10. Fusion Festival
June 27 - June 30
"Far away from daily life Fusion seeks to create a wondrous parallel society." That might sound like standard festival rhetoric, but few events pull off this utopian fantasy as well as Fusion does. Taking place on an abandoned military field in Northern Germany, the 15-year-old event lures in more than 60,000 punters every year for several days of surreal revelry. Despite its size, the whole thing is very DIY: tickets are cheap (but sell out fast), camping is the only option, and the lineup is never announced (though you can expect everything from deep house to indie rock, plus theatre, cinema and other shenanigans).
RA pick: The KaterHolzig crew know Fusion inside out (Bar25 was born here, after all), so their Bachstelsen stage is always a good bet.
9. The Playground Festival
June 7 - June 9
Rather than descending on a meadow or holiday camp, Playground Festival takes over a big-city gig space, London's Brixton Academy, for a weekend of electronic performances. For live shows, they've tapped foundational acts like Squarepusher, Gary Numan and Model 500, plus more recent favourites like Pantha du Prince. The smaller stages will feature a wealth of current UK and international talent, with the likes of Boddika, Ryan Hemsworth, Nathan Fake and Deadboy soundtracking what's sure to be a pair of very late nights.
RA pick: Juan Atkin's Model 500 project, currently a four-piece supergroup, should live up to its legendary status.
08. Meadows In The Mountains Festival
June 7 - June 10
Polkovnik Serafimovo, Bulgaria
When a festival is inspired by Burning Man, you know it's going to be wild. Set in the rolling meadows of southern Bulgaria, deep in the middle of nowhere among the Rhodopian mountains, Meadows In The Mountains encourages hedonism. And what a setting for it: not only a getaway from bustling cities, the meadows offer fantastic views of a landscape that should put a whole new spin on dancing 'til the sun comes up. With an emphasis on variety and a dazzling medley of art installations, it's not just a rave-your-face-off kind of thing. The lineup includes a number of live musicians as well as deep house DJs to guide you through the "debauched weekend of mind-expanding experience." Cheap drinks and delicious Bulgarian food should keep you on your feet while you float away.
RA pick: Moomin's soft-focussed deep house is made for this kind of setting.
07. Amsterdam Open Air
June 8 - June 9
Day One | Day Two
Outdoor raves are one of the things Dutch people get right, and Amsterdam Open Air is one of their best. Held at the grounds of Gaasperpark by one of The Netherlands' biggest artificial lakes, the 2013 edition will feature close to 100 acts spinning over two days and nights. The bill covers most of the electronic music spectrum, with the techno of Robert Hood and Tommy Four Seven alongside the house of tINI, DJ Sneak and Cassy, plus live acts like Hercules & Love Affair, Flight Facilities and San Proper.
RA pick: Tiga representing Turbo on the main stage on Sunday evening.
06. Taico Club
June 1 - June 2
Nestled in the mountains of Nagano, about four hours from Tokyo, the Taicoclub festival has two of the hallmarks you'd expect from a well-curated Japanese festival: impeccable sound and a stunning natural setting. The crowd is a mix of families and up-for-it partygoers, and there's that special cozy feel that only the best small festivals have. (Walk around and you'll struggle to see a security presence—just friendly staff.) The natural amphitheatre that houses the event's single stage has some of the best natural acoustics of any venue, anywhere. This year's edition sees Ricardo Villalobos return for a third year in a row, with Magda, Diamond Version, Clark, Prefuse 73, JETS and Zip among the other names billed. In keeping with tradition, UK cratedigger Nick The Record will play the festival's closing set.
RA pick: There's a reason they keep inviting Villalobos back each year.
May 29 - June 2
Distorton makes the cut for its sheer uniqueness. Taking over Copenhagen every spring for more than 15 years, the four-day event can feel more like a street parade than a dance music festival. Now hosting more than 90,000 attendees with each edition, Distortion is a self-proclaimed "celebration of Copenhagen's nightlife," aiming to showcase the quality and diversity of the capital's club circuit and local talent. As usual, it's all happening over five nights, with Culture Box and dozens of other local outfits putting on parties at indoor and outdoor locations around the city. Todd Terje, Jeff Mills and DJ Harvey are among the artists confirmed.
RA pick: Not to toot our own horn, but the RA stage is looking pretty nifty, with Ron Morelli, Kassem Mosse, Xosar, DJ TLR and Svenghalisghost all on deck.
04. Parklife Weekender
June 8 - June 9
Parklife comes from the team behind The Warehouse Project, a crew who know a thing or two about throwing massive parties. Billed as "Manchester's official start to the summer," this year's shindig takes place in Heaton Park, slightly farther from the city centre than in past years. The bigger festival site, however, should make for extra mayhem and—more importantly—even louder sound. It's got the kind of lineup where you're practically guaranteed to find something to like, pitting live performers like Jessie Ware and Wiley against DJs from the underground and overground. Eight different stages means you should never be left wanting at this one.
RA pick: TNGHT, whose larger-than-life hip-hop was made for crowds this size.
03. Lente Kabinet
The Dekmantel crew do most things pretty damn well: their parties are up there with the best in Amsterdam, and their record label gets better with every release. They also curate Lente Kabinet, a daylong affair now in its second year. The 2013 edition will take place at a new location, Het Twiske, a big nature reserve in a cluster of villages north of Amsterdam. It boasts a small but elite cast of artists who represent the various strains of the Dekmantel sound: house, techno and a touch of bass. As such, the rugged styles of Levon Vincent and Boddika will balance the more funk-infused grooves of Floating Points and Space Dimension Controller, with big names like Four Tet, Soul Clap and Metro Area also on the bill. There are also a couple of back-to-back sets—Oneman vs. Jackmaster and Steffi vs. Prosumer—that should lend some magic to the proceedings.
RA pick: Check out Tom Trago's live show for a sneak peek of his next album.
Reading the lineup for Awakenings, the long-running Dutch festival, is a bit like scouring an A-to-Z list of who's making it happen in techno right now. Of course, you've got the big names—Loco Dice, Carl Cox, Sven Väth—who dominate events on this scale. But this year the promoters are also bringing a deeper element to their sprawling event at Spaarnwoude. From the old school (The Advent) to the new (Blawan), from Berghain torchbearers (Ben Klock and Marcel Dettmann, Len Faki) to peddlers of a beat all their own (DJ Koze, Ben UFO), Awakenings almost certainly has something that'll scratch your itch.
RA pick: There might not be an Awakenings were it not for techno godfather Jeff Mills.
June 13 - June 15
Sónar turns 20 this year, which seems like as good a time as any to shake things up: as you may have heard, the Barcelona festival is moving its daytime activities to a new location this year—Fira Montjuïc in Plaça d'Espanya—after 19 years at the widely loved CCCB and MACBA. A bold move, for sure, but is there any reason to doubt them? You can tell from the scope of the lineup alone that these people know what they're doing—on one side there's Kraftwerk, Karl Hyde and Pet Shop Boys, on the other there's Diamond Version, Raime and Vatican Shadow. Two decades down the line, Sónar are still at the top of their game.
RA pick: Watch Modeselektor break in the new By Day venue.