Our guide to the best festivals in June.
Kodamanomori, Nagano, Japan
June 1 - June 2
From the ashes of the well-loved Taicoclub festival rises FFKT, Festival Formerly Known As Taicoclub. Happily, FFKT bears strong resemblance to its predecessor. The 24-hour event goes down in early June at the leafy Kodamanomori in Nagano prefecture, a laid-back setting for some wild booking combinations. This year's lineup presents a broad array of Japanese acts (Cornelius, Powder, Chee Shimizu, DJ Nobu), Westerners with deep ties to the Japanese scene (Visible Cloaks, Nick The Record), UK greats (Clark, Luke Vibert) and cutting-edge European acts (Bruce, Skee Mask, Lee Gamble).
RA Pick: FFKT has landed an appearance from the reclusive Chain Reaction/DDS-affiliated artist Shinichi Atobe.
inner city electronic
Leeds, United Kingdom
June 1 - June 2
From Speed Queen and Back To Basics to Mint Club and Butter Side Up, Leeds has always had a vibrant dance music scene. The latest event vying for its place in history is inner city electronic, a 24-hour whirlwind of talks, workshops and parties spread across 11 of the city's best clubs, bars and gig venues, including Brudenell Social Club, Hifi and Wire (where Resident Advisor is hosting a party). The lineup is a tasty mix of big-name draws (Nina Kraviz, Ben UFO, MCDE, Moxie, Josey Rebelle) and local heroes (Carl Finlow, Tristan da Cunha, Cosmic Slop), some of whom might end up stealing the show.
RA Pick: Ralph Lawson co-curated the festival, so the showcase for his long-running label, 20:20 Vision, should be special.
Strange Sounds From Beyond
Noorderlicht Café, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Do the big festival lineups make you yawn? Strange Sounds From Beyond might be for you. Since 2016, the Amsterdam gathering has been an antidote to run-of-the-mill dance music, drawing instead from a global pool of artists working at the scene's outer limits. This year's lineup includes performances by ecstatic New Ager Laraaji, UK dub deconstructionists African Head Charge and Tuareg psych-rock hero Mdou Moctar. The presence of these musicians should encourage selectors like Sassy J, Calypso Steve and Joy Orbison to pull from the less-traveled corners of their collections.
RA Pick: A rare live performance from singular Chicago trio Mutant Beat Dance—Traxx, Beau Wanzer and Steve Summers—should be one for the books.
WHOLE United Queer Festival
Ferropolis, Gräfenhainichen, Germany
June 14 - June 17
At WHOLE, queer club nights and collectives from all over the world come together for three nights in a giant former coal-mining pit two hours south of Berlin. Local crews like Pornceptual, Buttons, Room 4 Resistance and Cocktail D'Amore are represented alongside Lisbon's mina, New York's Unter, Barcelona's Maricas and Mexico City's Traición. In addition to non-stop dancing, last year's edition also featured naked yoga and a masturbation workshop, plus dance and performance art. This year's lineup is stacked, with the likes of The Black Madonna, Noncompliant and tINI performing in the shadow of the hulking land excavators at Ferropolis.
RA Pick: New York crew The Carry Nation know how to whip dancers into a house frenzy with jacking drum machines and sassy basslines.
The Crave Festival
The Hague, Netherlands
May 31 - June 3
While Amsterdam steals most of the attention when it comes to Dutch festivals, The Hague is another charming hotspot. The calendar is full thanks to events like The Crave, a weekend-long party that takes over a range of spaces in the West Coast city, including the lush Zuiderpark and a beachside spot for a special closing session on Sunday. There's plenty of slick music to match the well-selected locations, with DVS1, Midland and Resom billed alongside Dutch stars such as Antal and Intergalactic Gary.
RA Pick: Young Marco's four-hour set by the beach.
Boston Manor Park, London, United Kingdom
June 7 - June 8
A great festival should be an adventure, and in that sense, location is everything. Junction 2 has become a London summer favourite not just because of its bookings, but also its home: the 28-acre Boston Manor Park in West London. Taking place across five stages, the festival's main feature is the M4 motorway overpass, which creates an epic industrial background for big-room techno DJs. The fun is running around looking for smaller stages tucked into the bush, getting lost along the way and finding quiet nooks and crannies where you can lie in the grass. This year it's expanded from one to two days, mixing heavyweights with adventurous selectors like Objekt, Ricardo Villalobos and Call Super, who's going back-to-back with Shanti Celeste.
RA Pick: The Warehouse stage is looking tasty on Friday night, with DJ Stingray's weapons-grade electro, Batu's percussive techno and Objekt's genre-defiant tempo changes.
Dhërmi Beach, Vlorë, Albania
June 12 - June 19
Last year's debut edition of Kala Festival featured a guest of honour: the Albanian prime minister Edi Rama. He was welcoming a few thousand foreign ravers, mostly British, to Dhërmi, a cosy seaside town that, for a few days, played host to sets from some of dance music's top names. This will happen again in June when Hercules & Love Affair, Theo Parrish, Sassy J and around two-dozen more acts descend upon the area's DIY stages. Kala is an intimate festival experience, but don't expect it stay like that forever—as a world-class event, it'll soon attract the crowds to match.
RA Pick: It's hard to look past the pioneering Detroit act Inner City.
The Drumsheds, London, United Kingdom
June 7 - June 9
It's been a challenging couple years for Field Day but their 2019 edition marks the beginning of an exciting new era. Combining ten acres of outdoor space with four giant warehouses, the London festival's new site, Meridian Water, is a dream location. The cherry on the cake comes in the form of a rare late license that allows parties in the warehouses to run until 3 AM. This should play perfectly into the hands of DJs and electronic artists, with the likes of Denis Sulta, Modeselektor and Leon Vynehall tasked with guiding the festival to its early-morning climax.
RA Pick: Tirzah performing tracks from Devotion, one of 2018's best albums.
Carreglwyd Estate, Holyhead, United Kingdom
June 6 - June 10
Over the past decade, Gottwood has steadily grown into one of the UK's best-loved festivals—and for good reason. The secluded retreat tucked away in the Welsh woods now boasts an atmosphere and sense of occasion that only accompanies festivals that really mean something to their audience. If you go to Gottwood once, odds are it won't be the last time. For their tenth anniversary, drum & bass gets a look in via dBridge, Skeptical and Doc Scott, while a top-drawer range of selectors promise a soundtrack that's as classy as it is party-rocking, from The Ghost and Jamie Tiller to Josey Rebelle.
RA Pick: Nicolas Lutz. End of story.
Worthy Farm, Shepton Mallet, United Kingdom
June 26 - July 1
Integrity isn't a quality often ascribed to festivals. People prefer to talk up the lineup or the atmosphere or the location. But these aspects will only get you so far. For the really great festivals, the ones that change lives and cause cultural shifts, integrity is key. Just look at Glastonbury. Why is it so beloved by so many? Because underpinning all the revelry are a set of rock-solid principles—charity, freedom, respect—that haven't changed since the first edition in 1970. It's a celebration of life and all its wonders. Of course, it's also a bloody good party. Maybe the best there is. Back after a year off, this year's edition promises to be bigger and better than ever, with a bill bursting at the seams with world-class talent. Don't miss Stormzy becoming the first grime artist to headline Pyramid Stage. Or Janet Jackson, Kylie Minogue and Lauryn Hill showing that age ain't nothing but a number. Dance music will be very well represented, too, with slots for everyone from Four Tet, Moxie and The Chemical Brothers to Jayda G, Shanti Celeste and CC:Disco.
RA Pick: Glastonbury's house and techno vortex, Block9, which has doubled in size for 2019.
See our full festival listings for June right here.