Not yet organised your festival plans for 2016? KEIN PANIC! Our annual guide to the best in European music festival vibes is here and for pretty much all of the magical numbers below with a little ticket purchasing/hunting you’ll soon find yourself swanning around a beautiful location with (very possibly) beautiful people, the best feels, no cares, a whole lot of dancing and a cheeky flask of vodka in tow.
As usual our picks are those that tick all of our boxes: shit hot musical curation, some form of travel / special experiential lure, a friendly crowd, the obvious – VIBES! (capital letters VIBES) – and with either tickets available or a reasonable chance of snatching up a resale. It’s Das Euro Festival Guide 2016. Get around it, and meet you on a festival dance floor.
Come at us, festival feels.
27 – 29 May | Prora, Germany
Vibe: 3 days of non-stop seaside techno on an abandoned third reich beach resort on a German island in the Ostsee. Lots of party-trained Germans who love the tunes and a good time. One of our highlight’s our last year’s festival cal.
Don’t miss: ATEQ, Bambounou, Cinthie, Credit 00, DVS1, Erobique, Elisabeth, Karenn, Kobosil, Manamana, nd_baumecker, Perm, Sandrien, Steffen Bennemann, Vril and anyone playing on the Ruine stage where visuals will be provided by Videogeist.
Essential: Swimsuit! This could be very well be our/your first swim of the season – make the most of this beautiful seaside location and dive into the Ostsee.
LENTE KABINET FESTIVAL
28 May | Amsterdam, Netherlands
Vibe: Probably the most bananas one-day-only line-up we’ve seen this season. Dutch crowd. DUTCH PARTY CROWD. In a big field on the outskirts of Amsterdam.
Don’t miss: Ben UFO, Daniel Avery, Dekmantel Soundsystem, Delroy Edwards, DJ Deeon, Fatima Yamaha (live), Funkineven, Gesloten Cirkel (live), Hunee, I-F, Jeremy Underground, John Talabot, Leon Vynehall, Mood II Swing, Shanti Celeste, Suzanne Kraft, Tom Trago
Essential: some go with the party flow vibes – there’s no way you’ll catch everyone on this line-up, take the feels as they come.
1 – 5 June | Barcelona, Spain
Vibe: Sunshine, beach, babes, sangria and music. That’s the vibe. And a pretty solid varied line up, to satisfy all your musical wants and needs. ¡ Olé !
Essential: SUNBLOCK ! (and a bathing suit). This is the first glimpse of real sunshine you will probably be seeing if you are Germany, England or really most of Europe that’s not Spain, Portugal or the South of France.
4 – 5 June | Wroclaw, Poland
Vibe: An afternoon and night inside and around an old woods-surrounded imperial Polish castle near the European Capital of Culture 2016, Wrocław, curated and founded by Catz ‘n Dogz. Intimate, friends of friends feels. Also – Poland!
Essential: Stamina – this is a day/night/day affair kicking off at 14:00 and running until 10:00 then next day. Polish vodka also highly recommended – particular that hazelnut stuff.
11 – 12 June | London, UK
Vibe: Summery London with some of the best indie and underground electronic acts this side of the river Thames.. Can I even say that? Who fucking cares – the line up is dreamy, the vibes on point. It’ll be a weekend of punchy numbers.
Don’t miss: DJ Koze, James Blake, Floating Points, Gold Panda, Mbongwana Star, Mount Kimbie, Tales of Us, avalon emerson, Four Tet, Kelela, Jackmaster b2b Gerd Janson, Skepta (def add Skepta!), Motor City Drum Ensemble, The Black Madonna
Essential: Money. London is so fucking expensive, it just about makes me want to cry myself to sleep thinking about visiting.
11 June | London, UK
Vibe: A ridiculous one-day offering of DJs for all electronic tastes, in a massive field on the outskirts of London. Bonus extra – likely a lot of really good looking people.
Don’t miss: Kerri Chandler, Derrick May, Midland, Trade (Blawan & Surgeon) (live), Rødhåd, Legowelt (live), Zenker Brothers, Kassem Mosse (live), Ron Morelli, Mara Trax (Maayan Nidam & Vera), Binh, Theo Parrish, Ron Trent, Marcellus Pittman, Mood II Swing, Maurice Fulton, Pender Street Steppers Desert Sound Colony, and it goes on!
Essential: Punctuality. You’re going to want to get to this one as soon as the gates open (11:00) to make the most of such a bananas line-up before things wind up at 21:00
9 – 12 June | Anglesey, Wales
Vibe: A pretty ridiculous party-starting electronic line-up over 3 days in lush-as-fuck Welsh countryside, with a loyal annual crowd, arts, eats, camping and a magical lake.
Don’t miss: Andrew Weatherall b2b Roman Flügel, Awesome Tapes From Africa, Axel Boman, Beautiful Swimmers, Craig Richards b2b Ben UFO, Daniel Avery, Job Jobse, John Talabot, Joy Orbison, Kowton b2b Hodge, Max Graef Band, Move D, Mr G (live), Nick Höppner, Optimo, Prosumer, Shackleton(live), Sonja Moonear, Tama Sumo, Virginia, Zip + so many more
Essential: Fancy Dress – break away from the health goth and embrace a glitter cape, bright suit, epic find from your local charity store.
Photo c/o: Gottwood Festival
23 – 26 June | St Jean De Laur, France
Vibe: 4 days of epic house and techno in the Midi-Pyrenees in southern France with a mixed European crowd and surrounds of the schönest picture-perfect French countryside. They also have a pool.
Essential: a few additional days off – you’ll be in one pretty magical part of France, with the Bordeaux wine region, Toulouse, Montpellier and all sorts of other southern-French beauty not that far away. Make a proper holiday of it.
29 June – 3 July | Lärs, Germany
Vibe: I would like to say the vibe is slack line walking, hemp pant wearing, dreadlock loving etc. But I don’t think that’s accurate. Think the arts, think an open and excepting community of people and then throw a bunch of experimental musical vibes, and you have Fusion.
Essential: A tent. You guys are camping.
29 June – 7 July | Tisno, Croatia
Vibe: Boat parties by day, beach-side dancing in the evening and after parties at one pretty vibes open air club all night, across 7 days in the magical Croatian coastal town of Tisno with – we’re predicting – a good-vibes crowd much like it’s predecessor the Garden Festival (which wound up last year).
Don’t miss: Axel Boman, Ben UFO, Bicep, Crazy P / Dixon, Gerd Janson, Horse Meat Disco, Hunee, Jackmaster, Job Jobse, Joy Orbison, Midland, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Prosumer, Roman Flügel, Tama Sumo, Young Marco
Essential: Some scheduled down time. While it can be lols to run on empty in the sun for 7 days, the moment you stop/return to reality things are going to hurt (beyond the standard post-festival sads / “why isn’t FESTIVAL my erry day life?”). Our tip? Make the most of this incredible Adriatic gem and amongst all the misadventure RELAX.
7 – 11 July | Tisno, Croatia
Vibe: More ideal Adriatic Coast feels – never too many of these feels. 5 days, big party house, disco and techno vibes at The Garden Tisno (also the home to Love International, Dekmantel Selektors) with basically a 100% chance of unlimited day time sun. Boat Parties, After Parties, Non-Stop Parties.
Essential: As above (for Love Int), but let’s also mention SEAFOOD. Really, take the time to hit many of the incredibly affordable restaurants in town and feast on the Adriatic’s finest. More tips for this part of Croatia? Head over here.
15 – 17 July | Ferropolis, Germany
Vibe: A haze of summer and friends. With music to please all tastes buds and a timetable that can take you from 2P – 12P the following day without much trouble – it’s always a weekend of mass debauchery and vibes. All the vibes.
Don’t miss: Andy Stott, black coffee, Helena Hauff, m83, Skepta, mano le tough, vril, peaches, virginia live, tiga, the black madonna
Essential: You bathers ! Get in and around the lake vibes. Also, water – for drinking.. The kiosk can get pretty hectic during the heat – and water is kind of an actually living essential, you know?
9 June | London, UK
Vibe: Dimensions in the City. We’re predicting a similar great vibe and crowd from the same team that put on the Croatian dreamboat, with a killer line-up in a park by day, and a series of co-hosted after parties in London’s best clubs by night.
Don’t miss: Anthony Naples, Ben Klock, Digital Mystikz, Donato Dozzy, Goldie v dBridge, Jamie xx, Job Jobse, Joy Orbison, Josey Rebelle, Kamasi Washington (live), Mister Saturday Night, Moodymann, Omar S, Ryan Elliott, Sassy J, Shackleton, Yussef Kamaal Trio, Zomby
Essential: Boozey brunch. Make a proper day of it and get into das Mood with a delicious spread and prosecco, of course.
5 – 7 August | Olagnitz, Germany
Vibe: It’s difficult to describe just how special this festival is without feeling those feels in person – however think 2 days of non-stop tunes from mostly lesser known names at a camping ground complete with forrest and lake, somewhere in middle of no where east German countryside with a loyal, unpretentious crowd of mostly Deutschers and Dutch, capped at 3,000 and a wonderful DIY feel. It’s also now in it’s 19th year.
Don’t miss: Aisha Devi, Bryan Kasenic,DJ SO, Derek Plaslaiko, Diwa, DJ Richard, DJ Stingray, Erika, Jennifer Cardini, Jens-Uwe Beyer, Lawrence, Manamana, Mr. Ties, Nina, Solar, Soundstream, Steevio & Suzybee, Steffen Bennemann, and whatever is playing in the Klein Raum Disko.
Essential: something inflatable for the lake – shit just doesn’t get more fun than floating about in the lake which lies central to the whole festival while dreamy tunes play.
12 – 18 August | Helsinki, Finland
Vibe: One of the more fun/ exciting all rounder festival line-ups of the summer, if you were asking me.. Lucy. Finnish babes, international crowd of both punters and performers all within walking distance of the city centre of Helsinki. Flow, offers you a warm embrace of the arts and an exceptional array of world spanning cuisine. SIGN ME UP, please.
Essential: Money, lots of money. We’re not in Berlin any more Toto.
TAURON NOWA MUZYKA
18 – 21 August | Katowice, Poland
Vibe: Industrial? This one is hosted in the old Coal Mine in the center of Katowice. The mine itself is no longer in action (or is it?… Just kidding – it’s not) but it has been re-purposed as a mecca for all things the arts – one of those things being Tauron Nowa Muzyka. The other thing about this festival is that it’s not just regurgitating all touring festival artists, the line is varied – with a little something for everyone.
Don’t miss: Roots Manuva, Battles, Floating Points, Roni Size & DJ Krust Presents Full Cycle Sound, King Midas Sound and Fennesz, The Field, Actress, The Orb, Tiga, Levon Vincent, Matrixxman, Kassem Mosse, Lena Willikens dj set.
Essential: A hotel. You can camp, but why would you when the festival itself is in the center of town. Treat-yo-self.
24 – 29 August | Pula, Croatia
Vibe: A mixed European crowd of (more) underground house and techno fans travel to Fort Punta Christo (an actual abandoned fort) on Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula for a festival that leads in clever curation and bananas location. Oh and did we mention boat parties and an opening concert in a 2,000 year old ampitheatre with Massive Attack? The fuck.
Don’t miss: The whole shebang really. Massive Attack, Larry Heard Aka Mr Fingers (live), Kamasi Washington, Hiatus Kaiyote, Moritz von Oswald Trio Ft. Tony Allen & Max Loderbauer, Moodymann, Octave One (live), Ben Klock, Marcel Dettmann, Richie Hawtin (Extended Set – The Moat), Mood II Swing, Joe Claussell, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Tama Sumo, Helena Hauff, Rødhåd, Ron Trent, Nightmares on Wax, Hessle Audio – Ben UFO, Pangaea, Pearson Sound, Mala, The Bug feat. Miss Red, Virginia (live) Feat. Steffi & Dexter
Essential: Proper footwear. This fort is rocky as fuck, this is not the place for flip flops despite the dreamy location. Think: solid shoe and/or washable trainers.
31 August – 4 September | Pula, Croatia
Vibe: Dimensions older rowdier sister is a right of passage for many UK-based bass/dub/dubstep/general soundsystem culture fans and while the crowd may be young (if you’re born in the 80s like we are) this really is one incredible festival with a unique line-up you’ll find no where else, the same epic Croatian fort location as Dimensions and probably the best festival sound systems going around.
Don’t miss: Artful Dodger, Congo Natty ft Iron Dread & Congo Dubz -Damian Marley, DJ Q, DJ Spinn, Dub Phizix & Strategy, Flowdan, Goldie, Hiatus Kaiyote, Joey Bada$$, Josey Rebelle, Kano, Kode 9, Mala, Marcus Intalex, MJ Cole, Mungo’s Hifi Sound System, Stormzy
Essential: Water. It’s an obvious one but no one’s thinking about this mid party and that Croatian sun does not fuck around.
1 – 5 September | Tisno, Croatia
Vibe: Dekmantel does the Adriatic. The Dutch by the Sea. Really – there’s pretty much no chance this could be shit with the dreamy The Garden Tisno as a location, a cap on number (1,500 tickets) and a stronger than strong line-up.
Don’t miss: Antal, Awesome Tapes From Africa, Helena Hauff, Hunee, Intergalactic Gary, I-F, Lena Willikens, Mike Servito, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Pender Street Steppers, Rahaan, Sassy J, Solar, The Black Madonna, The Love Triangle
(Job Jobse, Luc Mast & Elias Mazian), Tom Trago, Young Marco
Essential: An apartment on site or nearby with good pals. Make the most of those intimate festival feels and get to know your old and new festival friends.
21 – 24 September | Hamburg, Germany
Vibe: During September for 3’ish days, Hamburg shuts down and more or less opens it’s streets to any and all musical talent that would grace it’s fair streets, predominantly along the Reeperbahn, but really the whole city is a buzz. We are talking mainly live music vibes from all over Europe with a very large nudge from all the Mexicana baskets. My favourites.
Essential: Portable phone charger. You are out from 1P – 4A daily, your phone will die. Don’t be that arsehole that makes every sit around with their fingers up their arse so you can charge in a coffee shop.
Photo c/o: Oasis Festival
16 – 18 September | Marrakech, Morocco
Vibe: If location-festivals are your thang, this really is the top of the lot here with Oasis taking place in Marrakesh in a beyond dreamy resort with an equally schön line-up and guaranteed warm northern African temps. Not Europe – but we’re including it here regardless.
Don’t miss: Booka Shade, Derrick May, Dixon, Helena Hauff, Jennifer Cardini, Job Jobse, Mano Le Tough, Margaret Dygas, Maya Jane Coles, Midland, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Objekt, Tale Of Us, The Black Madonna
Essential: Sun cream etc. You’re much closer to the equator so the sun has more bite – don’t ruin your holiday on the first day by scorching your skin, shit’s painful.
14 – 24 October | Kraków, Poland
Vibe: The original of the now multi-city spanning festival. A 7 day menu of diverse electronic music and other live performances, films and talks with an experimental slant across various locations in Poland’s second’s largest city. This year’s theme: Dislocation.
Don’t miss: TBC artist-wise, however exploring Krakow in general should definitely be given some time.
Essential: time to go exploring! Check out artist you’ve never heard of and make the most of this beautiful city.