A Handy Guide To The Best Upcoming Winter Festivals

Sick of hearing people moan that festival season is over? Yeah, us too – ‘cause it’s not even true! Well, not really. There are some banging winter festivals about to unfold right here in the UK, and if you’re willing to cast your net further afield, good times await in Europe and the US. Behold! The NME Guide To Having A Really Good Winter That Is Not At All Boring And Is In Fact Filled With Live Music.

Amsterdam Dance Event


When: 19-23 October.

Where: Amsterdam (obviously).

Why you should go: Let’s begin the festival with the worst name in the world. They could have at least made and the effort and called it the Amsterdance Event. Anyway, for your enjoyment: Crystal Castles, Craig David and Skepta. Like Craig, you were born to do it (if “it” is attending Amsterdam dance event).

Pitchfork Paris

When: October 27 – 29.


Where: Paris (obviously!)

Why you should go: M.I.A., Bat For Lashes, Warpaint, Whitney, Parquet Courts and Joey Purp are all on the bill.

Iceland Airwaves

When: Nov 2 – 6.

Where: Reykjavik

Why you should go: Fancy something even further afield? You could worse than paying Reykjavik a visit, as Iceland Airwaves has performances from (deep breath) PJ Harvey, Kano, Kate Tempest, Kevin Morby, Let’s Eat Grandma and Stormzy.


When: November 3 – 5

Where: Dublin

Why you should go: Two words: Grace Jones. Also, the rest of the line-up is amazing, including hometown heroes and punk rotters Girl Band, plus hip-hop living legends The Sugarhill Gang. It’s not just a music festival, either, as Metropolis bills itself as a place of “music, performance, conversation and installation”.

Le Guess Who Festival

When: 10-13 November

Where: Utrecht, Netherlands

Why you should go: In their own words, Le Guess Who is “the Netherlands’ go-to event for experimental, collaborative and otherwise out-of-the-box musical thinking.” Also, Utrecht is supposed to be pretty nice, like a smaller, weirder Amsterdam. The line-up includes Wilco, Savages and Suuns, all of whom curate their own stages. What could be indier than that?

The Winter Social

When: 11 March.

Where: Maidstone, Kent.

Why you should go: It’s the best place to get mashed in Maidstone, the line-up boasts world famous DJs such as Andrew Weatherall and Goldie and if you’ve never listened to dance music while off your tits and riding a fairground ride, you have not lived, my friend.