In 2018, I graduated university, quit my job and decided to go out into the world and do what I assume no raver has ever attempted before. The goal: Attend 52 music festivals in 52 weeks. I wanted to see what was beyond the typical Tomorrowland, Ultra and Coachella type festivals you see all over the internet. After a year of travelling to festivals and immersing myself in the local culture, I have discovered so many hidden gems. Here are the top 5 most underrated music festivals I attended in 2018 that you need to add to your summer bucket list.
‘Germany’s hardest halloween event’ is perhaps one of the most underrated holiday festivals in the world. The overnight event hosted at the iconic Turbinenhalle, is home to over 50 of the biggest and best harder styles DJ’s in the world. The warehouse style venue features six unique, underground rooms connected by tunnels and walkways. The overall atmosphere of the event closely resembles old school rave culture and successfully keeps the magic alive.
Incredible lineups aside, my favourite thing about this event is the buffet! Yes, you read that correctly. A VIP ticket at this event will give you access to unlimited beer and soft drinks and access to a buffet with hot food and traditional German dishes, all without having to leave the main stage! If you can’t wait until Halloween, the venue also hosts an ‘Easter Rave’ with all of the same perks!
Where: Oberhausen, Germany
When: 31 October, 2019
How Much: 40 EUR / $46 USD
Located in the heart of Northern Mexico, WiSH Outdoor Mexico is celebrating it’s 5th edition in 2019. Originating in the Netherlands, the single day event has successfully expanded to Central America and has claimed the title as one of the biggest electronic music events in the country. The festival features an iconic main stage stacked with international headliners as well as a ‘dedicated’ hardstyle stage.
Throughout the day, you can take in the breathtaking, mountainous scenery, which acts as the perfect natural backdrop for any event. Once the sun goes down, you can expect a sky filled with lasers and fireworks. On top of all this, you only pay a fraction of the cost of a festival ticket anywhere else in the world, without sacrificing the things you know and love!
Where: Monterrey, Mexico
When: 25 May, 2019
How Much: 799 MXN / $41 USD
Known as ‘the biggest club in the world’, World Club Dome has grown to become one of the biggest and most underrated events in the country. The main stage alone hosts over 40,000 people inside a ‘dome’ like arena while the outer area features dedicated hardstyle and bass stages and even a pool party!
If you can’t make the legendary summer edition, World Club Dome also hosts an annual winter edition in November and has even expanded to Asia with their annual South Korean edition in September. On top of all that, World Club Dome regularly hosts events on boats, planes, trains and even in zero gravity! Having attended the summer, winter and Korean edition, this festival is consistently, without a doubt, one of the best events in the world.
Where: Frankfurt, Germany
When: 7-9 June, 2019
How Much: 114 EUR / $130 USD
Crowned as Austria’s leading electronic music event, Electric Love has grown to become one of the most anticipated festivals in Europe! The annual three day event takes place in the Austrian countryside, just outside of the city of Salzburg. Each year, the hills are literally alive with the sound of music from some of the world’s best. Former world number one DJ, Armin van Buuren, even claims that this festival is “better than Tomorrowland”!
The festival is also home to an official Q-Dance stage as well as a dedicated bass and dubstep stage. For the first time in 2019, the festival is also introducing the ‘honeycomb’ stage, dedicated exclusively to techno. Known for their world class lineups, Electric Love has something for every electronic music lover and should not be missed!
Where: Salzburg, Austria
When: 4-6 July, 2019
How Much: 159 EUR / $181 USD
Originating as a small, local festival, Airbeat One has grown to become the biggest event in Northern Germany. The three day event takes place on an abandoned airfield just an hour outside of Hamburg. Featuring all of the biggest names in the world, what sets this event apart, is the unique destination themed editions. Previous years have seen the main stage resembling USA’s Capitol Building and England’s Buckingham Palace. This year’s destination is India and I am anticipating a Taj Mahal inspired main stage among many other unique ideas.
Creative marketing aside, this festival has one of the highest levels of production I’ve ever seen. While most festivals place the highest importance on the main stage, Airbeat One ensures that each and every stage is of main stage caliber. Home to five stages including an official Q-Dance stage as well as one of the only Transmission stages in the world, this festival has everything you could ask for and more.
Where: Neustadt-Glewe, Germany
When: 10-14 July, 2019
How Much: 130 EUR / $148 USD