festival has gained recognition for its top-notch EDM lineup and its friendly and playful vibe.
Right, that should be enough to keep your thirst for EDM satiated for this summer, no matter which side of the Atlantic you happen to be on. Now summer is on the way, it is time to start counting down the days until you find yourself back in the magical realm of the festival again.