It's gonna be one of the greatest years yet for dance music festivals with some of the world's biggest live acts and DJs converging on the UK during the summer months.
Leading the festival charge this year are clubbing goliaths Cream and Renaissance. Their events are more impressive than ever and positively bursting with quality performers from across the musical spectrum.
Renaissance's Wild in the Country, after a superb debut last season, have secured Icelandic megastar Björk for this summer's gig. While Creamfields takes place over two days this year, as the festival marks their 10th anniversary with a stellar line-up.
Securing Björk is a brilliant coup for Wild in the Country, taking place 5th July, in the legendary environs of Knebworth Park, Hertfordshire. The diminutive, experimental pixie, whose ethereal, emotive voice and classic albums 'Debut', 'Post', 'Homogenic' and many more have seen her embrace all shades of dance music, is a bonafide legend. This will be her only festival appearance in the UK all year.
Creamfields, too, will be a scorcher. The event returns to Daresbury, Halton, in Cheshire, 23rd – 24th August, but this time with a major difference. To celebrate their 10th anniversary, and due to their overwhelming popularity, the festival swells in size from a single day to a two-day event with a suitably special party line-up.
Amazing electronic savants Underworld will be bestriding the event like a mighty colossus, with an electrifying headline set on the Sunday, in the wake of their brilliant 2007 album 'Oblivion With Bells'. One of DJmag's favourite live dance acts, their show will crown what will doubtless be a particularly special fest.
Other acts confirmed for Wild in the Country, meanwhile, include Aussie monsters of drum & bass Pendulum, whose genrestraddling rock and junglist fusions have made them one of the most feted live acts out there, and whose second album 'In Silico' is eagerly awaited.
DJ-wise, Sasha will be demonstrating why he's still enthroned as the progressive house king, Innervisions dons Dixon and Âme will drop their unfathomable house, breaks masters Plump DJs are back in effect, and Annie Mac will be getting rowdy with her ghetto beats and pieces, along with tons more.
Not to be outdone, Creamfields also have a veritable arsenal up their sleeve with astunning bill of live performers and DJs. Perhaps the most famous and best disco band of them all, Chic will return especially to play the event, led by original founder and peerless producer Nile Rodgers.
Swaggering dance rockers Kasabian and former Stone Roses main man Ian Brown are also confirmed, alongside diverse electro heads Simian Mobile Disco and UK rapper par excellence Roots Manuva.
DJs include such trance gods as Paul van Dyk and Eddie Halliwell, techno men Dubfire and Luciano, and the Swedish House Mafia of Steve Angello, Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso. And as DJmag went to press, Adam Beyer, John Digweed, James Zabiela, The Whip, Deadmau5, Skream & Benga presents Magnetic Man had all just been added to the weekend line-up.
And these aren't the only festivals to boast bad-ass line-ups. Just around the corner, Gatecrasher's Summer Sound System, on 24th & 25th May, at Turweston Aerodrome, Northamptonshire, has everyone from Justice to Dizzee Rascal, CSS and the Prodigy, while London's SW4 has plenty to brag about too.
On 23rd August, Clapham Common will resound to the beats of Carl Cox, Green Velvet, François K, Tiefschwarz and Sven Väth.
Meanwhile, Rob Da Bank's Bestival (5th – 7th September, Isle of Wight) boasts Aphex Twin, My Bloody Valentine and George Clinton. It's gonna be a bumper year without doubt - pray now for good weather!
Tickets for Wild in the Country, priced £45 & booking fee (early bird) and £54 & bf thereafter, are available from renaissance.com and seetickets.com; tickets for Creamfields are £105 & bf, plus weekend camping at £115 & bf, from ticketline.co.uk; Gatecrasher Summer Sound System is £115 from gatecrasher.com/tickets, SW4 price tbc, while Bestival costs £130 for the weekend, also from ticketline.co.uk. Get raving!