32 essential electronic music festivals in Europe, 2023

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festivals europe 2023 article
As festival season is about to start, here’s a list of 32 essential electronic music festivals in Europe that you definitely have to experience in 2023.

There’s no doubt that Europe is a haven for festival-goers seeking to immerse themselves in the world of electronic music and beyond. From the sprawling cities of Berlin, Amsterdam and Barcelona to the idyllic landscapes of Croatia, Estonia and Bulgaria and from the exotic shores of the Mediterranean to the Black Sea, there is no shortage of stunning locations to explore while indulging in your love for music. But it’s not just about the location as the festivals themselves are a unique experience that can leave a lasting impression on your soul.

The sheer variety of festivals on offer is truly staggering, with everything from underground raves to grandiose events that draw crowds of hundreds of thousands from all over the world. An impressive number of artists converge to perform at these events, from established names in the scene to up-and-coming acts who are pushing the boundaries of standard genres. Aside from the music, many festivals offer a wide range of artistic affairs, such as art installations, workshops and conferences, making them an excellent opportunity to learn and grow alongside fellow enthusiasts.

*Scroll all the way down and discover the new festivals added to the list and drop a comment if we missed something!

Time Warp (Germany) / 1 April

Time Warp is returning to its home base in Mannheim on April 1st. The reopening of all floors on the Maimarkt site for the first time in four years is definitely amazing news and surely this event will be an unforgettable reunion of the electronic music community. The line-up includes artists like Nina Kraviz, Amelie Lens, Joseph Capriati, Paula Temple, Boris Brejcha, Richie Hawtin, Seth Troxler, Marco Carola, Sonja Moonear, Mathew Jonson and Ricardo Villalobos, among others. On 5-6 May the festival will move to Brazil and Chile.

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The Unlimited Festival (France) / 5-9 April

Taking place in the breathtaking Chamonix-Mont-Blanc valley where the first Winter Olympic Games were held in 1924, The Unlimited Festival combines people’s passion for skiing, mountaineering and electronic music. At 3842m in the heart of the mountains, on the site of one the oldest ski resorts in France, you can enjoy performances from artists like Agoria, Agents Of Time, Blond:ish, Ellen Allien, Laurent Garnier and Mirko Loko.

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Awakenings (Netherlands) / 7-9 April, 13-14 May, 7-9 July

With Easter, spring and summer editions, the legendary Awakenings festival that takes place near Amsterdam has been organizing electronic music events for more than 25 years. It all started with the famous Gashouder techno night in 1997 and since then the production behind the event grew exponentially, becoming a worldwide phenomenon. With over 300.000 visitors a year, Awakenings brings forward the ultimate techno experience, every time, like no one else can. For this session in April expect sets and live acts from Mind Against, Amoral, Nina Kraviz, Carmen Lisa, Len Faki, Pan-Pot, Perc, I Hate Models and others.

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Caprices Festival (Switzerland) / 7-9 & 14-16 April

The 20th Edition of the well-known Caprices Festival will take place over two weekends at 2200m up in the Swiss Alps at the Crans-Montana ski resort. The line-up for this year includes acts by Fatboy Slim, Adriatique, Monolink, Brizman, Dyed Soundorom, Shaun Reeves b2b Ryan Crosson, Claptone, Jeff Mills, Luciano b2b Ricardo Villalobos, Sven Vath, Alci, Arapu b2b Gescu, East End Dubs, Janeret, Miroloja, Nicolas Duvoisin, Raresh, Tripmastaz and Zip. An extra edition will take place in Morocco between 12-14 May and you can already check out the line-up here.

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I Love Techno (France) / 7-9 April

During the three official days of the event, the city of Montpellier is all about electronic music. Spread across three locations as well as other underground venues reserved for the afterparties, this year’s edition of I Love Techno will showcase the sounds of Charlotte De Witte, Vitalic, Acid Arab, Trym, Paul Roux, DJ Tennis, Stereoclip, Pablo Bozzi and others.

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DGTL Amsterdam (Netherlands) / 7-9 April

In just two months, DGTL will return to the grounds of the NDSM Docklands in Amsterdam while other editions are planned to take place in Guadalajara, Sao Paulo, Santiago, New Delhi, Mumbai and Tel Aviv. For the upcoming event, the line-up is huge and a partnership with Boiler Room has been announced. If you want to attend start mapping out your day, so you don’t miss any of your favourite artists.

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Terminal V (UK) / 8-9 April

Taking place at The Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh, Terminal V features a huge line-up that includes the world’s biggest electronic music acts. Expect mind-blowing indoor stages and outdoor sites powered by the sound of Alan Fitzpatrick, Boyz Noize, Dana Montana, Ida Engberg, Marco Faraone, Jennifer Loveless, Hector Oaks, Enrico Sangiuliano and Dan Shake.

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Decibel Open Air (Italy) / 9-10 April, 9-10 September

Having an Easter session in Firenze and an autumn one in Florence, Decibel Open Air festival is here to deliver astounding electronic music for the people. For the upcoming edition be ready to dance your shoes off on the rhythms and textures brought forward by the likes of Loco Dice, Nina Kraviz, Deborah De Luca, Marco Carola, Patrick Manson, Ilario Alicante and Chris Liebing.

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Sunwaves (Romania) / 27 April – 3 May

The spring edition of the famous Sunwaves festival returns to the breezy shores of the Black Sea in April, while its other offshoot events in Zanzibar and the United Arab Emirates are planned to happen closer to summer. SW30’s line-up is strong as always and includes established names in the minimal techno and microhouse scene, such as [a:rpia:r], tINI, Priku, Luciano, Melchior Productions Ltd, Ricardo Villalobos, Maayan Nidam, Ion Ludwig, Seth Troxler, Arapu, Derek, Paco Osuna and Dan Andrei, to name just a small fraction.

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The BPM Festival: Ibiza Showcases (Spain) / 28 April – 1 May

Since its inception in 2008, The BPM Festival has expanded its footprint from Mexico to the global electronic music scene and hosted several one-off events in hotspot locations like Bali, Barcelona, Beirut, Sao Paulo, Dubai, Tel Aviv, Mykonos, New York, Toronto, Zurich and many others. The next showcase events see the crew travelling to Tamarindo in Costa Rica only to return after a few weeks to the magical island of Ibiza for three special nights with line-ups you don’t want to miss.

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Mayday Momentum (Germany) / 30 April

Since 1991, Mayday has been at the forefront of Germany’s electronic music culture, seeding the underground movement with mind-bending techno. For over 3 decades it attracts huge international techno megastars from around the world and half a million fans since its inception, giving it the title “The Mother of all Raves“.

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Music On (Netherlands) / 6-7 May

Returning to the buzzing heart of Amsterdam for a special weekend early in May, Music On festival is powered by Marco Carola’s record label and features artists like Alisha, Andrea Oliva, Joey Daniel, Apollonia, Nic Fanciulli, Enzo Siragusa, Toman and others.

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Extrema Outdoor (Belgium) / 26-28 May

Revealing a line-up with 100+ artists and 6 stages, Extrema Outdoor festival takes place in the magical Houthalen-Helchteren area in northeast Belgium. Among the artists announced we find Peggy Gou, Adam Beyer, Deaf Pillow, Jan Blomqvist, Mahmut Orhan, Armand Van Helden, Patrick Mason, Prince Kaybee and Sam Paganini.

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Creamfields South & Creamfields North (UK) / 26-28 May, 24-27 August

The legendary Creamfields festival in the United Kingdom has split into two editions, one that takes place at the end of May in Daresbury and one at the end of August in Chelmsford. In extension, special editions for Chile, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Vietnam are in the making. Expect massive line-ups and lots of extra activities.

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Meadows In The Mountains (Bulgaria) / 1-5 June

Taking place in Bulgaria’s Rhodope Mountains, Meadows In The Mountains is an annual transformative festival that delivers unique experiences to its attendants. Here, the music blends with all sorts of activities and workshops for the creation of a more future-proof, regenerative culture. The line-up is diverse and features both local and international artists.

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Sonar (Spain) / 15-17 June

Created in 1994, Sonar is a pioneering cultural event with a unique format and content, bringing forward an inspiring combination of electronic music, arts, technology and business talks. Nowadays, the concept features a main event that takes place in Barcelona as well as several offshoot happenings in the form of Sonar by Day, Sonar by Night, Sonar+D and OFFSonar. For this year the organisers have prepared something special, including live concerts by Aphex Twin, Bicep and Merca Bae aside from numerous well-known and up-and-coming DJs from all over the world.

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ParookaVille (Germany) / 21-23 June

Parookaville is a city that comes to life once a year to keep the legend of Bill Parooka alive. It was built as an artistic, free-flowing and mad musical place where people can make contact with their pure selves, experience true connections and feel deep sensations of bliss and fulfilment.

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Hideout (Croatia) / 25-29 June

Since 2011, Hideout festival has blazed a trail as one of Europe’s leading electronic music festivals taking place on Croatia’s famous Zrce Beach, at the shores of the Adriatic Sea. For five days and nights, you’re invited to sun-soaked pool parties, secret beach parties, intimate boat parties and evening performances across five incredible stages headlined by over 100 artists.

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B My Lake goes to Balaton Sound (Hungary) / 28 June – 1 July

This year B My Lake festival joins forces with Balaton Sound inviting electronic music enthusiasts to party on the serene shores of the largest lake in central Europe. Among the artists announced so far we find Carl Cox, Dubfire, Adam Beyer, Joris Voorn, Phillip Straub, Joseph Capriati, Artbat, Charlie Sparks and Fred Lenix.

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Kappa Futur (Italy) / 30 June – 2 July

One of the most impressive European summer festivals, Kappa Futur was born in 2008 and received considerable upgrades in 2012 when it became the first Italian daytime event dedicated to electronic music. Last year, 85k attendees from 105 countries stomped the grounds of Parco Dora in Torino, a number that is expected to grow this summer as the line-up includes Tale Of Us, Derrick Carter, Major Lazer, Stephan Bodzin, The Martinez Brothers, Diplo, Ricardo Villalobos, Archie Hamilton, Chriss Stussy and Richy Ahmed, to name just a few.

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Exit Festival (Serbia) / 6-9 July

With 40+ stages and zones hidden between the walls of the Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad, Exit Festival is an award-winning summer music festival that brings over 1000 artists and 200.000 people together each year. Founded in 2000 as a student movement fighting for democracy and freedom in Serbia and the Balkans, the festival grew more and more over the years, with the organisers also being involved with other major events in Montenegro, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania. Expect a complex sonic experience that incorporates numerous styles and genres.

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Ultra Europe (Croatia) / 7-9 July

Each year, the European instalment of the renowned Ultra festival takes place on the picturesque Dalmatian Coast in Croatia and has grown into one of the most prominent electronic music festivals across the continent. This event spans multiple venues in Split, with the locations ranging from grand stadiums to intimate beach parties, making it a truly diverse experience.

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The Peacock Society (France) / 8-9 July

A stone’s throw from Paris you’ll find Parc de Choisy in the Val-de-Marne area. In this lush and colourful environment, The Peacock Society festival unleashes its vibrant aesthetics, laying out an inspiring combination of house and techno music delivered by local and international artists like Acid Arab, Mall Grab, Ben Bohmer, Eris Drew, Lisa More, Richie Hawtin, Dixon and many others.

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I Land Sound (Estonia) / 13-16 July

I Land Sound brings together the best of what music, art, social gatherings and the Estonian summer have to offer, all happening on the beautiful island of Saaremaa. Here, the time dimension disappears and every awakening is significant as international musicians, composers, performers and DJs unite with the local community for an enriching experience.

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Tomorrowland (Belgium) / 21-30 July

Although dedicated to the EDM movement and culture, Tomorrowland‘s roster consistently boasts an impressive line-up of authentic underground house and techno music. The amazing design of all the stages and the DreamVille area offer partygoers all they need in order to have a memorable experience. The festival will also travel to Brazil soon and expand into other minor events strongly connected with the main one.

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Audioriver (Poland) / 28-30 July

For 16 years, Audioriver has been held in the magnificent riverside town of Płock, which during the event becomes entirely vibrant with festival life. With as many as 8 stages and zones that bring together foreign and Polish artists at the same time, this gathering is definitely one of Europe’s most intriguing ones.

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Dekmantel (Netherlands) / 2-7 August

The 9th edition of the notorious Dekmantel festival in Amsterdam presents a solid line-up that explores various styles and genres of electronic music, ranging from house, techno and breakbeat to bass music, jazz fusion and downtempo. With hundreds of artists ready to make you dance, all you have to do is choose your own adventure.

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Street Parade (Switzerland) / 12 August

The 30th edition of the Street Parade will bring together hundreds of thousands of electronic music fans from every continent. Around 30 Love Mobiles, brightly decorated trucks packed with giant soundsystems, DJs and party people, drive at a walking pace through the crowd of people around Lake Zurich. In addition, the 8 stages along the route round off top DJs, live acts and multimedia shows.

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Glitch Festival (Malta) / 13-16 August

From rooftop pool parties to secret cave raves, Glitch Festival lays out 7 stages designed for an enthralling atmosphere with fantastic soundsystems, lighting and decor. This year’s 6th edition features artists like Bonobo, Legowelt, Patrick Mason, Yan Cook, Marcel Dettman and many many others.

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Sonus (Croatia) / 20-24 August

Spread over three clubs (Aquarius, Kalypso and Papaya) and with plenty of pre-parties, afters and boat parties, Sonus promises an unforgettable experience at Zrce Beach in Novalja. Well-known for an eclectic and hand-picked line-up, ranging from fan favourites to underground prodigies, the musical spectrum ranges from house, deep house and tech-house to hard-hitting techno.

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Mysteryland (Netherlands) / 25-27 August

Every August the Netherlands hosts Mysteryland, the world’s oldest dance festival which recently inspired a spin-off event in the United States. The festival places a great emphasis on its soul, sustainability and involvement of the local community while presenting 10+ stages and 100+ artists that accommodate various styles and genres of electronic music from house, techno, minimal, microhouse and deep house to big room, bass, trance, hardstyle and hardcore. Choose your bpm and start dancing.

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Amsterdam Dance Event (Netherlands) / 18-22 October

Amsterdam Dance Event is a massive celebration that blends the power of electronic music with arts, social programmes and inspiring conferences. With around 300 parties in the programme spread around 80 venues and 2000+ DJs and industry professionals attending, ADE is the main electronic event of the season.

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🔮 We’re happy to find out about new festivals, so here are a few more that were included in this list, as suggested by our readers:

Free Your Mind (Netherlands) / 26-27 April, 3-4 June

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Free Your Mind is one of the Netherlands’ most respected and longstanding festival brands. During the Orange Edition and Kingsday in April, the renowned event will invite Benny Rodrigues, Michel De Hey, Chriss Stussy, Reinier Zonneveld, Kiki Solvej, Nico Mereno, Dyen and Speedy J to headline the parties while the summer edition will take place in Arnhem with 50+ artists already announced.

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BigCityBeats World Club Dome: Atlantis Edition (Germany) / 9-11 June

Germany’s #1 festival (according to DJ Mag) is celebrating its 10th-year anniversary with style as they transform the Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt into an Atlantis-themed oceanic myriad of arenas for 3 days including 2 all-star Mainstages, WCD Pool Sessions and the ground-shaking Hardstyle stage, set to draw over 180k+ attendees from all over the world. From 4-6 August a special edition of World Club Dome is set to take place in Malta.

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Defqon.1 Weekend Festival (Netherlands) / 22-25 June

Defqon.1 Weekend Festival is the world’s biggest hardstyle and hardcore festival, annually attracting 100k+ visitors. The gathering is widely known for its spectacular production with mind-blowing stage designs, pyrotechnics and visual effects, as well as its additional artistic program. Line-up highlights include Sub Zero Project, Rebelion, Headhunterz, Angerfist, D-Block & S-te-Fan, The Prophet, Vertile, Farrago, Outsiders and many others.

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Karren Maar Festival (Netherlands) / 5 August

This summer, Dutch artist Reinier Zonneveld will return with his own brand-new Karren Maar Festival which will see him perform an 11-hour and 11-minute Live Set, in an attempt at breaking the world record for longest-ever live set. The second stage will be hosted by Filth on Acid and the line-up will be announced soon.

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Sumdayz Festival (Italy) / 22-24 September

Sumdayz Festival, an electronic music event that brings together the energy of Rome’s local scene with the diversity of an international crowd, returns for its 2nd edition in September. The festival will take place at Ippodromo Capannelle and features an outstanding line-up of international and local DJs and producers performing on 2 stages across 3 days. The latest announcements include performances from Craig Richards, Francesco del Garda, Rhadoo, Sweely, tINI, Dyed Soundorom, Traumer, Raresh, Praslea, Barac and Priku.

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UNUM Festival (Albania) / 1-6 June

UNUM is not like other festivals. It isn’t a smash-and-grab, in-and-out rave. It’s a gathering of like-minded people and 6 days of almost non-stop music in secluded locations. As the grooves flow, you plot your own journey whether that’s dancing on a beach at sunrise, getting lost amongst the trees on the Pine Stage or exploring the historic local town of Shengjin and all its rich cultures and customs. The line-up includes Hot Since 82, Janeret, Cap, Cesar Merveille, Magda, Ricardo Villalobos, Rhadoo, Raresh, Praslea, Sonja Moonear, Margaret Dygas and others.

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🎶 If you’re a fan of electronic music, there’s no better way to explore Europe and the global electronic music circuit than by hitting up these festivals and immersing yourself in the vibrant culture and community that they offer.

List by AndreiB

*Photos are taken from the festivals’ social media channels. Copyright belongs to respective owners.

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