A dance festival is an event that is largely about techno music and dancing. Festivals usually run over the course of a weekend but some can be much longer. There are a variety of different ways that the festival can be organized but the most common is that there will be several different acts performing throughout. Usually there will be a main area that features the big stars of techno music while off to the side there will be smaller areas where lesser known acts get a chance to perform.
Most dance festivals are held in large open fields so that they can accommodate a lot of people. In this respect they are the descendant of the music festivals that started in the sixties. Many of the events will allow camping in a neighbouring field that allows the party to go on all night. In addition there are usually quite a few other events that take place during the festival to occupy people's time when there is no performance going on. In some cases these other activities are unofficial and just spring up naturally from the attendees but in the majority of cases these days they are arranged by the organizers.
Most of the modern dance festivals got their start during the early nineties. This was the period when techno music was first starting to appear and enthusiasts would get to together to perform. These early events tended to be very small as techno music was very much on the fringes during this period. Towards the late nineties however this started to change and the events started to get bigger and bigger. In addition a whole series of new events started to take advantage of the growing popularity.
Over the years most dance festivals have seen their character change somewhat, in large part this was made necessary by their size. In the early years the organization was pretty lax but this is no longer the case. With crowds of tens of thousands of people showing up things like security have become issues. Another issue is paying for the events which is why most of them have now taken on corporate sponsors. There are a lot of people who are not happy about the changes but this is largely the inevitable result of their growing popularity.
For the most part you will find dance festivals are held in Europe. This is mainly because Europe is where the techno music scene first got started. There are now festivals starting to appear in other parts of the world like the United States but the biggest and best events are still in Europe. If you are into techno music it is definitely worth it to choose an event and go, it is an experience that you will never forget.