There are many, many places you can go to hear house music live. Yes, of course you’ve got the obvious ones; my mind immediately jumps to hours of partying in Ibiza (where, tellingly, Paris Hilton is DJ-ing at the moment). But you’re probably already dreaming of the summer-a time when you can cut loose of a weekend and really get behind some solid live music. But where to go? Who to see? What to do? Fear not, for we’ve provided you with a guide to the finest, coolest house music festivals you’ll find the world over.
Although it’s rarely given the coverage that it deserves, South Africa has a thriving and vast DJ community-spanning everything from Trance to house to EDM. Although you’ve just missed the Ultra Music Festival South Africa (though it’s worth remembering it for next year-tickets sell out really fast for the two dates in Cape Town and Johannesburg, which this year featured acts including Nicky Romero and W&W), there’s still AfrikaBurn featuring an eclectic range of entertainment, you’ll find some of the country’s finest up-and-coming DJs here. Oppikoppi in August also boasts some top-quality electro from both new and established artists.
With a well-established house and EDM scene operating all year round, there’s never any problem with finding some great live acts anywhere in Australia. But there are some major highlights-most notably in the form of national festival Stereosonic. Taking place over most of Australia’s major cities, it’s one of the fastest-growing music festivals in the world-2013 headliners included David Guetta and Calvin Harris. Some great DJs can also be found at the more hip-hop orientated Suparfest in May, held similairly across five major Australian cities.
For a tiny country, Britain hosts some of the most well-respected and highly attended electronic festivals in the world; from Rockness on the banks of Loch Ness, to Bestival, organised by DJ Rob Da Bank, every September, to Secret Garden Party, featuring every kind of niche electronica you could imagine-from electro-swing to straight-up house. Southport Weekender also offers some top-quality DJs (as well as a quarter-decade of history) amongst the soul and R&B. Because of UK’s typically awful weather, most events take place over the summer-the perfect time to discover your new favourite band.
And while we’re on the topic of Europe, why not take a closer look at what those fine Germans have to offer? A shockingly varied and engulfing musical culture has led to the creation of some of the finest European electronic festivals anywhere in the continent-Nature One, which usually takes place at the start of August, features some of the finest DJs you’ll find working at the moment-both native Germans and international artists. Time Warp Festival in April celebrates its second decade this year, with hundreds of established DJs and electronic artists flooding to Manheim to perform to a vast audience.
Forget the hundreds of generic American festivals-next-door-neighbour Canada offers some of the most interesting house events in the world. Although their native World Electronic Music Festival is currently on hiatus (ears to the ground, people), they’ve still got plenty to offer-Manitoba Electronica Music Exhibition offers a mixture of great EDM and electronic art, while Montreal offers Mutek, a grounding point for an organisation built around promoting electronic music that often features a great mix of new and old artists to suit every taste.
And while you’re on that side of the Atlantic, I can’t fail to mention the Winter Music Conference on Miami Beach, one of the longest-running and internationally recognised EDM festivals anywhere in the world, with over two thousand acts performing over the last ten days of March.