XLR8R's April Festival Selections

XLR8R staff share our top festival picks from around the globe in April.
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When it comes to the international festival market, April essentially acts as a transitioning month, with the southern hemisphere's departing summer and the northern hemisphere's warming climate. As a result, April presents a wide-reaching offering of festival options, from club-based experimental events to postcard-like island getaways. We've trawled through the countless events on offer and present our top festival picks in April.

Lisboa ElectronicaApril 4 to 7, Lisbon, Portugal


This year, Lisboa Electronica returns for its second edition, welcoming a huge list of labels, artists, and industry figures to Lisbon for four days of festivities from April 4 to 7. This year’s label lineup includes, among others, трип, Clone Records, Pole Group, Werk Discs, Half Baked, Slow Life, and Assemble Music, with each imprint showcasing artists such as Nina Kraviz, Raresh, Sonja Moonear, Altitude, Vera, Legowelt, Oscar Mulero, Lewis Fautzi, Fumiya Tanaka, and tINI, just to name a few. There is also a range of educational and industry-focused activities, including a series of lectures hosted by Red Bull Music Academy, making Lisboa Electronica a meeting place for industry heads from all over the world.

L.E.V. FestivalApril 26 to 29, Gijon, Spain


Laboratorio de Electrónica Visual (a.k.a L.E.V.) 2018 will be the annual event’s 11th edition, taking place in Gijon, Spain from April 26 to 29. Co-produced by the Government of the Principality of Asturias, Gijón's Town Council, LABoral Centro de Arte, and Datatrón Collective, the event once again features a lineup full of daring and innovative international acts that "aim to go beyond classic formats within the fields of sound and vision creations." Highlights on this year’s bill include Hiroaki Umeda, who makes his return to L.E.V to showcase his Intensional Particle performance; while Martin Messier & Yro also come back with their first collaboration: ASHES—designed to remind us that the world’s substance, perceived on a microscopic level, is "nothing but a universe in itself." After several months of artistic residence in a co-production among Montreal, Paris, and Gijón, L.E.V. Festival will host the worldwide premiere of this project.

Creative Italian artist Michela Pelusio will also join the roster with her interpretation of quantum physics in her Spacetime Helix project, a fascinating attempt at visualizing sounds to explore the concept of infinity and the “string theory" through a set of frequencies and visual and sound geometries. Another collaboration, in this case between Mexico's Murcof and Canadian artist Jimmy Lakatos, will bring Nebula, an installation that tries to visualize the most cosmic side of the sound universe of the Mexican artist. Among the audiovisual live shows, you can find the worldwide premiere of Deeper State, the new audio-visual project of Atom ™; Rabit and Cecile’s take on Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs Du Mal; the new project by innovative British audiovisual creator Zan Lyons; and the audiovisual dreamscapes of Loscil, a further development of the language explored on his most recent albums. The lineup also includes the particular vision of sci-fi dance music by Zombie Zombie, who will play their new Livity project, while Lusine will also play.

Lapsus FestivalApril 6 to 8, Barcelona, Spain


Since its inception in 2004, Barcelona's Lapsus has been a bastion of forward-thinking electronic music, creativity, and technology via event production, radio content, a label arm, installations, exhibitions, and various international and national programming for venues around Barcelona. This year's festival—its fifth edition—will take place from April 6 to 8 and features a long list of experimental music's most revered names, including German krautrock legend Hans-Joachim Roedelius, punk pioneer Craig Leon, N.M.O, Lee Gamble, Príncipe Discos' DJ Lilocox and DJ NinOo, Philip Sherburne, Gacha Bakradze, Minor Science, Tasker, and Photay. For any discerning fan of cutting-edge music, Lapsus Festival is one not to miss.

Vujaday—April 4 to 8, Barbados


This year will be the inaugural edition of Barbados’ Vujaday festival, which takes place in a variety of locations around the island from April 4 to 8. The lineup leans on ethereal house and party-ready techno, including sets from Lee Burridge, Peggy Gou, Cassy, Atish, YokoO, DJ Tennis, Wolf + Lamb, Lonely C (Soul Clap), Nick Monaco and The Fitness & Pony, Lee Foss, Bedouin, Francesca Lombardo, Lauren Lane, UK duo Solardo, and more. As is the case with most destination festivals, it’s the combination of the music, travel, and the beauty of the respective region that gets attendees over the line; and with Barbados and its postcard-like beaches as its backdrop, Vujaday has all bases covered.

Caprices Festival—April 12 to 15, Crans-Montana, Switzerland


Caprices Festival will return to Crans-Montana, Switzerland for its 15th edition, running from April 12 to 15. To mark the occasion, Caprices will once again transform the Swiss-French resort in the Valais mountains into a venue for electronic music. There will be a focus on brand new stages and production, advanced video mapping, and immersive audiovisual technologies, and a lineup that mixes up original Caprices artists and returning guests, with exciting new names and young talent. Included this year are Sven Väth, Ben Klock, Paul Kalkbrenner, Ricardo Villalobos, Henrik Schwarz, Luciano, Sonja Moonear, Patrice Baumel, Cobblestone Jazz (live), Archie Hamilton, Monika Kruse, and many others.

Sunwaves 23—April 26 to May 1, Mamaia, Romania

Studio XXIX : Sunwaves XXI

Studio XXIX : Sunwaves XXI

The latest edition of Sunwaves Festival, episode 23, takes place from April 26 through May 1 in Mamaia, Romania—although those of you that have been following the Romanian scene will know the after-parties will go on for some time longer. The May edition is more intimate and focused than the August edition, much better for those fans of Rhadoo, Raresh, Pedro, Cezar, Barac, Priku, and a slew of artists who’ve followed their loopy, minimal templates. Besides these regulars, you’ll find Margaret Dygas, Sonja Moonear, DeWalta, Ricardo Villalobos, Craig Richards, and other like-minded international names, all performing extended sets on the crystal-clear sound-systems for which the event has become known. More names will be confirmed in due course. It’s certainly not an event to be missed if these names are for you.

Rainbow Disco Club—April 28 to 30, Japan


Returning for the third year running to the now iconic Higashi Izu Cross Country Course, Rainbow Disco Club is one of the world's most alluring festivals. This is down to its picturesque location, the inimitable vibe of its patrons, and the uncompromising music policy from some of the world's finest DJs. This year's musical offering is, arguably, its best yet, featuring an enticing b2b offering, including Four Tet and Floating Points, Antal and Hunee, DJ Masda and Eli Verveine, and DJ Nobu and Joey Anderson, as well as the live pairing of Soichi Terada and Kuniyuki, and sets from San Proper, Octo Octa, Sassy J, and Edward.

Piknic Électronik Melbourne—Melbourne, Australia


Taking place at the lush, outdoor Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne, Australia, this year’s season of Piknic Électronik Melbourne has so far played host to performances by, among others, Luke Hess, DJ Seinfeld, Jennifer Cardini, Deetron, Agents of Time, Tiga, Steve Rachmad, Molly, and Radio Slave. Over the first two weekend’s of April, the festival will enter its final run, with Derrick May, Mor Elian, Elizabeth Dixon (live), and U-Khan playing on April 1, and George FitzGerald, Yotto, Fred P, Human Movement, Willaris. K, Toni Yotzi, Matt Radovich, Ben Cormack, Caine Sinclair, and Anyo MzRizk on April 8. With its gorgeous locale, food truck selection, and high-quality production, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better way to bid farewell to summer in Australia.