Festivals worth taking a flight for
Whether it’s discovering new underground acts or indulging a travel buzz, music fans demand an extraordinary experience from festivals these days. A festival no longer means piling into a field for a weekend and accepting the
SEA STAR FESTIVAL – SUPERSTAR DJs AND MEDITERRANEAN POOL PARTIES IN CROATIA
Acts Announced: Sven Vath, Nina Kraviz,
Sea Star is another coastal dance extravaganza hatched by the experts behind EXIT, so it’s no surprise that it’s been nominated in the Best Medium Sized Festival category in this year’s European Festival Awards – less than two years after its first edition (it was also nominated for Best New Festival last year). Sea Star will return this year to the idyllic Stella Maris lagoon in Umag, Croatia on May 24 and 25, with special opening and closing parties on the 23rd and 26th. With over 70 artists on six stages, from local Balkan heroes to international superstars, Sea Star is an event with high production values in a stunning Mediterranean paradise. And if you need a time-out from dancing, Umag’s historical Baroque and Renaissance buildings and winding streets are a hive of quaint bars and restaurants. Still, it won’t be long before you’re drawn back to the lagoon with that 4/4 pulse nearby… Sea Star festival takes place from May 24-25, with an opening party on May 23 and a closing party on May 26.
SECRET SOLSTICE – GLACIER RAVES AND SURREAL MIDNIGHT SUNSHINE IN ICELAND
Acts announced: Black Eyed Peas, Robert Plant and the Sensational Spaceshifters, Martin Garrix, Rita Ora, Patti Smith Morcheeba, The Sugarhill Gang with, Grandmaster Melle Mel & Scorpio, Foreign Beggars, Pussy Riot Kerri, Chandler, MK, Mr.G, Jeremy Underground, Boy Pablo, SMASH TV and many more.
Secret Solstice is all about unique experiences – the most obvious being the fact that the sun doesn’t set for the whole 72 hours, so get used to midnight pool parties in bright sunshine. As well as an eclectic line-up of US, European and local acts, Iceland’s premiere music festival is a bucket list party in the capital Reykjavik during the magical summer solstice. The carbon-neutral festival prides itself on using Iceland’s stunning natural spaces and rugged landscape as a backdrop – while the main stage hosts many of the blockbuster acts, you can literally have an underground vibe, at exclusive raves in a glacier and a 5,000-year-old lava tunnel. Back above ground, catch DJ sets in naturally heated lagoons or at boat parties in the midnight sunshine – and marvel at glistening waterfalls, black sand beaches, caves and vast volcanic fields on special day trips. Secret Solstice is celebrating its fifth anniversary, and 2019 is set to be its biggest edition yet.
EXIT FESTIVAL – PARTY IN A 17th CENTURY FORTRESS OVERLOOKING THE DANUBE IN SERBIA
Acts announced: The Cure, Carl Cox, Paul Kalkbrenner, Greta Van Fleet, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Maceo Plex, Boris Brejcha, Tom Walker, Jeff Mills, Charlotte de Witte, Peggy Gou, Amelie Lens, Lost Frequencies, Sofi
For four days every summer, the 17th century Petrovaradin Fortress opens its gates for EXIT – the award-winning music festival in Serbia’s second city, Novi Sad. EXIT began in 2000 as a student protest fighting for political change, and over the years it’s grown into one of Europe’s biggest festivals, with [thousands] partying in the stunning citadel perched high on a cliff overlooking the River Danube. The positive activism remains in the air, and each year has a specific theme (it was ‘Freedom’ in 2018). EXIT has possibly the most diverse line-up of any European festival, with 20 outdoor stages that feature everything from death metal to pop, indie, reggae and techno – among cobbled paths, courtyards, grass verges, ramparts and underground tunnels. The Dance Arena is the festival’s energetic hub, with 20,000 raving in the fortress moat waiting for the awe-inspiring moment when the sun rises above the ancient walls. Many DJs say the Dance Arena is the greatest place in the world to play, and after Nina Kraviz closed EXIT 2018 with an extended set until 9am, she called it “one of the most special places on Earth”.
DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE – WHERE YOU ARE WHO YOU ARE WHEN NO ONE CAN SEE YOU
July 5 – 7 July|rabbitresort.nl
Acts Announced: Editors, Janelle Monáe, Underworld, Thom Yorke – Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, Foals, Vampire Weekend, De Staat, Balthazar, dEUS plays The Ideal Crash, Grace Jones, Robyn, The Roots, Ronnie Flex &
Down The Rabbit Hole says adventure, confusion, surrealism and psychedelics, which has been an inspiration for (psycho) rockers, DJs, artists, designers
OFF FESTIVAL – A VOYAGE OF UNDERGROUND DISCOVERY IN POLAND
Acts Announced: Suede, Neneh Cherry, Aldous Harding, Superorganism, Perfect Son, Electric Wizard, The Gaslamp Killer, IC3PEAK, Daughters, Lotic: Endless Power, Lotic: Endless Power, The Body, Dezerter
OFF is a unique boutique festival that values experimentation and diversity above everything else. With founder and
LOWLANDS – MUSIC, ART AND CULTURE CLASH AT THE DUTCH CAMPING PARADISE
Acts Announced: Tame Impala, Twenty One Pilots, A$AP Rocky,
A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise is the Netherlands’ most prestigious music festival that’s been a rite of passage for the Dutch since 1993. It takes place in rural Biddinghuizen – only an hour away from Amsterdam. So there’s even a chance to add in a city break either side. It’s
SEA DANCE FESTIVAL – PARTY ON THE STUNNING ADRIATIC COAST IN MONTENEGRO
August 30 – September 1|seadancefestival.me
Acts Announced: David Guetta more
Sea Dance in Montenegro is an extension of the EXIT family. A gold standard guarantee in the festival world. Like EXIT, Sea Dance is also an award-winner. Voted Best Medium-Sized Festival at the European Festival Awards after its first edition in 2014. The festival bottles some of the magic of EXIT’s dance stages and transports it to the alluring golden sand beach of Budva on the Adriatic coast, with narrow medieval streets just a short walk away. EXIT’s famous No Sleep Novi Sad stage is repackaged for Sea Dance, with over 100 performers shared around numerous other stages. Evan as a relatively new addition to the festival scene. Sea Dance already has a
AMSTERDAM DANCE EVENT – IMMERSE YOURSELF IN ELECTRONIC MUSIC CULTURE
October 16 – 20|amsterdam-dance-event.nl
Acts to be announced
Amsterdam is world famous as a hub for nightlife and electronic music. Every October it becomes the centre of the electronic music universe for five days during the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE). Some 400,000 people hit the Dutch capital every year for ADE, which features more than 2,500 international artists performing in over 100 of Amsterdam’s most iconic venues including Melkweg, Gashouder, Claire, Shelter, Paradiso, the NDSM Docklands and De School. It’s not simply a five-day rave – ADE offers an inspirational conference programme that covers all aspects of dance music culture and the industry. By day, across Amsterdam’s five main districts, there are dozens of seminars, workshops, exhibitions, artist interviews, feature and documentary screenings, DJ showcases and tech classes. Amsterdam Dance Event takes place over five days every October. It’s