10. Creamfields Central Europe
Breclav, Czech Republic
What's 80km from Vienna and Bratislava, 252 from Prague, and 260 from Budapest? The answer is this rager on an unused airstrip in South Moravia, which brings the Creamfields philosophy back to the Czech Republic after a four-year break. An estimated 30,000 crowd will descend on the spot (with surprisingly cheap camping at 10-15 euros per car) for a day and night of progressive, trance and banging electrohouse. The mighty Sasha and Diggers provide the heft, and Ferry Corsten will more than appease the crowd's hunger for a crescendo. Kicking off with a warm-up party in front of the venue the night before, the festival proper hosts international talent in a main arena, a band stage and five smaller tents for everything from hip-hop to breaks. Pivo, prosim (a beer, please)! - Rachel Shimp
RA pick: GusGus and Funk D'Void are as worthy of your attention as the more than 30 hard-working artists from the surrounding regions. Check out someone new.
09. Exit Festival
July 10 - 13
Novi Sad, Serbia
Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday
"Varied" hardly begins to describe the lineup at each year's Exit Festival. As one of the largest music festivals in Southern Europe, Exit's organizers try to hit all the bases: old school punk legends Paul Weller and The Sex Pistols, rap rockers N*E*R*D, world music biggie Manu Chao, and Primal Scream all headline. Ah, yes, and there's even some dance music too. Sven Väth, Francois K, Audion, Laurent Garnier, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Claude Von Stroke, Booka Shade, and Dubfire will all feature over the festival's four days. With a stunning location—the festival is held at an 18th century fortress and overlooks the Danube—we can't think of any place we'd rather be. - Todd L. Burns
RA pick: Uncle Sven choosing tunes to greet the sunrise on Friday morning.
July 18 - 20
The Wasing Estate (We Think)
Berkshire, United Kingdom
With one of the worst-looking Web pages since your local rave board circa 1997 ("Electronic Music Dance Festival"—really?), Glade takes it back all the way by only providing the location name when you order your ticket. They're pricey, but could be worth it for this popular sponsor-free festival…anyone who dealt with the "O2 angels" at June's Wilsonic can tell you that. And it'll definitely be worth it for the killer roster, which is an extension of Glade's former life as the "renegade" stage at Glastonbury. Dozens of lesser-known acts, curated by promoters you should trust, enhance appearances by dudes like Jeff Mills, Dubfire, and James Holden. The Orb, Ulrich Schnauss and Vitalic all go live, and Atomic Hooligan and Meat Katie bring on the breaks. - Rachel Shimp
RA pick: Unique theme stages like the "Pussy Parlure," where you can get "cocktails and cabaret, bingo and beer" with your beats.
July 27 - 28
Saturday | Sunday
Sure, Belgium's Tomorrowland may not have a Space Mountain to its name, but there'll be no shortage of futuristic sounds coming from the speakers in Boom in late July. Kompakt's stage will be one of the main attractions on Saturday for fans tired of the non-stop trance offered by Above & Beyond, Armin Van Buuren and others, while Ellen Allien headlines the BPitch showcase on Sunday. Carl Cox, Kenny Dope, Dubfire, Loco Dice, and Dominik Eulberg should also provide some relief. - Todd L. Burns
RA pick: Count on the Wignohmy Brothers to inject a little bit of boozey abandon into this uplift-heavy weekend.
06. Love Parade
Just because the Love Parade no longer finishes at the Siegessäule doesn't mean the organizers don't have a few tricks up their sleeves. This year's edition of the famed party will commemorate the first time that Germany's “Metropolis Highway” will be closed for an event. Expect the likes of Anja Schneider, Richie Hawtin, M.A.N.D.Y., DJ Hell, Underworld, and many more (including the curiously billed Märtini Brös & The Strings Of Love Orchestra) to make sure the trip down the motorway goes smoothly. - Todd L. Burns
RA pick: Follow the Circle of Love float to hear Johnny D play live.
05. Global Gathering
July 25 - 26
Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom
Friday | Saturday
The Bard's Midlands hometown becomes a playground for "world-class music and pure, unadulterated fun" when tens of thousands gather for Godskitchens' annual bash. If you've been on the festival circuit in champion style, at this point you'll recognize some repeat crowd-pleasers (hopefully, no offenders) in the line-up. But the massive money behind GG also ponies up Kanye West, Moby, Mark Ronson, Robyn, and other crossover stars for your pleasure. How could we forget "Tiesto! Tiesto! Tiesto!" (as he's often invoked) and Armin van Buuren, et al.? Early bird tickets are sold out at press time but there's still room for you—and even such a thing as a "Cloud 9" camping package, and "numerous ATMs" and "superior toilets" promised for all. Maybe money can buy love. - Rachel Shimp
RA pick: Find a hidden gem among the bling, like Sonar Kollektiv duo Âme, who peddle bright and beautiful, Detroit-influenced deep house.
Pretty much every single style of electronic music will be on display in mid-July, as the Monegros Festival continues its rein as Spain's premiere post-Sonar event. Held in the Spanish desert near Fraga, the festival boasts more than sixty acts from all genres: electro (Miss Kittin), minimal (Dan Bell in a rare live performance), deep house (Âme), and many more will be on hand on the three stages to please electronic fans of all stripes. And, yes, that even includes fans of schranz—may God bless 'em. Just be sure to bring a couple of changes of clothes. It's the desert, you see, and it gets a tad dusty out there. - Todd L. Burns
RA pick: Derrick May welcoming the sun at Row 14.
July 18 - 20
From its humble beginnings in 1999 to an estimated 16,000 attendees last year, this boutique fest has been voted "best open air" by readers of German mags like Groove (although we bet Wacken Open Air attendees may disagree). It's set in Ferropolis, or "Iron Town," a memorial to industrial culture that showcases arcane—and monstrously huge—machinery from the 20th century. It's hard to imagine a hotter location for this weekender that spans genres with Alter Ego, Hot Chip, Boys Noize, Modeselektor, Gui Borrato and Commix among the heavy-hitters. "Indie boys dance with raver girls while hip-hop heads wave their glowsticks" says their press—could it be true? One thing's for certain: the elusive Björk appears as the finale act (and to a limited-capacity crowd) on Sunday. - Rachel Shimp
RA pick: As an aural backdrop, Ellen Allien's icily sensual beats should meet their match with Ferropolis' visual landscape.
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
What happens to a dream deferred? Er, what happens when your headliner (Björk) cancels, and quite publicly calls your event "volatile"? For the thousands of fans who've already secured their tickets to this annual 18-hour fête, hopefully what happens is a still-kickin' party. And why not? The Renaissance-sponsored shindig remains one of the season's most incendiary line-ups, boasting Booka Shade, Battles, Hercules & Love Affair, Pendulum and Foals as headliners. As for DJ sets, the self-explanatory Radio Soulwax and M_nus arenas compete with a head-bending mix of progressive (Sasha, James Zabiela, Dave Seaman) and retro-futuristic (Mylo, Switch) sounds. It's all set amidst a Victorian funfair and an enchanted wood; "Fancy dress" is encouraged. Bring your wellies too, just in case, and do some damage (control). - Rachel Shimp
RA update: WITC has unfortunately been canceled.
01. 10 Days Off
July 18 - 28
Day 01 | Day 02 | Day 03 | Day 04 | Day 05
Day 06 | Day 07 | Day 08 | Day 09 | Day 10
You gotta hand it to the organizers of 10 Days Off. Each year they take a big chance on their audience being able (and interested) in going to ten (almost) consecutive nights of electronic music. Even for the experienced partygoer, that's a bender of epic proportions. Consider the lineup, though, and the temptation might be too great to resist: James Holden, Kerri Chandler, John Digweed, Rex the Dog, Richie Hawtin's Cube, and that's just the first five days. But if all of this seems a tad overwhelming, don't worry: the Vooruit Arts Centre's three rooms hold the festival easily, making this a human-sized event where you don't have to miss a thing—as long as you can summon up the energy for each of those ten days. - Todd L. Burns
RA pick: The Juan Maclean finishing the festival off on Day 10.
Need more festivals? Check out our full international festival listings.