23 Nov 2020
by mike.lee | News, Festivals
We want to open this piece by stating that it’s been a pretty difficult year, well, that would be the understatement of the century. We are in a never-before-seen omnishambles of human history, an infamous epoch that will be studied, questioned and analysed for generations to come.
With the blissful social-distance of a couple of decades detachment, I’m sure this period in the annals of our society will be a hugely interesting one. An era that we’ll learn tremendously from as a race, and one that will eventually make us a stronger evolutionary unit. But when? Exorbitantly, gratuitously, lame. Just… 0/10.
However, as Victor Hugo said in Les Mis: “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise”, and the sunrise in 2021 is looking very bright indeed. Just this week, news of a 95% effective COVID-19 vaccine in its final trial stage hit the news, and Canadian immunologist Professor Sir John Bell (i.e. someone who knows what they’re talking about) went out on a limb by stating he anticipates life will be returning to normal by next spring.
Couple that with the news that global promoter Live Nation expects shows ‘at scale’ to return next summer and Glastonbury’s lawyer saying that Glasto 2021 is ‘going ahead as planned’, well that’ll really get the serotonin flowing. So, as we don’t want anyone left out in the cold, unprepared, ahead of what could be the best festival season ever to unfold in the saga of human existence, here are the best electronic music festivals to look out for in 2021:
SHI FU MIZ
When: October 29-31, 2021
Where: Sai Yuen Farm, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong
What: Eco-conscious, electronic arts and music festival
Why: SHI FU MIZ is Hong Kong’s eco-conscious, electronic-flavoured, and local-loved music and arts festival for the 21st century. Spanning 11 acres of Sai Yuen Farm on the small HK island of Cheung Chau, the festival has played host to some of the finest DJs and musicians from across the globe. Acts like Shanti Celeste, KiNK, and Marcellus Pittman shell it down alongside local crews like Zepa Records and HK Solar Soundsystem during the three-day shindig.
Set against the lush greenery of the park, the festival is a stunning escape from urban Hong Kong life, and features everything from pumping techno to yoga to martial arts. Then, once the sun begins to set, the island offers sandy beaches around its circumference to simmer off those party juices.
This year, organisers also announced a partnership with One Tree Planted, an initiative to work with local reforestation partners to plant proper tree species and ensure high survival rates in the Philippines for 2021/2022.
Truly one for the bucket list, it’s certainly one of the best electronic music festivals on offer in 2021.
When: June 25-26, 2021
Where: San Bernardino, CA, U.S.A.
What: EDM Festival (+carnival rides!)
Why: Southern California’s Beyond Wonderland was shaping up to be one of the best festivals of 2020 before it was cruelly struck down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Scheduled for March 2020, the event had planned a game-changing expansion into the racetrack circuit of its home at the NOS Event Centre in San Bernardino, CA.
This year, having astutely pushed the date to June 25 and 26, Beyond Wonderland, will touch down as one of the summer’s go-to EDM festivals, expansion and all. The festival promises unmatched production, thrusting attendees headfirst down the rabbit hole with five new stages and three full-scale carnival rides.
The lineup for 2021 hasn’t been released but it’s fair to expect that a good chunk of its 2020 lineup featuring Diplo, Benny Benassi, Alison Wonderland will return.
When: November 26-28, 2021
Where: Hong Kong
What: EDM and more
Why: Clockenflap is a usual case on this list. Like the rest, Clockenflap has been hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic, but travelling back to November 2019, Clockenflap was cancelled due to political protests in Hong Kong.
One of Asia’s most high-profile events, Clockenflap is adored by its 60,000+ attendees and thousands of more hopefuls across the world. With more than ten years of glowing reviews under its belt, Clockenflap is truly the heavyweight of the Asian festival circuit, with headliners like Stormzy, The Prodigy, Kaiser Chiefs, and Massive Attack all gracing its stages at various points.
More diverse than a straight EDM festival, Clockenflap still attracts hall of fame electronic acts like The Chemical Brothers and New Order and crossover talents like Mura Masa and Glass Animals. If you’re looking for an entry point into EDM festivals in the east in 2021, this is the place to start.
When: December 2021
Where: Pattaya, Thailand
What: EDM + Electronic music Festival
Why: Next, we travel about 1000km to Pattaya City, Thailand. 2020 would have been Wonderfruit’s seventh year and festival heads in the know across the world were itching to return to The Fields at Siam Country Club. A melting pot between burgeoning electronic music scenes in Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and beyond, the visual landscapes at this festival are just as varied as the sonic offerings. Stages nestle between breezy coconut plantations and tropical forests with sustainable art displays peppering the routes in between, and, as you’d hope at any festival, organisers take great pride in their chill-out zones, offering outdoor cushioned lounges for weary revellers to recharge.
The 2021 lineup has yet to be released but sonically, festival-goers can expect to hear anything on the spectrum from fabric resident Craig Richards, takeovers by legendary French label Ed Banger, to holographic shows with Martha Van Straaten and Alban Endlos.
It’s The Ship
When: 2021 (Date TBC)
Where: At Sea!
What: Party, but on the cruise
Why: There’s a simple equation to partying. Partying is usually done with dry land firmly beneath your feet. This is what we call a normal party. However, if you take that party and put it on, say, a cruise ship? Congratulations, you have just doubled your enjoyment potential (the numbers increase even further if you transpose the festivities to an airplane, but they pretty much don’t do that anymore).
It’s The Ship is the answer to your nautical prayers. Taking place over three days aboard The Genting Dream, the party vessel will ship thousands of music fans from Marina Bay in Singapore to the beautiful Malaysian island of Langkawi and back. In addition to the festivities you’d usually expect, attendees can get their kicks at restaurants, shopping malls, casinos, spas and all manner of sports and leisure facilities. Where else can you start the day halfway up a climbing wall and end it front left of the stage? N.B. Sealegs required.
If you’re interested in attending an electronic music festival next year, make sure to check out our festivals page where you will find a full list of the best festivals happening in 2021.