photo of DJ playing in front of crowd at Coachella
Louis Futon playing at the DoLab, Coachella | Photo by Eric Ward

Here Are the Largest Electronic Music Festivals on Planet Earth

Get ready for a new season of kick drums and sweat-induced enlightenment

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In ancient times, festivals offered an opportunity to celebrate religious holidays and practice sacred rituals. Today’s electronic music festivals aren’t quite so traditional but have the same communal power. Whether in a medieval town in Belgium or on the Black Rock Desert playa in Nevada, the largest electronic music festivals consist of entire ecosystems of music, camping, food, and culture (which emerges seemingly out of nowhere, for just a few days or a week).

I’ve been going to music festivals for more than a decade and I’ve walked away from many of the ones I’ve attended with sore feet but also new perspectives on life—it’s all part of the experience as I gather with friends and release myself to the trance-inducing LED lights, smoke machines, and thumping kick drums. For DoubleBlind, I took a deep dive and put together a starter roadmap of fests to get you started on your globe-trotting EDM adventures.

READ: The Dark Side of Festival Culture

Here are the Largest Electronic Music Festivals in the World:

Ultra Music Festival

EDM’s biggest stars always show up for Ultra, the annual outdoor blowout that has helped make Miami a global hub for house and techno. The fest is well known for its massive crowds—a stunning 165,000 attendees showed up for the 2022 edition after UMF was canceled the two previous years due to COVID-19. But the mild March weather, abundance of food, and VIP packages help make it a pleasure to trek across Bayfront Park to the nine festival stages. The fest overlaps with Miami Music Week, and it’s well worth showing up a couple of days early to catch pool parties, pop-ups, and other events happening across the city. 

Where: Miami, Florida

When: March 22-24, 2024. More info.

Can’t miss acts: Armin Van Buuren, Martin Garrix, Honeyluv, Magdalena

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

This iconic festival set in the Southern California desert isn’t only centered around electronic music, but DJs, producers, and their sweating dancefloor acolytes have always found a home in the Sahara Tent and at other stages around the manicured Empire Polo Fields where Coachella goes down. Coachella has gotten so popular among celebs and influencers that it’s become a well-known place to see and be seen, so consider dressing comfortably chic for the Gram. But weekend two is the way to go if you’re a genuine dance-music fan attending primarily for the tunes. 

Where: Indio, California  

When: April 12-14 (weekend one) and April 19-21 (weekend two), 2024

Can’t miss acts: Justice, Gessafelstein, Peggy Gou, Grimes

EDC Las Vegas

America’s original playground for overstimulated phantasmagoria, EDC is the place where raver tribes from across the land bring their sturdiest totems and skimpiest outfits to release themselves into an abyss of rhythm and light that only Las Vegas can provide. The festival stages are divided by genre, giving plenty to offer whether you’re into house, techno, jungle, bass music, or anything else. Fire breathers, carnival rides, and neon LED everything make EDC into a full-sensory experience—and the 2024 edition is sure to emphasize the collective fervor of it all with a theme centered around “circles of time, circles of trust, and circles of community,” as the organizers put it. 

Where: Las Vegas, Nevada

When: May 17-19, 2024. More info

Can’t miss acts: Diplo, deadmau4, Carl Cox, Four Tet

Love International

The Balkan Republic of Croatia is a well-known locale for dance-music gatherings and other music festivals thanks to its agreeable summer weather and idyllic scenery along the Adriatic coast. Love International goes down at The Garden, a beachside resort tucked away in a secluded bay near a fishing village, and the weeklong shindig offers up a similarly dreamy lineup of underground dance artists who have no trouble dishing out genre-agnostic DJ sets full of good vibes and fun surprises. Love International is reportedly a one-of-a-kind type of gathering, ideal for spending late nights dancing and making new friends under the stars. 

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Where: Tisno, Croatia

When: July 10-16, 2024. More info

Can’t miss acts: Avalon Emerson, Alex Kassian, Peach, Luke Una

READ: The Best Psychedelic Festivals Around The World

Tomorrowland Belgium

As the most beloved EDM fest in Europe, Tomorrowland’s reputation is so staggering that the company has spawned multiple spin-off festivals, a record label, and even a fantasy novel. But the original Tomorrowland, held in the town of Boom, remains the big event. The lineup usually has so many artists that you need a magnifying glass to read them, and the enchanting DreamVille isn’t so much a festivalgoer campsite as it is a mini city. Tomorrowland celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and as usual, this year’s theme and stage decor will plunge you into an enchanting new environment—this time dubbed Silvyra, a “world of lush nature” with callbacks to previous editions. 

Where: Boom, Belgium

When: July 19-21 (weekend one) and July 26-28 (weekend two), 2024. More info

Can’t miss acts: 999999999, Amelie Lens, Swedish House Mafia, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike

Untold Festival 

World building is an element in all major EDM festivals, but this Transilvanian gathering is the only one in which festivalgoers were so committed to the Bram Stoker vibes that they donated their blood in exchange for day passes. Untold has been happening since 2015, and while it doesn’t boast as big of a budget as some of the better-known fests, it does give festivalgoers more bang for their buck, considering that the price for a 4-day pass is lower while still offering access to a stacked lineup of EDM headliners. The charming location, manageable crowds, and bargain food options make Untold an ideal destination for Eastern European beatheads and roving ravers looking to go off the beaten path. 

Where: Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania

When: August 8-11, 2024

Can’t miss acts: Swedish House Mafia, Sam Smith (more artists TBA)

Creamfields UK 

Veterans of this long-running UK fest describe either loving or hating it, with the down-to-earth camping and the potential for mud and rain requiring a certain degree of fortitude from punters looking to celebrate the August Bank Holiday weekend. It’s worth investing in the gold ticket for the best camping amenities. It’s also smart to arrive early to get the best pick of the sites for your tent, but you can just as easily settle for a day pass and stay in a nearby hotel. The lineup includes a stacked slate of A-list DJs, producers, and plenty of emerging talents and up-and-comers, and this year’s festival offers a break from the elements with a 30,000-capacity indoor mainstage. 

Where: Daresbury, Cheshire, England

When: August 22-25, 2024. More info.

Can’t miss acts: Alesso, Fatboy Slim, Eric Prydz, Eliza Rose

Burning Man 

The annual gathering in the temporary Black Rock City isn’t just a weeklong getaway for tech billionaires and mutant-vehicle enthusiasts—the tens of thousands of people who bring their costumes, bicycles, and camping gear to the playa each year also include numerous DJs, electronic artists, and dance-music lovers. The Center Camp stages are where a lot of the musical action goes down, but you’re more likely to see DJs, both major and underground, going off on the decks as part of the music programming of major campsites like Playground, Camp Questionmark, and the Fluffy Cloud. Whatever the case, bring lots of water and prepare to revel in the principles of communal effort, radical self-expression, and more. 

Where: Black Rock City, Nevada

When: August 25-September 5, 2024. More info here, here, here, and here

Can’t miss acts: Just go and see what happens.

DoubleBlind Magazine does not encourage or condone any illegal activities, including but not limited to the use of illegal substances. We do not provide mental health, clinical, or medical services. We are not a substitute for medical, psychological, or psychiatric diagnosis, treatment, or advice. If you are in a crisis or if you or any other person may be in danger or experiencing a mental health emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency resources. If you are considering suicide, please call 988 to connect with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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