Thousands of festivals all over the world are gearing up to offer unique, immersive experiences in performance, art and honest-to-goodness fun. Here are the events we’ll be heading to this summer – and the upgrades that will elevate those experiences to an epic level.
PRIMAVERA, SPAIN – 30 May-3 June
Music obsessives make Primavera an annual entry in their calendars – and its Barcelona beachside setting makes for a full holiday experience. Rap megastars A$AP Rocky and Tyler The Creator are set to appear, as are bands of the moment CHVRCHES and HAIM; a highlight of the weekend will be watching the sun set as veteran psychedelic dreamers Spiritualized perform with an orchestra and choir.
Upgrade: VIP membership grants ticketholders access to backstage parties in an exclusive area with a pool, bar and restaurant service. There’s no camping, so head to Hotel Arts Barcelona for its rooftop pool and lavish rooms with floor-to-ceiling ocean views.
ELECTRIC LOVE, AUSTRIA – 5-7 July
Set in the Salzkammergut lake district, Electric Love offers three days of house, techno, drum´n´bass and hardstyle across its many stages – with Rudimental, Armin van Buuren, Marshmello and Steve Aoki among many other billed DJs. While the music takes place in the basin of the area, its many campsites sit on higher ground on nearby pastures.
Upgrade: The Seat Platinum VIP lodge is bookable by the day, offering access to all stages, VIP platform access at many on-site clubs, table and bottle service.
ULTRA EUROPE, CROATIA – 6-8 July (with additional events on either side)
Part of the global brand of high-end EDM spectaculars, the three-day Ultra Europe experience can be stretched into a full week if attendees wish – there’s a day-long pre-party before, then a regatta, beach party, after beach party and closing party. With sets from the likes of Armin van Buuren, Carl Cox, The Chainsmokers and David Guetta, the weekend will be the first festival choice for dance devotees.
Upgrade: a VIP ticket grants the holder access to a private viewing platform with incredible views, with a separate entrance and bathrooms.
TOMORROWLAND, BELGIUM – 20-22 and 27-29 July
While the main stage boasts names such as Steve Aoki, Carl Cox, Armin van Buuren and Paul Oakenfold, there are numerous other spaces and stages, curated by niche clubs and well-connected labels, to explore. Guests will enjoy eating here just as much as they will the music, with numerous artisanal street food stalls and around five exceptional dining spaces – including the Tomorrowland Restaurant, which will serve Michelin-star-devised cuisine with views across the main stage.
Upgrade: The Mansion Package gives guests their own luxurious apartment with private garden and terrace, a filled fridge, espresso machine and 24-hour reception, with optional butler service and massage treatments.
BURNING MAN, USA – 26 August-3 September
Beginning in 1986 as a friendly gathering on a beach to watch a wooden figure burn at sunset, Burning Man is now a gigantic annual explosion of art and performance held in the middle of a Nevadan desert, 160km from Reno. Its setting, Black Rock City – which disappears entirely at the end of each festival, then reappears for the next – has roads, neighbourhoods and even boasts its own private airport. Previous attendees have described the experience as unforgettable.
Upgrade: While the festival itself doesn’t offer any special packages, external providers have set up numerous luxury camps. Attendees often arrive in a luxury motorhome or drop in for the day via private plane – anything is possible.