Judging by 2016’s calendar, the kind of music we like to spotlight here at Arctic Drones is faring better than ever. There are many festivals focused entirely around post-rock and neighbouring genres such as ambient, different offsprings of metal or neoclassical. At the same time, some of our favourite bands are getting stage time at various festivals with established brands. All in all, there’s a lot of fun and good music waiting for us this year at the amazing festivals presented below in the order of appearance:
When & Where: April 2 – 3, United Kingdom (Leeds)
Our writer Christian has already enjoyed working together with organisers of StrangeForms on this interview and wholeheartedly recommends attending this event. It takes place in the cozy venue called Wharf Chambers for just 15 GBP, but has quite some bands playing in a very intimate and friendly atmosphere. All the information about tickets (limited to only 130!) is available either on the Facebook page or festival event.
Alpha Male Tea Party
We Never Learned To Live
The Vitasound Projects
Fall of Messiah
When & Where: April 28 – 30, Germany (Berlin) / April 29 – May 01, United Kingdom (London) / October 14 – 16, Belgium (Antwerp)
This is a great occasion to explore the heavier scene, headlined by the likes of Electric Wizard, Russian Circles, and Pelican. For a price of £100, you can experience three intense days of gigs in London’s various venues under the common idea of Desertfest, which sounds like a very reasonable way to spendi your weekend. You can find the full lineup and more information directly on their website. There are also separate pages for Berlin and Antwerp.
Crystal Head and more…
When & Where: May 05 – 07, Belgium (Zottengem)
If you had to choose a single festival to attend, it would probably be this legendary event. It has quite an amazing track record, but forget resting on past laurels, this year’s edition includes yndi halda, Russian Circles, 65daysofstatic, This Will Destroy You, Tides From Nebula premiering a new album, Pelican, and many, many more. The Facebook event contains a brief summary of all the important information, which is also available on http://www.dunkfestival.be/.
Tides From Nebula
Mutiny On The Bounty
Fall Of Messiah
Her Name Is Calla
Arms And Sleepers
Thank U For Smoking
Upcdownc and more…
A COLOSSAL WEEKEND
When & Where: May 13 – 14, Denmark (Copenhagen)
This festival is a lovely invitation to visit Denmark if you are interested in a weekend with music that starts with post- or is a neighbouring genre. It is a good chance to get to know some of the Danish scene, as it provides half of the lineup. The others include such names as Cult of Luna, This Will Destroy You, Russian Circles, or Pelican. Given that it takes place in Copenhagen and for the very modest price of 450 Krone (~60 euro), you should keep an eye on their Facebook event.
Cult of Luna
This Will Destroy You
Late Night Venture
When & Where: May 13 – 15, Slovakia (Bratislava)
Alternative festivals aren’t that widespread in Eastern Europe, but this event definitely challenges the current status quo. Rolo Tomassi, Her name is Calla, and I am waiting for you last summer should definitely catch your eye. 2016 edition will also feature Spoiwo, for whom I can vouch personally as well as our community, who voted them the best new band of 2015. For a ticket price of 17 Euro, Whoneedslyrics is definitely an intriguing proposal. Details and lineups are available in this here.
Her Name is Calla
When & Where: July 29 – 30, Germany (Balve)
One of the ideas with festivals is to get away from the conventional venues of your town and experience something new. Prophecy fests gives you exactly that, by taking place in Balver Höhle – a natural cave dating back to stone age. Instead of trying to picture how amazing Alcest or Sol Invictus with Jo Quail could sound there, you can simply register here (link: http://en.prophecy.de/prophecy-fest-2016-reservation.html) for an exclusive ticket pre-sale and keep an eye on the webpage and Facebook event. The prices are yet to be announced, but what’s notable is that they include a hardcover program book and a festival sampler CD, which sound like lovely mementos.
Secrets of the Moon
Bohren und der Club of Gore
3 more artists TBA
When & Where: August 12 – 14 , Romania (Beliș-Fântânele)
The first ever post-rock/experimental festival in Romania, organized by Arctic Drones’ very own Mircea. The line-up includes Tides From Nebula, Terraformer and Toundra, with more to be announced (including one more headliner). You definitely should follow this festival’s fanpage, which includes some astonishing pictures of Belis, and here’s the webpage with more useful information. With tickets for about 50 euro (camping included), Fog Formula has the potential to be the most appealing event Eastern Europe has to offer.
Fine It’s Pink
Bearded Youth Quest
Sunset in the 12th House
Tides from Nebula
When & Where: August 18 – 20, United Kingdom (Bristol)
American Football, Toe, Caspian, yndi halda and a few others should easily convince you that this is a festival you want to attend. On top of that, ArcTanGent has won more than enough awards for organisation of the event. Given all the praise, it seems that the price of 95 pounds for a three day ticket is justified. You can find more information on their website or via the Facebook fanpage.
Animals As Leaders
Exxasens and more…
DARK BOMBASTIC EVENING
When & Where: August 18 – 20, Romania (Transylvania)
2016 will be the year of the seventh edition of this event. If you do like your music with a hint of dark and heavy, experiencing a weekend in Alba Iulia Fortress with artists such as Crippled Black Phoenix, Spurv or King Dude has to be appealing. While there is no ticket information yet, the organisers posted that it should be no more than 250 Lei (about 55 Euro). For more information, check the webpage and Facebook page.
Death In Rome
Crippled Black Phoenix
Jess And The Ancient Ones
When & Where: September 22 – 24, Poland (Wrocław)
We have already visited Asymmetry and consequently spotlighted it as a fantastic place to broaden your musical horizon. The organisers posses the talent to skillfully mix daily lineups with different genres for a very rich and diversified experience. There are only a few confirmed bands at the moment (including Swallow the Sun, Conan, and Slim Cessna’s Auto Club), but the tickets are already available on festival’s page for a price of roughly 45 Euro. Be sure to keep an eye on the Facebook page.
Slim Cessna’s Auto Club
Swallow the Sun
Please the Trees
M. M. Di Mezzanotte
When & Where: September 23 – 24, Norway (Kristiansand)
Last year VIVID attracted to Norway bands like Tides From Nebula, Watered, Spurv, and All Shall Be Well, as well as enough fans to announce that this year the festival will be held again. That is no surprise, as VIVID was highly praised last year by one of our writers. While there isn’t much information at the moment, the organisers promised to share more soon on their Facebook page.
When & Where: November 05, United Kingdom (Leeds)
While the full line-up is still not announced, the first announcement is quite teasing. In the words of Festival Director Gavin McInally: “Enslaved, Nails, Ne Obliviscaris, Full of Hell and Oceans of Slumber are the first taste of what’s to come in 2016, from hateful grind to hauntingly melodic prog and fans can expect much more over the coming months, with 22 bands still to be announced.” Tickets for the 12th instalment of Damnation Festival are on sale now, priced £38. Stay tuned by following the Facebook page!
When & Where: TBA, Spain (Barcelona)
AMFest hosted two great events back in 2015 – in March and in November. They have recently hinted that an announcement might be coming soon, meaning that you should probably observe closely their Facebook page. This festival has a history of great line-ups (Maybeshewill, Toundra, Yndi Halda, Her Name is Calla and many more) and modest prices, and also is a perfect excuse to visit Barcelona. Stay tuned!
Last but not least, if you like the kind of music we tend to write about, but also fancy something more popular, here are some very established festivals whose line-ups have been somewhat penetrated by the artists we all enjoy:
Roadburn, April 14-17, The Netherlands (Tilburg)
More info: http://www.roadburn.com/roadburn-2016/lineup/
Incubate, September 12-18, The Netherlands (Tilburg)
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/751183445009806/