August 1 - 2
Beach on the Vistula River
Friday | Saturday
Audioriver may not be free anymore, but it's still one of the cheapest tickets around. And, considering a lineup of Roni Size, Martin Buttrich, Josh Wink, Loco Dice, Guy Gerber, Ricardo Villalobos, Damian Lazarus, UNKLE, 2020 Soundsystem, Catz'NDogz, and many more, how can you really go wrong for just 15 Euro? If you're still wondering whether to make the trek to Poland (hey, 40,000 made it there last year), it does bear mentioning that it's also held on the banks of the picturesque Vistula River. - Todd L. Burns
RA Pick: Let Ricardo bring on the sunrise with his four hour set on the Circus Stage.
August 1 - 2
Friday | Saturday
The infamous sign sets the tone for Nachtdigital, painting the festival as a professionally run venture with a little bit of that home spun charm. Of course with a whole host of city slickers like Plaid, Four Tet, Henrik Schwarz, Guy Gerber, Dixon, Josh Wink, Joris Voorn, Stephan Bodzin, and Efdemin leading the charge, the sounds will be decidedly urban. The festival's website curiously also promises "alternatives to the contemporary hype of 'minimal'", so…uh…be on the lookout for that too. - Todd L. Burns
RA Pick: Get wasted with the Wighnomy Brothers and tell them what you really think about minimal.
08. Voltt Loves Summer Open Air
We're suckers for outdoor raving; and apparently so are the Voltt crew. The aptly titled 'Voltt Loves Summer Open Air' is their industrious one day festival in Amsterdam's NDSM docklands, which boasts powerhouses like Carl Craig and Adam Beyer alongside the dubbier Pole and Andy Stott. The site is a working port, so while you gaze skyward at the towering crane and reflect on techno's industrial roots, the rest of your comrades will be joining arms in solidarity on the waterfront. - Richard Chinn
RA pick: The rising stars of Amsterdam: Polder and Melon.
August 14 - 16
Thursday | Friday | Saturday
You can't help but marvel at Belgium's festivals. Between 10 Days Off and Pukkelpop, the country hosts some of the best and biggest in the world. Pukkel represents the latter, enticing more than 100,000 people to an airfield near Hasselt, Belgium. With heavy indie hitters (Flaming Lips, Bloc Party), metal gods (Neurosis, Metallica), punk true believers (MxPx, Henry Rollins), and a whole raft of dance acts (Carl Craig, Soulwax, SebastiAn, Miss Kittin & the Hacker, Boys Noize), the appeal of this eight (!) stage mega-festival is easily understood. - Todd L. Burns
RA Pick: Help push Wayne Coyne around in his inflatable crowd-surfing bubble.
06. South West Four
Your "one-way ticket to superstar DJ heaven" is indeed that at this fifth annual blowout, so let's just get to the names: Green Velvet; Sven Vath; Carl Cox; Diggers; Francois K; Tiefschwarz; Armin van Burren. Oh please, I can sense your ticket already in hand. Not convinced yet? How about adding Claude VonStroke, Fedde Le Grand, Erick Morillo, Layo & Bushwacka, Danny Tenaglia. Sausage Fest? Actually, there are two women involved; Faithless' Sister Bliss, and London electro-house maven Sarah Holder, which is about two more than any other fest with this calibre of talent. - Rachel Shimp
RA pick: Rocking the floorboards with Green Velvet, and Bedrock at the afterparty.
05. Eastern Electrics
August 23 - 24
An exclusive indoor / outdoor space in central Shoreditch
Saturday | Sunday
The thrill of a secret location party! Will it be a field, a warehouse, a mansion, a living room? Well, probably not the latter for this bank holiday weekend bash, curated by a wide variety of promoters. East End party fiends Trailer Trash will be bringing the "nasty electro booty shake" on Saturday with DJs Hannah Holland, Mikki Most, and Ian Robinson representing, while Neon Noise Project brings the likes of Cut Copy, Tronik Youth, and Jerry Bouthier to the weekender. On Sunday, Mulletover, RA, and Disco Bloodbath have set you up with acts like Will Saul, Cassy, I-F, Maurice Fulton, Simon Morell, and Raresh. Expect a storm of dancing on both days. - Rachel Shimp
RA Pick: While we're proud of our little lineup, show former Cybernetic Broadcasting System head I-F a little love too. For a minute or two, at least.
August 8 - 10
Friday | Saturday
There appears to be a little something for everyone at this year’s SonneMondSterne festival: big-name minimal jocks like Ricardo Villalobos, Richie Hawtin and his M_nus crew; live sets from the likes of Minilogue and Digitalism; more mainstream faves like Zoot Woman and Simian Mobile Disco; old school headliners Moby and Massive Attack. SonneMondSterne has been elected best festival in Germany several times, and the beautiful location at the Bleilochtal reservoir may have something to do with that; mountains, the lake, the moon, the stars, the sun, and two beaches. Expect a large, diverse crowd, and if things get too crazy you can always jump into the water and cool off. - Todd Hutlock
RA pick: Villalobos is always a treat (and sometimes an adventure) in a large setting, and Massive Attack are old favourites, but how can you resist the mystery of Richie Hawtin and... The Cube?
03. c/o pop
August 13 - 17
In earlier times this five day gathering in Cologne went by the name of Popkomm, and was a largely industry-based affair sprinkled with a couple of parties. Since Popkomm moved to Berlin, the locals have reclaimed the festival as their own; each successive event drawing more and more wide-eyed party people from across the continent and introducing them to the delights of the self-proclaimed "city of pop." Alongside big hitters like Hercules & Love Affair, Crystal Castles and DAF, expect highlights from Vladislav Delay, Adolf Noise (aka DJ Koze) and Larry Heard, plus showcases from BPitch Control, Traum, and of course, local behemoth Kompakt. It all ends up on the banks of the Rhine for Pollerweisen, where this year Sven Väth and Ricardo Villalobos will be doing their daytime techno-dandy thing for the adoring hordes. - Lee Smith
RA pick: Supermayer live at the Kompakt party.
02. Freerotation Festival
August 8 - 10
Baskerville Hall / near Hay-on-Wye
The Welsh/English Border
I'll be honest. Once you get a view of Baskerville Hall, the historic mansion on the Welsh/English border that serves as the site for this three-year old, three-day festival, and the surrounding Welsh countryside, dancing may no longer be your number one priority. Well, certainly for a few moments of wonder. Started by MindTours label head Steevio as a quiet little event for Welsh minimalism, last year’s lineup expanded into headier territory, including a popular set by dubstep mastermind Shackleton. Along with a variety of visual artists, an indoor swimming pool and even a sauna—in case you’re not wet and sweaty enough—this year’s lineup continues to expand on Freerotation’s sound, with appearances from Move D, Oliver Ho, Lawrence in his Sten guise, Dandy Jack, Andy Stott, and another set from Shackleton. - Derek Miller
RA pick: Given the popularity of Shackleton’s set last year, it’s hard not to stick with him.
01. Primary Colours
The flier for Primary Colours reads: "Berlin…is a magnet for all humans, who long themselves after boundless parties and nights never ending." The translation may be garbled but the message is clear to dancers who've been there or can't wait to be. This inaugural fest sends up the city's destination status with a whoop and a smile—as well as headliners like minimal royalty Pantha du Prince, Wagon Repair's Konrad Black, Len Faki, Jahcoozi, and a live set by Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts. The music is spread over three stages at the 16th-century Renaissance fortress, less than an hour from central Berlin on the U-Bahn. - Rachel Shimp
RA pick: Pigon—aka Efdemin and Rndm—who turned out a stellar RA mix last month.
Need more festivals? Check out our full international festival listings.