RA’s Top 10 March 2013 Festivals

Posted on Saturday, 2nd February, 2013 at 7:04 pm

RA’s rundown of the world’s foremost festivals recommences for 2013.

Electrosnow Andorra

10. Electrosnow Andorra
March 30
Grandvalira Ski Resort
El Tarter, Andorra

One for the outdoorsy types, ElectroSnow offers both three days of music and the opportunity to take to the slopes of the Pyrenees in Andorra, whether you want to ski or just take in the sights. Booking solid house and techno names like Michael Mayer and Martyn, this year they’ve staggered the schedules of their two stages so you don’t have to miss any of your favourite acts. Even better, one of the stages is essentially on top of a mountain, and you need to take a ski lift to get there.

RA pick: Michael Mayer, whose ethereal beats on the nighttime stage should suit the snowy surroundings just fine.

5 Days Off

09. 5 Days Off
March 6 – March 10
Various Venues
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Each March, Amsterdam spends five days kicking things up a notch. Packing extra-big lineups into two of the city’s top venues, Paradiso and Melkweg, 5 Days Off is as much a supercharged long weekend as it is a major festival. This year’s bookings run the gamut from the raucous (Hudson Mohawke, Baauer, AraabMuzik) to the groovy (Tale of Us, Maceo Plex), with locals like Tom Trago and Detroit Swindle holding fast. 50 Weapons and Border Community have both signed on for label showcases, and Audio Culture will play host to all-embracing UK selectors like Gilles Peterson and Floating Points.

RA pick: Anchored by a Modeselektor DJ set and a live performance from Shed, the 50 Weapons party is guaranteed to be a sweaty night out.

STRP

08. STRP 
March 1 – March 10
Klokgebouw
Eindhoven, Netherlands

The theme of this year’s edition of the STRP Biënnale is “City of Cyborgs,” a nod to how smartphones have made us more like robots than we might care to admit. The lineup for the art, music and technology festival, held over ten days in an old Philips-owned industrial area outside Eindhoven, is likely to set your still-human heart racing. In terms of musical offerings, low frequencies will be well represented, with Boddika, SBTRKT, Mala’s Mala in Cuba project and hometown hero Martyn all locked in. And while you’ll find more experimental fare along the lines of Holy Other and Ryoji Ikeda, Modeselektor’s omnivorous live set should make sure things don’t get too serious.

RA pick: Martyn’s live set with visual artists Jeroen Erosie and Xavier Magot will set the stage for his forthcoming third album, The Air Between Your Words.

Awakenings Easter Special

07. Awakenings Easter Special
March 28 – March 30
Gashouder
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Day One | Day Two | Day Three

Very much a techno event, Awakenings has always looked to build lineups that are stacked to the brim with the genre’s leading figures. For its upcoming Easter special, however, they’re changing their tune a bit: this one stretches for a full three days and features a sizeable cast of house jocks. Henrik Schwarz, Stimming and Pan-Pot are some of the acts due to bring a more mid-paced tempo to Amsterdam’s Gasholder complex from 28th March, while Adam Beyer, Marcel Dettmann and Ben Klock dish out the hard stuff.

RA pick: Count on Marcel Dettmann to bring the goods on the festival’s final night.

Future Music Festival

06. Future Music Festival
March 2 – March 17
Various Venues
Various Cities, Australia
Perth | Sydney | Melbourne | Adelaide

Though there’s a big commercial focus for this year’s Future Music lineup, more underground techno and house fans have by no means been forgotten. The Cocoon Heroes stage will be packing a serious punch, with label boss Sven Vath flanked by Richie Hawtin, Ricardo Villalobos, Magda and Seth Troxler. The impressive gathering promises a whole mini-festival unto itself to those not interested in the EDM flavours floating around elsewhere. Also joining the tour will be Toronto bass duo Zeds Dead, iconic Manchester rockers The Stone Roses and homegrown post-punk group The Temper Trap.

RA pick: The Cocoon Heroes stage is pretty much where it’s at.

Electron

05. Electron
March 28 – March 31
Various Venues
Geneva, Switzerland

Now in its third year, Geneva’s Electron festival presents a lineup peppered with some of the classic and reliable greats, including Theo Parrish, Derrick Carter and a slew of Kompakt artists. There’s all sorts of non-musical activities as well. Merchandise? There’s pop-up stores. Want to learn? There’s a ton of workshops, including one with Throbbing Gristle member Genesis P-Orridge. A 24-hour chillout exhibition means you never have to sleep. Like ballet? They’ve got that too.

RA pick: LFO at Geneva’s Palladium on Friday night, a high-octane visual showcase for the legendary former duo’s music.

Golden Plains

04. Golden Plains
March 9 – March 11
Meredith Supernatural Ampitheatre
Melbourne, Australia

Three months after Meredith Music Festival, the Supernatural Amphitheatre comes alive again with its sister event, Golden Plains. A true retreat from city life, the three-day camping festival prides itself on an easy-going, all-inclusive atmosphere soundtracked by top quality acts. Along with a whole sackful of indie, soul, roots and rock artists, this year’s bill includes names as diverse as Moodymann, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Toro Y Moi, Flume and Julio Bashmore. No commercial sponsors or market stalls, just a breezy weekend of honest, potentially wholesome fun at one of the country’s most unique music events.

RA pick: Moodymann’s unpredictable selections and sly microphone antics should go down a treat in this environment.

Miami

03. Miami Winter Music Conference
March 15 – March 24
Various Venues
Miami, USA

There really is nothing else quite like Miami. In the last stretch of March each year, this flashy city on America’s Southeastern tip erupts into one of the biggest events on the clubbing calendar—if “event” is even the right word, as it’s completely decentralized and doesn’t even have an agreed-upon name at this point (WMC is still its most common choice, though the conference itself has long since lost significance). Most lineups for this year still aren’t in, but we all know more or less what to expect: hundreds of parties happening around the clock for about a week, taking over nightclubs, villas, beach bars, boats, rooftops, pool patios, art galleries and more than a few hotel rooms.

RA pick: Conveniently located nextdoor to Electric Pickle, Clive’s Cafe, a Jamaican soul food joint, will knock your socks off.

Ultra Music Festival

02. Ultra Music Festival 2013
March 15 – March 24
Bayfront Park
Miami, USA
Weekend One, Day One | Day Two | Day Three – Weekend Two, Day One | Day Two | Day Three

Ultra Music Festival made a bit of a power-play last year. Having established itself as the holy grail of EDM events—the citadel of Skrillex, Deadmau5, Aviici and co—it moved into a different echelon of club music, booking the likes of Cassy, Seth Troxler, Jamie Jones and Damian Lazarus. And it worked. This year they’ve invited that whole crew back again, plus artists like Nina Kraviz, George Fitzgerald and even The Weekend (who will take the stage right after Snoop Dogg on Sunday night.) They’ve also pulled a Coachella and decided to do the whole thing twice. Say what you will about America’s much-discussed EDM culture—when it comes to lights, sound and, yes, programming, Ultra is an extraordinarily executed event.

RA pick: Tiga plays after Scuba on Saturday night at the breezy and intimate Bayfront Stage—by far the festival’s best spot.

SXSW

01. SXSW
SXSW
Various Venues
Austin, USA

Much like Miami (and happening just a week earlier), SXSW is a festival that engulfs an entire city—in this case, Austin, Texas, the counter-culture hub of the South (its motto: “keep Austin weird.”) For years the conference has been a kind of mecca for aspiring rock bands, but as of late, electronic sounds have become more and more common there. This year’s DJ bill is more robust than ever, with everyone from Optimo to Loco Dice to the Night Slugs crew confirmed. But most of the 5,000+ events are focussed on lesser-known names, which is kind of the point. You’ll never find a better selection of up-and-coming talent. Or barbecues, for that matter.

RA Pick: We can’t say too much at this point, but RA will be throwing its first SXSW showcase this year and it’s looking pretty tasty.

Source: http://www.residentadvisor.net/feature.aspx?1787