The festivals not to miss in 2023, as chosen by artists
DJs, musicians and music aficionados share their tips for the best raves, gigs and concerts to look forward to next year
Carl Cox, British DJ
I really like Kappa Futur Festival Turin because it was one of the first daytime events in Italy and next year it’s its tenth anniversary. It brings a lot of people together from all across Europe – all to celebrate dance music. The amazing venue is the backdrop to the festival and is what makes it unique. It’s in Parco Dora – a park that used to be an old car factory, so you have these huge steel columns that have become very iconic. Whenever I play, I have the freedom to play techno and house music to people who are so passionate about it – there’s always a lot of passion at Kappa. You can really feel the energy there. I’ll carry on playing as long as they’ll have me. To reach a milestone like ten years is a testament to how good a festival it is. I think they’ll reach 20 years, no problem.
Sarah Story, British DJ
Experiencing Glastonbury as a performer for the first time this year was such a special moment, and I can’t wait to relive that unforgettable experience again in 2023. It’s a beauty and a beast and you need the full week to really experience its magic. Your tent becomes your home and you feel like you live in an imaginary world for five beautiful days. Every year you discover something new – get me back to the farm! Another festival I’m really looking forward to is Love International. Croatia is somewhere I’ve visited for the last ten years and this event has become a staple go-to if you’re a dance music head. I went in 2017 and just loved the atmosphere, how friendly the crowd was and the exquisite music!
Ferry Corsten, Dutch DJ
I’m always excited when looking at the summer season and seeing incredible festivals like Creamfields in the UK, Parookaville in Germany and EDC Las Vegas in the calendar. The diversity of genres and range of artists at events like these showcases just how rich and amazing the modern electronic music scene is.
Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, Belgian-Greek DJ duo
Hands down, the year’s highlight for us is always Tomorrowland. It’s the most magical festival on the planet with this incredible global presence and features the biggest and best names from across the scene. We grew up in Willebroek, Belgium, a five-minute drive from Boom, the site of Tomorrowland, so it’s not just a festival we love and fly the flag for as mainstage residents, but also an area we used to play in as kids growing up.
Rufus Wainwright, Canadian singer-songwriter
Everyone knows I am a big opera fan, of course, and since meeting my husband Jörn I have got more and more into Richard Wagner and discovered the best place to listen to his music is at the Festival in Bayreuth, Germany, that he started. The great thing about Bayreuth is that I never have to be jealous that I have not played there or that they have not performed my operas there yet, because they only do Wagner!
Hardwell, Dutch DJ
It’s hard to choose one festival over another because we’re blessed with so many incredible events. I think it’s better to cover all bases and enjoy a few events across the year. So, whether it’s Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Untold in Romania, Coachella in California, or any other incredible festival, round up your friends and go and have a wild time!
Sunta Templeton, British music journalist
I can’t wait to get back to Benicassim Festival in Spain, where I had one of the most memorable DJ sets of my life, playing David Bowie’s Heroes at five in the morning to a huge euphoric crowd. It was one of those pinch-me moments. The other festival I’m desperate to return to is Bonnaroo in Tennessee. It’s such a welcoming, friendly experience and has great laidback Glastonbury-type vibes.
Arielle Free, Scottish DJ/broadcaster
As the world reopened, all I could think about was which festival I could get to. Ideally one where I could feel a sound system vibrate through me and I could dance with my arms flung fully in the air. There are so many to choose from, but I know my next festival destination has to be Elrow Island in Obonjan. Obonjan is small island off the coast of Sibenik, Croatia – now a hub of festival and clubbing goodness all year round. Defected, Croatia and Hideout are both standouts, but nothing beats the pure escapism of speed-boating to a private island strewn with palms, hammocks and secret stages. Accomplished at throwing parties across the globe, Elrow knows what it’s doing both sonically and visually. Its clubbing and festival experiences are a sensory overload in the best possible way. Aside from a line-up that caters for all electronic music tastes, visitors can sprawl out in wellness areas, enjoy some yoga or dance from dusk till dawn. The DJ Eats Everything and I once did an impromptu four-and-a-half-hour set back to back as the sun went down behind us, the sky turning a most majestic marigold. It still stands out as one of the most euphoric and unforgettable moments in my DJ career.
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