We see what's looking good around the world this April.
April 3 - April 8
At face value, raving and skiing might seem quite different, but they share something important in common: both are prime examples of what psychologists call "thrill-seeking behavior." This might explain the flood of adrenaline that flows through Snowbombing, driving its insatiable revelers to dance all night then shake out the cobwebs with a few black diamond runs. Daunting as that may sound to some, Snowbombing's offering is strong enough to lure in even the faint of heart. The location is stunning, with dance floors in the woods and at the top of the slopes (in an igloo, no less) as well as in cozy alpine lodges throughout Mayrhofen resort. And with a lineup that runs the gamut from Dixon and Dennis Sulta all the way to De La Soul, staying in to rest up for the slopes never feels like an option.
RA Pick: Something about this one just screams Eats Everything.
April 27 - April 30
L.E.V. stands for Laboratorio Electrónica Visual, which tells you most of what you need to know about this inspired boutique festival. Taking place each spring in Gijón, a seaside city on the northern coast of Spain, L.E.V. pairs visual artists with adventurous electronic performers. Many acts take the opportunity to present something different from usual: this year, for instance, PAN boss Bill Kouligas and Amnesia Scanner deliver a performance called Lexachast, Markus Heckmann and Raster-Noton's Byetone present Universal Music, and Downwards artist Samuel Kerridge performs his 2016 album Fatal Light Attraction. The result is a dazzling sequence of sounds and images, most of which are unique to this festival.
RA Pick: Kara-Lis Coverdale with visuals from the German artist MFO.
April 28 - May 6
Donaufestival is a bit of a dark horse. With a small number of artists playing a handful of venues in the Austrian city of Krems, it keeps a low profile in Europe's bustling festival market. And yet, year after year, it nabs some of the boldest and most influential artists in electronic and experimental music. Looming over this year's bill are industrial innovators Einstürzende Neubauten and German techno luminary Wolfgang Voigt, who will play live as GAS. The rest of the lineup draws from many corners of modern electronic music, from artists like Elysia Crampton, Equiknoxx, Actress to gqom pioneer DJ Lag. As if for good measure, they've thrown in a few seminal post-punk bands as well: Scritti Politti and This Is Not This Heat (a group by former members of, you guessed it, This Heat).
RA Pick: The Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner, a conceptual live performance by Jace Clayton, AKA DJ /rupture.
April 6 - April 9
Where some ski festivals base lineups around DJs pushing big beats and big moments, Caprices saves space for subtler sounds. In 2017, visitors will take in the panoramic views of the famous Rhône Valley from Crans-Montana's slopes by day, and then get bamboozled by the mind-melting loops of DJs like Sonja Moonear, Craig Richards and Dorian Paic by night. There are plenty of big-room sounds on offer, too, with techno kings Marcel Dettmann and Ben Klock lining up alongside Marco Carola and Jamie Jones. When it comes to high-altitude raving, few festivals do it better than Caprices.
RA Pick: Spend Sunday afternoon with Dana Ruh's classy deep house and minimal.
Inner Varnika 2017
April 14 - April 16
As Australia's doof scene becomes increasingly professionalised and controlled by bigger brands, Inner Varnika manages to deliver a music-first, DIY ethos that its larger competitors lack. The whole thing is powered by bio-diesel, everyone ends up coated in dust and there's just one stage, yet for a certain group of clued-in music fans, Inner Varnika is the best dance music experience in Australia. The lineups are small but focused, giving some of the nation's finest—but lesser known—selectors the chance to duke it out with the likes of Jayda G, D. Tiffany and the inimitable duo of DJs Sotofett and Fettburger.
RA Pick: DJ Sprinkles is sure to hypnotise in the open fields.
April 13 - April 16
As Aaron Coultate pointed out, Geneva isn't the best city in Switzerland for electronic music—except when it's Electron weekend. Every year, the four-day festival breathes fresh life into the scene, as dozens of domestic and international artists squeeze into five of the city's best venues. When else could you catch Booka Shade, Chris Liebing, Chez Damier and Mind Against on the same night? Or settle down for a session of live music from Mathew Jonson and Zombie Zombie on a Sunday? And then there's the rest of the lineup, from Guy Gerber and Black Coffee to Dub Phizix and MPC wizard araabMUZIK.
RA Pick: Giegling's Konstantin, Leafar Leagov and Kettenkarussell will take over intimate spot La Fonderie Des Miracles on Friday night.
NDSM Docklands, Amsterdam, Netherlands
April 15 - April 16
The locations, the lineups, the borderline obsessive attention to detail—does anyone do dance music festivals better than the Dutch? DGTL, which turns five in 2017, is one of the nation's finest, presenting a sprawling cast of house and techno talent across two days at Amsterdam's industrial gem, NDSM Docklands. This year's exciting new addition is Gain, a 300-capacity venue tucked away from the main site that RA have helped curate. So as well as dancing to heavyweights like Dixon, DJ Koze and Rødhåd, you can get your fix for deeper sounds with sets from A Made Up Sound, Sandrien and Willow.
RA Pick: Gain on Saturday for Maceo Plex back-to-back with Lord Of The Isles.
Sunwaves Beach, Romania
April 27 - May 1
On one side of the festival spectrum, there are bookers looking to capture the zeitgeist by spotting new sounds and artists. On the other are festivals committed to a certain sound and a core cast of returning acts. With the former you get diversity, but the latter is more likely to gain a cult following, and Sunwaves embodies this better than any other festival. Year in and year out, it staunchly supports the local Romanian sound and the foreign influences that helped shape it, supported by a loyal cadre of ravers who make the pilgrimage to the beaches of Mamaia every year. This year's lineup is still under wraps, but you can rest assured that extended sets of stripped-back house will reign supreme.
RA Pick: Zip and Ricardo Villalobos tend to bring their A-game when playing back-to-back at Sunwaves.
Maimarkthalle, Mannheim, Germany
April 1 - April 2
The earth spins, the sun rises and sets, and Time Warp returns to Mannheim for one massive party in spring. Attending this mammoth rave, which grew out of a record store in the early '90s, is a rite of passage for many European house and techno fans, giving thousands of attendees a chance to catch influential veterans like Ricardo Villalobos, Chris Liebing and Dixon in the cavernous Maimarkthalle complex. Time Warp's emphasis on high-quality production and premium talent—each year's lineup is a who's-who of top-tier house and techno—makes it a pilgrimage every dance music fan should consider.
RA Pick: Jamie Jones's catchy, bottom-heavy house is a perfect match for Time Warp's massive rooms.
April 28 - April 30
Organik might be a new name to many (particularly in The West), but it's a scene leader in its corner of the world. The festival, now in its sixth year, is the work of Smoke Machine, a crew that's been putting on techno events in Taipei since 2009. Their festival follows the same philosophy as their parties, presenting heady club music from gifted underdogs without a big-name ticket-seller in sight. But there is one very important detail that distinguishes this festival from the parties that birthed it: the setting. "An electronic festival on a beach in Taiwan, surrounded by mountains blanketed in emerald jungle," Chris Zaldua wrote in his review of last year's event. "I'd wager that there are people out there who would consider Organik their version of paradise." In 2017, Organik grows from two days to three, but with a bill made up of artists like Voiski, DJ Dustin, Chris SSG and Bryan Kasenic of The Bunker, the rhythms echoing across the surf should be as exquisitely deep as ever.
RA Pick: DJ Nobu's cosmic techno should nicely suit the natural landscape.
See our full festival listings for April right here.