This begins our third year of dedicating a list to EDM events across Europe and beyond. This multi-billion dollar music niche is no longer a niche … it’s global, with huge organizations based in London, LA and Barcelona putting on festivals and events in the sun, in the snow and in the clubs from Abu Dhabi to Zagreb.
Dance music never stopped being on-trend in the continent and surrounding islands, so living the expat life in Europe puts you close to the best concerts. And make no mistake … this is sybaritic lifestyle, so much so that Instagram blocked #EDM (well, for a couple of minutes, anyway) because, well, people were getting a little too frisky in the photos they were posting. But hey, you’re only young and beautiful once.
We’re include parties from London to Copenhagen, Lisbon to Bucharest, Ibiza to Vienna, and of course, Paris to Berlin for 2020. And picking up from last year, we’ll include events in the Middle East and Africa … destinations easily reachable from Frankfurt, Amsterdam and London.
Finally, you’ll notice crossover as we list events on this page, on our Spring Break page and on our ski/music list as warrants … because these are overlapping expat audiences.
As always, this post will be updated regularly, especially as we move toward the opening parties for Ibiza as well as clubs in Croatia and Malta.
Abu Dhabi and Dubai, United Arab Emirates
This luxury complex has released its schedule through the end of February. Artists include Peggy Gou, Steve Lawler and Adam Beyer.
Here’s the list:
20 Feb. – Eine Musik, Jones Saalbach (live)
21 Feb. – Cafe Mambo presents: Steve Lawler
21 Feb. – Hive: Adam Beyer
27 Feb. – Bedouin
28 Feb. – Peggy Gou (Soho Garden)
Soho Garden located within the grounds of Meydan, the 14,000 m2 project that includes every sort of experience from an underground club to a beach club.
All we can say is, “Party like sheik!”
• Ultra Abu Dhabi – 5 & 6 March
Miami-based events company Ultra Worldwide is debuting in the Middle East with Ultra Abu Dhabi on 5 thru 6 March.
Just like with Ultra events in Miami and other cities, the UAE version will include top acts including AfroJack, Alesso, Major Lazer, DJ Snake, Sasha & John Digweed and lots more.
There are only Tier 3 tickets left for 640 dirham, or about 150 euros. You can get yours here.
• Kala Festival – Dhërmi, Albania, 10 thru 17 June
“Party in Albania” … we never thought we’d utter those words, but Albania is on the Adriatic and it is beautiful, despite its issues.
Kala Festivalreturns to the unspoilt coastline of the Albanian Riviera next summer for its third edition. Taking place from 10 June to 17 June in Dhërmi, the week-long festival combines an array of DJs and live acts, food and wellness activities (we’re guessing yogo on the beach.)
Promoters call Kala Festival “that sweet spot between music festival and summer getaway.”
Moodymann, 808 State (live), Jayda G, Optimo, Marcellus Pittman, Pender Street Steppers, Bufiman (live) and Skee Mask.
A rotating roster of curators including Jamie Tiller, John Gómez, Lauren Hansom and Nick The Record will take over Gjipe, a secluded beach in the mouth of a red-stone canyon that can only be accessed by boat.
London record store Phonica Records and online music publication Stamp The Wax will also be hosting stages at the week-long event.Paragraph
This is mostly sold out, with the last tier of tickets for 2020 to be released in January. If you want to attend, you can join the waiting list on www.kala.al
• Festival Hibernation – Grandvalira, Andorra, 3 thru 5 April
We heard about Hibernation a couple of years ago, then we missed it last year. This year, Hibernation is back on our list. Techno, house, and skiing in the Pyrenees of Andorra.
For 2020, Hibernation is 3 to 5 April.
This festival is at Grandvalira, a resort 2000 meters in the mountains (and the largest in Pyrenees), so there should be plenty of snow. And because this is in the Pyrenees, not Switzerland, this is a lot more affordable experience.
Weirdly, at this late date, they still haven’t posted the 2020 lineup. Last year featured Berlin regulars including Âme and Len Faki as well as Arman from Toronto and Ukraine’s Nastia.
Tickets start at 25 euros and you can get yours here.
• Rampage – Antwerp on 13 & 14 March 2020
This mega-sound-and-light show promises the 2020 show will be updated with “the very latest technology, animations, lights, visuals, and lasers. “
From the release:
The five acts who are bringing custom audio-visual shows have the very best possible platform on which to blow your minds and drench you in multi-sensory delights.
The 30 or so drum n’ bass/dubstep acts include Pendulum Trinity from Australia via the UK, Noisia as part of their farewell tour, DJ Marky and Black Sun Empire.
Tickets start at 57 euros and you can get yours here.
• Ostend Beach Festival – 10 thru 12 July
Here’s an eco-friendly urban beach party that doesn’t require buying a plane ticket to Croatia or Greece. TwentyTwenty will be the 11th year for Ostend Beach Festival, which mixes clubs and this port town’s long, sandy public beaches. Ostend has presented some pretty big names in the past including CamelPhat, Sven Väth, Patrick Topping and Kölsch.
The 2020 lineup isn’t posted yet. But you can get tickets here starting at about 31 euros.
• Outlook Origins – The Garden Resort, Tisno, Croatia 30 July to 4 August
It’s December, and we’re already posting about partying in Croatia. But as we always point out, he/she who hesitates is lost when it comes to booking big events. Also, Outlook Origins will happen a month earlier than in recent years.
There are multiple locations for 2020 including an opening party in a castle before the actual festival. So be sure to peruse the website.
In its 12th year, Outlook Origins celebrates the best in drum & bass, dubstep, grime, garage, reggae and other genres. So there is a serious mix of music under the Adriatic sun.
For 2020, the 10th year, curators include:
Calibre, Goldie, Lenzman, Zed Bias, Mala, DJ Storm, Flava D, D Double E, The Bug, Iration Steppas, Fliptrix and Mungo’s Hi Fi.
Tickets start at 107 euros and you can get yours here.
• Distortion 2020 – Copenhagen, 3 thru 7 June
Distortion is something completely different from what we usually post … a dance music celebration and a street festival run by a non-profit. But you’ll recognize some of the names who’ve played Distortion over the years including Âme, Vini Vici, Adana Twins, Solomun, Eats Anything, Ghostface Killah, Mall Grab, Maceo Plex, Charlotte de Witte and the list goes on and on.
With names such as these, it’s no surprise that about 100,000 people show up in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. That’s 100,000 people each day, making it the biggest EDM event in Europe, and maybe the world.
Distortion is held at several locations around the city, so best to signup on the website for the email because there’s not a lot of info posted, and no 2020 lineup.
• Tomorrowland Winter – Alpe d’Huez, France 14 thru 21 March
Tomorrowland organizers made a huge splash with its 2019 debut, renting out the entire ski resort of Alpe d’Huez, France last March. And this one is all about the music.
There was this whole weird Buddhist motif, but huge names – mostly top Dutch DJs including Afrojack, Armin van Buuren, Kölsch and Martin Garrix as well as non-Dutch veterans such as Steve Aöki.
Well, Tomorrowland Winter is back for 2020 with those guys and more, including Charlotte de Witte, Veni Vici and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. The dates are 14 through 21 March.
Oh, yeah … there’s skiing. Alpe d’Huez has 250 kilometers of slopes for all levels.
Tomorrowland, the summer festival, started out 15 years ago in Nowheresville, Belgium (Boom, an hour from our Dispatches global HQ) and has turned into a phenom, attracting first 50,000, then 100,000 then 200,000 people, with waiting lists in recent years in the millions!
Every major EDM DJ and act including Avicii, Faithless, Hardwell, Nina Kraviz, Swedish House Mafia, Carl Cox, David Guetta, Afrojack, Armin Van Buuren, Tiësto and Martin Garrix have come.
A note: For whatever reason (money?), organizers require you to stay at their lodging in the Grand Domaine Ski area to get access to the festival.
• Snowboxx – Avoriaz, France 21 thru 28 March
Snowboxx has revealed the full line-up for its 2020 edition as it returns to the Avoriaz 21 thru 28 March with headliners Andy C, Dennis Sulta, Annie Mac, DJ EZ and special guests The Sugarhill Gang confirmed.
Which – oh, my GOD! – takes us back. Quick, what’s the first rap song? Look it up …
The lineup is pretty good this, year, but the skiing is world-class in the Les Portes Du Soleil region which boasts the largest connected ski area in the world.
The resort is vehicle-free, so party people can ski in and out of their chalets to the nearest lift, walk to any of the festival stages … Snowboxx’s open-air main stage is walking distance from the festival’s accommodation.