As the music festival landscape becomes more and more crowded, some festivals are exploring new ways to set themselves aside from the crowd, by introducing in their game peculiar locations where noise restrictions or limited activation spaces aren’t a problem. Of course, they come with different challenges for both the organizers and crowd, with the perks of being a meaningful disconnection from urban life and its routine.
Part of the festival treat is the artist list that will take care through their sound energy of the gathering’s outcome, so this catalogue was created only with DJ’s, festivals and concepts that we’d highly recommend to our closest friends for a proper experience.
From secluded islands to historical monuments and isolated woodlands, we run down five of the best minimal-house-tech festivals concepts paired with stunning locations and line-ups happening this summer. In chronological order, we endorse:
Unum is nestled in the beautiful Albanian landscape, aiming to make its attendees become one with the music and the Mediterranean highlights – in the name of isolated golden beaches, mountain peaks brimmed with silver pines, and impressive sunsets and sunrises. The connection between nature, music and emotion is always a winner, anticipating tons of smiles and intense moments will happen on that beach.
Releasing its first edition at the turning point of spring to summer, Unum will come together to form the perfect open-air electronic music festival on the Albanian coastline with three stages, hosting a fusion between international and local acts, in the name of some of the most respected artists of the moment, such as Zip, Ricardo Villalobos, Margaret Dygas, Sonja Moonear, Raresh, Petre Inspirescu, Praslea & Cap. It’s hard to resist, isn’t it?
Waha aims to completely disconnect you for 4 days in a row, by making attendees appreciate the small things in life and happily live in the moment; being grateful for the present and connecting with everything that surrounds us. The set-up is made to wake all your senses, making it very intense and enjoyable. The whole plot takes place in a hard to access area, near a forest, where no mobile signal or electricity found their way in the landscape.
The diversity of the stages – 5 to be more precise – makes it a festival suited for diverse audiophiles of live and electronic music, ranging from ambient and jam sessions to techno and psy through one of the best lineups of the concept so far. The deep stage line-up is attracting a notable number of attendees every year, Rhadoo, Cezar and Dubtil constantly returning as guests with each edition. There’s a certain aura that floods the place in this special set-up, surrounded by nature and detached by the overwhelming technology.
Electric Castle is the first Romanian festival that took electronic dance music and live concerts sounds to a huge castle’s domain. It shakes up the way people interact with music by combining a visually innovative concept with an eclectic musical line-up, breaking the boundaries between electronic music and reggae, mainstream and subculture genres.
Taking place in July, it is held on the premises of Bánffy Castle’s huge domain, in the heart of Transylvania. The electronic music stage, also known as The Pitch from previous years, is curated by Sunrise with their trademark circular wooden tent, right next to the Castle’s impressive building. Being the only stage active around the clock throughout the 5 days of festival, talented Romanian DJs in the booth such as Petre Inspirescu, Raresh, Priku, Herodot, Amorf and G76 will highlight some of the best musical moments of this year’s edition of EC, with the help of a thrilling set-up and one of the best user experience we’ve ever witnessed at a festival.
While a remote island on Danube river at the borders of Romania and Bulgaria seems tricky to put up all logistics necessary for a festival, the promoters of 3SmokedOlives have done their best and made it happen. This is a shining example of how, with enough experience and ambition, it’s possible to give the scene a festival it deserves, in a truly intimate manner – because all audience is selected after registration, so no outsider will disturb the atmosphere.
This year – reaching its 7th edition – to compliment the spectacular site and bespoke production, the team has cobbled together another eye-watering lineup, with slots for Sammy Dee, Nicolas Lutz, Herodot, Gescu and Arapu among others.
At night, the promoters promise a million stars hotel – all you have to do is look up towards the sky. The only way to get on the island is by boat, which makes it really intimate and special, a formality that marks the entrance in a new world. A more natural one, with water, sand, a young forest, clear blue skies and deep digged sounds.
Taking place in the idyllic countryside of Norfolk, in an area surrounded by a lake and woodland, Houghton developed to be an attraction for being much more than another rave in a field. But few could have predicted just how special the four-day event would turn out to be, year after year.
What’s most special about Houghton are the extended sets and spontaneous back-to-backs, like the b2b between Craig Richards and Ricardo Villalobos from the first edition. Overall, Houghton has the kind of hedonistic vibe you’d probably associate with the best raves more than festivals. This year’s edition basically covers the most talented contemporary artists of the electronic scene in an overwhelmingly positive manner.
Houghton – the UK festival curated by Craig Richards – was never planned to be ordinary.
Looking forward to a blissful summer ahead, topped with quality gems.
words: Bianca Iulia