Summer is approaching and even despite an ongoing virus it looks like we will get a pre-pandemic festival season. Because of that, I want to present you with a small selection of great festivals you should seriously consider attending if you are into electronic music and in Europe during summer.
Please keep in mind I can mention every existing event — this is just a selection. I am most familiar with festivals in and around Germany but I tried to include different countries.
Also, you won’t find any mega festivals here. Listing Tomorrowland, Nature One, or Sonar isn’t anything new and I am always an advocate of looking outside the box. Here I’ll mostly focus on smaller, independent, and special festivals. In my opinion, those are the most interesting ones as they aren't exclusively about partying but often bring variety, like Art exhibitions, lectures, or yoga sessions.
Horst Arts & Music [29.04.2022 — 01.05.2022 | Belgium]
Festival | Horst.
In 2022, Horst wants to take up a connecting role within the increasingly polarizing society where the battle for…
Let’s start this list with one of the earliest festivals happening this year. Horst probably doesn’t even fit into the festival category. It is more like a happening. Not only has it a great musical program with some awesome performers, but it also hosts an impressive art exhibition with multiple world-famous artists and a lab as “a platform for experiment[s], co-creation[s] and creative talent development”. If you’re fascinated by artworks, sculpturing, and partying this is a must!
Nuits Sonores [25.05.2022–29.05.2022 | France]
Nuits sonores | 25–29 mai 2022 / Lyon, France
La programmation des évènements A night with… de Nuits sonores 2022 est dévoilée
You’re in love with electronic music in general and can find pleasure in different styles ranging from electronic over 4 to the floor to breakbeats? The Nuits Sonores might be for you. A very diverse program of artists from world-famous to underground.
Recommended Acts: “A night with Helena Hauff” on 27th May
Lente Kabinet [04.06.2022–05.06.2022 | Netherlands]
Lente Kabinet Festival — 4 & 5 Juni 2022
Lente Kabinet Festival — 4 & 5 Juni 2022 in Het Twiske!
Ahhh yes, the small sister of Dekmantel. A lot of artists from the label are coming and this promises a great party. Since Dekmantel Festival isn’t fully confirmed for 2022 Lente Kabinet might be your best bet. But this isn’t a Downgrade. The same excellent production quality while in a much more intimate setting can be expected. If you manage to get your hands on some tickets this promises to be very fun.
Recommended Acts: Skatebård, Young Marco, OR:LA
Gruene Sonne Festival [25.06.2022 | Germany]
Grüne Sonne — Open Air & Indoor Festival
Open Air & Indoor Festival — 17h Nonstop — Auf 1000 Höhenmetern — Hohenpeissenberg, Deutschland
Due to very strict law enforcement and basically a zero-tolerance policy I normally would never recommend visiting a festival in Bavaria. It doesn’t even need to affect yourself, but it is easy to notice that others don’t feel like they are in a safe space resulting in a tense crowd. Due to the incredible location on top of a mountain in the breathtaking Alps, I’ll make an exception for Grünne Sonne. Also, this isn’t a full weekend Festival but only one day of 17 hours of partying. Might be worth a day trip for you, especially if you love hiking.
Recommended Act: D-Nox & Beckers
Macki Music Festival [02.07.2022–03.07.2022 | France]
Macki Music Festival | 2 & 3 juillet 2022 ❤️🔥
Le Macki Music Festival est la réunion des collectifs Cracki Records et La Mamie's le temps d'une échappée en bord de…
I decided to include this festival in the list as it just made a very appealing impression. The artwork and visual designs look great and it seems like the team behind it really wants to provide something away from the usual mainstream. This also resonates in the lineup which not only hosts a lot of local artists but also ranges from house to rock and alternative performers.
Recommended Acts: Alcatraz, Ben Ufo
Rote Dichte [07.07.2022–12.07.2022 | Germany]
This one will be intense. How? It will feel like a non-stop party! Melting from night-time to sunrise to after-hour to mid-day dancing to sunset. Why? Because it is the “Betriebsfeier Summercamp”. Betriebsfeier is one of the oldest ongoing party series in Berlin. It usually takes place on an old boat that has a permanent position on the river spree and is reused as a club: Hopetosse. Those parties are famous for a delirious state between day and night, chilling and dancing, leaving and staying. This small festival will extend this feeling in a bigger format (still a very small festival) and promises to bring you to the edge of what your body and mind will be able to handle.
Recommended Act: Empro
Nation of Gondwana [23.07.2022 — 24.07.2022 | Germany]
LINEUP - Nation of Gondwana 2021
Aus dem einjährigem Einsamkeitsministerium peitschen Proklamationen der Pyonen: sie laden zur postpandemischen…
This one has the same vibe as Rote Dichte — just bigger. Still not as big as Fusion Festival tho. At this point: honorable mention to the all beloved, world-famous, amazing fusion festival. The reason it is not on this list, with fusion being paused for two years, very few people refunding their old 2020 tickets, and the strict lottery it is next to impossible to still get tickets for Fusion 2022. While other festivals on this list might be sold out it is realistic to get some last tickets via Ticketswap. With fusion, not so much. So if you have no one selling you their ticket your best bet to get at least a similar experience (please don’t hate on me for comparing) is the Nation of Gondwana. Being hippy-Esque and playful this is still a very good option.
Recommended Acts: Sportbrigade Sparwasser, Cinthie, Clara Cuvé
Boom Festival [22.07.2022–29.07.2022 | Portugal]
Now I am showing bipolar tendencies by talking about unattainable fusion festival tickets while at the same time mentioning Boom Festival. In a similar way, tickets are very hard to get since this is one of the biggest and most famous psychedelic, psytrance, and goa festivals in the world. But, Ticketswap provides a raffle so it is more realistic too with a sprinkle of luck still secure a ticket.
As for the festival itself, Wikipedia describes it as “a global celebration of alternative culture”. It is located next to a lake hosting multiple stages of different genres, art installations, performances, artistic participation events, social hubs, and much more.
Recommended Acts: Ace Ventura, Extra Mind
Houghton Festival [11.08.2022–14.08.2022 | UK]
Houghton Festival | 2021 - A celebration of music and art in the Norfolk countryside.
11th-14th August 2022 With great pride we present the program of music for Houghton 2022. Our intention has always been…
Looking at this list I realized that all the events are on Europe “Mainland”. But, all Brexit jokes and comments aside, I also wanted to look at what the UK has to offer. Sure you have the Big Boys like Junction2 or Glastonbury. Listing them would be nothing new. So I looked around what else existed. Houghton Festival is what I found and what caught my eye with its impressive line-up and how it is composed. You have some big names, but also interesting groups like the Perlon people (Zip & Villalobos) or some US OG’s (Derrick Carter & Stingray). To be honest, I don’t know about the facilities and the production quality, but if it is anywhere near the Line-Up quality you're in for a treat!
Recommended Acts: Roman Flugel, Binh, DJ Stingray
Paradigm Festival [13.08.2022–14.08.2022 | Netherlands]
The last place on this list goes to Paradigm in the Netherlands. It takes place in mid-august and leans towards the end of the festival season in Europe. Sure there are some indoor festivals like Contact in Munich (don’t go there!) but be honest: we all prefer that hot boy/ hot girl summer open-air experience. August should still guarantee nice weather and warm temperatures and what is a better place to celebrate it than in a country which is known for its festivals. I really liked a statement from the Pradigm’s website and I want to share it with you:
Paradigm organizes events and creates a space where you can be yourself and express yourself freely in a community with people from all walks of life. However, most of all, Paradigm is a feeling. The feeling you get when people come together for music, art and creativity in an open-minded environment. We stand for unity and togetherness, and wish to share this inclusion with anyone willing to partake.
Recommended Acts: Perc, Steve Rachmad
To finish this article I wish you a great 2022 season! For whatever event you decide, I hope you have an awesome time, meet great people, listen to some stunning music, and broaden your horizon. Stay safe and keep an eye out for your peers!