From the dance festival behemoths you've always wanted to go to – Creamfields, South West Four, We Are FSTVL – to a weekend event up in the Scottish Highlands, here are ten unmissable UK festivals for anyone of a house, techno, EDM, dubstep, drum & bass, garage, deep-house, tech-house or minimal persuasion.
Junction 2 Festival
Headliners (2018): Adam Beyer, Richie Hawtin, Maceo Plex, Bicep, Dixon, Amelie Lens, Loco Dice
An A-list techno lineup heads to West London's Boston Manor Park each summer for a day party, quite literally, underneath a motorway junction.
When & where: 5-6 June 2020, London
Groove Loch Ness
Headliners: MK, Hannah Wants, Idris Elba, Ben Nicky
Emerging in place of the guitar-focused RockNess, Groove Loch Ness made its debut in 2016 with a much-anticipated lineup and, of course, a breathtaking natural backdrop.
When & where: 18 August 2018, Loch Ness
Headliners (2019): Andy C, Annie Mac, Sub Focus B2B Dimension, Solardo, Lethal Bizzle
Birmingham's premier dance music festival pays homage to the city's love of warehouse culture by inviting a number of clubbing brands, such as Hospitality, to help curate its lineup and strike the perfect balance between open air festival and gritty, urban rave.
When & where: 27 July 2019, Birmingham
Headliners: Craig Richards, Ben UFO, Ricardo Villalobos, Seth Troxler
Few festivals – if any – make as remarkable an impression after only one edition as Houghton. Curated by British electronic music veteran Craig Richards and produced by another firm favourite Gottwood, the festival's debut won praise on basically all counts – lineup, scheduling, sound quality, location, atmosphere. Let's hope they can keep it up.
When & where: 9-12 August 2018, Houghton
Cocoon In The Park
Headliners (2019): Sven Väth, Carl Craig, Patrick Topping, Eats Everything, Alan Fitzpatrick
The great name of Cocoon has been visiting Leeds' Temple Newsam (former host of V Festival and then Leeds Festival) for eight years now, with a generous genre-palette representing more than just the brand's trance roots. 'Ibiza in Yorkshire' doesn't quite do it, but it sounds catchy enough.
When & where: 13 July 2019, Leeds
The Warehouse Project
Headliners: Aphex Twin, Chase & Status (DJ Set), Nina Kravitz, Skepta, Disclosure (DJ Set), Adam Beyer, Annie Mac, Four Tet, Andy C, Bicep (DJ Set)
OK, so not your typical festival, but still well worth a mention. The Warehouse Project is the UK's best-known electronic and urban music series, and has been making Manchester its own for over ten years now.
Running from September through until January, WHP team up with a host of clubbing brands and artists to curate a lineup of nights that pushes the boundaries of the UK's music scene.
When & where: 20 September 2019 - 1 January 2020, Manchester
Headliners (2018): Dixon, Hunee, Daphni, Maribou State
Beautifully tucked away inside Bygrave Wood, Farr Festival transforms the magical woodland into an electronic haven, taking festival-goers on a journey through house and techno to their utopia of the freshest electronic sounds in the scene today.
Mixed into this adventure are film screenings, fairground rides and other mysteries, hidden away amongst the forest.
When & Where: 5-8 July 2018, Baldock
We Are FSTVL
Headliners (2019): Andy C, Chase & Status (DJ Set), Nina Kraviz, The Black Madonna, Bugzy Malone, Craig David presents TS5, Sigma (DJ Set)
Growing in stature year on year, We Are FSTVL adds a fun and creative aspect to its wide-ranging style. Pioneers and current stars of techno, house, EDM and bass arrive in the eastern outskirts of London in their droves, but the festival's eye-catching main stages steal the show every time.
When & where: 24-26 May 2019, Upminster
South West Four
Headliners: Martin Garrix, Pendulum, Wilkinson, Chase & Status, Craig David Presents TS5, Tinie Tempah, Andy C, Plan B
Carving out space for itself in central London, South West Four rubs shoulders with the very biggest dance festivals in the world. Unexpected back-to-back sets have come to be an SW4 calling card, and at more than 100 artists over two days the sheer scale is impressive enough on its own.
When & where: 24-25 August 2019, London
Headliners: deadmau5, Swedish House Mafia, The Chemical Brothers, Martin Garrix, Calvin Harris, Tiësto, Eric Pridz, Carl Cox
The UK's oldest and most prestigious dance event can pack its lineup with the very biggest acts in world electronic music, year after year. In fact, in a program featuring over 200 artists, you'd struggle to find a notable DJ that hasn't played Creamfields.
When & where: 22–25 August 2019, Daresbury
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