We’re already half way through Summer – when did that happen?! If you’re still looking for festivals to get around during the second part of the year, we’ve got your sorted! With an increasingly crowded festival menu, we thought we’d pick out a few European do’s that we’re looking forward to – focussing on events that are both musically tasty, with some form of travel / special experiential lure and (at the time of posting) still with tickets available.
So, (Re)-fill your disposable flasks and dust off your party jacket – we give you Lucy, Bron & das Euro Festival: Part 2 (recap on Part 1 over here).Get all in up and around that, and hopefully you can join us for a warm, stealthed vodka at many or at least one. Festival kisses! X
NACHTDIGITAL Cavertitz, GERMANY | 1 – 3 August
Exceptionally hard to nab tickets for but more than worth the effort if you do track one down. Nachtdigital is one of those festivals that regulars swear by and, through a continued policy of a keeping their capacity small and line-up to a well-selected handful of quality names, seems to have maintained it’s magical friends of friends vibe. Now in it’s 17th (17th!!) party-throwing year, this idyllic summer fling takes place at a holiday camping ground, on a lake, in lush East-German countryside somewhere outside of Dresden. It’s a mostly house and techno affair with 2014’s edition including Donato Dozzy, Dixon, Legowelt, Roman Flügel, Karenn, Laurel Halo, Optimo, Siriusmo and mehr. Still not convinced? Sample a taste of last year over here.
ESSENTIAL: Wet weather gear – wellies, a waterproof parka, spare clothes. With a pretty lengthy “In the event of thunderstorms” debrief on the website we think that more than just German over-preparedness there’s perhaps a high chance of shite weather in this patch of East Deutschland? Don’t be a dick – keep dry.
FLOW FESTIVAL Helsinki, FINLAND | 8 – 10 August
If there is one thing we are into it’s babes. If it’s another, it’s babes in the Nordic regions…. If it’s another, it’s babes in the Nordic region listening to cool music. So now, we say “Hallooooooochen” to Flow. Located all the way in Helsinki Finland this is a festival with something for everyone. Music, babes, cool location – total tourism. The view here is, if you are only going to head to one festival this summer you may as well tie that in with a bit of a touristic adventure. This year there are some pretty cool acts playing by way of: Jessie Ware, Outkast (!!!), Noah Kin, Blood Orange, How to Dress Well, Jamie xx, Jungle – and actually so many more. It’s a total smorgasbord of talent – surrounded by babes… Have we said that already?
ESSENTIAL: Money, lots of money. We’re not in Berlin any more Toto.
DOCKVILLE Hamburg, GERMANY | 15 – 17 August
Located just a stones throw from Berlin, Dockville is one of the very special festivals this team would totally hop a 8€ bus for. It’s actually both an Arts Festival which actually started a couple of days ago, and a music festival. Held off in this sort of industrial area among the ships and ports and water ways of the great city of Hamburg it’s a pretty dreamy landscape (as far as Germany goes) under just the right light. This year the booking is pretty lush, and is actually inspiring both Bron and I to go, which is maybe a bit rare? Few of the names you should know: Chet Faker, Nils Frahm, Ryan Hemsworth, (our favorite English boys) Breton, Shlohmo and a obviously more.
ESSENTIAL: A raincoat and some decorum – it’s Hamburg, the weather is pretty unreliable (read: wet) and the people are most definitely judging you and your rough Berlin’ish ways. Get it together.
BERLIN ATONAL Berlin, GERMANY| 20 – 24 August
Admittedly we’re featuring a lot of Deutsch festivals in this Part 2 of our guide – however it’s for good reason. There’s a crazy amount of great stuff on in the DE, ticking all sorts of musical boxes and with plenty of format variety too. And this here is a special one. Beginning in 1982 as the brain child of Dimitri Hegemann (Tresor’s founder), Berlin Atonal was created to feature more experimental electronic artists and wound up initially in 1990, before being resurrected last year.
This new Atonal takes place in the otherwise mostly unused Berlin Kraftwerk – a former power plant, a lot like Berghain in structure (although even larger we think?) – and we were blown away by last year’s edition, with both an eclectic line-up and this incredibly imposing setting. Continuing on from last year’s impressive comeback the line-up for 2014 is again ridic, with live performances (a number being world premieres) from: Cabaret Voltaire (first live show in 20 years!), Sendai (Peter van Hoesen & Yves de Mey), Milton Bradley pres. The End of All Existence, Millie & Andrea (Miles Whittaker & Andy Stott), Donato Dozzy & Nuel pres. Aquaplano Sessions, Abdulla Rashim, Dasha Rush, Neel, Tim Hecker and loads more. Tickets are available per show or for the length of the festival.
ESSENTIAL: This might be an obvious one, however – an interest or openness to the music. This isn’t your shitfaced-in-a-field kinda affair (which there is also nothing wrong with) – come for the incredible (and rare!) performances coupled with an amazing industrial setting.
DIMENSIONS FESTIVAL Pula, CROATIA | 27 – 31 August
One of our favourites (in fact, Bron’s #1), it’s not hard to see why Dimensions is so damn good and stands out amongst a ridiculously crowded calendar of Croatian summer festivals. First off, the setting is insane. Sure – a Croatian coastline setting is no longer unique, but it’s completely stunning and when you witness you’re first sunset you’ll have no idea what to do with yourself. Suggestion – cocktail/dance. Located on the Adriactic sea, with a very high chance of loads of sun and balmy balmy nights, this also makes for an incredible backdrop for both day time parties on boats & on the beach and in their Fort at night. Yep – the main program throughout the night takes place in an abadoned Fort, complete with moat, a stage with a draw bridge entrance, a tiny (and vibey) water well-like “Ballroom” and loads more. Setting – check.
The line-up is also exceptionally well thought out – and unique, and this year includes Roy Ayers, Jon Hopkins, Dimensions favourites Theo Parrish (live & DJ) & Moodymann, Nils Frahm, Underground Resistance, Daphni (a highlight from 2013), Juan Atkins & Moritz von Oswald, loads of crews / labels, including Hyperdub, Leisure System, Ostgut, L.I.E.S., Eglo and a crazy shitload moreeee. On top of all that – the sound systems are specifically chosen per stage; they’re throwing an Opening Concert in a 2,000 year old ampitheatre with Caribou, Darkside, Nils Frahm & Kwabs; the crowd are generally a lovely bunch of happy, sexy people, the boat parties are total bliss and your accom options are pretty sweet – ranging from onsite camping to hotels, resorts and private apartments around Pula. All in all – a truly special 4-5 day affair and pretty vibey way to see out summer. Bonus extra – did you notice that we’re giving away tickets?! For that plus more Dimensions love, head over here.
ESSENTIAL: Proper shoes. The Fort is rocky as fuck, and also super dusty. Trainers – yes! White trainers/flip flops/sandles – helllllll no.
OUTLOOK FESTIVAL Pula, CROATIA | 3 – 7 September
Dimensions older, bassier, sister, all of the setting superlatives above apply here too, however switch the musical curation towards a bass/soundsystem culture kinda thang, throw in an extra 5000 or so punters, add one large stage and a few extra boat parties and you have one of the longer-running festivals in the Croatian calendar, and a favourite that many party kids return for year after year. Now in it’s 7th year, and run by the same team behind Dimensions, Outlook holds a special place in many raver’s hearts and continues to provide pretty punchy line-ups with 2014 looking particularly delicious.
As with Dimensions, the festival will kick off with an opening concert in Pula’s ampitheater, with this one seeing the incredible Lauryn Hill (!) joined by Andrew Ashong, Fatima & Submotion Orchestra. This has dreamy written all over it. The rest of the festival is all sorts of next level too, featuring: Busta Rhymes, Barrington Levy, Buraka Som Sistema, Moodymann, Andy C, Congo Natty, Floating Points, Goldie, Digital Mystikz, DJ EZ, Daddy G (Massive Attack), Dillinja, Special Request and so so many more. We can’t see any other festival in the Euro schedule that looks anything like this music-wise – and alongside that beautiful Fort Punta Christo setting (and run by a team that know what they’re doing) this makes Outlook one of top picks.
ESSENTIAL: Sun cream! (thanks Mum). We’d put money on the mostly British crowd being scorched beyond belief after day one in the Adriactic sun. Don’t be a dick – being sun burnt kinda sucks, slip, slop, slap etc.
BERLIN FESTIVAL Berlin, GERMANY | 5 – 7 September
I’m going to admit it, the last two years I actually couldn’t have given two shits about Berlin Festival. The line up wasn’t my cup of tea and the weather sucked. This year, we’re excited. The weather has turned positively dreamy in Berlin – and granted we are still 1.5 months out, but we are optimistic and the line up actually has something for everyone. The fact that I can just roll up the road to Flughafen Tempelhof in 5 minutes and catch DJ Koze, Moderat, Woodkid, Hudson Mohawke, Warpaint, Highasakite and lots of others/ more to be announced – it’s shaping up to be a fucking cracking weekend. Also – for all you non-Berlin’ers – what’s cooler than catching music in an abandon airfield practically in the middle of the city.. Probably not much (y) (y) (y).
ESSENTIAL: A bike. The festival is out at Templehof, which is actually around the corner from Bron and I, but walking is boring and the bars definitely don’t line the airfield for all that after partying we will be doing.
REEPERBAHN FESTIVAL Hamburg, GERMANY | 17 – 20 September
Another German focused number – because seriously, we can’t get enough of ze Germans this year (ohh hai). The weekend before my birthday (pop it in your calendar 23 September “Celebrate Lucy’s life”) Hamburg is shutting down and more or less opening it’s streets to any and all musical talent that would grace it’s fair streets, predominantly the Reeperbahn, but really the whole city will be a buzz. 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 with casually with the music industry and watch some hot fresh out the oven act in the bar you choose to frequent.
To me – the Reeperbahn Festival is more of less Germany’s answer to SXSW.. And if that’s not a good endorsement, I don’t know what is. Acts you will find there go a little something like this: Naomi Pilgrim, Jaakko Eino Kalevi, Rüfüs, Sway Clarke II, Nimmo and the Gauntletts, Float Fall and really stacks more/ stacks more to be announced.
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.
UNSOUND Kraków, POLAND | 12 – 19 October
Fields, camping or large crowds not your thang? Unsound could be the answer. Based in Poland’s second largest city, the original of the now four-city-spanning festival, takes over a number of venues around Kraków with a 7 day menu of diverse electronic music and other live performances, films and talks. This year’s theme is titled The Dream, and names so far include Ben Frost, Dopplereffekt, Bjorn Torske, DJ Stingray, Kassem Mosse, Robert Hood. Jam City, Joey Anderson, The Bug, Mumdance, Wanda Group amongst others, with more to be announced. On top of what is by all accounts and incredible week of diverse music in beautiful settings, the extra lure of this one is the chance to check out Kraków – a 750 year old city with loads of incredible history, beautiful old architecture and all the joys of polish eats and vodkaaaa. A festival and a proper holiday? We’re in.
(UN)ESSENTIAL: your camera. Last year Unsound banned photography – from both punters and professionals – instead inviting visual artists to draw or paint performances.