With the first events just a matter of weeks away we’re declaring it festival week at Drum&BassArena. Just enough time to count your dollars, work out your schedule and brush last year’s grime off your tent.
Whether it’s a classic muddy clusterfuck or a roaring sun-bleached sizzler… There’s nothing we don’t like about festivals. No pressing engagements, the choice of beer or beats for breakfast, all your best mates with you, non-stop jokes. Even Pot Noodles taste half decent at a festival. Okay, so the portaloos are a necessary evil. And some of those burger vans are bit dodgy. But these matters really are insignificant when it comes to the endless list of cool that comes with every festival.
There’s also the not-so-small matter of the music. All styles and sounds, night or day, under the lasers amid the strobes; we really are spoilt little ravers. UK and further afield, there are big things kicking off almost every weekend from the beginning of May.
Later this week we’ve got the best DJs sharing their ultimate festival bangers, there’s a guide to festival DJ etiquette and a crucial festival packing list. But first, we’ve created this summer’s essential festival calendar. Instead of listing the whole line-up, we’ve inspected each one of these 30 – yes, thirty! – handpicking each one’s D&B potential.
We thought we’d throw in all bass-related acts while we were there. That’s a very loose ‘bass’ term, by the way – if they play a decent bassline, we’ve thrown them them on the list. Oh, and we’ve also recommended a few extra-curricular highlights while you’re there.
Some say al fresco, we say al freshco… Bring on the summer!
Where? Rock City, Stealth & Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
When? May 6
How much? £38
The summer officially starts here. If you haven’t experienced the multi-club insanity of Detonate’s annual Nottingham tear-up then start looking into this today. Make a weekend of it, Nottingham’s got loads to offer.
D&B: Andy C, Calyx & Teebee, Camo & Krooked, Congo Natty, Enei, Foreign Concept, Synkro, Wilkinson, Kasra, Netsky, Phace & Misanthrop, S.P.Y, Alix Perez, Lenzman
Bass: Zinc, Plastician, 16Bit, Benga, Flux Pavilion, Nero, Gemini, Koan Sound, Skream, Redlight
Where? Chedworth, Cheltenham
When? May 19-20
How much? £20
We know very little about this new bash but with the likes of Ulterior Motive headlining their bass dome, it’s looking promising. Another heads up came in the form of a comment on their Facebook page… Their décor team have just appropriated a massive rainbow. We’re sold.
D&B: Ulterior Motive
Bass: Ed Solo, MC Xander, Uprizing, Vandal
While you’re there: Get creative on their graffiti wall
When? May 25-27
How much? £80
Brand new al fresco business alert! It’s A Secret Festival isn’t secret at all. We know all about it. You know all about it… But will you get a ticket in time? There’s only 750 available. Truly unique boutique. Be there from the start.
D&B: Bladerunner, Zyon Base, Aries, Eveson, Paul SG, Stanza, Kapacity, Highbury, Theory, Clarity, Lionfire
Bass: Pinch, Warrior One, Friendly Fire, Skitz & Deadly Hunter
While you’re there: Use some of the instruments they’re leaving around the site and have a jam.
Where? Platt Fields Park, Manchester When? June 9-10
How much? £64.50
Inner city shizzle in the spiritual home of acid house, Parklife is more than just an over-played Blur song – it’s the outdoor arm of the notorious Warehouse Project! There’s all sorts of flavours on offer, but with Hospitality on board you know you’ll get your fair share of D&B
D&B: Pendulum, DJ Hype, Sub Focus, Goldie, Shy FX, Danny Byrd, Loadstar, London Elektricity, High Contrast, Fred V & Graffix, DJ Fresh, Logistics
Bass: Nero, Tempa T, Fake Blood, Redlight, Caspa, Mount Kimbie, David Rodigan, Todd Edwards, Joy Orbison, Julio Bashmore
While you’re there: Flaming Lips, Justice
Where? Houghton Hall, Kings Lynn
When? June 14-17
How much? £135
The free party spirit lives long and loud at Glade. Now settled into their new location way out east, their dedication to the most experimental fringes of electronica continues with another exciting, diverse line-up.
D&B: Andy C, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Dillinja, Interface, Stanza, Drum&BassArena & Glade competition winner!
Bass: Bar 9, Appleblim, Foreign Beggars, Freq Nasty, Kutmah, Marco Del Horno, Rusko, Si Begg, Tricka Technology, Throwing Snow, Toddla T, Slugabed, Stanton Warriors, Pinch
While you’re there: SL2, Daedelus, Pretty Lights
Where? Victoria Park, London
When? June 15-17
How much? £25 for Friday £50 for Saturday
Celebrating a decade of lurve, Groove Armada’s brainchild remains Victoria Park’s longest running event and the line-up just keeps getting better and better. Like SW4, this one is especially inviting if you’re not a happy camper.
D&B: B-Traits, Camo & Krooked, Breakage, Danny Byrd, High Contrast, Logistics, London Elektricity, S.P.Y, The Prototypes, Nu:Tone, Netsky, Shy FX
Bass: Boy Better Know, David Rodigan, Ms Dynamite, N-Type, Magnetic Man, Marcus Nasty, Joy Orbison, Rusko, Toddla T, Zinc, Redlight, Plastician, Skream, Nextmen
While you’re there: Bobby Womack, Kelis, Grace Jones
Where? Duchonka, Slovakia / Prague, Czech Republic
When? June 22-23 (Duchonka), July 20-21 (Czech)
How much? £25 per festival!
Double festival time! Strictly dedicated to bass, Let It Roll are hosting two raves this summer. The line-ups speak for themselves. As do the prices. With rave reports from all corners these cats could be giving the Croatian gigs a run for their money!
D&B: Kasra, Spectrasoul, Enei, Phace & Mistanthrop, Rockwell, Camo & Krooked, Dirtyphonics, Qemists, Fresh, Calyx & Teebee, AMC, Tantrum Desire
Bass: Flux Pavilion, Caspa, Tunnidge
While you’re there: Enjoy the cheap beer!
Where? Colossos Complex, Lloret de Mar, Spain
When? June 26 – July 3
How much? From £160
We’ve got three words for you: massive water park. Oh you want more do you? How about a week of parties in clubs, yachts and beaches? How about Uncle Dugs’ live Rinse radio show? How about IC3’s five-a-side football tournament? How about a massive 500-capacity D&B silent disco on a private beach? Oh you need more? JUST LOOK AT THIS LINE-UP….
D&B: Andy C, Netsky, Danny Byrd, Hype, Camo & Krooked, Sigma, Delta Heavy, Brookes Brothers, Wilkinson, Cyantific, Hazard, The Prototypes, Phantasy, AMC, TC, Brockie, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Original Sin, Bailey, Grooverider, Lenzman, Supreme Being, Sub Zero, Bryan Gee, Nicky Blackmarket, Taxman, Ruffstuff, Sly, Majistrate, Modified Motion, Uncle Dugz, Harry Bizzle, Buzzbee
While you’re there: Sign up to IC3’s football tournament!
Where? The Ribble Valley, Lancashire. When? June 29 – July 1
How much? £100
They might seem like a new kid on the festival block, but Beatherder’s been around for several years now, developing a spotless reputation and passionate following. From a secret rave in the middle of the woods to bunker bar you have to slither on your belly to order a drink, Beatherder’s on its own. Class.
Bass: Priah, Lee Scratch Perry, Mooqee, Freestylers
While you’re there: Orbital, Death In Vegas, Utah Saints
Where? Zrce Beach, Island Of Pag, Croatia
When? June 29 – July 1
How much? Sold out!
Okay, if you haven’t got a ticket for this it looks like you’re going to have to drool over their website and listen to your mates who have got a ticket go on and on and on and on about it for the rest of the year. Easily one of Croatia’s most exciting parties. No ticket? File under GUTTED.
D&B: Andy C, Chase & Status, Sub Focus, DJ Fresh, Breakage, Marky, Friction, High Contrast, Hype, Shy FX
Bass: Skrillex, Zinc, Borgore, Scuba, Redlight, Jack Beats
While you’re there: Ricardo Villalobos, SBTRKT
Where? Bath & West Showground
When? July 6-8
How much? £85.90
Extreme music. Extreme sports. Whether you’re watching the pro skaters or cyclists doing mind-blowing stunts or have your face melted by the bass, this unique combination of activities never ceases to thrill. Unarguably essential…. We’re living up to our name and hosting the drum & bass arena! Come and say hello.
D&B: Andy C, DJ Friction, DJ Fresh, Roni Size, Loadstar, Wilkinson, Sigma, Fred V & Grafix, AMC, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Crissy Cris
Bass: Zinc, Doctor P, Modestep, Datsik, Gemini, Cutline, Subscape
While you’re there: Get involved in the sports!
Where? Harlocks Farm, East Anglia
When? July 6-7
How much? From £49.50
Another exciting newbie to add to your never-ending ‘to rave’ list, Natural Rhythm suggests heaps of fun and frolics, including their own Olympic Games! And while we’re chatting winners, they’ve also got a DJ competition running at the moment (deadline June 6). The words get and involved spring to mind…
D&B: DJ Marky, Serum, BMK, Bladerunner
Bass: Krafty Kuts, A.Skillz, Killawatt
While you’re there: Go for gold at their Olympics!
Where? Merton Farm, Canterbury
When? July 6-8
Festivals should never be about ‘doing as you’re told’ but when with a name like Lounge On The Farm, you’d best toe the line. Super chilled and fun by day, a rather messy affair by night. We wholeheartedly approve!
D&B: Goldie, Roni Size, Scratch Perverts
Bass: Gemini, Caspa, Toddla T, David Rodigan, Ghost Poet, Dub Pistols, Herve, Roska, Roots Manuva, Zinc
While you’re there: Chic
Where? London Pleasure Gardens
When? July 6-7
How much? £99
The littlest hobo of festivals, Bloc’s now on its third venue. It’s most daring venue too… Taking the party out of the holiday camps, they’ve teamed up with Glastonbury’s Shangri-La crew to create a truly unique metropolitan mission. Intriguing…
Bass: Flying Lotus, Scuba, Joker, Cooly G, Scratcha DVA, Illum Sphere, Squarepusher, Terror Danjah, Untold, Joy Orbison, Appleblim
While you’re there: Snoop Dog, Gary Numan
Where? Abbots Ripton, Huntingdon
When? July 19-22
How much? £200
The not-so-Secret Garden is widely regarded as one the most beautiful events in the UK. Serious attention to detail has been applied on the décor and it seems to bring out the best attitude in everyone who attends. Tickets have flown out for this one so get in quick.
D&B: Adam F, Danny Byrd, Wilkinson
Bass: Afgan Headspin, Ayah Marar, Eddy Temple Morris, Freq Nasty, Herve, High Rankin, Krafty Kuts, Rack n’ Ruin, SkiSm, 2-Bit-Thugs
While you’re there: Lamb, Little Roy, Tim Minchin
Where? Lulworth Castle, Dorset
When? July 26-29
How much? £185
Camp Bestival has a golden reputation for being family friendly but don’t go thinking there isn’t anything to jump up and down on over the four days. There’ll be bouncy castles. Oh, and music, wicked, discerningly selected music…
D&B: Netsky, Camo & Krooked, LTJ Bukem
Bass: Redlight, David Rodigan, Gemini, Zed Bias
While you’re there: Blues Brothers UK
Where? Bromyard, Herefordshire
When? July 27-29
One of the cutest boutique festivals you can find in the UK. Not to be confused with laughing gas, this one’s run on a farm owned by a chap called Noz and you’re just as likely to see a Romanian gypsy funk band as you are a killer D&B DJ. Explore the site for long enough and you’ll find a secret wood covered in neon and booming out psy trance. Like the Archers on acid: Insane and amazingly friendly.
D&B: Andy C, Camo & Krooked, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Ed Rush, Youngsta, Octane & DLR
Bass: Ed Solo
Where? Long Marston Airfield, Warwickshire
When? July 27-28
How much? £105
Fair play! With Hospitality and Metropolis on board Global’s D&B line up is looking fiiiiiine. Watch out for Roni Size – he’s playing an exclusive Full Cycle classics set. Retro vibes.
D&B Chase & Status, Sub Focus, Fresh, Loadstar, B-Traits, Hype, Netsky, High Contrast, Camo & Krooked, Danny Byrd, Roni Size, London Elektricity, S.P.Y, Cyantific, Brookes Brothers, Logistics, Nu:Tone, TC, Fred V & Grafix
Bass: Nero, Modestep, Benga, Flux Pavilion, Doctor P, Borgore, Mistajam, 16Bit, Skrillex, Funtcase, Magnetic Man, Boy Better Know, Skepta, Zinc, Marcus Nasty, Plastician, Roska, N-Type
While you’re there: Friendly Fires, Jaguar Skills
Where? Lowther Deer Park, Lake District
When? July 27-29
How much? £60
An exceedingly pretty party in one of England’s prettiest pastures. For the ticket price this seems pretty off the scale in terms of variety. Family friendly too. Definitely worth considering.
D&B: Andy C, Shy FX
Bass: Dizzee Rascal, Little Roy, Dreadzone, Ghost Poet, Benga, Jack Beats, A Skillz, Dub Pistols, Phaeleh
While you’re there: Correspondents, Olugbenga
Where? Standon, Hertfordshire
When? August 3-5
How much? £99
A melting pot of sounds and activities, Standon boast a commendable skill in picking acts for their line-up before they hit the big time. We’re talking the likes of Florence and Mumford here, but their electronic assets aren’t too shabby either. Not a massive D&B festival, but a worthy even nonetheless.
Bass: Nextmen, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Beardyman, Trojan Soundsystem, Dub Pistols
While you’re there: The Time & Space Machine
Where? Matterly Bowl, Wincheste
When? August 9-12
How much? £133
Another fantastic rave up that’s miles away from the mainstream radar, Boomtown lives up to its label – it really is a proper town with streets and a unbeatable community vibe. They’re also big on their bass. And we mean BIG. All angles covered from rattling, skanking 170bpm beats to ska. You need to check this.
D&B: Serum, Aries, Benny Page, Breakage, Dirtyphonics
Bass: 16Bit Ed Solo, Stanton Warriors
While you’re there: Find the mayor and congratulate them on such a wicked party
Where? Skipton, Yorkshire Dales
When? August 17-19
How much? £75
D&B purists might not be too pleased – there doesn’t seem to be any drum & bass on the line-up at present – but this sweet spot in the rolling Yorkshire Dales isn’t to be ignored if you’re of a wider musical predilection. From folk to funk and plenty of arty attractions, there’s lots of potential for fun here.
Bass: XXXY, Pearson Sound, Roots Manuva, Ghost Poet, Submotion Orchestra, Jam City
While you’re there: Maya Jane Coles, Errors
Where? Near Market Harborough
When August 23-27
How much? £119
A fairy tale flavoured festival if ever you experienced one. Most of the line-up is kept secret until arrival and its loyal following don’t mind a jot – they’d be going anyway. Last year their creative corners offered cool surprises such as mini golf and…er… willy drawing classes. Seriously, this hippy fest is a hoot. Fancy dress is mandatory.
D&B: Ed Rush & Optical
Bass: Toddla T, DJ Yoda, Nextmen, Shackleton, The Heatwave, Parker, Roots Manuva While you’re there: Haggis Horns, Credit To The Nation
Where? Clapham Common, London
When? August 25-26
How much? £50 per day
A London institution. No matter what your party poison is, this ticks every musical box. Also recommended if you can’t handle the in-tents camping vibe!
D&B: Chase & Status, Andy C, DJ Fresh, Friction
Bass: Skrillex, Skream & Benga, Doctor P, Borgore, Flux Pavillion
While you’re there: 2ManyDJs, Carl Cox
Where? Daresbury, Cheshire
When? August 24-26
How much? £135
Extending their original one day rave up to a weekend of sonic Scouse giggles was the best thing Creamfields ever did. And now they’ve extended it by another day! Okay, so it’s only a silent disco on the Friday night… But it means you’re fresh for a full weekend. And it’s a bank holiday. Get in.
D&B: Brookes Brothers, The Prototypes, Andy C, Friction, Loadstar, Shy FX, Sub Focus
Bass: Scuba, Skrillex, Skream, Flux Pavillion, Doctor P, Mistjam, 16Bit, Borgore, Redlight While you’re there: Deadmau5, Major Lazer
Where? Fort Punta Christo, Pula, Croatia
When? August 30 – September 3
How much? £135
Just look at those artists listed below. We hate to say it but Croatia is SMACKING the UK when it comes to bass at festivals. Swiftly becoming a ‘must do’, Outlook seems to demand your investigation!
D&B: Andy C, Congo Natty, DBridge, Calibre, Calyx, Marky Goldie, Friction, Lenzman, Marcus Intalex, DJ Fu
Bass: Fat Freddy’s Drop, Blue Daisy, Pinch, Jack Sparrow, Phaeleh, Kode 9, Killawatt, Distance, Zinc, Zed Bias, Kryptic Minds, Youngsta, Skream, Kromestar, Hyetal, N-Type
While you’re there: Submotion Orchestra
Where? San Teordo, Sardinia
When? September 1 – 8
How much? €149
The clue is in the title; Sun And Bass gives Italy’s usually sleepy beauty spot Sardinia a royal bass awakening every year and you really need to witness it first-hand. Chilled by day, steaming by night, there’s a reason Dom & Roland calls this his favourite club in the world. The line-up speaks for itself… And be sure to sample some Italian’s finest exports while you’re there: food and wine!
D&B: Addy Attention, Alley Cat, Bailey, Black Sun Empire, Calibre, Chris.SU, DBridge, Doc Scott, Dom & Roland, Dust, E.Decay, Enea, Fiend, Flight, Fracture, Goldie, Klute, Kryptic Minds, Lynx, Lenzman, Logistics, Loxy, Nu:Tone, Marky, Ulterior Motive, Utah Jazz, Misanthrop, Marcus Intalex
While you’re there: Check out Bailey playing a soul and funk mix on the beach
Where? Robin Hill Country Park, Isle Of Wight
When? September 6-9
How much? £180
Officially the UK’s most colourful festival. Fancy dress is the law. Trust us, we learned the hard way one year and turned up in our civvies only to be laughed off the site. Hot tip: give your ears a rest and check out their comedy line-up and their top notch food stall. Serious LOLs and munchies.
D&B: LTJ Bukem, Sub Focus, Camo & Krooked, B-Traits, Scratch Perverts
Bass: Nero, David Rodigan, Scuba, Plastician, Borgore, Flux Pavillion, Plastician, Doctor P While you’re there: Stevie Wonder, Hot Chip
Where? Fort Punta Christo, Pula, Croatia
When? September 6-9
How much £120
Lush weather, beautiful boat parties, a fortress and a wonderfully wide-eared line-up. Outlook’s sister festival, Dimensions is one of the million reasons you need to get out to Croatia this summer. If you’ve a penchant for techno as well as drum & bass you might just faint with excitement. Do not delay, book your flights today!
D&B: DBridge, Loxy, Synkro
Bass: Author, Joy Orbison, Pinch, Untold, Iration Steppa, Pariah, 2562, Mala
While you’re there: Little Dragon, Gold Panda, Floating Points
When? September 16-13
How much? From £179
Oh our gosh! This looks pretty special. Besides occasional bashes at Reclaim The Dancefloor and on the Space Terrace at Carl Cox’s Revolution, Ibiza isn’t known for its drum & bass. Until the season finale, that is, as Sunbeatz are coming out to play. A great mix of old and new school and three packages to suit budgets, these guys have got the White Island locked down!
D&B: Hype, LTJ Bukem, Grooverider, Hazard, Micky Finn, Original Sin, Crissy Criss, Bryan Gee, Logan D, Serial Killaz, Randall, Kenny Ken, Serum, Dr S Gatchet, Jumping Jack Frost, Harry Bizzle
While you’re there: Hire a car and visit the island’s quieter spots – it’s not just a clubbing Mecca, it’s a beautiful destination in its own right.