Clubbing at the Festivals: Playing The Field
'Summer festivals' in Scotland – as the euphemism goes – aren't much cop if the prospect of dribbling clouds and sodden tents don't move you to book the first Megabus up to Loch Ness. European festivals have generally offered a sunny solace from the dreich of our own festivals for a good few years now, together with a diverse and exciting mixture of electronic music artists to make the added hassle of lining Michael O'Leary's pocket just about bearable.
Croatia has seen an influx of revellers flock to its small boutique festivals, often found in beautiful costal regions that echo the spirit of 80s Ibiza. Echo Festival (22-24 June) is held on the sands of the deep blue Croatian bay of Makarska on the Adriatic Sea where Koreless, Deadboy and Midland will play past sunset and into the night. Also on the Croatian coast is the Electric Elephant (12-16 July) where the stakes are raised a little higher as Andrew Weatherall, Sean Johnston, Michael Mayer, Ivan Smagghe, Ewan Pearson and Optimo light up the skies for five days and nights of beach and boat parties. Of the more established Croatian soirees, Soundwave (20-23 July), held in the town of Tisno, expands its horizons to encompass 50 artists across hip hop, soul and reggae alongside electronic music as Teebs, De La Soul, Plaid, Kwes and Funkineven headline the affair. Again, plenty of boat parties here too.
Though blessed with a beach of its own nearby, Barcelona festival Sonar (14-15 June) is very much a metropolitan affair, with the festival spread between a city centre modern art museum and a giant conference centre on the edge of town. James Murphy, Hot Chip, Flying Lotus, Simian Mobile Disco, Modeselektor, Kode9 and xxxy are some of the standout names to be found at what is of the world's go-to electronic music festival festivals. Extending your stay beyond the week-long frenzy of Sonar and Off Sonar then Monegros Desert Festival (21-22 July), a rave in the dusty sands of the Fraga region of Spain, might quench your wanderlust. Established heavyweights The Prodigy and Wu-Tang Clan headline, though the five stage event should deliver the goods on the dancefloor front too, with Adam Beyer, Ben Sims, Umek and James Zabiela to feature.
That said, if a flight with Ryanair should prove too horrific a prospect to bear, then a (relatively) short soujourn beyond Hadrian's Wall will see you arrive at Glade Festival (14-17 June), nestled in the quiet Norfolk countryside. Describing itself as "another world", Glade is a 3-day woodland jaunt featuring a flaming pyramid and a lineup to get your jaws a-dropping: Marcel Dettmann, Levon Vincent, Jimmy Edgar, Vitalic and Space Dimension Controller are just some of the acts confirmed.