Saturday, 3 May 2008, Manchester, England
The Warehouse Project's events towards the close of last year must have been successful, because they've reopened their humongous subterranean caverns beneath Piccadilly train station for three 'Lost Weekends'. This night sees the indomitable Villalobos bringing slinky techno, Josh Wink with mid-nineties infused rave, and Raresh with minimal 4/4 funk; oodles of groove all round. Wondering the whereabouts of Cocoon head honcho Sven? See number 2...
Inner city pick: Affleck's Palace on Church Street, a one-stop shopping centre for alternative clothing/ head shops/ old records/ general crazy crap.
Friday, 2 May 2008, Liverpool, England
Circus are roping in the big guns for this event, which sees them them evolve into a record label that will probably reflect the party-centric club house of their nights. Carl Cox, Sasha, and (now) label boss Yousef will be there, all with upbeat, prog-tinged house and techno. In the second room, Dubfire and Adam Beyer will be taking things a bit more seriously and stripped-down. Bound to be a roadblock.
Inner city pick: The Tate Liverpool at Albert Dock; massage your brain with some abstract modern art.
Friday, 2 May 2008, Dublin, Ireland
Spy is rapidly reclaiming its status as one of the best clubs on the Dublin scene, and it's easy to see why, with plush, opulent décor and smooth lineups like this one. French electro purist The Hacker headlines, delicately offset by refined deep house from Âme, and warm tech house from Dubliner Sian. Look out for more events at this venue, which sophisticatedly celebrates the finer points of dance music.
Inner city pick: Irish pubs for the warmup.
Friday, 2 May 2008, Berlin, Germany
Modeselektor are touring the world at the moment with their VJ friends Pfadfinderei, and the high point will undoubtedly be this gig in their home town. Apart from the duo's ravetastic, forward-thinking electro mashup, there will be futuristic dubstep from Kode9 and Spaceape; while Deadbeat, Pole and Pinch will all complement the main act in a logical manner with minimal flavoured dub. Get ready for a bouncy gig-rave hybrid with crowd-pleasing drops a-plenty.
Inner city pick: Wonder where they got their records? Check out legendary record store Hardwax.
Saturday, 3 May 2008, Birmingham, England
It's full cannons ho promotion-wise in preparation for Amnesia's Cocoon parties this summer, and this grade 2 – listed building is a great place for Ibizan events. Sven Väth is sure to be whipping up a frenzy in classic rock-techno stylee, Matthew Dear will be performing his brand of electronica/minimal as a live set, and we haven't even mentioned Chicago house legend Green Velvet or street-level breakbeat heroes the Stanton Warriors. Phew!
Inner city pick: Some of the best curries in Britain can be found in the Balti Triangle just south of the city centre.
Saturday, 3 May 2008, Berlin, Germany
The converted power station is legendary for all the right reasons, and this lineup is typically high-class: in the main room, Jerome Sydenham plays proggy Afro house, with Guy Gerber rockin' Ableton with hypnotic techno. In the Panorama Bar, there's techno with regular Norman Nodge and electro from Steffi, and more Detroit from second-wave pioneer Carl Craig. As usual, this will carry on well past midday on Sunday.
Inner city pick: Carry on after the carry on at Bar 25.
Saturday, May 3 2008, London, England
London's premier rave-dungeon is consistently excellent in the choice of its artists, with highlights including Hawtin in 5.1 surround sound and its regular Tru Playaz nights. Tonight there will be cool, funky techno from Loco Dice, Jay Haze playing a glitchy three-deck Final Scratch set and Craig Richards pushing hard tech house. British veteran Andy Weatherall with acid/old school and Luciano's subdued minimalism complete a lineup that's well complemented by the venue's stellar light show and vibrating dancefloor plus indie-disco darlings Hercules & Love Affair in room three.
Inner city pick: Camden Town for the Sunday market, Lockside bars and more record shops than you can shake a mini-jack adaptor at.
Saturday, 3 May 2008, Budapest, Hungary
This is one of pan-European promoter Sensation White's gi-normous events which sees them fill a 12,500 capacity stadium with top-name DJs, Balearic light shows and a crowd with a strict all-white dress code. Oakenfold headlines, with Fedde le Grand, Mauro Picotto, Sander Kleinenberg and Sebastian Ingrosso spinning crowd-pleasing styles from trance to mainstream electrohouse. Sounds mega, just don't lose your mates.
Inner city pick: Bathe in one of the many natural spas.
Saturday, 3 May 2008, Munich, Germany
This is the ten-year anniversary of Family Affair Bookings, who are presenting all their artists in an intimate, unpretentious venue. Most prominent of these is pioneering techno DJ and Plus 8 co-founder John Acquaviva, plus there's also Väth/Rother protegé Gregor Tresher veering between hard and trancey electro. Terminal M headmistress Monika Kruse spins techno with Karotte adding a playful blend of electro/house. Let's just hope there's no arguing over who's doing the washing up.
Inner city pick: Dress in lederhosen and watch an oom-pah band. Go on.
Saturday, 3 May 2008, Amsterdam, Holland
It's called 11 because it's on the 11th floor, and boasts panoramic views across the city as well as large screens around the room for visuals. Anja Schneider obviously thinks it's pretty neat, 'cos she's holding a label night here, playing alongside Pan-Pot (who named themselves after a knob on a mixer, not kitchenware... we hope) and Connaisseur's one-to-watch Mark August. Minimal house of a slightly twisted variety will be on the agenda, with a sociable atmosphere.
Inner city pick: We don't think we really need to tell you this one.
Top photo credit: Jonathan Hood