From the established headline grabbers like Tomorrowland and Creamfields, to the newer pretenders like Untold and Airbeat One, there is absolutely no shortage of festivals across the continent for fans of EDM, big-room house, trance and all manner of other dance music styles.
After much deliberation, we picked our ten favourites (in no particular order).
Festival lineup (2020): Martin Garrix, David Guetta, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Marshmello, Amelie Lens, Adam Beyer, Eric Prydz, NERVO
Still the one to beat after more than a decade in the game, the Belgian behemoth is the leading light for Europe’s electronic music festival scene. Famed for its awe-inspiring production, stage design, lighting, visuals and all-encompassing mythology, it has become something of a pilgrimage for dance music fans the world over.
When & where: 16th – 18th July & 23rd – 25th July 2021; Boom, Belgium
Festival lineup (2020): David Guetta, Afrojack, Pendulum – TRINITY, Armin van Buuren, DJ Snake, Marshmello, Richie Hawtin, Steve Aoki
Arguably the most recognisable global brand in electronic dance music, Ultra’s European satellite might not quite match the sheer scale of its American parent but it doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to line-up or commitment to partying.
When & where: 9th – 11th July 2021; Split, Croatia
Festival lineup (2021): deadmau5, Carl Cox, Martin Garrix, Adam Beyer, Tiësto, Timmy Trumpet, Erix Prydz, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike
Born out of Liverpool’s club scene in the 1990s, the legendary festival is more-or-less in its own league in Britain in terms of size and scale. Phenomenal staging, consistently cutting-edge development and lineups packed with the biggest names in EDM, house, techno and more make the festival one of the best anywhere in the world.
When & where: 26th – 29th August 2021; Daresbury
Festival lineup (2020): Martin Garrix, DJ Snake, David Guetta, Alesso, Afrojack, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Eric Prydz, Steve Aoki
As the winner of the Best Major Festival at the European Festival Awards in 2015, the Romanian dance giant can already boast some real pedigree despite still being in its infancy; the festival has already welcomed a multitude of dance music’s global stars, and around a quarter of a million fans each year.
When & where: TBA August 2021; Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Festival lineup: TBA
EDC Portugal sees the worldwide dance festival return to Europe in 2021 as they celebrate their 25 year journey with a mega European edition on the Praia da Rocha beach in Portimão.
When & where: 18th – 20th June 2021; Praia da Rocha, Portugal
Airbeat One Festival
Festival lineup (2021): Marshmello, David Guetta, Afrojack, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Timmy Trumpet, NERVO, W&W, Brennan Heart
Each year a theme determines the design of the gargantuan main stage and bombastic display of lights, lasers and pyrotechnics that compliment a lineup rammed with dance music royalty.
When & where: 7th – 11th July 2020; Neustadt-Glewe, Germany
Festival lineup (2020): Martin Garrix, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Kygo, Robin Schulz, Jonas Blue, DJ Snake, Steve Aoki, Don Diablo
Taking place on the shores of central Europe’s largest lake, Balaton Sound finds the balance between a beach-side holiday and full-throttle dance music festival. The scene’s heaviest hitters take to the stage across full days of unapologetic partying, with additional space on the lineup for more underground electronic DJs and even superstars of rap and hip-hop.
When & where: TBA July 2021; Zamárdi, Hungary
BBF: Barcelona Beach Festival
Festival lineup (2020): Armin van Buuren, Alan Walker, Marshmello, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, Steve Aoki, Timmy Trumpet, W&W
With five editions under their belt, the BBF team have already made a name for themselves in the European scene with big branding and even bigger production. What’s more, the lineup is unfailingly packed with the biggest names in dance music who turn the sands of Platja del Forum into Europe’s biggest and best party destination for one weekend each July.
When & where: 3rd July 2021; Barcelona, Spain
Don’t Let Daddy Know Amsterdam
Festival lineup (2020): Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Oliver Heldens, Nicky Romero, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, Brennan Heart, Showtek, W&W, Wildstylez
Don’t Let Daddy Know Amsterdam is a high energy, intense one day event held in the famous Dutch capital. With a lineup consisting of some of the biggest electronic DJs in the business, this is an all out, high octane party.
When & where: 6th March 2021; Amsterdam, Netherlands
AMF: Amsterdam Music Festival
Festival lineup (2019): David Guetta, Alesso, Armin van Buuren, Timmy Trumpet, Jonas Blue, Tiësto, W&W, Don Diablo
Spread across three of the city’s biggest venues – the ArenA, the Heineken Music Hall and the Ziggo Dome – Amsterdam Music Festival facilitates for over 100,000 dance music fans across the extended weekend. Filling the vast arenas are the sounds of dance music heroes and the sights of consistently cutting edge and spectacular visual production.
When & where: TBA October 2021, Amsterdam, Netherlands