Ten of our favourite festivals taking place in July.
July 26 - July 29
Though only in its fifth year, Present Perfect is already the biggest and best electronic music festival in Russia, a country with a unique club scene. This year's lineup pulls together festival favorites (Hunee, Helena Hauff, Andrew Weatherall), dark and edgy electronics (J-Zbel, Ninos Du Brasil, Demdike Stare) and virtuosic cult DJs (Zip, DJ Storm, DJ Nobu). The three-day event takes place in the sprawling post-industrial Sevkabel Port, looking out over the Gulf Of Finland and surrounded by massive ships and decommissioned factories.
RA Pick: The mysterious French trio J-Zbel should get the crowd head-banging with their live set of retro-tinted rave and industrial.
Yeovil, United Kingdom
July 19 - July 22
KALLIDA is essentially an attempt at the best house party ever. The three-day festival has a new home this time around, Sparkford Hall near Yeovil, but the M.O. is the same—rattling soundsystems, light shows, art and films filling every nook and cranny of the house. This year's programming traces the hardcore continuum from breakbeat progentiors 2 Bad Mice up through Joy Orbison and white-hot drum & bass producer Sully. But it also looks further afield. Kampire and Otim Alpha from the Nyege Nyege Tapes crew are making the journey to Sparkford, as are the genre-hopping rule-breakers Teki Latex and DJ Bus Replacement Service. The intimate setting will allow you to wander the hallways and explore various rooms with 400 of your (soon-to-be) closest friends.
RA Pick: Dub legend Aba Shanti-I's extended afternoon set out on the lawn.
July 26 - July 29
Happy tunes, warm weather and a picture-perfect setting is a combination that's been brightening summers for decades. Boutique Italian festival Polifonic brings together all three during a weekend at the famously beautiful Itria Valley. Taking place this year for the third time, it'll host a slew of sunny DJs, with slots for Floating Points, Jeremy Underground and Eris Drew. For those who like the harder stuff, Jeff Mills and Dr. Rubinstein are also confirmed. Pack sunscreen.
RA Pick: Eris Drew's rave bombs.
July 25 - July 27
Mining in Norberg can be traced back to the sixth century and the Mimerlaven, the site of Norbergfestival, was once the largest mine in that part of Sweden. Its buildings above ground are aesthetically striking in their own right, but it's the cavernous former mineshaft that leaves the biggest impression. Reaching far down into the earth, it makes for an unusually evocative location for electronic music performers, thanks in part to its long natural reverb. For 20 years, the non-profit festival has curated music that perfectly compliments the site, and 2019 is no different. Expect angular, uncompromising sounds from industrial-tinted experimentalists like Giant Swan and Hiro Kone alongside the kinetic rhythms of Slikback and Dis Fig.
RA Pick: LOFT is among the most inventive and thrilling producers working today.
July 12 - July 15
Bass Coast, a forest camping festival in British Columbia, is an annual pilgrimage for bass heads across North America. With its unpretentious vibe and dedicated crowd of diehard ravers, it's become a family reunion for its regulars. This year's lineup has hype UK bass selectors (Madam X, Kahn, Minor Science), new-school drum & bass acts (Alix Perez, Om Unit, Fracture) and a few different shades of house and techno (Courtesy, Shanti Celeste). Throughout the festival site, you'll stumble upon yoga sessions, meditation workshops and pop-up cafés serving sandwiches and coffee. There are also elaborate tent villages where people dish out hot meals or host semi-autonomous dance parties.
RA Pick: Vancouver native Nathan Jonson.
Hay-on-Wye, United Kingdom
July 06 - July 09
Festivals don't come much cosier than Freerotation. Some may say they also don't come more exclusive, though attending the Welsh weekender is only a question of patience and willpower. Plenty of fresh faces appear every year at Baskerville Hall, a charming hotel surrounded by lush green fields. Among the newbies in 2019 are artists like Kai Alcé, Titonton Duvante, Afrodeutsche, Facta and re:ni, who will join the long list of regulars and residents who look forward to Freerotation with childlike glee. Why do the likes of Surgeon, Move D, DJ Bone, Objekt and DJ Bus Replacement Service love it so much? Because they get to play their hearts out in front of one of the friendliest and most clued-up crowds around.
RA Pick: This year's curveball booking, KiNK.
July 19 - July 21
Melt is a giant event with none of the hangups that usually come with parties its size. The soundsystems are crisp, the mood is bright and the tunes are classy, drawing from some of the most exciting acts operating today. This year, Four Tet, Octo Octa and Helena Hauff share the bill with rap stars (A$AP Rocky, Yung Lean), new techno icons (Charlotte de Witte) and veteran live acts (Modeselektor, Stephan Bodzin, KiNK). For anyone who enjoys dancing under the stars facing massive speaker stacks, Melt is a must.
RA Pick: Modeselektor bring the house down every year.
The Garden Tisno, Croatia
July 3 - July 10
To attend Love International is to become an evangelist, to start plotting road trips for next year's edition, to dream of Tisno's balmy beaches through the dreary winter months. Dave Harvey and Tom Paine's festival is underground dance music's lazy week at the beach, an echo of the birth of Balearic in '80s Ibiza. Fitting, then, that the likes of Andy Weatherall, Apiento, Jex Opolis, Lexx, Young Marco and DJ Harvey will be on hand this year. They'll be joined by a varied cast of DJs, from Peggy Gou, Josey Rebelle, Powder and Beautiful Swimmers to Gerd Janson, Ciel and Craig Richards, who will go back-to-back with Nicolas Lutz.
RA Pick: You'll rarely catch DJ Harvey more in his element than on an outdoor dance floor by the Adriatic.
Villa Arconati, Italy
July 5 - July 7
Six years since it started, Terraforma is now irrefutably one of Europe's key electronic music festivals. Alongside the likes of Labyrinth and Freerotation, it's synonymous with life-altering dance floor experiences. But crucial to the Italian event's success is also its vigorously open-minded view of the potential power of the festival. According to the organisers, Terraforma's guest artists experiment with reducing "the distance between art and life" and strive to reconnect the audiences' sense of rhythm with the natural environment. As such, there's an emphasis on acts with an elemental significance to their sound, such as Caterina Barbieri and resident Donato Dozzy, though there's also ample room for more visceral moments with US DJs such as RP Boo and DJ Stingray billed for 2019.
RA Pick: A festival like Terraforma feels tailor-made for Vladimir Ivkovic.
July 18 - July 20
Last year, Sónar celebrated its 25th anniversary by beaming electronic music to outer space and enjoying its most successful year to date. (A mind-boggling 126,000 people from 119 countries visited the Barcelona festival.) You'd think that would be hard to beat, but then Sónar has a habit of smashing its own records. Every edition strives to be bigger, better and more cutting-edge than the last. This year's event, which moves to July for one year only, promises to continue the trend, with 140 performances planned across nine stages. There's a strong rap, grime and reggaeton contingent—Bad Bunny, Skepta, A$AP Rocky, Lil Uzi Vert, Bad Gyal, Vince Staples—but, as always, electronic music dominates, with live shows from the likes of Arca, Actress, Underworld, Paul Kalkbrenner and Holly Herndon alongside DJ sets by Four Tet, DJ Koze, Disclosure, DJ Lag, Flava D and Peggy Gou, who will go back-to-back with Palms Trax as part of Resident Advisor's two-night takeover at SonarLab.
RA Pick: Maya Jane Coles performing live under her lesser-known bass music alias, Nocturnal Sunshine.
See our full festival listings for July right here.