XLR8R staff share our top festival picks from around the globe in March.
As the festival market grows every year, it becomes harder and harder to discern where to spend your money, time, and energy. Of course, when taking into consideration location, weather, and music policy the options will whittle down, but even then, you’re sure to run into a few dilemmas when deciding where to dance. June, too, presents some of the most enticing options offered this year, from raves held in abandoned military bunkers outside of Berlin to Mediterranean cruises and a sustainable, multi-format festival in 17th-century palatial gardens near Milan. To make things easier, we’ve detailed our go-to festival picks for next month below.
Hideout Festival—June 25-29, Zrce Beach, Croatia.
Returning for its eighth edition, Hideout Festival will once again take place at the gorgeous Zrce Beach on the island of Pag in Croatia, this time running from June 25 to 29. As is the case every year, Hideout will feature a cast of heavy hitters from the worlds of grime, house, techno, bass, and hip-hop, all who will perform across five open-air venues, a newly launched secret beach party, and, of course, Hideout’s infamous boat parties. This year, you can catch the likes of Apollonia, Hunee, Joy Orbison, George FitzGerald, Paul Woolford, DJ Seinfeld, Horse Meat Disco, Flava D, Kerri Chandler, and Heidi, among many others.
XLR8R will also be hosting a boat party at Hideout on Wednesday, June 27, featuring in-form selectors Peggy Gou and Mall Grab. The boat party will kick off at 6 p.m. and will cruise throughout Central Novalja Harbour over sunset.
The Crave Festival—June 2, The Hague, Netherlands.
The third edition of The Crave Festival is set to go down in The Hague on June 2. Known for freeform punk ideals and a subversive outlook in regards to dance culture, The Hague provides the perfect platform for The Crave Festival’s lineup of forward-thinking international and local artists. This year, the event has enlisted the talents of Hessle Audio, Blawan, DJ Stingray, Palms Trax, The Egyptian Lover, Matrixxman, Courtesy, Skee Mask, Soichi Terada, Unit Moebius, Aurora Halal, Lux, and Scientific Dreamz of U, who will play alongside a strong local contingent headed up by JEANS and twice upon a time.
Parklife—June 9-10, Manchester, United Kingdom.
Taking place within Manchester’s iconic Heaton Park on June 9 and 10, Parklife offers one an extremely diverse and varied lineup, delivering a sprawling mix of hip-hop, grime, pop, indie, bass, house, and techno. Spread across 16 arenas and two massive days of music, Parklife has sold out every year and this edition—its eighth in total—looks to follow suit, with a confounding lineup that includes Sampha, Bonobo, Chvrches, Four Tet, The Black Madonna, Goldie, Nina Kraviz, The XX, Justice, Goldie, Young Marco, Maribou State, Jamie Jones b2b Seth Troxler b2b The Martinez Brothers, and many more.
MDRNTY—June 10-13, Mediterranean.
MDRNTY is a multi-format festival cruise taking place throughout the Mediterranean from June 10 to 13. This year’s edition will feature 24-hours of music, pop-up events, artistic and technological shows, film and documentary screenings, exhibitions of contemporary art, yoga, and, of course, a massive array of house and techno artists. It’s not often you’ll get the chance to catch the likes of Ricardo Villalobos, Ion Ludwig, Andrey Pushkarev, SIT (a.k.a. Cristi Cons and Vlad Caia), Stephan Bodzin, Jan Blomqvist, Apollonia, Culoe De Song, Behrouz, Patrice Baumel, Audiofly, Matthew Dekay, and Osunlade on a luxury cruise throughout the Mediterranean, so don’t sleep on this one.
Terraforma—June 29-July 1, Villa Arconati, Italy.
Described by Dan Cole in last year’s XLR8R review as “a stunning visual treat, and a blessing for the ears, mind, and soul,” Italy’s Terraforma festival, situated an hour outside of central Milan, is an experimental and sustainable cultural landmark within the electronic music scene.
The festival pays particular attention to programming and sound, and within the 17th century palatial gardens of Villa Arconati, you can experience a wide offering that ranges from the synth explorations of Caterina Barberi to the confounding rhythms of Rabih Beaini, Lanark Artefacts’ emotive electronics, the machine wizardry of Jeff Mills, and Donato Dozzy’s trance-inducing techno.
Gottwood—June 7-10, Carreglwyd Estate, Wales.
Welsh festival Gottwood returns for its ninth edition this year, taking place once again at Carreglwyd Estate from June 7 to 10. Remotely located and with a depth of lineup rarely experienced in the UK, Gottwood is an intimate gathering that prides itself on creating an inclusive experience and those in know. The bill this year features a ridiculous amount of top-tier artists and respected selectors, including Zip, Andrew Weatherall, Margaret Dygas, Job Jobse, Binh, DMX Krew, Ben UFO, Djrum, Arkajo, Shed, Sonja Moonear, Craig Richards, and many more.
Sonár—June 14-16, Barcelona, Spain.
By now, Sonár’s credentials should be known throughout the industry. After all, this year marks the Barcelona festival’s 25th year, a milestone the forward-thinking institution celebrated by sending specifically composed music from 33 artists—Nina Kraviz, Kerri Chandler, Autechre, Laurent Garnier, The Black Madonna, Fatima Al Qadiri, Soichi Terada, and Kode 9 all contributed—to a planet called GJ 237b. This presents an unparalleled dedication to future-facing ideals, something Sonar has prided itself on since its inception, and this ethos flows over to the festival’s artist offering, which this year features Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto, Despacio Soundsystem, SOPHIE, DJ Stingray & Mumdance, Miss Kittin & Kim Ann Foxman, Yaeji, Call Super, Young Marco, Demdike Stare, TOKiMONSTA, Ben Klock & DJ Nobu, Errorsmith, Fatima Al Qadiri, and many more.
Freedom Time—June 30, Melbourne, Australia.
Following last year’s inaugural winter edition, Melbourne’s Freedom Time is set to return on June 30 at Coburg Velodrome. Once again, Freedom Time hands curation over to Music From Memory, Butter Sessions, and Wax’o Dystopia, who have invited, among others, Dopplereffekt, Veronica Vasicka, Joe Claussell, Kuniyuki, and Dip In The Pool. Just as strong as the international invitees is Melbourne’s local contingent, which includes Butter Sessions’ heads Sleep D, Noise In My Head, Wax’o Paradiso, and Cale Sexton. Couple this with mind-bending visuals, projections, and a bespoke food offering and you have the ingredients for a very special day.