Lifestyle & Culture

Real music, real people, real parties: Finally, Dispatches’ first live events list for 2021

(Editor’s note: This post listing the first live events announced for 2021 will be updated as we move into mid-summer. Always double-check to make events are actually going to happen.)

Because our expats like traveling and a good party, Dispatches has always compiled multiple lists of live events … everything from the best spring break destinations to startup summits in Finland to EDM festivals on the ski slopes in France and Switzerland, or on the bays and beaches of Croatia, Ibiza and Malta.

We were all so spoiled.

Then, in March 2020, COVID-19 and the global pandemic stopped us from even seeing our friends, much less partying with new ones. We listed virtual events, but even those seem to have declined as people need a little of that human touch.

Finally, with millions of doses of multiple coronavirus vaccines poised to be distributed during the next weeks and months, we can at least start thinking about restarting real fun with real humans. We think this will happen sooner rather than later because EDM festivals and all giant music events provide big economic boosts, generating hundreds of millions of euros from Portugal to Poland.

In fact, the Netherlands (shocker, right?), that small country that has produced pretty much every EDM DJ worth talking about including Afrojack, Hardwell, Tiësto, Martin Garrix and Armin van Buuren, was first out of the gate, clearing the festivals to restart.

To get here, Dutch government officials and Fieldlab Events, experimented with pilot events on the way to full-capacity events.

On 18 March, the Dutch government announced that big events can restart effective 1 July. And to sweeten the pot, they created a 300 million euro fund to cover up to 80 percent of costs if they can’t get everyone vaccinated and organizers have to cancel.

See more here on We Rave You.

Also on this post, we included at the bottom of page 2 the details about the growing list of festivals that have rescheduled, as well as new night clubs opening. Dispatches is all about one-stop shopping.


26 through 29 August at Daresbury Estate, Cheshire, between Liverpool and Manchester

The good news is that Creamfields appears to be on. The bad news is, it’s sold out unless you have tickets from last year’s cancelled event. This is – year in and year out – one of the Big Ones, with top talent and top DJs.

The 2021 lineup includes Tïësto, Afrojack, Adam Beyer, Armin van Buuren, Carl Cox, David Guetta, Martin Garrix, Nina Kraviz … and basically everybody who’s anybody on the EDM/trance scene.

In lieu of links to tickets, check out this post about how Cream went from a Liverpool club to one of the world’s most influential festival companies.

Labyrinth ‘Sessions Series’ Shows

Multiple dates across London starting 27 August.

Here’s the full schedule as of late May:

• Friday 27 August – Todd Terje (Olsen Records) – Extended DJ Set at Loft Studios
• Saturday 28 August – Gerd Janson (Running Back) – All Night Long at Loft Studios
• Saturday 18 September – Fideles (Afterlife) – All Night Long at Village Underground
• Saturday 9 October – Perel (DFA) – All Night Long at Orange Yard
• Friday 22 October – Trikk (Innervisions) – All Night Long at The Theatre at The Cause
• Friday 3 December – Nick Castle (Labyrinth) – All Night Long at Secret Location TBA
• Saturday 18 December – Studio Barnhus (Axel Boman b2b Kornél Kovács b2b Pedrodollar) – All Night Long at Village Underground

See all the Labyrinth events and ticket info here.

The Lofts

Opening Party 27 August, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

This new club is opening in Newcastle on 27 June with BBC Radio 1 DJ Pete Tong and Horse Meat Disco – the DJ collective of Jim Stanton, James Hillard, Luke Howard and Severino Panzetta – headlining, with Charlie Hedges, Mighty Mouse and Natasha Kitty Katt also on the bill.

The new 1500-capacity club has 3 separate rooms, a sound system from L-Acoustic and a state-of-the-art, fully immersive light and visual show.

You can get tickets here for 16.75 pounds.

Moovin Festival

27 thru 29 August in Manchester

Moovin Festival is back from 27 thru 29 August at Whitebottom Farm in Etherow Country Park just south of Manchester. Headliners at Moovin Festival include Bassment Jaxx, Todd Terje, the original rap stars Sugar Hill Gang, Naughty By Nature, David Rodigan and dozens more.

You can see the full list here. And you can buy tickets here for 115 pounds. The Barn Party and camping tickets are sold out.

Movin Festival supports Action Against Hunger. You can see the details here.

Junction 2

28 & 29 August at Tobacco Dock, London

After this was postponed for 2020, a lot of big names will be resurfacing in London at Junction 2 including Afrodeutsche, Dixon, the ubiquitous Nina Kraviz, Charlotte DeWitte, Adam Beyer and more. This is a two-day event with an after-party at Fabric.

The final tickets are available here at 65 pounds.

Reading Festival 2021

27 thru 29 August, Richfield Avenue

This multi-genre hip hop/house/EDM/rock festival started as a rock music festival back in the 1970s. Since then, everyone who’s anyone has played Reading Festival from the Foo Fighters to the Rolling Stones.

The 2021 post-pandemic line up is incredibly eclectic and includes Stormzy, Post Malone, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Jack Harlow, Disclosure and Queens of the Stone Age along with Doja Cat, Liam Gallagher, Lewis Capaldi, Two Door Cinema Club, DaBaby, Neck Deep, Sofi Tukker and AJ Tracey.

There are multiple stages because this is a two-city simultaneous event (see below), so check out the website to see who plays where and when. Thought it’s a bit confusing at this point. They’ll work it all out by August, we’re thinkin’ …..

There’s already a waiting list, and you can get on it here.

Leeds Festival 2021

27 thru 29 August, Bramham Park, Leeds

This is the twin to the Reading event, though Leeds Festival only dates back to the 1990s. And since Liam Gallagher can’t be two places at the same time (or at least we don’t think he can) he and all the acts listed above for Reading have to not just scramble between stages, but between cities.

So be sure to check out who will play where and when.

And just like the Reading event above, tickets are sold out, but you can get get on the waiting list here.

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