10 electronic music festivals you can't miss in the UK this year
Riverside Festival / credit: Brian Sweeney
In preparation for sunnier days ahead, we round up the biggest and best electronic music festivals of spring and summer
In the UK we have a high tolerance for bad weather — but when it snows in April it's hard not to yearn for summer. With better weather in mind, we've collated a list of all the best electronic music festivals happening in the UK this summer for you to look forward to. Just imagine yourself dancing to your favourite DJs at these events to get you through the longest winter ever.
Now in its sixth year, the Riverside Festival is one of the highlights of the year for electronic music fans in Scotland. The two-day event is set on the grounds of the Riverside Museum and makes for a unique weekend. You can catch big names like Dixon, Sven Vath and Lady Starlight playing on the Saturday; Amelie Lens, Fatima Yamaha, and Jackmaster take the stage on Sunday.
Riverside Festival, Riverside Museum, Glasgow, Sat 26—Sun 27 May.
Farr Festival began back in 2009 as a small gathering of like-minded friends, but has now grown into a massive showcase of international acts. Mount Kimbie, Hunee, Moodymann and Gerd Janson are all expected to play at the four-day event. Despite the calibre of acts, the thing that make this festival special is that it remembers its roots and keeps the experience intimate.
Farr Festival, Bygrave Woods, Newnham Village, London, Thurs 5—Sun 8 July
This list of top electronic music festivals in the UK wouldn't be complete without the addition of Creamfields. It's the biggest weekend of dance and electronic music in the UK and arguably rivals the likes of Tomorrowland or other big European festivals. The lineup is so huge it would take a whole article to run through them, but you can bet that it features every big international DJ out there.
Creamfields, Daresbury, Cheshire, Thurs 23—26 Aug
The Social Festival
Set next to the idyllic Kent County Showground, the Social Festival is a boutique music festival that reckons it brings Ibiza to England. The Saturday soothes party goers in with mega DJs Carl Cox and the Martinez Brothers, then goes full-throttle on Sunday with four stages. Appearing across the stages on Saturday includes Helena Hauff, Nina Kraviz, Heidi and many many more.
The Social Festival, Kent County Showground, Maidstone, Sat 29—Sun 30 Sep
Boom Town festival describes itself as a 'multilayered experience' and doesn't just promise great music but also 'colourful characters and eccentric oddities'. A real highlight of this festival is the different stage settings like the Hidden Woods, Windmill Stag and Sector 6 Stage which feature interesting design and pyrotechnic displays. Some acts already announced are Ed Solo, Deekline and Serial Killaz.
Boom Town, Matterley Estate, Winchester Thurs 9—Sun 12 Aug
If you don't just want to just feed your ears but also your mind, body and soul then Noisily is the festival for you. It doesn't take itself too seriously and is more intimate than other festivals on this list. There is music to suit everyone with a broad spectrum of genres featured over the weekend from DJ's like Patrice Baumel, Oliver Koletzki, Hatzler, and Quivver.
Noisily, Coney Woods, Leicester, Thurs 5—Sun 8 Jul
Lovebox Festival has an impressive number of big-name hip-hop artists on its lineup but don't be fooled into thinking that means its dance lineup won't be as good. Heavyweights like Annie Mac, Diplo, Mura Masa and Bicep take to the decks to represent the genre in what is always an incredibly colourful affair.
Lovebox, Gunnersbury Park, London, Fri 13—Sat 14 July
Outside of London, Manchester is often cited as having the best dance music in the UK and Parklife is a testament to this. Like Lovebox the line-up of bands and artists is incredible, but the DJs set to play are even more phenomenal. Black Madonna headlines the Palm House stage, Elrow presents the Bronx stage, and over at the Temple is Jamie Jones B2B with Seth Troxler and the Martinez Brothers.
Parklife, Heaton Park, Manchester, Fri 9—Sat 10 Jun
South West Four
2018 marks the 15th year of SW4 and the dance music weekender in the heart of south-west London promises big things. The final phase of acts has just been announced and the lineup includes five stages. On the main stage, big highlights include Armin Van Buuren and Galantis and across the other stages Oliver Heldens, MK, Benny Benassi and Basement Jaxx will be playing their tunes.
South West Four, Clapham Common, Royal Oak Yard, London, Sat 25—Sun 26 Aug
Love Saves the Day
If you can't wait until later in the summer to get your festival fix then Love Saves the Day, held in Bristol in May, is sure to satisfy your needs. The lineup mixes up-and-coming artists with pioneering acts for a nice amalgamation of talent. Andy C, Artwork, Jackmaster, My Ly Leng will all be there to make you dance.
Love Saves the Day, Eastville Park, Bristol, Sat 26—Sun 27 May