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 spring. Always double-check to make certain events are actually going to happen.)

Because our expats like traveling and a good party, Dispatches has always had 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, COVID-19 and the global pandemic stopped us from even seeing our friends, much 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, is working on a series of safe live events this year.

Dutch government officials and Fieldlab Events are, as Back to Life, experimenting with pilot events on the way to full-capacity events.

• a concert and a dance event at Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam in March (see details below)

• two open-air festivals at the Lowlands. A camping event is scheduled for 20 through 22 August, but no other info is available. And yes, you can use your tickets from last year’s event, which of course got cancelled.

See more here on We Rave You.

In fact, we’re starting to receive emails about live events at least planned for 2021, so we’re posting our first list since last March, 2020. Finally!

Don’t Let Daddy Know

6 March at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam

This is kind of tentative, but if a large-scale dance event is going to happen anywhere in early 2021, it’s gonna be Amsterdam. Don’t Let Daddy Know is one of E&A Event’s global events.

Sunnery James/Ryan Marciano is the only announced act so far.

Early bird tickets start at 49.61 and you can get them here.

To their credit, E&A has boilerplate on the Don’t Let Daddy Know website stating that if the event can’t take place, all ticket holders who bought via official sales channels (Paylogic & Festicket) will receive a refund (service fee not included), or they can get vouches for other E&A events.

UNUM Festival

3 June thru 7 June, Shengjin, Albania

UNUM Festival returns to the beaches and pine forests of Shenghin on the Albanian Riviera in what we’ve taken to calling New South Croatia. (Yes, we know it’s Albania, but it’s the same Adriatic coast, only sunnier and hotter.) We have to give UNUM Festival organizers credit for taking a big risk, but they say they have the backing of Albania’s Tourism and Environment officials, as well as of Ministry of Health people, and can pull off this fairly ambitious EDM concert – 50 scheduled acts over five days and four nights – safely. Organizers note that Albania is first country in the world to approve of testing for social and cultural events. 

From the news release:

The advancing technology and accuracy of rapid tests currently allows for results within 10-15 minutes, which is all that would be required to ensure you can enjoy the festival in the way it should be enjoyed

It’s also likely by June that vaccinations will have reached most of the populations of Western Europe and the United Kingdom.

Two thousand nineteen was the first year for this event on Rana e Hedhun, “the last untapped corner of Europe in the town of Shengjin, on the idyllic Albanian coastline,” according to a news release.

Acts include a lot of people we never heard of and Seth Troxler. Believe it or not, the first ticket release is sold out. Second-release tickets are 139 euros and you can get them here.

Decibel Open Air

11 & 12 September in Florence

This is the first huge event with names and it’s happening late enough in the year that this feels real.

Decibel Open Air 2021 has released its first group of acts that include Ben Klock from Berghain, Paul Kalkenbrenner, Coldplay collaborate Kölsch, and Richie Hawtin. A pretty good lineup, right? Well, Decibel Open Air is promising more, so we’ll update this post when we get the full list.

Tickets start at 56.60 and you can get them here. There’s also a hotel package.

• Glastonbury 2021

This is on the books for 23 June to 27 June, but there are already signs it likely won’t happen. But if it does, it’s expected to draw 100,000-plus people. Watch the official website here for an announcement one way or the other.

• I Want to Dance Again

TBD at Lotto Arena in Antwerp

Ah, hope spring eternal. This event will happen as soon as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, but who knows when that will be. You can see the featured act, The Subs, dancing through Antwerp’s famous Chinatown above.

You can buy tickets here for 35 euros.

You can read more info on this proposed event here on

Send us the details of your upcoming event: [email protected]

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