School me on the drum-and-bass scene: where, and when?
December 4, 2011 10:17 AM   Subscribe

Help me find a quality drum and bass/jungle festival to attend in the next 12-24 months (or a fun city to visit with weeklies/clubs/options for hearing a variety of heavy, bass-driven music... but not so much dubstep). Preferably somewhere in Canada or the U.S.; other ideas welcome, as long as they're worthwhile and not scary-expensive.

This is my husband's favorite type of music, but he doesn't know where to look for it in any reliable quantity/variety outside of the UK. We've ruled this idea out because of the Olympics next year, which we're sure will push travel prices through the roof.

We both enjoy "musical tourism" - traveling to different cities for gigs/djs and attending festivals, etc. - something similar to Coachella, Mutek or DEMF that's focused on this genre in particular would be ideal. But if, say, Toronto's overflowing with bass and wobble, I'd just need to know which artists/djs/nightclubs to look for.

So far, all I've found is one-off gigs or shows by people we both enjoy or festivals where I can't judge the quality of the lineup. If the UK's the way to go, we're OK with waiting until 2013; I just need some pointers/ideas from those who know the scene.

My husband is a big fan of Noisia and Black Sun Empire, and we both enjoy techno/IDM that has more of a "sci-fi" sound, if that helps. Thanks in advance!
posted by Unicorn on the cob to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It's going to be super hard to find a D&B festival these days that isn't mostly dubstep. Even Noisia is doing dubstep now.
posted by empath at 11:00 AM on December 4, 2011

Each November, there is the STRP festival in Eindhoven, the Netherlands (; technology, art and electronic music). Over the last year they had acts ranging from Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, Venetian snares, Amon Tobin and others. It may be a bit away from the beaten track, but maybe you can combine it with a nearby city or festival. Not sure if there are dedicated jungle festivals anymore.
posted by swordfishtrombones at 11:21 AM on December 4, 2011

It's a shame you're ruling out the UK, because I reckon the Glade Festival would be right up your alley. I've been a few times in the past decade and you'll hear tons of old school jungle amongst other stuff. It definitely skews more towards the "alternative" end of the dance music spectrum and the crowd is very friendly and easy-going.
posted by Ted Maul at 11:44 AM on December 4, 2011

I haven't been in years, but I know Starscape (summer, Baltimore harbor) has generally been a pretty well put on festival, although it's not strictly d&b and it doesn't really attract the biggest names. Still pretty decent time.
posted by bizzyb at 12:48 PM on December 4, 2011

If you go to Starscape, memail me, we can hang out, meet the DJs, etc. I know most of the locals at those parties...

It's not actually run by Lonnie Fischer anymore, btw, but Steez Promo.

The last big thing they did was Fall Massive at RFK and they do a spring massive and summer massive, too.
posted by empath at 12:58 PM on December 4, 2011

I've been to mutek several times, and the sound system at M├ętropolis (typically the site for some of the Nocturne events) blows me away. The bass is incredible, and if you're on the dancefloor, the movement is incredible as well. It changed my life!
posted by germdisco at 1:09 PM on December 4, 2011

If you guys make it to Toronto in the summer, you should check out The Cherry Beach Scene.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:52 AM on December 5, 2011

Response by poster: Welp, maybe the Netherlands is the way to go; thanks for all these links to explore, everyone - when we make a decision, I'll be sure to add a comment about it!

Dutch techno and DnB might be perfect, but for some reason we hadn't twigged to the idea of the Netherlands... Ted Maul, we were just hitting the delay button on the UK to avoid the Olympic-influenced inflation on travel prices, but that shouldn't be an issue past spring of 2012.

Thanks for the wonderful ideas, everyone! And if you think of anything else, please post it; I'm always down for learning about new music.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:23 AM on December 6, 2011

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