We’ve basked in the sun at Garden Festival, had too many vibes at Melt!, got our Scandi fix at Spot and techno utopia at Her Damit – however while Summer may be in full swing, it’s not too late to lock in a festival of your flavour this Euro Festival season 2015. Hell – shit’s also looking delicious over the cold months. KEEP IT COMING.
So, following on from Part 1, we’ve pulled together our picks for the second half-ish of the year (and slightly beyond, because, well – preeee-planning), for Das Festival Guide 2015: Part 2. And damn are there some winners still to come.
Feels – incoming.
NACHTDIGITAL – Olganitz, GERMANY | 31 July – 2 August
We (Bron) experienced Nachtdigital for the first time last year and haven’t quite come down from that buzz since. Set in a camping ground on a lake, in off-the-beaten-path East-Deutschland (kein Autobahn here Leute) and with a small but exceptionally well matched house and techno line-up the 2.5 day festival is nothing short of perfect and as far as intimate, camping festivals go, must surely be one of the best going round.
Now in it’s 18th year, this year’s edition goes something like: Ben UFO & Prosumer, Barnt & Joy Orbison, Monolake, Andy Stott, Karenn, Helena Hauff & I-F, Neel, Pachanga Boys, Carlos Valdes & Sandrien, Luke Abbott, Ateq, Lena Willikens & Steffen Bennemann, Konstantin, Map.ache, very possibly a secret guest (last year’s was a casual James Holden – whaaat), a chilled and friendly German crowd, cheap drinks, impressive campsites and a criminal amount of good vibes. As always, tickets sold out within an hour however keep an eye on ND related groups and pages as there are nearly always tickets going for those who want them, and at cost price. Community feelings – got them.
TAURON NOWA MUZYKA | Katowice, POLAND | 20 – 23 August
There are many festivals in the year which generally pump us up for a bit of music, a lot of a dance – but none quite like Tauron Nowa Muzyka (which going forward I will refer to as TNM – because as a first language English person, that is quite complex to type quickly). The line-up for this one has a little sumthin’ sumthin’ for everyone, from Nils Frahm to Tyler the Creator to DJ Koze to Rhye to Fatima & the Eglo Live Band the list essentially just goes on and on and on.
Located about a 7 hours drive from Berlin in Katowice, Poland, the Festival itself is staged in KWK Katowice (Katowice coal mine) located in the very center of Katowice. The area formerly used for industrial reasons has since been transformed into a real mecca for all contemporary music lovers. CAN I GET A YES PLEASE? Tickets are sold out for 4 days, but we are looking at 69€ or less for 3/2/1 day passes. What are you even waiting for. Not a question.
ESSENTIAL: I’m not really sure what an essential is.. Probably a tent? There is camping. Unless you aren’t into that – then there are hotels all around, and they aren’t even that expensive. Oh – and maybe a jacket, average temps are 10’C-20’C
Photo Credit: Tauron Nowa Muzyka
BERLIN ATONAL | Berlin, GERMANY | 19 – 23 August
Providing an alternative to a full calendar of field and beachside benders this Sommer, Berlin Atonal returns this August for 5 days of special performances in the Hauptstadt. Focussing on experimental live electronic music, the festival first ran throughout the 80s in West Berlin and wound up in 1990, before being resurrected in 2013. And what a resurrection it is: the modern incarnation taking place in the main hall of Berliner Kraftwerk, a behemoth former power-plant which also happens to be home to Tresor and OHM. As far as performance spaces go, experiencing music here is a total treat – with higher than high ceilings and all industrial interior.
Then there’s the line-up, which while currently only in first-release stage so far will feature: Outside the Dream Syndicate – the collaboration between avant-garde icon Tony Conrad and German krautrock band Faust (in their first live show in over 20 years) -, SUMS – a collaboration between Kangding Ray and Mogwai’s Barry Burns, Nine Inch Nails member Alessandro Cortini’s live audio-visual project ‘Sonno’, Ugandan Methods (Regis + Ancient Methods), Mike Parker, David Borden with his Mother Mallard Ensemble, New Zealand’s Fis and loads more. If rare live performances and/or special A/V shows make you weak at the knees – this is the one. Tickets are available per day or for the Woche.
ESSENTIAL: A more chilled vibe. This isn’t your wasted in a field affair.
Photo Credit: Berlin Atonal
POP-KULTURE | Berlin, GERMANY | 26 – 28 August
Replacing what was formally known as Berlin Music Week (R.I.P.), the Music Board of Berlin is bringing us a an eclectic mix of music things. I say musical things, because this year we aren’t just conference and performance focused but more “things”. From book readings, to introductions of heavy weight side projects it’s asmorgasbord of activity with the central theme of musical performance. This year they are taking over Berghain: the Panorama Bar, the Halle Berghain canteen and the cloakroom.. I would actually really like to see what happens in the Cloakroom, probably something really weird – in a good way.
ESSENTIAL: A bike. Berlin is always better on a bike, and I think Berghain is sort of boring to get to by public transport. On top of that, you could ride the long way along the wall which is a bit of a dream at night with very few humans on the road <3
DIMENSIONS FESTIVAL | Pula, CROATIA | 26 – 30 August
If you’ve stumbled across the site before you may have noticed that we have a bit of thing for Dimensions. And really – who wouldn’t. This 5 day end of summer fest really is as good as it gets: a beyond dreamy Croatian coastline setting, musical curation second to none (really – find me a better line-up than the below), a really decent Euro crowd (read: babes with killer music taste), balmy days, stupidly photogenic sunsets, boat parties, beach parties and night time program consisting of multiple dancefloors within an abandoned fort. THE FUCK.
Now in their 4th year, 2015’s line-up may have managed to top it’s already ridiculous predecessors, featuring: George Clinton / Parliament / Funkadelic, Juan Atkins, Underground Resistance presents Timeline live, Dimensions fave Moodymann, Ben Klock, Lil Louis, Âme, Mala (make catching him in Mungo’s Arena a priority), Gerd Janson, Loefah, Floating Points, Mount Kimbie (DJ Set), Blawan, John Talabot, Surgeon, Rødhåd, Hessle Audio: Ben UFO, Pearson Sound, Pangaea, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Daniel Avery, Delano Smith, Objekt, Goldie and so so so many more. And then there’s the opening concert in a 2,000 year old ampitheatre with Four Tet (live), Little Dragon and Floating Points (live). If you only make it to one destination festival this year, Dimensions couldn’t come more recommended. Treat yourself to paradise.
ESSENTIAL: We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again – proper footwear for dancing at night. You’re in a rocky as fuck fort, this is not the place for flip flops or any shoe that can’t be thrown in a washing machine (or in the bin) post-rave.
DEKMANTEL – Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS | 30 July – 2 August
STRØM | Copenhagen, DENMARK | 8 – 15 August
OYA FESTIVAL – Oslo, NORWAY | 11 – 15 August
FLOW FESTIVAL – Helsinki, FINLAND | 14 – 16 August
OUTLOOK FESTIVAL – Pula, CROATIA | 2 – 6 September
Dimensions bigger sister, Outlook takes place on the same site (Fort Punta Christo) during the following week, and is your go-to for 5 days of bassy bliss on the dreamy Croatian coast. Up to it’s 8th edition, the format is familiar now – boat and beach parties by day, a full festival program by nacht and loads of Adriatic coast swimming opportunities in between – and as with every year the festival is offering up the leading sound system-oriented line-up of Summer, with 2015 hefty line-up featuring:
Run The Jewels, Boy Better Know, The Madlib Carnival (Madlib, Pete Rock, J Rocc and Moodymann), Wiley, Noisia, Dusky, Flatbush Zombies, Shy FX, Congo Natty feat Congo Dubz & Tenor Fly, Jeru The Damaja, The Beatnuts, Digital Mystikz – Mala & Coki, DJ EZ, Goldie, Mount Kimbie (DJ set), Beenie Man, Oneman, DJ Hype, The Bug ‘Acid Ragga Live,’ Renegade Hardware 20 feat Loxy & Ink, DMZ and a bloody load more. See what I mean??!! And then there’s the opening concert which – like Dimensions – takes place in Pula’s Roman Amphitheatre and will feature SBTRKT, Jurassic 5, Roni Size and more. To sample the magic get wrapped up in their announcement video over here.
ESSENTIAL: Stamina. With a program that runs from midday-ish until 6am the next morn, a reasonably spread out site consisting of boats, beach, fort and harbour and a whole lot of stomping, grinding, gun finger and fist pump in between, this is an awesome but energetic affair. Stock up / book some time off afterwards.
OASIS – Marrakesh, MOROCCO | 11 – 13 September
The exception to our ‘European’ festivals guide goes out to this new number taking place in Morroco’s Marrakesh. Why bend the criteria? These deal makers below:
- The city: before we even consider who’s playing, you’ll be in Marrakesh! Morocco! Which Wikipedia tells me is home to mosques, palaces and gardens, and Instagram tell me is a visual and sensory overload of colour, incredible food, ancient north African architecture, sun and proper searing heat. YES.
- The festival setting: on top of all of the above, the festival itself will take place at the ridiculous Fellah Hotel, a luxurious hotel complex set against the backdrop of the Atlas Mountains, with stages around the hotel’s pools and villas. Scroll through this visual porn for a taster.
- The line-up: tbh we could probably do with a hit and miss selection given points 1 and 2, however their offer is actually pretty bloody vibes, with their debut year hosting Âme, Axel Boman, Cassy B2B tINI, Danny Daze, Derrick Carter, DJ Harvey, DJ Tennis, Ellen Allien, Gerd Janson, Guy Gerber B2B Matthew Dear, Nicole Moudaber, Pachanga Boys, Will Saul and loads more.
- The timing: if you’re central or northern European based, our reality is summer could very well be finito by this point. Your average temp for Marrakesh in September in 27 degrees. Sun pretty much guaranteed. I know where I’d rather be.
Looking for one last fling this end of Summer? This should be a pretty memorable 3 days in paradise.
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.
Photo Credit: Oasis Festival
REEPERBAHN FESTIVAL | Hamburg, GERMANY | 23 – 26 September
Another German focused number – because seriously, we can’t get enough of ze Germans, ever (ohh hai). This year, DURING MY BIRTHDAY !!! (pop it in your calendar, quickly ! 23 September: Celebrate Lucy’s life), Hamburg is shutting down and more or less opening it’s streets (predominantly the Reeperbahn but really the whole city will be a buzz) to any and all musical talent that would be keen to hit the second coolest city in Germany. It’s a bit of a 2 in 1 this one, with conference type activities AND music gigs. You can open your mind, LEARN SOMETHING through panels and all that education garb, or simply nurse a basket of Mexicanas, chat casually with the music industry and watch some hot fresh out the oven act in your bar of choice.
To me – the Reeperbahn Festival is more of less Germany’s answer to SXSW, if only they would start doing an unofficial side arm to the festival we would all be sorted. I digress, if “Germany’s answer to SXSW” is not a good endorsement, I don’t know what is. A handful of the acts you will find go a little something like this: Mac DeMarco, Oscar Key Sung, Romano, Sóley, Aurora, Madjo + so many more, and more to come (y) (y) (y)
ESSENTIAL: Mexicana – mexicana – mexicana. There’s practically no alcohol in these little shots of delicious that typically come in baskets made with love. But they are essential because all that tomato juice is surely going to combat any and all signs of rundown’ness. BOOM – come at me Reeperbahn.
Photo Credit: Nina Ivanov
OCTOBER – DECEMBER
NACHTIVILLE | Bungalow Park De Eemhof, THE NETHERLANDS | 13 – 15 November
I just can’t get enough of anything Nachtdigital related – they just nail that smaller, carefully curated festival thang so damn well – so I’ll be jumping all over the first edition of their Dutch-located arm, Nachtiville. Taking place in slightly chillier months in what looks like a super schön Autumn setting surrounded by forests / natural vibes, bungalow park De Eemhof (50 km East of Amsterdam), they’ll be offering up a 10/10 electronic line-up on par with their big sister alongside indoor accomodation in pretty comfortable-looking bungalows. Place also has a pretty vibes looking indoor pool. Hallöchen. Announced so far you’ll be able to catch Ben UFO, Job Jobse, Head High, Lena Willikens, Dekmantel Soundsystem, Manamana, ROD, Sandrien, Giegling crew incl. Ateq and Vrilski (Vril & Voiski), Workshop fam incl. Even Tuell, Lowtec, MM/KM (Mix Mup & Kassem Mosse), with more names still to be announced. This is your pick of the Autumn getaways.
ESSENTIAL: Leggings. What? No really. While the festival stages look set to be inside, our thought is you’ll be cutting about inside and out, qcuikly moving from bungalow lounging to rave and back again, and nothing screams comfort, flexibility and good times in the colder months (your Nov average in these parts is under 10 degrees Leute), like a sweet pair of fitted leg-ware. Mann or Frau – get all over this.
Photo Credit: Nachtiville
CTM FESTIVAL | Berlin, GERMANY | 29 January – 7 February
MENT | Ljubljana, SLOVENIA | 3 – 5 February
SÓNAR REYKJAVIK | Reykjavik, ICELAND | 18 – 20 February
SÓNAR STOCKHOLM | Stockholm, SWEDEN | 26 – 27 February