Music Festivals You Don’t Want To Miss In 2016

Photo by Davy De Pauw: fb.com/davydepauw.photography

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:

STRANGEFORMS FESTIVAL

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.

Line-up: 

Signals
Alpha Male Tea Party
Wot Gorilla?
Waking Aida
We Never Learned To Live
Bearfoot Beware
Those Amongst Us Are Wolves
The Vitasound Projects
Cleft
Poly-Math
Vasa
Fall of Messiah
Upcdownc
Body Hound
Stems
Tall Talker

DESERTFEST

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.

Line-up (London):

Corrosion of Conformity
Crowbar
Russian Circles
Pelican
Electric Wizard
Trouble
Rotor
Raging Speedhorn
Unearthly Trance
Godflesh
Blood Ceremony
Jk Flesh
Mantar
Wo-fat
Mondo Drag
Crystal Head and more…

DUNK!FESTIVAL

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/.

Line-up:

65daysofstatic
Tides From Nebula
Obscure Sphinx
Spoiwo
Mutiny On The Bounty
Fall Of Messiah
This Will Destroy You
Pelican
Her Name Is Calla
Kokomo
Russian Circles
Yndi Halda
Collapse Under The Empire
Arms And Sleepers
Nordic Giants
IAWFYLS
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.

Line-up:

Russian Circles
Pelican
Town Portal
Vasa
Penguinsmeat
Recitation
Cult of Luna
This Will Destroy You
Solbrud
pg.lost
SVIN
Late Night Venture

WHONEEDSLYRICS

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.

Line-up:

Rolo Tomassi
Her Name is Calla
IAWFYLS
Spoiwo
Rosa Parks
The Ills
Whithe
Our Stories
52 Hertz Whale
Shallov

PROPHECY FEST

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.

Line-up:

Fursy Teyssier
Alcest
Secrets of the Moon
Iron Mountain
Germ
Vemod
Les Discrets
Helrunar
Sol Invictus
Bohren und der Club of Gore
Antimatter
3 more artists TBA

FOG FORMULA

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.

Line-up:

Baba Dochia
Fine It’s Pink
Kamikaze Scotsmen
Bearded Youth Quest
Temple Invisible
Sunset in the 12th House
Toundra
Mere
Valerinne
Kuhn Fu
Terraformer
Environments
Stonefromthesky
Poly-Math
Kultika
TAUUSK
Tides from Nebula
More TBA

ARCTANGENT

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.

Line-up:

American Football
Toe
La Dispute
Sikth
Mono
Nordic Giants
Errors
Caspian
Rolo Tomassi
Animals As Leaders
Yndi Halda
Mutoid Man
Agent Fresco
Talons
Tangled Hair
Good Tiger
Axes
Totorro
Town Portal
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.

Line-up:

In The Woods…
Theodor Bastard
Draconian
Spurv
Dodheimsgard
King Dude
Throes Of Dawn
Hamferd
Death In Rome
Hemelbestormer
Ghost Bath
Crippled Black Phoenix
Batushka
Barren Earth
Jess And The Ancient Ones
Vemod
Virus
More TBA

ASYMMETRY FESTIVAL

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.

Line-up:

Conan
Darkher
Dbuk
Slim Cessna’s Auto Club
Swallow the Sun
Henry David’s Gun
Lasse Matthiessen
Please the Trees
Orson Hentschel
John Lemke
Subheim
M. M. Di Mezzanotte
Mombu
Lili Refrain
More TBA

VIVID

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.


DAMNATION FESTIVAL

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!


AMFEST

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/

Primavera Sound, June 01-05, Spain (Barcelona) / June 09-11, Portugal (Porto)
More info: http://www.primaverasound.es/
http://www.nosprimaverasound.com/

Denovali Swingfest, April 01-02, Germany (Berlin) / April 15-16, United Kingdom (London)
More info: http://denovali.com/festival/berlin/
http://denovali.com/festival/london/

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