10. Elita Design Week Festival
April 9 - April 14
Elita runs in tandem with Milan's annual Design Week, offering a pleasantly sweaty counterpoint to the more refined activities happening elsewhere in the city. The festival takes place at around 20 different venues, with Teatro Franco Parenti designated as Elita's HQ. This year's lineup has a healthy balance of crowd-pullers (Sven Väth, Tale Of Us, DARKSIDE, Seth Troxler), cult favourites (Four Tet, John Talabot, Todd Terje) and some well-chosen curveballs (Tony Allen and Madlib).
RA pick: Pop the champagne cork with Todd Terje, who will be celebrating the release of his debut album, which comes out two days before the festival starts.
09. Electron Festival
April 17 - April 20
Quai des Forces Motrices
As mentioned in our review of last year's Electron Festival, Geneva isn't one of Europe's—or even Switzerland's—clubbing meccas. For one long weekend in April, though, there's hardly anywhere that's better. Taking over a handful of the lakeside city's best venues, Electron showcases everything from indie hip-hop (Deltron 3030) to bass (Kode9) to slinky deep house (Rick Wade) and penetrating techno (Lucy). With an impressive crew of Swiss artists rounding out each day's lineup, this year's Electron is both a top national showcase and an increasingly international hotspot.
RA pick: If you haven't caught James Holden's impressive live set yet, don't miss him (and his modular synth) this time around.
08. Rainbow Disco Club
Harumi Port Terminal
Rainbow Disco Club gets its name from the 800 metre-long suspension bridge that crosses Tokyo Bay. The Rainbow Bridge—and Tokyo's epic skyline—serves as the backdrop to the festival, which takes place at Harumi Port Terminal. Though previous editions have been blighted by the elements, in 2013 it went down without a hitch, and there's a feeling of optimism surrounding this year's festival. Moodymann and Prins Thomas, both hugely popular in Japan, are billed alongside the Hessle Audio crew and Magic Mountain High, with more names to be announced soon.
RA pick: Moodymann is worshipped in Tokyo, so expect him to bring his A-game.
07. Communikey Festival
April 10 - April 13
You could call Communikey a boutique festival. It takes place in Boulder, Colorado, a smaller satellite city for the much larger Denver. The lineup is carefully curated, with finely-tuned programming at a handful of intimate venues. And with a killer set of international acts (Vladislav Delay, Ben UFO) joined by a strong cast of local artists, it's a good way to experience one of the US's more overlooked dance music scenes.
RA pick: Perennial underdog (and brilliant selector) Eric Cloutier melts brains wherever he plays.
April 25 - May 3
On the axis of leftfield-leaning electronic festivals—Unsound, Mutek, CTM and so on—Donaufestival is a modest player, without too much of an international profile. That looks set to change. Set just outside Vienna in the picturesque city of Krems, the two-weekend series of events expertly mines the rich territory between techno and experimental music, with an emphasis on live performance over DJing. This year's lineup is surely their strongest yet, bringing together fresh talent like Objekt, Samuel Kerridge and Oneohtrix Point Never with luminaries like Fennesz and Jeff Mills.
RA pick: Given the synergy they showed on Plays Bee Mask, Donato Dozzy and Chris Madak's performance together seems pretty unmissable.
05. DGTL Festival
April 19 - April 20
Promising 81 artists, six stages and the chance to get down in a disused shipyard, there can't be many better ways to spend Amsterdam's Easter weekend than DGTL festival. For techno fans, the industrial setting should tick all the boxes, while house aficionados can look forward to partying in the reflective glare of the river Amstel. Revellers can choose between day and weekend tickets, though with both Saturday (Midland, Michael Mayer, John Talabot, Agoria) and Sunday (Dixon, Jamie Jones, Floating Points, Mano Le Tough) as packed as they are with mouth-watering music, you'd be a fool not to go the whole hog.
RA pick: The industrial setting should be perfectly suited to KINK's super-charged analogue fare.
April 7 - April 12
Despite the spate of snow-based festivals that have hit the circuit in recent years, no one does it like the certified daddy of the genre, Snowbombing. Now in its milestone 15th year, the six-day extravaganza remains a shining example of just what colossal fun festivals can be. Music-wise, there's the usual smorgasbord of DJs and live acts, with pioneering UK dance trio The Prodigy, Groove Armada and The Chemical Brothers among the main draws. For those keen to swerve the masses, artists like Gerd Janson, Daniel Avery and Anthony Naples will be dishing out deeper sounds in more intimate spaces.
RA pick: Carl Cox's funk and soul set on the Thursday afternoon sounds like the perfect midweek pick-me-up.
April 11 - April 13 / April 18 - April 20
Empire Polo Field
Coachella has the art of the music festival pretty much sussed. The location, a palm tree-lined polo field in the middle of the desert, is spectacular. The production, from the mind-bending art installations to the light and sound of the stages and tents, is dazzling. And whatever your taste in music, you have to admire their anything-is-possible booking style. This year's marquee acts include Outkast, Arcade Fire and The Replacements, but, as usual, the electronic selections are anything but an afterthought: Dixon, Nina Kraviz, Cajmere and DARKSIDE are just a few of the DJs and live acts onboard for this year's events.
RA pick: See The Knife do their thing (whatever that may be this time) on the big stage.
April 23 - April 27
Plenty of hearts were broken when the Moogfest lost its financial support back in 2012, making it clear there would be no 2013 edition. But Movement promoters Paxahau stepped in and saved the day, moving Moogfest to April but keeping its excellent booking policy intact. This year's return event mixes big names like Pet Shop Boys and M.I.A. with more esoteric fare like Factory Floor. Named after the famous synth pioneer, technology and creation is very much a focus at Moogfest, with a daytime program of workshops and other activities that make it worth the trip for any gear nerd.
RA pick: It's a toss-up between Kraftwerk in 3D and Chic.
01. Time Warp
April 5 - April 6
The sun rises in the east, low tide begets high tide, and in April, Time Warp comes to Mannheim. Few festivals deliver the goods as consistently as this springtime staple, where a tightknit crew of A-list DJs and live performers testify before tens of thousands of rabid techno fans over a marathon 19 hours. For the likes of Ricardo Villalobos, Sven Väth, Richie Hawtin and local favorite Nick Curly, Time Warp is an unmissable gig, and regular attendees will notice plenty of overlap with lineups past. But this year's newcomers—Recondite and Tale Of Us are two notables—ensure this 20th anniversary will only add to the legend.
RA pick: Marcel Dettmann played a mind-bending set on Floor 1 last year. We have no doubt he'll do it again.