Since it debuted in Los Angeles in 1997, the Electric Daisy Carnival has helped usher electronic dance music into the American mainstream. But on the global stage, EDC is still a relative newcomer.
The first festival solely dedicated to EDM was the Winter Music Conference in Miami in the 1980s. But in the ’90s, the genre went underground in the U.S.—and so did the parties, relegated to raves and clubs. In Europe, meanwhile, dance music flourished; by the early ’90s, it had outgrown the shadowy warehouses and illegal parties and moved on to massive, commercially popular festivals.
With the stateside success of events such as Electric Zoo and EDC, European producers sat up and took notice, prompting an invasion by the Dutch, who crossed the Atlantic with versions of their big EDM fests, including Sensation, Mysteryland and Tomorrowland. And more are likely to come. If you’re ready to see how the rest of the world parties, these are the festivals you should have on your bucket list.