If you’re a really big fan of electronic dance music—or EDM, as it’s sometimes called—then nothing excites you like the prospect of going to a big EDM festival. Thousands of people gather at these festivals to dance, socialize, and show off their bold fashion sense. Adding to the thrill, some EDM festivals are held in remote locations, requiring festival-goers to camp for several—making music festival attendance an adventure.
So if you’re an adventure seeker, and if the type of event described above sounds like your idea of a good time, then get your camping gear together, gather up everything you’re likely to need, lace up your LED sneakers, and get ready to hit the road: here are five EDM festivals you don’t want to miss:
1. White Wonderland
White Wonderland is the New Year’s Eve party to end all New Year’s Eve parties. Held in Anaheim, California, just about an hour from Los Angeles, White Wonderland is notable for its rigid dress code—everyone must wear white, and no one will be admitted who is not appropriately dressed.
The reason for this dress code becomes obvious once you’ve taken a look at the photos of previous years’ parties displayed on White Wonderland’s website. The effect of this unified color theme is striking, almost like ascending to some movie-cliche version of heaven.
The entertainment is just as spectacular as the look of the festival: in addition to the music, White Wonderland features aerialists, stilt walkers, dramatic dancers, and various other unusual performers.
White Wonderland is shorter than many EDM festivals—the party starts at 7:00 PM and only goes until 2:00 AM—but it’s definitely worth it!
2. The Sun City Music Festival
For many people, Labor Day weekend is a time to relax, enjoy the day off from work, and maybe do a little barbecuing. For others, however, it’s time to dance!
The Sun City Music Festival is held every Labor Day weekend in El Paso, Texas—the largest American city to be found within a radius of several hundred miles. In its first year (2011), attendance was estimated at 20,000, and the popularity of SCMF, as attendees call it, has only increased since then.
General Admission tickets, if purchased far enough in advance, can be had for as little as $109, and the festival’s 2016 lineup includes such notable EDM acts as Skrillex and Kaskade.
Because SCMF takes place over the course of an entire weekend, festival attendees are encouraged to book a hotel room (links to discount hotels are provided on the event’s website, and additional discounts are available if you purchase your ticket and hotel room together).
3. Holy Ship!
Holy Ship! differs from most EDM festivals in that it isn’t held at a single, fixed location—it’s held on a cruise ship! Following a pre-cruise party the night before launch, the ship leaves from the Port of Miami with its 4,000 lucky dancing passengers and sails for the Bahamas, stopping along the way for an all-day island beach party.
Past headliners for this event include Skrillex, Pharrell Williams, and Fatboy Slim, among others. And for a serious music fan—that is, for someone who’s there more for the music than for the party—one of the exciting aspects of Holy Ship! is that you never know who might be this year’s surprise guest performer at the island party. The guest arrives by helicopter, in order for the surprise not to be spoiled.
As of the publication of this blog entry, two cruises are planned for January 2017, and because the event is held on a cruise ship, space is limited and tickets tend to sell out early. So don’t wait; go buy your tickets right now!
4. Morning Gloryville
Morning Gloryville is for anyone who loves EDM and loves to dance, but who may be put off by the drug culture surrounding many EDM events. This event emphasizes the value of dancing and raving as exercise, and organizers make an effort to create a healthy atmosphere.
Morning Gloryville is more than a one-time event: it’s a UK-centered global movement that can be attended frequently in cities all over Europe, America, and Asia. The party starts early, usually at around 6:30 AM, so that as a participant you can “Rave into your day.” In addition to dancing, attendees can enjoy stimulating visual entertainment, free coffee and smoothies, yoga, and massage. Morning Gloryville’s website promises “to help adults reconnect with their inner child and allow themselves to play and enjoy the spectacle of life.”
5. Escapade Music Festival
The Escapade Festival is held in early summer in Ottawa, Canada (the planned date for the 2016 Escapade Festival is June 25–26). The price of General Admission tickets to this event is only $129, which is pretty reasonable for a two-day event, especially one that attracts big-name talent. Deadmau5 headlined Escapade’s 2010 debut, and subsequent lineups have included the likes of Eric Prydz, Kaskade, and others. Attendance at Escapade has grown exponentially since its debut, from 5,000 in 2011 to over 20,000 in 2013.
Escapade tends to attract stellar musical talent, and this year’s lineup looks to be no exception; featured acts include 4B, Bassjackers, and Claptone, among many others. If you live in eastern Canada, or if you think you can get yourself there this summer, you must not miss this festival!