24 European Dance Music Festivals You Can't Miss This Summer
America is now flush with dance festivals, but that's nothing new for Europe. Dance music has been a cultural constant across the pond for decades, so it should come as no surprise that there are a staggering number of festivals catering to music fans who want to get down. From large-scale productions to niche parties, here are the 24 best European festivals you should make the trip overseas for this summer.
Welcome to the future of music festivals. Featuring an amazing array of forward-thinking talent, an awe-inspiring Sonar+D technology showcase and professional symposiums, Sonar is continually reinventing what a musical festival can be. Oh, and did we mention high speed Wi-Fi throughout?
Fusion's Kulturkosmos organizers now own its former Soviet airfield site and run a commune there throughout the year. Often compared to a German Burning Man, Fusion is about far more than just music -- welcoming the more than 70,000 attendees lucky enough to obtain a ticket into a mesmerizing world of art, performance and self-expression.
Notable Acts: Adam Beyer, Carl Cox, Chris Liebing, Richie Hawtin CLOSE, Nina Kraviz, Ben Klock
Billed as “THE techno festival in Holland,” this Amsterdam has the fifteen year history and chops to back up the lofty claim — as well a staggering array of techno talent lined up for this year’s edition at Recreatiegebied Spaarnwoude.
Novolja, Croatia | Jun 25 – Jun 29, 2018 | Tickets
One of Europe’s most legendary dance events, Sensation has become a global phenomenon in recent years with events popping up from Brooklyn to Moscow to Dubai. The flagship Amsterdam event ended in 2017, but the festival comes to Prague for summer 2018.
Notable Acts: The Chainsmokers, Martin Garrix, DJ Snake, David Guetta, Big Sean
What’s not to like about a festival held on a two-kilometer beach on the banks of Lake Balaton? The organizers of Sziget Festival founded this festival in 2007 to complement the Budapest institution as a more dance-focused foil.
Salzburgring, Austria | July 5 – July 7, 2018 | Tickets
Notable Acts: Marshmello, 3 Are Legend (Dimitri Vegas, Like Mike, Steve Aoki), Jax Jones, Camelphat
This three-day festival will bring many of dance music’s marquee names to a race-circuit in Austria’s rustic Salzburg Lake District for a unique experience — the paddock will hold the main stage, while pastures will be converted into temporary campsites. This year, Electric Love is nearing its fourth edition featuring an all-star lineup.
Petrovaradin, Serbia | July 12 – July 15, 2018 | Tickets
Notable Acts: David Guetta, Migos, Grace Jones, Fever Ray, Adam Beyer B2B Ida Engberg, Jax Jones, Richie Hawtin
Named the best major European festival at the 2014 EU Festival Awards, this Serbian gem offers a unique festival experience at an 18th-century fortress situated on the bank of the Danube River.
Notable Acts: The Chainsmokers, Marshmello, DJ Snake, David Guetta, Carl Cox, Eric Prydz, Marco Carola
In 2013, Ultra Music Festival expanded its brand to Europe -- bringing the biggest name in dance music to this beachside Croatian city. In addition to Ultra Worldwide and Carl Cox & Friends, the underground Resistance Stage will return in 2016.
Notable Acts: ODESZA, The Chemical Brothers, Mura Masa, Diplo, Soulwax, Mr. Oizo, The Black Madonna
The largest festival in French-speaking Belgium has grown exponentially since its humble beginnings in 1989 -- now drawing more than 150,000 fans for diverse headliners like Talib Kweli and Todd Terje.
Perhaps Europe's most famous dance festival, Tomorrowland is arguably unmatched on the continent when it comes to the scale and detail of its production. Playing Tomorrowland has become a rite of passage for star DJs, and the immersive experience always draws a sell-out crowd from across the globe.
Amsterdam, Netherlands | Aug. 1 - 6, 2018 | Tickets
Notable Acts: Carl Craig Synthesizer Ensemble, Jamie xx, Orbital (live), Modeselektor, Matrixxman
Catch some of underground dance music's most credible acts at Amsterdam's most iconic venues -- including the Muziekgebouw, Amsterdamse Bos and Melkweg. This year, the festival announced they are going to set up at the city’s IJ River for the festival's opening night.
Notable Acts: The Chainsmokers, The Prodigy, Kygo, Seth Troxler, Pendulum, Nosia, Don Diablo, Diplo
Untold Festival, known as the “World Capital of Night and Magic” is coming to its second “chapter” after a successful first run in 2015. While the fairytale inspired festival is still young, it is already establishing itself as a top electronic music event. Untold will take place across 10 different venues in Cluj-Napoca and promises a star-studded lineup that is sure to attract electronic fans to the four-day event.
Notable Acts: Jaime Jones, Hot Since 82, Chris Lorenzo, Claude VonStroke, Eats Everything, Skream
This U.K. festival's name became the dance equivalent of a household name last year due to a brilliant viral video involving a shirtless Seth Troxler. Though it's just one day, it's stacked with house and techno talent.
Saalburg Beach, Germany | Aug 10 – Aug 12, 2018 | Tickets
Notable Acts: Marshmello, Steve Aoki, Boys Noize, Axwell & Ingrosso, Alan Walker, Digitalism, Richie Hawtin, Oliver Heldens
This open-air festival has been going strong since 1997, offering campers a wide range of stages and club tents curated by homegrown tastemakers like Cocoon and Katermukke.
Notable Acts: Paul Klakbrenner, Claptone, Ben Klock, Marcel Dettman
Spanning a full week with 15 hours of music per day, Barrakud transforms Pag Island's scenic Zrce beach into a house and techno hot spot.
Budapest, Hungary | Aug 8 – Aug 14, 2018 | Tickets
Notable Acts: Gorillaz, Kygo, Clean Bandit, Fever Ray, Don Diablo, Above & Beyond, The Martinez Brothers, KSHMR
Located on an island perched within the Danube River, this festival has become one of Europe's hottest destination festivals -- swelling to an all-time high of 390,000 attendees in 2009 and drawing rave reviews for its creative grounds and laissez-faire spirit. It's not called The Island of Freedom for nothing.
Notable Acts: Bonobo, A-Trak, Charlotte de Witte, Jax Jones (live), Justice, Kolsch, Louis the Child, Martin Solveig, Slushii
Bringing over 200 artists to its eight stages, Pukkelpop has emerged as one of Belgium's premiere music festivals since its 1985 start. Approaching its 31st year, this festival is steeped in tradition -- don't miss the Boiler Party night on the eve of its first day.
Cheshire, England | Aug 23 – Aug 26, 2017 | Tickets
Notable Acts: Major Lazer, Virtual Self, The Chainsmokers, Tchami x Malaa, Sasha and Digweed, The Black Madonna
Since its 1998 start, the Creamfields brand has expanded across the globe, while the original U.K. event has blossomed into a heavyweight dance festival -- featuring curated stages by the likes of Cream, Size, All Gone Pete Tong and more.
Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands | Aug. 25 - Aug. 26, 2018 | Tickets
Notable Acts: Alesso, Axwell & Ingrosso, Galantis, Fatboy Slim, Hardwell, KSHMR, Netsky, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike
While American dance fans may be more familiar with its U.S. edition in Bethel Woods, the longest-running dance music festival in the Netherlands is well worth a pilgrimage.
Notable Acts: Bonobo, Noisia, Talisman, Andy C, Peanut Butter Wolf
Held in an abandoned fort along the Adriatic Sea, Outlook has provided bass music and sound system culture with a key European niche for nearly eight years. Boasting a deep roster that runs the stylistic gamut from hip hop and dubstep to reggae and grime, this isolated Croatian gem is renowned its beach and boat parties.
Lulworth Estate, England | Aug 2 - Aug 5, 2018 | Tickets
Notable Acts: Silk City (Diplo, Mark Ronson), Mura Masa, Charlotte de Witte, Rudimental (DJ), Bicep (DJ)
U.K. promoters Sunday Best and Get Involved joined forces in 2004 to create an award-winning boutique festival experience nestled within a country park. This year's theme is "The Future" with a lineup curated by Josie and Rob Da Bank.
Notable Acts: Krafterwerk 3D, Jygo, David Guetta, Alison Wonderland, San Holo, Ofenbach
While Chicago’s Lollapalooza still stands as one of America’s favorite festivals, Lolla is making its way back to Berlin for its second season. Returning to Treptower Park in the heart of Berlin, this year’s festival features a diverse lineup, continuing its cultural tradition to unite music lovers across many genres.