This post was written by Tendelle from Travel A La Tendelle. Tendelle loves electronic dance music and has been traveled the world the past five years looking for the best festivals! She is based in Amsterdam and when she is not blogging or exploring Amsterdam nightlife, she works for the startup Party with a Local.

Follow her on the links below!

Blog: Travel à la Tendelle, www.travelalatendelle.com

Top 5 European Electronic Dance Music Festivals

1. Mysteryland: Hoofddorp, Netherlands

Mysteryland is the oldest dance music festival in the Netherlands and definitely my top choice for a multi-genre electronic music festival in Europe. It’s basically a smaller version of Tomorrowland, and yes, I prefer it to Tomorrowland! It’s not as gigantic, which to me is a huge plus because I didn’t have to walk a ton and it isn’t overly packed… This meant I had more time and energy to dance! I also felt that the vibe was better as it wasn’t as “touristy.”

From mainstream house to hardstyle, internationally renowned artists like Diplo to local pop stars like Lil Kleine, Mysteryland is a 2-day festival with something for every musical taste.

How to get there:

The Netherlands is well-connected by train. Mysteryland is only a 20-minute train ride from Amsterdam. Thus, you can totally commute to the festival daily if you don’t want to stay at the campsite. The train ride costs 6 euros each way, and after you get off the train at Hoofdoorp, there is a bus shuttle you can take for 8 euros round-trip.

Check out my Mysteryland recap.

2. Airbeat One Festival: Neustadt-Glewe, Germany

I have been to many festivals in the past 5 years since I got into electronic dance music. I thought very little could surprise me at festivals, but I was absolutely amazed and delighted with what I saw at the Airbeat One campsite. I had never seen a festival where you can literally drive your car (or your truck if you so please) right into the campsite and set your tents alongside it. There are little to no rules regarding what you could bring in. There were people who brought in 6-foot tall speakers and danced on top of trucks; and there were people who set up their whole living room under canopies, complete with disco lights. The campsite alone was an amazing spectacle, and we hadn’t even entered the festival yet!

Airbeat One is held in an old airfield and has four stages, dedicated to mainstream house, hardstyle, techno, and psytrance. It has fewer stages and is relatively young compared to the other festivals listed here, but they make no compromise in terms of quality. I highly recommend this German festival!

How to get there:

Airbeat One is about 2 hours away from Berlin or Hamburg and accessible by train to the Neustadt-Glewe station. From there, the festival provides a shuttle to the campsite. One catch is that trains within Germany are relatively expensive. You could try carpooling via Blablacar.com – that’s what I did!

For more info, read my Airbeat One recap.

3. Defqon.1 Weekend Festival: Biddinghuizen, Netherlands

Love it or hate it, hard dance music had been an inextricable part of Dutch youth culture in the 90s. Though it had peaked in the late 90s, hard dance has anything but disappeared in the Netherlands. Maybe you want to go because you love the music. Or maybe you’ve heard of the fame of its organizer, Q-Dance, for putting on amazing spectacles. Or perhaps you’re just curious to experience an integral part of a culture that the Dutch grew up with. Whatever the reason, if you’ve ever had the slightest curiosity about Defqon.1, you should check it out!

Defqon.1 is the largest annual gathering of hard dance fans in the world. Featuring stages with subgenres ranging from Euphoric Hardstyle, to Hardcore, to Frenchcore, here you won’t find any music sub-150bpm. It’s a 3-day camping festival in rural North Holland, with hotel options in the vicinity.

How to get there:

From Amsterdam, take the train to Dronten Station, which takes around an hour. Then, you can catch the Defqon.1 shuttle to the festival. The most economical way to make this trip is to purchase the 20-euro train + shuttle combination ticket, which allows you to take the train from anywhere in the Netherlands and take the shuttle to the festival, round-trip.

Read my in-depth Defqon.1 recap.

4. Let It Roll: Milovice, Czech Republic

If drum & bass is your style, then you mustn’t miss Let It Roll festival – the largest drum & bass festival in the world. Drum & bass is huge in Eastern Europe, and for me, it was really cool to see the global D&B community come together. I love the crowds at niche festivals, as there is a real sense of community. From headliners like Camo & Krooked and Andy C to D&B subgenre talent under the EatBrain and Metalheadz labels, Let It Roll has it all in its seven stages. It’s a 3-day camping festival with music firing up late afternoon and ending early in the morning.

And if that isn’t enough to convince you, this is one cheap festival! My 3-day festival ticket set me back around 50 euros, and a beer at the festival was about a euro.

How to get there:

From Prague’s central station, it’s just about an hour-long train ride away to Milovice train station. From there, you can take a festival shuttle to the grounds. Eastern Europe is cheap, so the train ride costs less than 2 euros and the festival shuttle around 1 euro.

Read more on my Let It Roll experience.

5. Sónar Festival: Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is an awesome city, not only for a sunny beach holiday but also for underground electronic music. Sónar has always been a great festival to discover the cutting-edge of dance music. This dusk-to-dawn urban festival brings in the most talented artists, no matter the genre. This year’s headliners include Eric Prydz and Nicolas Jaar.

Another huge plus for going to Barcelona during Sónar is for all the Off-Sónar parties. The whole city is inundated with dance music events this week, with venues across the city hosting unofficial parties. Richie Hawtin even played a surprise set in the famed Boqueria market a couple years ago!

How to get there:

Unlike the other festivals above, Sónar is an urban festival. It is just a 15-minute train ride from the city center of Barcelona, which costs less than a euro per way. Get the 10-ride metro card to get around Barcelona economically.

This post was written by Tendelle from Travel A La Tendelle. Tendelle loves electronic dance music and has been traveled the world the past five years looking for the best festivals! She is based in Amsterdam and when she is not blogging or exploring Amsterdam nightlife, she works for the startup Party with a Local.

Follow her on the links below!

Blog: Travel à la Tendelle, www.travelalatendelle.com