Rave on: the best dance music festivals of 2019

Eat, sleep, rave, repeat

If you like your bass heavy and your beats ready to move to, you’ll likely be found in the dance tent at this summer’s festivals. If you get yourself down to any of these 10 festivals – all with either a keen or complete commitment to booking some of the most banging dance acts around – you’ll be in Heaven.

Tomorrowland Winter

best dance festivals

Steve Aoki

When: March 9-16.
Where: Alpe d’Huez, France.
Why: Why wait ’til summer to hit the festival field? Tomorrowland Winter heads into the Alps, bringing with it some of the biggest names in dance music. DJ Snake, Netsky, Martin Garrix, Steve Aoki and more will all ensure you don’t stop moving long enough to feel the cold.

Tomorrowland Belgium

best dance festivals

When: July 19-21, 26-28.
Where: Boom, Belgium.
Why: The line-up is yet to be announced for this year’s edition, but you can beat it’ll be absolutely bursting with top DJs and producers from across the globe, just like every other year so far. It’s not just the acts playing that will blow your mind, though – the stages themselves are also pretty epic, with some next level design that’ll make you feel like you’ve been transported into an enchanted forest.

We Are FSTVL

best dance festivals

When: May 24-26.
Where: Upminster, UK.
Why: There’s some absolute legends on the line-up this year, including Basement Jaxx, Artwork, Artful Dodger, Armand Van Helden, and DJ Luck & MC Neat – and that’s just in the first four letters of the alphabet. You’ll find something for every kind of dance lover here, from garage to house, techno to dubstep, and everything in between.

Ultra Europe

best dance festivals

David Guetta performed at Ultra Europe 2018

When: July 12-14.
Where: Split, Croatia.
Why: Returning for a seventh year, Ultra Europe will once again turn the idyllic city of Split into a party paradise for three days. Expect lots of pyro, dancers, and some of the most energetic sets you’ll witness this festival season.

Outlook

best dance festivals

When: September 4-9.
Where: Fort Punta Christo, Croatia.
Why: Where else can you go and lose your mind to some of the coolest names in the electronic music field while in an abandoned fort? Not many – if any – places, so you might want to get yourself to Outlook sharpish, where you’ll also have plenty of time to relax on the beach between partying. Keep an eye out for the 2019 line-up being announced this month.

Creamfields

best dance festivals

When: August 22-25.
Where: Daresbury, UK.
Why: Creamfields is an absolute icon in the dance festy world so you’ve got to make the pilgrimage at least once in your life. Why not make it 2019, when the headliners will be Deadmau5 and Swedish House Mafia? You’ll have to wait to see who else is on the bill, but you can bet it’ll be a cracker.

Amsterdam Dance Event

best dance festivals

Orbital

When: TBA.
Where: TBA.
Why: Details for 2019 have yet to be announced, but last year saw the likes of Orbital, Steve Lawler, and Metrik on the bill. If you’re in the mood to discover some of dance’s next big names, then make sure you head to the ADE Next segment of the festival, where non-professional musicians are invited to perform. Who knows who you’ll see before they’re famous?

SW4

best dance festivals

When: August 24-25.
Where: Clapham, UK.
Why: The line-up for this annual Clapham Common weekender is still under wraps until January 21 but judging by last year’s line-up, it’ll hopefully make it London’s must-attend dance bash. Marshmello, Chase & Status, and Armin van Buren all lit up the Common in 2018, so fingers crossed for a similarly banging 2019 edition.

Lost Village

best dance festivals

Four Tet performed at Lost Village in 2018

When: August 22-25.
Where: Norton Disney, Lincolnshire, UK.
Why: A) It’s in a place called Norton Disney, for God’s sake. B) The different stages are like more English (by which we mean quaint), mini versions of Tomorrowland’s giant behemoths. Head to Junkyard to party by a stage decorated in scrap metal, while the Bureau Of Lost, with its clothes lines of ‘lost’ outfits, will make you feel like you’re raving in your nan’s back garden. The line-up is yet to be announced, but you’re already halfway to a great weekend with the setting.

Parklife

best dance festivals

When: June 8-9.
Where: Manchester, UK.
Why: Manchester’s Parklife might not be solely dedicated to dance music but the genre usually makes up a strong percentage of the bill. One good thing about that – there’s always plenty of other stuff going on if you need a little breather. Last year saw the likes of Bonobo, Jamie xx, Justice, Four Tet, and Eric Prydz in the upper echelons so count on the organisers to book some similarly must-see acts.

The Warehouse Project

best dance festivals

When: TBA
Where: Manchester, UK.
Why: The Warehouse Project is less a festival and more a reason to move to Manchester for the latter part of the year. From September to New Year’s Day, the event takes over a handful of venues in the city, bringing the best DJs, producers, and more to the city for some epic all-nighters and gigs. Details for 2019 are yet to be announced but you’re gonna want to keep your eyes peeled – tickets usually sell out in a flash.

Gala Festival

best dance festivals

When: May 26.
Where: London, UK.
Why: It’s the cheapest festival in the capital – tickets are only £35 in the first release (plus booking fee). That low price doesn’t mean organisers have crimped on quality, though. Though the line-up for 2019 is yet to come, last year saw the likes of big names Derrick Carter, Norman Jay MBE, Mr Scruff, Horse Meat Disco, Greg Wilson, Moxie, and Honey Dijon all take to the decks. It’s also incredibly inclusive, with LGBTQ+ performers spreading cheer across the site.