Some of the world’s best electronic music festivals are not necessarily the best well known. In this article, I am going to present five of my favorite EDM festivals that are worth checking out this year or next. It’s important to get tickets early though, because those who do know about these festivals tend to rush to get a spot as soon as they can. And with good reason.
How Weird Street Faire: This is a one-day festival that takes place in San Francisco on May 13th this year, from noon to 8pm. It merges original artwork with eclectic electronic music from dubstep to psytrance to house to world beat, and many more. Performers will be spread over thirteen stages hosted by various music organizations and collectives, and this year there’s even going to be a Beat Box Poetry stage! For 2012, the festival is taking on the theme of “time”, and the website is full of information about tbe Mayan calendar, Norse runes, and the origin of the word “weird.”
Tree of Life: On the other side of the world, this festival will be lighting up the thirty-five square meters of Karagöl Lake in Izmir, Turkey, from June 28 to July 3. The organizers’ guiding philosophy is “Peace, Unity, and Global Respect” based on the crystal grid theory, which you can read more about on the festival website. One of the “stages” is even designed as a healing area where selected applicants can demonstrate their healing powers. Performances include live electronica as well as techno and chillout DJ sets.
Infest UK: For EDM fans who are a little more on the fringe, the Bradford University Student Union in West Yorkshire, UK has put together an alternative electronic festival that brings together producers and DJs from Europe and beyond. This year’s lineup has a heavy emphasis on German performers, and many of the festival’s artists are described as playing EBM, or Electronic Body Music. Infest runs August 24 to 26.
Shambhala Music Festival: This festival has been around since 1998, and sadly, online tickets sold out in seventeen days for 2012. Three siblings produce the festival on their parents’ farm in British Columbia, Canada, at Salmo River Ranch, where ten thousand guests converge on the 500 hundred-acre space. Shambhala is an alcohol-free event where all attendees camp onsite for the whole festival (no day passes!). The schedule isn’t out yet, but the six stages are sure to host a variety of acts both local and international.
FutureEverything: Both festival and conference, FutureEverything promotes music, art, and technology, with exploration of the environment, society, and innovation. This festival is definitely for those who like to think a lot, because the music comes along with discussion and the spread of ideas. Events take place from May 16 to 19 this year, with DJ/Club events and live shows around Manchester, UK. On the side, attendees can participate in a DIY craft fair at no extra cost on the last day of the festival.
These five festivals are definitely worth considering when setting up your EDM schedule. Although they might not all be on the radar of the mainstream, each of them has gems to offer to the right audience. And if you can’t make it this year, why not keep an eye on their websites to see what excitement will be going on in 2013?