There was a time when trance music reigned supreme. It was the unmistakeable sound of Ibiza, and it found its way into charts and onto radios across Europe.
That might not be the case now, but with the likes of Armin van Buuren, Paul van Dyk, Markus Schulz and Ferry Corsten still commanding respect in the upper echelons of dance music, and psytrance festivals ploughing an altogether more understated but no less popular furrow, the scene is in a very strong position to this day.
Stylistically diverse in its sound, aesthetic and fanbase, it's not easy to combine all facets of the genre in one place, but here's our pick of the best European festivals that should cover all bases for trance fans across the continent.
A State of Trance Festival
Headliners (2019): Armin van Buuren, Above & Beyond, Cosmic Gate, Vini Vici, Astric
A festival brought to you by trance veteran and scene icon Armin Van Buuren, taking its name from the legendary radio show that has since become a global event brand. Few individuals are so intrinsically linked with the scene, and the ASOT name has become a beacon for showcasing the best that the genre has to offer.
When & where: 23 February 2019; Utrecht, The Netherlands
Luminosity Beach Festival
Headliners (2018): Paul van Dyk, Ferry Corsten, Markus Schulz, Purple Haze
Held in Beachclub Fuel on the sands of Dutch seaside town Zandvoort, Luminosity Beach Festival's lineup is consistently one of the best anywhere in Europe. Despite the huge names, however, the festival's comparatively small setting makes it an incredibly intimate experience.
When & where: 27 June - 30 June 2019; Zandvoort, The Netherlands
Headliners (2018): Cosmo, Kala, Ace Ventura
Born out of a party to celebrate the solar eclipse of 1999, Hungarian psytrance gathering OZORA has become one of the biggest and most popular of its kind anywhere in the world. Held over seven days, the festival creates a haven for like-minded individuals looking to share in unforgettable experiences.
When & where: 2019 Date TBA; Dádpuszta, Hungary
Headliners (2018): Aly & Fila, Markus Schulz, Ferry Corsten
Transmission is one of the world's biggest trance festivals in nearly every way. Renowned for filling Prague's vast O2 Arena with incredible light shows, spectacular staging and the huge sounds of the scene's leading lights, the festival is a must for any trance fan. Such is the popularity of the European edition, it has now spawned satellite events in Thailand and Australia.
When & where: 12 October 2019, Prague, Czech Republic
Headliners (2019): Above & Beyond, Ferry Corsten Presents: System F, Ilan Bluestone, Andrew Bayer
Calling themselves 'the global trance community' and 'the biggest outdoor trance festival', Dutch festival Electronic Family have got all avenues covered when it comes to the genre. With stages dedicated to trance classics, psy, progressive, "Who's Afraid of 138?" and more, the two day affair is a comprehensive celebration of trance music in all its forms.
When & where: 25 July 2020; Den Bosch, The Netherlands
Psychedelic Circus Open Air
Headliners (2019): Ace Ventura, Neelix, Astrix
As the name suggests, Psychedelic Circus is an open air celebration of trance music's most psychedelic elements, featuring performers from across the globe and the culture's unmistakable aesthetic – think lasers, lighting and eye-catching decoration.
When & where: 14-17 May 2020; Glasin, Germany
Headliners (2019): Martin Garrix, Major Lazer, Dimitri Vegs & Like Mike, Don Diablo, Alison Wonderland, Vini Vici
New Horizons seeks to offer the experience of seven different festivals in once place, with dedicated areas created specifically for the genre on display. Trancetonia and the Garden of Goa are two of these areas, with each offering a hugely impressive lineup packed with the respective scene's biggest names.
When & where: 24-25 August 2018; Nürburg, Germany
Trance Acts (2018): Vini Vici, Ferry Corsten, Netsky, Aly & Fila
Obviously there's a whole lot more going on at Tomorrowland than just trance, with stages and areas for most conceivable dance music genres. But amongst all that, there's no shortage of big names from the scene, with Armin's iconic A State of Trance brand hosting its very own stage in 2017.
When & where: 2019 Date TBA; Boom, Belgium
Headliners (2019): Astrix, Ace Ventura, Neelix, Vini Vici
Another festival from the team behind Psychedelic Circus, Indian Spirit is a similarly unapologetic celebration of all things psy and goa, with a lineup that boasts some of the scene's biggest names.
When & where: 29 August - 3 September 2019; Eldena, Germany
Headliners (2019): I Hate Models, Vini Vici, Asian Dub Foundation, Marcel Dettmann
Although not dedicated entirely to trance, with stages for techno, bass music and hardstyle, Toulouse's Insane Festival is organised in conjunction with World Trance, who each year host their own stage at the festival. This means a serious helping of trance music is more-or-less guaranteed.
When & where: 10-11 August 2019, Toulouse, France
See all of Festicket's trance (and trance-featuring) music festivals here.
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- Nature One 2017: Neelix Talks Emotion, Inspiration and Not Losing Your Identity
- Ferry Corsten: "People are a little tired of 'put your f**king hands up'"
- Exclusive Interview: Armin van Buuren – "So many dreams, so little time"
- Markus Schulz talks Watch the World, his label, and returning to Nature One