10. Estrella Levante SOS 4.8
April 30 - May 1
Day 1 | Day 2
SOS. Not a cry for help in this case, rather the first three letters of the Spanish word "sostenibilidad," or sustainability. We're actually not sure how this translates on the ground, but with Carl Craig, Hot Chip and Orbital on the bill, we won't dwell on it too much. The south-eastern Spanish city of Murcia will host 48 hours of art, music and lectures for the third time this year. And the folks behind SOS appear to be leaning on each medium in equal measures. The contemporary art third of things flies under the theme "Bizarre," while the discussion portion tackles such weighty issues as capitalism's flaws, under the banner of "Voices." Musically speaking, attendees will be able to chew on sounds from across the board: Fatboy Slim, Uffie and Mike Banks prop up a loose "dance" roll call, while bands such as Franz Ferdinand, The Horrors and Crystal Castles also get down.
RA pick: Hot Chip's latest album may have received mixed reviews but they're an undeniable live force.
09. The Mission 1st of May
Romania's Black Sea Coast takes on an almost Mecca-like status among the region's club going folk each and every May 1st. And by in large, those trails of vehicles snaking their way down to the sea from cities such as Bucharest are heading in one direction: Mamaia. Veteran Romanian promoters The Mission (the group behind the capital's long-running Studio Martin club) go head-to-head with Sunwaves this year for supremacy over Mamia's Nord beach, so it's just as well both Sven Vath's Cocoon and Loco Dice's Desolat will be heading-up stages for them. Onur Ozer, SIS, Martin Buttrich, Livio & Roby and Guti will also be feeling the sand between their toes, as will attendees holding out for the potentially spectacular site of the sunrise breaking over the water come morning time.
RA pick: Give Guti a go. The Argentinian producer has been picking up props for his live act recently.
May 12 - May 15
Springfestival's locations have long been as much of a draw as its bookings, making the most of the picturesque old world city of Graz, and its caves, modern structures, fortresses and man-made islands, as well more traditional venues and clubs. This edition will continue the festival's longtime devotion to electronic music, and live performances will abound from Berlin three-pieces Moritz Von Oswald Trio and Jahcoozi, quirk-house and electro-house duos Noze and The Japanese Popstars respectively, plus Drums of Death, Gaiser, and Pantha Du Prince all kicking it solo. There'll also be plenty of DJ talent rounds out the roster: Theo Parrish brings a lil' piece of Detroit, alongside Erol Alkan, Mathew Jonson and homegrown Austrian talent Patrick Pulsinger.
RA pick: Moritz Von Oswald Trio's restrained ambience will offer a breather from all the jump-up sounds.
April 30 - May 1
Day 1 | Day 2
Don't European festival organizers just love meshing art and music? L.E.V. or Laboratorio de Electronica Visual is one such event, and has been flying the flag for the Spanish A/V experience since 2007. Basing its operations out of several architecturally gratifying venues in the Spanish coastal city of Gijon, L.E.V. 2010 will gather a neat hamper of future-facing artists, which this year moves to include a selection of bass music's finest. Hotflush founder Paul Rose, AKA Scuba, will be joined by fellow Berlin-based Brit Shackleton, while Rose's highly regarded signees Mount Kimbie also make the journey. Elsewhere across the two-day settlement expect performances from Warp mainstays Plaid, Mo Wax missionary DJ Krush and Bedroom Community's ambient/noise dude Ben Frost, while on a talking tip, Carsten Nicolai, Olaf Bender and Frank Bretschneider huddle for a Raster-Noton workshop.
RA pick: In addition to their words, Nicolai, Bender and Bretschneider will offer sounds as Signal.
06. Primavera Sound
May 27 - May 30
Parc Del Forum
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4
Although Primavera Sound is pegged as the indie version of Sonar, the two Barcelona festivals seem to cover more common ground with every passing year. As with all previous editions, 2010 has a heavy focus on guitar-bass-drums, with underground heroes like Broken Social Scene, Pixies, Pavement and Wilco billed alongside so-hot-it-hurts trio The XX, and similarly hyped bands Grizzly Bear and Beach House. Mixing up the format will be synth-pop pioneers Gary Numan and Human League's Marc Almond, while Jamaican riddims will be forthcoming from Lee "Scratch" Perry and the Switch/Diplo dancehall project Major Lazer. Straight-up dance floor fare is also on the cards, courtesy of Joker, Orbital and Moderat.
RA pick: The sound and vision synergy of Moderat's excellent live show.
May 12 - May 15
Manchester, United Kingdom
Futuresonic? Nah. Try FutureEverything. The Manchester-based event has decided that 15 years of art, music and discussion was a lengthy enough period to warrant a name change, but will pretty much stick with the same formula that has successfully seen them through the last decade and a half. We'll be so bold as to assume that the music line-up is of the most interest to you; particularly if the experimental peripheries of electronic music are what get you up in the morning. So beginning on the Wednesday at BBC Studio 7, Japanese multimedia man Ryoji Ikeda will set up for his "test pattern" live show, with Pan Sonic and Sahko man Mika Vainio also frying brains. Events on the Friday see the likes of Omar Souleyman, Mark Ernestus, King Midas Sound and Plaid travel to various Manchester venues, while Saturday is the turn of The Hacker, Kyle Hall, Roska, Oneman and Ali Renault.
RA pick: Although details are yet to be announced, we're intrigued to see who local music retailer Boomkat pull out of the bag on the closing evening.
04. Sunwaves 7
April 30 - May 2
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3
It may seem obvious to point out that DJs play better when they're relaxed, but in the case of Romania's Sunwaves festival, you actually get to see it in action. After all, you'd be hard pressed to think of an event of its size which affords the headliners more than a four hour canvas. And of course, being beach side with a clued-up, exuberant crowd always helps loosen things up. May's edition of the event is in many ways more manageable than the single night, multi-arena August version: All eyes here are on a single stage over three days, with perpetual after parties plugging the gaps between stints in the vast Sunwaves tent. Grabbing headline billing is Ricardo Villalobos who appears for his third Sunwaves outing, and will be joined on the Friday by Mamaia favourite Lee Burridge, Zip and recent Romania devotee Seth Troxler. Saturday meanwhile is all about the locals as the airpiar trio Rhadoo, Raresh and Pedro set up alongside Marco Carola and Audiofly. Our advice, though: Leave something in the tank for the unannounced line-up on the Sunday.
RA pick: At the risk of stating the bleedin' obvious, Ricardo Villalobos on the Friday should be immense.
03. Nuits Sonores
May 12 - May 15
As the grand old dame of French festivals, Nuits Sonores' annual occupation of Lyon is heavily anticipated on the city's spring calendar. This eighth edition will again pervade a number of the city's locations, ranging from concert halls to swimming pools, streets and clubs, and will feature a cast of recurring characters including perennial favourite Laurent Garnier who marks his sixth headlining slot in a row. Other familiar faces include Mathew Herbert reprising his 2005 set, plus electro-soulster Jamie Lidell, Ivan Smagghe, Booka Shade and Pilooski. New names include Warp's Hudson Mohawke, Ed Bangers Uffie and Feadz and the vocal-space-disco of Lindstrom & Christabelle, while art-punkers The Liars, The Raveonettes and The Jim Jones Revue will inject a guitar-led indie edge.
RA pick: This year's legacy act, dance-punk originals Gang of Four.
May 21 - May 23
We know there are many things to take into careful consideration when investing your trust and hard-earned cash into festival, but, on occasion, all it takes is a casual glance over a line-up. Having secured the first Italian date on the upcoming Plastikman tour for day one of Dissonanze, attendees should be equally psyched over appearances from Pantha Du Prince, Joris Voorn, Jeff Mills, King Midas Sound, Martyn and Shackleton, Gill Scott Heron and Jamie Lidell for day two. And as this year marks their tenth edition, the festival has opted to revert back to their three day format (last rolled out in 2005), opening the door for a number of contemporary artists to present special works in music, and Tim Sweeney to play some disco. The Beats in Space man joins Run N Tug at an unconfirmed location for the Friday, while the daytime program at Chiostro del Bramante will centre around the talents of Ben Frost and Black Fanfare. Sunday, meanwhile, will be all about the gentle descent back to reality through A/V nourishment: Quayola, Nexus Productions and Edwin van der Heide all perform at Ara Pacis.
RA pick: GonjaSufi's debut LP was recently described as "a minor stoner classic." Ideal for easing yourself in on the Saturday, then.
May 29 - May 31
Michigan, United States
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3
Could it have been anything else? Not this year certainly. With Carl Craig helping out on the creative side of things, it seems like Movement has gone deeper than usual. Kyle Hall, Hudson Mohawke, Ida Engberg: All relative young'uns, right? And with old'uns doing unexpected things (Robert Hood and Kenny Larkin will perform rare live sets), we can't help but be excited about the prospect of this year's Hart Plaza hoedown. There are plenty more acts to be announced, and rumors abound about certain names that'll leave heads spinning if they come through, but with a solid base already in place, you can likely book your ticket to the Motor City right now without worry. This Memorial Day will be yet another affordable rave out for electronic music fans the world over.
RA pick: Hard to pick, but CVS is already planning something special, so we'll go with him for now.