Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3
April 11,12, 20
Number ten on our list has a unique concept: it's a festival about drums. Don't stop reading though—this ain't your average Neil Peart wankfest, the fest is dedicated to the place of drums in modern electronics. Day one presents three "bands" of sorts: The Vladislav Delay Quartet featuring Sasu Ripatti drumming with Mika Vainio, Derek Shirley and Lucio Capece; Groupshow featuring Jan Jelinek (read all about it); and Ronald Lippok, writer and drummer for To Rococo Rot. Day two is solo performances: Vladislav Delay again, T. Raumschmiere and Moritz Von Oswald (who won't be drumming, but DJing), while the third night devotes itself to percussion freaks Paul Lovens and David Moss among others. All well and good, but let’s lower the tone with a drummer joke. What's the difference between a drummer and a drum machine? With a drum machine, you only have to punch the information in once. - Jeremy Armitage
RA Pick: Check festival curator Hanno Leichtmann's chops out with Groupshow
09. Bang Face Weekender
Pontins Camber Sands
London's so-hard-it's-silly monthly event Bang Face descends upon a lowly British seaside resort, an oddly appropriate setting for three days of earbleed jungle and acid. This is Bang Face’s first incarnation as a festival, and has followed up the night popularity-wise by selling out emphatically. The dress-up theme is still there, as well as regulars including Altern-8, The Panacea, Bong-Ra and Shitmat who will keep the mash-up tradition. Super-sizing comes from Detroit techno and electro legends like Drexciyan DJ Stingray and Model 500—very exciting but a bit close to the BLOC bone perhaps? The likes of Orbital's Phil Hartnoll, Squarepusher and Modeselektor complete a lineup which promises to test the capacity of the NHS on Monday. - Daniel Petry
RA pick: Dopplereffekt—first ever UK show. Who are they? What do they look like? Do we care?
Friday | Saturday | Sunday
If you've been following the London-Berlin-Bucharest axis you could be fooled into thinking Romania's club scene revolves around a:rpia:r. The Rokolectiv festival begs to differ. Its three-days of experimental electronics and visual arts has nary a Villalobos protege in sight—instead there's UR's Mad 'Mike' Banks fronting Interstellar Fugitives, Dial's resident gothboy Pantha Du Prince as well as near-octogenerian Jean-Jacques Perrey digging out the ondioline for a rare live session. This year's fest also includes a Norwegian showcase featuring space-discoist Bjorn Torske, Mungolian Jet Set and live house act Elektrofant so expect the unexpected. - Tami Fenwick
RA pick: Psychedelic Norsemen Mungolian Jet Set have been our noise-disco choice of late.
Scotland's Triptych has been uniting music fans of all stripes in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen for eight years now. And thankfully, unlike a lot of UK crossover fests, the dance strand isn't merely an afterthought. This year Detroit is well represented with Theo Parrish, Model 500 and Derrick May all jetting in. The latter will also field Qs before a film screening of rated D-doco High Tech Soul. Besides the Motor City, there's also Radio 1's Gilles Peterson, improv house trio The Bays, Flying Lotus, Jamie Lidell as well as Buraka Som Sistema, who have all the dance moves and then some. Like always, be sure to check out the little names, too. Past unsigned acts appearing at Triptych include Franz Ferdinand. Maybe you've heard of them. - Tami Fenwick
RA pick: Dub technoist Convextion live in the capital. He’s got new tracks.
Dortmund warms up for this year’s Love Parade with fifteen hours of raving proper on a Wednesday night. Yep, there's a reason they call this “the mother of all raves”. Leave your snobbery at the door, but bring your whistle as this one has no-nonsense techno (Chris Liebing), crowdpleasing techno (Sven Vath, Dominik Eulberg, Gregor Tresher), stadium trance (Paul Van Dyk, Armin Van Buuren), old school electro (Anthony Rother, Alter Ego) plus a brand spanking new fourth arena solely dedicated to hardcore, schranz and other boshing stuff. Watch out for the Techno Viking. - Tami Fenwick
RA pick: Sven Vath in the dome-cum-spaceship Arena. We have lift off...
Mutek Showcase | Decibel Showcase | Rope Swing Cities | Saturday Night | Park Party | Finale
Centered around Earth Day weekend in one of America's greenest cities, the Communikey festival seeks to expose "global digital media to both local communities and travel enthusiasts". To be honest, we're not exactly sure what all that means, but any excuse for a rave. The three-day line-up features showcases from Mutek and Decibel, as well as a free outdoor dance party run on solar power. We hope it’s not cloudy. Guillaume & the Coutu Dumonts, Pheek and Lemieux headline the Mutek showcase, while techno funksters Ivy, Kalabrese and Bruno Pronsato will head up Saturday night's soiree at the Boulder Theater. There are also panels such as "Sustainable Approaches to Digital Culture” to attend—carbon offsetting is the new minimal, doncha know. - Todd L. Burns
RA pick: The tasteful techno of Guillaume & the Coutu Dumonts at a wine bar. How can you resist?
If you can't hang on until August for Pukkelpop's next 140,000 blowout, their new spin-off should do the trick. Polsslag trims off the extra days and moves indoors to the Grenslandhallen complex for four rooms of indie, pop, dance and more. It's also got an equally wonky name to boot. Like Pukkelpop, it's all about the crossover with bands like The Breeders and Foals plugging in between the electronics, which for the debut are of the noisier kind. Expect DJ sets from Erol Alkan, MSTRKRFT and Boys Noize as well as live electro from Alter Ego and Anthony Rother. - Tami Fenwick
RA pick: Carl Craig is all over the continent this summer so catch him while he's still fresh.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Clubland's most famous afterhours hits the 'Dam, more specifically four stages at the Strand West beach-cum-leisure complex. Don't expect Balearic weather, or wobbly Spanish bottoms, but the lineup more than makes up for it with Luciano and Magda heading up stage one, Rhadoo and Pedro spinning stage two, and local heroes such as 2000 and One, Shinedoe and Kabale und Liebe (he of 'Mumblin' Yeah' fame) heading up stages three and four. As it says on the blurb: "This is the party for the beautifully wasted." - Jeremy Armitage
RA pick: 2000 And One and Shinedoe back to back equals 100% pure techno.
Friday | Saturday | Sunday
Empire Polo Field
Coachella is one of the premiere music festivals in America, showcasing a diverse range of sounds—from indie rock to hip-hop to electronic. This year's edition, the festival's ninth annual, is heavy on the latter, though, with promised sets from heavy-hitters like Kraftwerk, Portishead, Aphex Twin and Sasha & Digweed. Fans of the Ed Banger sound will find much to love in performances from Justice, Busy P, Simian Mobile Disco, Sebastian, Kavinsky and Boyz Noise. There is also Cut Copy, Hot Chip, Modeselektor and Booka Shade on offer, and of course spying on your favorite celeb cavorting in the VIP area. In 2007, it was Jessica Alba, Mischa Barton, Drew Barrymore and Lindsay Lohan. Dare we predict Britney will make the trek this year? - Todd L. Burns
RA pick: Kraftwerk never disappoints and we imagine they'll have something special planned for the desert.
01. Time Warp
March 29 - April 5
Our pick of the month is undoubtedly Time Warp, the week of techno in Mannheim that culminates in a ten-thousand strong megarave on the Saturday. Whether you arrive early to catch Villalobos, von Oswald and Loderbauer soundtracking the silent film Berlin – The Symphony of the Metropolis, or late on Saturday to party, Mannheim is the city to beat in April. The music ranges from tech house (Âme, Tiefschwarz) to techno (Carl Cox, Sven Väth, Richie Hawtin, Luciano, Ricardo Villalobos) to electro (Karotte, Alter Ego, Turntable Rocker) to dance rock (Digitalism, Boys Noize), while local imprints du jour Oslo and Cecille also represent with Johnny D, Nick Curly and Federico Molinari also spinning. It doesn't come bigger or better than this. - Jeremy Armitage
RA pick: Eight hours straight of Laurent Garnier
Top photo credit: Mick Orlosky
Need more festivals? Check out our full international festival listings.