We count down our favourites for the remainder of 2019.
December 6 - December 8
Subsonic, a weekend-long camping festival held a few hours north of Sydney, seems to get better every year. Each edition brings bigger headliners and better soundsystems without losing the relaxed atmosphere of its early events. This year's main draw is Ricardo Villalobos, who will be spinning as part of a fabric contingent that also includes Craig Richards, Mathew Jonson and Margaret Dygas. 11 editions in, Subsonic has managed to outdo itself once again.
RA Pick: Much of the focus will be on Villalobos, but don't miss Vera, another master of minimal dance music.
November 7 - November 11
Positive Education is an example of a festival organiser making an ambitious event work in a regional European city. Located around an hour from its comparatively glitzy neighbour Lyon, Saint-Étienne is more known for punk and hip-hop than electronic music. Yet Positive Education, now approaching its fourth edition, continues to thrive. For the second year running, it'll return to Quartier Manufacture, an 18th-century weapons factory. The lineup runs the gamut from thoughtful drum & bass (dBridge) and live Detroit electro (Aux 88) to fathoms-deep techno (Shlømo, Polar Inertia), plus plenty of interesting collaborations (Bambounou & Batu) to boot.
RA Pick: JASSS teaming up with dancehall annihilator Low Jack.
December 12 - December 16
In the past six years, Wonderfruit has become one of southeast Asia's most important festivals. Its music policy, for one, has only improved with age, with Floating Points and Binh joining legends like Massive Attack's Daddy G in 2019. But Wonderfruit isn't just about music. With world-class food from famous chefs and dazzling stages set inside a lush country club, it offers an experience unlike other events in the region. And you can feel good about it, too: Wonderfruit is completely carbon-neutral, with a sustainability agenda that other festivals could learn a few things from.
RA Pick: The Craig Richards-curated stage, which features some of the best in minimal-leaning dance music: Sonja Moonear, Binh, Willow and more.
December 26 - January 2
We've said it before and we'll say it again: for eight days over New Year's, Mareh becomes the most Balearic place in the world. During the past couple years, the adventurous festival has doubled-down, finding remote beaches on which to set up stages and sail off on boat parties. 2019's lineup hasn't been announced yet, but if past editions are any indicator, expect DJs from across the globe who are preternaturally suited to play house and disco for the ocean, the beach and the tropical sunrise.
RA Pick: Don't miss the boat parties.
December 26 - January 3
It's not often that a first-year festival feels like a resounding triumph, but that's just what happened with Xama. Several factors contributed. A beautiful beach in Bahia, the stuff of dreams, is perhaps foremost among them. But Xama also revolves around a simple, often-ignored principle: local DJs and local scenes are where the magic really happens. A punter looking for a birds-eye view of the bubbling Brazilian scene would do well to travel to Algodões Beach for New Year's. The lineup includes Brazilian legends like DJ Marky alongside crews from across the country—Gop Tun, 101Ø, Alter Disco—who continue to make Brazil a thrilling destination for dance music.
RA Pick: My Girlfriend's mix of deep house, broken beat and Brazilian chops have quickly made them a duo to watch.
November 5 - November 10
Like Atonal or Unsound, you go to Mira to hear and see things you've never experienced before. The Barcelona event's principle focus is audiovisual performance, pairing together world-class musicians and visual artists to create bespoke shows for its curious audience. This year, take in new projects from Alessandro Cortini, Colin Self, Clark and Sote, all of them presented for the first time in Spain. Or a collaboration between Floating Points and creative studio Hamill Industries. On a ravier tip, there's also a strong DJ lineup, with slots for Batu, Skee Mask, DJ Haram, Or:la, DJ Marcelle and Lena Willikens, who's going back-to-back with rising local talent Alicia Carrera.
RA Pick: Neon Chambers, AKA Kangding Ray and Sigha, collaborating with multimedia artist and light fanatic Gabriela Prochazka.
Le Guess Who?
November 7 - November 10
Le Guess Who? takes a different approach to most festivals by handing the curatorial reigns over to a select few artists. This often results in compelling programming. Take The Bug's lineup, which mines deep into his history, bringing together the eviscerating metal of Godflesh, Caspar Brötzmann's hit-man free jazz and Jah Shaka's inimitable soundsystem. Alternatively, cherry-pick your favourites from across the weekend, from Sarah Davachi and Félicia Atkinson on Jenny Hval's bill, to DjRUM and Mykki Blanco, chosen by Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen and sound artist Salvador Breed.
RA Pick: Drew McDowall and Florence To taking on Coil's best drone record, Time Machines.
November 18 - November 24
MUTEK's Mexico City edition is arguably just as vital as its flagship festival in Montreal. The week-long event offers all the usual MUTEK goodness: cutting-edge electronic music for both dancing and zoning out to, partnered with incredible visuals and installations. This year focuses on innovation, which means more site-specific performances and unusual immersive touches. It also helps that the festival takes place in one of the world's most lively metropolises, with gorgeous architecture and venues like Domodigital, a breathtaking space with a spherical 3D screen. Two years after a deadly earthquake threatened its existence, MUTEK.MX is now stronger than ever.
RA Pick: Caterina Barbieri's hypnotic live set in the massive confines of Fábrica, MUTEK.MX's main venue since 2017.
December 13 - December 15
How about this for a festival aftermovie? Camels, dusty roads, rooftop shots from a 17th-century palace in Rajasthan—it's not exactly your typical highlights reel. But then Magnetic Fields is a totally one-of-a-kind event. Since launching in 2013, the three-day festival has been fundamental to the rapid expansion of India's underground electronic music scene, striking a smart balance between pushing domestic artists and giving locals the opportunity to see international headliners. If you go this year, by all means enjoy the likes of Hunee, Nazira, Simo Cell and The Black Madonna, but don't pass up the chance to catch bright Indian talents such as Abhi Meer, Ose and Mumbai's Chhabb.
RA Pick: The debut of Abhi Meer's new modular live show, SPEKTRA, which takes inspiration from an ancient Rajasthani string instrument called the ravanahatha.
November 29 - December 1
Like many of our favourite festivals, Strawberry Fields has humble beginnings. Launched in 2008, this countryside rave has grown from a low-key bush party into one of Australia's best-loved events, drawing around 8,000 people annually. This year's edition will be the second held at its new home, a riverside spot on the banks of the Murray River, not far from the rural town of Tocumwal. The setting pairs stunning nature with some of the best dance music in the world, provided by DJs like Shanti Celeste, Margaret Dygas and Helena Hauff. Make sure you also take plenty of time to explore the river and its surrounding areas, which will be decked out with treehouses, tea lounges and more.
RA Pick: Octo Octa and Eris Drew's euphoric house.
See our full festival listings for November and December right here and here.