From the latest house DJs to world-conquering techno producers, British music festivals are a great way to catch the biggest and best dance music acts around. Here's our pick of the greatest UK dance music festivals, so you don't miss out on your very own summer of rave. Sorted.
RECOMMENDED: Your guide to this year's best music festivals
The best UK dance music festivals
Erol Alkan, Horse Meat Disco, Levon Vincent, The Black Madonna, Matthew Herbert, Helena Hauff. Hidden away in the lush Welsh woodlands, this boutique dance effort continues to go from strength-to-strength. Now in year eight, it continues to offer a stellar mix of DJs and artists for anyone who likes their beats and bass to be strictly alternative. Get ready to roam through the forest and dance long into the night, accompanied by a delightfully eclectic soundtrack (anything from deep house to disco to Afrobeat to electronica). Those who want a little luxury can even shell out for boutique camping.
All day session from some of London's best electronic promoters
Calling all techno heads: here’s a new one-day festival that should push your party buttons, hard. Junction 2 is a meeting of some pretty serious minds (London Warehouse Events, The Hydra and Adam Beyer’s Drumcode label) and takes place in Boston Manor Park in Zone 4, which has never been used for a festival before.
Gottwood Ultracool DJs and avantgarde art mystery in a forest
Gottwood is fast becoming the meeting place for cuttingedge dance music purists. It returns to the lush Welsh countryside with the usual solid lineup of top DJs and producers, but it’s not all dancing till the shuttle bus home: if you can tear yourself away from the stages, Gottwood's independent spirit extends to highbrow art installations and performances. Best of all, tickets aren’t at all pricey. This is one forest we’d happily get lost in.
Line-up includes: Futureboogie, Percolate, Hypercolour, Rhythm Section.
Carreglwyd, Llanfaethlu, Holyhead, Anglesey. June 8–11. £165 (weekend)
After three years luxuriating in rural Hertfordshire, premier dance festival Eastern Electrics is setting up home in a new central London venue: but don't worry they plan to retain all ten stages and the line-up is sure to include some suitably huge names from dance music's A-list to delight the party-hungry hordes. And if you want a break from all that dancing, there's an area catering for all your cabaret, fairgound and pillow fight needs.
One for the old school house heads
Returning for a third year in Trent Park – a country house estate in Cockfosters – this one-day festival honours all the wonderful varieties of house music across six stages hosted by top soundsystems and club nights, including Groove Odyssey, FOUND and Channel One Soundsystem. Get in quick if you fancy checking out this excellent addition to London’s mushrooming dance festival scene.
Line-up includes: Masters At Work, Dimitri From Paris, BeBe Winanas, Derrick Carter, Evelyn King, Norman Jay MBE, Todd Terry.
Ricardo Villalobos, Nicolas Jaar, Floating Points, Seth Troxler, Andrew Weatherall, Ben UFO, Optimo, Joy Orbison, Cassy. Fed up of ropey soundsystems at outdoor festivals? Everything you hear at this intimate woodland party will be relayed through the finest soundsystems, having been chosen by long-standing Fabric resident Craig Richards, who curates the event. Richards has handpicked a killer cast of DJs, including some of the biggest and best names from house, techno, disco and more. There’ll also be visual art and sculpture to engage the eyes as well as ears.
This one-day festival comes from the teams behind ace London nightspots Phonox, The Nest and XOYO, plus equally ace Croatian festivals Dimensions and Outlook. There are two parts to Sunfall: a day of raving in Brockwell Park, followed by eight eclectic afterparties across south London with no extra tickets needed.
The Glastonbury of dance music – remember your wellies
Every year the Creamfields line-up groans with heavyweight dance acts. The camping festival – expanded this year to four days – is an annual exploration that sees dance music fans up and down the country worship at the altar of DJ demigods, underground spinmasters and slinky house producers. With so much to two-step to, you'd be forgiven for sloping back to the campsite and grabbing a warm beer to help you make it through to curfew on Sunday.
Line-up includes: Deadmau5, Eric Prydz
Daresbury, Cheshire. August 24-27. £200 (four day camping), £180 (three day camping), £69.50 (one day ticket).
The mighty SW4 – Clapham Common’s bank holiday dance music explosion – returns for another weekend of big drops, club anthems and arms in the air. If you’re longing for big beats but can’t afford Ibiza and are loath to spend the last days of summer in a dark room, head to SW4 for your fix of big-room house, EDM, electro, techno and trance, as well as other genres creeping in from all angles. The names that SW4 pulls in include some of the biggest DJs and live dance acts on the planet – including a live show from Pendulum –which is probably why it has a marked tendency to sell out well ahead of time.
Line-up includes: Pendulum, Eric Prydz, Sigma, Duke Dumont, Mistajam.
The hefty dance party organised by south London drum and bass label Hospital Records returns to Finsbury Park for a second year. Surprisingly enough, D&B is the main focus, supplied by a carefully chosen line-up of old-school masters, big-hitting names and newer blood. But there are also other hard-hitting sounds on the menu too, including dub, jungle and grime. FabricLive are also hosting a stage, which can only be a very good thing indeed. One for the party-heads.
Line-up includes: Mala, The London Elektricity Big Band, Sir Spyro, Spooky, Kenny Ken.
Fancy a festival abroad?
Built in 1901 as the display hall for the German company Bechstein Pianos, the Wigmore Hall was seized as enemy property in WWI and sold at auction for a fraction of its value. These days, boasting perfect acoustics, art nouveau decor and an excellent basement restaurant, the 'Wiggy' is one of the world's top chamber music venues and currently hosts around 400 events a year. Programming leans on the classical and Romantic periods. The Monday lunchtime recitals, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, are excellent value, as are the Sunday morning coffee concerts. Musical luminaries who have performed at the Wigmore Hall include Sergey Prokofiev, Shura Cherkassky, Paul Hindemith, Andrés Segovia, Benjamin Britten and Francis Poulenc. Tours of the auditorium, with its famous Art Nouveau mural, and other parts of the building take place during the Open House London event in September.
Venue says: “Wigmore Lates is back this summer with £5 tickets for under-35s. Book now for late-night concerts followed by live Jazz in the Wigmore Bar.”