10. Marvellous Island Festival
May 7 - May 12
Chalet de la Porte Jaune
Marvellous Island is one of two festivals happening in Paris for the first time this May, and it's admirably ambitious. Taking place just outside the city center at Le Chalet de la Porte Jaune (an actual island), its program stretches across five days and packs in dozens of tech house heavyweights, including the likes of Seth Troxler, Jamie Jones, Cassy and Loco Dice, plus stages from Crosstown Rebels, Hot Creations, Get Physical and Flying Circus. More proof, if you needed it, that the French capital is on the rise.
RA pick: See Dan Ghenacia DJing on home turf.
May 29 - June 2
When your top-billed artist is a solo piano act famous for playing a 27-hour concert, you're probably not running an average electronic music festival. And Graz's annual Springfestival is very much not your run-of-the-mill techno marathon. Now 13 years in, the event regularly attracts 20,000 people to Austria's culturally rich second city, kicking off the warmer months with a little bit of everything. A former air-raid shelter turned concert venue, Dom im Berg, serves as the event's epicenter, hosting big names (SBTRKT, Carl Craig), underground favorites (Joy Orbison, KiNK) and left turns (Mykki Blanco and the aforementioned Chilly Gonzales) together for one commendably varied long weekend.
RA pick: On packed festival lineups, Joy Orbison's brand of deliriously catchy house always cuts through the noise.
08. Life Festival
May 24 - May 26
Belvedere House & Gardens
Life Festival takes place at one of Europe's most unique venues: Belvedere House, a sprawling manor constructed in 1740. Its gardens have hosted dozens of DJs and live acts in the past few years, and in late May will welcome Seth Troxler, Amon Tobin, Modeselektor and a slew of other artists for Life Festival's eighth edition. Most of the other acts appearing hail from the UK and Ireland, with Karenn, Floating Points and Sunil Sharpe all confirmed. International names include Kerri Chandler, Bulgarian live act KiNK and the big room house of Berlin duo Booka Shade.
RA pick: Pump your fist to Modeselektor's live show.
07. Rainbow Disco Club
Harumi Port Terminal
Taking place every year in Tokyo, Rainbow Disco Club isn't the largest or longest-lasting festival on this list, but in terms of quality, the single-day house and techno bash on Tokyo Bay is a hard one to beat. The action happens at Harumi Port Terminal during the day, then moves on to two of the city's best clubs: Womb (where the party is presented by Resident Advisor this year) and Secco. The 2013 bill features Ben UFO and Dixon, two DJs who have ascended the ranks of the festival circuit thanks mostly to the unique character of their sets. Ostgut Ton gearheads Barker & Baumecker head up a contingent of live performers that also includes Kevin Yost and Kuniyuki.
RA pick: If you enjoyed Where Dancefloors Stand Still as much as we did, you won't want to pass up seeing DJ Sprinkles.
06. Weather Festival
May 17 - May 19
Paris and Montreuil, France
Weather Festival may be brand new, but it comes with a strong pedigree. It's organized by the people behind Concrete, arguably the best party in Paris, and it offers both sweaty warehouse raves and sun-soaked afterparties at trusted spots in and around the city. It's almost like a regular weekend, but with a much bigger lineup: the massive bill includes Ben UFO, Marcel Dettmann, Theo Parrish, DVS1, DJ Deep and dozens of others.
RA pick: Robert Hood doing a housey Floorplan set on the docked boat of Concrete.
05. Southport Weekender
The Southport Weekender is as storied for its passionate and dedicated crowd as it is for its stacked lineups. Now in its 49th edition and once again taking place at Butlins in Minehead (a former home of Bloc), it's known for its tendency to bring out the best and most adventurous in its DJs, including vintage boogie and disco sets. The crew they've amassed this year is one of their strongest, as Prosumer and Black Coffee rub elbows with regulars like Karizma and Atjazz.
RA pick: Festival favorite Kerri Chandler usually gets one of Southport Weekender's peaktime slots, and he usually nails it.
04. Primavera Sound
May 22 - May 25
Parc Del Forum
Spanning three days, pulling in numerous genres and attracting over 100,000 people each year, Barcelona's Primavera Sound is a force of nature. This year's seaside extravaganza is as strong as ever, with Wu-Tang Clan offsetting indie giants like Animal Collective and The Jesus & Mary Chain. As usual, the electronic side of the bill is strong: Pantha Du Prince, Apparat, The Postal Service and The Knife will all strut their stuff. As far as gargantuan festivals go, you can't do much better than Primavera Sound.
RA pick: Don't pass up the chance to see shoegaze legends My Bloody Valentine.
May 29 - June 2
Mutek is one of those festivals that makes programming look like an art. Every artist is carefully chosen, every running order closely considered, every visual component meticulously planned. "It's like high cuisine in a sense, the care that we put to everything," says festival director Alain Mongeau. Artists tend to respond in kind, delivering the finest performance they can muster. So far this year's lineup is short but sweet, with Mathew Herbert, Robert Hood, Andy Stott and Âme among those confirmed. Expect everyone to bring their A-game.
RA pick: Organic, jazzy and way out in leftfield, Juju & Jordash were made for this festival.
02. Nuits Sonores
May 7 - May 12
Lyon's Nuits Sonores has become France's most important electronic music event. While this year will see a couple of newcomers emerge—Weather Festival and Marvellous Island will both be held for the first time in May—there's no doubt that for now the annual event remains top of the list. Though the 2013 lineup sees some big names atop the bill—Carl Cox, Ben Klock, Seth Troxler—Nuits Sonores' reputation is built on its adventurous booking policy, and this means you'll have the opportunity to check out arch experimentalist Nurse With Wound, raucous Finnish band K-X-P and the more stately sounds of Pantha Du Prince & The Bell Laboratory at well-chosen venues across the city.
RA pick: South African DJ Black Coffee—a star of our Real Scenes: Johannesburg film—will show exactly why he's such a big deal back home.
May 25 - May 27
Techno started in Detroit, and Movement Festival shows where it's gone since then. These days the Memorial Day event is like a world's fair of electronic music, with a sprawling range of eras and styles represented. There's dubstep (Mala), UK house (George Fitzgerald), Dutch techno (Steve Rachmad), German techno (Marcel Dettmann and Ben Klock) and minimal (Richie Hawtin and Paco Osuna), to name just a few. And of course there's the robust local crew, which, as always, includes originators like Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson. With a lineup like this, Movement feels like a pilgrimage as much as a festival.
RA pick: Carlos Souffront, one of Detroit's many unsung heroes.