5 International Festivals Well Worth The Airfare
Spread your wings and take flight to our pick of the best festivals in far-flung destinations
Love electronic music? Love to travel? Combine your two passions and spread your wings to a music festival in another country. From bobbing along on the Adriatic and dancing in thermal pools, to joining a unique creative community in the Nevada desert, this is our Top 5 festivals for the wanderlust.
Everyone’s heard of the legendary Burning Man, but what exactly is it? Well, dubbed America’s largest outdoor arts event, it’s a celebration of counter culture, creativity and free expression – but the music is without a big draw these days too. Some 80,000 “Burners” descend on Black Rock City, a temporary desert metropolis created and brought to life gratis by its inhabitants. Basically, it’s a glimpse into how society could work if money and greed ceased to exist. Social experiment stuff aside, you can check out amazing art installations, take part in an endless list of talks, classes or workshops, zip across the playa on an art car and make new friends at the various theme camps. Music-wise, Distrikt, Robot Heart and The Playground are magnets for house and techno heads, but we say don’t miss Carl Cox’s sunrise disco party at the Kasbah. Tickets are as rare as hen’s teeth at this time of year but you could strike it lucky through Burning Man’s Ticket Exchange Programme.
Black Rock City, Nevada
25 August – 2 September
This is Dimension’s final year at the old abandoned fort it’s called home for the last eight years so expect a rather epic last hurrah at the site where the ancient high walls, tunnels, moat, stables and garden provide perfect party spots.
With well over 100 DJs and artists on the bill, Dimensions’ well thought-out line-ups find favour with even the fussiest of underground fans. This year’s roll call includes Andrew Weatherall, Jeff Mills, DJ Nobu, Dam-Funk (live), Children of Zeus (live), Hessle Audio, Breakage, Gilles Peterson, Mr Scruff and Awesome Tapes from Africa. If the darker realm of electronic music is your thing, head for the Subdub Arena for the very best in drum & bass, dubstep, breakbeat and more.
Fort Punta Christo, Pula, Croatia
28 August – 1 September
With its dramatic history, incredible architecture and flamboyant character, beautiful Budapest is the perfect setting for this ultra-hip metro festival that delivers the best in house, techno, garage and bass. Taking place over multiple spectacular venues, cool clubs and open-deck boat parties, and capped at around 5000 guests, Budafest is a great way to explore a new city with like-minded people. Rave on in 40-degree thermal water at Sparty – when the historic Szechenyi spa is transformed into a huge sound system. Edible Records boss Eats Everything and Hott Like Detroit join Fisher, Max Chapman and more on the line-up.
Various venues, Budapest, Hungary
1 – 3 September
The Yacht Week
A holiday/mini festival combo, Yacht Week allows you to party like a rock star without breaking the bank. Round up a team of six to charter a yacht, complete with skipper, and join a fun flotilla sailing the beautiful seas of Croatia, Greece, Montenegro or the Caribbean. Living on board the yacht for the duration, you’ll sail to different islands to explore secret bays and enchanting towns, and dance somewhere different every day to new and big name DJs. Our money’s on the Croatia trip with its Buzz Boat – a floating DJ stage rigged out with a VOID Acoustic sound system.
Each week through to
7 – 14 Sept
€550 per person for a yacht for six people with a skipper
Amsterdam Dance Event
In a nutshell, Amsterdam becomes the centre of the electronic music universe during ADE’s five-day duration. More than 400,000 people – a mix of industry professionals and party people – descend on the Dutch capital each year for ADE’s mix of seminars, workshops, exhibitions, artist interviews, tech classes and, of course, parties. You’ll find more than 2500 international artists performing in over 100 of Amsterdam’s most iconic venues, including Melkweg, Gashouder, Claire, Shelter, Paradiso, the NDSM Docklands and De School. This is the one if you
want to fully immerse yourself in dance music culture. There are a number of
ticket options. A comprehensive 5-day ADE pass (day and night) will set you
Various venues, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
16 – 20 October
€300 (ADE Conference Pass)