Electric Frog and Pressure Riverside Festival

As the late Zaha Hadid put the final touches on her plans for the magnificent Riverside Museum, it’s unlikely that she envisaged this. Sure, the revered British-Iraqi architect designed the glimmering building as a container for culture – but it perhaps wasn’t rave culture she had in mind for its spiky peaks and bodacious curves.

Nevertheless, it’s hard to imagine the country’s premier house and techno fest in a different setting. Now in its fifth year, the Riverside Festival’s venue is such an integral part of the experience that to have it anywhere else just wouldn’t feel right: a feeling that festival organisers Slam share. “It’s in a beautiful part of the city,” they said. “And the backdrop of the iconic museum, with the views down the river, can be spectacular on a nice day.”

The duo – who are undoubtedly as iconic in their hometown as the festival site – are buzzing for the big weekend. “The excitement is palpable,” they said. “The weather report is promising, the talent on show is red hot, and with the exception of the final release of Sunday day tickets it’s almost sold out.” No wonder, really, when you look at the lineup. It includes the German techno demigod Sven Vath, who’ll be jetting in fresh from the opening party of Heart Ibiza and heading back to the White Isle via London for his label Cocoon’s opening party at Amnesia. It features Nina Kraviz, the Siberian techno Tsarina specialising in gritty, uncompromising, minimalist jams, headlining the second stage. It features Groove Armada – no strangers to the intricacies of festival organisation as the curators of London’s Lovebox, and one of the UK’s biggest dance music exports. It features Derrick Carter, one of the best underground house DJs ever to have existed, on second on Sunday afternoon. It features Jackmaster and Mr G and Surgeon and Levon Vincent and Slam – who could forget Slam – and basically an outstanding chunk of the house and techno world’s great and good, all in one place on the same weekend. The place just happens to be on your doorstep.

“We have to prepare for three sets across Saturday, day and night,” Slam say. “We’re playing with exciting, cutting-edge techno artists like Paula Temple, Surgeon, Rødhåd and Nina on our Pressure stage, then later joining Sven and Levon, when we’ll do a back-to-back with Alan Fitzpatrick on the Cocoon stage before joining Alan, Bjarki, and Ilario et al at the afterparty.

“On Sunday, we have a chance to come down and experience the festival; we’ll be catching up with old mates like Groove Armada and Loco Dice as well as Jackmaster, Mr G and a host of others.”

The afterparties, at SWG3 on both nights of the festival, are a chance to absorb even more from the billed artists as well as local heroes like Melting Pot and Animal Farm. “Sunday’s afters plays host to Art Department, Scuba, George Fitzgerald and Derrick Carter all playing their second sets of the day,” Slam said. “Let’s see who’s still standing after all that!”

Illyus and Barrientos, the Glaswegian underground house duo who have been absolutely everywhere lately, are unlikely to be. They kick off a manic weekend of gigs tonight with their irregular Big Fun party at the Berkeley Suite, with Raeside and Brain Dancing residents Beta and Idamos joining them. They head south to take on London’s Ministry of Sound on Saturday, and then it’s straight back home to bring some shimmering Balearic vibes to the Riverside’s Ice Cave Rave, where they line up alongside Rebecca Vasmant and Manchester’s Ether E.

“It’s a busy weekend for us,” Barrientos told me. “The Berkeley Suite gig is exactly what it says: big fun. It’s all about the feel good. We started it last time round as a little bit of a throwaway gig because it was T in the Park weekend. But it ended up packed, so we decided to keep it going every once in a while, keeping the same ethos: disco, house and good vibes. And then on Sunday it’s our first time playing at the Riverside – it’s such an honour to have been asked. We’re just going to go out there and enjoy it and soak up the moment. We’re really looking forward to it.”

• Big Fun, tomorrow, The Berkeley Suite, 11pm – 3am, £5

• The Riverside Festival, Saturday and Sunday, The Riverside Museum, 1pm – 11pm, £50-£80

• Afterparties, Saturday and Sunday, SWG3, 11pm – 3am, £15