There’s hardly a festival that embodies Berlin’s free spirit better than Berlin Atonal. Launched in 1982 by Dimitri Heggemann at the legendary SO36 venue, Atonal quickly became synonymous with the radical avant-garde ethos of its programming, which featured the likes of Einstürzende Neubauten, Test Dept, Laibach, Psychic TV, 808 State, Die Haut and more.
Plenty of festivals pride themselves on their laid-back atmosphere and sense of intimacy. Few, if any, pull it off quite like KALLIDA. Taking place on the picturesque manor grounds of Sparkford Hall, Somerset, this 400 cap house party reimagines what a small festival can be, setting itself apart from the pack with a line-up that joyfully balances everything from east African electronics, contemporary jazz and reggae with radiant club music, percussive techno, jungle, and more sizzling pop mutations than you ever knew you needed.
Spread between the massive house’s ground floor ballroom and a gritty, exposed-brick basement, each night of KALLIDA feels like the rowdiest, most surreal gaff party you’ve ever been to multiplied by ten.
Sometimes, if a festival is organised well enough, it barely feels “organised” at all. The stages, decorations and installations feel as though they’ve always been there, the assigned paths feel like mere guidelines through a forest where any route could take you to something special. The music, from hairraising techno and electro to jubilant Afrobeat and funk, all feels totally fitting, the sounds coursing through the trees as naturally as a breeze, beckoning festival-goers to get loose on the woodland floor.